Thursday, April 29, 2010

New 1/25th D.B. Petty Charger Gasser (Part 2)

Got some more work done on the new D.B. Petty 1/25th scale mock-up. The wheels and tires I picked up from Morgan Automotive Detail and engine accessories from Speed City Resin will really detail this little Gasser.

Breakin' Out The Roland S-550

Dusted off the old discs and fired up my trusty Roland S-550, looking for some new sounds (actually old sounds) for the soundtrack of Rat Rod Rockers! The Roland is in the top rack space and has an external mouse and monitor (green screen on the right). It was state of the art back in the 1980's. It only holds a few seconds of samples on each disc, so you had to use the space very sparingly. Looping sounds on this machine is an art form! I have thousands of sounds collected over the decade I used this box extensively in my music. Memories...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Rat Rod Rockers! Editing

Sorted takes for Scene 13 of Rat Rod Rockers!

No Budget Film Making (or Buy Your Own Damn Camera)

Recently I have seen alot of press about crowd-funding and alternative ways for film makers to generate funds to finance their film projects. I'm sorry- I but don't get it. What do these people need all this money for? Can they make films with virtually "No Budget." Yes indeed they can. In this modern age- the less you spend to make something the easier it is to turn a profit. This is obvious economics. If you have no initial investment to recoup then the first dollar you get from a DVD sale or VOD play is the first dollar in your pocket.

My first film, Hot Rod Girls Save The World, cost less than $3,000 to make. That was spread out over four years of production. Most of this expense was pizza for the cast and crew, blank DV tapes, gas money for actors and location fees. It would have been much less (as is the case with my new film Rat Rod Rockers!) had it not taken four years to film. Understand that I am NOT including in this "$3,000" my camera or video editing system. The reason quite simply is- I use my gear with other client's in money making projects. It would be impossible to calculate what percentage of my equipment costs are directly related to my films. Obviously if I didn't have a camera or a way to edit my films, I couldn't make the films at all. This leads us to-

Buy your own camera! Like a guitarist without a guitar a film maker without a camera is a sad sight indeed. Worse are the film makers who know nothing about using a camera and hire "cinematographers" to film their movie for them. This is extremely old school and an unnecessary film expense (sorry cinematographers). It may have been necessary when cameras were behemoth $200,000 beasts that took two people to lift, but not now. To truly understand the language of film making, you really need to know how to work a camera, to find the angles yourself and to feel the mechanics of making a movie first hand. You should know all the settings of your camera, how it reacts to no light, low light or sunlight. How to set your white balance, how to set your filming modes, etc. I run a Panasonic AG-DVX100 (cost was $3,200 in 2004). I love my camera! In the 24P mode (24 frames per second, progressive) it looks almost exactly like 16mm film. It is unreal! The other thing about owning your own camera (and editing equipment) is you can film events, weddings, TV commercials and make real money. Money you can use for your next film project! But still you need to...

Own your editing equipment! It's not enough in this modern high tech age to own a camera. You need a way to edit your images together, you need an editing suite! Now there a a zillion ways to go with editing gear. Rather than get into all that, I'll tell you what I use. I own an older Mac 733 G4 running Final Cut Pro 5 (around $1,000). Works great. I bought my Mac new for $3,000 but 733s currently go for $200-300 on Craigslist. Learning to edit can take some time. I taught myself FCP in around six months, by doing various projects and learning as I went. I do have an unfair learning advantage, as I was very familiar with music programs like Pro Tools and Cubase. I have been using computers to make music since the early 1980's (remember Atari?). You may be saying- "I don't want to learn how to edit or work a camera!" Then my friend you definitely will need some serious crowd-funding to pay your cinematographers, editors and of course buy some cheese pizza for your cast and crew. Me I'm in post with my second feature, in production with a Documentary about horses, setting up my next music video and scripting my third feature length film. You keep looking for the money, I'll keep making movies!

More about paying (or not paying) actors and crew next time.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rat Rod Rockers! Editing

Finished up Scene 39 of Rat Rod Rockers! It was a short one with only one cut. Instead of shelving it as I progressed through the films scenes breaking apart takes, I just went ahead and edited it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Rat Rod Rockers! Editing

Still culling the scenes. Got an amazing six scenes broken down into takes on their individual time lines yesterday. This also helps me get a handle on what was shot and what is missing and how much work that particular scene will be come actual editing time. I think (I hope) I am on track to have a screener of Rat Rod Rockers! ready by July/August 2010. That's a year and three months from inception to birth. 1/4 the time of Hot Rod Girls Save The World. They say the second birth usually goes faster and with less pain. So it seems, so it seems.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pirates Vs. Fans

I had quite a response to my last few Anti-Pirate Posts and Press Releases. Many people have a hard time making the distinction between "sharing" and "stealing" digitally available content. In a nutshell Share = Fans. Steal = Pirates. Let me clarify my views on this.

I make art because I have no choice. I have since I was a little kid and will until I die. Money comes and goes. Sometimes I get paid for my art, sometimes I do not. I still create- that is my constant...that is my existence. I am probably best known as a singer songwriter but started flirting with the visual arts back in the mid-nineties to enhance my bands live shows. This led me to music video, short film, television production and finally feature film.

When I started playing seriously in bands back in the 1980's, MP3s did not exist. If you wanted a recording of your favorite band you would go to the record store and buy their music on Vinyl, 8-Track or Cassette. Many people would buy Vinyl and make mix cassettes for their friends. I considered this (and still do) sharing and not stealing. In the modern world, I feel that if someone buys my CD or DVD and burns a few copies for friends or family, or includes a few of my songs on a mixed CD, that is sharing. In fact I am flattered that they would take their time and deem my work worthy enough to do so. However- a line get crossed when that same person burns multiple copies of my music or film to sell or trade for their own personal gain. That is stealing my hard work and puts them in the "You Suck" category of my book.

Loaning DVD's to friends, showing films in groups or small festivals or events, that is all healthy sharing. The same goes for DJ'ing music at a club or event. That is sharing. Sharing is good. Sharing helps the arts grow and thrive.

Now the Peer To Peer sites are a different matter all together. They encourage people to pirate and to steal. Why pay for something you can easily get for free and without serious consequence. Can you blame people for pirating? Yes. It is a matter of ethics. You know that shite your Momma tried telling you about. Do unto others... remember? If pirates and potential pirates knew how much damage they are doing to the arts and artists by stealing their art- I think many would ween themselves of the practice. Some, of course, would not. These are the "entitled ones" who feel that they should be given everything they want for free, simply because they suck air and have a pulse. They avoid work, slack when they can't get out of it and dream of being famous for dong absolutely nothing (i.e. on their own Reality TV Show). They consume rather than create. They observe rather than live. Most contribute absolutely nothing to this world but their carbon footprint, most recent high game scores and nasty comments on other peoples blogs and You Tube pages. They are under everyone's radar and pirate media because it is makes them feel bad ass, like when they jerk off in the bathroom stalls at work on company time. Just don't get caught my friend, you probably won't get fired but you will be made fun of for the next few years.

This is the pirate and he feels that stealing a few songs or movies is f'n cool because...well hell, he got the latest _________ before anyone else did, got it for free and uploaded it for the bragging rights to all his other pirate buddies. Art in all forms is a corporate construct, meant for his personal enjoyment. Artists aren't real people, they are like the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. Make-believe, isn't that where all that creative shite comes from anyway?

Rat Rod Rockers! Editing

Been culling through the Scene Lists of Rat Rod Rockers! breaking takes apart on each scenes timeline. A bit time consuming but necessary. I also just picked up (or should I say down loaded a copy of) Evan Pazners Vintage Breaks Drum Loop Disc (and yes I bought it- no pirating here). Great breaks for uptempo big beat and hip hop styles. I used a 145 bpm loop to start a music bed for Rat Rod Rockers! Scene 50 in which two rat rod gang members chase the story's heroine into the woods.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Go-Charger Project - A Face Only A Mother Could Love

Here are some more pics from Chris Darland in Medford, Orgeon on our Legend Of D.B. Petty '66 HEMI Charger Gasser build. Look at that stance! A face only a mother could love!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Go-Charger Project - More Pics

Here's a few more pics from Chris Darland's build of our 1966 Dodge Hemi Charger. it will be a 383 car until we can get the HEMI built and installed. This Charger is going to be the star of my next film The Legend Of D.B. Petty.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Go-Charger! Progress Report

Chris Darland of (Medford, Oregon) who also stars in our last film Hot Rod Girls Save The World as the vile gang leader Freddy Dahmer, sent some progress pics of the D.B. Petty Charger (aka Go-Charger) he is building for our next film The Legend Of D.B. Petty.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pirates Download Over 84,000 Copies Of Hot Rod Girls Save The World (Press Release)

Pirates Force Go-Kustom Films to Pursue New Release Strategies for Second Feature Film "Rat Rod Rockers!"

Go-Kustom Films loses big money with over 84,000 illegal downloads of their last film Hot Rod Girls Save the World.

Seattle, WA - It’s late at night and a young man is finishing up his last minute pirate activities. He sees an underground film on a peer to peer site that he has heard about in a psychobilly/horror pop webzine. Its called Hot Rod Girls Save The World. He squints- the file is not too big and he has plenty of disc space. He quickly klicks his mouse and slides back in his chair- the damage is done. Not to him of course, but to one of the many fledgling indie-film companies around the world. In this scenario it is Go-Kustom Films.

Hot Rod Girls Save The World was made on a miniscule budget of less than $3,000. D.A. Sebasstian, the films writer and director, was able to keep costs down by doing most of the work himself. Everything from the soundtrack, set design and construction, special effects, audio mixing, make-up design and editing were all done by Sebasstian. This took him nearly five years of hard work to get from the films inception to it’s completion. Sebasstian also runs Go-Kustom Rekords & Films and sometimes thinks more like a film company owner, than a film maker.

Without shopping the film to a distributor, Hot Rod Girls Save The World was immediately pressed to DVD and made available on Amazon, IndieFlix, Go-Kustom and various other websites. Says Sebasstian, “Looking back- going directly to DVD may have not been the best answer for this films release. We did some initial private screenings, four wall events and then a few festivals, but we really worried about our limited advertising budget and initial DVD sales, so we pressed Hot Rod Girls right away.”

Nowadays making a film available on DVD, also means making the film available to potential pirates. With modern ripping software, almost anyone can de-encrypt a DVD, rip it and make the file available on Peer To Peer sites for anyone else to gobble up. Initially Sebasstian didn’t think this was such an issue until a random internet search of the films title proved otherwise. Recently a Google Search of Hot Rod Girls Save the World (on 04/19/10) came up with the following-
Download Cave 1,107 downloads
Download Archive 26,471 downloads
Torrent2Crazy 21,024 downloads
DARelease 36,066 downloads

That is a whopping 84,668 downloads from just four sites in one year! At the standard $4.00 per download that's an estimated loss of $338,672 in potential revenue! Now- granted many who download the film for free would never buy this or any other film and how accurate are those website counters anyway? But taking into account that this was not an in-depth web search by any means, 84,668 downloads is probably just the tip of the iceberg.

Says Sebasstian, “While it is flattering to see Hot Rod Girls Save The World is an underground hit- it is impossible to sustain a film company if people just flat out refuse to pay to watch it. This is really effecting the small guys like us- disproportionately so when compared to the bigger Hollywood Company titles. I mean we’ve sold over 1,300 Hot Rod Girls DVDs and had hundreds of paid downloads but come on- this is crazy!” By comparison the most popular single scene from Hot Rod Girls Save The World (Scene 77) currently has just 26,286 views on YouTube (as of 04/19/10).

This whole experience has led Go-Kustom Films to reevaluate their films release strategies. Says Sebasstian, “Our next film, Rat Rod Rockers! comes out summer 2010 and we have already decided not to go straight to DVD. We also don’t want any full length versions of the DVD being sent out as promotion or to film festivals. We just don’t want to risk it. We are also talking about touring Rat Rod Rockers! around the U.S. with some of the Actors and Hot Rods from the film in tow. Mostly playing it at Car Shows, small theaters, drive-ins and music events. We have also looked into possible stream only websites and doing a payed mobile device release that would make the film available for viewing, but not look good on a bigger screen (i.e. DVD or Blu-Ray quality). We are still in the planning stages for the initial release of Rat Rod Rockers! Eventually though, it will have to be on DVD. We even thought about hiring a Gypsy Witch to curse all who pirate the new film...just kidding. ”

Go-Kustom is worried about loosing early sales of the film without a physical DVD available, but has some creative ideas to overcome this. One possibility is selling Director Signed cases at shows and screenings minus the actual DVD. Each case would be given a tracking number with the purchasers mailing information. When the DVD of Rat Rod Rockers! becomes available, Go-Kustom would then mail out the DVDs directly to the case holders. Although this sounds elaborate, it could generate sales and interest in the film without the film suffering from initial release pirate buzz kill.

About pirates and the anguish they cause the DIY film maker, Sebasstian says, “Please Don’t Pirate- Buy Indie!”

For more information about Go-Kustom and it’s music and film releases-
please visit or contact


Sunday, April 18, 2010

New 1/25th D.B. Petty Charger Gasser

I have slowly been working on a new, more detailed and better built 1/25th scale reference 1966 Dodge Hemi Charger model for The Legend Of D.B. Petty film. I really love this new Krylon Satin Nickle color. Its a metallic silver with an almost cream tint to it. With Orange or Red stripes or accents this color could really blast the eyeballs out. Wonder if it's available in quantity to use in a spray gun on the real car that Chris Darland is building?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Munster Style Photo Shoot

Hooked up with Steve Puvogel, Mike and Ragaen McKibbin to do a photo shoot for our new publication Munster Style . The weather was mildly rainy but we were able to find an abandon dock with a small overhang to shoot under. Great set. Carla and Big T were also supposed to show, but the rain just got too heavy to drive the open top T-Bird Gasser. We will reschedule a shoot with them. We are hoping to have Munster Style out by summers end. We just moved our first submission deadline from April 31st to June 1, 2010. This will be a 250+ page periodical/book covering Kustom Kulture, Paranormal Stuff, Indie-Arts, etc. So far we have some awesome articles, artwork and photos lined up. We may also do a tie-in DVD format of the publication

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Rat Rod Rockers! Scene 40/43

Began cutting Scene 40 for Rat Rod Rockers! The scene I finished yesterday (#42) fits in with this sequence. Moved the finished version of Scene 42 into the 40/43 timeline. There is no Scene 41 (numerical error from the screenplay). These scenes have some serious action. Fun to edit!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Dream

I keep this D.B. Petty Charger replica model I built above my workstation to help motivate me. It is my dream car- hey one mans Dodge Charger is another man's Ferrari.
I also started cutting Scene 40/43 today. There is no Scene 41, so this sequence series will be Scene 40-42-43. It is an action filled set or Rat Rod Rockers!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rat Rod Rockers! Scene 42 Complete

Finally got a handle on Scene 42 for Rat Rod Rockers! I like it! Some bad news on the horizon about some business things. Still we have already started a plan B. You can't stop and collapse and think about how bad things are or could get. Here and now. That's all that is- that's all that matters.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Freaks Amor and Scene 42

Spent time editing Scene 42 for Rat Rod Rockers! This one has been giving me some trouble- just can't find the right tempo. Also uploaded a few video clips to YouTube of my old band Freaks Amor that I used to be in back in the early 1980s. I found some old old old cassette tapes and combined them with some old flyer art to upload. Archiving my musical past.

FilmEES Edmonds Presents The Commune

Had a handful of people show up for our second indie-film screening at our Edmonds FilmEES location. Most people saw the listings on the internet so that seems to be our most viable way to get the word out about the screenings. The attendees seems very interested in The Commune and it makes me feel good to help indie-film makers get their movies seen. In two weeks we will be screening Zack Coffman's Choppertown:The Sinners.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Aside/Beside and Xijix

Did some You Tube archiving by putting up some songs from my earliest projects. Xijix was my first Hardcore Punk I started back in 1981 in San Bernardino, California. Aside/Beside was a more gothic industrial project from 1985 also in San Bernardino. Used the old cassette tapes (some very noisy now) with stills and pictures from back in the day to create the YouTube clips. Didn't have anything but some old flyer art for Xijix. Still YouTube videos get listed on Blip.FM and other online radio libraries, so it's a good way to get your material out there in higher audio quality (for free).