We have three days of filming left. One is an aerial drone shoot on a desert location with Dan Ciraulo and his Dark Path Films who I find to be Las Vegas' (and maybe Nevada's) finest visual effect and aerial production company. Reasonable rates which deliver quality and first rate creative shots. No challenge seems to great or difficult for Dark Films to deliver. Our second day of filming is to clean up bits and pieces of the 100 pages we shoot. A staggeringly great cast really pulled off a miracle! I'm very proud of all of them, Paul Gunn as Sgt. Lobo Katz, Brad Thornton as Captain Jedediah Starslayer Burk, Nathan Ferrier as Corporal Mac McQuarrie, Cat Cakmis for constantly delivering never less than a remarkable nuance and talent throughout and particularly Ashley Campbell who gives a layered performance that anchored all. Two newcomers, Jennie Carroll as Abrami-Kenedi and Clare Hoak as Ren-Bergman were astonishing (no bullshit) as was one of my favorites,Tommie Vegas as An-Jo who I knew would deliver. I tired and still feeling the effects of the shoot. With Michael Su, shooting and co-directing, when I faltered or got brain confused, the shoot had a great leader. Justin Lee Giffen ran the shoot smoothly and professionally, even though I made his job as Line Producer / First AD difficult because of my inability to communicate or think clearly at times. Jacki Heston headed the make up and hair department brilliantly no matter how many changes I through her way. Alberto Triana was a resourceful and first class sound recordist and had the personality to keep the cast and crew safe and feeling confident. Tyki Sato was simply a gifted filmmaker who kept the entire machine moving in so many film disciplines. I know Michael would agree that Tyki's skill and talent that held the shoot together. Brilliant young man. And to my dear wife and producer, Cynthia Curnan, without whom I would not have got this opportunity to make a movie one more time! I am very grateful to them and to the support of a great group of interns across four departments! - ALBERT
Today marks 4 weeks since I dislocated my finger. It was fixed, x-rayed 3 times and put into this splint. I figure, it'll be in the splint for another month. It's pretty tender and vulnerable (especially with our rambunctious fur kids). I was hoping it would be further along in the healing process, by the time of the shoot. 90 pages in 4 days...well, at least I can tell it's healing. But taking no risks with it. - ALBERT
Looking forward to first extended collaboration on this film with Ashley Campbell next week and reuniting with Clare Hoak, we last worked together in 1993...I think. On my film KNIGHTS aka KINGDOM OF METAL. She is very talented. I'm also excited at the prospect of working with Jennie Carroll for the first time and the first extended work with actors Paul Gunn, Nathan Ferrier,Tommie Vegas and Cat Cakmis. All have worked briefly on the film so far, they all performed perfectly scenes shot previously with Ellie Church, Brad Thornton, Scottie Jax and Kelsey Carlisle. Nathan Ferrier and Cat Cakmisworked during reshoots for Bulletface to get it to "R" rating because of brutality and violence. Tommie Vegas was the star of the "Interrogation of Cheryl Cooper". She and add fellow stars, Shane Ryan and Brittany Bochart all won Best actor and Best supporting actor prizes at the Pollygrind Underground Film Festival as they well deserved especially the fact they performed in a one shot, 60 page scene!! Having Tommie Vegas, Clare Hoak, Jennie Carroll,Brad Thornton, Paul Gunn and Cat Cakmis will be mind blowing to behold, not only are all very charismatic, but they are so loaded with talent. How bitchin' and utterly cool. I'm resting up to be ready. I have terrific artists to do this with me, Michael Sul, so it will be beautifully shot and Michael Su adds so much more with his experience, skill and friendship. He is of my soul. Cynthia Curnan will produce with strong line producing support from Justin Lee Giffen. Dan Ciraulo is handling aerial shooting and Visual Effects. He and his company, Dark Path VEFX will emerge as a super artistic and capable. my greatest hope is for all to go the next level.
The pressure is on...but good pressure! - ALBERT
It's funny, how much I missed making films. It's almost the only thing I've done since 1963. I started working as an editor in Honolulu in 1973. Its hard to stop something you've done during most of your life. I was very lucky - First Film Internship at 17 at a Honolulu doc and commercial production house (gofer, film developer, audio editor), First professional job at 19 in Tokyo, Japan (asst camera). Worked as a commercial editor, neg cutter, grip, sound recordist, etc at 20 (300 commercials), then First 35mm feature film filmmaking at 22, trailer editor at 23 (at Dimension pictures), at Feature Film deal at 26, First shot and completed 35mm feature at 27, first theatrical release at 28...and onward. So it's all I've ever done, all I ever dreamed of. Even the dementia can't diminish my dream to make more! Dementia, MS can not compete with dreams. Well, it can cross the wiring but not kill the drive..I hope! - ALBERT.
Here is the definition of what is affecting me. I have been fighting it to with my drive to make movies but yesterday it was clear to me I have degraded to far, and I could not overcome the disease. My dementia had progressed to the point I have lost to much brain, to much of me. The definition:
Cerebral atrophy is a common feature of many of the diseases that affect the brain. Atrophy of any tissue means loss of cells. In brain tissue, atrophy describes a loss of neurons and the connections between them. Atrophy can be generalized, which means that all of the brain has shrunk; or it can be focal, affecting only a limited area of the brain and resulting in a decrease of the functions that area of the brain controls. If the cerebral hemispheres (the two lobes of the brain that form the cerebrum) are affected, conscious thought and voluntary processes may be impaired.
Even I cannot make any more films because the Dementia progressed quicker than I thought possible. I will always consider it my final creative effort as a filmmaker. I know all of you are disappointed, none more than I. I so wanted to bring the talented cast and crew to the world's attention. They made my last days as a filmmaker so satisfying and a joy. But they diseased has truly dimmed my brain to the point I can no longer fight it. It's robbed me of everything. My ability to think and even walk.
With some of the comments the past several weeks where a few have taken the position the titles of my new film, namely they have appear an attempt to coast on abigger studio film's marketing and publicity. To this I say, well, I'm an exploitation filmmaker. I have always been that. I grew up on the great exploitation films of the 50's, 60's and 70's. And because you make an exploitation film, that doesn't mean you can't try for something creative that will find acceptance in a wider public. Good exploitation to me was a film that got made because of a studio (or independent hit) and yet succeeds in becoming a unique film all its own. So I grew up on Roger Corman, AIP, Run Run Shaw and the many Drive In movie producers. The movies were cheap rip offs of bigger studio films but they had a reckless, fearless creativity to them. Yes, everyone knew they were piggybacking on the marketing and promotion of bigger studio films, but many of the actual films were liberated in the making of the films and it produced a lot of creativity, even in the bad films. Without the "exploitation" of a bigger film's marketing and promotion, these films would have never been made. That's really wha my first film was, The Sword and the Sorcerer was pure exploitation. It worked because I wanted make memorable exploitation. I'm proud of being an exploitation filmmaker. It's given me a career and within it's narrow perimeters, a chance to try different ideas. There was a saying we use to quote early in our careers, "If its not trailer material, don't shoot it". I can't remember who said it, but it certainly influenced my first two films. So, to all my nay sayers and critical friends, tough. I embrace being a exploitation filmmaker. And yes, Interstellar War will be a pure exploitation film. We don't have "stars" to sell it to the public, but we can design the presentation of my film to exploit whatever is working in the public. The film itself will be inventive, creative and as well done as we can make it. Unlike the SyFy movies or the "mock blockbuster films by a company called Asylum, we respect our audience. We may not succeed at all aspects of what we are trying to make, and the budget may show from time to time, but we are trying to DELIVER THE MOST CREATIVE MOVIE we can. So there... - ALBERT
Another screen grab from a scene with Kelsey Carlisle as Lord General Kazan. These are still very early test comps and have no refinements yet, or color correction. Background sets are temp. But we are getting close. Kelsey is the perfect actress for how I want to shoot this. A big part of the film is the stylized look. Like with Sergio Leone's Once upon A Time in the West. Memorable faces, expressive eyes. Kelsey Carlisle is perfect for how I imagine the film looking. She's beautiful but in a unique way that captures not only the character but the film's visual style as well. Takes a great make up artist like Jacki Heston to make it all work at the film's 4K resolution.— with Cynthia Curnan, Kelsey Carlisle, Brad Thornton and Jacki Heston.
I love some of these retro reviews of my older films. Here's one on my film, Alien from LA. It starred Kathy Ireland and we shot it Africa. In these retro reviews the reviewer sees the layers of stylization I was trying for. Like Radioactive Dreams. I think after this film, I decided to not make the surrealistic visions I had. I tried to go less style and more straight forward. My next film was cyborg. Go figure...anyway here's the retro review of Alien From LA who originally was titled Odeon. But it was changed, of course. - Albert.
CLICK HERE TO READ REVIEW.
Bloodmatch is an action kickboxing mystery movie. Now while that may sound like something you have never seen before, I must divulge that it was directed by Albert Pyun which means the acting and budget are on the lower end of the spectrum. When I saw lower end of the spectrum I mean the bottom. While those hindrances do not bother me, I realize certain cinephiles are choosy. If Albert Pyun is not your cup of tea you might want to look elsewhere, but if you enjoy kickboxing, suspense and a twist ending, then give 1991’s Bloodmatch a go.
CLICK HERE TO READ FULL REVIEW.
Here's a few shots of Fulvia Santoni in her first costume fitting session in mock up of costume design by Lenka Fucikova. very talented and creative design by Lenka Fucikova who will emerge as a noted designer after this film comes out. And Fulvia is such a striking assassin warrior. One of the most formidable warriors in Star Warfare Rangers and the Cyborg Witch of Endor - ALBERT
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