Most of us make "passion projects" because we don't have the budget to make a big movie but I'll tell you something and this is from personal experience with little to no money you can create movie magic ....
1. "You'll never make this happen."
2. "You don't have the skill set to make a movie.
3. How can you make a movie with out an education in film making?
These three things only served a motivation for me to prove these people wrong. I've been a fighter since the day I was born. I was born seven weeks early and almost died twice so I literally have been fighting since birth. I have carried that chip on my shoulder for 39 years now and I don't think it will be going anywhere in the near future. I want to take a moment and touch on each of those statements .
"You'll never make this happen." Someone saying this to me is probably the biggest motivator for me because I enjoy proving people wrong.
"You don't have the skill set to make a movie." I often reply to this question with a sarcastic answer like "It's horror it's not rocket science." It's not like I'm trying to cure cancer or world hunger, it's horror, it's not that hard to write a horror movie. I've watched all the classic slasher movies and that right there is an education in itself of the do's and do not's of horror film making... Think about that for a moment, let it sink in.
"How can you make a movie with no education in film making?" This one is simple to answer it's called on the job training. trial and error and believe me there was a ton of that happening on the set of Sins of Man : Rise of Mortis. You show me someone that knows EVERYTHING about film making and I'll show you a liar. Film making like anything else is a NEVER ENDING education.
I was very blessed to meet Chris Fyfe who started out as an actor in Sins of Man : Rise of Mortis and over the course of pre production of that movie we became close friends and eventually business partners he's now the Executive Producer on my films, co director, camera man, editor really my Ace in the hole or Jack of all trades. Without him none of this would be possible. He taught me to believe in myself and no matter what happens to never quit.
I've talked about some of the hurdles we encountered during the production of Sins of Man : Rise of Mortis and Sins of Man II : Vengeance and like I said these things will happen on every set and there really isn't much you can do about it other then be proactive and figure out a plan A, B, C, D etc.
I've had sets (someone's house) burn down in the middle of shooting Sins of Man : Rise of Mortis. This forced me in front of the camera in a much larger role then my standard director cameo. I've had cast members not show up for shooting causing the rewrite of the entire final act of a movie on the fly on Sins of Man II : Vengeance. These things will happen.
On my current project The Vengeful One the first film (short) film from the Top Guy Productions division of Wicked Carnival Productions which was originally supposed to be shot in July and released around Halloween of this year. We've had a run of cast members leaving the project.
Less then 24 hours before shooting was supposed to start my lead actress backed out which shut down production. We regrouped and started the search for our Brandi Queen. Several other actors backed out after we announced the new shooting dates dues to scheduling conflicts with other projects (which is completely fine) So I filled out the cast a second time and now with 13 days til the start of production my lead actress leaves the project due to an undisclosed illness. I wish her a speedy recovery and hope to work with her in the future.
This hit me hard as I was really excited about this actress being the lead. I'm determined to shoot this movie on time and under budget so I immediately started the search for a new lead as well as a few other roles that other people left over the weekend.
As I was replying to the e-mail about the lead leaving the project I started to think that maybe this project just isn't meant to be and maybe I should pull the plug. I thought about it for a minute and decided that I can't quit now. The search is on for a new lead as I've already asked a few actresses I have on file about stepping in.
I have been through the ringer on every project so far in my short career and to be honest with you I wouldn't change a thing because what these road blocks, speed bumps, hurdles have done is give me that education that many people think I need to be a film maker. I'm a smarter business man, writer, director, casting director because of all these things happening to me.
With production starting in 13 days on The Vengeful One I'm focused on making this movie the best it can be and giving my fans the world over something they will be proud to have in their movie collection. I choose t stay positive through all the ups and downs on this wild, crazy road of film making because if you get to negative then you start to find reasons not to keep moving forward and eventually you find a reason to quit.
Making movies is my dream job and I'm living the dream folks. Am I making millions ? No. Am I living in a big house, Nope! what I am is happy to be able to live my dream and make movies for fans just like me.
STAY HUMBLE, STAY HUNGRY MY FRIENDS :)