I replied with a nice thank you and sent them a signed Wicked Carnival Productions Logo Picture and now will answer the question they asked me in the e-mail, What does it mean to me to be an indie film maker ?
This is a question I could answer in a cocky way and say something like "To me being an indie film maker means that I'm smarter, better, have more balls then you" but I don't have that big of an ego about it (not yet anyway) to me yes it takes alot of balls to start out with nothing but a dream and an idea and watching it over time go from an idea in your mind to words on paper, from there it it goes from an idea outlined on paper to words on a screen in script form and then casting the roles, doing tables reads and eventually you start shooting the movie.
I have said on many occasions in probably EVERY interview I have ever done that when I started with this crazy idea that I was going to make a movie I had a VERY VERY Simple outlook on film making point the camera say ACTION shoot the scene and move on.
Once I got on set the first day it was an education in a hurry and I would like to think a the shoot went on I learned something every time I stepped on set. Being an indie film maker means so many things to me, it means I have an outlet to be creative, prior to starting to write screenplays I was the writer / booker for an outlaw or backyard wrestling group as well as an in ring performer. once I got done with that (due to age and injuries) I needed something to keep my mind working on a creative level.
HOW I STARTED WRITING SCREENPLAYS :
I had begun to hear rumors of Halloween 3(D) being worked on then they stalled out, as a huge fan of the series (even the Rob Zombie films) I thought because of my vast knowledge of the series "I bet I could write something" so I went to work (I worked at Family Dollar at the time) and bought a few note books, special pens that would only be used for writing the script. I rewatched the Rob Zombie films and started working on the idea of making a direct sequel to H2 and without any formal training in screenwriting I started working on it, 3 months later I had written a script that was long enough to make TWO films. Granted I was simply doing it as a writing exercise and wasn't ever going to send the work to dimension films but it told me that I could write scripts.
Some of you might be thinking why not take a shot at it and send it to Dimension films? because legally I had no right to work on anything Halloween or Michael Myers related as they own the rights to the property and after some advice from an unlikely hollywood influence Todd Farmer (writer of Jason X and My Bloody Valentine) who said and I quote "Don't send it in, don't waste your time and work on something original" So I did..
I started working on scripts of all genres, I have written romantic movies, drama, action, these again were just writing exercises I knoew in my heart that I wanted to write horror movies and after a rough night of sleep and my first experience with Melatonin (a sleep aide) I got the idea for my first horror script titled Wicked Carnival (I named the Production Company after this script) That was going to be the first script that went into pre production but after looking at all that would go into it (Minimum $75,000 dollar budget) I figured that was a project for a later time when I could get more help with my projects. So I started writing Sins of Man and admittedly so took some ideas from the Wicked Carnival script. I was in a place where what I wrote is what I wanted on screen and didn't feel I should change things to fit a budget because I wanted alot of effects and huge set designs and set pieces etc.
HOW I KNEW SINS OF MAN WOULD BE THE FILM THAT WENT INTO PRODUCTION :
With in 30 days of starting to write Sins of Man I had written drafts for a trilogy, I was half way through Sins of Man when I started thinking about how I could tie in a sequel and started writing notes for Part II and when I started writing part II I started to think about making a trilogy so I made note for part III. I originally wasn't going to make film franchises just one off movies because I'm a firm believer that the horror genre was killed by too many sequels but trilogies are some what of a rarity in the genre and in film in general so I thought a trilogy would be a good launching point for Wicked Carnival Productions.
IN CLOSING :
This has been a long blog so I will end it by saying being an indie film maker means that I get a chance to put my creative art work out there for horror fans the world over to enjoy and that is what is important to me is making films for horror fans :) To me being an indie film maker means that I get to live my dream of entertaining people and (hopefully) make films that people enjoy and become fans of. The one thing I really enjoy and find most rewarding about making these films is I get the chance to give an opportunity to struggling actors who are looking for work who just want to kick start their careers and by casting them in a movie they get experience and footage for their reel which as you know will hopefully get them more work in the future and in doing all of this I have made friends and people I will continue to work with on future projects.
We made Sins of Man : Rise of Mortis on a $500 dollar production budget most of which came from my personal bank account as well as crowd funding (3 backers in 3 different campaigns) with an additional $2,600 dollars in equipment being purchased to do all the Post production in house and the first run of DVDs (paid for by our editor) for what we had to work with and what we accomplished I think we did a damn good job, we are selling the movie now and we did it as a team.
STAY TUNED & STAY WICKED :)