Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Moonshine of the Damned, Production Journal #11

Not a huge update, just some minor in between type stuff. We've made it through 4 days of shooting, I've got potentially 3 more this month, all fairly simple stuff that doesn't require zombie extras, just an opening sequence, a one on one fight scene with a hero zombie and a quick cutaway of one of the leads after a zombie attack.

Right now we stand at 13 of 24 scenes down. There's a couple shots I'd like to retake here and there that won't be an issue or take more than a couple minutes during another shoot. If all goes as planned, end of June should see us at 18 of 24, with 3 relatively decent shoots and 3 majorly complicated shoots. The complicated ones are the last 3 of the movie and things start getting pretty messy, lots of zombies, blood and FX stuff going on there.

I've taken stock of what's left to create and it's still a lot. I've got a long way to go before I can just stop working in between shoots. There's about 10 or so custom prosthetic pieces, ranging from various zombies, to our lead villain to some rather mess wounds. Most of the props are done, although I'm running low on supplies and need to restock somehow - no budget left so I'll have to scramble some funds up somehow. That's what the fundraiser's for, so feel free to help out.

For this weekend I've been working on a hero zombie character called Angry Zombie. The Angry Zombie is our first major action type sequence with the character Freebird.  Whenever we're doing a hero zombie, I try to go a little overboard with creating them, just to give it a bit more than just some ugly, dirty face painting.

Here's the sculpt for the Angry Zombie piece, it's drying out right now, should be doing the first copy of the piece tomorrow morning. You can see the mouth is pretty messed up, that's because we'll be using the Out of Mouth Dentures with it. I didn't sculpt it taking the extra bulk from the dentures into account on purpose, it didn't effect anything with the Half Zombie and the piece can be used on anyone afterwards, not just someone with dentures.

Rather than attempt to sculpt the teeth on the fly with the dental acrylic while it's curing, I sculpting out a set of teeth and moulded them. Makes for less work on future teeth and really speeds the process up and makes it look better.

Here's the Out of Mouth plates, not attached to the teeth caps yet, next to the mould for the teeth. They turned out much better than the first pair, although the bottom row is a little wonky - but Angry Zombie is a redneck zombie, so perfect teeth seems a little unnecessary.

I'll attached the pieces for the dentures later today, won't take too long - unfortunately I'll have to wait until the day of the shoot to fit them to the actor, so hopefully they aren't too off, but at least they're quick to adjust.

 As well, I'm working on more severed zombie heads and a the first stage of the Spiked Zombie Head Mace prop. The first time it's used it'll only have one spike, since it's been impaled on a sharped stick, it's only after this one scene does it get modified. So I had to do up another zombie head - using up nearly the last of the latex. And made a new spike as well. The head didn't turn out so awesome, the foam collapsed so it's a little more solid than I'd have liked. It'll still work just fine.

The staff had to be removed from the final one already made since I didn't have enough material to make a second. Kind of sucks, but it did make it go faster in the end since I don't have to paint a new one.

Here's the single spiked zombie head, I'll be attaching this pretty much as soon as I'm done writing all this.

And a new batch of messed up heads. I'd love to have made more, just ran out of supplies. Should be enough for the scene though so I'm not too worried. I will have to make more though before we can continue shooting.

I'll be wandering out to the woods to get some sticks to jam these on after they're painted tomorrow. Should be fun. And I get to shoot all this on my birthday too, can't think of a better way to spend it.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Limited Quantity Moonshine of the Damned Zombie Prosthetics (Part One)

There's a lot of zombie prosthetics being made for Moonshine of the Damned, and most all of them are only being used in one scene, but the moulds are still good and I figured I'd see how many I could crank out before the moulds go to crap. Since I only needed one, I thought I'd offer them up for sale.

As the title suggests, these are limited quantity pieces, there's no master mould, just the original and once it's gone, these pieces will be gone as well - so if you're even slightly interested, I'd suggest you snatch them up as soon as possible. I could get 10 made, maybe even 30 - who knows.

Half Zombie. This was our homage to the Bicycle Girl from The Walking Dead - you can't tell from this shot, but there was only half of her of course. This piece was designed to use with Out of Mouth Dentures, at this time I'm not making these for sale since they need to be perfectly custom fit - however the piece still works on it's own without them. You could even get creative and try something yourself to create this look. Also, it's sized slightly smaller to fit women, although it could fit men with a bit of work since the mouth area is left wide open.

Half Zombie Prosthetic - $45

Piss Zombie. You'd have to see the movie to understand the name, but this piece was designed for a bearded actor - as you can see - so I wanted to make sure there was a decent impact to the piece, not just a furrowed brow or something simple like that. Visibility is limited obviously, so I don't recommend it if you plan on driving. Also, the area over the eye is fairly thick, so it can be carefully torn out a bit to accommodate your eye so you won't have to keep it closed if you don't want to.

Piss Zombie Prosthetic - $30

If you're interested in either piece, send an order to: foxhenderson @ Payments can be made through PayPal or in Canada, Email Interact is the best option. Shipping should be a flat rate of $5 unless you want something fast or more secure than a padded envelope.

And also, as the title of this post indicate, there will be more to come. And the same discount as on The Monkey Rodeo site for other prosthetics, also applies to these pieces. Zombie Walk orders - 10% off. Haunted Attraction orders - 25% off on orders over $100.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Moonshine of the Damned, Production Journal, Part 10.

Today's shoot went as as well and quickly as I'd planned. It technically was our fourth day, although it was one of two more days added to the eleven day schedule to make up for issues on Day Two. It was just the tail end of scene and I think moving it to today was a decent idea because it gave me more time to really play around with it and work out some different ideas - so it wasn't too much of an upset having this one little day thrown in. Plus it helped that today was a scheduled backup day anyway from Day Two, so that was some forward thinking there for a change.

Not really much to say about the day, other than it was a little hotter than expected and I think I may or may not have gotten sunstroke - at the very least one delightful burn on my neck.

And here's some pictures:

You'll probably notice the zombies are decently disheveled looking. The intention today wasn't even to feature them up close, but to just have them in the background - however all the extras decided to get extra dirtied up and it looked so good I added in a couple shots - which actually helped with a slightly continuity problem I just realized about four seconds ago as I began to write this sentence. So we lucked out there.

This picture reminded me of something I mentioned as we were leaving the location, next time - coolers with cold water and if it's sunny, we should get everyone to bring umbrellas. There was no shade anywhere near where we were shooting. I think the closest was about 100 feet away through a field with chest high grass. Not really convenient.

Didn't intend for a makeup job like this today, but it ended up working out that and here we have a pensive looking zombie waiting for this turn at the bimbos.

Since we had the location, I took advantage and shot a little extra - we needed to imply a bit of distance from the last location so there was some running, which allowed us to insert some new zombies rather than pretend they were part of the original crowd from the previous part of the scene. Worked out great.

Also, didn't intend for a local like this, it was all mostly set in woods and near streams - but I had to adapt things to fit what was more convenient. And it looks pretty good anyway, so I'm fine with that.

Our cast of bimbos and some exceptional zombie extras. Everyone did a great job and I couldn't be happier (despite feeling exhausted from a very long 4 days and having a sunburn).

No idea why I did this. Trevor just happened to through on some shades and wander to his car and I thought, we need a shot of this. So here it is:

And finally, the line of the day.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Moonshine of the Damned, Production Journal #9

We finished Day Three of shooting on Moonshine of the Damned. This was a repeat of footage from last year and while I forgot my shot list for the day, it was all slightly familiar and we even finished pretty close to schedule.

We shot in a place we've been to before, the old car museum in Dunstaffnage. I think we're pretty fortunate since we have a good connection with the folks that own the place. It's a great location, no immediate plans to use it again, but nice to know it's always a decent option.

Things pretty much went as planned, nothing uneventful. We had a tricky schedule to work around and it all panned out. Had some on the fly makeup to do and it held things up a little, but not too much - and it came out decently at that.


Me and John, getting things ready. Always great to work with John, he's always up for most anything.

This sequence was nearly dropped from this last draft of the script, but after some consideration I realized it wasn't slowing anything down and while it didn't add to anything, it was a funny little moment that was my weird homage to one of my favourite movies, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - a very vague reference, but one nonetheless.

We even got the original actor back to reprise the role, this time with better makeup. I neglected to get a decent shot of it though, kind of disappointed about that.

You can kind of see the makeup a little better here. James was blind in one eye but it didn't slow him down at all. Here James Davey (Piss Zombie) and John MacDonald (Bo) show off our jug of fake pee. I actually tinted it this year, for no real good reason other than just to do it - I've no idea if it'll even show up on camera as being yellow.

And I had to do this again.

Didn't get too many pictures inside, but the lighting wasn't great for still shots - looked awesome on video though.

Eventually Jillian showed up and we got down to work. This here shot was one of the few locked off shots because a zombie will eventually be bluescreened into it.

Doing some very simple makeup here, needed to do a messy gunshot wound to the face - something we skipped over last year. Nice to be able to add all these little touches back into it. I just did black around her actual eye, it'll be darkened out in post to appear deeper and remove her actual eye.

One of the last shots of the day, Jillian (Daisy) peeking out of the barn.

And that was it. It was a beautiful day, not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon either.

We got three cast shots this time around because of the stages of when people arrived and left and makeup.

That's it. Got another small shoot tomorrow, should be quick and relatively painless. For me at least.

And of course, here's the line of the day:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"Evil Images"

I found an old email I'd been thinking about recently. The details of all this aren't really important other than this is in response for a request from someone to do a story about me. Keeping in mind this is a journal that supposedly does stories on small business that were created through a similar process of funding as my own - that sounds vague and all, but it's too long and uninteresting to explain.

Well, the story idea was rejected by the editor/manager, or whatever, of this journal, here's the actual, unedited email response to the writer interested in doing the story:
"I looked at the website and I must say I am uncomfortable with what he sells. We can talk about it further next week but from what I can see I would not want to profile the business in our paper. I am very fortunate to have the position to decide on businesses we profile. I don't like to profile businesses with alcohol being the focus, tatoos, or night clubs and in this case evil images. I know you might find this narrow minded but there are some things that I find I do need to take a stand on. Talk soon."

Okay, do I really need to point out how a person like this should not ever be in any position of power of any sort? I don't care that some folks don't care for what I do, that's a completely dull topic of conversation, but this is a kind of utterly pathetic dismissal in a supposedly professional context. This journal, as I mentioned, supposedly has a story focus on businesses that came about through the same assistance program my own did and it's a unique business to the Island, as well. But no, this person would prefer to make a tired, sad judgement call based on exactly the typical prejudices that the entire mythos behind what I do mocks.

"Evil images" What the hell does that mean even? Demons hanging out in a completely innocuous manner is evil? Or, is this person simply an old school, puritanical, close-minded prude? That might be a bit harsh of a description, but it does seem to fit. I've never taken a picture wherein the idea was to create "evil images", the idea was to show demons as exactly the opposite for the most part, but this person wasn't interested in learning about the story behind the images, but to simply judge them out of ignorance and apparently feel good about it. That is so incredibly sad. The fact that this person points out that the "focus" of my business is "evil images" is such an dismissive, ignorant insult, that I actually can't find the right word to describe that way of thinking.

Why did they feel these were "evil images"? Let's face it, religion is the only thing that can possibly explain a distaste for the concept of demons and the generalization of them as evil. So, my conclusion here is that a story on my business was rejected because of someone's personal religious beliefs? How does this sort of thing have any place in a supposedly professional context?(I use the term "supposedly professional" as a thinly veiled insult towards the typical attitude of professionalism local to where I live.)

And bearing in mind, if you take a look at my website ( I only had about 12 prosthetics for sale at that time, no props or anything else you see there now and the only images were the headshots of the pieces. How is that overtly evil? Could this also be a peek behind how judgmental and potentially racist this person is? Oh look, that creature has horns - obviously evil. Seriously? So goats, cows, bulls, unicorns and anything else with horns, fictional or otherwise, are flat out evil? Or it is just because it's not an animal but sort of looks human and has horns that makes it evil? Doesn't that all sound ridiculous to have to make these distinctions? a chitinous protrusion from the flesh is a sign of evil, but only in humanoids. So cats with horns - adorable and acceptable? A beautiful girl with horns - an evil slut monster to be burned by the hand of god.

Or maybe it's not the horns, not everything I've made has horns. Maybe it's not a religious thing at all.So what's the deciding evil factor if we're not considering horns or religion? They look different? They don't look like us so they must be evil? I certainly hope it's not as simple as that, because that says so much worse than what my original thoughts on religion were.

See, there's no way out for this person. The statements they made in calling out my business for featuring "evil images" in no way makes this person look good. They didn't take the time to understand the context, they didn't take the time to ask me anything, they simply made a snap judgement after looking at about a dozen very simple headshots based on their own personal beliefs, be it religion or even racism. I'm not going to call this person a religious fanatic or a racist, but you really have to wonder if it's not either of these factors - what else does explain the labeling of them as "evil".

The images on the website do not feature: guns, violence, sex, blood, gore, hate, racism, homophobia, bullying, anti-social behavior, smoking, drinking, tattoos, satanism, anti-religion, any political agendas or anything of that sort. It looks like a high school year book of demons at best and worst. Now, you might think you're being a clever little troll and point out some of the photo shoots I've done that, yes, have featured guns, tattoos, drinking and smoking, and there was even a demon priest at one point - but those shoots came long after this incident and were not featured on the website at that point - nor are they now to any great degree. I'll point out again, all I had at the time were about a dozen prosthetics from very early photo shoots.

And, you might also want to point out that I'm being a whiny little asshole because someone didn't like my monster pictures - you would be an idiot who doesn't understand what I'm talking about. I don't care this person doesn't like my "evil images", my entire point here is to focus on what professional context this person judged my business unworthy of featuring an article on. Honestly, I don't even really care they didn't. There is no local market for what I do, so an article in a small local journal isn't going to hurt or help.

The whole thing boils down to one simple point, how can a person can feel good about themselves, in a professional context, possibly using their own religion to discriminate against what someone does. (And if it's not religion, then some weird form of racism.) They can't, what this person did was wrong - religious discrimination is no better than flat out racism, KKK, white power bullshit. Religion is supposed to be about tolerance, this person was far from that. My business was discriminated against because of this person's personal religious beliefs, that's what I think. And if this isn't the case, than it's something a whole lot darker and people like that should never be in any position of power, no matter how insignificant it is.

There's so much more I could go on about when reading that email that just boggles my mind. So much. I appreciate that a person is allowed to make judgement calls based on personal opinion, that's fine. What fuels that personal opinion though? Being homophobic and racist are personal opinions too, doesn't make them viable or just. People rail on against big businesses flaunting their stance against gay marriage, it's their business and their opinions - just because it's an unpopular one doesn't it make it any less so. Makes them assholes, but it's their opinion to do with what they want.

So that's really all I'm saying I guess and it's funny that this person's opinions towards a fictional race of beings ties in so well with the entire mythos I've created. A mythos that holds up humans as the real monsters because of intolerance, racism and personal agendas and demons as a peaceful, enlightened race that are just victimized and vilified by us because of our ignorance and fear of what we don't understand.

Well played editor/manager of small local journal that no I've ever spoken to has ever heard of - that "stand" you took against "evil images" has paid off so well.

NOTE: I'm not really all that upset about this, just that in the midst of working on ideas for a mockumentary about demons on the very subject about discrimination and racism towards them, this old incident came to mind and I thought I'd revisit it - really just for fun.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

One more push for the Moonshine of the Damned Fundraiser.

We're well underway with filming on the movie now, most of the FX are taken care of - however, there's still room and time for more, the more money we have the more FX get put in the movie, and that's where you come in. Instead of donations, we're selling some of the props, and related items, being made specifically for the project. What kind of stuff? Here's some pictures, because reading about this stuff is only so much fun.

 Fake Chicken Foot.

Zombie Finger Puppet.

Partially Eaten Brain Keychain.

Severed Zombie Heads.

A Latex Zombie Mask.

Think if it more as a simple retail transaction rather than a donation. Since I'm making all this stuff, it's easy to sell it for close to what I would at a retail price. Everything is limited edition as well, some are available in fewer quantities than others and prices range from $10 to $40, depending on what you want.

And what do you get in return? Well, the item or items you bought, a thanks in the final credits and a chance to win some of the larger props being made for the movie. Right now I'm still making stuff so I'm unsure of what exactly those pieces will be. I'm aiming for 3 prizes, one of which is this:

The Spiked Zombie Head Mace. This one here pictured is the one that will be featured in the movie, and I'm planning on selling only 10 of them afterwards at $150 each. They're extremely time consuming to make because it's 10 separate pieces which all have to be cleaned up, assembled and finally painted.

For more information, you can email: brains @ or visit the funding website for a more accurate price list,

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Moonshine of the Damned, Production Journal #8

Day Two on shooting has come and gone quite successfully. We ran a little longer than planned, but that always seems to happen even on the simplest of shoots like today was. The scenes today were pretty complicated to set up. We only shot two, the first one required so many angles to cover what was going on, the second one actually ran pretty fast, thankfully.

There was an odd bit of luck that ran through today that happened long before we started shooting. Some Islanders may (or may not, I guess) recognize Tim Gormley here, who went above and beyond the call of duty for this. 

 Tim was very almost not involved at this time around. He was originally slated to play a totally different, demonic character in the full version of the story - but had to drop out due to a busy schedule. That was a huge upset actually, but I found a replacement and soon after (I don't fully recall the sequence of events anymore) I lost someone else or something happened that I had to cull back the script twice, the second time actually removing the need for that demonic character completely.

Upon doing that, and actually moving the original actor from his character to another role (who also) dropped out eventually anyway, Tim expressed interest again after seeing we were shortening the project and this look is what he came up with and since today was his only day out for us, I had to give him the "Line of the Day", and here it is:
So, onto the rest of it. We did a before cast shot:

John and Mary as Bo and Roxxy.

And some rednecks, Tim Gormley, Tim Wartman and Mark Wells as Luke, Roscoe and Cletus.

We needed a zombie for the shoot and there were some minor issues with our originally scheduled actor so we found a replacement, however since he was used before in a scene that takes place nearly opposite this one I decided to use an old silicone mask on him. It's not perfect by any means, but I like the weird clunkiness of it.

And he's gone.

And bloody.

And as I said, far from perfect, however it was easy to get him ready and clean him up.

Yeah, that my girlfriend.

There's something pretty messed up looking with the hollow, slightly bloodied head just lying there.

I had to remake the "axe in the arm" prop for Tim W., this one worked a little better anyway. I also remade the fake sledgehammer and gave it to Mark this time around.

But it's the same arm as last year. I tried to clean it up a bit.

And finally the bimbos, Jobeth and Ginger played by Ancelene MacKinnon and Julia MacDougall.

Tim usually has to play with all the props at some point.
The Bimbos meet Roxxy. This played out so differently over many version of the script. Roxxy would escape, meet up with the Bimbos, get caught again. She was knocked out at one point. There were different numbers of Bimbos as well in various versions. Finally were came up with this and I won't say too much about where it goes from here.

End of the day cast.

After the girls were free to take off we had a couple quick shots with the Rednecks to finish off the day.

And that was it. Overall a good day, we shot all we planned to. As I said it ran a little longer than planned, but we did get off to a late start as well. The footage looks good, pretty happy with it. And now onto the next shoot.