I've been producing some horror shorts for Crypt TV so I wanted to give you a place to watch them all. Being that it's Halloween I figure there is nothing more pressing than watching a bunch of films to put you in the holiday mood. But first, like Crypt TV on Facebook so you can spread the love and show your support for these projects so we can keep making more!

Now, watch & share!

Tethers
Written/Directed/VFX by Justin Martinez

Starring
Gena Shaw
Bilal Mir
Whitney Ullom
Anthony Pavelich

Cinematography by Jorge Luis Urbina
Props Gilberto Vega
Sound Recordist Ben Turner
1st AC Evan Parquette
Score by Rob Gokee

Time Suck
Written/Directed/Produced by Allison Vanore

Starring
Cynthia San Luis
Jo Bozarth
Brian McLaughlin
Marcus Chavez

Cinematography by Jorge Luis Urbina
Make-up by Galaxy San Juan
Make-up Assistant Morgan Lorene
Production Sound Mixer Rakesh Anderson
Score by Rob Gokee
Special Thanks to Erin Fleming

Woman in the Book
Written/Directed/VFX by Justin Martinez

Starring
Marsha Vassilevskaia
Paul Natonek
Rachael Hip-Flores

Cinematography by Raphe Wolfgang
Make-up by Galaxy San Juan
Production Sound Gilberto Vega & Ben Turner
Score by Rob Gokee

Family Photo
Written/Directed by Matt Jackson

Starring
Kim Whalen
Tim Guest
Tricia Guest
Matt Jackson

Cinematography by Jorge Luis Urbina
Gaffer Levi Kaminkowitz
Make-up by Galaxy San Juan
Make-up Assistant Morgan Lorene
Production Sound Mixer Rakesh Anderson
Special Thanks to John Georgopoulos

Viral
Written/Directed by Vianessa Castaños

Starring
Samantha Tan
Jordan Hubbard

Cinematography by Jorge Luis Urbina
Make-up by Galaxy San Juan
Make-up Assistant Morgan Lorene
Production Sound Mixer Rakesh Anderson
Special Thanks to Erin Fleming
Score by Rob Gokee

Zombie Pets
Written/Directed/Animated by Stephen Leonard

Selfie
Written/Directed/Cinematography by Jorge Luis Urbina

Starring
Grace Serrano
Makenzie Lee-Foster
Rhoda Pell

Make-up by Galaxy San Juan
Make-up Assistant Morgan Lorene
Score by Rob Gokee

Head
Written/Directed/Cinematography by Jorge Luis Urbina

Starring
Anthony Pavelich
Vianessa Castaños

VFX by Justin Martinez
Make-up by Galaxy San Juan
Make-up Assistant Morgan Lorene
Score by Rob Gokee

Inspiration
Co-Written by Matt Jackson & Dan Litzinger
Directed by Matt Jackson

Starring
Marissa Skell
Benj Goehner
Lisa Marie Long

Cinematography by Jorge Luis Urbina
Gaffer Levi Kaminkowitz
Make-up by Galaxy San Juan
Make-up Assistant Morgan Lorene
Production Sound Mixer Rakesh Anderson
Special Thanks to John Georgopoulos
Score by Rob Gokee

Becky With the Good Hair
Written/Directed by Vianessa Castaños

Starring
Briana DeCoster
Anna Lamadrid

Cinematography by Jorge Luis Urbina
Make-up by Galaxy San Juan
Make-up Assistant Morgan Lorene
Score by Rob Gokee

There is one more that has yet to be posted... so when it is I'll add it here. Let us know what you think! Which one is your favorite and why?

Success all around. Lots of firsts. And a Wonder Woman statuette.

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Our feature, 42 Seconds of Happiness premiered at the Women Texas Film Festival in Dallas, Texas among many films by women in prominent roles/positions in the film. Writer/Director Christina Kallas was in attendance along with actors Catherine Cobb Ryan (Vineke) and Lauren Sowa (Alis).

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Friday afternoon Christina was featured along with another filmmaker on the local ABC affiliate News 8.

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Friday night our ladies walked the red carpet and were interviewed by That Nerd Show.

Saturday the film screened at the famous Texas Theatre with a Q&A following.

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Then we were ecstatic to learn that we won Best Feature Film of the festival! You can read all about it here in this Dallas Film Commission article and in this interview by Selig Film News. And that meant we won the Wonder Woman statuette. And yes, we had to pose with her - wouldn't you?!

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Thank you to Women Texas Film Festival, Justina, John, Dev and all of the others who talked film, supported us, helped us, and watched the film along side us. This is only the beginning.

More news coming soon. Make sure to follow and subscribe so you don't miss the announcements!

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It's been a very busy springtime and this spring brought an exciting surprise, Vanity was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Digital Series! We were honored to be nominated and attend the Nominee reception and the Creative Arts Awards. While Vanity didn't take home the statue, I'm happy we got to enjoy the experience with our producing team. Hopefully this means more Vanity in the future and more accolades if we keep up the good work. Go team Vanity!

Click here to watch Vanity Season 1

EmmyAwardsRedCarpet2016 EmmyNomineeRec2016

 

Socio-BTS-VideoVillageI've been so busy with back-to-back productions that I haven't posted all of the exciting updates I have in a while.

Before the holidays I produced Socio with Canvas Media Studios and Astronauts Wanted. Due to the genius of Bernie Su, we got to shoot the pilot for this kick-ass drama starring India Eisley and Michael Copon here in Los Angeles. For this project we brought back many of our creative team from Vanity. Socio is created and directed by Bernie Su, shot by Allen Ho, production design by Cody Fusina, editing by Robb Padgett, and casting by Mary Jo Slater. We were thrilled to have shot in iconic locations throughout the city including under the 6th Street Bridge and Echo Park Lake.

Check out what The Hollywood Reporter had to say about Socio.

Here are some photos from our shoot:
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TRE-BTS-AllisonVanoreOver the holidays I did the unthinkable. I shot a feature film. Yes, I went right from wrapping a pilot in Los Angeles to preproduction on The Rainbow Experiment in Manhattan which began filming on December 27th.

Things spiral out of control in a high school when a terrible accident involving a science experiment injures a kid for life.

Luckily the weather was kind to us and my family didn't kill me for being mostly unavailable for holiday festivities and relaxation.

We filmed for 12 days mostly at Xavier High School with an acting ensemble of over 30 key cast members. We were fortunate to have an amazing cast and our crew was endlessly devoted and talented.

For those of you who don't know much about The Rainbow Experiment, you can pop over here to read more about it here: The Rainbow Experiment.
TRE-BTS-42SecondsThis production was also a reunion for most of the 42 Seconds of Happiness cast and crew. Both films were written and directed by Christina Kallas, cinematography by Dave Sharples, and our cast included 42 Seconds vets Robert Z Grant, Laura Pruden, Chris Veteri, Lauren Sowa, Catherine Cobb Ryan, Vandit Bhatt and John J. Concado.

I'll keep you updated on this film as we wade through hours and hours of footage and navigate post production.

Here are some photos from set:

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The cast includes Robert Z Grant, Kevin Kane, and Margaret Champagne of The Collective NY.

 

 

 

Shot on location in NYC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also starring Stratos Tzortzoglou as "Nicky."

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What do you do when you're asked by Bernie Su to come aboard to make 132 finished minutes of high quality traditionally shot scripted content and it needs to launch in just three months? Oh and it's for the largest fashion, beauty and women's lifestyle multichannel network on YouTube: StyleHaul. And it's sponsored by Maybelline. Well. You make it happen. Obviously.

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Here we are 3 months after I signed on to produce Vanity (starring Denise Richards, Karrueche Tran and Alex Frnka) with the incredible teams at Canvas Media Studios and StyleHaul. I'm so proud of what we were able to accomplish despite the super fast turn-around and all of the other logistical hurdles that come along with a production of this size and scope. A bunch of make-up palettes, fabric, shoes and a ton of talented people in front of and behind the camera later... the series launches. Now we get to share the first episode of Vanity with you all.

Vanity - Episode 1 "Legacy"

Vanity Official Trailer for Season 1

Please share this with your networks and leave a comment if you like what you see!

New episodes every Thursday all summer long.

I want to look back and note all of the amazingly talented people I've worked with over the last year and give you an update on each film and series. So here's the quick run-down in the best format I could conjure up.

Love in the Time of Monsters - horror comedy

Highlight: Working with all of my University of Arizona friends on such a big endeavor! 

Accomplished: Film is complete and our Trailer is online! We hosted Private Screenings in Los Angeles, CA, Crescent City, CA & Tucson, AZ for Cast, Crew and Colleagues. We signed with reps at Circus Road Films.  We've been featured on Ain't it Cool News, Dread Central and in Sci-Fi Magazine!

Looking Forward: Film Festival Premiere (announcement coming January 29th), Thunderdikk Music Video Party and Release (coming soon!), more festivals around the world and distribution so our fans can finally see this bloody masterpiece!

Visit the website, Read the blog, Like on Facebook, Subscribe on YouTube, Follow on Twitter

42 Seconds of Happiness - drama 

Highlight: Working with writer/director Christina Kallas who is fearless and brilliant.

Accomplished: Completed a fundraising campaign on IndieGoGo to fund our shoot. We shot the feature film in five days and it was amazing; unlike any film I've ever been a part of.  We have an editor working on the cut and we're seeking grants for finishing funds. Juggling People in Love in NYC and Writers Improv Studio.

Looking Forward: Bringing on the rest of our post production team. Hopefully receiving Finishing Funds for post and getting the word out to online distributors and film festivals about the film.  Perk fulfillment in the works for our donors.  Christina and I have already begun discussing plans for the next feature (aahhhh!)

Visit the website, Like on Facebook, Follow the hashtag on Twitter #42SecondsMovie

Ablution - drama

Highlight: Meeting Writer/Director Parisa Barani and being a part of this brave film.

Accomplished: Successful Kickstarter campaign raised enough money ($18,000+) to shoot the film!

Looking Forward: I can't wait to shoot this film and introduce the world to Parisa's voice.

Like it on Facebook, Follow on Twitter

American Terror - action drama

Highlight: Hosting our first table read with talented US Veterans/Actors.

Accomplished: Our IndieGoGo Campaign allowed us to hire a writer, David Taylor, and grant writer, Aliza Pearl, to help us through the next stage of development. We had our first table read and invaluable feedback from US Veteran contacts. 

Looking Forward: We can't wait to finalize our screenplay, apply for grant money and get financing in place so we can go into production!  Perk fulfillment in the works for our donors.

Like it on Facebook, Follow on Twitter

PAWDCasts: Pilar and the World of Dogs - hosted

Highlight: Directing an entire season of a show co-created with friend, Pilar Kuhn.

Accomplished: Completed 23 episodes of dog care tips. Attended the South Bay Kennel Club Dog Show in August. 

Looking Forward: We're planning topics and shooting dates for Season 2. Looking into brand sponsorship as well as launching a PSA campaign. 

Subscribe to our channel, Like it on Facebook, Follow on Twitter

Producing Juliet - drama

Highlight: Working with Tina Cesa Ward again and joining the production in person in December for our second shoot!

Accomplished: 250,000 views on our first two episodes in a few weeks. Featured in Curve Magazine (Dec 2013 pg 68), After Ellen, Huffington Post and many other publications.  The fabulous Rochelle Dancel launched our Stage Stories website and we have some amazing stories you should check out! Watch Cast Conversations with our talented cast. Tina and I were interviewed on The Cutting Room Floor with Casey Ryan.

Looking Forward: We're launching Ep 3 on January 15th and Ep 4 on January 29th (so make sure you subscribe!) and hope to shoot more in the near future.

Visit the website, Like it on Facebook, Follow on Twitter

Lookbook - drama

Highlight - Finally getting a chance to work with writer/director Bernie Su!

Accomplished: Kicked off the series launch with a packed party in Hollywood. Launched nine episodes on Lookbook.nu to a very engaged and hungry audience. Great coverage of our release across the web including The Hollywood Reporter and Tubefilter. Brand sponsorship and donations (because who can do a show about fashion without fashion brand involvement?!)

Visit the website and watch, Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter

The Ladies and the Gents - comedy

Highlight: Being able to write for a series that I'm not producing. While I would have loved to be in town and direct my episodes, being a writer only this time was a welcomed treat!

Accomplished: Wrote two episodes of The Ladies (Our Song and Rag Doll). Attended a packed launch party for the show. Episodes are online now for your viewing pleasure!

Looking Forward: I can't wait to hear what The Ladies and the Gents does next! Where ever they decide to go, I definitely want to be involved.

Visit the website, Like it on Facebook, Follow on Twitter

My Gimpy Life - comedy

Highlight: Meeting and working with the lovely Teal Sherer!

Accomplished: Shot 4 episodes of My Gimpy Life Season 2. Got to work with some great actors including Mindy Sterling and Geri Jewell. Finally got to work with director Sean Becker.

Looking Forward: My Gimpy Life Season 2 launch dates coming soon so keep an eye out!

Visit the website, Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter

Brian Majestic: Dinosaur Hunter - comedy

Highlight: Seeing Rob Gokee and Brian Majestic successfully complete their IndieGoGo Campaign in 4 days!

Accomplished: Successful fundraising campaign. Casting talented people like Sheila Daley and Daryl Crittenden to accompany the rest of the cast. Bringing on a small but dedicated crew.

Looking Forward: Locking Locations and shooting this crazy show!

Follow on Twitter

Cost of Capital - drama

Highlight: Working with Goldie Chan and Brian DeChesare on Season 2 plans.

Accomplished: Hired writer, Douglas Stark, to work with us on Season 2 and it's currently in the works!

Looking Forward: Hopefully shooting Season 2 this year!

Visit the website, Like it on Facebook, Follow on Twitter

What's Your Healthy? - hosted

Highlight: Working with My Damn Channel & Aetna on this show.

Accomplished: Shot 10 episodes of What's Your Healthy? and six of the 10 are online.

Looking Forward: Four more episodes going up soon and hopefully more productions in the future.

Subscribe to the channel, follow hashtag #AetnaMyHealthy

New Projects

I can't talk about some of the other projects I have in the works - YET. But what I do know is 2014 is going to rock even more than 2013. Let's do this!

Subscribe to my blog (right column of this page), Follow on Twitter, Like on Facebook and share with your friends!

Thanks for your support.

2

Shooting on a Shoestring, Distributing on a Dime
 
Get nuts and bolts advice from actors and directors who are successfully producing ultra-low budget films and web series.  Pick up tips on getting your feature distributed or your webisode sponsored. Panelists include: Joe Gold and Tammy Caplan, Desperate Acts of Magic; J.C. Calciano and Matt Solari, Is It Just Me?; John Alan Simon and Elizabeth Karr,Radio Free Albemuth; and Allison Vanore and Andy Gunn, Love in the Time of Monsters.
 
When: 7-9 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013
 Where: SAG-AFTRA
James Cagney Boardroom – Lobby Level
5757 Wilshire Blvd. 
Los Angeles, CA 90036

After spending close to a month up in the redwood forest of Del Norte county and nearby Crescent City in May of 2012, the cast (Doug Jones, Jeff Turner) and filmmakers of Love in the Time of Monsters returned with a finished film the weekend of September 7, 2013.  Thrilled to have the film back in town, locals Jenny Young and other cast and crew threw down the red carpet, invited the entire city, and hosted an after party.  We had 300 people show up for the screening which played in three theatres that night and the reaction was nothing short of amazing.  To read more about the reaction from Crescent City you can catch the latest article from the Triplicate here:

Crescent City gets taste of Hollywood at movie screening

Some photos from the event - Sept. 7, 2013

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Ben Turner and Jeff Turner (as Bigfoot Kid Wes)

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Doug Jones (plays Dr. Lincoln) and Matt Jackson (Director)

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Rob Gokee (Composer) and wife Allison Vanore (Producer)

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The Lobby of the Crescent City Theatre on Screening Night - Sept. 7, 2013

What happens after months of planning, fundraising, coordinating schedules and stretching every dollar? Principle Photography.

On May 16, 2013, I made the trip from NJ to NYC to pick up our cast and crew for the 42 Seconds of Happiness shoot. This was the first time ever that I was making a film with more cast than crew. We had 10 cast members and a very small but dedicated crew: Writer/Director/EP: Christina Kallas, Producer: Allison Vanore, DP: Dave Sharples, Sound Mixer: Jason Obenschain, Camera Op: Ben Neufeld, Boom Op: Daniel Lugo, DIT/Catering: Rob Gokee, Camera/Production Assistants: Erik Smith and Holland Farkas and BTS: Alex Gloor. Along the way I also picked up some rented and borrowed equipment. Luckily we have extremely supportive people around us which made our limited budget possible on every level: transportation, equipment, location, catering, craft services, art dept and of course, the many donors and supporters since the beginning of this process.

42SoH Slate
Producer, Allison Vanore

We embarked on a journey to shoot a feature length movie with up to 3 cameras and 10 cast members at a time for extended takes. Yes, the stress level was high. No one really knew how well this would work. All we knew is that we had months and months of preparation and extremely talented people. In the indie world, that's really the best formula to have. That, and a lot of trust.

Let's talk about trust for a moment. There we were, with 10 actors and almost as many crew members and only 3 of us had read the full script. There were two reasons for that. First, Christina had been working with the actors/characters for more than a year - but until they had experienced together fully the story leading up to the film, we wouldn't know what would happen in it. Second, the point behind Christina’s process is that the authenticity of experience and feeling of being "in the moment" is more important than anything else. Christina was only going to give cast and crew the info she felt they needed prior to each scene. This kept it fresh and spontaneous - and all of us alert and open to surprises. Sometimes that meant actors didn’t receive their pages but the night before, others directly before the scene. Sometimes actors, especially those who weren’t driving a specific scene, didn't receive anything prior to that scene. Christina had a strategic plan for when she would give which pages to which cast member. Her goal was to keep the emotional intensity alive that she had been able to create in the room, this time combining it with a screenplay of classic structure while at the same time allowing for accidents to happen - and embracing such accidents and including them in the story. If you ask her, she will say that this would not have been possible if she hadn't worked with the actors for a year on the story and characters. She will also say that this is only possible with professional actors who have solid improv experience and who are able to work from a screenplay and still go off on a riff where the occasion arises. If you ask me: That's a lot of trust. Christina’s instructions to the actors were: you can do no wrong, you can take your time, you are free to move as you want, do not be afraid of silence or time going by without action, do not be afraid of anything, you are the center of this universe.

Being in an actor-centered universe meant that we were mostly working in chronological order. Besides the script Christina had written what she calls a writers improv script which included all the set-ups and which was my working basis for creating a schedule, preparing the set, the props and everything else we needed for the shoot. That was also the only information the crew had, as the idea was that the cameras would be participating in the scene and that sound would be omnipresent and that we would be able to hear things which we could not see. Sometimes there would be entire choreographed scenes with 3 cameras and 10 lavs of situations shot in real time. The result is a strong improvisational feel, with characters speaking off camera, speaking over each other, blocking sight-lines, and playing out in real time.
42SoH Christina
Actress, Becca Ayers (Cybil) and Writer/Director, Christina Kallas

I can't give too much away. I will say that we had quite a few surprises for the actors and the crew, and the result of withholding information made for remarkable moments within the film.

One of the biggest challenges that we had outside of the specific nature of the film and our limited crew and budget (as if that's not enough) was that we were shooting for only 5 intense days. This stemmed from Christina and her experience shooting hundreds of hours of footage for the 42 Seconds of Happiness webseries. She knew the formula. If we shot about 42 (sic) hrs of material we'd end up with about 100 minutes of finished (edited) footage. Or, like we continued to joke on set, we were making an epic trilogy. We won't really know until we get into the editing room.

Some of the most amazing scenes to experience for me were the Intervention, the Dinner and the Swing Set. I know these don't mean anything to you but they were packed with emotion and beauty. Not to say there aren't many other scenes that tug at your heart and soul but I can't give those away.

Our success isn't possible without the sheer talent of our amazing cast: Lauren Sowa (Alis), Robert Z. Grant (Tomas), Catherine Cobb Ryan (Vineke), Toni Robison-May (Felice), Chris Veteri (Ike), Laura Pruden (Sila), John J Concado (Marc), Becca Ayers (Cybil), Margaret Kelly Murphy (Maria), and Vandit Bhatt (Ben). They brought their talent and dedication and held it for hours on end. There were moments where I, from behind the camera, was shaking and close to tears. What a performance by all!

We were lucky to have Director of Photography, Dave Sharples, on our team. Dave was ready to go and lead the charge to shoot handheld for scenes that lasted over an hour per take! Thankfully he's had years of experience at NFL Films and gigs like shooting the World Series of Poker that prepped him for shooting like this. And even when doubt could have taken over, we always got beautiful shots and unwavering effort from Dave.

DP Dave Sharples, Camera Ops and Cast
DP Dave Sharples, Camera Ops and Cast prepping for the next scene

Sound. Oh boy did we have our work cut out for us. If anything made me nervous it was making sure we captured sound from all of our actors on (and sometimes off) screen. And with that many actors and no clear idea of where the actors or cameras would go, we couldn't get a boom close to a lot of the action. Additionally, 10 actors mic'd and mixed at the same time really is a two mixer job - due to our resources that wasn't an option. Still, the amount of gear you need for a shoot like this doubles. Luckily we remedied both in a way that worked. We had one extremely dedicated Sound Mixer, Jason (who I don't believe ever slept during those 5 days) and our Boom Op, Daniel, and a donation of gear that got us to our 11 channel goal. Also, an area of our location where most of the action took place was laid out in a way that allowed us to boom from above. It wasn't easy but we got through it. I think Jason is still hearing 10 voices in his head.

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Sound Mixer

I suppose the big question is: Did it work?

It was such a huge experiment and we did accept that we could fail. Christina and I went into this knowing that was a possibility and knowing that, had a liberating quality. What I can say is that it was magic. Yes, we were ecstatic that it worked out so well. There were, of course, some serious challenges, I won't lie. But the way we were able to accept and embrace the challenges, any challenges made the film that much better. We have a beautiful story and we took a unique journey to get there. All I can hope for is that our audience sees the magic that we all felt while making this movie. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. We have a long post-production process to get through before it's ready for the big screen. By now I know that it will most probably be as unusual as production was. I hope you'll stay with us for the journey.