The OneStop Apocalypse Shop

Did you ever want to help produce a movie? Well,  now you can. Permuted Pictures are running a Kickstarter campaign for their first movie , The OneStop Apocalypse Shop. A worthy cause. So today’s post is a guest blog with author Derek J. Goodman…

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Hi, my name is Derek J. Goodman, and I would like to talk about the Kickstarter for the movie The OneStop Apocalypse Shop, based on my novel The Apocalypse Shift.

The one thing I get asked the most about the novel is if I, like the characters, have ever worked the graveyard shift at a convenience store. The answer is yes, I did indeed work for a year doing the night shift at a 7-11 in a seedy section of Denver. It is, without a doubt, the worst job I’ve ever had. I could tell you stories. But after a certain amount of time passed, I found myself actually growing nostalgic about it. Not because I actually wanted to go back and do it again, but because, unlike most of my jobs since, it was interesting. The idea occurred to me that if vampires, werewolves, and zombies had walked through that door, it wouldn’t have changed anything. That job would have been equally as crazy.

And so I came up with stories of the OneStop and the poor schmucks who worked there. The OneStop was in a special section of the city that tends to attract magical forces once the sun goes down. Most of the monsters that walk through the door are just minding their business like any other customer. They want Twinkies, nachos, doughnuts, Slim Jims, and Froztees. But every so often some mad power-hungry demon might come in for a quick bite on their way to destroying the world. The crew at the OneStop need to stop them. It’s part of their job, right up there with mopping the floor, keeping the coffee pots full, and ringing up the customers.

The Kickstarter is being run by my publisher, Permuted Press, who happen to have several really talented film students among their staff. The script will be by Ryne Driscoll and it will be directed by David Walker. I recently had the opportunity to talk to them in person and I’m confident that the project is in good hands. This is all around a great opportunity and I’m happy to be a part of it.

For further information about the Kickstarter and how to donate to it, you can  click here. I really hope that other people will be as excited about this as I am.

-Derek J. Goodman

And from Michael L. Wilson, President of Permuted Press, we have the following:

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I’m assuming that you know who Permuted Press is, given that you probably landed on this page as the result of a Facebook post that we, or perhaps a friend of yours, shared in your news feed. One of yesterday’s Kickstarter supporters for the OneStop Apocalypse Shop film pointed out that we may not have made it very clear what Permuted Pictures is all about. So on a chilly Sunday Tennessee evening as I sit at my kitchen table eating a bowl of Fruit Loops, feeling like a barbarian because I just had to hand-wash a cereal bowl because the dishwasher is broken, I’ve decided to take a moment to share a bit more about our little pet project.

(Yeah, I’m a little sore about the busted dishwasher.)

Several people that make up the Permuted Press staff are film school graduates. I’ve seen their student films and even acted in a few. They’ve done some pretty respectable little productions on a shoestring budget. One day it came up in conversation, “We should do a Permuted Press film.” It seemed like a goof at the time, but the thought sat with me. I began doing some research and realized that if we chose the right script that could be filmed inexpensively enough, we could probably take a weekend or two and have some fun by making an ultra-campy horror flick and have some fun posting it online. I bounced it off the team, and before long, they were in.

When I mentioned the idea in passing to Permuted’s owners, they suggested we think bigger. Rather than try to bootstrap the film by saving our milk money, they challenged us to aim higher and go for a more professional production by doing a Kickstarter campaign to finance the project. We were even encouraged to move forward by some friends in the “real” film industry who have offered to advise us on things like production, casting and distribution.

Around the same time the idea for doing an indie Permuted film began to take shape, we received a novel pitch from Derek Goodman for a series he’s writing called The Apocalypse Shift. The elevator pitch for the series called it “Clerks meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” That quick comparison closed the deal. We knew we had to make this movie! The entire idea was just too much fun to pass up.

What we’re doing with Permuted Pictures in no way compares to what our film agents are doing in Hollywood. Those guys continue to pitch our books to the big studios. Permuted Pictures isn’t the answer for all of Permuted Press’s authors to have their books made into film. It’s really just a grand experiment. If it goes well, we’ll hopefully do more. There are some amazing stories in the Permuted Press catalog that would make great, inexpensive grassroots film projects.

We know that in order for this campaign to be successful, it will require authors to use their author platforms to solicit support for the film. A lot of people will need to decide to get onboard with the idea and pull together to help make the whole effort doable on even the smallest scale.

At the end of the day, we realize that our job isn’t to make movies. It’s to sell books. So the whole film thing is something we’re committed to work on primarily over lunch, evenings and weekends. But it’s still fun, and we think it’ll be fun to watch, too.

If you’re an author, an indie film fan, a horror enthusiast or just want to be part of helping an eager young group of film school graduates hone their craft, we’d deeply appreciate it if you’d spread the word about Permuted Pictures and The OneStop Apocalypse Shop. If you can pitch in a few bucks, we appreciate that, too. Sharing our Kickstarter updates during the coming month will also go a long way in making the campaign a success.

Now my Fruit Loops are soggy and the dishwasher is still broken. When does the glamour of being the President of an indie film studio kick in?

– Michael L. Wilson, President, Permuted Press

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Slow Explosions

MV5BMjA4MDQwODg2NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTc5ODc2OA@@__V1_SX214_I went to the gym this morning. That’s not the news. I go to the gym two or three times a week. I do things that hurt and make me sweat not because I want to get “ripped” or “shredded” but simply to counter-act the gradual decay my aging body is subject to. You know what I mean.

While I was there I went on the treadmill – you’ve seen one even if you haven’t been on one, that endless belt thing that you trudge along and never get anywhere. I was looking at the TV built into it and there was a promo of a new movie coming out soon. Part of the promo was a shot of the two protagonists dressed in black, walking in slo-mo towards the camera, while behind them is an explosion, also in slo-mo. The classic “hero walks away from endless destruction and certain death” shot. All special effects, of course.

I wasn’t going to give the name of the movie, but it might be better if I did. Hansel and Gretel. I haven’t seen it yet – probably won’t, either. The promo put me off. And I want to explain why.

I don’t have a problem with the re-make of the traditional Hansel and Gretel story. It actually sounds kind of fun. If modern audiences want to see our two little lost waifs all grown up and wielding crossbows and guns and blowing up the bad guys, that’s fine. It’s all fantasy anyway. It’s not like it actually happened.

I don’t have a problem with the violence, either. It’s not like the bad guys are real. They are evil fantasy creatures who don’t exist in the actual world. So, again, it’s all just make-believe.

I don’t have a problem with the horror. Prosthetics are getting really good these days and I like to watch something like this just to admire the make-up work and try to guess which bits are CGI and which are an actor in a mask. It takes a lot of entrails and oozing faces and bulging eyes to get me scared.

What I do have a problem with is that “slow explosion” shot.

I can’t actually remember how many times I’ve seen it before, in how many movies. There is a variation, where the hero leaps towards the camera as the explosion goes off behind him. But this one has them walking away, not even looking back at the huge fireball behind them, smirking at the camera with an “I’m too cool to run” attitude.
It’s a cliché.

Another part of the promo had Hansel dodging an arrow by bending backwards in the classic “defying gravity” way made famous by that other over-the-top cliché extravaganza, The Matrix. Seen that trick before, too. Too many times.

Do the producers have a meeting before they start shooting to think of how many over-used “tough guy” clichés they can jam into the picture? “Well, folks, I think we should do the slow explosion trick and then have them do that Matrix gimmick and then how about some buddy humour and of course we must make sure that every gun never needs reloading and that the bad guys can’t hit the side of a barn door if it was falling on them. That ought to make our film unique!”

How about something new? I don’t mind that the actual explosion is mostly gasoline catching alight, as that looks better on screen than a real explosion does. I don’t mind that if it was real the characters would lose their hearing and be thrown to the ground (if not ripped apart) by the shockwave. It’s pretend, it’s all good fun. I can suspend disbelief as much as anyone.

What I do mind is that this particular thing makes the movie the same as every other movie of the same genre. That’s all. Another good idea made banal by not trying.

So I don’t think I will watch Hansel and Gretel – a pity, really, as it looks like fun.