Monday, December 22, 2008
Just got an email from The Foywonder. I guess that the Asylum has ditched the idea of the 3D Transmorphers 2. That is a lump of coal in my Christmas stocking. Not only did the title have an awesome ring to it, but my heart raced with the thoughts of Z Bots reaching out of the screen and right at the audience. Oh well. Here's hoping that Transmorphers 3...D will be a reality.
On the Foywonder's blog you can see a selection of Asylum films and Sci-fi channel originals, Japanese style. American DVD marketing people just don't get it. Our entire entertainment culture is moving towards this international model. These DVD covers are not just appealing to Asian markets, but to everyone who grew up on MTV and graphic novels.
If only an American company were to make films that were marketed like this....hmmmm.
Posted by John Barron at 3:48 PM
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
A while back I got an email from my online buddy "The Foywonder" that suggested that the Asylum was planning a sequel to Transmorphers. I just read on the Asylum website that they were in fact sequelizing my 2007 cult classic. On top of that happy news, I learned that it was going to be filmed in 3D!!!!! That's motherfucking right. 3D Bitches!!!! I tell you right now that I will be the first person to pre-order a DVD of that film. I am looking forward to that release more than any in 2009.
Is my tongue planted in my cheek right now? Absolutely not. My enthusiasm is 100% genuine. Transmorphers was one of the simultaneous high points, and low points, in my tenure with the Asylum. As most of you know, I am a rebelious punk. An arrogant bastard who hates rules, hates taking no for an answer, and loves to buck the system (just ask IATSE, but that's a story for another day). The idea of trying to make a futuristic period piece with giant robots with the budget of the average AFI short film was a challenge that I couldn't resist. While most people in Hollywood marvel at their own excess, I have often been obsessed with the exact opposite; doing the impossible for absolutely no money. Was it a disaster? Sure. Was it fun? Absolutely. In fact, on set of the new film House Of Bones that I'm producing for the sci-fi channel today we were all sharing tales of the Transmorphers shoot. It was a memorable, unforgettable experience.
Outside of me officially making a plea to the Asylum to burry the hatchet and strike a deal to shoot Transmorphers 2 here in Louisiana with my new production company (tax credits, in house VFX, soundstage....call me) let me give some advice to the new team behind Transmorphers 2.
-We all have a shot here at cinematic immortality. Conventions, fan screenings, toys, graphic novels, etc. If you guys can go Aliens to my Alien, Terminator 2 to my Terminator, we got it. If you guys go Troll 2 or Superman IV on me, we are fucked.
-Watch the original. Study it. Feel it. Ask the Davids for a copy of the original Transmorphers story "bible" that I wrote. Stay true to the universe. We have a lot of fans. Do you know that people have written fan fiction? Or that I get requests every week for signed copies? Go ahead and reference the original. The loyal fans will love you for it.
-Help me fill plot holes. A lot of crazy shit went down during the development and production. Lot's of stuff got lost in translation. As you study the first (I suggest at least 20-30 viewings to really "get it") look for things that don't add up or make sense to you. Then, fix it with the sequel.
-Get better robots. Look, genre movies are a mathematical equation. 50% visuals. 50% sound. So, there was a sync issue on Transmorphers...there goes 50%. Then we couldn't afford a dolly so take away 10% of the visuals. Dock it 10% because we didn't discover the awesome set that is featured in the first ten minutes until months after principal photography. Then take away 20% because the film is called Transmorphers and the robots are lame and don't really Transmorph that much. So, you have 10% of a movie there. And let me tell you, the strength of that 10% has built an international fan base that demands a sequel. Fix any of the above problems and you will top the original.
Here are a few production notes and fun facts that you may not know about TRANSMORPHERS....
-Because the film was all interiors or night exteriors, it was shot 100% at night.
-Only a handfull of actors in the film (Kym Jackson, Elodie Hara, Danae Nason, Sofie Norman, Luke Jones, and Erin Sullivan) had never appeared in a Leigh Scott Asylum film.
-With the exception of six actors, the entire cast of Dracula's Curse appears in Transmorphers.
-The original script for Transmorphers was, in fact, called Robot Wars. The original story behind that script came from a script I wrote years earlier called EARTH EMPIRE. The plots were different, but the main character (an outlawed, renegade, military commander named Warren Mitchell) is in both scripts.
-Warren Mitchell's name comes from my father's middle name and aviation legend and Milwaukee hero Gen. Billy Mitchell.
-The average shooting temperature during the exterior sequences was 20 degrees.
-The main battle scene in the middle of the film is made up of two giant, tracking shots involving stunts, pyro and CGI. It didn't work in the original cut, so the traveling shots were intercut (maybe it still doesn't work, DRATS!!!)
-The opening of the film was shot months after principal photography. The initial cut was short on running time and the producers felt that the film lacked action in the first few minutes (which I agree with). Despite being shot in three days with a crew of four people, those scenes look significantly better than the rest of the film.
-Actress Amy Weber broke her hand during production. We were unsure if she was going to return, so an alternate ending was conceived where her character was killed. But, she came back and didn't die in the film.
-Actor Griff Furst (Itchy) demanded to perform his "unfreezing" scene totally naked as it made sense to him that people wouldn't be put in cyrogenic freeze with their clothes on. His request was denied by a majority vote of the cast and the crew.
-The film's main theme is actually a derrivative of the song "Wonderland" by the band The Divine Madness, who performed the film's score.
-The film is hated by a man calling himself "Decepticon Spike" on youtube. Check out his video. Let him know what you think.
-"Robot Girl" Erin Sullivan's wardrobe came from the closet of Line Producer Daniella Southgate.
-Production Assistant Nick Everheart tried to, one night, serve the crew microwave burritos for lunch. The crew attempted to kill him.
-The middle action sequence consisted of six stunt men, eleven actors, and seven separate pyrotechnic effects (the equivalent of 16 frames of a Michael Bay shot).
-Not a single prop weapon used on the film was returned to rental house ISS. They were all destroyed in the production.
-The wardrobe from Transmorphers was featured prominently in Griff Furst's UNIVERSAL SOLDIERS.
-The entire interior set (not the beginning, awesome set) was constructed from materials purchased at Home Depot and IKEA exclusively.
-The entire film was "looped" (maybe you knew that already).
Don't let me down Asylum. Don't let the fans down.
Promise the world that TRANSMORPHERS 2 in 3D will continue the legacy!!!!
Come on lady...you know the right call here.
Posted by John Barron at 3:06 AM