Category Archives: making movies

Bloody Mary – Fun Size Horror Revisited

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They are finally able to be released publicly! The shorts we made for Fun Size Horror are now available for public view.

“Bloody Mary” was a fun bit of filmmaking made under surprise conditions. Originally we had a different crew, location and equipment – but then there was some bad luck behind the scenes. Thanks to some help from Fun Size founder Zeke Pinheiro we were able to shoot and get this in on time.

Give it a look and then watch it a bunch more and tell a friend. More next week!

See you next time!

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January 7, 2015 · 9:00 am

First of the Year Dash!

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JANUARY FIRST!

NEW DIET!

NEW WORKOUT!

NEW LIFE PLAN!

THIS IS GOING TO BE THE YEAR THAT I DO IT BECAUSE IT’S JANUARY FIRST AND NOTHING CAN STOP ME!!!!!!!

I would be lying if I didn’t cop to having these feelings. Every January is the beginning of a new year, it feels like the slate gets wiped clean, and since most people have time off it is really easy to start new things or try to make new habits. This leads to gym memberships, hobbies, playing musical instruments, writing, the list goes on and on. Just last week I posted a half assed resolution post about getting re-focused (which I’m totally sticking to, by the way).

But here’s the problem, by March a lot of resolutions and plans all fall apart, or at least show signs of cracking. After I wrote that post about focus I started thinking about what that was going to mean for the rest of the year. 2015 is kinda’ spoken for as of now. Fun Size Horror 2015 is going into early prep, there are shows to do, and I’m mapping out my teaching/speaking schedule. That doesn’t even include any acting opportunities that may pop up. If I’m 100% honest with myself, that means that I have very little that I can safely commit to and the new year is just starting. First World problems for sure, but I’m the kind of guy who is going to be upset about having to say “no” even when it’s the responsible thing to do. So I had to take a pretty hard look at myself and what I know I want to accomplish this year and examine why my best intentions in previous years always seemed to drift into trouble.

I am not going to speak on how this affects people in a general sense, I don’t have the qualifications for that, so everything that I talk about in this post refers to me personally. Looking at my past, you don’t even have to go that far back to see good ideas and habits get dropped – perfect example: 52 in 52. Not managing to stick with this actually upset me quite a bit. It’s an idea that I was/am really excited about. I was pleased with how things were going, but a story a week ended up just being too much. To be fair, the things I gave it up for; Fun Size Horror and all the shooting we were doing; were absolutely worth it, but it still stings.

I won’t lie, my gym membership has been pretty useless for a while now too. I just don’t make the time for it. I should (who shouldn’t?) especially since I spend so many hours in a chair, but my discipline is bad when it comes to the gym. And eating better. I still eat like I’m in college. Rene has made some noble in-roads and had some effect, but I still love me some cheeseburgers.

So how does it come to this? What gets in my way to keep me from achieving the desired goals? Goals that pretty easy to achieve in a practical aspect when it comes down to it:

  • Rene is willing and able to prepare better food for me.
  • I have the gym membership – it’s even close by.
  • The work that I do to earn money is both varied and flexible so I can make the time to do the things I want to do.
  • I have an amazing network of friends and collaborators who are willing to help me achieve what I want.

These are not small resources. But then I take an honest look at what gets in the way:

  • Feeling like there is a lack of time.
  • Getting distracted by the “shiny things.”
  • Trepidation at trying something I have no experience with.
  • Lack of funds.

Most of these I can get past. Lack of time usually translates into lack of rest. Instead of doing the things I’d like to do when I’ve completed what I have to do I fall down an internet rabbit hole of YouTube videos and random Wikipedia research because my brain is tired. A quick nap is usually the best fix for this or turning in early if I can manage it. Distractions are tougher, but that’s what this year is about fixing. For example, I should have completed this post hours ago, but I got distracted by an episode of “This Week Tonight” and ended up marathoning about ten episodes. Avoiding distractions is going to take a little practice. Trepidation of trying something I have no experience with, more commonly known as “fear of the unknown” or “resistance” by Steven Pressfield in his book The War of Art (which I highly recommend for everyone and have a link for at the bottom of this post) is something that I prefer to face head-on. I find that once you realize that everyone has to do something a first time it’s actually just a matter of girding yourself up and charging forward. The War of Art suggests a lot of great ways to achieve this. I can’t recommend it enough.

Lack of funds – this is the big one. Money is such a sensitive thing. There’s a certain amount of investment that you need to make into anything you do, that’s just an economic reality, but I hate parting with any funds unless I can “see” the return or a way to recoup. This only makes me pinch pennies more when  those envisioned returns don’t show up. If I had unlimited funds (c’mon lottery!) or a benefactor (c’mon mysterious uncle who won the lottery!) I would probably feel differently about this but, put on news announcer voice in these trying economic times, it’s a tough thing for me to get past.

Putting all of these things down on “paper” makes them feel manageable. Putting them out in public makes me want to take ownership of them. Knowing that this makes me vulnerable to scrutiny makes me want to be responsible. Sometimes it takes the possibility of looking like an idiot to motivate you.

…Of course you can always end up looking like an idiot anyway, but if I let that stop me I wouldn’t have had a career.

How are you doing this far into the new year? Let’s talk in the comments.

See you next time.

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Filed under Andelon, art, artist, business, challenge, commentary, Curtis Andersen, doing new things, evil plan, general, in real life, insight, inspiration, learning experience, making movies, marketing, money, musings

Fun Size Horror HAPPY HALLOWEEN! – More Shorts and A Little History

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EDIT: This was originally written for yesterday, but it looks like it didn’t get posted, so I’ve made some adjustments and am posting today. Apologies to my friends who’s shorts aired yesterday that this blog wasn’t a portal for people to see your stuff. -C.A.

The shameless self-promotion train continues today as we have five spook-tacular shorts premiering today: Fun Size Horror web site

Since neither Rene or I have any shorts playing today (although they are absolutely worth checking out, it’s a good mix today) I thought it might be nice to give a little history as to how Rene and I got involved in this project in the first place.

This whole project is the brainchild of my friend Zeke Pinheiro. He’s a director/writer/editor and you’ve probably seen his and my names together before particularly if you remember a horror film that we were trying to get made called The Pom Pom Massacre. The one thing we ran into, time and time again, was a lack of ability to get the film funded. Even after a successful Kickstarter to help get the development funds we needed, we just couldn’t lock the financing down. This happened for a few projects in a row and it started to feel like we were always looking for money and never actually making anything.

Last November I got a call from Zeke while I was on set for a commercial. He said that he wanted to make 31 short films for Halloween and release one every day in October. They would all be self-financed so we wouldn’t need to lock down funding. He and I know too many talented people, if we could just find a few that wouldn’t mind helping us out we’d probably be able to do it. That being said, I was a bit flabbergasted. But, it sounded like a hell of a lot of fun and I’m always up for a challenge so I told him I was in. After that he reached out to Mali Elfman and Michael May, two other friends of ours in the industry. Together we started building a plan.  That plan was to reach out to other filmmakers we know and see if they were into the idea of:

  • Creating a short film at 2 minutes or less. (This idea changed later.)
  • It would be self-produced and funded. (We had no money to offer anyone.)
  • The creator maintaining all rights and intellectual property.
  • They licensing us the right to air it through the end of 2014 on whatever distribution we can get, even if it’s just our own YouTube page, and have the option to participate in a bigger release if they choose.

Simple plans with a simple goal: get projects into production and get them seen by the public.

Thankfully a LOT of filmmakers we picking up what we were putting down and we were pleased to have more projects pitched than we were even able to use!

This is the first of what could be an annual event. So many great little shorts have come out of this and there is so much talent that Rene and I have had the pleasure of working with now. I look forward to how those relationships grow. I hope you’ve enjoyed the shorts this year. Check out the Facebook page and come to the public screening if you’re in L.A. on November 2nd.

See you next time!

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Filed under acting, Andelon, awesome, business, filmmaking, Halloween, making movies, storytelling, the future, video, YouTube

Fun Size Horror Day 3 – Double Feature Wednesday! Home & Bloody Mary

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So much happening today at Fun Size Horror! Today is the big day for Rene and I since the short I wrote and directed, Bloody Mary, is up and the short she stars in, Home, is up as well. Wednesday is Double Feature day, so all of the hosting sites are showing two shorts. We are friends with just about everyone involved int todays posts so I hope you’ll check them all out…

But especially Home and Bloody Mary!

Home is the tale of a crumbling marriage and a fight that leads to the worst kind of homecoming.

Bloody Mary is a bit more personal. When my sister and I were kids I used to get a great deal of joy out of scaring her which, as I’m sure you can imagine, neither she or my parents were all that fond of. The worst thing I ever did was convince her that Bloody Mary lived in our bathroom mirror. This is that story.

Hope you enjoy them! Let me know what you think.

See you soon!

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Filed under actor stuff, Andelon, behind the scenes, Bloody Mary, business, filmmaking, Fun Size Horror, making movies, rene, shameless self promotion, video, YouTube

Fun Size Horror Day 2 – Rene & I are in one today!

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Big second day is here and there are six more shorts released! All of them can be seen at Fun Size Horror.com.

Persephone Curtis

However, I’d like to bring special attention to the short Persephone by Lisa J. Dooley. In it Rene and I are terrible rich people. Because it’s a short we’re not in it much, but hopefully a release of the outtakes will be put up somewhere because we had a LOT of fun on this shoot and there was some comedy gold that was, rightly, sent to the cutting room floor.

Go check it out and let me know what you think!

See you soon.

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Filed under actor stuff, Andelon, blatant plug, business, filmmaking, Fun Size Horror, making movies, rene, video, YouTube

It’s Fun Size Horror Week! MONDAY: The Journey Begins!

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Get ready for a week of posts all about Fun Size Horror, the micro-shorts project I’ve been working on this year. The posts are up and going to the Fun Size Horror website is probably the easiest way to be able to see them. There are links at the top of the page to each hoisting site and directly to the shorts themselves. Go head there now and check them out: Fun Size Horror.com

Shameless family promotion time: Rene is in the short When They Say You’re AloneShe is one of the cultists and she’s the one that has the close-up near the end.

Rene Cultist Close-Up

Shameless self promotion time: One of my former students, Aidan Flynn, is in Knock, Knock.

All the shorts that I’m involved with will be out Wednesday, but don’t wait – go check these out now! Each video is only up for 24 hours and then they are gone until after Halloween. Let me know what you think of them!

See you soon!

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Filed under business, filmmaking, Fun Size Horror, making movies, rene, video, YouTube

Fun Video Friday! Fun Size Horror Trailer

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It feels good to be getting back into the writing swing of things. Today’s Fun Video Friday is more shameless promotion about Fun Size Horror (have you liked the Facebook page yet?). Here’s the trailer, which features many of the shorts and you can even glimpse Rene a few times if you’re paying attention *wink*. Next Monday the shorts will be released, five per sponsor per day, for only 24 hours each until Halloween!

fUN-sIZE V9Exciting, right?

See you soon!

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Filed under actor stuff, Andelon, Bloody Mary, directing, filmmaking, Fun Size Horror, fun video friday, making movies, rene, video

New Site, New Projects and The Age of Ultron!

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CurtisAndersen.com is officially back up and, although there’s still some tweeking to do, it’s time to post again!

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The big thing I want to focus on is the launch of Fun Size Horror which is NEXT MONDAY! Not familiar with Fun Size Horror? It’s 31 micro-short horror films playing the week of Halloween done by over a dozen up-and-coming filmmakers, including yours truly. Follow the links to the WEBSITE and FACEBOOK PAGE. It’s been a hell of a thing getting this together this year, but the projects that I’ve seen come through are really good and cover the spectrum of horror sub-genres. Go check things out and look for Bloody Mary on Wednesday October 29th on Shock Till You Drop.

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The last thing I want to touch on is the new Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer – omfg.

See you next time.

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Filed under business, comic movies, geek, Halloween, horror, independent film, making movies, movie trailers, rene, video, YouTube

Fun Video Friday! One-Take Hero Movie!

When it comes to popular media there you can safely bet that whatever it is that you enjoy follows a formula. These formulas can be given names so that we can recognize them easily like Slasher Movie, Space Opera, or Film Noir. Super heroes have a formula now too, and nothing shows it off better than this short from the Above Average YouTube channel.

Enjoy!

See you next time!

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Filed under comic movies, filmmaking, fun video friday, funny, making movies, super-heroes, video, YouTube

Wreck-It Ralph in 60 seconds

This is SO cool!

I think I’m going to have to go check out all of the 60 second versions in the Virgin Radio Fake Movie Festival! Between this and the Evil Dead Remake I’m completely sold!

See you next time!

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Filed under film festivals, filmmaking, making movies, movies, videos