Sunday, December 6, 2009

'Back From The Dark'

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 Hey Folks,

As of late, I've been extremely busy. Obviously I haven't been keeping this as updated I should, but regardless, here's the scoop.

My most recent project "From The Dark" (Redux) is now available for your viewing pleasure on YouTube

Please, feel free to leave your comments.

Recently, in trying to get an interview with punk-rock icon Richard Hell, he corresponded by saying that he wasn't available for interview but that he "...enjoyed the kung-fu security guard." You heard it here first.

In the meantime, I've been trying to fine-cut my "NYC Zombie Crawl" documentary, "More Dead Than Alive". At the moment, it's a challenge to file down all the moaning and groaning, but I have a feeling it's on a good track. I'll more than likely post a work in progress for feedback.

Lately, I've been swept with adapting a scene from Stanley Kubrick's classic early work, "Killer's Kiss". It's been an interesting casting process, and I'm just on my way to do some location scouting through Brooklyn. No telling where in Brooklyn I'll be shooting for a small car prowl sequence, but I know for sure I'll be using my loft's freight elevator for some interesting sequences.

OH! Before I forget, 'Evil Film' was just given an IMDb page! Check it out, and if you have an IMDb account, be sure to rate!

Well, take care.

Raw Power,
John Morgan

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Zombies and... More Zombies

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So, as usual I'm having trouble avoiding zombies. It's a knack, I suppose.

I just recently completed my first assignment for my Directing Workshop, which was to shoot an entire scene in one shot. It was tough to coordinate, especially since I'm an awfully big  fan of using a lot of shots. I do wish that I could exploit the benefits of deep focus photography, but at the moment, I'm too keen to cutting things up like a madman.

For my one shot, I decided to shoot a scene from H.P. Lovecraft's short story, "Herbert West: Reanimator" which I really enjoyed over the summer. I thought about adapting something from the movie at first, but when I moved to the short story instead, it gave me far more flexibility, and I really enjoyed writing the dialogue. Lovecraft doesn't have any dialogue in his shorts actually, so it made the screenplay particularly challenging.

Soon I'll be shooting the same scene over again with minor tweaks to the dialogue, action, and overall flow of the piece, especially since it will be broken into several shots, rather than this long take.

In the meantime, I'm preparing to shoot my event documentary on the Zombie Crawl through Manhattan tomorrow. If you're not familiar with the zombie crawl phenomenon, it's basically a day where people dress up in fake scars and blood to walk through the streets wildly, haunting anyone in their path. Afterward, there will also be a free screening of "Zombieland", which seems interesting, but I have my doubts.

For now, enjoy "From The Dark"

John Morgan

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Evil Film @ Bushwick Film Festival

It's late... Or early rather, but I can't hold back the excitement much longer. It's silly, I know, but I can't help but feel really proud that 'Evil Film' got into an actual film festival ( My short will be the last of the night tonight, and following will be a short end reception.

Yes, it is in my neighborhood, and yes it is limited to only the artists in my neighborhood, but nonetheless, it's my first festival, and soon enough, in the future waits a good omen that the BFF won't be my last. Filipp Kotsishevskiy, another filmie from my freshman class had a festival in the works over the summer, and things really started falling into place as the city scorched. It was as if the heat from the sun fueled a steam engine in Fil's mind and had him forge a festival that was so kickass to begin with, it only had to be folded eight times... I speak only of the Eightfold Film Festival.

Alright. I'm getting really cheesy now. I better not start talking about my dungeon master skills. (I'd blow you away with my twelve-sided die... mortal...) But yes, 'Evil Film' will also be at the Eightfold Film Festival, September 13th. Filipp and my good friend Shane, who's also been helping with the festival, made a couple kickass ads for the event. Here's a glimpse.

In the meantime, I'm just about to start up Sophomore year and I'm awfully excited. All my friends, the professors, the dugout, the parking lot, awkward smiles. You know, the whole college deal. It's gonna be quite the trip. I'll be making a documentary soon, and also, working on some scene adaptations.
I'm awfully excited to do pre-written work. I've been reading quite a few things and so many ideas come to mind (been sketching a lot), and most definitely I'll be working with Shane again.

But that also brings to mind what's been a bit of a concern. Where to find actors. I'm sure craigslist will be reliable, but I should definitely find some other listings, elsewhere.

In all the excitement of things, I can't help but dwell over the departing of my Panasonic PV-GS500. I can't figure out what's wrong with it and right now I can't afford to bring it in for repairs. I hope Danny, the film department store manager can maybe give it a look. I'd really just like to know what's wrong with it.

Despite this bump in the road, I've still shot a couple things this summer. Gone up to Jeffersonville to help shoot some Bear Ramage sketches with Robertson, Shane and Max. We're sore of hoping Bear Ramage can become a silly sketch comedy show on P-TV. We think it's funny, but sometimes what a handful of insane film junkies think is funny can be awfully intimidating and tasteless to the surface dwellers. 

I got to direct a short sketch by Shane entitled 'Squidbabies'. I can't really say anything. We're trying to keep it under wraps, but you can let it fester in your head, what the hell it could possibly mean for your TV set. Most of the sketches we've been doing... all the written ones at least have had drag, which as cliche as it is sometimes, is still funny to us.

I'd never really written a sketch before, but when we were up in Jeffersonville shooting, I felt inclined to write something. I've been prodding at it a bit, and I hope the group wants to film it. It's in the vain of Monty Python, which I know they'll go for, but it could still use some work.

Earlier in the summer, Shane also wrote a short slapstick comedy that I had the opportunity to photograph. It was arduous but worth it nonetheless.

I have photos from both, but I'll post them later. I have to go to sleep now. I have to get some rest. It'll be my last day in the city, and the first screening of my career.

Take care.

John Morgan

P.S. My brothers friend left a digital still camera in my house a few months back, and hasn't come to claim it, even when he came over. Well-- I'm taking it for my own. I think I can get more mileage out of it than if I left it on a shelf to gather dust. So, expect to see some of my photo work in days to come.

Friday, August 28, 2009


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'Evil Film' is now available on Dancing Zombie Productions' YouTube channel!

Personal Liner Notes on 'Evil Film'
'Evil Film' is the product of a simple camera malfunction. Originally I'd planned to shoot a sci-fi film in vain of 'The Twilight Zone' and 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' about a man being chased by an ambiguous cult conspiracy. I started principle photography, on location, to film the last sequences first. Little did I realize, it was the beginning of the end. When I had the 5 rolls I'd shot developed, I was crushed to find out that a pressure plate malfunction in the camera caused my film to come back, useless. I couldn't afford to re-shoot, so I abandoned the project completely and started from scratch.

So as time rolled by, I drafted a sort of pseudo-doc about how my original project failed, but my friends and professors found it grim and sub-par--as did I. But when it came time to get things moving, I felt like the film I was trying to make, whatever it was, was eating me alive... and so, you basically have 'Evil Dead' in the film department.

I didn't do anything to try and mess around with the original version. This is basically the film as it screened on campus, but I did take the liberty to add some extra follies. I also added more to the beginning. It's obviously not shot on 16mm, but what do you want for nothing? (Rubber biscuit?) I'd originally planned to add this sequence during the 16mm cutting at school, but because of time constraints and several suggestions otherwise, I was swayed from presenting it with the opening montage. I hope it at least sets a good pace, and more importantly makes things less confusing.

I'd never planned to make a parody in my life, but I'm a devout 'Evil Dead' fan, as my friends would agree. It only seemed right to emulate Raimi's style and over-the-top camera fits, as they were something that struck a huge blow for me at an early age. 'Evil Dead' was, and has been, the most influential film for me as a filmmaker. But just as much as this film is my homage to Sam Raimi, it is also my homage to anyone trying to make their first film project, especially incoming SUNY Purchase Freshmen (you've been warned). 

Looking back on the film as a whole, it's not a great film. I know that, for sure... But while I was making it, I sort of knew that going in, and that sort of became the fun of the film's aesthetic. Visible strings. Cheap effects. Bad dubbing. I think the movie works as an homage to cheesy exploitation films (mostly 70s Italian Exploitation cinema i.e., Mario Bava, Lucio Fulci...), and is kind of only good in that right. It is sheerly meant to give the illusion that I'm trying to shock you, but it's a comedy... so, c'mon. (Although I've noticed kids under 9 getting scared during my movie, and that makes me happy.)

I hope you enjoy the insanity as much as I have, and that if you are an aspiring filmmaker or a just a flat out film buff, this film brings some sort of demented smile to your face.

A very special thanks to everyone who was involved with production, and especially SUNY Purchase Film class of 2012.

John Morgan
(Writer/ Director, 'Evil Film')

P.S. So after a lot of tinkering, I've finally managed to throw up 'Evil Film' in its entirety. This of course is not the best quality, and for that you'll have to buy the DVD. Sorry, guy's gotta earn a profit somehow... BUT HEY!


-HD Quality Transfer of Original 16mm Film
-Audio Commentary
-Bonus Short ('Never A Second To Myself')
-Still Gallery
& 8 1/2 x 11" 'Evil Film' Poster!!!


Monday, August 24, 2009


Hey! Welcome to my blog. I hope you find what your looking for. In the meantime, take a look at the trailer for "Evil Film"!


When John (Shane Sheehy), an ambitious film student, shoots on an abandoned lot, he awakens a demonic force that possesses his film and wreaks havoc throughout the bowels of the college's film department. Now, it's up to John to dispel the evil, save the world, and make the final cut.

When John Morgan was admitted to SUNY Purchase College's Film Conservatory it was his final freshman assignment to complete an 8-12 minute film, shot entirely on 16mm film, and dubbed with two magnetic tracks (MOS- Mit Of Sound). During production of a project he'd been very excited to accomplish, the film was subject to multiple camera malfunctions, concerning the pressure plate within the camera. Left with limited funds and a generous donation from Erol Liguori, John set out to parody the ordeal in the independent b-movie style of Sam Raimi's "Evil Dead" films.

Spear-headed with an amazing SUNY Purchase Class (2012) on crew and an amazing performance from Shane Sheehy, 'Evil Film' sinks its teeth and doesn't let go 'til the last frame.

(COMEDY/ HORROR) Approx. 17 min.

For more information on purchasing a DVD copy contact:

DVD Includes:
-HD Quality Transfer of the Original 16mm Film
-Audio Commentary
    -"Evil Film"
    -"Never A Second To Myself"
-BONUS SHORT (Never A Second To Myself)

ALSO INCLUDES an 8 1/2 x 11" EVIL FILM Poster!!!