Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dancing Zombie exists on YouTube, but here in the New Year...

Hey Everyone,

I haven't written on this blog in a long time for a number of reasons... but I guess it's more important to think about the future as opposed to dwelling in the past. Dancing Zombie Productions has been for me, a long-lasting name with which I've proudly stamped my films over the years, but times are changing, as is my entire outlook towards independent production. Though Dancing Zombie was never an officially licensed production company, though I tried hard to make it happen, New Frontier will be the name of my new production company as I shift over into the new year.

With this new name, there is a new production under way, one that I don't want to become overexcited about, but that I think is certainly a bold step towards independent production, and should hopefully help get me on my feet once I graduate from college.

I've taken time off from school this year, but not from film making. I've worked intensively over the past ten months raising money, writing and conceiving this new project. Just this month my crew and I completed principal photography and we're looking forward to another unit next month and in early February. Wish us luck, we certainly need all the help we can get.

As for Alone Together. It's with tremendous patience and stubbornness that I've continued to re-write and continue with my plans to transcribe the screenplay into a graphic novel. It should be finished by next year.

In the meantime, this blog will exist until further notice, and a proper domain can be acquired for New Frontier.

I wish all of you a Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year.

John Morgan

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Alone Together Update, ZMDb, Source Code and more...

Hello followers. It's long overdue that I return to you with some news of what's happening with not only lingering productions, but what has happening outside of production.

Alone Together has truly turned into the bane of my existence I could easily say. Due to camera malfunctions and negligent working relationships, the film exists only in it's script form, and with nothing to show of its live action retelling. In essence, the film has failed, but I refuse to see it end as grimly as that. I've spent over a year on this story and I'm determined to have it told one way or another.

Alone Together is currently being revamped for its graphic novel publication, featuring photographic landscapes and hand drawn characters, all done by me. I feel very broken about how this film fell apart, it came at a very inconvenient time for me, personally, and with it, I harbor a seriously passionate conviction to have the story finally come to fruition through some sort of medium.

Why a graphic novel?

Well aside from being a very performance heavy script, the film relied very much on visuals. I think it sets the mood very significantly. The very fact that it's set in New York sets it up in a concrete jungle where our characters are playing hide-and-seek literally and metaphorically. The subtext is as deeply embedded in the dialogue as it is in the  landscape. So I've decided the backgrounds-- all the environments in the novelization--will be photographed.

Of course, in return for their generosity, everyone who contributed to the project will receive digital copies of the graphic novel along with a complete collection of all of my short films and production updates on my next production, Apache.

What is Apache? I can't reveal that right now, but what I can say is that is going to be one hell of a ride. And no, there will not be another Kickstarter to run this new production. It'll be strictly my own investment. Doing the best I can with what I have.
So as I see these two productions through I have some things for you to check out in the meantime. First is Killer's Kiss on the Kubrick et le Web site till the end of July. Second, three of my films were recently featured on the Zombie Movie Database, with reviews by the editor, David Oakes, PhD--a professor from South Texas College. The films include "Evil Film", "From The Dark" and "Curse of the Dragon Egg: The Lost Film".He seemed to really enjoy the films... But what is "Curse of the Dragon Egg: The Lost Film" you ask?

Emily Tomasik in "Curse of the Dragon Egg: The Lost Film"
'Curse of the Dragon Egg' is an homage to Euro-Shock zombie films of the 1970s. I sent it to David along with my entire film collection as a sort of throw-away, but in the end, David really seemed to like it. So in light of its positive reception, I'll have the film posted online for your viewing pleasure.

Also from my sophomore year is my adaptation of Duncan Jones's sci-fi thriller "Source Code"  and a couple collaborations with Caleb Foss, whose new short film "Receiver" was truly a wonder to work on. I've thus far worked as cinematographer on four of Caleb's films. Each one, a wonderful experience... Here for you are Caleb Foss's and my adaptations of an early draft of Duncan Jones's "Source Code" and two films I was also cinematographer on for Caleb Foss, "Iterations" and "Social Courtesy". You may also recognize the infamous Mike Hart in the credits and also, the recurring talents of Shane Sheehy (Evil Film, From The Dark).

The Pipe (A Source Code Parody) by Caleb Foss

Social Courtesy by Caleb Foss

Soon to come once I get a hold of an HDV deck are some early 16mm shorts from my freshman year, so keep an eye out for those as well.

In the meantime, I'm holding down a job waiting tables, looking for freelance work and production internships, but primarily I've been focused on these new projects, especially, whats in store for the winter.

I'll be returning to Purchase College in the spring semester, but until then, I'll be drafting another junior film script. Something smaller and more down to earth this time--something I could shoot twice on even a shoestring budget. I've got a treatment now I'm working with. I'll see where it takes me.

For now, stay tuned. I'll be posting more frequently with more updates and more goodies along the way.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Technicolor Daydreams: Online + Killer's Kiss in "Kubrick et le Web"/ La Cinematheque Francaise

- For the latest Dancing Zombie video content, visit www.youtube.com/dancingzombie -

So, as I mentioned before, I was collaborating with a dance student named Yael Baifus on a multimedia-arts collaboration. Just last Friday, Yael and I unveiled our piece during the run of Junior projects under evaluation by the SUNY Purchase Dance Conservatory faculty. Here then are both a final cut of the abstract imagery I produced and a recording of the live performance.

In addition, posted are also a few screen caps from the film which I think make for some seriously groovy desktop backgrounds.

Enjoy both the performance and the imagery. Together they make up what Yael Baifus described as our own Technicolor Daydreams.

In the meantime, I'm moving into production on my new film that will be opening up MADArt next month. Also, Santino's kickstarter just recently reached its goal with tons of time to spare!! I'll keep you all updated as more emerges. In the meantime, enjoy feeling yourselves disintegrate.

Update (3/23): 

Cinematheque Francais has just posted their online exhibition entitled "Kubrick et le Web" where you can now watch "Killer's Kiss" and three other video submissions, along with over 400 other pieces all having to do with the late, great Stanley Kubrick and his legacy. Here also is a link to Cinematheque's entire Kubrick Exhibition open through July [LINK].

The best of web creation on Kubrick

The Cinémathèque française launches an ambitious project: to present on its website the best web creation on the Kubrick legend. Graphic artists, video artists, stylists, plastic artists: a whole generation of creative talents has turned to the work of Kubrick over the past 15 years, paying homage to him, questioning his work, remixing it, etc. The adoration of these artistes for Kubrick will be the occasion to highlight the modernity of a film director adopted by a host of netsurfers all over the world, and whose works will be united for the first time in the same place. 

Raw Power,
John Morgan

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

After A Brief Hiatus: Alone Together and What's Next

- For the latest Dancing Zombie video content, visit www.youtube.com/dancingzombie -

Why no posts for the month of February? Time to get personal.

There's no light way to explain what's happened to me over the past three months. Firstly, principal photography ended on schedule. It was time to prep for the second unit in February, but only a week after shooting, I discovered that my cameraman didn't properly store our first two days of shooting and that a huge bulk of our work was lost entirely. I was (an am) devastated. Soon to follow, personal issues came into conflict, and before I knew it, school was starting up again. As things began to pile up I became seriously overwhelmed--so much so my own well-being was at risk. I had to address the situation and do what was best for me.

Though I've attempted to plan re-shoots for "Alone Together" I finally concluded that there isn't the time, the money, or the people to get the job done in time to turn in the project as my Junior thesis. I'm currently in the throes of constructing some sort of coherent narrative from the footage I have along with additional cut-aways that should hopefully piece some things together. There's no real telling what the faculty will think of what I have, but I'm planning on expecting the worst--that I'll be put on academic probation. If such is the case, I'll be producing a film over the summer, which I've been planning here and there, just in case.

I still owe everyone who contributed to my film a tremendous thanks, and so all backers will be receiving a graphic novelization of "Alone Together" by the end of the summer and a complete collection of all of my films on DVD. It's the very least I can do. I can honestly say though, working on the film was a truly great experience. Though many things went wrong, I handled every task to the best of my abilities and worked swiftly and efficiently. I just wish I had more to show for it.

So... What's next?

Well, currently I'm working on producing a short film that will be opening a multi-media arts collaboration entitled MADArt. The show is the brainchild of a talented visionary, artist, musician, and friend Santino Lo. He and I have been discussing the project for months and it's time now to start moving into production. If you're interested in learning more about MADArt, visit the kickstarter page! We're currently raising funds and we're very close to our goal. 33 days left. Don't miss out! As little as a dollar is appreciated.

Aside from MADArt, I'm also producing a short 4 minute experimental video to be projected during a dance performance choreographed by my good friend Yael Baifus. The dance and the visual elements will be mingling with The Flaming Lips' song "Feeling Yourself Disintegrate". I'm very excited to be working on something so abstract. I'll post frames from the footage as it surfaces.

And now for something to be celebrated...

I received word over winter break back in January from La Cinematheque Francais in Paris that they wanted to include my short adaptation of "Killer's Kiss" in their online exhibition "Kubrick & le web". The online exhibit is in conjunction with their Kubrick Exhibition which will be touring through Europe over the next couple months. I was also asked to submit the film to their competition in partnership with dailymotion. It's a really tremendous honor and I'm more than grateful to be given such a splendid opportunity.

Voting polls open in May, and I will keep you all updated as per the status of the competition. If I win, there are a number of prizes to be had. Some include an expansive 19 DVD set of all of Kubrick's films, The Stanley Kurbick Archives from Taschen Books, rolls of Ektachrome 100 T Super 8 film and a 4 day trip to New York. The trip to New York sounds redundant, but I hope I win it, if in case the tickets can be reversed so that I can take a trip to Paris. That would be particularly exciting, especially since I haven't left the country yet. So far, I'm the only American who's been permitted to participate in the contest, since my film is already included in the online exhibition.

In the meantime, I'll have my fingers crossed till June. And if you haven't seen "Killer's Kiss" yet, I've posted my adaptation and the original Kubrick version of the scene for your enjoyment.

Thanks again to everyone for all of your support. Though I've experienced some serious hardships, I'm picking myself back up and moving forward the best way I know how... just keep making movies. I'll be back with more to share next month.

Raw Power,
John Morgan