Photo by Curtis Schultz

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Haunted House

Its been a while since I have last written a blog post.  This whole regular post stuff gets hard. I honestly dont know how people like Kevin Smith, who writes a blog and then on top of that has several different pod casts, vlogs, and all that other stuff, do it.
check out his blog at -
Or Adam The Woo, who  has several different vlogs and you tube channels and stuff like that. One where he chronicles all of his journeys looking at locations that movies were once made at years before, and another daily vlog where he posts a video adventure every day.
check him out at-

These guys and so many others are so on top of blogs and vlogs and pod casts and all that stuff, where they are doing multiple things everyday, and they never miss a day. I should be able to handle one post a month right??? Well Since my last post, things have been crazy, so I am sorry.  I have been gaffing a movie out of town, which was very demanding, but also working on several different directing projects...

Despite taking so long to write this post, I have been waiting a very long time to write it!!!

I wanna talk to you all about -

"The Haunted House."

"The Haunted House" title logo by Seth Mayfield
That is right, I directed a new short film. Shooting is done, and post is almost done.  We should be finished enough to start working on a festival run, trailers and stuff, as well as web pages, facebook pages, etc very soon. We will definitely keep you posted about that.
Yep this is the slate... Thats my name in the director section.
Dustin and Devin hand held with the Elexa
Dustin, Devin, Nick and I following the trick or treaters on in our opening title sequence...
The kids on the spooky stairs!!!!
Are you guys making a movie?!?!?!?!?!
Right now I want to talk about the journey. Making a short film or a feature film is hard. especially when you don't have any money. I started this project years ago.

The Haunted House

Log Line:
Can you last the night with a ghost and a bully?

The ghost of Old Man Withers haunts his house, wanting revenge on his Children for killing him. Or at least that is the story that young 12 year-old horror fan Charlie tells his friends. This week it’s the ghost of Old Man Withers, last week it was zombies in the city, and before that it was a powerful demon. The local bully over hearing Charlie’s stories bets Charlie and his friends that they wont stay the night in the haunted house. Charlie and his friends refusing to be bullied, agree to stay the night in the house, but only if the bully will stay with them.

The kids all meet up in the house, waiting for the ghost, but get more then they bargain for when they have to work together with the bully in order to escape the ghost of Old Man Withers? 

Spooky Scary!!!
This one is going to be a good take I can feel it!!!!
Sometimes making movies looks a little like chaos but its not haha
I wrote the first version of this script 3 or 4 years ago, and wanted to shoot it in FL the month before I moved from FL to CA. I had castings, found a group of kids that I liked and started looking for crew and locations. I had everything I needed, but for some reason, things just didn't line up just quite right, and I never was able to shoot the film before I moved. So I picked it back up in LA and started it last year in Jan. I had a few friends that wanted to help so we got started and held casting after casting after casting, tried so hard to get the project started, but couldn't get the right cast, or the right locations. I again got busy, and so did the friends helping me. So the project got pushed to the side. Again a few months later I tried to start the project the third time, and the third times the charm right? Found an amazing location, but again, held several castings, and just couldn't find a cast that I was happy with. Found several of the kids that I felt could do the job and do great, but couldn't find the whole team. At this point I even toyed with changing the script and/or rewriting the characters to make it easier to find. Or, make one of the kids I like who auditioned for another role work. Nothing I liked. Again, tried and tried and tried, but just didn't work out. Over the summer I went out of town to do a movie in New Orleans, and got inspired with several of the film makers I met their, which gave me the energy and inspiration to again dig it out and try to get it made.

This time, my wife wanted to learn how to produce and get involved, so right away, I was joined with some great help. She had a lot to learn but wanted to, and wanted to help make the project a success. So then it was on again to try and find the perfect cast and location. My amazing wife and I started working on casting, we set up a casting call, and started spreading the word. We were both taking out all the stops, and working super hard on finding what we needed.

Ironically, the location that my wife had found last time still wanted us to shoot there, and it was perfect. So bam! Right away, location was locked. Time to find cast and crew and do some budgeting.  The very first casting call we had our cast, the perfect ideal cast. Let me introduce you to our cast-

Meet Dominic Kline!!!
AKA Charlie
Meet Mackenzie Myers!!!
AKA Rick
Meet Maitlyn Pezzo!!!
AKA Andy

Meet Jordan Fries!!!
AKA Andre 

awesome right?!?!?!?!?!?

Budgeting- I was raising all of this money my self, no investors, just me. I was raising all the funds to do this at the same time as paying all of my bills, and starting to save for our first baby... So things were tough right off the get go. But I will do whatever I have to do to make my dream of becoming a director a reality. After all, if I am not willing to invest in myself, why should anyone else?
Camera and sound
Just camera (I think he is posing for this pic. Are you Devin???? Is this a pose?)
Producer/Director meeting super important hush hush stuff cant talk about it...
Make up!!!
It doesn't look like it but Dustin is actually very excited to try what we so affectionately named "The Raimi Cam" 2.0 new and improved...... Turned out pretty cool.  
This was "The Raimi Cam" 1.0 Also super cool!!!
I love this pic haha
Another picture of slating...
Spoooooooooky Stairs
The Wife and I after the 2nd day of shooting...
Special guest appearance by Brian C. Chenworth... but shhhhhhhh its a surprise. 
Crew, I have some amazing friends that are willing to go to bat for me. I have the best friends in the world. So many of my friends believe in me and my dream to become a director that they wanted to help. Others not so much, but I prefer to talk about the good and forget about the bad. The friends of mine that didn't want to help and couldn't help I understand, but some of my friends sure stopped acting like friends... and its sad, but whatever. Again I plan on remembering and talking about the good and not worrying about the bad. But let's just say this, getting a crew that I could count on, was hard, but I did, and thinking back on it I have to say again that I have some super amazing friends and an amazin wife that believe in me and would do anything to help me.

Here is my amazing crew!!! I want to thank each and everyone of you!!!

Directed by
Wesley Alley

Produced by
Whitney Alley

Executive Producer
Wesley Alley

Associate Producer
Gabriel Gely
Todd Reynolds

Written by
Wesley Alley

1st AD
Constantine Preda

2nd AD
 Alyssa Powell

Rerecording Mixer, Sound Design, and Score
Robert Reider

Script Supervisor
Noelani Lee

Director of Photography- Dustin Gardner
1st AC- Devin Keebler
2nd AC-  Bianca Marquez
2nd AC-  Nicholas Kramer
Digital Imaging Technician-  Gabriel Gely
BTS Photography-  Rene Aranda
BTS Camera Operator-  Matthew Thatcher

Chief Lighting Technician-  Ian CarrĂ©-Burritt
Assistant Chief Lighting Technician-  Casey Desmet
Electric Swing- Ellison McKnight III
Electric Swing-  Carlos “Seven” Williams
Key Grip- Chris Miller
Best Boy Grip-  Nicholas Brightwell
Grip Swing-  Dan Tucker

Sound Mixer/Boom Op-  Robert Reider

Post Production Supervisor-  Curtis Schultz
Editor-  Erick Wilczynski
Special Effects Editor- Curtis Schultz
Special Effects Editor- Ryan Shovey 
Haunted House Logo- Seth Mayfield

Production Designer-  Michael Trudel
Art Director-  Jackie Linke
Set Dresser-  Sean Harvey
Wardrobe/Costumes-  Megan McCormick

Key Makeup/Hair Artist-  Maria Martinez
Makeup Assistant-  Rebeca Marin
Special Effects Makeup-  Alex Perrone

Craft Services-  Sabrina Ward

So we got a cast, got a crew, got our budget, got our locations, we were ready right? Of course not. If something can go wrong it will. So we had a huge list of problems arise. Whatever, we handled them and came up on top. It was hard, and I mean real hard. Making a project like this come to life is hard, and if you have never done it, be prepared for everything to go wrong all of the time. Either that or again its my bad luck... Side note, I have an old joke I always say that goes like this... "I am the luckiest man alive, but 90% of it is bad luck."... and I swear its true. This actually is a great blog topic, but instead of rambling on, I will get back to my post at hand and save the amusing stories for a future post... Anyway, so everything went wrong, and I do mean everything. Whatever, I ain't scared lets do this!!!!! And we did, we had a very ambitious schedule to shoot 16 pages in 2 days as well as shooting with 4 kids. If you know anything about how movies are made you think to yourself, what are you guys idiots? Well maybe, but its what had to be done, so we made it work, some things didn't turn out quite how we wanted them to, and some things even got cut out of the story completely, but we did it, we finished shooting and it is awesome!!!
Making some cool ghost stuff.
The great Chad Gall ghosting it up for us as "The Ghost of Old Man Whithers" 
Color correction type stuff
Hey I said it was a secret this picture can't be in here...
More color correction... Its crazy how many pictures of color correction I have when we really aren't even into color correction yet... 

So now onto post. Where again... everything that could go wrong would, but we are pushing through, and I am so proud of myself, my wife, all my actors, all my crew, etc. I feel like what we did was incredible!!! And it's coming together incredibly too. I cant wait to show you more, but for now, I hope you enjoy these pictures, and everything that you have heard so far... I promise more info and videos, and stuff like that will be coming soon!!!! And if you were one of the amazing people that helped us on this amazing journey, thank you so much!!!!! You have no idea how whatever gesture you gave us, whether it was helping spread the word, helping by donating something or letting us borrow something, or working on this and donating your time, life, energy, etc, thank you!!!! You have no idea how even the smallest thing helped us so much!!! I know I have said several times in this blog how everything that could go wrong did, and its true, but there is no way I could have ever done this, made it through, finished this without the things that went right, and without all your belief, and help, and hope and inspiration, and everything that I got from so many of you!!! So thank you all so much, and please don't hesitate to ask for my help in return. I would be honored to return any favor that I can!!!!!
And thats a wrap kids!!!
Thank you for reading and following (Hint Hint, if you haven't followed my blog yet, you probably should) Please, if you have any questions or comments, write them in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you guys (which includes you female doods too)!!!! Please keep reading and share with your friends. Lots more great and exciting things are coming on this long hard road of making it as a director...