Latest News

28
Nov
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Written by Seb Hunter

 

Yes ladies and gentlemen, as of last Friday, Elder Movie Productions Ltd is now a bona fide registered company! Your directors Owen Oakeshott and me your host, Sebastian H. B. Hunter Esq, welcome you to our virtual boardroom. Please wear a tie and shine your shoes. You're a mess.

It's not easy setting up a company you know. You have to sit a four-hour exam by a business expert, who grills you on business plans, budgeting, accountancy and so on. Then one is grilled by Lord Alan Sugar and Viceroy Sir Donald Trump simultaneously, whilst being forced to fill in a corporation tax return whilst speeding down a motorway at 120mph in a BMW shouting at somebody down the phone.

Fortunately we have now passed all our exams, and we are now free to trade in celluloid. Owen and I have a meeting with a business manager from a UK high street bank on Wednesday. Once he has finished laughing, we shall open an Elder Movie Productions Ltd bank account, and transfer our donations-to-date into it and then emigrate to Brazil. I mean do nothing at all with it. Keep it nice and safe; earn a little interest. Do not speculate on futures commodities or spend it in the pub. To be honest, our monies so far would not get us all the way to Brazil, but they might get us to Heathrow Airport, so long as we took the Piccadilly Line.

 

We need more money. Lots more money. Please donate!

 

I was in Huddersfield this weekend at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, and while I was there I started reading a book entitled The Guerilla Film Makers Pocketbook: The Ultimate Guide to Digital Film Making. This is a very useful book for somebody like me. And I feel empowered reading it rather than intimidated. All the ingredients this little filmmaking bible suggests you need to have in place in order to SUCCEED, I believe we have already, or certainly thereabouts. The book has given me some crucial pointers, especially with regard to the screenplay, which I am starting to write, properly, in anger, in courier new (the font in which all screenplays must, apparently, always be written – it’s the film law) and everything, erm, tomorrow. Tomorrow! I have worked out my first scene – the opening scene. Whoah. I’m not nervous of the blank page and the blinking cursor – I’ve faced those little bitches down before - bring it on!

 

Today we had our first UK press coverage. There was a nice article about the film project in Sabotage Times, a popular online magazine. I’m hoping that there will be more UK press stuff this week – a few people have been in touch already about potential features. I’ll link all such coverage from this blog, fear not.

 

I also made yet another approach to KISS today, informing them of our intentions, this time via their record label, Universal Music. I wrote to a gentleman by the name of Adrian McKinney at Universal UK, who very kindly wrote back to tell me he’d forwarded my persuasive entreaties to their American office, and that he’d let me know as soon as he heard anything back. We’ve now attempted contact though all official channels. My conscience is now clear in that regard.

 

In that regard.


Our Art Director David Bailey at Kiosk has designed our second Elder movie teaser poster. Thanks David!


Enjoy.

elder teaser poster 2

 Oh and please do feel free to comment. About anything. Don't be shy.

24
Nov
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Written by Seb Hunter

 

Evening all. 


Well, I didn't do the live blog. Had I been sitting there typing, I wouldn't have been able to contribute to our severe plot brainstorming session in the 12 Bar in London's Denmark Street last night, with my colleagues, two of our lead actors, Owen Oakeshott and David Knox-Williams. I might also have spilled beer on my expensive electronic communications device. Owen would DEFINITELY have spilled beer on it. He does things like that all the time. He is one of those people. 


But we had a great session. We have tweaked the nature of the post-apocalyptic context in which we are setting the movie. Rather than a post-nuclear Southern England, we're switching to a post deadly-viral Southern England - a virus that has wiped out 99.9% of the World's population, a superbug if you will, and the 0.1% who have survived owe their existence to freak genetic immunity. Thus the world has not been destroyed, bombed, nuked, razed; rather it's just very very empty - desolate. And there is no central government support network, there is only Blackwell Corp -  ostensibly a medical insurance company -  they're half last corporate behemoth standing, and half sinister religious cult. Thus the primary philosophical realms of our tale are now PLAGUE and RELIGION. Or at least they will be the twin factors that underpin our story, a story which, for the most part, remains as it was. Like I say we've just tweaked the context into something with a little more depth. We have more to work with now. More meat on the bones. 


So that was that. What else?

 

Earlier in the day Owen and I had an excellent, productive and illuminating meeting with music and entertainment lawyer Martine Alan. We left Martine's company feeling enlightened and energised with regard to our current legal position (more on this later), after which we headed over to meet accountant Richard Best to discuss how we're going to structure all of this financially. We decided the most practical way was to create a separate company with which to conduct Elder movie business, a company which would be owned, at least for now, by both Owen and myself. This is all now in progress, we have chosen a name, of which details will follow, and we have also agreed on a percentage split in the company between Owen and myself. We thrashed this out over a 3pm English breakfast in a greasy spoon off the Euston Road. No punches were thrown. And Owen seems quite happy with his 1.75% stake in the company. Hopefully this will really incentivise him. If he plays his cards right, I might even raise his stake to 1.85% if everything goes to plan, by this time next year. 


As soon as this movie production company is set up, which will be very soon indeed, we will transfer our donated funds into its bank account. At the moment all donations are being held securely by PayPal. When the account gors live, we'll transfer the momey over so that it can start to earn interest. Our company will be set up so that were other investors to want to buy into the project, we could add their name or names to the business, as well as, of course, amend all ownership percentages. Thus by this time next year, Owen could, in fact, be looking at a 0.75% stake in our movie production company, or less. Such is the life of a minority stakeholder. 


We also met up with my pal James Wood, who is a successful screenwriter and director - James has recently found success as the writer of the BBC TV sitcom Rev, which I just watched tonight in fact, and is totally great. James gave us some handy tips; ie you can completely ignore those two HOW TO MAKE CHEAP FILMS books Owen and I had bought earlier in the day. This came as a relief, as having perused these books, there appeared to be rather a lot to have to take on board. What a relief it is that we can officially ignore all of it. Thanks James. 


Owen and I then met my wonderful cousin David Knox-Williams, himself an actor of no little experience or indeed repute. Dave is very excited at the prospect of being in our Elder movie. He reminded me of a visit he paid to our old family house here in Winchester in 1983 when I'd portentously led him up the stairs to my bedroom to play him a record I was insisting he really listen to properly, and digest with the utmost seriousness. Yes I'm afraid it was (Music from) the Elder. I have no recollection of this but Dave insists it's true. If that wasn't enough weird coincidence, Dave then revealed that tonight was the first time this year he'd worn the winter coat he currently had on. And that on his way into town to meet us he'd reached randomly into his pocket and pulled out a cassette copy of Kiss's Destroyer. Not just recorded onto one side of a C90, but the bona file original cassette. Dave then insisted I accept this incredible portent as a symbolic gift. Oh no, I couldn't possibly, it's your tape, your childhood legacy, I protested, stuffing the cassette into my trouser pocket. 


Result. 

 

By the way, today is the 20th anniversary of the death of Kiss drummer Eric Carr. RIP Eric. The Elder was, of course, Eric's first album with the group. 


Right, I am going to Huddersfield for the weekend. Back soon.

 

*cue Great Expectations*

22
Nov
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Written by Seb Hunter

 

Yes I know 'viraller' isn't a word. So sue me. ONLY JOKING GENE. 


Things have hotted up over the last few days. Thanks to the dogged assistance of Kiss fan (indeed Kruise attendee) Stuart Bayley, we made it to the front page of Kiss Asylum, the longest-running Kiss fan site on the web. Our appearance there triggered a new burst of attention and visitors - we received 900 unique visitors on this site on Sunday November 20th, easily a record. I have also received some incredible offers of assistance from supporters all around the world. 


The site has been live for less than a week and we have already been offered the following:


ALL our film-making kit. YES I KNOW. We have been offered ALL the cameras, lenses, lights, blah blah blah that we could possibly need for the movie, by the quite frankly saintly Ian Hunter (no relation - to either me or Mott the Hoople's) at Plan 19 Management in Brighton. So long as we don't break them. This is incredible news, and I'm still taking it in to be honest. This does however render our current funding campaign to buy the Peter Fox Camera somewhat redundant. We shall amend this campaign to the Peter Fox something else shortly. Peter, I hope that's OK with you. (I need to explain this to the blog; this happened on Facebook and Twitter, darling. Our new funding mechanism went live two days ago and Peter Fox was our very first donor - he donated a magnificent $100. Thus we decided to name the camera he was the first to donate to the Peter Fox Camera, in honour of the very first brick in our soon to be Berlin-esque edifice. Or Great, of China-esque.)


We have a Matte Artist, in Claudio Bergamin in Chile.


We have a 3D animation specialist, in Oivind Jensen in Norway.


We have been offered an art gallery in York. (What shall we do with the art gallery? Shoot a scene in there? I hope to be able to pay a vist at the weekend.)

 

We have been offered Diamond Jack's tattoo studio in Soho, London. (Ditto - we are visiting tomorrow.)


We have been offered the United Kingdom's premier Kiss tribute band, Dressed To KIll. (What shall we do with these motherf**kers?!?)


We have a make-up artist, in Kat Watson, from the UK, I believe. 


We have an attorney, Brad DeBlanc in Los Angeles. (Brad, meet Gene. Gene, meet... well, he was here just a moment ago...)


We have yet further musicians, photographers, artists, and already a virtual army of non-specific, passionate supporters of the project, all lined up ready to offer themselves gladly, madly, to this insane project. Which is steadily becoming less insane by the day. It's turning real. Thanks to you. 


I SALUTE YOU ALL. 

(And if I have forgotten somebody, forgive me.)


Please, however, do not stop spreading the word. We have gone pretty viral, but there's a lot further to go yet. If a dog chasing deer in Richmond Park can dominate the ENTIRE INTERNET within the space of a single morning, then surely we can dominate, say half the internet, in perhaps a couple of afternoons. Please please publicise and link to this site and this movie project wherever you can - especially on social networking sites, and Kiss fan sites too. 


We also need money. We currently have $200. Not bad for a few days, but we need a lot more than that to make this movie, despite the abundance of talent we already have at our disposal. HELP FUND THIS MOVIE. 


Tomorrow is an important day for us. I am going to London on the train, to meet my best friend Owen, who is playing Morpheus in the movie (he is also one of our producers.) We have a meeting with a music and entertainment lawyer, an accountant, a fellow filmmaker, a potential press officer and then, finally, my cousin David, who is also a wonderful actor and particularly creative fellow. Dave is going to play the Office Manager, Blackwell's lieutenant on the ground. The Office Manager will be the baddie you see most in the movie, as Blackwell will be heard more than seen, certainly for the majority of the film. Dave will be perfect for this role! (Hey I just realised - I should have these actors' professional mugshots up next to their names in the Cast & Cew section, right? That would be cool. I'll try and do it. Anything to put off starting this bloody screenplay.) Dave, Owen and I are then going to have a screenplay brainstorming session in the pub. Dave has a brilliant imagination, Owen is great conceptually, and I have the vision, the logic, and am also in charge. Which is the main thing. I might buy a whistle like Bob Ezrin. 


I shall take my portable electronic device here to London with me and attempt a LIVE BLOG from this screenplay brainstorming session, for the first time! This promises to be an extremely thrilling event. 


I'm sure some other stuff has happened but I can't remember. I'm still getting my head around waking up every morning with twenty new friend requests on Facebook. You are all so kind, so supportive! A man could get used to this.

19
Nov
Print
Written by Seb Hunter

 

Today we went a bit viral. I woke up this morning with about 15-20 friend requests on Facebook and follows on Twitter. Aha, I thought, completely ignoring the children's requests for attention, we've hit some Kiss forums - at last! And we had. We had made it to Kissopolis! Everybody who had befriended me was super-friendly and super-positive, and I have to admit, thus began a super-thrilled state of mind which has stayed with me all day, as the requests just kept on a-comin'. I feel like we're getting somewhere now, starting to generate a groundswell among Kiss fans, which is of course absolutely vital to the success of this project. So to everybody who has come on board today, I'd like to offer a sincere and from-the-heart THANK YOU. You have been the very first people to sign up to this insane project, and I heartily salute you. Your messages of positivity and support really mean something, especially at this early stage, where we are particularly vulnerable to things going wrong. PLEASE continue to spread the word, via all means available, especially on the online Kiss forums, our best sources of recruitment to the cause. 


I went for a long walk at lunchtime today to attempt to clear my mind, and had a kind of eureka moment and then spent the subsequent two-thirds of the walk on the phone trying to get it sorted. I realised that our Funding setup for the site was all wrong. I realised that having a clunking great target of X thousand dollars was disingenuous in the extreme. Where's the incentive in that for casual investors and Kiss fans? It's akin to simply throwing your money down a giant hole. Sure, the hole wants and needs your money, but where's the fun in it? Where's the context? 


I realised that a far better way to raise money for our movie was to take it one step at a time. If we need a lens, let's simply put a lens appeal up in the funding section, and make it interactive. We can all have a conversation about it. We don't have to have a conversation about it. Lenses are quite boring (at the moment - I'm sure they'll become interesting soon). But we'll make the whole funding experience completely hands-on and, I hope, a lot more FUN. I then started to think about what item would be the best to begin with? My initial idea was a professional screenwriting software package. I've been reading about these and was considering investing in one. But then I realised that we're not going to be pitching this screenplay to anybody. We're making it ourselves. The screenplay could be written in red crayon on the back of a bunch of cigarette packets and it really wouldn't matter (except for the price of cigarettes these days; not that I'm a smoker any more; CLOSE THE BRACKETS, CLOSE THE BRACKETS). So there's no need for one of these pro screenplay software packages after all. We might as well, I figured, start off with probably the most important piece of kit of all - the movie camera. 


But which camera? Obviously we need something of decent spec, but it also has to be affordable. We are a low-budget movie, after all. I tweeted this question immediately (I'm belatedly starting to realise the appeal of Twitter) and got a reply back from Alex Hornsby suggesting the Sony NEX-VG10. He included a YouTube video of the machine in action, which I watched with strings of dribble hanging from my mouth. It looks like a very nice piece of kit, and in an appropriate kind of price range (approx 1,500 GBP). So I'm thinking this should probably be our first target, fundraising-wise. If you have any other suggestions for a digital video camera in this kind of price range then please do let us know in the comments section beneath this post. Or on the all-new FUNDING section of this site, which will be up and running shortly. We'll host a photograph of the camera, and hopefully that YouTube vid too. And then we can discuss it, I'll make an executive decision, and then we'll try and raise the money to buy it. And If that process goes smoothly, we can roll out this new funding mechanism to the whole of the rest of the project, with fundraising targeted items sometimes running simultaneously, so that if you don't want to help fund, ahem, Blackwell's hairpiece, you can instead fund some overnight costs when our small yet beautifully-formed crew has to stay overnight on location somewhere. This is a better plan than just a giant, monolithic funding target, right? Let's see how this plays out. We're going to go live on this straight away, so if you've got some cash there, burning a hole in your pocket, watch this space. We're about to ask you for some.


Yesterday I also discovered - thanks to Classic Rock Magazine's Jerry Ewing (thanks Jerry!) that there is a BOOK coming out soon all about the Elder - its story, its impact, its legacy with regard to Kiss. The book is called MUSIC FROM THE ELDER: The Unauthorised Story of the Most Spectacular Failure in the History of Kiss, and is written by Matthew Wilkening. I'm sure some of you are already aware of this forthcoming book (published Spring 2012), but to me it was a total surprise, and a true delight, and I emailed Matthew straight away, and he replied (with equal delight), and hopefully our respective projects will only serve to enhance the other. Its either that or a fist fight. For more information on Matthew's book, visit kisselderbook.com. I can't wait to read it. 


On that note, this blog post is turning positively book length itself. It's time to sign off for today. I just want to say one final thing, which is to acknowledge the receipt of several wonderful emails from individuals from all corners of the globe offering their professional expertise to the project. These offers have blown me away, and we've only been live a couple of days. THANK YOU. I'll shed more light on these righteous folk in subsequent blog posts. We will, I hope, be able to use you. I will reply to your emails. In fact that's exactly what I'm off to do right now. 

Until next time, friends. 

17
Nov
Print
Written by Seb Hunter

 

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. 


Well, the site went live yesterday, and the response so far has been overwhelmingly positive - I thank you! Within two hours of the site going up, I was contacted by Norwegian national radio with an interview request. Further interview requests then followed throughout the day. It was a strange feeling knowing that our fervent little project here was going live before the public after all this time behind the scenes. We received lots of messages of support and encouragement, via email, Facebook and Twitter, for which we are very grateful. I will endeavour to personally reply to all correspondence. Except for those emails recommending penile enhancement. 


A few people have been asking about what we're going to be doing with the music for the film - is the plan to simply use the original Elder album as the soundtrack? Well, no. If we get permission to use the music, then the plan is to use it extremely sparingly. I think it would be incredibly clunky to artlessly shoehorn a 30 year-old album into a contemporary piece of cinema. The music will feature - provided we get access to it - but not as you might think. We plan to be quite imaginative with it. There's more on this in the all new FAQ (frequently asked questions) section of this website. I have just finished writing the FAQ. Asking myself questions. Like what are my favourite three Kiss albums? The really important questions.


Today I discovered something incredibly spooky. Yesterday, the day of this site's launch, was the 30th anniversary of the release of (Music From) The Elder to the day. Complete coincidence. Bit of an omen? 


Colin, our webmaster, tells me that we had 300 unique visitors yesterday, and that with no search engine support, that's pretty good for an opening day. 150 of those were from Norway. Hello Norway. The Elder was a hit in Norway. It got to #7 in the charts. Maybe they're still carrying a candle for it.

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