And…That’s A Wrap!

If you’re reading this, you can tell that I haven’t updated my blog for a while. That’s because shortly after my last post, I started production on my third feature film.

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The new film is a psychological thriller. It’s minimalist, but not even close to as minimalist as Detour. The shooting title was The Cabin, but it’s since been updated to: Don’t Look Back.

Here’s the logline from IMDb:

Nora Clark is a children’s book writer whose life is at a crossroads. After moving back into the house she inherited from her grandmother, Nora comes to grips with the traumatic memories from her childhood, and takes in an inquisitive, seductive new roommate, Peyton, who is not entirely whom she appears to be.

We began pre-production in October 2013 and started shooting two months later in early December. It was a 14 day shoot, which isn’t that long, but not uncommon in the world of indie filmmaking. The movie is a contemporary thriller that has a bit of a throw-back quality to it; a quality that, as a filmmaker, I felt channeled the early work of De Palma and Polanski. It is a type of project that I’ve always wanted to explore as a director.

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I had a wonderful crew. I re-teamed with my Detour cinematographer, Rob Kraetsch, and first assistant director, Paul Yates, to shoot the film. It was my first project with producer, Andrea Ajemian, who helped bring the movie, which was built from a story by Michael Testa, to life. I also had the privilege of working with a terrific cast, including Lucy Griffiths (True Blood), Cassidy Freeman (Longmire), Tyler Jacob Moore (Shameless), Kate Burton (Scandal) and Roddy Piper (They Live). I must admit, I was duly impressed that we had two John Carpenter alums on set: Kate, who starred in Big Trouble in Little China, and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, who starred in the cult classic They Live. If I’m not mistaken, They Live still boasts the longest fight sequence in cinema history.

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You must remember Roddy’s signature line from They Live….if not, I’ll remind you: “I’ve come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I’m all out of bubblegum.”

My first AD carried around a bucket full of bubblegum on set, just in case.

In all seriousness, Roddy was just amazing to work with; a true professional in every sense of the word. He plays against type in this film, and I strongly believe he’s gonna get some notice for his performance. It’s sure to hit a lot of nerves.

We just finished post-production, and the movie looks and sounds terrific. MarVista Entertainment is set to release it.

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Please stay tuned…I will be sure to post more info when the time comes. In the meantime, DON’T LOOK BACK!

REBEL WITH, OR WITHOUT, A CAUSE

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We’ve entered an age when everyone is on camera.

It didn’t used to be like this. It used to be an event to be filmed, a happening, something we would dress up for or prepare for minutes, days, weeks, even months in advance. When Norma Desmond said she was “ready for her close-up” back in 1959, her character had spent decades preparing for it. Not so today. Today, most people barely dress up, or wear anything at all, to be on camera. Not only that, they post it instantaneously on the worldwide web for everyone and their grandmothers to see. Though, I do doubt the web-surfing abilities of most grandmothers. Close-ups are not hard to come by, and who needs Cecil B. Demille to shoot it for you, not when you can snap a selfie.

We are reminded recently of what was once special about the art of the moving picture when footage of a screen test Marlon Brando did for the movie, REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, surfaced.

15 minutes of fame has quickly become 15 minutes of non-fame (if some folks are lucky) because everyone is famous now. And a lot of people are famous for no particular reason. They are famous for the sake of being famous, an obvious, and perhaps unfortunate, byproduct of a culture in which everyone films themselves all of the time.

Our lives are quickly becoming the recordings of lives.

Human behavior is becoming a reenactment of a reenactment. The reflections of our lives that we post become reality, a reality that seeks the approval of a thousand strangers who determine the worth of our lives with one click of the “like” button.

Somewhere in between these two realities – that which resides in front of our eyes and that which resides in the wires behind a computer screen – is Taylor.

He is fact. He is fiction. He is Taylor.

DETOUR: Now On DVD!

My debut feature film, DETOUR, was released today on DVD through Kino Lorber.

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Here’s the lowdown: Trapped inside his car by a mudslide, slick Los Angeles businessman Jackson Alder suddenly finds himself in a situation he can’t talk his way out of.  With no hope of rescue, he must defy the odds, battling Mother Nature for his survival.

This also means the film is available on NetFlix.  Put the movie at the top of your queue and take the ride with Jackson.  I recommend watching it late at night, in a dark room, and with a sound system that includes a subwoofer.  We designed the home video experience to look, sound and feel like you are trapped in the car right there with him.

The rat’s rabbits are calling, the ladies and rabbits are calling…what are you waiting for?

The DVD is available for purchase on Amazon here:

http://www.amazon.com/Detour-Neil-Hopkins/dp/B00CBVWX5G/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1376422648&sr=8-3&keywords=detour

William Dickerson is Stephen Fry proof thanks to caching by WP Super Cache