Jun 08

DEVIL’S CATCH: THE MAKING OF A BOOK COVER, PART TWO

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Continued from PART ONE. You can read PART ONE HERE.

Cintia said yes.

Thankfully, she was agreeable to modifying one of her existing works for the purposes of a book cover. Interestingly enough, she had lent one of her other works for the cover for an Italian publication!

Our deal was simple: she agreed to revise her existing work, try a frog and locust on the lips to see which worked best for Devil’s Catch’s central image.

Cintia got it right on her first try. The worm and centipede were her idea. (If you like her work, check out her fashion designs on Quirky Me.)

Great! So I had the central image (above). Now what? How do you take a key image and turn it into a book cover proper?

By finding an experienced designer.

Luckily, I had one in mind.

Enter Philip Anderson.

Phil was the designer behind the Sex Ed logo and poster. He also designed the Corina Books logo and all the banners you see up top on my blog.

Phil is nothing if not versatile, as you can see by the many comps he sent me:

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Finally, Phil and I arrived at a cover that had the most impact for me. It just felt right: the right color, the right font choice (Birch btw), the right background, the right cropping of the face.

If you need any design services, may I heartily recommend Mr Philip Anderson (visit his site HERE).

Devil’s Catch is available on print and Kindle on Amazon.ernie-frankenstein-TimesNewRoman2

Jun 04

DEVIL’S CATCH – THE BOOK TRAILER (2015)

Play it LOUD:

 

Jun 03

DEVIL’S CATCH: THE MAKING OF A BOOK TRAILER

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I hate book trailers. You should too.

Most are God-awful, featuring really bad wanna-be actors directed by wanna-be directors who have no idea what the book is they’re adapting visually. Most book trailers fall under the categories of silly (anything comic), fake epic (fantasy roleplay performed in front of a green screen) or they overreach by creating a pseudo-movie trailer, in the hopes of getting the viewer’s blood up (is this a movie I missed?), only to yank the rug from under him when he realizes it’s a trailer for, of all things, a book! Few make a viewer want to pick up the book, which should be the first rule in any trailer attempt. None take into consideration of what the reader brings to the table, which is, in a word, imagination. And of course, the conventional wisdom is book trailers do not make one bit of difference whether a reader buys a book or not. It’s a vanity piece for the author, plain and simple.

So naturally, I wanted to make one. (Hey, I can be vain too!!)

The approach was simple: create a teaser.

The goal: set up a tone, or mystery, which leads up to an event, a surprising turn that would entice the viewer into finding out more. No actors. No dialogue. One location. One event.

The look would be as cinematic as possible. The end result would convey the feeling and tone of the book, without giving away plot or character details, so the feeling you got from the trailer is the feeling you get from the book.

In other words, the true definition of a teaser.

… but with locusts! Lots and lots of LOCUSTS!!!

The director was Brian Joseph Ochab. The cinematography was by Ace Underhill. Eduardo Moral provided the locusts and other effects. Nathan Lenz provided the radio, made from scratch. We shot it on April 19, 2013.

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The location was a cabin rental at Lake Arrowhead, CA. A beautiful secluded spot, the only drawback was climbing a flight of stone steps up and down twenty to thirty times during the day.

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Inside the cabin. Director Brian Joseph Ochab figures out where to place the radio.

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Our opening shot required a night setting and include a cabin. This proved very difficult to find in Los Angeles, so we decided to create one using a few templates. This is the Hollywood Reservoir.

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This is what it looked like after FX artist Eduardo Moral was done with it.

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Here’s Eduardo Moral showing us preliminary locust work.

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Nathan Lenz designed a console radio from scratch. The radio had to be menacing and feature a magic eye at the top center, like the old RCA console radios had.

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Some varnish, some knobs, one red flashlight and a paper center later (yes, the center dial is actually made of paper) we had a radio console that was camera-ready.

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Eduardo Moral of Dardo Productions demonstrates his build for the FX locusts.

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Eduardo Moral and Brian Joseph Ochab.

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Ace Underhill of Brilliant Screen Studios and his magical mysterious grip truck.

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And here’s where the flight of steps wrecks us. Three ton dolly anyone?

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Cinematographer Ace Underhill and AC Geoff Goodloe collaborate with director Brian Joseph Ochab on the money shot.

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The long tracking shot across the cabin was done in reverse in order to have better control over the image.

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A director in his natural habitat: in front of a monitor.

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Buy the eBook or print paperback HERE.

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Jun 03

I HAD A DREAM ONCE… NOW I AM HOLDING IT IN MY HAND

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May 18

DEVIL’S CATCH: THE MAKING OF A BOOK COVER, PART ONE

1653X2500_300DPIYou can’t judge a book by its cover. That’s for sure.

But you CAN buy one. I’ve done so many times. Haven’t you?

So, going by that theory, the book cover is the one of the most important creative decisions you can make.

It’s your port of entry. Your visual ambassador to the universe.

What must it do?

I believe it must convey the mood, the tone,  and the style of your story, without being cluttered or confusing… and it has to trigger an emotion upon the reader strong enough to have him or her pick it up – or click it to find out more detail.

So how best to showcase a young adult horror gore fest sex comedy… for kids?

The mandate was twofold: find something that was gross but funny, and find something you could see from across the room and still have it register, even as a tiny thumbnail.

Basically, I was looking for one simple image. What that image was, I had no idea.

But I knew I would find it when I saw it. So I went shopping…

The Search

anabagayansilence18x24oilonwood3200The best site to find freelance artists is DeviantArt. You could spend hours running through all the artist galleries there; one image leads to another, and soon you are combing through portfolios from artists around the world. A few keywords later (scary, funny, bugs) and I was on the hunt for a key image and a sane artist behind it.

I had landed on the image of a fly on a character’s nose beforehand. Devil’s Catch is about the doings of a group of teenagers having sex in the woods and encoutering all Ten Plagues of Egypt during their weekend (flies, frogs, locusts, etc.).

I had remembered The Silence of the Lambs poster art featuring the characters with moths for lips. Spooky, right? Googling the poster, I came across this work by Ana Bagayan (left). Eerie, provocative, haunting, memorable…

… but not exactly funny, which I needed to convey to the reader.

 lunalouise - morgan_and_the_bee_by_lunalouise-d4aioqjDigging further, I came across this work on DeviantArt by Audrey Benjaminsen (right). 

Now we’re cooking! This conveys humor and a lightheartedness that’s in my book…

… but it’s not exactly frightening, which I needed to convey to the reader.

Sigh.

Yes, dear reader, I was looking for something humorous and lighthearted AND intense and frightening. All in one image.

Impossible you say?

Enter Cintia Gonzalvez.

wasp___my_little_nightmare_by_undinecg-d22w5eqElegant, colorful, striking-looking and with a strong anime influence, Cintia’s work (see it HERE) is a standout. Her art is fun, memorable and… just a teeny bit, well, disturbing.

Perfect!

The work above is called “Wasp.”

Then I found this (below):

i_can__t_tell_you_by_undinecg-d3aqj0vThe piece above is called “I can’t tell you.”

And I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

It wasn’t for the zipper, which is fun. No, my head was swimming with possibilities, replacing the Silence of the Lambs wasp with a frog or locust and mashing it with Cintia’s amazing red-haired green-eyed frightened beauty.

One of my favorite horror book covers was Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. I imagined what it would look like with Cintia’s redhead and a baby frog on her nose. Would it work?

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You bet it would!

I wondered if she accepted commissions.She did.

Did she live in Los Angeles? When could I meet her?

Oh. She lived in Barcelona. Spain. A far distance for collaboration. But her work was not only good – it was right.

Could I trust her? And, more importantly, could she trust me?

I HAD to contact her…!

CONTINUED IN PART TWO

Apr 12

SEX ED, WELCOME TO THE 200K CLUB

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You plugged the show back in. See what all the fuss is about HERE.

 

Apr 09

YOUR SEX ED FAQs ANSWERED

As our YouTube channel reaches 200K subscribers (wow!!!!!!!!), I thought I’d address some of the questions found in the comments section. Of course, you can always reach me on Twitter or on my official Facebook page and I’ll do my best to reply quickly. But first, let me express my gratitude for your viewership and your passion about the show. People are listening… and watching. My dream is making more of this show, and thanks to you being vocal and lending us your support, that dream may be happening. Soon!

 

Question 1. “WTF is this bullshit”

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Answer:

This bullshit is a dramedy – Degrassi High meets American Pie and The Breakfast Club. It was shot in 2008, hit the fest circuit in 2009, was broadcast on Koldcast TV in 2010, nominated for a Streamy Award and a Webby Award.

 It’s meant to be funny, with smart-alecky witty dialogue that leads to significant insight (it gets heavy toward the end). The Festival Cut comes closest to a “final version,” but people like the 60 minute 6-part version, which tends to ramble.

It’s definitely against the web series norm of two-minute comedic improv/snippets. My goal was to create a series more in the vein of a multi-layered television show reminiscent of the kind of shows I grew up on.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 17

SOME OF MY FAVORITE SEX ED YOUTUBE COMMENTS (PART ONE)

addtext_com_MTc1NjAwNjc4NzII will admit it. I read every single comment. Even the spam. And there is a LOT of spam. Why? Well, I like spam. Also, I want to see what people are thinking and reacting to.

When I first uploaded the YouTube videos a few years ago, I fully expected to get blasted by trolls who would expose every single flaw and blemish of the show and who would not see the intent behind it.

Strangely enough, that did not happen. People got it. Sure, people did not get everything (yes, the black guy is in fact cutting himself), but they started commenting and, in some cases, debating (did the teacher really have cancer? What is the difference between the body and the soul? How much juice is in that juice box really?). As a creator, I could not have asked for a better or more favorable response.

I also realized I had to make more episodes. Pronto. (More on that later)

Let me share some comments that made me do a double-take.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 23

BEST. CHRISTMAS. PRESENT. EVER.

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We made it. You found it. You watched it. You subscribed.

We can only go up from here.

Happy holidays to all who are a part of this. Thank you all for a wonderful 2014.

Please help spread the word and subscribe and like us.

The best is yet to come.

Fingers crossed.

Oct 17

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: “IS WEB SERIES ‘SEX ED’ HEADED TO TV?”

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Matt Barr (Dean) and Stevie Ryan (Eileen) from Sex Ed: The Series.

Acclaimed YouTube series “Sex Ed” surpasses 50 million international views in under a year with viewers demanding more. This Webby- and Streamy-nominated show was selected by TV Guide Magazine in their weekly Top 10 “What’s Worth Watching.”

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“Why isn’t this show on TV?” asks a commenter on YouTube, on the last episode of the web series SEX ED: THE SERIES.

“Why did you stop?” asks another. “Please make more.”

Another YouTube viewer commented that the show’s ending brought her “to tears.”

Ernie Vecchione, creator and producer of SEX ED: THE SERIES, refreshes his YouTube analytics page. “Last night we picked up a million views.”

SEX ED is an American comedy web series created, written and co-produced by Ernie Vecchione and directed and co-produced by Tamela D’Amico of La Strega Entertainment. It was originally conceived as a television pilot and later made into a six part web series on its official YouTube channel.

“By 2013, we had a little over a million views for the entire show,” Vecchione says, who has written screenplays for HBO and Miramax. “Now we’ve surpassed 50 million viewers with 100,000 subscribers from all over the world. In just under a year, we found 49 million viewers.”

While the United States consists of the majority of viewers, viewership has reached countries from the United Kingdom to India to the United Emirates.

Mr. Vecchione adds, “It has yet to plateau.”

SEX ED revolves around the lives of eight college students and their manic professor, portrayed by Emmy nominated and Golden Globe winner Joanna Cassidy (SIX FEET UNDER, BLADE RUNNER). The students get more than they bargained for when their professor forces the students to pair up and make clay sculptures of each other’s genitals. Read the rest of this entry »

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