Golden Hour Approaches

Golden Hour approaches. The moment of reckoning, when our IndieGoGo campaign ends. For those just now tuning into this site, my name is Anne Lower. That rhymes with “Flower.”

I am an independent filmmaker living in Los Angeles.

I made the move to indie film b/c I felt myself creatively castrated by the studio system. I was tired of the cookie-cutter approach towards storytelling, and as a female filmmaker, I encountered resistance in others to placing faith in me. So, I decided to make my own project.

I wanted to write about social issues: addiction, violence against women, the sex trade industry, isolation, poverty and corporate greed. And, as a resident of a city where millions live, but few know their neighbors, I decided to create a world of outsiders… I decided the ultimate outsider would be a supernatural being. And so the world of “They Live Among Us” was born.

Part gothic romance, part urban horror and part film noir, TLAU tells the story of supernatural beings –  fallen angels and spirits, and the mortals they love. Set against the backdrop of Los Angeles, it explores a grittier side of the city. The mean streets. Raymond Chandler meets Stephen King, in a place known as the City of Angels.

Going indie means that you have to acquire your own funding. And so, I turned to crowdfunding.

We are trying to raise $600 / per minute for our little dream project. Many films cost close to 1 mil per minute. If you want to see what I can do with little, please watch Ep 1-3, which we made this for 12k combined.

For the next installments, I must improve sound and lighting, and the safety for cast and crew. We have to have insurance… and we have to have permits. LA is a very expensive place to shoot in! But the city is a character in the story – an integral one at that.

I am so grateful to all who have donated! And I am asking others to dig into their sofas, their cars and their pockets. $15 goes a long way!

I am so grateful to be surrounded by such a generous and talented cast and crew. I love them all. Every one.

Going indie means that you have the freedom to come work from the heart – and the soul. And that’s what I’ve done! I even Tweeted non-stop for 72 hours last week – without sleep – to share my dream project with you. And, I tweeted Naked. 🙂

Working on 12k meant we encountered some dangerous situations. Here was 1 night I wrote about for Film Courage. I also blogged about that night, about what it was like to work with such personal content and raw emotion.

Take a look at the articles. Watch the episodes on my site. Listen to my interview on Cutting Room Floor.  For your amusement, take a look at the Tweet-a-thon vids. All made in fun, all for the love of  “They Live Among Us.” And don’t forget to read about my encounter with a possible real-earth angel.

Then, visit our IndieGoGo campaign, and please consider making a donation. By doing so, you’re joining our tribe.

Pledges begin at $1. If, at this point, you don’t want to pledge… I’d like to know why! Email Me . We have had over 12,450 referrals to our campaign. If each of those people pledged $1 we would now be beyond goal… and I’d be blogging about the script, the story and the characters instead of raising money.

Thank you for all of your support of this dream project.

~ anne

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Tweet-a-thon 2012!

Today marks the launch of the TLAU / #ohchat Tweeetathon2012.Sponsored by the team at Office Hooky, I will be Tweeting live from @princess_scribe 24 hours a day for the next 3 days. No, I will not be using scheduled Tweets. It will be me, HRH, live and in the flesh.

We’ve a lot of fun planned: Q & A sessions, some games to play, and of course, Naked Tweets every day.

All of this is being done to raise funds for the next 3 Episodes of “They Live Among Us.” The script is locked down; the cast and crew are chomping at the bit. All that’s holding us back is a mere $15k in funding.

So swing on by! To participate, simply follow #ohchat – and be certain to use this hashtag with all of your Tweets directed towards me, so I will know that you are in the session. I’m Princess Scribe, and I’ll be wearing high-heels, a tiara, and a smile.

Here’s the schedule:

 

Hour Activity
10:00 – 11:00 Hello and about the Tweet-a-thon
12:00 – 3:00 Open topic Tweeting / Guest drop ins
3:00 – 4:00 Naked time. Naked truth about Indie filmmaking.
4:00 – 5:00 Campaign Updates; encourage all to watch Ep 1, 2 , 3 (Day 1 – 1 Day 2 – 2 Day 3 – 3)
5:00 – 7:00 Post viewing Q & A / TLAU cast/crew drop in
7:00 – 9:00 Hashtag games revolving around cinema titles – mashups, less ambitious titles, incongruous sequels, etc
9:00 – midnight Open topic Tweeting
Midnight – 3:00 Daily drawings Hello and Tweet-a-thon for UK / EU
3:00 – 4:00 UK / EU Naked time.
4:00 – 5:00 Campaign Updates; encourage viewing
5:00 – 7:00 Post Viewing Q & A
7:00 – 10:00 Open Topic / Games

 

 

Film Courage

I’ve written a great deal about the experience of “They Live Among Us” from a writer’s perspective; I’ve written in-depth about the characters, the world, the conflicts and dilemmas.

Today, you can read about the production. My article “Going Indie Takes Courage” just went live on the Film Courage site.

I detailed our Martini Shot day, from start to finish. It began, as any other day, filled with hope and promise…

 

Click here.

Enjoy!

Winds of Change

I’m viewing the final cut of Episode Three, Let’s Do Lunch. The launch was delayed by Santa Ana winds, which roared through L.A. like one of King Lear’s storms, downing trees and triggering massive power outages some of which are just now being resolved.

It’s an odd feeling, watching something that you have crafted, come to life. I created this world… and yet, I find myself worried for those who live in it.

I want to tell Jimmy to go easy; to savor this time with Beth, for there may not be another. I want to hold Alex’s hand and lead him out of his dark state. His deal with the devil may prove to be too much for him.

I long to stand with Peg, all alone, in the dark, and help her to find her way out of that horrible place… and I wish that I could give Ted comfort. I want to ease his pain, the unbearable isolation of being all alone…

…instead I plunge headfirst into pages, into new chapters of these character’s lives. I walk the lonely streets with Caim. I know the depth of pain that resides within his heart. I watch Serafina as she returns to the only life she knows, as she once again dances to the beat of her tortured tango with Rocco. I’ve been away from my characters during this final push-through to post, and I long for them to wrap me in an embrace.

 

The Faces of They Live Among Us

You’ve been reading about the characters who live among us. Here are the wonderful actors who are giving them life (in no particular order – consider this a casting roundtable, L. to R.). Click on the pic to see them more up close and personal:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAIM: Geoffrey M. Reeves

SERAFINA: Ivet Corvea

FATHER BUER: Rolf Saxon

LUCIAN: Allen Marsh

CRAIG: James Thomas Gilbert

ALEX: Erik Kowalski

BETH: Jessica Nicole Webb

SAM: Don Shirey

JIMMY: Justin Baker

PEG: Kendra Munger

TED: David Stanford

BELIALA: Marcia French

LILLITH: Nina Rausch

ROCCO: Terence J. Rotolo

The Man in the Bar

The Paradise Bar is like many watering holes. It’s a place to drown sorrows. A place to debate the meaning of life. A place to go to be amongst others – anonymously… and that’s where the man in the bar comes in.

We first see the man in the opening scene of the Paradise. There he is, in his regular seat, a bottle of Jim Beam in one hand, his fedora next to the other. He is quiet, this man in the bar; he eavesdrops on the lives of others, but offers no clue about himself. Even if he wanted to, he could not, for the man in the bar is a ghost.

His name is Sam. He never gives his last name… but I have a feeling that I know it.

Sam was a P.I. in Hollywood, in the 40s. He enjoyed the company of dames and drink. He took the usual cases – philandering spouses, runaway heiresses, the occasional murder-for-hire. Ruthless and greedy, he’d take money from anyone – and shed no tears for anyone’s pain. He cashed the checks with a smile.  He consoled lonely wives with relish. That was, until the first week of January of 1947. That was when there was a knock on his door – a knock that changed his world.

A man stood in the doorway; middle-aged, clothes threadbare, his hands trembled with palsy. He placed a picture on Sam’s desk – the picture of a young woman. A raven-haired beauty with startling blue eyes. It was his daughter – and she had disappeared. He gave Sam what little money he had, and begged him to find her. Her name was Elizabeth.

Something shifted in Sam’s universe. Perhaps it was his longing for his own daughter, estranged from him, along with her mother, by his devotion to his job – and the women that came with it.

Sam took the case, and began pounding the streets of Downtown L.A., where Elizabeth was last seen. He followed her trail to the Biltmore hotel, where she had gone to meet a man – and there, the case went cold. He found no trace of her – until the morning of January 15, when he woke to find her picture splashed across the city papers. The headlines screamed “Sex Fiend Slaying Victim Found – Detectives describe butcher scene as worst ever,” and indeed it was.

The victim’s last name was Short. Elizabeth Short, also known as the Black Dahlia.

For the next five years, Sam devoted his life to finding her killer. He took no other clients; he became obsessed with the case – wandering the crime scene over and over again, combing through cold cases and criminal records. Each night, he’d end his self-made shift at the Paradise, his ever faithful Jim Beam at his side.

His obsession took its inevitable toll, and on August 17, 1952, Sam was found dead in his office/apartment, the victim of a coronary.

Sam, ever pugnacious, refused to surrender to death. He vowed to find Elizabeth’s killer, and so, here he sits, night after night in the Paradise, going over the facts of the case, laying out rows of suspect, untangling webs of alibis, searching, sniffing for the truth.

Something in Sam’s life – and in the lives of others – is about to change. For soon, another young woman will be found dead, exactly as Elizabeth was. Same modus operandi – dismembered, mutilated, beaten. The girl could be Elizabeth’s twin sister. This discovery, this sickening crime lures Sam out of his ghostly dream-world and propels him into this life.

And so, with Sam, yet another story thread begins.

Like A Moth To The Flame

When we last saw Caim and Serafina, he had brought her to the safety of his home. Once again, the lovers have met.

I’ve been wondering a lot about this scene, as I immerse myself into these final pre-production rewrites. I know that Serafina has no memory of Caim; and yet, perhaps there is something deep within her that does. I wonder if she senses the connection between them, the eternity that they have shared together, only to be torn apart again and again. I wonder if she fears this connection, for its power is overwhelming. I fear it may drive her back to Rocco.

I crouch in the far corner of Caim’s warehouse-turned-home. My eyes are on him as he watches Serafina sleep. I wonder what he is feeling inside –  is it joy or is it anguish that washes over him as his mind turns over and over the eons of relentless punishment? Last time, losing her drove him into madness. It took years to pull him out, decades.

I believe that this reunion is bittersweet. I watch Caim as Serafina wakes. My heart breaks, for I know he yearns to touch her… and yet,  this touch has the power to undo him.

It’s a particular kind of torment, to be drawn to another, almost against one’s will, like a moth to the flame. I close my eyes and hope that this time, Caim can save her. Last time, he lost his sanity. This time, he could lose his soul.