Morganville Cast and Partnership

Our cast for Morganville has officially been announced in the Hollywood Reporter along with our partnership with Felicia Day's company Geek & Sundry. We're actually shooting the show right now (started principle photog today), so a lot going on! Here's a link to the article: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/geek-sundry-adds-vampire-adaptation-694310 More news on the show soon... Blake

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CONTINUUM SEASON 2 Now Available on VOD

Season 2 of my award-winning digital SciFi series CONTINUUM is now available via Vimeo On Demand...



You can choose to rent for $3.99 or buy in HD for $9.99. Just watch the free preview trailer above and make your selection. You'll be redirected to Vimeo's website to make a purchase (unless you're logged in at Vimeo, I think).

This is 50 mins. total running time that encompasses all nine episodes woven together with the sound design and score re-edited to play continuously.

One really cool thing about Vimeo is if you have an Apple TV or Roku or similar that offers the Vimeo app, then you can buy the show and watch it on your home HDTV.

Oh, and here's Season 1 if you haven't seen it...

Thanks!
Blake

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True Art in "True Detective"

With two small kids at home I don't get to watch a lot of TV. Actually let me be clear. I don't get to watch a lot of "grown-up TV". I watch tons of Disney Channel and Nick Jr.

Recently though I've made it a point to catch up on past series and watch some current shows - this all usually happening after 10pm on weeknights once the kids (and the wife) are asleep. Luckily I don't have a real job being a freelance producer/director, so I don't normally have to get up too early. :)

On weekends I do watch some shows with my wife though, too. Mainly we're catching up on "Breaking Bad" (she's addicted to it). We're in the middle of Season 3 thanks to Netflix streaming.  We also watch "Homeland" together and we did watch "Dexter", until that series ended recently.

My all-time favorite series is HBO's "The Sopranos", which I used to watch religiously, but that was before kids and seems like a thousand years ago. Now my favorite show by far is another HBO drama, "True Detective".  I get to watch it time-shifted (since I'm otherwise busy with "Octonauts") because of HBO OnDemand and HBOGO.

I tend to go towards the darker shows as I think you can tell my some of the ones I've mentioned here, and "True Detective" definitely fits in that category. But it's not dark for the sake of being dark. It's just a gripping dark tale because it's a great story with great writing, great acting, great cinematography and great directing, etc. I can't say enough great things about this show.

Here's a cool article with the DP Adam Arkapaw about why he chose to shoot 35mm.

Here's a good interview with the director Cary Fukunaga about the now famous 6-minute "oner" (a single shot) that ends episode 4 in a housing project (mild spoilers).

And here's a nice behind-the-scenes look at the making of the show:



The show is True Art from top to bottom and I highly recommend you watch it. If you don't have HBO, then this is a great reason to add it.

One day I hope the HBOGO app will let you buy shows a la carte, it would be a huge money make for HBO I think, and limit piracy a lot (I realize why they don't do this yet, but I think that might change in a few years). Give the content to people when they want it for a fair price and people will buy it. But this is for a different post.

If you love the craft of filmmaking and a great story then "True Detective" should be on the top of your list.

-Blake

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PHOBIA Now on Hulu!

Great news for our feature film PHOBIA... it's now available on Hulu and Hulu Plus!



If the above embed doesn't show up in your browser, here is a direct link:
http://www.hulu.com/watch/587766

So, you can watch it for FREE right now on Hulu. The more people that watch the longer it will stay on Hulu and the better for us, the filmmakers. If you didn't know, this was a Texas-made film that I produced and edited... Jon Keeyes directed... and Anne Gibson wrote and executive produced. The rest of the amazing crew & cast can be found here on the IMDb page.

The movie is also available to buy on DVD and to buy or rent on iTunes and Amazon Prime.  After the Hulu run we'll be releasing it on Netflix.

Thanks for the support!
-Blake

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DIG Sundance Short Film

Check out and support this short film "Dig" from a friend of mine, Toby Halbrooks, who wrote and directed this - he also produced David Lowery's award-winning short "Pioneer" from a few years back, and then his feature film "Ain't Them Bodies Saints".

Great to see so much good work coming from Texas...




-Blake

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2014 IAWTV Award Nominations

My digital series Continuum received 3 nominations today for the 2014 IAWTV Awards...

Best Score - Damon Criswell
Best Visual FX - Element X Creative (and Chad Briggs VFX Supervisor)
Best Art Direction - Eric Whitney

As a side note, Eric won last year in this category. That probably means he has no chance this year. :)

Here's a complete list of the nominees.  The show is January 7th in Las Vegas.

UPDATE:  We won two of the awards!!! BEST SCORE and BEST ART DIRECTION

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Digital Juice - Free Spirit Camera Stabilizer

Recently bought the Free Spirit Stabilizer from Digital Juice and decided to do an unboxing video since I couldn't find one on YouTube for it...



Digital Juice Free Spirit Camera Stabilizer - Unboxing from Blake Calhoun on Vimeo.

I've been testing the rig with my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and will post some results soon. The thing I'll say now is it's not exactly easy to use.

Stay tuned... :)

-Blake

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RAW is Here on the Blackmagic Pocket

I've been having a good time shooting with the new BMPCC and just learned today that the latest firmware update includes the elusive RAW recording setting...


This is good news, however, I gotta say that the ProRes HQ recording option looks REALLY GREAT and so I was actually not missing RAW like I might on the big brother camera to this one, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, as the RAW there is for it's 2.5k shooting mode - which makes a big difference over 1080 HD, I find (you can't record ProRes in the 2.5k mode - although it would be nice if you could... Rumor has it you will be able to on the 4k camera they're releasing - one day).

So long story short, the Pocket shoots 1080 only in both ProRes or RAW and looks amazing. I don't say that lightly either. It really does look great. Hard to believe coming from a $1000 camera.... But, glass makes a big impact on this rig (and on most I guess), so using good lenses is imperative.

I've been using a Metabones adapter with vintage Nikon F mount glass that looks nice and creamy, but I seem to get a decent amount of smearing or motion blur - more than I'm used to, even back when I shot 16mm film and used lenses with no image stabilization.  So, I bought a Panasonic MFT zoom with IS and I must say, it looks NICE.  The images are smoother and surprisingly sharp.

I will post some footage from this camera soon. But in the meantime, if you'd like to see a book trailer I directed that was shot on the full BMCC, here it is...



PRINCE OF SHADOWS Book Trailer (Shot on BMCC 2.5k with Rokinon Cine Primes) from Blake Calhoun on Vimeo.

Oh, and here's a cool blurb on none other than io9 about the above trailer. Very cool. :)

Talk soon.
-Blake

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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera (has arrived!)

A lot has been written about this camera, but just a few folks have actually gotten to shoot with it... I happen to be one of the lucky ones who have.



I pre-ordered my camera the day it was announced at NAB back in April.

I got the camera two weeks ago.

Funny thing is I didn't even have a lens that would work with it. It's a MFT (micro four-thirds) mount and I mainly own Canon EF mount lenses. So, when I got it I had to order a lens! That took a week... then when it arrived, it actually didn't fit correctly on the mount.  Bummer. I'm not sure if it was the camera or the lens, but I have read some folks are having trouble with a few select lenses mounting correctly. A flange/machining issue of some kind.  So I sent it back.

Then inspiration struck.

I remembered I had a set of prime Nikon F mount lenses. I bought them off eBay years ago for a Letus adapter (remember those?) to use on my Canon XH-A1. They are vintage manual lenses from the 1960s.

So instead of buying another MFT lens, I bought a Metabones MFT to Nikon F Mount adapter.  I just got it today and I must say, it is really nice. Very well built. Solid.  And it fits on the camera perfectly. And then the Nikon glass fits perfectly on it. I love it.

I've shot some test stuff, but nothing I'm ready to post on Vimeo. But I'll just say, this camera really reminds me of an ARRI SR2 or SR3. Not the handling of it. The image. It is very Super 16mm in look and texture.  Blackmagic calls it a "Super 16 Digital Film Camera" and I actually think that is correct.

I will post some footage once I get something I think looks good. And I'm going to do my best to not just post a string of random test shots cut to a funky music track. :)

-Blake


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Magic

Watch this (no CGI added later, all shot in camera with projection mapping and robotics)...


Box from Bot & Dolly on Vimeo.

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A New GenreTainment Interview

I recently did another interview with a cool genre-based podcast (blog radio show) called GenreTainment that talks with creators of web series, feature films, etc.

We chat about Continuum, Pink, Morganville-The Series and Phobia!

Here's a blurb from their intro...

For today’s episode of GenreTainment we welcome back filmmaker & web series creator Blake Calhoun. He has created award winning web series like Pink, TheWB.com’s Exposed, and Continuum.

He chats with us about those projects, plus tell us about his new vampire thriller feature length film Phobia and his upcoming web series MorganvilleMorganville is based on the best selling book series by the same name. It also has vampires and even a former Buffy the Vampire Slayer actress who will be starring it.


Calhoun also shares some tips on creating a web series and managing a Kickstarter campaign.
Check it out here.

Thanks,
Blake

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PHOBIA Now Available!

PHOBIA is now available!  Please look for it OnDemand at most US and Canadian cable and TV providers such as AT&T U-Verse and Time Warner.

ALSO, here's the iTunes link and the Amazon link to watch instantly.

This is an independent period drama produced in Dallas, Texas - not exactly an easy thing to pull off - but I think we did it with the help of our great cast and crew... specifically Deborah Gerard (costume designer) and Eric Whitney (production designer). Our locations scout/manager Mark Mahlo contributed big time as well.  If you're making a period drama and the wardrobe or the sets or the locations don't fit - the movie doesn't work.  These guys made it work.

Of course Jon Keeyes our director did an amazing job collaborating with these folks to put it all together.  And lastly, Anne Gibson our writer and Executive Producer created the world on the page and then helped bring it to life by bringing financing to the table. It definitely takes a group of people to make it all click.

Hope you'll check out the film!



Thanks,
Blake

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PHOBIA Release and Trailer

UPDATE: The movie is now available!  Please look for it OnDemand at most US and Canadian cable and TV providers such as AT&T U-Verse and Time Warner.

ALSO, here's the iTunes link and the Amazon link to watch instantly. Thanks!
--------------------------------------------------------------

The feature film PHOBIA that I produced and edited, and that Jon Keeyes directed will premiere on cable VOD and iTunes September 1st!

VOD outlets: AT&T U-Verse, Cox Cable, Charter On Demand, Verizon FiOS, Mediacom, Insight, RCN Cable, Optimum Cable, Dish Network, Armstrong Cable, Rogers On Demand (Canada), Shaw Cable (Canada), Cogeco Cable (Canada) and EastLinkTV (Canada)


iVOD outlets: iTunes, GooglePlay, Playstation Network, Vudu, Amazon Video and XBox.


Here's the trailer...



And here are some images that can be posted on Facebook pages as Cover Artwork to help us promote the release...




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SciFi Riot and Continuum

I've partnered with a new sci-fi YouTube Channel called SciFi Riot to release Season 2 of Continuum. They get a 14 day exclusive on YouTube, then I will also put the episodes on the main Continuum channel.

Here are the first two eps in Season 2... (embeds not available right now):

Ep 10
http://youtu.be/oxxCa6qPQyc

Ep 11
http://youtu.be/Aem7BxxGXsw

More coming soon...

-Blake

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Amber Benson Playing a Vampire!?!

So yes, you read that right... Amber Benson of 'Buffy' fame will be playing a vampire in our show instead of slaying vampires. :)



If you didn't know, Amber has officially attached herself to play Amelie (the founder of Morganville) in our adaptation of The Morganville Vampires book series into a web series called Morganville: The Series.

We're very excited to have her involved.  But of course, the Kickstarter campaign has to fund first. Today we crossed the $25k mark towards our goal of $75k... so we're 1/3rd of the way!

Here is some nice coverage of Amber's involvement in the campaign and hopefully the series.

And here is the link to our actual Kicstarter campaign page.

We've got some really interesting rewards too. For only $40 you can get a digital copy of the script, exclusive postcard artwork and an HD download of Season 1.  Or for those with deeper pockets, the $500 level you get all of the above plus a complete set of all 15 Morganville books autographed by Rachel Caine the author, along with a DVD, a poster and I forget what else. It's a lot.

So please help if you can!  A tweet or FB post is almost as good as becoming a financial backer. Almost. :)

Thanks!
Blake

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Who Am I?

I'm a filmmaker who's produced & directed five feature films including the comedy SPILT MILK (available on iTunes), the new horror/thriller PHOBIA (on iTunes) and the action/thiller KILLING DOWN (which you can buy or rent at pretty much all the usual places).

I also created the Streamy and Webby award-winning web series PINK, which to date has been viewed online around 10 MILLION times at places like YouTube, Hulu, Koldcast and TheWB.com. And speaking of TheWB.com, I also produced and directed an online thriller for them called EXPOSED. It was released summer 2010. And most recently I created a new online sci-fi series called CONTINUUM, which is part of the online indie TV network JTS.tv - Just The Story and NOW available via VOD through indie platform Distrify.

Oh, and I don't shoot weddings. Thanks for asking though.

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