"Black" Julio Acuña Formador

Now Julio Acuña Formador tells us about his comic "Black":


Black was born when I was thirteen. I'd dream with a superhero inspired by the Tim Burton's Batman and Carl Macek's Robotech (is very strange the mixture but I was a child). But with the years the concept did change and it did discover in me the love to write histories. In 1997 the concept did changes to actual version and continues today.

The essence of comic also change. At the first I'd only want draw a modern superhero and I dream to publish in USA. But with the years change this way and now I write over the living of a Chilean teenagers and the mistakes of the youth. In Black these characters live, love, fear, cry and grow. For me, Black characters are my children, and I think that when I write comics and I think that they feel the readers. And I believe that is the reason of their success.

I admire many artists. First, the chileans: Themo Lobos (Ogú and Mampato), Mario igor (Sigfrifo, Mizomba the Untouchable) and Genzoman (Ilustrator). I included Lucho Olivera (Gilgamesh the Inmortal), Ruben Meriggi (Wolf, Crazy Jack), Ariel Olivetti (Cazador), Mandrafina (Savaresse), Toppi (Thalerg), Nik (Gaturro) and Quino (Mafalda).

I am a bit reserved about the future of the distribution of comics, because I am no expert on the subject. But I can give a personal opinion about Chile. Chile still depend of paper. The digital comic progresses, but do not know the future of it. I know in the USA today the digital dot is the favorite, but Chile still buys printed comics books. Here downloading illegal editions of the fans and then buy the same comic but printed. An editorial in Chile that is publishing Marvel and DC titles has shown. Chile loves the printed comics books.

The printed matter is the real support to comics books but has a cost publish. In Chile there are not many comic book publishers and the Chilean authors use the autofinancing to publish their works independently (I am one of them). The positive side in all this is that with the printed publication will have a faster response from the reader and having your comic and immediately contact the author and the comic is provided to buyer friends. Thus produces a secure distribution network.

The digital format is good to the distribution and it's free publish. Only needs scanner or inlink, a graphic program and a internet connection and done. But as I said limits are slow Internet in Chile and it's difficult to work with plataforms like HTML5 (Wix, for example) and should work with platforms like Blogger or Wordpress. The rest is advertising on social networks like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. The upside of this is that work expands to the world faster than print and other countries know of our works.

Anyway, I plan to publish Black in USA. So, this year the English version of the comic will be published to expand so the first step is coming soon.

In these three years of publication there are many anecdotes. The Black's fans have an important place in the collection. They comment and give ideas for the series. For example the problem with the girls. Readers love or hate the protagonists girls (Claudia or Ines) and discuss their interactions or Eric who should stay with him or find another girl who loves him. It is very funny and comforting. Also fans help me with specific things. For example, a fan helps me with scientific information to be used in Black. So from this season that information that appears in comic books.

In the Chilean comics conventions who I did go are repeats the facts I said before: Fans comment and give ideas for the series and they feel good to hear that. It is very important to listen to readers.  They are the life of a collection because they reads and decide if your work lives or dies.

And yes, the characters are based in real persons. Eric I am in the High School. Alberto, the Boogie Man is based in my friend of High School, Alfredo Santana. Victor is a former bad boy who told me: "Teddyyyyyy...". Claudia is another case. She is based on several girls that I liked in the past. But, Ines is based in a part of me (the Christian side) and Winora Ryder in Lucas, the movie.

In Black works two persons: my fiancee Loredanne and me. I write, draw, ink and apply the screen patterns and Loredanne is the editor in chief. 

Really, Black is the work of my life.

"Survivors" Diego López

Now Diego López tells us about his movie "Survivors":

This short film was shot in two days during an intensive weekend. We use the garage into the house of the principal actor. The site was used to recreate a neglected warehouse. My intention was to shoot a short film with a simple camera in video mode, but one of the actresses lent me her Canon T3i and so I accepted.


The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic world and invaded by aliens. Therefore, people hide, but there are betrayals among them by a "special" situation that happens in the story.


The editing did take me a long time. I made it in my spare time.

This short film is part of a collaborative project on the Web to make a feature film called Space-Time Experiment. This is a transmedia. Hopefully people will want to participate.


Watch shortfilm:



"Space-Time Experiment"


This is a collaborative and web project continually evolving. It's about the adventures of a time traveler, the Doctor Vernemov.
Writers, filmmakers, musicians, etc... who want to participate in this project can join here.

"Nova" Ezequiel Romero & Bruno Teixidor

ciencia ficción

Now Ezequiel Romero, one of the directors, tells us about his movie "Nova":

Nova is kind of an experiment: it was shot in 24 hours and all the dialogues are improvisations. I had the idea of a world first celebrating the beauty and later dying because of the effects of arrival of the light of a distant supernova. To be able of shoot one hour in a day, we divided the crew in two teams, each following one of the main characters. We used Canon 5D's, mostly because we had easy and cheap access to them. The photography you can see in Nova is all incidental, born from the efforts of our DOPs of reach a pro or semi-pro look at zero cost and having almost no lightning (remember we had no time to set up the scenes, we only had 24 hours, so we had to shoot fast!)

All the resources, props, permissions, catering... came from the director's pockets. The whole movie is made with about 500 bucks. Nova is an experiment born from our simple and pure love for filmmaking.

post apocalito

(SPOILER ALERT here, don't continue if you haven't seen the film) We only shared the beginning and the end scenes, where we reunited all the characters. As the script changed while we were shooting, pushed by the actor's improvisations, we realized we had no control over the ending. At some time, I called Bruno (the other director) and told him: "mate, we've just killed our main character. I'm afraid you'll have to invent another ending".

For us it's hard to prophetize the future of distribution. We have to educate our audience to make them willing to pay again for watching films, make them understand that they cannot exist without their support, but at the time, we cannot price our films as high as they were before the previous model's crisis, in a time where technology and reproductibility were expensive. Videogames and music indie developers have evolved better, maybe we should put an eye on them.

Watch full movie:

"The 2nd Horseman" Arthur Cross

The 2nd Horseman
As an ultra fan of scifi and action movies, the peruvian director Arthur Cross felt a natural need to create something that combined those two genres, despite the fact that neither of them were often explored in his own country.

Science fiction is a genre that allows to explore the relationship between humanity and the universe. And more often than not, the difference in scale between these two elements. Humanity as mere speck of light in the vast impossible void of time and space.

With that in mind, The 2nd Horseman tells the story of the struggle between two factions vying for control over a single girl, who holds the destiny of mankind in her hands after returning from an alternate dimension.

Though the filming is still in progress, the trailer put together with early footage showed favorable reactions in the public. Proving this blend of genres is something people want, even in Peru.

The 2nd Horseman
Using independent film making techniques and resources such as the popular Canon 5D Mk2 and Mk3, a wheelchair for a dolly and applying lots and lots of post production wizardry, The 2nd Horseman production team strives to optimize resources to crank out the best production value despite the inherent adversity of working a project of this kind.

Luckily, the internet helps breaks down many of these difficulties, such as providing know-how, tips, strategies, information and even expanding the possibilities for independent movies to secure an audience. New means of exhibition are made available through streaming services, and indie films can easily find their way into international festivals via digital transfers.

The 2nd Horseman
It could be said that there is a bright future ahead for indies, and as science fiction becomes science fact, we look forward to the new film-making, post production and network technologies that will even expand our horizons even more.

Watch trailer:

"Rosario necesita heroes" Daniel Del Grande

Rosario necesita heroes
An astral war.
Rosario necesita heroes

Now Daniel Del Grande tells us about his webseries "Rosario necesita héroes":

The camera is an old Kodak made mainly for taking pictures of 7 megapixels, I think. I don't have it on me right now, but the video mode for this model is very basic and not as good as the photo mode. It was what I had at hand! The budget is almost non-existent, given that I use whatever I have at hand because for now is not a professional job, the purpose of making it is not money. And which is my motivation? Because I make it is hard to explain with a few words. So I can tell you for now is that, with time, I will be sharing a deep spiritual path of mine and what I have learned in it.

Watch fourth episode:


Videoclip:

"Proxima" Carlos Atanes

Now Carlos Atanes tells us about his movie "Proxima"

I made it because when I was child I was a great fan of Sci-Fi films and I wanted to recover that “sense of wonder” which I felt in my childhood watching movies as Silent Running, 2001 or Planet of the Apes. Proxima is a homage to those movies and to the people who —like me— dream of conquering the universe.

Carlos Atanes

Proxima’s was a wild and crazy filmmaking, full of anecdotes. There is a documentary about it, “Made in PROXIMA”, which you can watch at Proxima’s website. When we were shooting the alien landscapes at the depth of Corta Atalaya (the biggest open-pit mine in Europe) our lives were in danger: while the sulphuric acid red lake in the bottom of the mine was emanating poisonous emissions, an extreme storm was causing landslides on the walls with real risk of flood and collapse. This would be meaning that we were dead buried under hundreds of tons of rocks. Another funny moment was when we shot Oriol Aubets (the leading actor) with real ammunition.

The shooting of Proxima lasted 30 or 40 days, I don’t know exactly.


In this movie I put technical matter on the Director of Photography’s hands. He was Joan Babiloni, a very good professional. He chose the camera, a JVC HDV. I don’t remember more details about the camera. The look of the movie was determined by the budget, Babiloni’s taste and our prior conversation about light, style, lenses and colors. I shown him a lot of 1970’s and 1980’s comics. For example we talked about how artist Enki Bilal obtains cool environments just using warm tonalities. We also saw pictures from 1970’s Sci-Fi illustrators as Chris Foss and Tim White. From those examples and conversations Babiloni made a colour palette for the crew. Props, wardrobe and settings were based on that palette. Babiloni’s light corrections in post-production were minimum.

Sci FiFuture is for very high and very low budget films. Very high ones have multiple ways of financing and amortization. Very low ones can be also profitable because they do not need too much revenue to cover the expenses and –with good luck- to get certain degree of earnings. But medium-size ones are in the middle and, except a handful of very successful movies- condemned. In Europe they can just exist thanks to subsidies, that says it all. Future is the dead of medium-sized budget movies.

Proxima's budget was between $65000 and $70000. Resources were contribution from friends and mainly a bank loan. We are still returning the credit. This is the part less pleasant of making ultraindependent films.


Watch Made in PROXIMA: Underground science fiction:


"Martin Mosca" Mariano Cattaneo

Martin Mosca

Now Mariano Cattaneo tells us about his webseries "Martin Mosca":

Martin Mosca is a mix between science fiction and comedy. It tells the story of a regular guy who creates a time machine and uses for trivial things. Martin will soon discover that travel in time has its consequences: he could change the universal order, risking his life and the life of his love ones.

The idea came from movies we loved when we were growing up during the 80s such as Back to the future, Terminator, Wild Science, Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones or Superman.

time traveler
Behind-the-scenes: Martin Mosca's house
We do not have a fixed budget per episode; the budget will depend on each script. Team work is the key for independent films, everyone involve helps between his capabilities. The human value of those making Martin Mosca is countless. But a webseries is not easy to distribute. There is a big exhibition window thanks to social networks like Youtube, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter and this is awesome. Nevertheless, there is a lack of channels or websites that take the risk of distribute webseries in a way that creators get a benefit.

When you produce an independent webseries you always expect the unexpected, then you will be ready to fix problems at any way at any time. Working with no budget and tight schedules means that you need to fix things on the go, no one will do it for you.

Martin Mosca Leandro CóccaroDuring the eighth episode we required to shoot in a cemetery. We didn’t have permit or authorization (in Argentina that could take weeks and we were not in a position to wait) so we did the only possible thing: we get into the cemetery as normal visitors. We had to hide “Martin” and the “future traveler” between tombs and graves as they were wearing showy costumes and helmets. Anyways, this seams normal for a cemetery, as lot of people asked us directions without noticing our crazy outfits!

We used a range of Canon DSLR cameras: 5D, 7D, 60D, T3i or T2i. DSLRs are simple and effective cameras that shoot in 1920 x 1080 FULL HD. There's no mistaking the appeal of filming on a digital SLR. The relatively low cost, size and flexibility offered by your Canon shooters is turning once-consumer cameras into valuable professional tools.
   
Martin Mosca is produced entirely by Mariano Cattaneo (director), Leandro Cóccaro (actor), Hernán Márquez (actor) and Pablo Boyanovsky Bazan.

Watch first episode:

Martin Mosca will have 11 episodes.

"La furia de MacKenzie" Campano, Caña & Reinoso

Mackenzie is a criminal, but soon he will have to groom his mustache before shooting the invading aliens.


"Zohe" David Contreras

Now David Contreras tells us about his movie "Zohe":

I like stories in general, in any genre.

Ciencia Ficcion Chilena

The science fiction is beautiful and exciting. With science fiction, I can play, invent, devising fantastic stories and unusual characters; including, in some cases without giving any justification for their way of being or acting in particular. On the other hand, I feel that the genre of science fiction makes possible to speculate about parallel realities or ways of how it could be our world and universe and thus certainly social behavior.

Science Fiction
Zohe, precisely, is the story of an ordinary man fighting for his freedom and love, after the great universal cataclysm.

We used the Canon 7D. Never before I had worked with Full HD, so it was a real pleasure to see that quality and sharpness in each of these scenes.

Zohe was supported by the government of my country, as well as many public and private companies decided to join, in order that Zohe will come alive. But achieving resources was not easy, because it has been a long and complex project.


Undoubtedly, over all these years of trip I learned many things. One of these lessons is in the area of creativity and improvisation. Often when things happen the way you not want, but they do happen, either because of lack of resources, delays in weather or some other unforeseen, one should look for effective responses at high speed to rectify this situation. There were times during the shooting I had to change entire scenes, especially, shorten them. And with actors, all technical equipment in the field and in just a couple of minutes, I had to look at the environment and find a new way to have that scene. In some cases I began to use white sheets, assuming you would have to draw scenes so fast on set. And as for mistakes made in previous shootings I could cite the lack of planning. I think this time, despite the many adversities, we were good and positive step, and every minute we made the most work.


So I would like to conclude by quoting a premise of personal life, which I value greatly: "Life is short, we are passing here on Planet Earth".

Zombie Walk Mexico


"Justice Woman" Vanessa Verduga

Now Vanessa Verduga tell us about her webseries "Justice Woman":


Six years ago, Justice Woman was a domain name that was available and I acquired because I thought it was cool. I grew up a fan of Wonder Woman and Batman, especially Batman, a mere mortal without super powers who cares about the people of Gotham. I had recently graduated law school and couldn't stomach working as a lawyer - my true passion was acting. However, I had bills to pay so I stuck it out with law and opened up my own law practice that I ran for two years. It was during that time that I experienced the genesis of Justice Woman.  Hanging a shingle was an eye opening experience as I got to see firsthand how our legal system and the people in charge of it can work for both good and bad under the guise of the law - it was enough to make me want out of the practice of law and back into acting so, I went to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. While there, I began writing. After graduating, I needed an actor reel to showcase my work. However, putting one together proved strenuous as I found myself hounding down directors to get copies of films. I figured with all the energy I was expending, I might as well write and film the story for Justice Woman since it had been percolating in the back of my head this whole time.

As I wrote Justice Woman, a series of tumultuous events were happening throughout the world that fueled my desire to write not just on my behalf, but also on behalf of others who had suffered some form of injustice. I began writing about the many unfair things that exist in our society pertaining in part to homophobia, immigration, discrimination, double standards, sexual hypocrisy, class power, political corruption and so forth. Those became the issues that I wanted to set forth in Justice Woman.  However, I took to heart Oscar Wilde’s saying that "if you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you" and put a humorist twist to my writing.

Lawyer Woman
Justice Woman and Roberta
Being a fan of the Batman movies, and Robert Rodriguez's Sin City, I definitely wanted that Gotham/Sin City comic book feel to Justice Woman. We accomplished that mostly with the lighting setup in production and color correction in post.

I was going to do a pilot at first, but I was too anxious to get started and wasn't going to wait for a cable network to pick it up so I opted for the web series format. I researched web series and was inspired by Felicia Day and her web series "The Guild".

Vanessa VerdugaI didn't go to film school and I didn't have much of a budget so I had to take on as many tasks as possible to make Justice Woman happen. It was challenging, but doable thanks to those who kept me going with their encouragement and support. Thanks to the generosity of friends and former business associates, I was able to secure locations and props when needed as needed. It does get hectic for me at times being the writer, director, producer and lead in the series, but the cast and crew keep me going. Everyone gets along so filming is such a pleasure and we have so much fun on set - no drama and tons of laughter. The majority of the cast are personal friends who I have worked previously with on stage, in films and even as attorneys so to them this is not just about showing up to act and then moving on to the next acting gig - this is about our friendship and it shows in the end results - they come on set, give it their all and help out with production matters when needed.

For first season, we used the Canon EOS 7D because it was what our first DP (Director of Photography) had in terms of equipment. I wasn't well versed in camera equipment then, but I did like the crisp and sharp look of the images so I went with what he had. For second season, we had another DP and he had a Canon EOS 1D Mark IV, which has better image quality. However, he left to get a master in London so, for seasons 3, 4 and 5 we reverted to the Canon EOS 7D, which seems to be the popular choice with DPs and also fits into our production budget.

Well, I'm always shooting before aiming, which has gotten me into trouble at times, but it has also made me realize that if I just go for and push through I will end up getting my way.

Pulp Sci Fi

I started the series with $2000 and soon realized I needed to double my budget. So I decided to film solely on weekends so that I can work during the week and save up. I started bartering services and goods - living quarters in exchange for filming - called in favors, begged for favors, and relied on the generosity of friends and family - the generosity rarely came in the form of money, but every form of assistance was a huge help for me.

The series will go on for 6 seasons with a total of 18 episodes. However, that's not to say that more cannot be made. The series could go on into infinity because "as long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other" – John Stuart Mill.  If history serves as a precedent, the battle for justice is ever ongoing and I would love nothing more than to keep "Justice Woman" going. It's something we're definitely exploring.

Advancements in technology have drawn the prices down thereby, making film-making accessible to just about anyone with the will and desire to become a film-maker or a motion storyteller. Therefore, I'm sure we will be seeing more diverse and rich stories in the years to come and with the advent of web series distribution, we'll get to see and hear from voices we would have not had the opportunity to see or hear before. Thanks to the Internet we can choose what we want to see and not be stuck watching bad TV programming.

Watch first episode: