"Tiendita Alienigena" Diego López

Now Diego López tells us about "Tiendita Alienígena":

Tiendita Alienigena is a science fiction comic with much suspense, terror and some humor.

One of the main characters is Dot Ñawi, an extraterrestrial who survived the crash of his space ship in what is now peruvian territory, several centuries ago. All crew members died, except him. Now, in the present, Dot Ñawi is owner of a shop specializing in collectible toys, comics and entertainment items. Life on Earth is not easy! This story is precisely named like Dot's business, ie, Tiendita Alienigena.

If you are interested, you can sponsor Tiendita Alienigena from 1 dollar.

Become a Patron of Tiendita Alienigena!

"Planeta Inquietante"

Now Adolfo Rodriguez tells us about "Planeta Inquietante":

Most comic books I have written for Area 51 are set in the fiction universe of Planeta Inquietante, which is a parody and homage at the same time to the Ancient Astronauts theory. It was made popular by Erich Von Däniken in the seventies.

Planeta Inquietante began as a script for a short movie than became a blog where the main character, Patrick Von Steiner, a follower of Däniken's theories, narrated his adventures. Comic books felt like a natural medium as the Ancient Astronaut was a huge influence in author like Jack Kirby; just you check his Eternals or his Fourth World. Besides I love the medium.

I also write about sci-fi movies and shows, a thematic very dear to Planeta Inquietante and Mister Steiner, who sees pop culture as a great tool to uncover the Truth, free from the censorship of the evil Academy.

Our team is composed of José Ramírez (editor of the magazine, letterer and cowriter of the story Two Planets on Danger), Gustavo Rubio, Ángel Bernuy, Jen del Pozo and Conrado Martín (the artists) and me as writer.

Our workflow is pretty straightforward. I write the script and hand it to the artist via e-mail or dropbox, then I get the designs, storyboards and pages the same way. Finally we send the story to the magazine, where the texts, credits and page numbers are added.

I think we are living in a nice time for comic books where they are getting more and more attention, but I wonder if publishers know how to use that attention to get more readers.

Also I think that a printed comic book and a webcomic are compatible and could cross promote. The way we read them is different, the size of the screen, the touch, they are different experiences and that should be taken into account when publishing them. Ideally, a digital comic book should me more than just the PDF you send to the printer and use the possibilities from the devices.

I admire Gustavo Rubio, he is an artist from Argentina I have had the pleasure to work... and I am looking forward to more collaborations. Also Mike Deodato Jr is a great Brazilian artist who has worked for DC Comics and Marvel, one of the many who became famous in the 90's and who is still around doing great runs in series like Avengers or Amazing Spider-Man..

Cosmic Magazine

Now Paulina Verdejo, editorial director of the magazine, tells us about "Cosmic":

Cosmic is a comic magazine, a compilation of many histories and artists. It was born as an idea many years ago: the mentor of our editor, Fyto, was Maximo Carvajal, a national artist in charge of a generation biased to comic. Before die, Mr. Maximo told Fyto to "never stop fighting for national [chilean] comic", and that was his main motivation. While Fyto (our editor) worked in other people's comics, he developed some on his own and had the idea of making his characters to relate somehow in the same "universe". Later, he called other artists to unite more histories to this, and then we created a "multiverse". Cosmic has 7 different stories running and they are all related, in a subtle way (for now). Most of the characters are kids and teens, and the base of every history is the "bio-acceleration", a special condition that gives their powers.

We develop arguments and then those are divided between the script writers. Once a comic is ready, in written format, it is delivered to designated comic artist and they have to send back a layout. Once layout is approved it turns into the final comic.

We are careful with how to interlock histories, subtly, and to maintain every history in the context of our "CoSmic Universe".

We are a "small" group of people who are using their skills on different roles. We have a director (me, Paulina, electronics engineer and comic amateur), an Editor (Fyto Manga, comic artist and illustrator), our creative support (Juan and Pedro), Script writers (Pedro and Valentina), a Publicist and Counselor (Nell), and comic artists (Jade, Cecy, Crispawn, Rina, Romina, Sergio and Pablo).

For now Cosmic is local, but we send via traditional post service to anyone who wants it and who pays for it (lol). We just had a friend from Italy who received one :).

For comics in general, we think (and this is almost for sure) that the digital era is taking over and comic is not the exception. Fans want to see it fast and online, and if there is some animation involved, even better. Web-comic is the future. But even considering that, there are still people around who looks for the paper version, almost as a treasure. Paper still has something to do for Comic World.

If we consider the distribution, a web comic will reach a lot more people than a printed copy. A lot more. But for that, it must be for free. And that is the most important difference. Either you make people pay to view it, or you add sponsors to it. Both are complex to manage. Some authors take the risk and expect it to become popular (for example, sponsors can come based on number of visitors or views). We took the long way to accomplish our goals :) but it doesn't mean we won't navigate by the digital world!

"Styncat" Cacahuetex

Now the Cacahuetex team tell us about their webseries "Styncat":

We grew up with movies, series, TV shows that made our childhoods. It started like a hobby doing sketches and shortfilms and we ended creating our own audiovisual production "Cacahuetex". But we always had the idea of making something bigger like our own movie or series.

We saw a webseries online contest and we decided to participate. We didn't want to do another sitcom like most of the product that you can find online in matter of webseries so we started this crazy idea full of action, comedy and science fiction mixing all the cool things that we've watched in all that movies and series from our lives. Our real motivation wasn't winning, it was make real our idea, so even when we obviously didn't win we decided to carry on and make it happen.

Styncat took us more than a year the entire process so there are lots of anecdotes. It's our first serious project so obviously we had a lot problems, and funny facts to share.

It seemed like one location, where we filmed most of the action scenes of the last episode was cursed, not a single day we were able just to go there and film with normality. It was like an open space but to get in we needed a key and each time we went with the key they changed the lock or when we had the correct key somebody had reserve the space or they were doing a gym class or there was a concert and hundreds of people. Anyway in the end the result was better than expected due to the circumstances.

And other anecdote -just in case you don't know and between other things- Toledo is known for the swords and the steel, so we went to Toledo to buy the swords that we were gonna use in the show.

After looking prices in every shop we bump into this place and we started talking with the owner asking him about a cheap katana due to our budget and he brought this zebra katana. It was possible one of the ugliest things we ever saw but we decided to buy 2 of them for the price. Now we love them and also they give some personality to the weapon of the main character, so now whenever someone sees a zebra katana, it'll be a reminder of Styncat.

We have 3 Canons 550D and the main reason why we used those cameras was our budget. The price-quality of the Canon 550D is really good and It was just what we were looking for in a product for Youtube.

About the type of photography and the look, we wanted this conspiratorial look in the photography and that's why we choose cold and blue colors.

We started with 450 € and we were adding money to that whenever we needed something else, most of our budget went in gas money for the rides in car to the locations.

We can't really say how much money we spend in the entire year but definitely it was less than 1000 €.

Due to the fact that nowadays everybody have a camera even in their cellphones and that everybody can post anything online, the market of webseries has grown a lot in the last few years. This fact is good in the way that It's easier for the people to film what they want and to post it online but just because everybody can do it and there is so many things on the internet it's more difficult to stand out from the others. So even having a good idea, a good realization and all the factors that you need to make your series good that may not be enough this days.

It's true that there are great talents being discovered through the Internet but we still need to do big steps in order to realize that sometimes you can find better products online that on the TV or a cinema screen.

Inside the critic of our series we talk about that, what people watches on the Internet and how randomly is to grow up with a stupid video and how because of this the product realized online is still not being taken seriously.

"Genesis 88" Franc Sellers

Now Franc Sellers tells us about his webseries "Genesis 88":

Our motivation was enjoy doing it, learn and give life to a tale of fiction and characters who end up loving. I did it for motivation and pure pleasure of a creative level. Series consists of thirteen chapters and for now we have a season, but our hope is to continue because at the end of the last chapter is opened specifically for this purpose.

We used a Canon 60D DSLR. The reason was the most simple that we could have, because our resources were zero and we required an acceptable quality. As for the type of photography and the look of the series, we wanted to achieve bright colors inspired by my drawings that appear in the opening credits and some of the scenes giving an air of comic. At the same time I wanted to make a curious combination of the esthetics of a soap opera (telenovela in Spanish), but give some arguments of intrigue, mystery, action, humor, and science fiction so characteristics of this type of genre.

We have not had any subsidy or financial assistance. The costs have been minimal and we have paid our pockets. You have to think that we could only record on weekends. We did all this completely altruistic and we had to combine with our jobs, families and obligations. I don't know the future about movies and web series, but I think that the Internet is a platform that gives you great possibilities of diffusion for creators and is very important, because previously it did not exist.

There are many anecdotes. If I choose one would be: we had that record a scene in a parking lot of a restaurant in the evening, which we had done in several sessions. The last two sessions were more complicated. We started recording at 8:00 p.m. The boss of the restaurant comes back and told us that we should finish in half hour, because a bus arrived with many clients. It was completely incredible! We recorded twelve or thirteen shots with excellent results. It was miraculous almost impossible.

"La Parte Ausente" Galel Maidana

Now Alejandro Israel, producer of the film, tells us about "La Parte Ausente":

La Parte Ausente is about Chockler and his quest to find a man dead or alive, in a world on the brink of collapse.

The shooting lasted 5 weeks, almost everything in the cold and dark winter night.

We used the Red Epic camera because the DOP asked us for that one.

The budget of the film was about 400 thousand dollars. The resources were both public and private.

"Black" Julio Acuña Formador

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

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

The essence of the comic also changes. In the first I'd only want to draw a modern superhero and I dream to publish in USA. But over 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, characters of Black are my children, and I think that when I write comics and I think that they feel the readers. And I think 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 depends of paper. The digital comic progresses, but I 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 comic books.

The printed matter is the real support to comic 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 publishing. Only needs scanner or inlink, a graphic program and an Internet connection and done. But as I said limits are slow Internet in Chile and it's difficult to work with platforms 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 protagonist 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 read 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.


"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.

Sci FiThe 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.

Future 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.

During 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.

Science FictionThe 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.

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".

"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".

I 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:

"El Sol" Ayar Blasco

Ciencia Ficcion Argentina

Now Ayar Blasco tell us about his movie "El Sol":

All the backstage was an anecdote. With El Sol, I wanted to watch an apocalyptic movie that wasn't necessarily of action and I chose characters that were similar to my friends, because I had them in mind. I didn’t make it thinking in something commercial, so anything that might happen with the movie will surprise me gratefully. We made it in Adobe Flash and took us 7 years, because we took it very calmed (too much, maybe!). I first developed the script with the help of Hubert Bals Fund. Then we received the help of INCAA (the Institute of Film in Argentina). But basically, it was the support of all the people involved in the making of the movie. 

The result of this movie encourages me to make another movie sooner. I learned a lot and that will help me in the future.

"La maquina que escupe monstruos y la chica de mis sueños" Diego Labat & Agustin Ross

Ciencia Ficcion Argentina

Now Diego Labat and Agustin Ross tell us about their movie "La máquina que escupe monstruos y la chica de mis sueños":

We wanted to make a film we wanted to see, different from argentinian aesthetics. We are both animation fans and we admire director who uses animation logic in live action films (such as Terry Gilliam, Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson or Tim Burton). So we decided to make a live action film with cartoon logic. We believe that's the main essence of the film. There constant references to South Park, Tex Avery, Hannah Barbera, The Simpsons or Richard Williams. On the other hand, we are both sci fi fans and B movies fans, so we kind of mixed all up in one movie.

We used a Canon 7D. The reason we used it was because it was the best quality camera we could afford (and the image does look great). The movie (and us) hate realism. I think the main reason for the movie's look is getting as far away as possible from argentinian realism. We wanted everything to be in this animated logic. 

We shot the movie in 22 days. We made it with a very very low budget. But we decided to write it, shoot it and throw it into the Internet within a year (fortunately, we did it). The budget for the film was around 5000 dollars. But we had a lot of help from people who approched our website and lend us services or their presence in order to help. Some money was gathered from donations, but our main budget was from our pockets.

argentinian science fiction

We believe that Internet changed the way we look at movies. Musicians understood it well. Nowadays, it's possible for a musician to exhibit their work online, but filmmakers tend to think different. Everyone downloads movies from the Internet. We are used to watch movies from our computers. You can't fight that. We believe that instead we should take advantage of it, letting us have a world wide cinema, which we can control and lets us do what we want the most: we want our picture to be seen. As much as possible. Filmmakers should be aware of the possibilities Internet gives you.

Watch full movie:

"Ciencia Ficción: La creatividad de un artista" Pablo Riquelme

Science Fiction Tale

Now Pablo Riquelme tells us about his movie "Ciencia Ficción: La creatividad de un artista":

Most of the short film was filmed over the course of 3 days. It takes place in the living room of a house, where the the main character has his old typewriter. Roberto (the screenwriter) has to write a script of another genre different from sci fi, but the monsters in his wardrobe won't let him. The monsters want to prevent him from losing his creativity. Apart from the action that takes place in the house, Roberto has two dream-like scenes that take place in a beach and a mansion. These scenes took one day to film. So the filming was four days.

I wanted to make this film because I love B movies. I grew up watching "Critters", "The Fog", "Night of the Creeps"... but in Spain, scifi seems to be neglected. With this short film I wanted to criticize this situation. The main character is a scifi screenwriter whose been forced to write other genres by his producer. The main character has to decide if he's going to write what the industry wants for him, or on the other hand, write about what he really likes.

Efectos especiales

I believe it's important to mention the creation of the monsters that appear in the film. They were made using the technique of Stop Motion animation. This is the kind of animation used by the famous Ray Harryhausen B movies, responsible for skeletons, giant octopuses and many other creatures. I think this short film is different to the typical short film!

There are many anecdotes about the filming, but in my opinion the most interesting one is the fact that the two main characters were never together on set, due to scheduling problems. So they filmed their parts on separate days, although in the short film looks like they are together. They say something similar happened with the Pacino-De Niro scene in "Heat" (Michael Mann, 1995).

The budget of film was of 9.000€ (11.000 $ aprox.). We made this film thanks to the collaboration of many private companies that decided to help and contribute. In Spain there are two ways of making films: You can wait be subsidized by the government or you can look for private investors, like we did. Sometimes, subsidized films don't finish filming or end up being canceled in post-production...
We filmed with the RED ONE camera. Thanks to the High Definition image of the RED ONE offers a lot of freedom in post-production. We filmed with a very neat photography, with a lot of white. In the post-production stage we were free to lower the level of white and darken the blacks and give the image a greenish tone, the color that better chows the essence of scifi. We didn't use 35 mm for two reasons: In the first place, because we had a low budget. In second place, because the quality of shooting digital is arguably better than that of film.

As for the distribution film, is changing. The distributors have to develop if they want to keep up. The audience doesn't see films, they devour them. They are demanding the films now, but people don't want to wait until films arrive to their countries or don't want to pay 20$ for a film. For some distributors streaming might be the answer... There are many new ways of distribution. I still buy films, many of them, in fact. But I admit I look for cheap DVD's.

Watch short film: