Sunday, May 31, 2009

Scare Tactics

You might be surprised to learn that there weren't a lot of pranks played on the set of Ghosts Don't Exist. Probably because we were all so focused throughout the production. In the months leading up to filming, however, we did have a few opportunities to provide a friendly scare or two. Well, I did, anyway. Fittingly, they came during actual ghost hunts.

The first was at the Brentsville Courthouse, where we met the guys from DCMAG for the very first time. We were about to join them for our very first investigation—of the historic Brentsville Jail—when I seized the opportunity. Standing just outside the courthouse, I noticed someone passing by the upstairs window. It may have actually been Nancy Yee or Kirsten Cooley—both of whom were there touring the site with us. So I snapped a photo. Hold that thought for a moment.

A few seconds later, I noticed Donnie Conty in the Courthouse foyer. As Donnie will tell you himself, (and as you'll eventually see in a particularly priceless behind-the-scenes clip) he's always the most likely to pull a "Dude, run!" in any scary situation. But knowing that he takes everything in stride, I proceeded to call Donnie outside. Feigning a concerned but quizzical look, I suggested that I'd just photographed something... well, unusual. I pointed to the window above us, which was now empty:

I then showed Donnie my camera, containing what seemed to be a photograph I'd taken just seconds prior:

He scrutinized the image in the camera, then looked back up at the empty window in disbelief. He was able to utter a startled "WTF?!" before his jaw dropped completely.

Unable to hold in the laughter, I let him off the hook. He had several choice words for me, but I know he appreciated the simple creativity that lead to such a convincing scare. ;) It's an amazingly easy concept that just happened to come to me on the spot.

Fortunately, it came to me again—the week before we began filming GDE.

19th + Wilson asked DCMAG to give our lead actors a crash course in ghost hunting (something else you'll definitely see in our behind-the-scenes features). Before the investigation at Historic Jordan Springs, we were given a tour of the amazing site. There happened to be a few folks still there that evening, as part of an event that was wrapping up; and noticing a dapper older gentleman in one of the libraries, I snapped a photo. Hold that thought for a moment.

In pranking people, I've learned that it can often be just as effective to show someone parts of a photo out of context—especially if they're not expecting certain elements to be there.

With that in mind, I approached Sarina Espejo with my camera. Knowing that she'd also seen these same rooms eariler, I showed her the "unusual image" that had turned up in my viewfinder. While scrolling through a zoomed image, I explained how I'd taken some photos in the library. "It pretty much speaks for itself," I said, heightening the suspense. As I continued to scroll across the image, Sarina saw closeups of books and stuff, like this:

and this:

And then, out of nowhere, this appeared:

It's amazing how—in the context of an intense paranormal investigation—a well-dressed, harmless senior citizen takes on the more ominous visage of a long-dead mortician, quietly observing our activities from beyond the grave... for all eternity. Or something like that. The effect is even more startling if you simulate dramatic music and/or scream when revealing the image.

Sarina slapped my arm. Hard.

All joking aside, we did experience a number of unexplainable events at both Brentsville and Jordan Springs—some of which we'll be sharing here very soon. They definitely helped set the tone for cast and crew alike. ;)

Friday, May 29, 2009


If you're a fan of zombie movies, (and you're over 21) do yourself a favor and head to the Arlington Cinema n' Drafthouse Saturday night for the encore presentation of ZOMBthology—a wickedly funny (and wonderfully disgusting) trilogy of tales from the gang at Art Held Hostage.

The film is comprised of three separate shorts written and directed by
Robert Elkins, (segment "The Curse of Zombie Lake") Elias Dancey, (segment "A Slight Case of Zombism") and Chris Kiros (segment "The Stripper From B'twixt the Graves") respectively—deftly woven together with a plotline starring the scream queen herself, Tiffany Shepis!

19W's Donnie Conty, Nancy Yee, and I were thrilled to attend the premiere last night, along with Ghosts Don't Exist cast and crewmembers Josh Davidson, Gavin Peretti, Devon Marie Burt, Kathryn Coombs,
Patrick Shewmaker, Javy Espejo, and Charle Acierto. We were there for a very good reason—Josh and Gavin have key roles in the film's third segment, The Stripper From B'twixt the Graves!

The event was a blast, and it was great meeting some of the (twisted) minds behind ZOMBthology! The film is an awesomely fun ride from start to finish, but be warned—it's graphic, in every sense of the word.

On a related note, because the Drafthouse serves alcohol, they only allow patrons 21 years of age and older. And they will check your I.D., regardless of your age. (As one lovely and clearly middle-aged couple learned the hard way...) So bring your I.D.!

The encore is this Saturday, May 30th at 11:45PM. Go hungry, as the Drafthouse has a terrific menu in addition to drinks. You'll probably want to skip anything with ketchup during this one, though—just something to keep in mind while you enjoy the bloodletting zombie goodness. ;)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Dave with Jimmy Cerrito of Jimmy's Old Town Tavern

This gentleman may have thrown down the gauntlet at our wrap party. But now it's your turn.

Announcing the Ghosts Don't Exist Fan Photo Contest!

We want to see how psyched you are about
Ghosts Don't Exist! Be creative (and responsible—no spraypainting public property or anything of that nature, please!) Maybe it's a photo of you holding a GDE poster in the middle of the Serengeti... or atop the Eiffel Tower... or while being chased by a pack of dogs... or in prison... you get the point.

Submit your best fan photos (and/or Photoshops!) to We'll publish the top selections here, and hold a vote to determine who will receive a Ghosts Don't Exist t-shirt!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Rain Men (and women)

This Memorial Day weekend brought a few light rains to the Northern Virginia area, after nearly a full week of drought. It was actually quite nice. It was also a stark contrast to what we were forced to contend with on the set of Ghosts Don't Exist.

At nearly every location, we weathered heavy rains (no pun intended)—often several times a day, at all hours of the day.

While most of the film was shot indoors, there were a fair share of exterior scenes as well... and Mother Nature seemed to know exactly when we planned on filming them. Our team was prepared for just about anything, however—including this hand-held umbrella rig to allow Kuni to get closeups without waiting for the rain to stop.

Despite the umbrellas, tents, and raincoats, most of us were never completely dry. Even on the few days when it
didn't rain, the grounds we had to walk through were thoroughly soaked—we're talking standing water.

But I can't recall a single time when spirits were dampened. As director Eric Espejo shows, we just continued doing what we had to do throughout the downpours, maintaining our sense of humor—and love for movies—at all costs.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The King of the All-nighter

One of the toughest transitions to make while shooting a film is adapting to the overnight hours. Strike that—it's not necessarily the all-nighters that are the problem; it's readjusting to your normal schedule that's the real challenge.

Many of us on the set of Ghosts Don't Exist are nocturnal by nature, so arriving at 7PM and working until sunrise wasn't really as difficult as waking up super-early in the morning typically is. (Plus, there was a constant supply of coffee.)

But the real secret to staying awake and alert throughout the night is laughter. And fortunately, we had a constant supply of that, as well.

If you find yourself working a graveyard shift—regardless of the industry—try to ensure that you have colleagues who share your sense of humor. It makes a huge difference in morale. And if at all possible, try to make sure you have Donny Aros there with you.

The gaffer on Ghosts Don't Exist, Donny Aros brings a wealth of experience to the project. His reputation rightly precedes him as one of the film industry's top grip and electric specialists.

But in addition to his talent and professionalism, he brought pure fun. He could always be counted on for entertaining conversation at any hour of the day. Or night.

Donny's voice often punctuated the moment, then went on to become part of the GDE lexicon. Most notably, his enthusiastic reiteration of Gavin's "CUT!" call at the end of most takes. By Day 3, at least a dozen of us would follow suit. "KEEE-YUHHHHHHHHTTTT!!!" This lasted for the duration of the 15 days, and it will never get old. That word is going to be hovering in space over the Travis Garner House location for at least the next 50 years.

Another phrase that demanded constant repetition was "apple box." Donny recalled fondly how a former colleague would request this essential tool—by bellowing loudly, "AAAAHPPUHLBAHHCHS!!!" None of us who experienced it will say the words "apple box" any other way ever again.

But the real fun was in the personal exchanges with Donny, who easily developed a repoire with everyone on set. His observations were usually dead-on, and always hilarious. Do yourself a favor and ask him about the guy who looked like Kenny Rogers. It's one of the funniest stories you'll ever experience. It also prompted us to take a quick glance between scenes at the classic website,; which, in turn, prompted another brilliant Donny Aros observation—"Dude... Kenny Rogers doesn't even look like Kenny Rogers anymore." It's startlingly true:

My personal favorite was our joint amusement at bizarre Neil Diamond songs—most notably, "Knackelflerg." I'd never even heard of it, until Donny pointed out the fact that it includes the utterly ridiculous line, "You set my eyebrows up in flames." Without hesitation, we found the song on YouTube:

I'm man enough to admit that you'll find one or two Neil Diamond songs on my iPod, albeit hidden under multiple folders named anything but "Neil Diamond." But Knackelflerg adds a whole new dimension of badness. After hearing it, the word itself begins to infect other Neil Diamond lyrics. We frequently found ourselves singing things like:

"Knackelflerg, you're a store-bought woman..."

"Maybe tonight... Maybe tonight, by the fire, all alone, knackelflerg..."

"Sweeeeet knackelflerg... good times never seemed so good..."

Donny also noted that while we may poke fun, there are some folks who absolutely treasure Neil Diamond. "There's gotta be a name for people who really love Neil Diamond... a term for those die-hard Diamond fans out there..."

Unfortunately, he was summoned back to set that night before he could officially coin the term. Because when work called, Donny was on the spot—through the bad weather and the ungodly hours, both of which we had our fair share of. By the next project, though, I'm sure he'll have it, among other gems—and we're all looking forward to it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


One of the big differences we've noticed after having wrapped filming is the absence of delicious, catered goodness in our lives. And that's a tough adjustment, people.

During the 15 days we shot Ghosts Don't Exist, we were fortunate to be treated to a fantastic array of sponsored meals, which literally fueled us throughout the grueling schedule. Equally invaluable were discounts on essential services: real estate, wireless internet, porta-johns, HVAC, and more.

Without further ado, we'd like to publicly thank them here and encourage
everyone to frequent not only these wonderful restaurants, but all of the businesses that took such great care of us throughout this production. Thank you ALL!!!


Barn Door BBQ Catering Company

Blue Ridge Grill

Brooklyn Bros Pizzeria

Brown-Carrera Realty, LLC

Café Opera

Canteen Corrections

Casanel Vineyards


Don's Johns

Dry Mill Vineyards

The Greene Turtle Sports Bar and Grille


Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern

Lowry’s Crab Shack

Manhattan Pizzeria

Mediterranean Breeze

Old Dominion Brewing Company

R.A. Dobson, Inc.


South Riding Inn

Texas BBQ Factory
21100 Dulles Town Circle #236
Sterling, VA 20166
Site under construction


Willowcroft Farm Vineyard

Zephaniah Farm Vineyard

And to the following folks in our own group who provided wonderful meals—we thank you as well!

Earl, Anna & Kaitlin Espejo
Sarina & Eric Espejo
Samantha Iles
Nancy Yee

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Serendipitous Origins

Last October, Northern Virginia magazine ran an article on Ghosts Don't Exist writer/director Eric Espejo. It was a small piece primarily about 19th + Wilson's most recent short film, The Love Story of Henry and Carol—and our desire to branch out of the techie-comedy genre we'd explored to date. Henry and Carol marked a turning point of sorts, as a considerably darker film—a natural precursor to Ghosts Don't Exist; and this article included the first mention of the film, and our desire to go about making it the right way.

That very same issue also featured an article on John Warfield, of DC Metro Area Ghost Watchers, just a few pages apart. This was serendipitous, as it provided the perfect opportunity to contact the premier local paranormal investigative group for technical advice on the film. Before long, John and his team were not only consultants, they generously offered to provide the ghosthunting equipment used in the film, as well as take us along for actual investigations.

So, not only did the October 2008 issue of Northern Virginia magazine first announce the planning of Ghosts Don't Exist, it established a key connection with the folks at DCMAG who helped us tremendously in making it. John Warfield and John Rossi, in particular, have been amazing assets to the project. And as an ongoing feature, we'll soon be launching a special section on called Diary of a Ghosthunter: the Journals of John Warfield. Here, you'll be able to read about actual cases that DCMAG is currently investigating, as well as submit your own paranormal questions and tips to the team.

At Monday night's wrap party for the film, there was yet another serendipitious event—photographer Jonathan Timmes was on hand to document the festivities. John Warfield instantly recognized him as the man who'd taken his photo for the magazine article last October.

Everything happens for a reason.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

And That's a WRAP!!!

We'd waited 15 days to hear those words, crackling across 9 walkie-talkies and reverberating throughout Chris Cooley's cavernous estate—all while trying to keep an excited and growing crowd of cast, crew, and wrap party revelers quiet for the final shots.

Principal photography on Ghosts Don't Exist wrapped at 7:50PM last night, just in time for the arriving mass of friends, family, investors, and other guests—all eager to celebrate the completion of the film we've worked so very hard on for the past few weeks. It was the culmination of a terrific concerted effort, and the beginning of the next phase of the project—post production.

Our final day of filming was a breeze, helped along by gorgeous weather and the wonderful setting of the Cooley home. Chris and Christy generously hosted our wrap party, which included a surprise sneak peek at the trailer (a rough cut created on site by editor Matt West).

Just a still photo for now—we'll post the official trailer here as soon as it's completed!

The night—and indeed, the entire production to date—was a huge success. There were hugs and congratulations all around, as cast and crew remembered fondly the long hours we'd invested, breathing both a sigh of relief and regret that this portion had finally reached it's end. Much like the end of a memorable school year, we all made sure we had each others' contact info, (and Facebook, of course) and collected autographs throughout the night.

For many of us, it was back to the "real world" on Tuesday—coping with the withdrawals that come with the end of an incredibly fun, rewarding production like this. But of course, this is really only the beginning. The ride has just started, and will only pick up steam as editing is completed, distribution deals are reached, and film festivals come calling—so stay tuned!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Day 15: It's the Mike O'Meara Show!

It's our last day of filming, and the weather has actually been cooperating! The sun is out, and the cast and crew are soaking up every moment here at Chris Cooley's beautiful home. Day 15 couldn't have started much better.

But it actually HAS! We were thrilled to have the legendary Mike O'Meara join us for a cameo role—playing a television network executive not too happy with Brett Wilson's decision to retir
e from his hit ghost hunting show.

Mike came by to shoot his scene this morning, then headed back to do his own radio show—where he interviewed writer/director Eric Espejo about Ghosts Don't Exist! Check out the podcast!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Godzilla Doesn't Exist

A wry Ed Mantell sidled up to my desk earlier this evening, alerting me to keep an eye out for a photo he'd just emailed.

It was a great photo, too—one he'd just snapped of cinematographer Kuni Ohi modeling a hard hat and striking a Godzilla-esque pose... while sitting on an apple box.

Ed thought I'd enjoy Photoshopping it during some rare downtime. He thought correctly. ;)

We're winding down Day 14—the last day here at the Travis Garner House set—and we're all a little punchy. (As evidenced by the Photoshopping of our esteemed DP, among other shenanigans.) We're actually looking to wrap a little after midnight tonight, which should give us all an added psychological boost going into the final day of filming tomorrow. The sun has been coming up at wrap time the past few mornings, so we're definitely feeling pretty good tonight.

Tomorrow, we'll probably be feeling even better. ;)

The Home Stretch

We're in the waning hours of Day 13 of our 15-day shoot, and it's starting to hit us—we're actually almost done. Last night was a picture wrap for Katie Foster and Kendra North, a sign that we're definitely in the home stretch. Tonight, Aaron began having the cast and crew sign a copy of the script—a tradition we at 19th + Wilson have enjoyed since our very first short film. A tradition started by our dear friend and fellow producer, the late Edwin Pontanilla.

We've been shooting Ghosts Don't Exist since May 2nd, and the time has absolutely flown by. It's true, what they say about having fun. The past 72 hours or so have been a literal blur, mainly due to the nocturnal schedule we've been on this week. And while seeing the end of the project
in sight (this phase of it, at least) is exciting, it's also somewhat bittersweet.

We're going to miss these days on set. We're going to miss this little makeshift production office at the Travis Garner House location, and walking through the rain-soaked yard to our vehicles at 5AM. (Well, maybe not that part.)

We're definitely going to miss the thrill of shooting at Chris Cooley's house. And we're going to miss the wonderful catered meals we've been enjoying twice a day. But most of all, we're going to miss the people—this amazing cast and crew who are making the film a reality.

This is by far the largest production team 19W has assembled to date, and it's been a blast coming to work with this group of 40-plus—throughout the rain, the heat, and the ungodly hours. And somehow, we're down to just a little over 36 hours left. Almost there...

Friday, May 15, 2009 -- Cool Spooky Props!

The props on this show have been amazingly complicated and way-cool - just ask Art Director Ed Mantell -- and I'll vouch as Production Designer. On our limited budget we couldn't begin to round up all this stuff without the kind sponsorship of various companies and organizations. John Warfield and our friends at DCMAG (DC's premier ghost hunter group) have lent us thousands of dollars worth of ghost-hunting equipment - EVP recorders, K2 meters,EMF meters, etc etc. A local contractor came in and filmed footage with a $20,000 FLIR thermal camera (more about him later - he gets his own blog).

Tonight, another fun prop gets its moment in the spotlight. Or, actually, it IS the spotlight. The Flash Fright Pro remote controlled flashlight has its scene tonight -- courtesy of Jeff Londos and the great folks at manufacturers / distributors Monster-Tronics has an amazing website - they're this huge online boutique / clearing house for just about everything scary you can imagine. Need a spooky prop for your movie, your haunted house attraction or for Halloween? These are THE guys to call.

Thanks Jeff and everybody at Monster-Tronics. We really appreciate your help and sponsorship in making this scene work for camera. ("What scene?" viewers may ask... Wait and see the movie!)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

MEET THE CREW: 1st AD Gavin Peretti

Director Eric Espejo with 1st AD Gavin Peretti

One of the first things Gavin Peretti told the cast and crew at our kick-off meeting was that he'd be talking a lot on set. A lot. He said, and I quote, "You're going to be sick of hearing my voice."

Gavin wasn't exaggerating. As 1st AD, his has been the alpha voice on set, bar none. Whether it's echoing through the halls of the 18th-century Travis Garner House location in person, or blasting digitally through our walkies, Gavin's voice has been a constant. But I really don't think that anyone is actually sick of it—it's a nice voice. And an entertaining one, to boot.

After a few days on set, we know the progression of the calls by heart:
— "Okay, rehearsal's up!"
— "Quiet for rehearsal!"
— "Settle, everyone, settle please!"
— "Okay, guys, picture's up!"
— "Quiet on the set!"
— "Roll sound!"

At this point, everyone knows to stop what they're doing and remain as quiet as possible. The scene is being filmed, and there can be no noise until Gavin relays the call:


And boy, does Gavin relay that call.

Perhaps more than anything else, the sound of Gavin yelling an exaggerated "CUUUTTTTTTTTT!!!" on walkie will resonate with cast and crew long after production wraps on Monday. It's an infectious term, the way Gavin uses it. "CUUUTTTTTTTTT!!!" We actually look forward to it. Not only because it means we're free to make noise again, but because we can repeat it in our best Gavin impersonations. (Which Donnie Aros wins hands down, by the way.)

Gavin's leadership on set has also been infectious. He's keeping the production on schedule, the actors focused, and the crew enthusiastic. In every sense of the term, he's a true MVP on set.

The skill Gavin has acquired behind the camera is undoubtedly due in part to his skills in front of it. Check out his trailer for Melancholamorbis.
He also plays the lead in what promises to be another fantastic film, the highly anticipated Red Legged Devils—the story of the 5th New York Volunteer Infantry, one of the most decorated and respected units of the American Civil War.

Another key aspect of Gavin's personality is his tirelessness. We've had our share of all-nighters, and his energy level has yet to waver. In fact, we haven't even seen him yawn. This makes him—and his voice—the perfect instrument to rouse any fading crewmembers a
t 4AM, as a resting Buzz Mooney recently found out.

Don's Johns -- THANKS!

As well as our many wonderful food sponsors, we've had a lot of sponsor support on several other fronts -- including some aspects of production that that might not be as glamourous as catering but are absolutely essential.

Like portojohns - the unsung heroes of all outdoor events & film shoots.

So, hats off and a big thanks to our official portojohn sponsor:

These guys are serious pros -- they had the inauguration contract -- (see news coverage on YouTube

Whether it's 10-2*, or 10-1*, call Don's Johns, they're the one!

-- Kathryn Coombs, UPM

* Film set etiquette notes for newbies: For reasons I've never been able to fathom, when one is announcing on walkie to other crew that one will be "indisposed" for a period of time, one is supposed to specify what kind of indisposed one will actually be. Apparently, the theory is that a 10-1 doesn't take as long as a 10-2. As far as I'm concerned, it should be 10-MYOB

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

All Roads Lead to Jimmys Old Town Tavern

Always the quintessential showman, Jimmy Cirrito of Jimmy's Old Town Tavern arrived on set shortly before midnight with the most amazing spread of goodies: Jamaican jerk chicken & rice (mmmm!!), Jimmy's signature pierogies, kielbasa, veggies, salad, brownies, bread pudding, fresh baked mini French loaves, soft drinks -- TONS of food, glorious food.

All of our food sponsors are special. But Jimmy is extra special because he's linked into the production team in at least three ways. Not surprising, considering how involved Jimmy's Tavern is in the community.

I thought of Jimmy as a potential sponsor having worked with him twice before when he sponsored the 2003 & 2005 Herndon Historical Society living histories re-creating fabled Civil War partisan ranger John Singleton Mosby's raid on Herndon Station. As the reenactment organizer, I worked closely with Jimmy and we dressed him as one of Mosby's men, known only to history as "Jimmy the Irishman". This seemed aposite, as the raid happened on St. Patrick's Day in 1864. He got into the role and was a total good sport, even when my elderly but high spirited horse Katie decided to give him a somewhat unscheduled ride down the W&OD trail. (whee!)

I suggested Jimmy to Producer Aaron Goodmiller and Director/writer Eric Espejo and it turned out that 19th & Wilson's very first experimental short was filmed on location AT JIMMY'S and they're all great buddies.

Holy cow. Small world! But it gets better.....

The third piece of the puzzle is that Christy Cooley's dad, Scott ("Skip") Olgevee's band regularly plays at Jimmy's. When I offered to get Jimmy a photo op with Chris & Christy for the restaurant wall, he told me that they were already up there!

Damn, this guy knows EVERYBODY!

Christy was visiting set when Jimmy and his assistant Pam delivered the food, so it was big hugs all around and a mini-reunion on many levels. And enough food to feed an army. (Yum! Killer bread pudding!)

Filming night scenes means working some fairly oddball hours. For the last two days we've been pulling all-nighters, starting work at 7 pm and finished at 6 am. For those not in the film industry, the first meal break (customarily 6 hours after starting work) is always "lunch" regardless of whether it is served at noon or at 3 am. Not many restaurants are willing to have you pick up "lunch" at midnight much less deliver it to set. Jimmy's Old Town Tavern is pretty damned special - and the eponymous Jimmy Cirrito is one kick-ass caterer.

If you're ever near Herndon, VA and hungry or thirsty, Jimmy's is THE place to go. Tell him that Team GDE said hi!
-- Kathryn Coombs, Unit Production Manager / Production Designer

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fun with Props, Part I

Part of the fun of making films is putting your own stamp on them in creative (and sometimes mischievous) ways. Throughout nearly every production, opportunities arise for custom props to be designed. This is a chance to not only add a layer to the visual palette, but to pay tribute to some of the hard working folks behind the scenes.

Or in this case, to make them look like dangerous fugitives.

Chris Cooley’s scene with Sheriff Fuller actually takes place in the Hamilton, VA Town Hall—not a sheriff’s office. To aide the effect, we designed a handful of “wanted posters” for placement behind the actors. They’re not legible on screen, but from a distance, they do help create an aura of police work.

Instead of using random faces, we incorporated some of our own—taking great care to add fictitious names and rap sheets. 1st AD Gavin Peretti became "Diego Phillip Salvatore." Assistant Art Director Buzz Moon
ey became "Kenny Wayne Barksdale"—wanted for outstanding library fines and 137 counts of felony mattress tag removal.

Armorer/Stunt Coordinator Greg Labenz donned a nasty looking facial scar for his mugshot ("Nelson Memphis Conroy"). And one of the most menacing posters featured the man who applied Greg's special effects—(Jim Choate, "Mason Ambrose Crowley III").

Even Buzz Mooney's G.I. Joe got the mugshot treatment. Although he actually deserves it—he's been involved with several other prop shenanigans these past few days... but that story will have to wait for Part II.


We're in the midst of our very first overnight shoot on the set of GDE, and so far so good. The mood has been at least as buoyant as it typically is during the day—maybe more so. It certainly doesn't feel like it's 2:30AM, especially after having just enjoyed the wonderful shrimp curry Samantha made for the crew. Although, our senses are definitely getting a workout tonight/this morning—the house now smells like bacon. (Samantha immediately started on breakfast.)

There's plenty of laughter and focus downstairs, and Devon, Fred, and Josh are on their game knocking out some difficult scenes.

One clue to the time, however, is that Cinematographer Kuni Ohi just officially asked for the first caffeine pill of the night. This prompted a word of nostalgic caution from editor Matt West—"Don't end up like Jessie Spano..."

Monday, May 11, 2009


We're already over the halfway mark of shooting Ghosts Don't Exist—Monday will be Day 9 of 15, and just one week away from wrapping! It doesn't seem possible that only three months ago, 19th + Wilson set about casting the lead roles... and it was anyone's guess who'd walk through those doors.

We had a marathon turnout of over 220 talented actors over the course of 2 days, all vying for spots in the movie. And at the time, it was anyone's game. Slowly but surely, however, our group of ghost hunters (and a skeptic) emerged from the pack.

Phillip Roebuck + Ted Taylor; Devon Marie Burt; Frederick Cowie; and Josh Davidson.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Leftovers Don't Exist, Part III

As we've been reporting, the food on the set of Ghosts Don't Exist has just been one treat after another... and we're overwhelmed with appreciation! Cast and crew get to enjoy two sponsored meals a day, and as we enter our 8th day of filming on Sunday, we're in for another encore performance from one of the maestros—Jack Azar, who owns three of the wonderful restaurants that have so generously sponsored our production: Brooklyn Bros. Pizzeria, South Riding Inn, and Manhattan Pizza. In fact, Jack has sponsored not one, not two, but eight full meals for our team of 40+ people—and that's amazing.

This past Friday night, everyone was raving about the pork tenderloins and mashed potatoes from South Riding Inn. (It was a fantastic follow-up to the huge pizzas from Manhattan Pizzeria for lunch.) The night before, it was the Brooklyn Bros. pasta that won the oohs and ahhs.

After 7 full days of filming with this terrific group, it's wonderful to see the friendships and camaraderie beginning to blossom. And a big part of that is owed to the quality time we get to enjoy together over good food. We're extremely appreciative of folks like Jack and his family who are helping to not only support our film, but have in effect helped shape the dynamic of our team.

I hear that tomorrow is Brooklyn Bros. day again, and I'm stoked. It's almost a shame that my New York City spoon rings are no longer spoons— they might have helped me score an extra serving or two of pure awesome.

And on the subject of the movie itself, Sunday promises to be another pivotal day in the production. Crucial scenes with the full ensemble cast!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

LIGHTS... (camera... action...)

Shortly after Chris Cooley filmed his scenes Tuesday night, the stage for another memorable scene was literally being set in the parking lot directly next door.

In an authentic police cruiser graciously loaned to us by the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office
, (special thanks again to Deputy Sullivan!) actors Chris Kennedy and Ted Taylor sat idling. Those outside the vehicle were hardly idle, however. Under the creative guidance of brilliant lighting technicians Donnie Aros and Hektor Stockton, the stationary cruiser becomes anything but on camera.

It's amazing to watch these guys work—making the seemingly impossible seem almost effortless.