We continue our on going series ‘Behind TPH’ with the production of the second vignette, the chicken story. But first we discuss the week that was.

For several weeks now we have been working with a few banks to try and secure a loan for all the deliverables involved with handing our film over to a distributor. With several offers on the table and pressure to deliver the film right away, if it’s ever going to happen for TPH, the time is now.

Everything is up and running for our partnership with Tugg.com and hopefully there will be several theater appearance for ‘The Perfect House’ to mention in the coming weeks. If you haven’t already requested a screening in your area, be the first and you can pick the date and location along with receiving 5% of ticket sales for the event.

T celebrate the one year anniversary of heading out into the open road on the TPH tour we have started a new weekly blog series entitled, one year ago this week. Each post recaps the week that was on the TPH tour.

Continuation of Behind TPH: Production of the Chicken Story.

By the time we started shooting the second vignette we were starting to hit our stride. A routine had emerged and everyone knew what their responsibilities were and what needed to be done at the end of each night before we left my Grandfathers house. However, like everything in life there was a learning curve.

Our most recent transgression against my Grandfather was a chilling wake up call. There is a switch in the basement that turns the hot water tank on and off, because of sound it was necessary to turn this off everyday when we were shooting. We learned quickly that someone had to be specifically assigned the task of making sure this switch was turned back on at the end of each night, when my Grandfather stumbled into an ice cold shower and was none to happy.

It was during our second story that my cousin, who lived next door, started to do a nightly walk through of the house when we were packing up. Nothing adds tension and awkwardness to a new crew like someone in their tight volunteer fireman tshirt and gun holstered at their side walking through the house screw facing everyone.

Even though my Grandpa had his moments of doubt over the arrangement, he was also a proud Grandfather bragging to all who would listen that ‘Hollywood comes to him’. He was running tours of the set for his friends, only the tour days always seemed to be the most violent days with the occasional boobies out.

Being a small production we didn’t have the pull or the leverage to clear the production with the big man upstairs so we occasionally had to arm our wonderful producers assistant Melissa with the garden hose so she could chase away the extremely vocal birds in nearby trees.

Much to the chagrin of our director of photography Tal Lazar many of the greatest parts of the second vignette came from spontaneity including the street light above the cages, the smiley face light and the hiding place for a shank. One thing that was not spontaneously planned, but a fight to pull off none the less, was our gratuitous breast shot.

While working with Jonathan Tiersten was a challenge at times, it was a positive challenge that provided enormous opportunities to grow and evolve as a director and a creator.

We celebrate our 50th episode with the continuation of our Behind TPH series. We have made it to production and in this segment we cover all the dirty details of our first segment of the film. We shot the storm story and the bookend story over the first four days of production.

But, before we continue with Behind TPH, we update you on the most recent developments with the film. We have partnered with Tugg.com to offer The Perfect House in local theaters. All you have to do is request a screening in your area and list the top 3 theaters and dates you would like for the event. You become the event promoter and receive 5% of the ticket sales. Tugg handles all of the work setting up and booking the event and making ticket sales available. As long as the minimum number of tickets are sold a week before the event, the event happens. If not, the event is canceled and no one is charged for anything.

As a reward to any fans that request an October screening in your area, we will supply you with 5 DVDs of the film to give away at your event!

Behind TPH: Production of the storm story.

The first day of shooting got off to a rocky start, we started right out with exteriors on a busy street. As we discussed in the last episode of gratcast, the rain had saturated the ground to the point anymore moisture was going to flood the basement all over again. On top of the weather issues, we discovered we completely forgot to cast a role, not just a role, but a role in the very first scene we shot!

Our first day working with a name actor was chaotic to say the least, we got some great stuff that actually inspired the storyline for the sequel, but in the end it was all for not, as we had to comeback a few months later and completely rewrite and reshoot the last scene of the movie.

The next day Monique Parent arrived in Buffalo. Because we were running behind, from the fight with the weather the day before, we had to try and make up for lost time, by shooting some of the next days scenes that night. That meant, if Monique was up to it, she had to come straight from the airport after a cross country flight, right to set and make-up. She was not only up to it, but nailed it!

While we shot the bookend segment and tour of the house, we got a lead on a potential set designer for the rest of production. Zach Serafin came to set for a lunch break interview, he never left! From that moment forward Zach was our set designer. Once again, we got ridiculously lucky, Zach’s talents and efforts showed up directly on screen, he added depth and detail to our sets that would have never been there without him. The second story, the John Doesy story, was an entire world he had created in two days!

During the first story we were all still feeling each other out, as was my grandfather in regards to his feelings about all of this. It became evident right away that the tight rope between loyal grandson and loyal producer was going to be almost impossible to balance. We had a bullseye on our chest and it wasn’t going to go away. However, thanks to a timely scheduled surgery, my Uncle Dave was out of work recovering for a few weeks, the exact weeks we were shooting. He became a godsend and a bridge between family and business, without him becoming our ‘set manager’ we would have been kicked out of the house after day 2.

The story behind TPH continues with finding the rest of the cast and crew in Buffalo, but first we discuss our abundance of options in our week in review.

The benefits of self distribution are the endless options available to today’s filmmakers, however the draw back is also the overwhelming amount of endless options.

One of the best options we have come across so far is Tugg.com. Through Tugg we will be able to have The Perfect house available in theaters across the country and you our fans can earn 5% of the the ticket sales for promotiong the event.

Behind TPH part 3: The Buffalo Cast and Crew.

One by one we find the rest of the crew and continue to hold auditions, meetings and interviews at our favorite BBQ joint. We made our gaffer jump threw hoops, Kris Smith orginally auditioned for a part other than the storm mother, Holly Greene did her audition while screaming in a Hotel closet in Vancouver at 6am.

As great as Jonathan Tiersten was as John Doesy their was another fairly famous actor originally cast in the part that fell threw at the last second opening the door for JT.

Days before production begins and we have no equipment, 8 inches of water in our basement set and no money, but we still

This week we have special guest Chris Barber our graphic designer and the artist behind our wildly popular Comic Con DVD cover. He shares his experiences moving to Los Angeles and what it was like going to design school at Penn State University, including his feelings as an alumni on the recent events.

During our week in review we catch up on everything happening since the 4th of July. Andrea set’s Kris up with a perfect segway into a rant about a reviewer who had a personal agenda when she debates the difference between a duesch and a dick.
Kris takes the opportunity to defend himself against accusations he depicted rape on screen worse than any other filmmaker in the history of cinema.

Finally we get to the next chapter of our on going segment about the backstory behind The Perfect House. This week’s chapter is the arrival in Buffalo.

We headed for Buffalo via an easter weekend with the family in New Jersey. A great family weekend of walking tours through the warehouse district, flamboyant tour guides, a run in with Larry David, sculpture parks and a sunday BBQ turns violently ugly when adversity strikes. A fluke injury sends the weekend into a tailspin and might ultimately have been the only reason the movie is ever made.

Back in Buffalo and recovering, we try to explain to my Grandfather, over daily visits to dissect his home, the circus that is headed his way.

In between visits we would swing by the house of horrors that is home to the secret lab of Anomaly Effects.

Gratwick Films and The Perfect House have declared war on traditional distribution!

Our declaration of independence has been issued and we have begun selling DVD’s for The Perfect House. Andrea has finally left the day job and joined Gratwick Films fulltime. In our first attempt at hitting the streets we made friends with a few homeless kids and donated some dvds to sell for food money. After that, Andrea boldly walked into the world famous Amoeba Records and convinced them they needed to carry our movie on the shelves!

Andrea made our first business to business sale!
In a special edition of Gratcast we delve into part 1 of a three part series about the story behind The Perfect House. Each of the 3 episodes we will share and discuss the details and true stories never before told behind each phase of The Perfect House. Part 1 covers pre-production and how we managed to will this movie into existence.

Starting with the script, we discuss how the story evolved from a short story I wrote on a whim into a full length feature film titled ‘The Perfect House’. Many of the story influences were based on our resources or lack there of, rather than a specific desire or need to tell a story. Very few people know this, but there was actually an entirely different second story, that we decided not to go with, before we came up with the Chicken story.

While we were scanning craigslist for opportunities and collaborators, Kris came across an open letter written by a Director of Photography named Tal Lazar. The letter immediately convinced Kris that Tal was the right guy for the job, in fact Tal is the one that originally suggested the idea of making a spec trailer to help with raising the funding.

When it came time to shoot a spec trailer for The Perfect House we were able to raise $500 for the weekend shoot. By this time we had also been connected to our first “name” actor. An actor who would immediately show signs of things to come as she held our spec trailer and our eventual entire production hostage with frivolous unprofessional actions and demands. We even managed to have someone threaten to sue us on a voluntary spec trailer!

With a finished cut of the spec trailer we set out to find our composer. The trailer was used as an audition for our top responses from craigslist. 5 different composers submitted a score for the 2 minute spec trailer, each of them had their benefits, but it was the score of Frederik Wiedmann that leapt off the screen and made the decision a no brainer.

With a finished spec trailer and new found confidence we set out to find investors and a location to shoot The Perfect House. We searched everything possible and not possible, you don’t realize how badly you want to make a movie until you start justifying and convincing yourself you can shoot in some pretty compromising situations. We checked out crawl spaces in South Central, abandon Jiffy Lubes on the west side and a historical building a bit north. None of them were even close to ideal, that’s when we decided Buffalo was the place to be, in Buffalo we had the location that I had in my mind when I wrote the story.

Now we just had to set a date, turns out with all the schedules in play, money or no money, we had one window we could shoot the movie in over the next 2 years and that window was 4 months away! We locked in the date for the last 2 weeks of June. Andrea and I packed up our belongings, gave up our apartment and headed back to Buffalo just in time for Easter.

We have come full circle with The Perfect House as hold interviews for a new publicist. Like a good GM in the draft we weighed the virtues of the safe pick vs. the flashy pick.

DVD’s for The Perfect House are in house and a major announcement is imminent! In what might go down as the worst segway ever Kris opens the floor to ancient aliens.

Conspiracy theorists rejoice! Jesus Christ was a real man with a documented history, there was a prehistoric nuclear war and why ancient children’s toys are the proof of advance technology and aerodynamics.

1. Intro
2. week in review (interviewing publicist)
3. DVD update
4. worst segway ever
5. Ancient Aliens

Andrea has spent the week at death’s door while Kris’s has been moving and shaking t the Grove. In what might someday go down in Hollywood lore, Kris explains how he pitched, wrote and made a deal for a script in less than 3 days.

A ton of news about The Perfect House hints at possible release date for the ‘multiple’ dvds, possible bonus features, commentary and… a possible secret endings?

Facebook has jumped the shark and become a cesspool of hostility and impulsive negativity. Kris explains why you should always say you’re going to polish it up for them and keep it tight.

A Gratwick Original Mike Garrow will be a guest on next week’s show, Andrea and Kris explain just who is Mike Garrow and where his place is in the annual of Gratwick Films history.

Chapter list
1. Intro to episode 41
2. Andrea goes 7 rounds with death
3. Kris talk about writing a script in 2 days
4. The Perfect House news