Sophia Cacciola
[sophia@sophiacacciola.com]
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Sophia Cacciola and Michael J. Epstein

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Sophia and Michael are Somerville, MA based musicians and filmmakers
TEN the movie! MAGNETIC the movie!

Michael J. Epstein
[mje@michaeljepstein.com]
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This is a personal weblog.
Opinions expressed here
represent my own and
not those of my employer.

Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling [Music][Blog][Facebook][Twitter][Youtube] bass/drum duo based on The Prisoner
The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library [Music][Blog][Facebook][Twitter][Youtube] Indie ensemble
Darling Pet Munkee [Music][Blog][Facebook][Youtube] garage/surf songs about items sold in comics
Space Balloons [Music][Blog][Facebook][Twitter][Youtube] Children's space-traveler music
The Motion Sick [Music][Press][Blog][Facebook][Twitter][Youtube] Indie rock with emphasis on song

Neutral Uke Hotel
[Facebook][Blog][Twitter][Youtube] Uke based Neutral Milk Hotel sing-a-long


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Lloyd Kaufman of Troma writes the cast and crew of TEN a thank you note for his voice cameo!


David Joseph Clarke, first assistant director for TEN ran into Troma's Lloyd Kaufman in Melbourne (where David currently does quite a bit of film and film festival work) and Lloyd wrote us this lovely note!


From our session with Lloyd:


Sophia and I had the awesome pleasure of visiting Tromaville! Lloyd Kaufman, President and Co-Founder of Troma Entertainment, was extremely kind and agreed to play a voice role in TEN. We were unbelievably honored by this.

I've been a huge fan of Troma since I first saw Toxic Avenger around age 13. I loved it so much that I quickly worked my way through Class of Nuke 'Em HighSurf Nazis Must Die!, Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D., Troma's War, and perhaps my favorite, The Toxic Avenger Part II. I was later delighted to bask in my hatred of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet by repeatedly making everyone I knew watch Tromeo and Juliet.

Everyone at Troma was super nice. We got a tour of the office and saw lots of great props, both old and new, hanging around. We got to see their film vault, their store stock collection, and their other materials archives.

Lloyd himself was extremely kind and really showed he cared about delivering his part well (which he did!). We're very excited that we got to include him as part of our film's story and we're sure his well-known voice will receive cheers from our future viewers! It was thrilling to be able to receive this kind of support from someone whose work inspired us to make movies.



After seeing Kristilyn's beautiful TEN postcard (which he tacked to the wall behind him), Lloyd asked us, with great concern if our movie promoted violence against animals. We told him about our use of pig imagery and that we are vegans. He is active in promoting animal rights, not only in his films' commentary on processed food (see Poultrygeist and Return to Nuke 'Em High), but also with PETA work like his Sunny Acres Farms PSA.


Here's some video of behind-the-scenes. He's telling some hilarious stories and having fun! Another filmmaker from Belgium named Nayila (sp?) was visiting at the time and she helped take photos of us and watched as we recorded the voice performance.




As a related aside, right before filming TEN, during our pre-production period, we studied Lloyd's Make Your Own Damn Movie DVD set extensively and found it to provide really helpful insight into so many elements of filmmaking. From the behind-the-scenes effects shots to the interviews with filmmakers at various levels, it was a really great chance to get some insight into how different people approach the processes we were about to dive into.


Since finishing production, I've studied Lloyd's Sell Your Own Damn Movie! and found it very helpful for creating our marketing and distribution strategies.



In short, I feel unbelievably grateful to have had a chance to not only shake the hand of someone who inspired me to get involved in filmmaking, but to actually record his performance to include in our very own damn movie! Thanks Lloyd! 






Friday, November 14, 2014

The Ungovernable Force first look teaser!

Very excited to have been a camera operator on Ungovernable Films' The Ungovernable Force over the past few months and to share this first-look teaser for it! (NSFW)
 "Exploitation/grindhouse feature film from Ungovernable Films, featuring all your favorite ungovernable motifs like sex, gore, violence, nudity, schlock, and laughs!"


Me as camera op - Ungovernable Films
taken by/courtesy of 
Get The Photo
Taking cues from films like Suburbia, Class of 1984, and Class of Nuke Em High, "THE UNGOVERNABLE FORCE" is a punxploitation film that sets an army of punks and bums against a band of fascist cops!

THE UNGOVERNABLE FORCE features appearances from all your favorite film and music legends, including Tony Moran (Michael Myers from Halloween!), Debbie Rochon (the 1990s Scream Queen of the Decade!), Lloyd Kaufman (co-founder of TROMA and creator of the Toxic Avenger!), Bill Weeden (Reginald Stuart from Sgt. Kabukiman, NYPD!), Apache Ramos (from The Warriors!), Nic Cramer (famed porn director and four-time AVN Award winner!), Steve Ignorant (CRASS), Steve Lake (Zounds), Nick Cash (999), Zillah Minx (Rubella Ballet), Thomas Mensforth (Angelic Upstarts), Shend (The Cravats), Paul Russo (The Unseen), and many others!
Written/Directed by Paul M McAlarney
Director of Photography - Nick Norrman
Executive Producers - Paul M McAlarney, Nick Norrman, Alex E Edwards, Dave Sullivan
Casting by Dave Sullivan
Sound Mixing by Quinn Wilson
Camera Operators - Nick Norrman, Ryan Piccirillo, Michael J Epstein
Assistant Directors - 
Makeup/Wardrobe Dept - Salena Powers and Diane Pimentel
Puppets by Mayhem
Special FX by Paul M McAlarney and Nick Norrman

Teaser Music
"Can't Cheat Karma" by Zounds, courtesy of Steve Lake and Overground Records
Composition by Timothy Fife

Joining our timeless heroes is an all-star cast of local misfits, including:
Jake Vaughan
Lindsay Winne
David Reid
Aurora Grabill
Masshole Mike McCarthy
Nathan Johnson
Mark "Jacket" Geanakakis
PJ Rodrigues
James Kane
Salena Powers
Jordan Gillam
Sam Hays
Paul McGillicuddy
Harry Toole
Jim Baglini
Jonathan Thyne
Hope Zimmerman
Graham King
Stephen Walling
Renee Mandrake
Dolores McDougal
Greg LaVoie
Dave Sullivan
Brian Young
Steven Lawlor Jones
Charldyn Valcin
Alex E Edwards
Blake Rickerson
Stabatha La Thrills
William Bauer, Jr
Jorge Rivas
Rick Weir
John Ewing
Jonathan Neves
and many many many more!

www.ungovernablefilms.com

It's Not Funny Anymore (local film!) kickstarter!

A stand up comic has to decide if he can keep performing material based on his own life issues. Set in the comedy world, It's Not Funny Anymore is about mental illness in creative people who have to decide if self sabotage for art is worth doing it.

It's Not Funny Anymore (feature) is Mark Phinney's follow-up to FAT.

"FAT,"  premiered at one of the biggest festivals in the world - The Toronto International Film Festival
much of the film will be shot in the local comedy clubs
including Improv Asylum and Laugh Boston
(TIFF). TIFF creative director Cameron Bailey named us in his personal Top 9 Films to See at TIFF '13 and was listed in Boston Globe film reporter, Ty Burr's Top 10 to See. Burr wrote that it: "Nailed the Boston movie. Making a true and sincere local film." Indiewire called it one of the "Most brave, ballsy films about weight ever" and Collective Friction said it "Captured the zeitgeist the way Clerks did in 1994."

In the way that FAT tackled weight, It's Not Funny Anymore hopes to tackle depression among creatives - with a very candid eye.

More about It's Not Funny Anymore:
Pete is sinking further and further into depression while mining his life for material. He starts to feel that loving a "healthier" life can save him from what his best friends ends up doing. While in a dysfunctional relationship and state of mind, Pete starts falling apart for the sake of his act.

It is the story of a stand up comedian who uses his personal issues to create his comedy. He mines his tragedies, depression, and every day ups and downs to funnel into his act. It's starting to get to him. Eventually it starts to break him down to where he questions if he can even do it anymore.

Meanwhile he's surrounded by other dysfunctional, but talented, friends, relationships and comics.

Is getting "healthy" in the heart and head an answer for Pete's life or does he have to be messed up to create and feel good about his art? That is a question most creatives deal with everyday.

Set in the local stand up scene, "It's Not Funny Anymore" is about mental and emotional illness. Seen through the lens of stand up, the film is stark, raw look at depression and suicide done in the same no holds barred fashion as Fat.


Michael and Sophia will be helping out doing sound on the film! Support the kickstarter and support an independent, locally-made film about a very important issue! INFA facebook, twitter


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Bring Us Your Women "Sirens" filming on November 16th, seeking actors (non-union, credit, unpaid) / indoor pool location / aerial camera operator

Launch Over shoot for "Sirens" segment of the film Bring Us Your Women (IMDB)

Shoot date: November 16th, 2014

-Casting the following roles (non-union, credit, unpaid):

Pomona, Eve, Persephone - females, 18-35 - 2 brief scenes (indoors - approximately 2 hour shoot each, evening or morning), one "upset" performance, ideally with a pet-free kitchen/living room/bedroom that we can film your scenes in.

Vertumnus, Nahash, Hades - males, 18-35 - full day (indoors and outdoors, full day shoot) - must be comfortable falling on the ground outdoors


Multiple victims - male, 18+, must be comfortable falling on the ground outdoors (outdoor shoot - approximately 4 hours)

-Seeking additional location - indoor pool, 3 hours access

-Seeking aerial camera operator for flyover shot

Contact: sophia@launchover.com for consideration or for more information

Keep Safe Compilation to benefit Planned Parenthood - Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, Drab, The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library and 47 others

art by Nicole Anguish/Daykamp Creative!
Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, Drab, The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library, and 47 other Boston-are bands that do not include either Sophia or Michael as members are all on this pay-what-you-can compilation to benefit Planned Parenthood.


About: Spearheaded by Anngelle Wood (WZLX, Rock 'n' Roll Rumble), Keep Safe Boston is a community organization and movement to reach out to artists, musicians, college campuses, area politicians, and activists to join us in fostering a safer, more compassionate community. It was a simple idea, to keep the relevant conversations active, to remind us to look out for one another, and to give voice to the issues that affect us. Keep Safe Boston is a response, a call to action.  This 50 song pay-what-you-can compilation features some of the biggest names in New England music, from up-and-coming acts to tried-and-true hometown heroes to include exclusive digital singles from 2014 Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble finalists Petty Morals (“Just a Game”); Parlour Bells (“Wetware”), Blackbutton (“Hospital Stay”), Hallelujah The Hills (“Affectionate Darlings 4 Life”), The Rationales (“All The While”), Corin Ashley (“Jellyfish”), Gene Dante and the Future Starlets ("Girl On A Unicycle [Safe Space Remix]"), Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling ("Making Friends"), John Powhida International Airport ("The Promised Land"), The Year Million (Something Better [PDH Remix]”), Apple Betty (“Skin Of My Teeth”) plus two previously released songs that exist no where else in digital form from White Dynomite ("Look Out Below") and Ad Frank ("French Translation"). Keep Safe Facebook, Keep Safe Twitter, Keep Safe Web

The Boston Herald calls it a, "crash course in our corner of the rock world"


Anngelle Wood's thoughts on why she started this project!

show poster by Nicole Anguish/Daykamp Creative

Drab will be playing the release show December 10th at Brighton Music Hall! - It is Human Rights Day. We will observe this day with a benefit for Planned Parenthood

JASS BIANCHI, Parlour Bells, The Color and Sound, Corin Ashley, Drab, The Rationales
Doing short 3 song sets are special guest openers CLUB GRCB, Girls Rock Campaign Boston's after school program for girls from 7th to 11th grade. http://www.plannedparenthood.org/



A look at the songs we submitted to the compilation:

Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling "Making Friends" - this is a song that was written before we began our Prisoner project, and as such hasn't had a home, until now!

The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library "Secret Animals" - this song was written for the Encyclopedia Show Somerville for our Zodiac themed show! It will eventually be a part of our Encyclopedia Show Theme Songs compilation due later in 2015!
 
Drab! This song was part of our EP released this Fall, we're very excited to have it included here:
 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

MAGNETIC RECAP: Day 12 - Daughters of Ra

We knew we had some additional backstory to shoot to fill in some expository sections, and after assembling the first rough cut of MAGNETIC in September, we decided to include some Ra worship. So off we went looking for a church (hat-tip to Mathew Foster for recommending Old Stone Church in West Boylston, MA) to shoot some crazy cult scenes.

photo by Sophia Cacciola - thanks to the fine folks at TT the Bears, Inc for lending us this amazing ram skull!

the DAUGHTERS OF RA - photo by Sophia Cacciola


Our cult included some awesome extras: Rachel Leah Blumenthal, Catherine Capozzi, Erin Genett, Amber Lynn Hampton, Natasha Mogilevskaya, Maddi B. Ranieri, and Blakely Ross Sullivan! We had a crazy (and fun) day worshipping Ra!

more behind-the-scenes photos:


Thursday, November 6, 2014

MAGNETIC Recap: Days 11, 13 and 14 - pick-up, extra scenes- more sheep and flashbacks!

Kelly Davidson instagram of eye close-up
very elaborate set!
Day 11 (May 28th) we did some pick-up shooting of the car driving (mostly going down the highway from another car!) and we got some close-ups of hands and eyeballs!

In September, (Day 13!) Michael and Sophia went  back to the sheep farm to get some more sheep footage in a different season (the film takes place in December) for a flashback. (more photos of the sheep!)



Michael with more sheep!



Day 14 was our final day of shooting!!! Again, we were just picking up some odds and ends- quick FX shot and a bit more footage for the flashback! 
this doesn't look like much!

quick mock-up in premiere of fx shot!


faking an office in a hallway
And finally, we got crazy and shot the inside of a tape deck:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Michael and Sophia sing on Andy Santospago's "Guiness Park" for the Boston Singers Project - Year of the Horse

About the song/project:
http://thebostonsingersproject.tumblr.com/post/101641491491/the-boston-singers-project-november-song-11

"Itchycoo park, Macarthur park, Beechwood park… the 60’s were filled with groovy/silly tunes about parks. I heard this one in a dream and woke up remembering only the chorus “on the way to Guiness Park”. I woke up and made the groggy voice memo, thought it was kinda catchy but completely nonsensical. I then googled Guinness park and to my delight I discovered that it is and equestrian riding school in the English country side, fully stocked with livery and stables. Thought it was a funny oasis to escape to and went with it. I like to think of it as Mersey beat/British invasion tune."



You may remember that I had a similar dream songwriting experience with the song, "Small Crack"!


MAGNETIC Lip-Synching: Alice Cooper "Billion Dollar Babies"

MAGNETIC Kickstarter-reward lipsync goes out to kickstarter backer, The Barry Family! Starring Allix Mortis it's Alice Cooper, "Billion Dollar Babies" - This song was Allix's choice!

Shot by Michael J. Epstein on the set of MAGNETIC!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

MAGNETIC Recap: Day 10 DREAMS aka An Ode to Zombie Romance



It's no secret that we love the work of kristilyn/Zombie Romance! ZR created the artwork for the TEN postcard that turned into the TEN Soundtrack art; we collaborated on The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library Art/Music Exchange and on the first Bring Us Your Women event, and most recently ZR did the artwork for Drab's EP. Kristilyn has been an absolute joy to work with on all of these projects and Magnetic was no different!

kristilyn instagram: sketches of painting backdrops
MAGNETIC has three dream sequences inspired by Alice in Wonderland that we knew we wanted to be very surreal and '60s feeling, our main inspiration being Salvadore Dali's dream sequence in Spellbound. We commissioned kristilyn to be art director on these sequences and she did an amazing job pulling in all of the influences while also working with the imagery of the rest of MAGNETIC.
We shot these in May at Oberon, making ample use of their black space and spotlights!

Dream One: Spider
kristilyn sketch - spider costume
kristilyn sketch - spider dream


kristilyn and Allix Mortis collaborated on materials for the spider costume (kristilyn made the eyes and arms, as well as giant flies for the web!):
kristilyn instagram: spider web


Dream Two: Tea Party
kristilyn sketch tea party

kristilyn sketch of characters for the tea party


kristilyn/Zombie Romance created costumes for a sheep-dog, a sheep, and a wolf:
animal costume sketches by kristilyn

Kelly Davidson Instagram of dream set
,
We were very lucky to have the help of Tamora Gooding, Rachel Leah Blumenthal, and Amy Macabre (fr L to R)  to play the animal characters! Also on set, we had our head PA, Zach Pidgeon and Dave Green helping out on second camera (in addition to our cinematographer, Kelly Davidson).

Dream Three:

dream 3!


more behind-the-scenes photos by Rachel Leah Blumenthal:

We also shot two kickstarter-reward lip-sync videos on the dream sets - Hybrid Moments as the spider and Robot Cat at the tea party!

Monday, November 3, 2014

MAGNETIC Poster Art by Craig Maher

We're very excited to share some awesome artwork created for Magnetic by Craig Maher. We had previously worked with Craig on The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library's Art-Music Exchange, for which he created an illustration of "Amylee" and we wrote a song about his work, "Brood."

We thought he would be the perfect artist to help capture some of the retro 60s-80s sci-fi feel we were going for with Magnetic. First, here's the awesome final piece! It's a sort of visual collage of film elements with a wonderful semi-realist sort of look.

Illustration © 2014, Craig Maher
You might wonder...how the heck did we arrive at this thing? 

First, we sent Craig a series of reference posters showing the look and feel of what we were going for and asked if he might be interested in this project...here are a few of those (created by, and copyright their respective creators and owners):

Once Craig replied with, "You had me at French He-Man poster," we knew we had the right guy!

He went right off to work and we went through many iterations of ideas, sketches, and concepts. Here is a sort of visual history of that process! We looked at several possible concepts before honing in on the composition and ideas that ended up in the final artwork: 

























And once again, the final art:


Illustration © 2014, Craig Maher