What is your book, A Season To Avenge, about?
Fans of Harry Bosh, Death Wish, The Equalizer or Dirty Harry will love this book! It is an intense and emotional crime fiction thriller about a retired detective turned vigilante who will stop at nothing to hunt down the killer of his best friend’s son.

Jack Wilson is a retired detective in California with extensive experience as an investigator. He has a perfect life until his best friend’s son is murdered while inadvertently interrupting a home burglary. The police investigate the case, but find no obvious leads and the case subsequently stalls. Jack is compelled to start looking into the case and is immediately warned by the lead homicide investigator stop or face criminal charges. Jack now has to decide if he is willing to forfeit the ethical and legal principles he has followed his entire career and risk the likely consequences.
 
The search leads him to a career criminal and his protégé who are on a vicious drug fueled crime spree that is spiraling out of control. Working alone, Jack must not only try to outmaneuver the lead detective whose intuition tells her Jack is running a parallel investigation, but also attempt to catch the killer. Through the use of unfamiliar and unconventional methods, Jack undertakes a relentless journey attempting to find and bring the killer to his own version of justice.

What inspired A Season To Avenge?
The story came to me years ago and once I started writing, the book wrote itself. The content of my writing draws directly from my imagination, coupled with experiences during my 35-year law enforcement career. I spent the majority of that time as a detective and as a detective supervisor. Mark Twain once said, “Write what you know.” I happen to take that quote literally, and this is a world I know extremely well. My book is entertaining and engaging. It’s infused with incredible detail that bring the reader into the fascinating world of crime, policing, and the criminal justice system in a unique way.

Tell us a little about you. Who is Russ J. Taylor?
I grew up in Southern California and enjoy the beaches, mountains, and the extraordinary climate. I write books simply out of pure enjoyment and I do not benefit financially in any way. I donate 100% of the proceeds from all of my books to the Los Angeles Mission, an organization I have supported for decades. This wonderful charity provides help, hope, and opportunity to men, women, and children in need.

How can we read A Season To Avenge?
My novel is currently on sale in an e-book/Kindle format for only 0.99 cents  It’s available on Amazon. My second novel, Return To Avenge, will be available on Amazon in just a few days, on September 1, 2021. While it’s the second book in the series, it’s a standalone book. 

Purchase Links:

Posted on August 28th, 2021 by ThePit | Leave a Comment (7)
Filed Under Entertainment, Featured

It is almost Halloween season again! In anticipation of the scariest time of the year, lets present three independent movies that you can watch online for free! Last month we looked at 3 crime movies and in June we looked at 3 documentaries.

The Stalker
Official Description: The man only known as the Stalker, is looking for the Hamilton’s, and is willing to kill anyone who gets in his way. Embark on this horror, mystery, thrill ride, that takes you back to the classic films of the genre. (IMDB)
Watch Online

Creature From Cannibal Creek
Official Description: A group of cold-blooded cannibals keep people in cages until they’re ready to be butchered. One of the captives escapes, but dies in the surrounding forest. Nature soon takes a hand, reviving the former captive and turning him into a marauding beast. (IMDB)
Watch Online

Frances Stein
Official Description: Frances Stein is a brilliant scientist gone mad for all the right reasons — she’s lost her marriage, her job, and her reputation. Now she has plans for her ex-husband and his new wife that will mess with their minds. Literally. (IMDB)
Watch Online

What type of movies that you can watch online for free do you want us to spotlight here?

We used to post Daily Filmmaking Tips and we also love to spotlight small businesses. Here we want to highlight some things that you can do when you’re off the set to help the process of filmmaking in different ways. These are things that you might never think about! When you work long hours in the film industry, every aspect of your life is affected by it. A big part of being a filmmaker is having the confidence to put yourself out there. If we want to admit it or not, a lot of the time our willingness to do that is impacted by how we look. 

The Right Style
This is one of those funny things you might have noticed about directors, writers, and actors. So many of the talents that stand out, do so because they have formed their own “trademark” look. Think of writers with their big brim glasses, or a quirky director who always wears a full suit (I can’t imagine wearing that in the summer heat on set). Now, I’m not saying that you should shave your head into a mohawk and dye your hair purple, but be conscious about the image you are putting together and what you are telling the world about yourself because people do notice it. And it sure is one way to stand out in the crowd. 

Keeping Up with Grueling Days
Staying fit may not jump right out at you, but as you get older it is more and more difficult to keep up with 12+ hour days (and that is a short day!) 5 to 6 days a week. Depending on the size of the project that you are working on, the days (or nights) can be brutal on your body. It is so important to try to eat well (which is difficult with the craft services table and buffet style lunch) and to stay in shape (which is difficult having very little time off set). The best advice I have for this is that when you are in production, you should integrate a short workout into your morning routine (10 – 20 minutes goes a long way) and when you are developing or in post-production, expand it into a fuller workout (20-40 minutes). Find what works best for you. Some people need a monthly program or gym, others prefer doing their own thing. As long as you are getting your body to move and work, there is no wrong way to do it.

Controlling Your Look
Balding, skin conditions, and a variety of other external factors can hit our confidence hard. For actors and hosts it can be even more impactful because their appearance is one of their main tools. Having control over our look and how we are perceived is crucial. So let’s talk about Picasso Scalp Micropigmentation, a company founded by Jeff Villenas, that aims to help you feel like your best self. Sometimes the image of us in our minds, doesn’t exactly match how we look. Picasso gives you back control of your look by utilizing a process of microdot tattoos, so “your head is given the appearance of healthy hair follicles in the pattern of a regular hairline.” Just because balding is unpredictable, doesn’t mean that you have to lose full control over your look. The company offers scalp micropigmentation in the Los Angeles area. You can click on the above links for more details on the process and the different looks that they offer.

Finding Peace
The long days, keeping up connections and appearances, taking care of your body and health, the constant stress, it ALL adds up. You really need to find something that gives you a break and lets you find some peace in the craziness that is Hollywood. The good thing is that this can really be anything! You need to have something outside of work that makes you happy and gives your brain some much needed time off. It can be as simple as reading a book, going on hikes, or doing a daily meditation. Or it could be something off the wall like rock climbing, sky diving, or taking a monthly trip to a theme park. The key thing is that you find something that makes you happy outside of work. Otherwise you will burn out and that does not let you be the best director, writer, or actor that you can be.

What do you do to take care of yourself? How do you find peace outside of your production work?

Posted on August 19th, 2021 by MHD | Leave a Comment (1)
Filed Under Filmmaking Resources, Sponsorships

Today’s Watch Online for Free spotlight is An Intervention by director/writer Dan Eden, a comedic “mockumentary about a woman throwing her ex an intervention.”

The movie features Katie Binkley, Kara Brinkman, Kaitlin Eden, Kini Hudson, Jeremy M. Eden, Kevin Kirchman, and the director himself, Dan Eden as a documentarian within the movie.

Official Description: Chelsea Bledsoe and her husband Graig throw a surprise intervention for her old high school boyfriend, Henry, with a mismatched group of acquaintances from back in the day to fill out the guest list. (Source: IMDB)

The comedy was fully improvised and impressively shot over just two days. The movie was distributed online from Indie Rights Movies.

You can watch the An Intervention trailer here, then head over and watch the full movie for free on Tubi TV.

In the past we have spotlighted the indie horror flick Char Man from producer/director Kipp Tribble. Recently, we got the chance to exchange messages about the new horror film he produced and co-wrote titled The Stay.

Who?
Myself and Scott Hamm wrote and produced the film, with Scott making his directorial debut. Charles Huddleston was our other producer as well as our cinematographer. Scott and I both also star in the film, alongside Nija Okoro, Rob Mayes, and Michele Martin. We also had a fantastic crew and would like to put a spotlight on Robert Felsted, Jr., Ezequiel Garcia Lopez, Ryan Bounphasaysol, and Jaclyn Lopez. They were rockstars during production and we couldn’t have done this without them. In the end, we were happy to receive several offers for distribution, and ultimately assigned North American rights to Gravitas Ventures. Distribution for the rest of the world is being handled by Cardinal XD.

What?
Here is the short synopsis… When Hayden (Scott Hamm) realizes his marriage to Misha (Michele Martin) is slowly falling apart, he organizes a secluded couples’ weekend with best friend, Chris (Rob Mayes), and his wife, Nora (Nija Okoro). Though it starts off as a relaxing getaway, they soon encounter an odd caretaker named Bo-Lee (Kipp Tribble) on the property. The vacationing group become increasingly suspicious of Bo-Lee and his possible sinister motives, all while a dangerous secret begins to surface.

Where?
About 90% of the film takes place at a secluded Airbnb style rental. It is surrounded by hiking trails and open property, all tended to by the caretaker, Bo-Lee. In reality, we actually filmed at three different locations. The main house was in Aqua Dulce, California, a bit north of Los Angeles, and that had the house, barn, trailer, and horses you see in the movie. The hiking scenes were filmed on a different property not too far from that location. And the scenes set at Hayden’s house and Chris’ garage/backyard, were both filmed at Scott’s mom’s house a few miles south of Los Angeles.

When?
We filmed the movie in early 2020… as in the first day of filming was on January 2nd! There was a very tight window for when everyone would be available, so we braved the cold temperatures and went to work, finishing up near the end of the second week of January. Thankfully we got the film in the can and into post production before the world shut down in March of 2020, but the pandemic did delay our post process a bit. The film was released for rent or purchase in North America on March 16, 2021, and just became available on Amazon Prime on June 18th. Our international release is coming soon.

Why?
The original idea for the story started because Scott had rented an Airbnb, and thought the process was so easy that you could just rent a property and pretty much do anything in it without prying eyes. Scott and I had worked on a couple of films previously and were looking to do another one together, particularly in the thriller genre. So he came to me with this idea and an outline of characters that are like people most of us know or have in our lives. They were relatable and so were some of the issues they were dealing with… whether it be relationship trouble, unsuccessful attempts at becoming parents, general insecurities, jealousy, or even dealing with an inappropriate weirdo. We set about building a script based on those initial ideas, while leaning into the thriller aspects.

How?
People can find The Stay for rent through most cable VOD services, as well as streaming services such as Prime, FandangoNow, Vudu, iTunes/AppleTV, GooglePlay, YouTube Movies, Hoopla, Microsoft Xbox, Vimeo, and more. It is also available on DVD through online stores such as Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Best Buy, etc.

Rent/Purchase Online:

Purchase on DVD/Blu-ray:

We are all about over the top b-horror/comedy. Check out the trailer for The VelociPastor, presented by Kings of Horror.
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The VelociPastor was written and directed by Brendan Steere, and stars Gregory James Cohan, Alyssa Kempinski, Jesse Turits, Janice Young, and George Schewnzer. Cohan stars as the title character, who “after losing his parents… travels to China, where he inherits a mysterious ability that allows him to turn into a dinosaur. At first horrified by this new power, a hooker convinces him to use it to fight crime. And ninjas.” The movie is a feature version of a grindhouse trailer that went viral in 2010.

You can watch for free on YouTube.

Last month we spotlighted three documentaries from Indie Rights Movies that you can watch online for free, but the indie film distribution company has a lot more genres of movies to watch for free. Today let’s take a look at three of their crime flicks.

May I Kill U?
Official Description: A Banksy-style vigilante cycles round London killing scumbags. In their last moments, filmed and posted on social media, they agree to die: WTF! Is this a hoaxer? Hero? Or psycho? (YouTube)
Watch Online

S’ids Lake
Official Description: After appearing to kill a teenage girl, Sid, a scarred up boy since birth, creates an alter ego of a handsome confident boy to protect himself from accusations. (YouTube)
Watch Online

The Cain Complex
Official Description: Mateo suffers from PTSD and is prone to hallucinations. He is alone when his home is invaded by four heavily-armed, masked men. With his wife and children due back within hours, this all makes for one hellish night of mental and physical combat. (YouTube)
Watch Online

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