Saturday, April 7, 2018

Father of Lies shoots next month!

If you told me this time last year that I would be directing a horror-fantasy project with Viking gods, I would have laughed. And if you'd told me that I would also be appearing in the film myself, I would have laughed even harder.

This is why I love film-making. I never know what kind of crazy adventure it will take me on next.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

I'm on Patreon now

I really hate fund-raising. Like most independent film-makers, I spend a good portion of my time trying to raise the money to produce films, and most of the time the monies raised is barely enough to cover the production of the film let alone all the expenses of promoting it and taking it to film festivals.

Over the past several months, my partner in Rogue Chimera Films and I have been pushing to finance a feature film using a revenue-sharing investment platform (that cost us a small fortune in legal fees just to set up the campaign!)

So far, that campaign has been quite painful to watch. I'm fairly certain that we are not going to get anywhere near our minimum required funding goal to get The Family Way into production.  It's actually a bit heart-breaking since we've been working on the package for that film for the better part of two years now.

One of the biggest problems I've heard from my fans is that while they'd like to support my work, they just couldn't afford the $100.00 investment minimum.  I completely understand that.

A friend of mine suggested that I open up a Patreon page for people who would like to support my work with smaller amounts on a monthly basis.  I'll admit that I was a bit leery of that at first, but I did understand the concept in its historical context.

Then it occurred to me that my fans may wish to subscribe to my Patreon and get access to sneak peeks and excerpts from the screenplays that I've written, especially ones that are currently in competition.  After all, I've recently begun to talk about the screenplay for The Haunt, but no one outside of contest judges know what it's about!

Proceeds from my Patreon page will be going toward the production and promotion of my film projects. You can find out all about it here: 

"Father of Lies" in pre-production now

I'm really looking forward to directing this short film in May. Viking Gods, lots of action and special effects... what's not to love?

Keep an eye on out Rogue Chimera Films to see what else is brewing in the pipeline for this year!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Another screenplay in competitions now

Duckie and I decided to run our feature screenplay "The Haunt" through the script competitions this year.   It's very different from the types of stories we usually write, so we weren't sure how it would go over.

It's off to a good start. Frights, Camera, Action! was the first contest we submitted it to and apparently it was the first runner up in the Best Feature Screenplay category.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Hades on Facebook

After several years of being my official "spokescat" and making all the important announcements for me on Facebook, Hades finally has his very own page.

It all started when I noticed that any photos I posted of my cat Hades got 65% more likes and responses than anything else I put up on my virtual wall.  Then Hades explained to me that cats rule the internet. Period.

You would think that Hatchet would want to be my spokescat, but she's still very camera-shy. It's hard enough to get her to take that one photograph a year with Hammy for Shark Week.

Hades, on the other hand, has plenty to say and loves the camera. People started responding to him so much that he demanded to have a real "voice" in Facebook and his own page where he can talk about whatever he wants to.

I told him that if he gets 500 likes then I'll give him a double helping of Muenster "cheese mousies". 

Friday, February 23, 2018

New Film Review!

 Nightmarish Conjurings was kind enough to take a look at "The Family Way: Coming Home"  Here's a little of what they has to say:

"THE FAMILY WAY: COMING HOME, directed by Shiva Rodriguez, will take you to the heart of the matter... or remove it, depending on how you look at it. "

You can read the full review HERE.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Sitter released!

 I just found out that LO Pictures has released Sitter on Vimeo.  Duckie and I worked some of the special effects for this one and it is a really cool film. 

I'm not just saying that because I worked on it. I saw it at the first screening event and found it to be a great film-within-a-film story that is both creepy and intentionally B-flick at the same time.

Apparently I did good.

I just stumbled across this video review for One Night of Fear.  I was the practical effects supervisor on this film and I'm glad to hear that people enjoyed my work. There was one really interesting kill in this film that was a great deal of fun to do.

Fun Fact:  You'll see Duckie in this clip. He was on set for stunt work and got recruited into playing a character.  But that's not the best part...

Duckie is now the only person I know who decapitated himself with a machete.  You see, the actor who played the killer was not available on the day we shot this scene but Duckie was the same height. So in this kill scene, Duckie is playing both the victim and the killer!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Women in Horror Month

Me with horror film producer Lynne Hansen, who inspired my t-shirt.

February isn’t just about chocolate hearts and bouquets of roses. It’s also the official Women in Horror Month!

While I’m nowhere near high enough on the food chain to be showcased on the big horror websites and magazines (I’m working on getting up there though!), I do want to share a little about my experiences as a female director in the horror industry.

First of all, I never wanted to be a director until I was dragged kicking and screaming into that position a few years back. I knew how tough it had been just getting my foot in the door as a special effects artist and I was certain that my foot would be completely amputated if I tried to enter the ring as a director. But I had some very supportive men by my side who talked me into the director’s chair and then talked me off of all the virtual window ledges when all I wanted to do was jump.

About halfway through my first film project as a director I felt like I was getting the hang of it. By the end of that production I had to admit that I enjoyed directing.

While my first film was in post I did a couple more shorts that were pretty much slated to just be YouTube videos and I went back to doing special effects for other production companies. Not surprising but nevertheless annoying, I did run into a bit of misogyny on a couple sets. My favorite was after being held up all day because the director wanted to “shoot a quick scene” before the big effects scene that I’d told him would take at least 5 hours to do, my FX team ended up having about an hour or so to kill several people. Obviously things had to get cut down and in the end we ended up just sloshing a lot of blood everywhere. What did the director have to say to me afterward? The men on my team were great but the women sucked. Seriously.

Then I started working on my fifth project as a director and a strange thing happened. I stopped getting calls to work. True, I had taken myself off the market for a few months to shoot “The Family Way: Coming Home”, but after it was safely in the editor’s hands I put myself back out there. And to be completely honest, it bothered me to know that other companies I’d worked for a few times in the past were working on projects and I’d not been invited to the party.

Was it a coincidence that I stopped getting FX job offers after announcing I was directing again? Maybe. But I’ve also been told by more than a few people that it may be because I dared to enter the Boy’s Club. I really hate to think that that is true.

So instead of being up to my eyeballs in fake blood and silicone, I spent nine months promoting and touring with “Coming Home” on the festival circuit. Given how often I’d been kicked in the teeth with reviews on my past work, I was very surprised at how well my latest film was received. One big lesson I learned was that you should always have a speech prepared when you are in attendance at a festival and your film is nominated for an award. I’m sure everyone has seen the photos and videos floating around that should all be captioned “Shiva gets caught off-guard and fumbles her way through public speaking.”

I’m very glad that I did a festival tour. I attended some very memorable ones and met a lot of fantastic people who are very much in favor of female directors. I got a lot of encouragement and some great advice on moving forward. Now I’m working on my sixth and (hopefully) seventh projects in hopes of having the opportunity to do it all again.

My advice to any women thinking about entering this Thunderdome: Prepare to wear your skin like heavy armor and take no shit from those who would try to stomp on you. Keep working on projects and don’t give up, no matter how battered you get from bad reviews, nay-sayers, and haters. Be honest and realistic with yourself while at the same time reaching for the stars. But if you are just in it strictly with the goal of having a glamorous life and making lots of money, get out now!

#WomenInHorror #WIHFF #WIHM #IMakeFilmsLikeAGirl

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Interview from Macabre Faire Film Festival

The night of the awards you couldn't throw a stone without hitting someone with a camera or a microphone.

As for the feature film in development, the investment offering is open until April 20, 2018. You can find all the information about it here: The Family Way Investment Offering.