5 Indie Gifts You Can Order Now!

The madness that is the “Gift Giving Season” has already begun and just like every year, the frenzied crowds of angry shoppers are out in full form!

Yesterday, while minding my own business in a local shop and searching through the various Christmas themed isles that were scattered throughout the store – I found the perfect gift: A slightly damaged Gilligan’s Island box set. From a distance it caught my eye, the bright yellow arrow that read “ Clearance” drawing me in further. I reached out for it, my eyes looking down to notice that it had been marked down ever further - $5. What? Are you serious? The entire show from beginning to end for $5! My heart was pounding as my fingers stretched out to reach for it – I was so close. But then, in that moment, just before I had it in my grasp, a pudgy 85-year-old woman punched me in the eye and stole my perfect gift.

Okay, she didn’t really punch me but she might as well have with the look she gave me as she smugly took the box set from me and tucked it under her purse in her cart.

I left the store with nothing – vowing to only shop online from now on.

So, without making myself any angrier, I would like to present to you:

5 Indie Gifts You Can Order Now! 

 

 

1.     Cute Butt Club Girls – Stickers by Mel Stringer

Photo: Mel Stringer Art

Photo: Mel Stringer Art

$7.63 - Click Here

Butts have been a popular topic for 2014 and what better way to celebrate that than with some awesome stickers from illustrator and all around amazing creative – Mel Stringer. Check out the rest of her shop for zines, cards, prints and more. 

Check out her store: Click Here

Check out her Facebook: Click Here

2.   Bliss – Digital Album by CHN$W

Photo: CHN$W / Elio. 

Photo: CHN$W / Elio. 

$4.00 - Click Here 

I originally stumbled across this guy’s vlogs on YouTube and then soon found his music. Seriously, check it out! Bliss is beautiful. It’s like the sounds of jazz and hip hop had a little baby and that’s one cute baby.

Cawboi is my personal favorite!

Check out his Bandcamp: Click Here

Check out his YouTube: Click Here

3. Cosplay - Photo Booklet by ChekiCardPhoto

Photo: ChekiCardPhoto

Photo: ChekiCardPhoto

$7.00 - Click Here

This is something I gifted Meghan a few months back and she really loved it. If you or anyone you know is a fan of cosplay or the convention scene, then they'll love this straight-forward, full color collection of instant photos from all around. 

Check out his shop: Click Here

Check out his Facebook: Click Here

Check out his Instagram: Click Here

4. IDK Windbreaker by Dustin Cavazos

Photo: Dustin Cavazos

Photo: Dustin Cavazos

$40.00 - Click Here

If you don't know who Dustin Cavazos is - well, you need to hop on over to Google and do a quick search immediately. He's an amazingly talented songwriter and musician, focusing his talents on the Dallas area and doing a bang up job at it. Not only is his music amazing, but he's completely involved in his community and is always giving back to his fans. The weather is getting cold so why not show some Dustin Cavazos pride while you're staying warm. 

Check out his Website: Click Here

Check out his Facebook: Click Here

5. Circles - Zine by Dustin Buck

Photo: Vintage:Nine Studios

Photo: Vintage:Nine Studios

$5.00 - Click Here

A little self-promotion never hurt anyone right? Circles is an abstract, black and white photography zine hot of the Xerox and ready to be tucked into your stocking! 28 pages, 28 circles. Oh yea! 

Check out our Shop: Click Here

 

What's that perfect gift you've had your eyes on lately? Let us know in the comments below and click that little heart if you enjoyed our 5 Indie Gifts You Can Order Now! 

Arlo: Day Three - That's a Wrap!

Alarm clocks buzzed and before we knew it, we were in the car heading to set to film the final scenes of Arlo: The Assassin. 

It was another oddly warm day for December, the temperature in the mid 60’s, with the sun beaming down freely - without a cloud in sight. It was the type of weather you never get when you’re filming outside. Which make sense, because we were stuck inside all day.

We arrived at the location, followed soon after by our cast and crew who were eager to get to work and excited to finish the film.

Meghan began working on Carly’s hair and makeup – giving her an awesome Rachel Tyrell, Blade Runner hair-do, that went perfectly with her character’s attitude.  This was Carly’s first day on set and you could see the excitement in her eyes – it was like a kid in a candy shop. Any free moment she got, she was quickly out of her seat practicing choreography and going over lines with Logan.

Carly Rucker as the Grinning Girl.

Carly Rucker as the Grinning Girl.

Rachel preparing for her scene. 

Rachel preparing for her scene. 

Lights were placed, debris was scattered, actors were dressed and it was time to work!

The first scene we shot involved Rachel’s character, Gut Buster, getting the upper hand on Arlo before he takes her out. Rolando lit the dark room all red, with a slight hint of blue coming from a door in the back, which gave the entire scene a very ominous and awesome look. The two actors scuffled with each take, their fight looking better than I had imagined! Both Logan and Rachel did such a good job with the scene that Rolando was able to quickly move from angle to angle, capturing what was needed in just a few takes of each motion.

Rachel said goodbye and it was onto the next scene.

Now it was Carly’s turn. Finally. The Grinning Girl/Arlo beat down! This was the moment we had all been waiting for and we were eager to get to it. Before rolling, we looked over the choreography once more and added a few additional moves to the fight, blocked out the scene and then called “Action!” – Yes! Carly and Logan moved from one take to the other, nailing the fight and their lines perfectly.

Unfortunately, I can’t get into the last scene too much. I don’t want to spoil anything – so that’s as much as I can say about that. Sorry!

Before we knew it, I yelled, “Cut!” and that was it. It was 3:30 in the morning and we were exhausted and covered in dirt, our feet were aching and everyone had developed a cough – but even with all that, it felt good at the same time.

That was a wrap.

The last shot of the day is always a weird one. You start to think back about all the shots you got and you begin to doubt yourself a bit – questioning if you captured everything you needed or not. It’s also a weird moment because you know once you yell, “Cut!” – it’s over. That’s it. The family mentality that you’ve built during the production comes to an end and everyone goes back to his or her daily routines. It’s odd and it’s a feeling I’ve never really been able to explain. I think I just love being on set – I love the energy, the people, the excitement and most of all I love the challenge that making a film brings, so when that ends - it's a really strange thing. 

Arlo: The Assassin has been a fantastic experience and I cannot wait for you all to see it. This is without a doubt, the type of film I’ve always wanted to make and I think that it will show in the final film.

I’d like to thank our cast and crew for all their hard work and determination to make the best short film we could possibly make.

Arlo is coming Christmas Day.

See you then. 

Arlo: Day Two

Day Two on set of Arlo: The Assassin was just as fun as the first! It was a day of constant dancing, liquid latex and of course fake blood.

We started the day bright and early, arriving to set a little tired but ready to work. Our first scene for the day was the “Underground Club” and we knew immediately we had our work cut out for us – Seriously, with no-budget filmmaking you really can’t rent a club for the night! So, we got a room – Something small and industrial – With pipes running along the ceiling, brick walls and concrete floors. Rolando and I began with covering the windows and shutting off all the lights. From there we added an array of colored bulbs to light the space, a strobe to get that “club” effect and a few plastic tarps to break up the space. Honestly, I think we surprised ourselves. In just about an hour we had transformed this old storage room into a decently believable “Underground Club” and we were happy with the results.

With that completed, it was time for the fun part – The shooting.

Our wonderful extras for the day. 

Our wonderful extras for the day. 

Our extras had begun rolling in as Rolando and I were finishing up the space and while our initial number of 25 people had been cut down to 12, this was a nice energetic mix of past collaborators and new faces, so it was perfect for what we needed.  We moved everyone into the room, cranked up the music and started capturing our B-Roll. For this, Rolando went around the room, framing the dancers in the space and making it look as full as possible. I can’t say it enough, but our Extras were amazing. It’s always awkward dancing in a room to the occasional Spotify commercial, or to keep going with a camera inches from your face, but they did it and they did it wonderfully! Did I mention that Brigitte McLain, who plays the Browser and I made a quick cameo in the club scene? Keep an eye out for us in the final film.

Jency and Logan in character. 

Jency and Logan in character. 

Once B-Roll was complete, we cut the music and began our dialogue between Arlo and the Queen. We went around and captured a few angles of the conversation: A nice profile shot, an over the shoulder and of course some close ups of the actors whispering and talking into each other’s ears.  That was it. The scene was done. Everyone clapped and cheered and in that moment I have to say I was relieved. This scene had been a fear of mine since the moment I wrote it, but I didn’t want to give it up and we made it work. I could feel the stress melt away – Not only because the scene was done but also because we had captured it so well.  With that, Scene 4 was done and it was time to move on.

The extras left and we let our actors break for an hour. Brigitte had brought some crazy orange chocolate and other random snacks that had everyone memorized for a brief moment. Laughter and conversations were sparked up and I think everyone was still coasting off the energy of the last scene.

After the break, we began touching up Jency’s Queen makeup and poured liquid latex all over Brigitte, who had to endure this sticky, smelly mixture for hours. Brigitte was hung from the ceiling by various wires protruding from her back and Jency took her place off to the side. Logan came in, eager to shoot this scene and we got to work. It was getting late and that feeling of delusion began to set in. It didn’t help that we were stuck in this dingy old building either. Our humor was getting a little abstract and you could tell by everyone’s body language that we were getting tired.  We pushed through it though and managed to capture everything we needed for the night.

We were done.

We packed up our gear and grabbed a few shots of the city before we headed home.

Day Two on Arlo had been even more successful than the first and it was honestly all due to the hard work of our actors, extras and crew.

Easy stuff.

Note: There’s so much to say about the Queen and the Browser but I don’t want to ruin it or give anything away so forgive me for not saying much about their characters.