Saturday, December 12, 2009

Punkmonkey Flickr page

I thought maybe I'd post some of my stills just to see what people say. I still have a lot to learn but whatever. Check em out if you wanna. For real photographic skill check out Scott Kinkade, Scott Cameron, or John Langsford.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Secret Door on Colors of the Dark


The Philadelphia area artist and musician, Jonathan Canady, was kind enough to mention The Secret Door on his "negative culture" blog, Colors of the Dark. Jon was also kind enough to provide an unreleased song for the soundtrack of The Secret Door. As I've mentioned before, I'm thrilled that my movie is associated with so many talented people and Jon certainly ranks among the best. Having him on the soundtrack is a good "get" as they say.
Check out his blog Colors of the Dark as well as his personal blog, Black White Red, which focuses on his own prolific artistic output.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

November Update for The Secret Door

I’m pleased to report that we wrapped shooting on The Secret Door on Sunday, October 18th. I believe that we started shooting in late May, possibly the 22nd or 23rd, so it feels good to be done. Making this movie was a really good experience and while I know that I say it all the time, it’s no less true that I am deeply grateful to all contributed in even the smallest way to its creation.

Editing and compositing are coming along well; so much so that I think we’ll be near the finish line in the next couple of weeks. Some members of The Secret Door family have contacted me recently asking about when they could expect to see the movie. All that I can say is - soon. Be patient.

The Secret Door is finally nearing completion. So, what’s next?


I have a very vague plan to throw a movie premiere/cast party when the film is ready. It all depends on how much money I have at the time and what kind of deal I can get. More details will be forthcoming to all interested parties.

Film festivals are definitely on the Punkmonkey Pictures agenda. I’m interested in exposing the movie to as many industry-type viewers as I can. Hopefully it will get some positive attention. Additionally, I have been talking extensively with a music industry friend about an official release of The Secret Door, probably as a DVD/Soundtrack CD combo. This option looks pretty likely albeit on a limited scale but not until next year, probably in the spring. I will post more about both of these initiatives as the information becomes available.

I guess that’s all I have for now. It doesn’t seem like much of an update for an entire month but there it is. We’re in the final stretch now. Thanks for checking in. Stay tuned.

- Ed


PS - Since I can't have a Secret Door Update without pictures (it's like a rule or something), I've included some behind-the-scenes photos from "the chase" scene. Awesome photos courtesy, as always, of Scott Cameron.
I like these pics a lot because "the chase" was so much fun to shoot and looking over them now reminds how much warmer it was then. Man, this film-making thing is time consuming!













Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Santas Claws and other fun distractions





























Work on The Secret Door has slowed done quite a bit lately. As autumn blows by I’m trying to enjoy the season as much as possible before the long dark of winter clutches Allentown in its icy grip. That means I’ve not been working on my movie the past few weekends.

I did some production work for my friend, Luke Ramer, the first weekend of October which was pretty cool and worth mentioning here on my video-production blog. His main project, Under the Rainbow, has been put on hold for a while due to some equipment and budgetary problems (we
micro-budget indie filmmakers know all about that) but Luke is a man with a lot of ideas. To keep busy he started another short horror movie intended for web release entitled (I think) Santas Claws. Roughly speaking it’s about an ex-military guy who plays Santa Claus because it makes him happy – because when he’s not happy (ala the Incredible Hulk) he becomes a werewolf and kills people. Santa has a bunch of enemies that pursue him; witches, a cabal of vampires, and a psychopathic killer called The Hunter all seek to destroy our hero.

My role on Santa’s Claws was as key grip, second (b) camera operator and all-around utility guy with a concentration in lighting and practical effects. I think it went pretty well. Here are some photos I lifted from Scott Cameron’s Facebook page.

Speaking of Scott, I’ve mentioned him on my blog before. He and his brothers run a production company nearby in Emmaus, PA, called IO House. He has managed to have been present for nearly all of the shoots I’ve been on recently. In fact, Scott has held a number of important positions on The Secret Door crew, not least of which as visual effects artist. Check out this frame from a special visual effects sequence that he’s working on for the movie.
To say that I’m stoked about his contribution is understatement. It promises to be one of the show-stoppers of the production. More on that and other insights on The Secret Door will be revealed in future posts. I‘ll try and post again this month with more of a Secret Door focus. Work may have slowed but it hasn’t stopped entirely. Editing continues, as does the slow and challenging work of building a buzz for my first real indie film which is just beginning.

Monday, September 21, 2009

September Secret Door Update

I'm over-due for an update on the progress of The Secret Door and there's plenty of stuff to tell you about. Shooting is nearly done. There are still one or two more things to capture. I was hoping to finish shooting by the end of summer but this movie-makin' business is a lot more time consuming than I had imagined. The main thing confronting me now is the editing process, which promises to be very complex. Shooting this movie in the way that I have, with a DSLR (Nikon D-90), has added complications that I would not have dealt with if I were using a straight-forward video camera. I believe that the images I've captured somewhat make-up for the additional effort but I don't think I will be doing this again in exactly the same way. In other words, it looks pretty good but it has been a pain in my rear to put to together.

The Secret Door now has a Myspace page. I hope to make this the official website of the movie. Until I arrange for a swankier url, the listing is
http://www.myspace.com/the_secret_door .
On this page you'll find regular updates, photos and links to the myspace pages of many of the bands that have contributed songs to The Secret Door soundtrack. There is a song playlist on the page now that features three songs from the movie. Other songs not yet listed were recorded exclusively for The Secret Door and have not been uploaded to Myspace. Check The Secret Door myspace page regularly for new stuff.
New behind-the-scenes photos, courtesy of Scott Cameron at iohouse.com, have been uploaded to the Secret Door Myspace page also. They're in the "production stills" album.


Thanks,

Ed

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Behind the Scenes on Luke Ramer's "Under the Rainbow"

For the last couple of days I was pleased to act as a grip on Luke Ramer's new movie. I had to leave early to cram in a quick vacation before the students return for the Fall term next Monday but I plan to rejoin the crew as soon as possible.


Director, Luke Ramer and Assistant Director, Rachael Ingram in "video village"



Actor, Norm Provost in a scene


D.P., Greg Roth checks camera on a dolly



cast and crew get ready for a driveway dolly-shot



My proud attempt at simulating morning sun coming through a kitchen window.
Norm checks out my handiwork.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Punkmonkey Update - New Movie Title and more!


The first big announcement is that I've decided on an official name for the movie. The official title is (drum roll)...The Secret Door. I'm not going to bother trying to explain it. Trust me, it makes sense when thinking about the characters and how they interact with each other, at least it does to me.

So...work progresses. I've been shooting nearly every weekend for the last few weeks and the team and I have managed to capture some pretty good stuff. For the next couple of weeks I'll be taking some time off to work on Luke Ramer's new movie, Under the Rainbow, and to get some fishing in before the students come back for the Fall term. I plan to resume shooting at end of August and hopefully finish before the leaves turn. There is still much to do.

The other major news that I'd like to highlight in this week's update is the movie's soundtrack. I've received confirmation from a number of very respected musicians who will be participating in this project. As of today, The Secret Door will boast exclusive tracks from Jonathan Canady (Deadworld, Deathpile, Angel of Decay, Nightmares), Peacemaker (Richard Hoak of Brutal Truth, Total Fucking Destruction, old Head), Requiem (featuring David Graham), and Caution Horses, a collaborative musical project featuring Kevin Hufnagel (Dysrhythmia, Byla), Jeff Eber (Dysrhythmia), Colin Marston (Dysrhythmia, Behold...The Arctopus, Infidel?/Castro!), Christian McKenna (Zodiak, Slacks). We'll also include reused tracks from older releases by Slacks, Byla, Zodiak and the Italian noise purveyors, Iron Molar. I'm thrilled to be associated with any of these fine musicians individually but to have so many willing to help out on this project is a genuine honor. There may be more news regarding the soundtrack but it's still tentative so I'll hold off on further announcements for now. Stay tuned.

If you're interested in hearing some of these very fine musicians, check out their myspace pages.

http://www.myspace.com/malsonus

http://www.myspace.com/peaceisthevictory

http://www.myspace.com/byla

http://www.myspace.com/zodiak

http://www.myspace.com/requiem2872

http://www.myspace.com/ironmolar

http://www.myspace.com/slacks

Finally, the screen-shots I'm including on today's post are from our most recent shoot. Gabe, (Brian DiBonaventure) our villain, stalks a woman (Krystel Hubble) in a parking garage. Screen-shots from day #4 aren't ready yet but I'll get some up eventually.

Thanks for checking in. More will be posted soon.
- Ed

Thursday, July 23, 2009

a few screen-shots to arouse your interest

Work progresses on my current project. It is taking a bit of time but I believe that working deliberately is preferable to rushing and being unhappy with the final product. Some friends have asked me how it’s going and have asked when there might be something available to see. In response to them and to whet the appetites of any curious onlooker I am posting screen-shots. These screen-shots are organized by shoot day and don’t reflect a narrative since the project is being shot out of sequence.

A big shout-out is necessary to all the actors and crew who’ve worked with me and continue to work with me on this movie. It’s been a great experience so far. Everyone has been very giving with their time and they’ve been very patient with me. Thank you all so much.

Here are the promised screen-shots. Hopefully they will get you fired up to see this movie when it’s eventually finished.

Shoot Day #1

Shoot Day #2

Shoot Day #3

Friday, June 26, 2009

Punkmonkey Update

Hello interested reader,
Work is progressing on my new short. At present it bears the working title "Some Good Thing" although that will likely change as I don't love it and I love everything else about the flick. Did I say love? Yes, that's right, and as anyone who knows me can attest, that has never happened before. In fact I usually find more fault with my own work than anyone else can. This time my friends, it's all coming together (for the most part).


To be honest I wish the script was a bit better. I mean, it doesn't sizzle the way a Tarantino or Scorsese script sizzles but it's my first attempt at screen writing. I can't expect to walk with the giants on my first attempt, right? This is not, however, my first attempt at cinematography. I've been honing that shit for a while now and I'm finally beginning to see results that I'm pleased with (all things considered).

So stay tuned. This movie, whatever it's called, is coming soon. I'll have lots more stuff to post about it in the coming weeks and months. We'll probably be shooting all summer and then work starts all over in edit, composites, color, sound mix, and on and on. For now enjoy these production stills, kindly provided by the skilled lens of Scott Cameron at iohouse.com.

Thanks for stopping by,
Ed

Sunday, June 7, 2009

new movie shooting underway

So, I started shooting a new movie of my own and it promises to be pretty good stuff-at least I think so. The working title is Some Good Thing. It's a dark, sorta creepy story about a prostitute murdering psychopath and a girl who avoids her demise...for now. Here's some screen shots.
It looks like I'll be shooting for a while yet so look for a fall or possibly later release.
Some Good Thing
written and directed by Ed Ballinger
cast:
Gwen....................Samantha Elmer
Maggie.......................Jane Horvath
Mike...........................Desi Stevens
Gabe..............Brian DiBonaventure
The Wisdom Tooth....Gerald Prince

Friday, March 27, 2009

yeah baby!

I'm currently mega-stoked about an upcoming delivery.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cake details



Tagline
- The Cake - Purple, Green, and Gold Icing with a romantic filling

View the film:
http://www.dvxfest.com/lossfest/index.php?id=2900491

Cast
Margot.................................Samantha Elmer

Tom......................................Dan Maher

Simon...................................Alex Funes

Jessie...................................Robert F. Killion

Black Cat..............................Jane Horvath

Kid on Bike...........................Mason Trauger

Trick or Treater 1.................Marena Trauger

Trick or Treater 2.................Mason Trauger
Spartan Cheerleader...........Jamie Jackson
Fairy....................................Michelle "Micki" Montoro

Baseball Player....................Colleen Johnson

Feathered Friend.................Buddy Thompson
V for Vendetta Extra............Bryan Bocich
Drunk A**hole.....................Sundar J.M. Brown


Crew
Producer..............................Steve Cameron

Producer..............................Maher Mahmud

Director................................Dessaline Stevens

Director of Photography.......Ed Ballinger

Writer...................................Vanessa Kimi Mravich

Production Manager.............Steve Cameron
Production Coordinator........Maher Mahmud

Production Designer.............Vanessa Kimi Mravich

1st Assistant Director...........Jim DiCamillo

Camera Operator.................Maher Mahmud

Boom Operator.....................Luke Ramer

Lighting Coordinator.............Ann Marie Rivera

Lighting Technician...............Moses Garcia
Lighting Technician...............Mark Ritchey

Script Supervisor..................Salome Kingsley

Key Hair/Makeup..................Amy Trauger
Location Manager................Jane Horvath

Production Assistant............Buddy Thompson
Production Assistant............Jamie Jackson

P2 Technician.......................Maher Mahmud

Production Stills...................Scott Cameron
BTS Photographer................Alex Funes

Post Production Supervisor..Scott Cameron

Editor...................................Ed Ballinger
Colorist................................Scott Cameron

Sound Designer...................Sean Cameron

Music Coordinator................Dessaline Stevens

Music Coordinator................Ed Ballinger


Special Thanks.....................Joe Horvath


Allentown Film Crew www.meetup.com/allentownfilmcrew
io house ltd. www.iohouse.com
Punkmonkey Pictures
www.punkmonkeypictures.com

Our DVXuser.com festival entry, The Cake

The viewing period for DVXuser.com LossFest is now open.  You can watch The
Allentown Film Crew's entry, The Cake, and follow the discussion.

Direct link to download The Cake
http://www.dvxfest.com/lossfest/index.php?id=2900491

Link to the discussion thread
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=164488

Link to other LossFest films:
http://www.dvxfest.com/lossfest/

You do not need to be a member of the site to view the short films. However, you do need to
be a member with at least 50 posts to vote.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Cake is done

I've posted a few "behind the scenes" photos in my Myspace photo area from a movie I just completed work on, The Cake. I'll post a link for the movie when it's available for viewing on the web.
For The Cake I took on the roles of Director of Photography and Editor. I can honestly say that I gave it my best effort and I'm reasonably satisfied with the results. Of course things could always be better but for my first time as a DP on a dramatic production, it went pretty well.
More later.
Doing, apparently, what DPs do.
Setting up for a shot with a young actor.
Discussing action with Director Desi Stevens
Conferring with Producer Steve Cameron
A slate, with my name as Director of Photography, which was kind of cool.
Samantha Elmer in the role of Margot, party hostess and cake baker.
The cast and crew of The Cake