Thursday, April 25, 2013

Monday, April 15, 2013

Pencil portraits

The cast of MIRANDA GRACIA MEETS FRANKENSTEIN....

Miranda Gracia as Miranda Gracia

Joshua Kennedy as J.K. Denham

Kat Kennedy as Buttons Denham

Sunday, April 7, 2013

MIRANDA GRACIA MEETS FRANKENSTEIN (Updated!)



   The latest project from Josh Kennedy, and my first solo writing credit (!), nears completion. I finally got to see a screener of the film, and I loved it! Josh again proves how sharp he is in this spoof of the production of low budget monster movies in the 1960's! A slicker production than VOYAGE TO THE PLANET OF TEENAGE CAVEWOMEN (which, after many edits is finally coming close to completion), MIRANDA GRACIA MEETS FRANKENSTEIN is a rapid-fire comedy I'm looking very much forward to sharing with you all! Miss Edinburg of 2012, Miranda Gracia returns, this time in her first starring lead role (and she just happens to be playing a character named, Miranda Gracia)!



    I just can't tell you how much fun this movie is! (And here's the thing, my providing the script has NOTHING to do with how much I enjoyed this pic! It's just a super fun time! In fact, I didn't so much write the film as provide a springboard for Josh's creativity.) Here's hoping the film is in release soon!
 

My new favorite comedy team, Josh and Kat Kennedy




 (These images come from a rough cut of the film.)

UPDATED MATERIAL

   MIRANDA GRACIA MEETS FRANKENSTEIN is going to be hard for me to top as a writer! I love the whole vibe, which sort of falls somewhere between ED WOOD and THAT THING YOU DO! in a roundabout way. The film is fun, fast, and funny, so you'd never know I had a hand in it!

   The idea for the film was born from Josh and I discussing how VOYAGE TO THE PLANET OF TEENAGE CAVEWOMEN turned out. Both of us agreed that we wanted Miranda Gracia to play a larger part in our next picture together. Making her the STAR is what we did! 

   I had read in an old Famous Monsters of Filmland issue that plans were made for a film to be titled JAYNE MANSFIELD MEETS FRANKENSTEIN, not long before the star's untimely death in an automobile accident. The thought of what the picture would have been like had always stuck with me, though. I told Josh about it, and we were both disappointed the film had never come into being. 

   I'm not sure how we came up with the idea of adapting the story for Miranda Gracia, but that's exactly what happened! We decided to keep the essence of the original idea, and made the film a period piece set in 1967. Miranda plays an actress who's latest picture just happens to be filming in an abandoned castle, where lives a certain infamous character no stranger to movies himself...

   While the Masfield idea served as a springboard, it would obviously have to be tailored to a new star. Jayne Masfield was brassy and over-the-top, given to camera mugging. Miranda comes across as more of a sweet Dawn Wells/Annette Funicello type, and that's the type of character I wrote for her. Her low-key presence helped to counter the more wild-and-wacky elements (much like watching Annette in a beach comedy, actually). The wildest and wackiest element had to be Josh himself, who plays B picture dynamo J.K. Denham!

   Denham is a character Josh Kennedy was made to play! The skinflint director of low-budget exploitation films, always figuring all the angles, is a comic delight! This is particularly true when he's paired with Kat Kennedy as Buttons, the level-headed assistant who slaves away not-so-silently behind the scenes. Kat, it should be noted, is a scream! The characters were written based on Jack Benny and Mary Livingstone from the old radio series, although the siblings Kennedy brought their own twist to the roles.

   There's lot's going on here, but there's a hint of what it's all about! I really like that the internal logic of the film holds together. There was always the chance that the film could come off as a vanity project made to showcase a potential new star. MIRANDA GRACIA MEETS FRANKENSTEIN doesn't play like that at all, but actually has the sense of a 60's drive-in comedy about big stars being reduced to small movies. 

   Miranda comes across very natural, playing a rising star who has become the toast of Hollywood, yet never forgetting the humble start she made in B monster movies. She perfectly captures the glamor of big Hollywood mixed with all-American girl-next-door sweetness and humility. Miss Gracia has some real talent, and I hope I get to write for her on more pictures (I have a drama already in mind, actually).

   It's hard to think I'll ever write another film as fun as this one. Still, Josh grows by leaps and bounds with each new film. I hope I can keep up with him. I also pray we get to do a sequel...(or two).  

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Birth of Crissy Carrots


   A character sheet I ran across, showing the early development of the character who would become Crissy Carrots. My first idea was "Bunny" and she was inspired by Dorothy Lamour. If memory serves, I even toyed with the idea of having her be an island girl. One wonders what her lovestruck adversary would have been, as I don't think there are many wolves to be found in Hawaii!
   As you can see, I was experimenting with styles, and hadn't quite gotten down the perfect mixture of funny animal and cheesecake cartoon. I did attempt a more animated design style, though, which would have been a lot more difficult to draw over several pages (although it might not appear otherwise).