with founder Steve Rock
Photo taken 4/10/2021 of Steve Rock in alien makeup on the set of GONE
Welcome to the Brain Food Blog!
How I missed the smell of latex and makeup. How i missed the chaos of a set, a million things to do all at the same time, yet somehow it all gets done and the dust settles. Then to see the magic happen right before your eyes as capable people execute a shared vision and words come off a page and into life. I want to share some of my experiences so far with Gone, and how amazing it has been to have a team of truly dedicated and talented people working in cohesion against all odds and under the circumstance of the COVID 19 pandemic and subsequent worldwide slowdowns.
First, I'll share that we have kept our cast and crew very small up until this point, with 4 of us doing most of the work including the acting, makeup, lighting, sound recording, and filming. It's no small feat and I can't overstate how much i appreciate these people that make it happen and continue to throughout my life and career. The four of us, like so many others, found ourselves either working from home or unemployed by our day jobs. We also had a project that was actively about to start, sets were being built and casting was underway when the pandemic hit freezing that project, The Last Hunt, in it's tracks. We hope to soon circle back to it when the time comes.
We shot a bit as we could in the late summer and fall while maintaining social distance and largely using my home as our set, to keep us as safe as possible. And it was impressive how much we got done for a team of 4 taking on a feature with no budget and few resources at our disposal.
Now we are vaccinating and expanding the cast to fill out the remaining parts and scenes we couldn't shoot in our isolation. Location shoots begin soon as our last phase of production before we go into the edit. So far we have had great luck and made good progress. A trailer was released on Halloween last year with the footage we were able to capture at that point, and we hope you are as excited to see the final project as we are.
Specifically I want to shout out to Crystal "Chibi" Rose who is our lead actress. She is super talented and such a pleasure to work with, no task is too big or small and she has been very brave in our more disturbing scenes. Not only that but she has improved entire scenes, had very great script notes for rewrites, and created art specific to this story, and on top of all that has been very active with makeup and set design. This project would not be possible without her and we are truly blessed to have found her.
All in all, things are progressing well, and I hope you join in on our journey.
As a final note in this blog entry, I decided to leave the previous post up here, I stand by every word, and feel that it is important now more than ever to be transparent in our views. The struggle to make a better tomorrow must never end, and we must all do our part to make a more perfect union. So many problems from injustice to climate change and pollution, and the only way we overcome is together.
Here's to a better tomorrow and a brighter future. Take care until next time!
Good Health, Good Luck, and MORE BLOOD!
Photo taken 5/29/2020 in Albany NY BLM protest march by Stephen Rock
Welcome to the Brain Food Blog!
Recently I made the announcement of our new project and took down the posts on our social media that said "We are still working on a film for 2020 but we find that we feel that right now a message of peace and unity is more important." I didn't take these down because the time for action has passed, but simply that the show must go on.
However here on my website blog I feel I need to address why I march for the cause of equality and justice for all.
First to explain, I don't match up to any political party. I'm something of a mix of both liberal and conservative views. For example I believe states should largely govern themselves, I believe in legal gun rights and find exvessive gun laws to be only harmful to legal ownership and in no way preventing criminals from getting weapons. I believe in equality, LGBTQ+ and women's rights, and that no one should be above the law including those who enforce or legislate it. I wish to see police reform in a way that mirrors what we see in other countries, with more training and education required to become and stay a police officer, body cams that are monitored by both internal police review teams and community oversight committee members, and for officers to be safe from any type of termination or retribution for reporting when their colleagues step out of line. I don't want to see an end to the police force, I have many friends that are officers and I have had both great and not so great experiences with the police, I understand that they are largely just normal people trying to do an uncertain and harrowing job. To want to protect one's community is a noble cause.
I also want to see education programs and community health and outreach programs that help to eliminate the creation of criminals in our youth, as no one grows up wanting to be a criminal. They become one to survive when they feel normal life is not something they have access to.
As a child there were two things I was brought up to believe. That all Americans should have been brought up to believe. Those two things are "We are all created equal" and "Liberty and Justice for All." It's in our highest documents. Here is an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The language is outdated and should be interpreted through a modern lens, just as any of document of significant age should, but the message of equality and freedom is right there. Yet everyday we see that we are not equal under the law, that some are somehow untouchable in their role of law enforcement, and others are strung along and made minor concessions to try to keep them appeased with their unequal situation. It is widespread, it isn't just one marginalized group, it is many. The proof is out there right in front of our faces all the time on every news channels and outside our front doors, and it has been for years. Long before the Floyd protests began, long before the Trump administration took office, long before I was even born.
I don't understand why. To me these ideas, Equality and Justice for All, are not things that should be a red or blue issue. These aren't political issues, they are humanitarian issues. Whether or not to build a road or to make an ordance to leash your dog or to zone a large scale business like a fulfillment center, those are political issues. To dispute whether someone can get married, where they can live, or if they can access healthcare or insurance is not, those are humanitarian issues. The politics shouldn't be involved as if we practiced what the founding fathers wrote, we all would already have these rights regardless of the circumstances of our birth or who we choose to love.
When I was a child, I was under the impression that my country was the greatest and most free, that I could grow up to be anything I wanted, and that was going to be the same for all other kids my age. Then I grew up and see things for how they really are, ugly and disproportionate.
These last few monthsI have been finally speaking out again after trying to change the world at a younger age and finding no traction, so I had given up. I made new signs for the modern day, as a "NO BLOOD FOR OIL" sign would be very strange next to the current ones, and I took to the streets to demand a better tomorrow. I took to my social media to try to help others understand why I am out there and why I am so passionate about making a better world for the kids of today and the generations of tomorrow.
I have been called many ugly things and defended my ideals, which if you live in the USA and you love this country should be yours also, from many people that don't seem to grasp what this is really all about.
I march today for this cause, but I march tomorrow for the next, and the next, and the next, until I see the country I was told was here when I was a child, and later found out it didn’t ever really exist. All I am seeking in this is to take the ideas and the words we should all cherish as Americans and make them reality. All I am asking for is for people to stop hiding their hate in their politics, to stop pushing their agendas for supremacy of any sort, and to start doing the right thing. The decent thing.
But also I must continue my path as an artist, as they say the show must go on. I have one more thing I would like to quote as i sign off on this blog entry. I present some wise words from Toni Morrison.
"This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal."
Here's to a better tomorrow. Please take care, be kind, and know that you all matter. What doesn't matter what you look like in the mirror or how you choose to live. There is only one race, the Human race, we just need to get our society and laws to finally reflect it.
Good Health, Good Luck, and MORE BLOOD!