Sunday, June 15, 2014

Great Podcast with Yours Truly: A HORROR-FYING BLOG : AMY HESKETH -- A TRUE VISIONARY

If you have an hour and change to kill, look no further, I did a great podcast with John Horrordude, in which you can hear my sultry voice talk about my films, my life here in exotic Bolivia, Robert Louis Stevenson, and much more.



I have already been told it's highly entertaining by some folks, so go ahead and have a listen!



A HORROR-FYING BLOG : AMY HESKETH -- A TRUE VISIONARY IN FORM OF VISUAL...: IMDB - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2420502/ FACEBOOK -  https://www.facebook.com/amyhesketh FACEBOOK -https://www.facebook.com/pacha...

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Olalla, "Self", Weng's Chop, and my first music video!

Family portrait 1880
Last Saturday we had a wrap party to close the production of Olalla. It was great. I couldn't drink because I was getting over the stomach flu, but, because everyone else was drinking, the joie de vivre spread to me as well. I danced until 3AM. My cat let me sleep in, until 10AM, so nice of him.

The day after, I realized how important it is to close a film with a party like that. To experience again the companionship of the cast and crew of the film, this time without the pressure of making the film. I finally felt like I could move on from the production, begin anew, with another film of course.

It must be said that I have a really great team. The affection and camaraderie we feel for each other really helps to lessen the stress of production. Also, the fact that everyone is so responsible, talented, and great at their jobs makes a huge difference as well.

The other thing I always have a hard time letting go of with a film, is my character. In learning acting so young, and I began with Lee Strasberg's techniques, later with Stanislavski, and more interpretations on Method acting, it seems I never learned how to separate my character from myself. This is not to say that I create a character who is anything like me. But I'll take select memories, feelings, experiences of mine and combine them to make my character. But then I become only those experiences, those feelings. Everything I feel for that time while we're in production is based only on that information. When we're done shooting, it can take me weeks sometimes to find myself again. Anything I accomplish as Amy Hesketh seems so far removed from me. It's painful, I lose my sense of self completely. Like my soul has left my body and been replaced by another's.

I really need to work on that if I want to continue acting.

Moving on to less angst-y topics...

Yesterday, I received a copy of the enormous book-sized Weng's Chop magazine #5, in which I am mentioned as participating in the PollyGrind Film Festival (an awesome experience you can read about here), and there's an AMAZING review of my film Barbazul (Bluebeard) by Tony Strauss. Here's an excerpt:
Have you ever wondered what would happen if Mario Bava, Jean Rollin and Jess Franco had somehow defied the laws of nature and biology and produced a lovechild who became a filmmaker? Yeah, me too! Well, now we have our answer in the form of writer/director Amy Hesketh."
Totally awesome, right?! (I'm a bit overwhelmed). He goes on about Barbazul:
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"...everything about this film has the look and feel of much of the 70's output of the aforementioned three filmmakers, from the direction to the editing to the music to the production design. This erotic reimagining of the Bluebeard legend is like a sexy little time machine that gloriously transports your spirt back to the Euro-Horror glory of days past."
You can get your own copy of Weng's Chop right here! There are pretty pictures of me in there, as well as a bible's worth of interesting articles about bizarre, cult, action, and exploitation films, in addition to an amazing coverage of the PollyGrind 2013 Film Festival. If you're a fan of strange cinema, you pretty much need this 265 page magazine anyway.

You can get your hands on a copy of Barbazul on our site right here on download, or DVD, or on Amazon.com on download, or DVD.

And... a week after coming back from shooting Olalla, I directed a music video for Andrea Figueroa, for her song Mas Que Palabras. Here's the video below, and you can listen to more of her music right here.



It was so nice working with Andrea. She was a bit self-conscious about appearing in lingerie for the video, but as she put it, "if I was going to take my clothes off for anyone, it had to be you (directing the video)". She said that I made her feel very comfortable during the shoot, which made me glad.

I'm very proud of what we accomplished in this video, with no budget whatsoever. I feel like Art rises to the surface with challenges like that.

There's so much going on lately, that I'll have to write another blog post to cover it all. Stay tuned!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Olalla: now "in the can"!

So happy with the shoot!
(photo: Miguel Inti Canedo)
I just got back from a 10 hour freezing cold bus ride from Potosí, and I couldn't be happier. My fourth film as director, Olalla, is now in the can! Thanks to my cast and tireless, talented crew we pulled off a huge amount of shooting in only a few days.

I got to work with Cristian Del Rio, a fantastic Flamenco musician and actor, who added his amazing voice and knowledge of period music to the film (Fatigaaaa!!!).

Rhobess Pierre played the unforgettable priest, with the unexpected and very welcome addition of some physical comedy to the role! In character, he even made me feel guilty in one scene, and I wasn't even raised with religion.

Alejandro Loayza (seen with me in the photo on the left) played the younger Felipe, severely freaking me out in the best way possible with his  excellent acting. He also played a key extra in the big scene, showing his diversity.

Eric Calancha not only terrified me with his Enrique, the instigator of Olalla's violent end, but was extremely helpful, as always, as PA.

Through Jesus Relos Ramos we found the two girls, Rosario and Valeria, who look just like Mila Joya and I, who were amazing actresses as our younger representations, as well as the terrifying crowd of villagers who drag Olalla out of the chapel, whip her, and burn her at the stake. Among them, the girls' father, Jaime, who was a super helpful key extra.

Mila, who acted in the first part of the film, was there as a fantastic assistant and key extra in the big scene, instigating the crowd to throw insults at poor Olalla.

Miguel Inti Canedo, as always, knew just what I wanted. In each film, he exceeds himself as Director of Photography in my films. The cinematography in this film blows my mind.

Gina Alcon exceeded herself as PA, actress (striking fear into my heart with her performance as one of the vicious townsfolk), and all around super helpful person on the set.

Sol Calle did a fantastic job with the make-up and hair, and entertained us with stories during downtime.

Rodrigo León continues to grab good sound for the film, and his massive knowledge of historic details, and art, add special touches.

Beatriz Lizarazu Jauregui, and her daughter, Beatriz Rivera Lizarazu, came all the way from La Paz to be key extras in the big scene. I can't wait to work with them again!


And what shall I say about the Hacienda Cayara, but that Arturo and David did such a great job that we could just relax and shoot the film. They even put up the cross with an incredibly awesome-looking platform.

Last, but certainly not least, my producer, Jac Avila exceeded himself with this huge production. Somehow, all I had to do was stand back while he produced the impossible and awesome. So many great things fell into place on this production that I think he must be sacrificing chickens in the back patio, just to make sure I get what I want.

I forgot to mention that I was dragged by one of our actors, a donkey, down the road when he decided his scenes were over. I'm pretty bruised up from the experience, but it gave me some perspective vis a vi the whipping/burning at the stake scene. Being out in the cold without clothes is nothing compared to being dragged down a rocky road by a burro.

Also, there was a great dog who acted in the film in the last scenes. I almost took him home with me he was so good, repeating the scenes, doing exactly the same thing in each take. Amazing. Until he started nibbling on the other cast & crew members.

The whole gang, in the 1880s scenes.
While I'm so happy with the film that I could burst, I also feel the let-down that comes with finishing a film. It's like a postpartum depression. All that remains is to nurture the film into maturity with post-production. My part is largely over. Sigh, it's like I have no purpose in life when I'm not directing a movie.

The only cure is to start right in on the next film, Debutante.

Discussing locations with Jac around the Hacienda Cayara.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Barbazul (Bluebeard 2012) Movie Review by S.E.

Checkout this review of my film Barbazul (Bluebeard)!



S E Lindberg: Barbazul (Bluebeard 2012) Movie Review by S.E.: Barbazul (Bluebeard);NR 7/10 Stars. Review by S.E. (on IMDB.com) Recommended for (1) mature audiences who (2)  enjoy literary, pac...

Olalla... and more!

The contemporary Olalla
The date is approaching in which we shoot the final scenes for Olalla, those set in the 1880s. This weekend we leave for Potosí, and we return to La Paz on the 25th. We'll be traveling more than 10 hours to the rather far-away location.

And what a location it is, a huge colonial hacienda, with its own chapel, big yards, courtyards. Everything I wanted, and more, for this film. One downside is the lack of internet. As a cyborg, I will find that rather disconcerting. We have verified that our phones work there, however. So, it won't be quite as cut-off as when we shot Barbazul (Bluebeard) in Chivisivi.

A lot will happen in those days, many key scenes will be shot, leading up to the big, climactic scene in which my character is dragged out by an angry mob, chained to a cross, whipped, and burned alive. She is a vampire after all. In those times, the general population was not so forgiving of bloodlust...

Planning the FX for the big scene has been challenging, and crucial to making it work. I think the results will be fantastic.

We've been pre-producing this part of the film for quite some time, it's period 1880s, so more work involved in terms of costumes, props, and set design. I'm absolutely ready to get this film in the can.

Which leads me to my next film... which it looks like I'll be directing this year as well. Maybe even in July... called Debutante,  film based on the George Bernard Shaw play, Pygmalion. Of course my version, co-written by Jac Avila and myself, will be a bit more... racy (read: absolutely perverted), as well as being a dark comedy.

And there's Justine, which Jac Avila - my partner in crime, if making movies is a crime - will be directing, a labor of love based on the Marquis de Sade's very famous tale of woe, and innocence lost.

We're still securing locations for that film, but we have some great leads, and some excellent actors and crew already on board. I say Labor of Love, because it's a huge project, one that started as a bit more modest and has grown exponentially. Making a period piece is never easy, and this one is more ambitious than most. Carriages, and powdered wigs, anyone? While challenging, it's a worthwhile project, a story that has been told before in cinema, but never like this.

Last, but not least, I also directed a short, existential film this year, based on a story by Jack Hunter, called Ekeko. Here's the short description: "Is a folkloric doll responsible for the murder of a young woman by her husband?".

I shot it entirely on a GoPro, which was challenging, as well as the "found footage" style, which I had previously never used. But the shots turned out great, and the crazy physical effect I made is pretty awesome. I'm happy with it.

Right now, it's being considered for film festivals, and will be included in a film called Paranoia Tapes, and has a lot of other great filmmakers involved, including the creator of the PollyGrind film festival.

My good friend Ralphus pointed out to me that I might have more free time if I wasn't always working on 4 or 5 films at the same time. But what would be the fun in that? Also, I have no other life outside of making films, so I have no idea what I would do with all that free time, other than watch awesome K-pop music videos recommended to me by C. Dean Andersson.

That's all for now, I'll see you on the other side of Olalla!



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Obscure Video And DVD Blog: AMY HESKETH INTERVIEW.........

An interview with yours truly about my film Barbazul (Bluebeard)!



Obscure Video And DVD Blog: AMY HESKETH INTERVIEW.........: This is another interview I conducted with Amy Hesketh a while back about the movie BARBAZUL. It has taken a while to finally get this publi...

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Another Fine Review of Sirwiñakuy! (And some notes on cameras, and creativity)

The DVD front cover
Yesterday, a positive review was published of my first film, Sirwiñakuy, in The Beverly Hills Outlook (link here).

Here's an excerpt below:

"What is most significant about this remarkable film from 2010 is how completely director Amy Hesketh absorbs and makes cinematic conventions her own, breaking them at will, such as her insertion of sped up footage though back streets to bridge scenes, as opposed to standard editing practices. Though her approach is an exercise in masterful storytelling, she boldly turns to documentary techniques when her fiction leads to an open Andean market, where whips are sold as common merchandise. Despite her employment of cinematic narrative traditions, her approach is also symbolic, with the Andes, whose culture she drew upon for her basic premise, hovering over the landscape in the background, and in red high heels that represent Woman’s sexual nature."

I love going back, now that I'm directing my fourth feature film, Olalla, and looking at what I accomplished in the beginning. It's been an amazing outpouring of creativity since then. I've had the luxury of writing scripts, and see them made into films, things of beauty. I'm very proud of the work I've done so far.

Often, a director can be forced to make certain choices in the cinematography, and the way a story is told, based on the camera that is used. This can be especially true with low-budget independent cinema. When Sirwiñakuy was in the planning stages, Jac and I discussed cameras. He had a professional Canon camera that had a great sensor on it, but only shot in SD. I really wanted to shoot Sirwiñakuy in HD. And the only HD cameras our company owned at the time were two Canon prosumers. But, they had CCD sensors and a great look. I convinced Jac that the film could be made with them. We had shot test footage with them, and it gave the film the voyeuristic, hazy look I was going for.

What those cameras also did for the film was make it easier to experiment with shots, especially in the taxi, and in the market in El Alto. When you can take a camera off of a tripod and do handheld without the necessity of a huge crew, you can achieve different shots. You don't call attention to yourself, your crew, it's more on the fly, and you'll be surprised with what you get.

I've been thinking about a new camera, something that can be taken off the tripod, held in the hand and go out into the street, the jungle, anywhere, and how that will change the way a story is told. It's time to loosen up a little.

You can find this film on VermeerWorks.com and Amazon.com



Tuesday, December 24, 2013

2013: The End of an Era (Catharsis, be my valentine)

So, you're wondering about the title? What I mean is the end of an era of emotional pain and suffering. In real life, not on screen. No worries.

Between 2010 and 2013 I had a lot of suck1 happening in my life. Those three years were like a crash-course in hard knocks. What my mother calls, "An abrupt loss of innocence". I experienced a personal loss. I ended a long relationship. And my dad got sick, and suddenly I was entirely responsible for him.2. In February of this year, my father died. Now I'm learning to live with my 50% chance of not going out like a zombie far before my time. Thanks, genetics. Hooray to living on the edge! Every day is a gift! Yay!

But there's good news: people heal, and they actually have a bottomless pit of innocence, and strength, left if they know how to look for it, deep inside. Artists need their innocence, believe me. It's there, I looked for it and found it. Pure magic.

Between those years a lot of great things also happened, namely that my output as a filmmaker has been exponential, or at least it feels that way. The production company, in which I'm a partner, is going strong and we're making new movies all the time. I'm actually able to make the films I want to, with little compromise. Seriously? Yes. This is the most awesome thing ever, short of actually having lots of money to produce those films.

He meows like a tiny dinosaur. I'm not kidding.
This year Dead But Dreaming had its theatrical run and pre-release, I had a great interview published in Fangoria Magazine, lots of interviews in other magazines and blogs, traveled from coast to coast, went to the PollyGrind Film Festival3 with Barbazul, met some great people, had good times with old friends, a fantastic time with a new friend, helped out my mom with lots of manual labor, shot about 2/3 of my fourth film as director, Olalla, ran a pretty successful IndieGoGo campaign to raise funds for the other 1/3 of Olalla, and now have a distribution deal in the works for all of the films. And last, but not least, I found a very cute kitten in my garden, named Mitsou, after the Balthus drawings. When I only focus on the positive, it was a complete and utter blast.

Look at all the pretty awards!
On Saturday the 21st, I threw a party for much of the cast and crew of Olalla. We celebrated the Solstice (at least I did, having been raised by a pagan goddess (my mother)), and we found out at 6PM PST that we won a huge amount of lovely awards from The Beverly Hills Outlook!

Among them, I won Best Director (Gold) for Le Marquis de la Croix, Best Actress (Gold) for Dead But Dreaming, and Barbazul won Best Film (Gold). I really could not be more pleased! You can see all of them at this link right here.

It was wonderful to share that with the people who make everything happen, who believe in what we do, and put their hearts and souls into their work with us. I love them dearly.

I'm very excited to start 2014 with even more projects. We'll be shooting the 1880s sequence for Olalla, including the big scene, it looks like Jac Avila has an adaptation of the Marquis de Sade's Justine in the works, Erix Antoine has a great script we'll be shooting (I finally get to kick ass in an action movie!), there's a good chance I might be heading into the jungle to shoot something (huge insects! pretty birds!), I have a script for a horror film, and I'm making a horror short in collaboration with some PollyGrinders.

This year is ending well.

This is fantastic!



1 For my non-English-speaking readers (who may be using Google Translate) "suck" = bad (mal)


 
Nonsensical ledge, be gone!
I will take out my wrath upon thee.
2
100 painful pages of the ups and downs of that story could be put right here. It would read like a horror soap opera.

The past few days I've been really angry, and didn't know why. I gave it some thought, and realized that this time last year was the last time I saw my father alive. I think he recognized me, he smiled a lot. I felt guilty for not doing more. I still feel guilty, even though everyone tells me I did a great job with him. Someday, I wish to feel at peace about that.

I cried, I smashed a ledge off of a wall that didn't need to be there. I feel better now. And have about 5 inches more space in that room. 



Barbazul in Las Vegas, baby!

3 I just realized that I'm a silly person for not writing about the PollyGrind Film Fest before now?! Chad Clinton Freeman has organized pure AWESOME there in LV! I went for the entire 5 days, watched tons of films, had my picture taken with Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS (Dyanne Thorne), was completely dazzled by the weirdness of Las Vegas (my 2nd visit), and most importantly, connected with a bunch of very cool people. It's what a film festival should be, well-organized, well-curated, lots of fun. I got to Q&A after the screening of Barbazul for a whopping 25 minutes, probably to the utter consternation of the kind director, Chad, who had another film scheduled after mine. I loved every minute of PollyGrind... except for that wicked hangover I had one day out of the five. But, I cured it by watching more films.

That's yours truly with Dyanne Thorne and Howard Maurer of "Ilsa" fame. Pretty sweet.



Monday, October 7, 2013

Olalla: The IndieGoGo Campaign

Just a few days ago, we began shooting the contemporary scenes for Olalla, my fourth feature film as director. I also am the protagonist in this film. Cool beans! You can read more about the shooting of the film on the Olalla Facebook Page.

So, last week we launched the IndieGoGo campaign to raise funds for the scenes set in the late 1800's. In particular a huge blow-out AWESOME scene in which Olalla is dragged out of her home by a mob of angry villagers, chained to a cross, whipped, and burned at the stake. Intense, I know. And that scene involves a ton of extras in period costume, a great location, and a lot of production. So, we're trying to raise funds to make it the most awesome, intense scene ever!

We've kept the cost low for the contemporary scenes by working with a small crew, sourcing a great location from a friend, and cutting corners where we could. Even as such, those scenes still look big-budget! Because we're that good. See for yourself in this production still, below. Awesome, right?!

Notice the nice lighting here. And this is raw, without post-production.

We really want to make the huge cross/whipping/burning-at-the-stake scene the best ever to be seen on the big screen, so please consider helping us do that by taking a look at the campaign! We have tons of perks for your contribution, like a pre-sale of the Download/DVD (at a discount), autographed photos, the book (by Robert Louis Stevenson) signed by Amy Hesketh (me), t-shirts, copies of the script signed by Amy Hesketh (me) and other cast members, an Associate Producer credit, an opportunity to have Amy Hesketh (me) shoot an interview just for you (answering your questions), the chance to be an extra in the big "burning at the stake" scene, an Executive Producer credit, and much more! It's all really good stuff. Seriously, there's something for everyone, for every budget.

So far we've reached over 10% of our goal. You can help us reach 100%!!!

Here's a link to the campaign right here!


And here's the pitch video below, telling you more about what we're trying to do. 
It's also funny, so I urge you to watch it.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Premiere of Dead But Dreaming

I'm late? It's because I spent 45 minutes applying this red lipstick.
Last night's premiere of Dead But Dreaming (Muerta Pero Soñando) in the Multicine movie complex in La Paz, Bolivia was a complete success! Lots of people loved the film and I received many big hugs and congratulations afterward for my acting, and production work/costumes/etc, in the film.

Before the premiere. With some sexy stockings.
Many people told me that they were astounded by the movie, and completely taken with the new, fresh, original vampire myth that Jac has created, the production values, and the acting in the film.

Strangely enough I don't usually have an opinion of my own acting in many films. I figure I did my best, it's cool, I'm fine with it, satisfied with what's there. Sometimes surprised that I managed to pull it off, in the case of Maleficarum.

It's different with Dead But Dreaming. I'm extremely proud of my acting, I found my performance convincing, moving even. That's interesting to me.

I'm very proud of the work that everyone put into the film, my fellow actors, crew, and especially Miguel Inti Canedo, our cinematographer. The images are so beautiful to be overwhelming, almost unreal.

I put together a little video showing the crowds before the premiere, and the party afterward for your viewing enjoyment!


Monday, July 8, 2013

An Inspired Review of Barbazul!

(Veronica) "portrays death throes with disturbingly believable authenticity"
Yesterday a very positive and insightful review was published in The Beverly Hills Outlook by editor Charles Lonberger. To say the least, it was well received by yours truly. The reviews says many complimentary things about the film and the acting of Veronica Paintoux, Mila, Joya, Jac Avila. Well, everyone in the cast. And this is what it says about me:


"The most interesting role, an otherwise minor part, of Jane, is assumed by director Hesketh, slyly referencing an inside joke by assigning the role to herself. It is a self-portrait of the Artist as masochist, handcuffed and whipped. In this role, as a fictional author of S&M novels, Hesketh wants to be hit “harder,” and ends up buried beneath, and thereby literally lower, than dirt. The assignment of this role to herself is transparent. Her interpretation of this very dark role is as girlish as it is disarmingly and deceptively casual. Most importantly, it voices the central dialectic of Hesketh's creative self: as filmmaker, she is very much in control, yet the fiction she imagines, as in a dream, celebrates control being forcibly taken from her, here in the form of her own death, which she eroticizes, due to the manner in which it is realized.

Extremely dark, ultimately introverted and intelligent entertainment, Barbazul is distributed by Vermeerworks."


Me, celebrating my loss of control.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Fantastic Review of Le Marquis de la Croix in the Beverly Hills Outlook!

Mila Joya and Jac Avila in Le Marquis de la Croix
"(Le Marquis de la Croix)... is a master class in film direction, courtesy of Hesketh herself.". Nice! Right?

You can read the full review by clicking right here!

I'm very pleased with this review, it really could not be better. A big thank you to Charles Lonberger for this. Quite frankly, he understands my films 100%.

Haven't gotten your copy of the movie yet? You can find the DVD Here, or the Download Here!

A fabulous review of Barbazul will be coming out in the same publication very soon, I can't wait to share the link!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Official Theatrical Trailer of Dead But Dreaming!

The 25th of July Dead But Dreaming (Muerta Pero Soñando) hits Bolivian movie theaters! Below is the fantastic trailer of Jac Avila's latest masterpiece, featuring yours truly and many other talented actors, such as Veronica Paintoux, Mila Joya, Jac Avila, Jorge Ortiz, Claudia Moscoso, Rhobess Pierre, Beto Lopez, Eric Calancha, and many more!

Use the toggles below to watch it in HD, it's worth it!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Dead But Dreaming: Official poster designed by moi, plus a release date

Fantastic poster, yes?!
Yes, as some of you may know, I don't just sit around eating bonbons and drinking champagne. (I wish).

Instead, I'm hard at work editing the "making of" Dead But Dreaming, doing the graphic design and various and sundry other very important tasks to do with the impending rlease. It would be nice to have at least one clone of myself.

Big news, Dead But Dreaming, the first vampire film ever made in Bolivia (!!!), will hit theaters here down South July 25th. I'm very excited, as I always am. It'll be great to see it on the big screen!

Don't forget to go to the Facebook Page for Dead But Dreaming and give it a like. And check out all of the great photos from the making of the movie!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

My dad, Dennis, looking very handsome.
This is the first year that I haven't been able to wish my dad a happy father's day, since his passing this February.

He was an exceptional person, and I miss him a lot.

He was a very supportive person in my life, always quirky, always thinking outside of the box. There are always things that we could be angry at our parents for, but at the end of the day, I would prefer to remember what I take away from the experience of being parented by such a an offbeat man. Many good memories, and lots of knowledge.

My father had an avid appreciation for nature and one of my favorite things to do with him was to go birding out on the land in back of the house. He would point out to me the different types of trees, we would be very quite in order to see animals, and look up the birds in his Audubon book. We found an Elm tree once, deep in the woods, untouched by Dutch Elm disease (this is actually something special as there aren't many Elms left in New England).

Another time we found a tiny fawn nestled in a field. We had to grab the dog, Dinah, and carefully back away in case we contaminated its scent. My father explained that fawns don't have their own scent, as a method of protection from predators. I'll never forget the way its sleepy eyes innocently blinked up at us. Magical.

I still enjoy taking walks with my mom, also an amateur naturalist, in her woods. I hope to for years to come.