Thursday, October 31, 2019

HAPPY HALLOWEEN 2019: Total SCREAM Music Video!

With all of the other projects going on this year I wasn't sure if I would get around to digging into the archives for a Halloween clip.  Luckily, that did not end up being the case!  This years clip comes from the fake "Ad Campaign" for our incomplete Scream Fan Film - in the form of a music video.  If you look closely, a few flashes of old  material reveals our original title and the bare bones version of the costume as well.  It also features a lot of early scenes that were shot that probably never would have made it into the final movie.  Not because they were bad scenes.  Just because we improved in our film making and writing as production progressed.  They certainly gave us some fun highlight bites to use though!

This video was shot and partially edited early in production of the movie (sometime in early 1997) but finished sometime in 1999 as production was coming to a halt.  We actually ended up shooting another video altogether later on for this song - will have to track that down and post it as well if/when I find it.  This one features Heath Adams performing the song "What About Us" by the band Total with Brandon Zimmerman playing a very early incantation of our Ghostface costume.  I'm not sure where we found the song or why it became a "promotional track" but it mattered enough that we shot 2 versions of the music video.  Happy Halloween 2019!

Check it out HERE!

Monday, October 7, 2019


Check out the trailer for a new short-form show from Crypt TV - THE BIRCH!  Coming to Facebook Watch on October 11!

Sunday, September 22, 2019


Exactly one year ago today my brother got married.  This is the story of that HERE!

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Baby Lord Of The Dance: Behind-the-Scenes
A few months ago we "released" a music video of my newborn baby "dancing" to a track from Lord of the Dance, which you can still view HERE.  We made it as a late Mother's Day/Early Father's Day gift for the Grandparents.  It was shot over the course of 3 nights in June and "released" soon thereafter.  I have just recently cut together a Behind-the-Scenes glimpse for it, which can now be viewed HERE!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

8/18/18: Lydia & Connor Wedding Highlight Reel

We didn't plan on making a highlight reel for this Wedding but since we ended up shooting so much, it didn't make sense not to.  An extended Documentary version is in the works and will be released as Volume 7 in the Zim Home Video Wedding Collection later this year.  Photo above by Mishi Reyes.  Happy Anniversary Lydia + Connor!  Check out the trailer and then watch the highlight Reel HERE!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Baby Lord Of The Dance

After discovering that my 6 week old baby loves dancing to Irish Dance music.  We decided to construct a little music video/dance performance video, as a late Mother's Day/Early Father's Day gift to our parents.  Check it out Here!

Sunday, May 26, 2019


The fourth and final entry in this series of logo creation behind-the-scenes vignettes is the Z3 FILMS logo.  It went through several variations over the years but the four below were used the most.
Oddly enough the original "Z3" logo plate was drawn using the spray-paint brush in Microsoft Paint. It was then superimposed on top of a fiery video plate from one my first movies, The Battle of Yorktown (1994).  I used it this way, without any additional text, for several years.  Then in the early 2000's Levi Obery added the additional "FILMS productions" text to it to be used at the top of Halloween: Haddonfield Revisited (2002), and then updated and removed the "productions" part of the title for The Only Way (2004).  I would sometimes alter the colors or speed depending on the project but overall it stayed mostly the same.  I haven't needed a new logo for anything lately (since I've mostly been working in post-production for TV) but potential ideas have been creeping into my mind for years.  So after my Wedding in October 2016 - I decided to finally push through and create a new logo, for my Wedding Documentary, and for future projects.
DEVELOPMENT/PRE-PRODUCTION:  This new logo went through several iterations. My original plan was to rework the original Z3 animation with new "Films" text added.  After much experimentation I realized that this was not enough of an upgrade considering the master footage was from VHS.  So I decided to start from scratch.

PRODUCTION PART I: I used the original "Z3" logo as the basis by creating a stencil using a print out.  Then I traced it onto the back of a black canvas.  I then lit it up and animated the logo ripping through the canvas frame by frame.  Then I added some practical smoke to it (a.k.a. baby powder) for a little ambience and moved the light around behind the cut out a bit to give myself some additional options.  It was a very low budget and practical-based process but it did the trick.

PRODUCTION PART II/POST-PRODUCTION: The second part took much longer and much more experimentation.  I began to paint, sketch, and experiment with digital text for options of the "FILMS" element.  Several different versions were combined with the animated background logo plate to see which one was the best.  Eventually, after several months (maybe years) of work, I settled on my favorite and a new Z3 FILMS Logo was born (see below)!  Check out a behind-the-scenes video of the process HERE!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

John Ronane: In Memoriam

John Ronane,  85, of Eureka passed away at 7:49 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, 2019, at his home, with his family by his side.  To me, John was a mentor.  A mentor who not only pushed me to pursue my dreams but also helped me get on the right path to do so.

I first met John at the end of my Freshman year of high school during a Spring Extension program.  His wife Carole, was teaching a course on film making and brought him in to talk to us about his wide range of experiences in the  Film/TV business.  He actually wrote a short screenplay for the class titled Summer Lesson, which we were given the task of turning into a short film in only 2 days.  We chose to use the first day for production and then spent the whole second day editing at my house.  I still remember him showing up at the end of the first day while we were shooting the finale.  It was a bit nerve-racking having him on set but at the same time I felt honored.  The guy had lived and worked in the film business.  Something I wholeheartedly wanted to be a real part of someday.  As seen in the photo above - John, Phil, and I were discussing our shot list for the scene.  I remember him talking to us like we were fellow artists, collaborating, and not just telling us what we needed to do.  We felt like real professionals that day!  We shot in on Hi8 and VHS-C and cut linearly in my bedroom with a VCR and a VHS Camcorder - mastering to VHS.  You can check out the final film HERE!

After this project I began doing end of the year SCHOOL VIDEO YEARBOOK'S, which his wife Carole oversaw but gave me an incredible amount of artistic freedom.  These videos actually ended up being pretty extensive and even feature length.  They played at the Senior Awards Assemblies at the end of my Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years.  John actually showed up to these screenings.  Afterward we would discuss the videos and he would mention little details that he noticed.  After a years worth of work it was awesome for someone to actually point out some of these details, which to most may seem minor but actually took a lot of thought and energy to execute.  It charged me up and inspired me to keep pushing myself.

I have not seen him or Carole in several years but have kept in touch off and on through social media since graduating high school in 2003.  They set my sights on Columbia College Chicago way back in 2003 when I was about to graduate high school.  They even recommended a move to Los Angeles - way before I ever thought that it was a real possibility.  Without them I'm not sure where I would be right now.  I will always be grateful to him and Carole for believing in me and pushing me to pursue my dreams!

John's memorial website is available at, where condolences may also be sent to the family.  Memorial contributions may also be made to the American Cancer Society.

Monday, May 13, 2019

KNIGHTFALL: Season 2 Finale!

The finale of KNIGHTFALL Airs tonight on The History Channel.
Check out the Teaser and tune in tonight!

Friday, May 10, 2019


The second in this series of logo creation behind-the-scenes vignettes is the PHOOLISH PHILMS logo.  This "Company" was officially birthed in 2004 by my brother Brandon and I for our short film - Pursuit of a Vision.  It has never had an official logo though, until now.

Development:  After doing the reversed broken mirror concept for the @LUNAREYLA logo, and the practical background ripping for the Z3 FILMS logo I wanted to find something different for this one.  So I kept my eye out for interesting visuals and concepts being done out in the world.  I pulled together a handful of different ideas and let them simmer in my mind for awhile.

The Letters:  At some point I decided that I wanted to use physical letters, something tangible as the basis for the logo.  My original idea was to purchase cardboard letters because I thought I had seen them at a store recently.  I searched everywhere and couldn't find said cardboard letters anywhere near me but I did find some wooden ones in the size I was looking for.  So I purchased them and returned home and painted them all a dopey lime green.  Then I dirtied them up a bit and let them dry while and then I kind of lost my inspiration.  So I took some time to develop the concept a little more.

Production Shoot #1:  Eventually I took a break from editing (the myriad of projects I have on my slate right now) and made a day out of experimenting with several of the ideas that had been floating around in my head.  I tried a few things with spray painted lettering, water spray and smears, and also shot some stuff with the tangible wooden letters.  This by default, added more color and texture to the letters.  With the footage I cut a few options together but none of them were worthy of being the logo.  So I sat the project aside for a little while longer...

Production Shoot #2:  Then a new idea sparked one morning.  I'm not sure where it sparked from but I'm certainly glad it did.  The concept was to have the letters hanging towards the camera and moving subtely.  So over the course of a few days, I started stapling yarn to the letters, guiding them through punched holes in a large desktop computer box that I had previously painted black (originally to be used for the Z3 Logo Background plate), and then I hung that box up in a doorway.  This allowed the letters to fall strangely and independently of each other.  I tried several variations in lighting and focus -  with plates of all of the letters holding still, moving all over the place, and even pulled up tight against the cardboard.

Post-Production:  Once I got all of the new plates into the computer I started playing around with the different options.  I played with different timing effects and altered the colors.  I had recently purchased some VHS overlay filters and felt like those would help hit the overall idea home as well (our roots are in the land of VHS afterall!).  Phoolish Philms has always had a cool homemade essence in my mind.  So to me, this logo really represents it well.

Check out a behind-the-scenes video HERE!