Feature update. The story behind the 3 year project and counting.
In May 2009, director/writer (amongst many other talents including producing, acting, editing, cinematography, singer/songwriter) Anthony ‘Rory Man’ Tran and his team won an audience award for a thriller/horror “COEXIST” made in less than a week with a runtime of 8 minutes with credits which sparked the idea of doing a feature movie that would incorporate similar ideas from this movie as well as Tran’s last directorial piece “DUALITY” (later renamed “DUALITY: The Battle Within”.
With 4 short films under Tran’s directing belt, 2 of which he wrote the screenplay for with creative input from teammates such as Stephanie Hayes and Stephen Flohn) and 1 he co-wrote, it was time to think much bigger than these short film competitions, one that would thread the entertainment of previous ideas in all those movie projects! On top of that, the cast of “Duality: The Battle Within” was returning for this feature!
When it came down to the script, half of the movie was written by their first shooting day sometime August 2009. Two scenes were shot “Amanda’s Druggie Hut” and “Ticket Booth”, but the volunteer cast members losing their commitment to the project as the original Kandy getting pregnant, the original Britney impersonator from “iNPERSONNATION” quitting on the phone before the shoot (imagine Tran organizing props, extras and actors for his first theme park movie shoot and as he’s on his way to be told that an actress is quitting! Ouch!) and more people began to fall off from the original cast. It was time to re-evaluate the situation. Luckily, on the day of the ticket booth scene, newcomer actress Erin Wilkin had brought her friend Michelle who was asked to be the replacement of the iconic impersonator. However, Tran then took a 6 month break to finish the script and to do new auditions. Production started again March 2010.
Most of the production seemed to be going well, but Tiffany was the hardest character to recast. All the girls who got the role dropped out and on top of that, Kristen, who played Angela quit the movie after changing her hair completely in her second shoot. After Angela quit, Dustin who played Dane quit. It seemed like nothing would go right for this movie as scenes were scrapped, left on the cutting floor. All the blood, sweat and tears, the effort poured into making a feature seemed more like an abysmal challenge. The equipment being used was through students at Brown Mackie and some of them were getting frustrated by all the mishaps as well as on their way to graduating- which meant they couldn’t get equipment.
Luckily, Tran branched out and participated on other shoots and met Christopher Wesley of Sovereign Entertainment. Mr. Wesley agreed to help Tran finish his movie, but they needed to organize things a bit better in order to do so. Phil Hepfinger of PH Video also agreed to help and found Abi Esmena, Preston Ritter and Khrys Styles to fulfill the roles that were lacking. Wesley helped find Kelby Tienken to play Angela, Tran found Nathaniel Grauweleman to play Kyle, now upgraded to the role of Dane, off of networking sites and also found Ashley Jackson through a former BMC student and it seemed as though the cast was complete.
Filming took a mild break to reconstruct pre-production due to all the changes and the massive amount of locations – over 100 scenes with at least 50 different locations in the movie – and resumed January 2011. The year went pretty smooth and the first teaser trailer was released (watch here – http://vimeo.com/24636380 ) and at the end, even stated that it would release in 2011 due to how successful the shoots were. Tran networked with friends, bands, and artists of all types including the building of the movie soundtrack, utilizing original artwork and more from people all over Greater Cincinnati as well as the beginning of branching out to people throughout the nation. Emails from people in Europe and Australia were also sent to TrippyTranFilms@gmail.com interested in the project.
As the summer hit, some minor issues occured including being told that the team could finish their filming at Coney Island in Ohio, but then kicked out by the Vice President as they were preparing their shoot with 100 extras confirmed on the phone and facebook. Tran began to worry that they would again not be able to finish the movie and was also concerned that this being a community involved project, that the extras who were coming were going to be upset at him for the circumstances held by the administration that approved the shoot consecutively for the last two years. On top of that, one of the actresses did not show up. At the last minute, Mike Berding (who was almost cast in the last Hollywood Superman movie) was able to find a location and the team was able to do an alternative scene at a diner -which is now being used in “iNPERSONNATION 2: CROSSROADS”, a spin-off of “Obliquity: Imagery of the Unknown” following the events of students including the Tiffany-obssessed Britney Spears impersonator who assistant directed “DUALITY” based on her life as the real events begin to unfold in both films that also utilizes some of the deleted sequences from the feature (more on that below.)
Newfound producer, Christopher Wesley was preparing his next movie (Tran and him met on the set of “Otaku Vampires”) on the new local horror feature “Devil’s Point” by fall 2011. Tran came on as a producer and made an agreement to post-pone the rest of his feature and have Wesley’s committment to “Obliquity: Imagery of the Unknown” until after production was complete. Tran came on as co-producer for “Devil’s Point” and also captured most of the B-Roll in the film, which is also set to release in 2013.
2012 came around and the movie didn’t get the jump-start finish the director was anticipating. Some side projects came along, including business commercials for Panda Chefs, Don Sabrosas Natural Gourmet Salsa, music video opportunities and short movie opportunities all came to be. “His Name Is Walter” was released in April and “My Vacation In Cincinnati” released in June. Free professional photography was offered to many local bands in Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky to those who had wished for free advertisement and networking with Trippy Tran Films. Other bands also submitted their own images for the promotion.
In that month of June is when the ball was ready again. Production began shooting all of Angela’s bedroom sequences, Tia Casey was then cast as Lucy, who Tran met through the very talented photographer, Fiona Casey, and most of the scenes were shot up until September including the month-planned 50 extra sequence at Eastgate Lanes for “The Circus, Baby” musical stage performance which also featured local bands such as The Upset Victory, the manager and guitarist of Lying In Ruins, Jayson Roy, and vocal frontman of Altered, Meyers Cage. They experience a wild and weird performance from Tran’s iconic impersonator character known as Titney Spears, which baffles the mind of the sleep deprived college students in the movie.
Here we are almost in 2013 and three scenes are left to be filmed due to scheduling conflicts. A tape error ruined some of the footage to the climax scene, so some of that may also have to be reshot. Edits have been worked on by Tran since the beginning and audio mixing is being planned as well as the score for the movie. It’s average runtime right now is 2h:20m even with all the scenes cut for the spin-off. Additional edits may be made to shorten the movie at least by 20mins. Photography promos, graphic design, marketing, film festivals, screen tests and the movie premiere are all being planned out.
A music video featuring a few snippets that have not been released yet has also been completed, the first of many to the soundtrack in the song “2012”, which is mixed with additional footage of chaos that may not be included in the final film (the man on the phone and the beating.) Bands who want to be part of the soundtrack may email TrippyTranFilms@gmail.com to discuss being featured in the movie, being offered soundtrack risiduals and/or receive a free music video by Trippy Tran Films and its affiliates by networking and collaborating. We strongly believe in working as a team and uniting our talents.
Tran hopes to release his debut album under the artist name Tripp T which coincides with thematic elements in his debut feature. Watch the music video here – http://youtu.be/5IcYoRHNjUg – and contact us if you would like to network. We will do our best to work with you, especially currently if you are wanting to be a part of this massive community film project.