Tag Archives: Chanise Renae

DEVIL’S FIVE RED CARPET WORLD PREMIERE

 

Filmmaker Terry R. Wickham with Paula & Rosina Wickham on the Red Carpet

Leading up to Devil’s Five Red Carpet Premiere, it was a lot of work trying to get the word out, promoting the event as much as possible.  I did everything I could to tell people (in person, phone, texting, emails, my website and all related social media), make the effort to land sponsors (I got Darkside Haunted House & Chambers of Horror NY for Devil’s Five Red Carpet Premiere and Long Island Ice Tea for After Party) and attempt to get radio/TV and journalists to cover our night to remember.

 

Devil’s Five Partners (left to right) Edwin M. Figueroa, Terry R. Wickham and George Brianka

There’s most definitely pressure and a high level of stress that comes with striving to influence people to buy tickets to see our unknown film.  Add that people don’t always have extra money, many don’t like to go out to the theater, combined with the increasing attention deficit level of today’s society, it was a difficult task to say the least.

“Abandoned” Star Siakie Tetteh with Jevon Duff

Also, folks have so many things to choose to do on the last night of their weekend, you can add another level of difficulty.  Plus throw in our culture’s addiction to not letting go of their phones, NFL games, Halloween activities and the Season 8 Premiere of The Walking Dead, it all made it a difficult road to plough.

“The Devil’s FIve (aka The Wraparound) Star Kevin Cusick on the Red Carpet with Writer/Director Terry R. Wickham

Sunday October 22, 2017 was a beautiful day in on Long Island.  The days leading up to that day I approached just like when I direct a movie.  I like to slow things down, simplify my life and try to do the things that relax me and keep me calm.  There is a stillness that I believe works wonders against things that can go a little crazy.  I do a lot of thinking, work out, do yoga and watch parts of movies that inspire me.

“The Devil’s Five (aka The Wraparound)” Actresses Rachael Scarr & Chanise Renae bask in the light of Devil’s Five World Premiere

I wanted to get to Seaford Cinemas early, so I could set up, set the volume level of the movie and be prepared to show a film I’d spent four years making.

“Choke” Actor Kata Peragine gets mic’d for his Red Carpet Interview

As usual, life can take you on turns and like a movie set, things can change like the weather.  I went to pick up a chicken salad for dinner, but Wendy’s drive-thru wasn’t fast at all and I ended up waiting 20 minutes in the drive-up window line.  Then when I got to the theater, I was behind with all the hustle and bustle that I never even got to set the volume level of the theater because I was doing other things that were necessary.

Filmmaker Terry R. Wickham with “Stash”/”The Devil’s Five (aka The Wraparound)” and “Choke” Actor Jesse Ray Sheps

As a director we like to think we have some control.  The truth is we can’t make money grow on trees, we cannot stop the clock from it’s endless circling and the weather, forget having power of that.  Mother Nature does what she wants to do.  People, that’s a whole other story.  We can’t snap our fingers and give them all the same work ethic, commitment to the film or drive to endure countless hours of filming/promoting etc.  Unfortunately, this is all just part of the process of making movies.

“Abandoned” (left to right) Star Aaron Mathias, 1st AC Giorgio Savona, Writer/Director Terry R. Wickham and Director of Photography Adrian Popescu

When I was a senior in high school right before graduation, my school, Snohomish High School (in Snohomish, Washington) passed out a magazine to all Seniors to give all of us something to read to inspire us to go forward with our lives.

Lucky for me this magazine had Rob Bottin, the Special Make-up Effects Artist from John Carpenter’s The Thing on the cover. Inside there was a huge article about how involved he got it on that film (which is one of my three favorite movies and the film that solidified me wanting to become a film director) and the incredible details about how long & hard he worked on that film.

Bottin spent a year working on the effects, most of which had never been attempted on film or duplicated since. The werewolf-like bearded effects whiz led a full team of artists into uncharted science-fiction horror territory and ending up in the hospital with nervous exhaustion.  His unearthly work ethic, combined out of the world creativity was something I admired and was determined to imitate.  Looking back at that now, I don’t know if sometimes if it’s a blessing or curse I choose to follow in his dedicated footsteps.

It was moving seeing all the people that came to support Devil’s Five. The turnout was big-time and everyone was excited to see the film.  This included not only cast and crew from all five movies, but friends, acquaintances, coworkers from each of the respective members of the films and total strangers who learned about our Red Carpet World Premiere in some way.

“Stash”/”The Devil’s Five (aka The Wraparound) actor Michael Pope, his friend Brenda Albert and Filmmaker Terry R. Wickham

Some of the folks I had not seen in near 30 years. Others in time increments short of that, but still long periods of time ranging from 5 to 10 years and so on.  The fact that those people would come to see our movie was incredibly gratifying and something that we did not take for granted. For them to choose us was inspiring and humbling at the same time.

Stash Actress Tina Surabian & husband with Producer/Director Terry R. Wickham

Seeing all the people that showed up to support Devil’s Five one couldn’t help but be touched deep inside. This happened on multiple levels because these people cared enough to be there for us and did what they had to, to view the film in it’s greatest exhibition setting.

“Stash” Music Composer Geoff Tyson, Producer/Director Terry R. Wickham and Writer Timothy David Clark

I was literally blown away that “Stash” Music Composer Geoff Tyson flew in from Prague.  Others drove from all over New Jersey, New York City and Long Island.  Larry Levy (our Riverhead Representative) drove down from Utica and caught just the last 25 minutes of the movie, but the fact he made it for even a part of the movie meant a lot.

“Abandoned” Stars Aaron Mathias & Siakie Tetteh with Writer/Director Terry R. Wickham

Meeting new people, seeing old friends and reuniting with the cast and crews was remarkable. I was very aware that the chances of seeing all those people together one place again was probably not likely to happen again. So I cherished it.

The Red Carpet was a little bit difficult to navigate since there were so many folks in the lobby. We had to take our turns getting in front of the camera for photos and at the same time Nicholas Girimonte & his documentary team tried doing interviews for the documentary they are creating to chronicle of momentous evening.

Devil’s Five Red Carpet World Premiere Documentary Crew (left to right) Issac Wong, Sal Peretti, Deddrick Raymond, Daniel Pomboyno and Nick Girimonte

I spent a great deal of time preparing my Introduction for the film. I wanted to try to inform the audience as much as possible about the difficulties we faced making Devil’s Five.

FIlmmaker Terry R. Wickham’s Introduction of Devil’s Five

I wasn’t doing this for pity or any kind of self-gratification. I thought it was important the audience knew some the many obstacles we had to overcome to get Devil’s Five to the big screen. I felt that if I was sitting in the audience I would want to know those things, since it would ultimately make me appreciate the movie even more. I planned to only speak 8 to 9 minutes. I probably spoke closer to double that, but the whole time I was conscious of the audience’s reaction and my sense of what I should say. I must have done okay as I got a lot of compliments afterwards.

Watching Devil’s Five on the big screen with audience was just thrilling experience for myself and I’m sure my two partners in the other theater (Edwin told me the next night seeing it on the big screen was great).

“The Devil’s Five (aka The Wraparound)” Writer/Director Terry R. Wickham with Actress Nadie Lahaie

We sold enough tickets that I had my cast and crew from “The Devil’s’ Five (aka The Wraparound)”, “Abandoned” and “Stash” and the ticket buyers I had influenced in one theater. While George and Edwin had their cast and crew from “Don’t Say These Words” and “Choke” and the tickets they sold in a second theater.

“Abandoned” Stars Aaron Mathias and Siakie Tetteh

It was beyond cool listen to the audience react to scares, suspense, humor and drama.  There were laughs, I heard some screams and saw people covering their face in fear throughout the entire running time of the film.  This made the experience a it lot of fun for everyone in attendance.

“Abandoned” Red Dress Maker Grace Obeng, Writer/Director Terry R. Wickham, Star Siakie Tetteh

After the film finished, there was rousing deep-felt response, which was made everything it took to get to this point worth it.  Then I did a Q&A in my theater for about 15 minutes and George & Edwin did a shorter Q&A in their theater.

“Abandoned” Dress Designer Grace Obeng & Star Siakie Tetteh are living it up on the Red Carpet Devil’s Five World Premiere

After the last credit I got a lot of great responses from audience members.  I tried to poll as many people as I could to get a feel on what they really liked, and the truth is I heard lots of different answers to what was their favorite episode.

Audience members Brandon Brass, Andrew Cohen and Michelle Morales are psyched to see Devil’s Five

Also I asked as many people as I could about what was the scariest part, I heard a lot of different reactions, which I took as a very good thing since Devil’s Five has so many different things offer. Everyone seems to agree that all the segments are totally different, which made our film diverse and very entertaining.

Left to right Sal Peretti films interviews, while Deddrick Raymond takes stills on the Red Carpet

I had to breakdown the Red Carpet banners and all the stuff I had brought to the theater, so by the time I got to Runyon’s for the After Party, a lot of people had already left, but I still spent a good hour talking to those who remained at got a lot of great feedback from both regular audience members and loved catching up with cast & crew.

Brandon Brass and Glenn McBride with Devil’s Five Filmmaker Terry R. Wickham

I’m a little surprised that there were at least 25 people that bought tickets that didn’t show and just as many cast & crew that cancelled coming in the few days leading up to the event.  I also expected probably fifty more people beyond that who seemed like they were genuinely coming but never showed.  In today’s world of flakey, flighty, unreliable people, Devil’s Five Red Carpet World Premiere still attracted almost 300 people into two movie theaters.  It’s an accomplishment and event nobody will soon forget.

 

Gruesome Threesome filmed Sunday February 19th

In this screengrab from Gruesome Threesome, “Sarah Peters” (Chanise Renae) is online webcaming with her boyfriend. Photo AVS Production Company

On Sunday January 19, 2017 filmmaker Terry R. Wickham and his production team shot the wraparound segment for Gruesome Threesome.  This is the 7-minute storyline that hosts three of Wickham’s other films; “The Downfall of Johnny Garrett”, “Stalk” and “Hair of the Dog.

Writer/Producer Timothy David Clark and Director Terry R. Wickham made a formidable team on HAIR OF THE DOG

Wickham talks about the shoot, “It was the best experience I’ve had so far on a set in 2017 because it gave me a chance to direct another script written by my long-time friend Timothy David Clark (Hair of the Dog, Stash).  What I love about making films from Tim’s scripts are the qualities he always brings.  There’s no doubt that Tim loves to make things horrific, but it’s his wittiness and humor that separates him from other writers (like myself.).

Tim was smart to design Gruesome Threesome so it could made with very little resources, yet make lots of sense and ultimately be fun for the viewer.  He also quickly figured out a way to integrate the other films seamlessly.  My hat is off to him for doing that.

Gruesome Threesome Production team: (left to right) Sound Recordist Bryan Lopes (standing), Location Manager/Still Photographer Mark Goldberg (kneeling), 1st AC Giorgio Savona (back), actress Linda Collins (middle), actress Chanise Renae (front center), Producer/Director Terry R. Wickham (somewhere way in back), actor John Logan (front center), DP Adrian Popescu (back), PA Nicholas Girimonte (front), Make-Up Artist Regna Tune (far right). Photo AVS Production Company

Plus I got to work with a cast & crew that I hand-selected myself, which is always best for a film director, because these were all my people.

1st AC Giorgio Savona (standing) goes over the placement of lights with DP Adrian Popescu (sitting). Photo AVS Production Company

Speaking of which, it was my third consecutive film with Director of Photography Adrian Popescu.  Adrian and I have developed a chemistry that is undeniable.  It doesn’t matter what outside factors are at play, our trust & communication between each other is special and something I value greatly.

This screengrab from Gruesome Threesome shows off DP Adrian Popescu’s amazing ability to light and cinematically capture “Ray Burns” (John Logan) at his computer. Photo AVS Production Company

What was so cool on this production was aiming at getting quality rather than quantity.  I’m not saying we didn’t try making beautiful cinematic shots on our previous projects, it’s just we had so many more shots/setups to get on those, that having only 10 total shots, allowed us to really focus in on these ten shots.

Wickham took the opportunity between setups to show his three films “The Downfall of Johnny Garrett”, “Stalk” and “Hair of the Dog” to his team. Photo AVS Production Company

I like to take each project as an individual entity and visualize them based on what’s written.  I think it’s a mark of a good director to be able to adapt to each unique tale according to it’s tone, rather than force some kind personal style on a story that may not need it.  To approach each project this way is more fun and leaves more creative opportunity for the filmmaker-cinematographer.

Before the shoot, I did my homework and watched a couple other webcam horror films.  I was strictly watching them to see what I didn’t like about them.  What I came away with was not wanting to waste precious screen time looking at anything that was not important (specifically not seeing characters).  I also totally disliked seeing snowy video screens, Internet delays and other technical glitches.  Is that stuff real, absolutely, but does it make for good viewing entertainment?  I would have to say no, so I wanted to avoid doing anything like that altogether.

DP Adrian Popescu and 1st AC Giorgio Savona make a dynamic duo. Photo AVS Production Company

Adrian and 1st Assistant Camera Giorgio Savona (who was making his third consecutive film with us) were both tremendous in getting beautiful lit, composed shots that maximized the mood and atmosphere we were going for.

Director Terry Wickham (on step stool) gets help from PA Nicholas Girimonte blocking out the daylight coming from windows. Photo AVS Production Company

The film takes place at night, but we shot the entire picture from 9:00am until 7:45pm, so it was done completely during the day.  But with the use of some long black garbage bags and painter’s tape, we had no problem concealing the daylight.

1st AC Giorgio Savona (leaning down) assists DP Adrian Popescu (kneeling) at end of bed. Sound Recordist Bryan Lopes (with boom mic) and PA Nicholas Girimonte (slate) stand, while actress Chanise Renae prepares to do the scene in ‘Sarah’s” bedroom. Photo AVS Production Company

There’s no doubt that Adrian and Giorgio work together wonderfully.  It’s obvious when you see the stellar shots they get, but I also observed it behind the scenes with their working style.  They show a lot of respect for each other and that means a lot to me.  Making movies is hard work.  There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be as pleasant as possible.  Working with these two gentlemen is not only an honor but a privilege.

Wickham leans against wall with blue script binder, while DP Popescu makes a lighting adjustment for the first shot in “Sarah’s” (Chanise Renae) bedroom webcam scene. With all the windows closed and garbage bagged, the room got very hot, which was the reason Chanise kept her sweater off her shoulders between takes. Photo AVS Production Company

I had worked with actress Chanise Renae before on The Devil’s Five segment, and that was the reason I asked her to audition for the role of “Sarah Peters.”  I knew she had the ability to play all sorts of emotions and her fearlessness was why she ultimately won this role.

In this screengrab from Gruesome Threesome, Chanise Renae looks very comfortable playing “Sarah.” The red bra she is wearing is the exact same one she purchased from Victoria Secret and wore during her audition. It was this kind of thought & preparation that helped win her the role.

Chanise came totally prepared and she looked dazzling as “Sarah.”  I loved how nothing seemed too daunting to tackle and she gave me multiple choices in her performance, which is a testament to her acting ability.

It was clearly visible that these two actors enjoyed working together. Photo AVS Production Company

Plus the emotional and psychological interaction between Chanise and actor John Logan was noticeable.  I don’t mean that in an off-set way, but rather how their worked while shooting the movie and what’s detectable on camera.  The fact is these two were having a blast together doing their scenes and this made it believable that they could be “dating” in the movie.

Chanise and John always kept at getting to their heart of their scenes. Photo AVS Production Company

This was my first time working with John Logan and I’m so glad I choose the talented young actor to play “Ray Burns.”  John has a real professional attitude and approach any filmmaker would welcome.  Part of this might be because he’s produced films himself.

At times “Ray Burns” (John Logan) gets a bit spooked by what he sees

What I most admired about John was his ability to do what Tim had written.  The moments where “Ray” was supposed to be scared and frightened, would deflate some actors’ egos.  But John was smart enough that doing those things showed more of his acting range and I pointed out to him will probably garner more fans, especially of the female kind.

You might not want to mess with “Ray’s Mom” (Linda Collins). Photo AVS Production Company

Actress Linda Collins was perfect as “Ray’s Mom.”  The blonde is sort of a southern belle, which really worked for the character.  Linda’s slightly southern accented voice really worked in her favor and totally sounded like a legitimate mother.

In this screengrab from Gruesome Threesome, “Ray’s Mom” (Linda Collins) doesn’t look like the type of guardian you’d want to cross

Linda also looked similar to the “Bloody Mary”actress in Hair of the Dog, which was intentional by Writer Tim Clark.  I also give her credit for the handling of the real-life sharp chainsaw used in the movie.  The chainsaw was not dulled and could have easily carved through the floor, destroyed any nearby prop or person.  I was very adamant about her safety and of the location.  I made sure Linda knew to stop the scene if there was any problem at all, but things went incredibly smoothly and nobody got hurt (including the location).

Speaking of the chainsaw I have to thank Essco Service Co. Inc (584 W. Hoffman Avenue, Lindenhurst, NY 11757 Phone 631-226-7304 www.treeservicesupplies.com)  in Lindenhurst, New York for allowing us to use one of their saws in the movie.  Natalie Raso and the other nice folks @ Essco were incredibly helpful in not only allowing use of the saw, but teaching me how to use it safely for the film.  I’m indebted by helping us out.  Essco is the best company on Long Island to contact for not just chainsaws, but Stump Grinders & Chippers, Timberwolf and Log Splitters.

I’ve always appreciated strong female characters (Jim Cameron is one of my favorite directors) and I have to say both “Sarah” and “Ray’s Mom” both fit that character description.  Kudos to Tim for creating them.

Make-Up Artist Regina Tune prepares Linda Collins for Gruesome Threesome. Photo Terry Wickham

Make-Up Artist Regina Tune returned for her third consecutive production (Abandoned, Whatever It Takes Trailer) and did another stellar job on the actors looking great.  She’s a real sweetie and I know the cast and crew feel the same about her way of working.  She’s there doing what needs to get done on each actor in almost an invisible way.  I couldn’t ask for more from the person handling the look of my actors.

Sound Recordist Bryan Lopes on the set of Gruesome Threesome 2/19/17 Long Island City, NY. Photo AVS Production Company

Sound Recordist Bryan Lopes was a real find.  He fits perfectly together with Adrian, Giorgio and Regina as highly trained professionals that go about their business the right way.  I like how Bryan doesn’t need to shout to get his point across.  Instead he is respectful on how he expresses himself and that comes across much more impactful.

Chanise, Terry and John on the set of Gruesome Threesome. Photo AVS Production Company

When I’m directing a movie, lots of things are running through my mind.  If things are just blurted out by crew members, it’s not only distracting but unnecessary.  I’m usually juggling the shot that came before, the shot that will follow combined with the actors performances, the look of the shot, lighting in the shot, camera movement (if any), focus, flow of the scene, if the scene comes across as real, good enough or needs to be redone.  If it does need to be redone, what’s wrong with it if it doesn’t work, etc.?

It shows that Adrian, Terry and Giorgio love working together

For these reasons I like crew that respect the process and each other by communicating their problems/concerns in a more subdued professional way and Bryan does that to a “T.”

PA Nicholas Girimonte and Director Terry Wickham

Production Assistant Nicholas Girimonte was incredibly helpful as our PA.  He not only operated the slate for most of the shoot but ran to pick up painters tape for covering the windows and later drove to pick up all important lunch from Chipotle.  Nick was another positive person to have onset and he certainly lent a hand at what needed to get done.

Location Manager/Still Photographer Mark Goldberg (sitting) sets up “The Downfall Johnny Garrett” on DVD for the cast & crew to view. Photo Terry Wickham

Last but certainly not least is Location Manager/Still Photographer Mark Goldberg.  Mark was kind enough to volunteer use of his new apartment for all the locations seen in Gruesome Threesome.

In this screengrab from Gruesome Threesome, Goldberg’s cozy LIC residence was turned into a house of horrors

His apartment worked beautifully, as it was central located and a super comfortable place to film.  I really appreciated Mark being flexible enough for us to move around his furniture and to allow us the best use of his space.

Chanise Renae chills out between takes on the Gruesome Threesome. Photo AVS Production Company

Mark is a professional photographer by trade and as you can see in his many photos that accompany this blog, his work speaks for itself.

Still Photographer Mark Goldberg captures “Sarah” (Chanise Renae) on the monitor during Gruesome Threesome filming. Photo AVS Production Company

I can’t thank Mark enough for all that he did towards making Gruesome Threesome.

Finally Producer David Melanson must be acknowledged.  David helped give the movie enough financial support to get the behind the scenes things needed for the movie and cast & crew.  I can’t thank David enough for consistently coming through and being a true force behind creative endeavors like Gruesome Threesome.

Chanise Renae wins Co-Lead role of “Sarah Peters” in Gruesome Threesome

The Devil’s Five actress Chanise Renae has edged out all other actresses to play “Sarah Peters” in the upcoming horror-thriller Gruesome Threesome.

Director Terry R. Wickham gives his explanation for casting her, “Out of the three roles for this movie, this one was the closest competition.  One girl totally looked the part as it was written (Caucasian with auburn hair and curvy body) while Chanise was obviously a different race, but more sophisticated and polished as an actress.

It was my idea to actually call Chanise to have her audition when I wasn’t satisfied with the flaky turnout for the part.  Out of  nearly 150 actresses who had submitted, I narrowed down to the top 15 actresses based on their resumes, reels and photos.  But when it came time for the two days of auditions, only 4 out of those 15 showed up on Skype.  This was not only frustrating for me to waste my time with people who were not serious, but sad move on their part.  I say that because they effectively erased themselves from being considered for any project I do going forward and I’m a busy filmmaker (I’m working on 6 movies at this very moment).  All actors should take this as a warning.

Chanise Renae (right) crouches in terror at what she sees in The Devil’s Five. Photo Incendium Creations

The fact is I had worked with Chanise on The Devil’s Five.  I knew first hand that she had the confidence and strength to be flirtatious in a sexy way, she can could turn on a dime and be funny, dramatic and terrified as well. So when I called her, she expressed that she’d love to dig into this kind of role.

Then she proved it in her audition.  There’s a moment early in the first scene that Tim Clark wrote that I call the “Wow” moment and she definitely got that reaction out of me when we did the scene. She put a lot of thought into how she spoke, riding the emotional roller-coaster of the character , then did her make-up spot on and dressed to kill.

Though the other actress did quite a good job as well and looked quite impressive as well.  In the end, I felt Chanise was the better actress and that’s why I cast her.”

Chanise Renae most recently starred as Captain Synthia Ryan in the trailer for the new pilot “Absynthia”, filming in 2017.  In addition to multiple film, television and commercial credits she has performed at the Producers Club and Manhattan Repertory Theatre. Chanise can be heard singing throughout the tri-state area for professional sports teams and charity events. She studies acting at HB Studio in NYC. For more information on Chanise Renae please check her out at:

https://www.facebook.com/ ChaniseRenae/

www.chaniserenae.com