Tag Archives: G. Paul Salvetti

Stash is finally completed!

On Monday July 10th, 2017,  the slow-burn atmospheric “Stash” finally reached completion.  Stash is the second of five segments that make up the feature film Devil’s Five to be finished.

Terry directs young Jesse Ray Sheps, Richard Kern and Almog Pail in “Stash”

Producer-Director Terry R. Wickham talks about it, “I am extremely proud to have finished this movie, because in more one day it will be 3 years since we shot our first shooting day (July 12, 2014).  But more than surviving that long time frame, it is deeply gratifying overcoming all of problems we had to face.  As the Director of the film, I had to have not only the ultimate vision of what the film could be, but the endurance of a marathon runner and the inhuman patience of Michael Myers.   But you know what,  against the odds and disbelief of some people who doubted me, I accomplished my goal and fulfilled my vision of the film and I didn’t do it alone.

Executive Producer-Actor Richard Kern on the set of Stash @ Inwood Hill Park 7/19/14

First off, we didn’t raise enough money on our Indiegogo campaign to make the movie . Then Executive Producer-Actor Richard Kern stepped in the last hour of the campaign to donate a significant amount of money that enabled us to go forward and shoot the film. Not only did Rick support the movie with funds, but he also generously gave us his commercial van to transport all the equipment to and from shoots.  This was gigantic after we spent $500 a weekend the first shooting weekend renting a U-Haul van.  Without his van, we could not have afforded to haul the equipment needed for the rest of the shooting weekends.  Plus Rick chipped in more money, so that we could afford insurance on the movie.  He was unbelievably supportive.

Almog Pail stars as “Faith Daniels’ in Stash

Then we had to shoot at totally different locations than what was in the script, because we couldn’t secure those original locations.  The Salvetti family ended up allowing us to shoot on their 17 acres of wooded property in Califon, NJ, which was another huge help towards making Stash reality.  Many thanks to G. Paul Salvetti for playing such a big role in this happening.

A daytime view of the awesome location the Salvetti’s provided for Stash

Since we were severely under the budget needed, we had no choice to hire a sound recordist/sound designer who wasn’t really up to snuff.  This ended up becoming a nightmare.  This sound recordist/designer only showed up for half the time (which meant half the movie was silent) and when he did, the sound was so poorly recorded we had almost no usable dialogue.  Six months later, after replacing him with another sound designer, I had the cast re-record all of their dialogue (ADR) for the movie.  Afterwards, I thought this second sound designer was working on the sound over the summer of 2015, only to find out he lost his Visa and was shipped back to Europe.  Then in the fall of 2015, I got a third sound designer, who after starting working on it, resigned saying it was just going to be too much work to do.

Stash Director Terry R. Wickham, Sound Designer Thomas Jackson and Actor Jonathan Weirich “Minister Malcolm” in an ADR Session

So I had to find a fourth sound designer, whose name was Thomas Jackson.  Thomas determined the ADR that was recorded with second guy was not good enough and I was forced to bring back the entire cast  to perform all the dialogue a third time!  I give all the actors a ton of credit for doing this.

Almog Pail let’s it out as “Faith Daniels” in the second go around of Stash ADR Sessions in New York , NY

Thankfully Thomas was a up & coming pro and had use of professional audio recording rooms, at an audio school he was attending in Manhattan.  This proved to be pivotal because we didn’t have the money to rent out those types of sound recording rooms.

Sound Designer Bryan Lopes finished the last twenty percent needed to complete “Stash.” His expert skills and taste really brought the movie to a higher level,

You would think that was the end of the sound problems.  But after Thomas worked on the movie from January 2016 to first week of December 2016 (finishing about 80 percent of the sound work needed) without warning he totally stopped communicating and I never heard from him again.  I had no choice but to find a fifth sound designer and that’s where Bryan Lopes stepped in.  I can’t thank Bryan enough for being the sound closer for Stash.  I had all sorts of ideas on how to improve the film and together with his talent & an ear for finding just the right sounds, the work he did made Stash a heck of a lot more creepy and genuinely atmospheric.

 

The other major problem was that “Stash” is a movie that’s about a smart phone applicated scavenger hunt.  Every time we photographed the phone, we set it up with a green screen with black XXs, so that later in post, we could add our own motion graphic App. The original editor was going to handle this issue, but after a year and a half he still hadn’t tackled it.  So I replaced the editor and had to find someone who would (with no money).  After searching, I thought I found a VFX artist from School of Visual Arts, but ultimately she backed out and I really didn’t know if we were ever going to be able to pull it off.  Somehow a VFX Artist from Los Angeles named Martin Bresino contacted me and ended up doing all the smart phone VFX needed and he even created a onscreen demon for the movie.  To this day, I’ve never even seen a picture of Martin, but he really saved our film.  Without his amazing flawless VFX, we wouldn’t have a finished film.

The “EditingNinja” Jason Paluck, took over Editing “Stash” and even contributed some VFX shots

I can’t leave out Editor Jason Paluck.  A year and a half into the films making, Jason took over for the original editor.  He immediately went to work making trims, doctoring footage, color correcting the movie and even doing some of the visual effects Martin Bresino didn’t have time to do.  Jason has become not only a good friend, but an invaluable member of the Devil’s Five team and really cares about the outcome, since he edited both Stash and Abandoned.

Producer/Director Terry R. Wickham on the Califon, NJ set of “Stash”

Those who know me, know I’m incredibly motivated individual. But there was something that really drove me to finish Stash and make it the best it could be.  It was my former friend’s (a friend since 1987) response to seeing a rough cut of the movie. In his own words ( I’m copying & pasting a portion of his last email), “There’s also a huge issue with Stash. In my opinion, it would be impossible to make a releasable version of Stash. If you insist on trying to release Stash, I’m telling you it will only hurt your reputation and everyone else’s in it.  Stash simply does not work anyway.”

Director Terry R. Wickham defends his vision of Stash against all naysayers

His words and the lack of faith from a few other friends lit a fire under me.  I was determined to do everything I could, with the assistance of the talented post-production people mentioned above, to prove him/them wrong and to show the world the film’s numerous qualities.

Cast and crew of the “Bake Sale” scene for Stash 7/26/14

In the end, including all cast & crew, 56 People worked on “Stash.” It was a gigantic effort for such a challenging 31-minute low-budget film like ours, to overcome everything mentioned in this blog and even more that I didn’t say. The finished film is a real testament to everyone involved.  I can’t thank the cast and crew enough for all they did to make it happen.”

Stash Gallery

To commemorate the upcoming release of Devil’s Five feature film, here is a Gallery from Stash, which was the first of five segments to go before the camera back in the summer of 2014.

Part of Stash was shot deep in the woods of Califon, New Jersey. In the far distance Stash Writer Tim Clark is venturing into the real world his character “Faith Daniels” would be traveling through later at dusk. Photo Connor Hassler
G. Paul Salvetti (left) and his family allowed the production to shoot Stash on their considerable acreage of wooded land. G. Paul Salvetti, Director Terry R. Wickham (center), Production Designer Michelle Rickert hidden behind Writer Timothy David Clark (in black shirt and hat on right) hold a conference before shooting begins on Saturday 7/12/14.
Stash had an incredibly hard-working crew. Here left to right: Best Boy Kyle Weaver (blue), Gaffer/AD/Associate Producer Michael Fels (white) helps Best Boy/Key Grip Ian Clarkson (red) carry the equipment needed to light up the woods at night.
Steadicam Operator Devon Catucci prepares for a whole night of shooting. Director Terry R. Wickham was told by the first DP he hired for Stash that he would never get Steadicam for Stash because the budget couldn’t afford it. Wickham proved that DP wrong after he fired him. The truth is Devon Catucci accepted the gig less than 24 hours before the shoot, when Wickham had to scramble after the original Steadicam Operator took another gig the day before shooting begun. 7/12/14 Califon, NJ.
Wickham selected young filmmaker Zachary Atlas to document the making of Stash. Look for the behind-the-scenes chronicle to be part of the Devil’s Five release.
Director of Photography Edwin M. Figueroa was a huge part of Stash. Not only was he responsible for the look of Stash, but a year later The Devil’s Five segment, which he also shot for Wickham. Figueroa is one of the three partners that make up the feature film Devil’s Five and directed his own episode called “Choke.”
Production Designer Michelle Rickert (middle right) prepares “Faith’s” (Almog Pail) Stash bag for the movie. Behind them in the woods of Califon, NJ left to right: Associate Producer G. Paul Salvetti, Costume Designer Lindsey Vandevier, Make-Up Artist Sarah R. Cruz and 2nd AC Tiffany Provido.
DP Edwin M. Figueroa sets up a stand for Devon Catucci to rest his Steadicam rig between shots.
Director Terry R. Wickham goes over the first Stash scene with his leading lady Almog Pail on 7/12/14.  DP Edwin Figueroa and 2nd AC Tiffany Provido stand in the distance.  Editor Robert Figueira stands in pink shirt in foreground. 
Near left Production Designer Michelle Rickert (blue top) talks to Costume Designer Lindsey Vandevier (middle in grey), while Make-Up Artist Sarah Cruz listens. In the distance far left Director Terry Wickham talks to his star Almog Pail. Editor Robert FIgueira (middle in pink) observes as well as Gaffer/AD Michael Fels (white) on far right.
Director Terry R. Wickham directs one of the shots that are part of the first item “Faith” (Almog Pail) must find. DP Edwin Figueroa and Steadicam Operator Devon Catucci prepare accordingly in Califon, NJ.
Steadicam Operator Devon Catucci and DP Edwin Figueroa get down and dirty to capture the look of Stash.
Director Terry R. Wickham can almost always be seen with the script for the movie he’s making in hand within his blue protective binder. Here Almog Pail listens to the direction of the next shot as the sun goes down and things are about to get very dark in the woods.
Never one who afraid to get dirty, Production Designer Michelle Rickert wades into the swamp to set up a critter effect she ingeniously created and will hand operate for the shot.
Director or Photography Edwin M. Figueroa really put to use his considerable skills and experience to create the gorgeous look of Stash. Taking full advantage of what the woods offered the production.
As night falls, Steadicam Operator Devon Catucci stands ready for the next shot in Stash.
Filmmaker Terry Wickham helps direct the placement of the critter Production Designer Michelle Rickert will operate during Stash.
The production had to truck-in/hand carry in a considerable amount of movie making equipment (lights, c-stands, mumbo-combos, etc) to light of the environment for the first night of shooting on Stash.

Stash Trailer goes LIVE

Check out the Trailer for the suspense burner Stash, which is one of the five segments from the feature film Devil’s Five.  The Trailer was Edited by Jason Paluck, Sound Design Thomas Jackson and Music Composed by Geoff Tyson.  Stash was Produced & Directed by Terry R. Wickham.  Stars Almog Pail, Jonathan Weirich, Richard Kern, Jesse Ray Sheps and Tina Surabian.  Director of Photography Edwin M. Figueroa.