Monday, August 2, 2010

Fright Night Film Fest

Well, I got Con #2 under my belt this past weekend in Louisville, KY at Fright Night Film Fest. I knew the weekend would be fun and I'd be turning my head frequently when I hopped out of the van to check in to the hotel- I took my first double-take at the slashed-throat corpse on the lobby bench (in reality a girl with her head down texting and in full zombie get-up- the head drooped down like that got me though!)

Two weeks ago, I was compelled to draw a portrait of the festival's guest of honor, early B-movie pioneer Roger Corman. Corman was off the beaten path in his time. He directed Jack Nicholson in his first movie, the original Little Shop of Horrors. Later, he went on to direct one of Nicholson's few scripts, The Trip (of which I'm more familiar than most of Corman's work -thanks Ryan!-).

In the movie, Peter Fonda's character takes his first dose of LSD as a self-journey and the basis of the entire movie (the acid is given to him by Bruce Dern via Dennis Hopper, who plays the drug dealer). The film is a very mature and realistic look at the drug experience itself. One of the main reasons for this is that Corman didn't want to make a movie about something he in fact hadn't experienced. So He, Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper dropped some LSD in preparation for the project. The first thing you'll probably notice about my illustration (as many did over the weekend) is the famous plant. The part I like the most is the hit of blotter in the corner inspired by The Trip. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Corman in Louisville and talking about the movie early Friday before things kicked off. He seemed surprised when I brought it up, which led me to assume that it's not one many people ask about. I urge you to check out this true gem of rebel cinema. Roger had pleasant things to say about the print of this work which I gave him. I thought it would be neat to give him a souvenir since he's usually on the giving side signing autographs all weekend.

During set-up Friday afternoon, I was humbled with the compliments of a guy who stopped in his tracks when my work caught his eye. We spoke for a minute before I realized he was Jeff Gaither, an artist who's work I've admired for some time. Jeff is a self-taught artist (as am I) who has been making his sick art professionally for thirty years now. He has made album covers and art for hundreds of musicians including The Misfits, Guns 'n' Roses, and Stone Temple Pilots. I ended up trading him one of my new Third Eye books for a nice poster print.

Saturday night, we drove down to Shepherdsville to see my long-lost friend Stacey and his wife. Stacey had been harboring a few paintings I'd left behind when he and I lived in Nashville back in 2001. I think he was just happy to unload some junk! The visit brought the artistic experience full circle seeing work I'd done almost a decade ago.

Sunday, we took the down-time of a slow day to get around and meet some of the other incredible artists who were present. I lugged around one of my new print books (holding the nearly 70 prints I have stocked) and traded prints with some of the guest celebrities and filmmakers in attendance for autographed pics and DVDs also.

Aurora with Mike Christopher who played the Hare Krishna Zombie in the original Dawn of the Dead...

Rochelle Davis (Sarah from The Crow) was a really sweet gal and had some wonderful things to say about my art!

This guy ain't that scary for being the Predator!

If you think this is frightening, you should see her when she's mad. Aurora at the Shadowland booth...

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