Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Quirk and the Dead Moving Along Nicely!

Our Ken MacGregor-penned zombie comedy The Quirk and the Dead is chugging right along, and turning out nicely. So far, we've shot at a graveyard, in an abandoned store, and in an abandoned flea market. We even got chased off a location, which is a first for us (and as guerilla movie-makers, we are very proud)...

We are trying to raise a small budget for this movie via, which is an awesome web fundraising site, that allows people to check out projects and pledge money towards them. We are mostly tyring to raise enough moolah that we can afford to zombify a whole mess o' folks at the end of August, when we shoot the actual mass zombie footage (plus, we are gonna need A LOT of pizza!). If you are interested in investing (even $10.00 would be really helpful), you can check out our Kickstarter page by clicking here.

Here is the first teaser trailer, to whet your appetite:

Meriwether Done!

Well, firstly, it looks like I lied whan I said I'd be updating this blog more in 2010. Frankly, I don't understand how anyone can be serious about creative endeavors AND keep up with some kind of current blogging about it at the same time. Turns out I just don't have that kind of zeal. Sigh...

But, who cares? We have exciting news to share-- The Meriwether Device is finished and has been sent out to 10 festivals around the USA. We're keeping our collective fingers crossed, as it turned out better than we could have planned, thanks to the awesome Lionbelly squad of actor-folk and crewniks. Yahoo!

We will be debuting it in the fall as part of our annual pre-Halloween film extravaganza-- more details to follow. In the meantime, here is a MUCH better trailer for it, which captures the vibe of the thing more than the original teaser version did:

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Quirk and the Dead Gets Underway!

Last weekend, on the day before Memorial Day, the intrepid Lionbelly posse rode out to beautiful Highland Cemetery in Ypsilanti for the inaugural shoot for our new zombie/comedy THE QUIRK AND THE DEAD. This new movie was written and is being co-directed by Ken MacGregor, and stars Joe Sacksteder, Kelly-Jean Passage, and himself in a story about life and love after the zombie apocalypse. Since Zombies are a little on the over-used side right now, you can imagine that only a REALLY good script could lure us into Romero territory. Needless to say, this one is funny, scary, and original, and Ken did a kick-ass job...

We were happy to have Ian Line, cinematographer extraordinaire, along for his first Lionbelly shoot. He is really great to work with and consistently gets the goods. Also along for their first taste of crewing were husband and wife duo Tracey and Dan Sonntag, who busted out some slate and boom operating action for the shoot. Tracey also provided the photographs for this posting...

Overall, we are off to a good start on this critter and all of us are excited about getting to the brain-eating later in the summer, when we shoot the massive zombie attack scenes. We'll keep you posted...

Tweedle Ken and Tweedle Brian, Co-Directors

Sara Jackson, Producer!

Ian Line Gets All Cinematographish

Joe Sacksteder Gets Down & Dirty

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

First MERIWETHER Trailer!

The editing of The Meriwether Device is going strong, and we almost have the first cut finished. In the meantime, here is the first teaser trailer for it, complete with the awesome musical stylings of BAGOTRIX!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Awesome Music News #2: EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE!

In other non-movie news, we are happy to announce that Brian Lillie's 4th album, EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE, will be released in the next week on the website CD Baby.

A website for the new album, with lyrics and full credits for the awesome musicians contained within, will be going live next week at

We will keep you posted on this album, which we are told makes a wonderful gift for the grad in your life...

Awesome Music News #1: BLACKWATER BALLAD is back!

From rehearsal of the EMU dramatic reading of Blackwater Ballad

We received cool news last week: the Eight Wonder Theater troupe is going to be putting on BLACKWATER BALLAD, the musical written by Lionbelly stalwarts Joe Zettelmaier and Brian Lillie, this summer at the beautiful Village Theater in Canton, Michigan.

We'll post more information on exact dates, cast, etc., as it is known...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Funnest Shoot of ALL TIME?!

On the morning of March 19th, 2010, a small group of movie makers got into their cars and headed up north about 200 miles to shoot their latest short, The Meriwether Device. 6 cast and 5 crew, 2 cameras, lots of DV tapes, frozen pizzas, tomfoolery, and one really cool house by a lake. It all added up to our most successful and enjoyably exhausting shoot yet. It was 3 days of solid work, but the comraderie and creativity of the thing kept us all going...

Some highlights:
  • Jim Roll, bless his giant fuzzy sideburns, managed to work through the pain of KIDNEY STONES (which he thought was just a really bad stomach ache), and finish his role without missing a single scene!
  • Al "Owl" DiBlassio was along for his first movie with us behind the camera, and he and Jen were like a 2-headed cinematography beast. I do believe this is the best-looking footage we've gotten so far.
  • Once again, as is our custom, we ran out of time shooting at night and had to cover windows with garbage bags and tarps in order to finish the indoor portion of the shoot. We at Lionbelly are considering hiring ourselves out as garbage bag wall engineers for other filmmakers. Whoever invented contractor-grade garbage bags deserves a whole bunch of wet kisses right on the mouth. From Jim...
  • For the first time, we were able to watch dailies of the shoot each evening, as a group, which was quite helpful. It takes a lot of the tension out of the equation when you KNOW you have good footage to work with as you go, rather than praying it will all cut together later, sight unseen.
  • Joe Sacksteder did a great job slating everything and taking copious notes as the shoot progressed, as well as overseeing many of the production and assistant director duties.
  • Maggie Meyer, who played "Angie", was along for her first acting job with us and she fit right in and did great work, throughout. The other actors consistently hit it out of the park, and it felt like a true ensemble. Carol Gray, Tom Szymanski, David Serra, Kristin Beckett, Jim Roll and Ms. Meyer were all on their game and managed to keep the energy level high, even at the end of an 18 hour day of shooting.
The movie is now in post-production mode and coming along nicely. We will post more about it as it gets beaten into shape during editing, scoring and mixing. Overall, though, it seems like a very fortuitous beginning for our 2010 slate of projects.


You can join the Facebook page for The Meriwether Device here, for up-to-date news, etc.