Preparing for First Shoot

We are about 24 hours away from our first shoot.  Tomorrow we will be shooting a scene in which our hero, Philip, is researching ways to end his life on the Internet. It’s been five months since we decided to do this project. Everyone is excited that the production phase of our project is finally here.

The shoot tomorrow will feature the only part of the movie that is gory. The Internet search reveals several ways to whack oneself – including a gunshot to the head, a jumper, and a slit-wrist situation. We have been working on our FX makeup and I think that we just about have it ready to go. Here are our first attempts:



A pint of blood, anyone?  We found the recipe on the Internet. The recipe is from the son of the man that created the modern form of movie blood. The consistency is perfect. It runs well.





Our first at tempt at a slit wrist. Not bad for our first try. The cut is a little too jagged for a razor cut and maybe a little two wide. When we do it tomorrow, the cut will be longer and smoother.  Maybe even two slits on one wrist (just for good measure).





Brain splatter for the gunshot suicide. If you look closely, you can see hair in the mix. I thought it gave a little more of a “gross out” effect. The three suicide scenes will be stills, which is a shame because the bits and pieces of brain slowly slid down the wall.



Check our blog often as we add more details of the filming of The Exit Bag.

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Short Oscars


I have had some acquaintances ask me about short films after listening to me talk about  The Exit Bag.  Some had no idea that there were actually Oscar-worthy films out there that were less than feature-length films.

Here is a list of the five live action short films nominated for Oscars this year. Some you can watch online. Others you will have to go to a film festival to catch.

DeKalb Elementary
Reed Van Dyk

The Eleven O’Clock
Derin Seale and Josh Lawson

My Nephew Emmett
Kevin Wilson, Jr.

The Silent Child
Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton

 Watu Wote/All of Us
Katja Benrath and Tobias Rosen

Google the titles and you should at least find trailers for these films.


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Workin’ the Bag

Juan Espinosa, Mike Pickering and Ron Hervey met yesterday to work out the details of the bag. In The Exit Bag, Mike Pickering’s character, Philip, decides on the helium bag method after researching several ways to commit suicide. We tried a couple different bags, but had little success on keeping them inflated. We also had worries about Mike doing the activities in the script and the risk of carbon dioxide poisoning. We are going to try a couple of ideas, as we push the scenes with the bag on to the back of the shooting schedule.

We plan on filming one of the scenes this coming Saturday (PRODUCTION STARTED – finally). We will let you know how it goes.

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National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

The Exit Bag subject deals with suicide.  Even though the movie is a dark comedy, the cast and crew does not take suicide lightly. Suicide is a very serious matter that should be dealt with immediately. If you, or someone you know are contemplating suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. All lives matter.

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Production of The Exit Bag Starts

The production phase of The Exit Bag is finally here. Today, Juan Espinosa and Mike Pickering will be getting together to record voice overs.  Early next week, the producers will be getting together to work out a few kinks and start scheduling scene shoots. It’s an exciting time for Espinosa Entertainment and Copper Pen Pictures.

coming soon exit bag

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Top 20?


Just read a top-20 comedy films list on the Net. I have to disregard the whole list because “A Fish Called Wanda,” and “There’s Something About Mary” was not included. What’s your thoughts? Top 20 with those two?

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Final Thoughts from Kilgore

The Reel East Texas Film Festival was not the biggest or best. It was a first-year event. The theater was never packed, and I assume that the quality of films submitted reflected their first-year status. But it was perfect for my film festival education.

I now know what entry-level films look like. But most of all, because it was not super crowded like Sundance or SxSW, it was easy to mingle with the actual movie makers. These were not the big-boy studios. They were very open and willing to talk craft. Not one question I had went unanswered. Some even asked questions about The Exit Bag and offered advice.

I couldn’t have picked a better festival as my first. I’ll be going to others, but for this newbie, this one was perfect.

I’m sure this little festival in the piney woods of East Texas will grow, and will get bigger and more respected with each year. I hope from what I learned, I will continue to grow as a film maker also.

Final words for Kilgore – (in my best Arnold voice) I’ll be back. And, hopefully, with a dog in the fight.

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