Thursday, September 13, 2012

Gearing Up: The 2012 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival - Los Angeles Just Two Weeks Away, with Discount Pre-Order Tickets Still Available

(Dead But) Dreaming in Pewter:  Cthulhu Pin from Queen Penguin Productions
The dawning day of the 2013 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival Los Angeles is rapidly approaching, and as the minutes speed up, the fest is coalescing and taking a monstrous shape, building on the last two years, while also morphing and expanding, sprouting new tentacles of interest while keeping the torso strong and dangerous.

Ives and I - both sporting our team pin pictured above, so we're not confused with tourists from Des Moines who have downtown San Pedro on their Bucket List - will be serving as Guest Authors (and unofficial Balcony Hooligans) at the fest, participating in the Saturday "Brunch 'n Fun," where we will be sharing the Mythos writing and artistic stylings of Grau Haus, following the lead of our eight year old daughter in a sort of intra-family round robin.  Unlike years past, when the literary portion of the festival was limited to readings and a discussion panel, festival organizer Aaron Vanek and authorial overlord Cody Goodfellow have decided to nuance the slate, adding in an oral storytelling portion that is refreshingly old school.  Should be a good time (more detail below).

In addition, Ives and I threw our Jazz age lids into the ring as Official Screenplay Judges for HPL-LA '13.  I'm just glad that 11+ years of working as a script doctor/punch up artist/ghost re-writer for various lousy studio and indie screenplays (while unsuccessful shopping my own apparently unsellable scripted turds) is finally paying off.  These poor screenwriters from the world over (from such far-flung, exotic locales as Ireland, France, and New Jersey) must now deal with an embittered ex-script monkey-turned adjudicator bent on destroying dreams.  Those who can't - judge!

This year's crop of submitted scripts, while not showing a field as deep as 2011, has some truly excellent offerings, including one that received a Grau Haus perfect score from both of us.  The contest finalists are:

"The Crawling Chaos" by Nicholas Kubik
"House of Yhargoth" by Faye Hoerauf & Dom Zook
"Call Girl of Cthulhu" by Chris LaMartina & Jimmy George
"This Vehicle Has Been Checked for Sleeping Children" by John Burdeaux

The judges are currently working through these last four competitors, with the winner announced on Saturday night in a ceremony that had better include balloons and confetti (please note that all screenplays submitted after September 1 will be considered for 2013).

As for the films, this year's fest is plating up some of the latest and best independent shorts from around the world, including:

"Doctor Glamour" by Andrew W. Jones
"Seizures" by Nicolas Simonin
"The Music of Jo Hyeja" by Jihyun Park
"Bedtime for Timmy" by Thomas Nicol
"Cultist Co. Starter Pack" by Thomas Nicol
"GAMMA" by Jonathan Gales
"Stay at Home Dad" by Andrew Kasch, John Skipp, and Cody Goodfellow
"George Jones & the Giant Squid" by Vincenzo Perrella, Dan Osborn
"Odokuro" by Aurelio Voltaire
"The Captured Bird" by Jovanka Vuckovic
"Feed A" by Clarke Mayer
"The Artifact" by Jason Voss
"Chompers 3D" (Preview screening) by Jesse Blanchard
"Shine 3D" by Jesse Blanchard
"Space Bugs" by Jesse Blanchard
"In()Between" by José Luis Martínez Díaz
"The Shunned House" by Eric Morgret

Also screening is the full length feature film "The Thing on the Doorstep" by Tom Gliserman

The festival special guest for 2012 is Michael Reaves, a renowned writer known for scripting such series as "Batman: The Animated Series", "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "The Twilight Zone".  He also co-edited with John Pelan the anthology (that proudly sits on my shelf) Shadows Over Baker Street, which features Sherlock Holmes stories set in the world of Lovecraft.

Mr. Reaves will receive the coveted Howie Award for his contributions to Lovecraft cinema, as he also penned "The Real Ghostbusters" famed episode "The Collect Call of Cathulhu", which is significant in that it's the first time Cthulhu appeared on television.

The still-growing roster of guests includes - but is certainly not limited to - such authors, artists, musicians, and filmmakers as Ives and I, Cody Goodfellow, Denise Dumars, Michael Tice, Bryan Thao Worra, Frank Woodward, Mike Dubisch, Andrew W. Jones, Aurelio Voltaire, David Milano, Diana Levin, Jason Voss, Hello, The Future, Natalie Ewert, Nicholas Simonin, and William (Liam) Thomas Damon.

A fantastic array of vendors will again be lining the corridors on both levels of the Warner Grand, catering to your every Lovecraftian, Weirdling, and Goth/Fez/Workworm/Fantasy Art shopping urge, including:

Arkham Bazaar
Badali Jewelry Specialties
The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society
Upon a Midnight
Diana Levin Art
Perilous Press
Mike Dubisch Art

Visitors can and are encouraged to stay at the Crowne Plaza Hotel (three blocks from the Warner Grand in the historic district of San Pedro) at a discount. Use code HPL when booking online (discount only good until 8/28).  Booking a room is wise, as things get a bit nutty as the night progresses.  Selling beer and wine with popcorn and Jujyfruits at the concession stand is such beautiful thing.

Friday, September 28

Pre-festival dinner at the Whale & Ale on Friday, from 5pm to 7pm, before the theater opens.  The menu for this specially priced dinner (only available to festival attendees) is as such:

Our famous Whale & Ale salad of mixed baby lettuces, sliced mushrooms, crumbled blue cheese,
chopped walnuts & creamy peppercorn dressing.  Irish Soda bread & sweet butter, then Penne Toscana: a house favorite: penne pasta sautéed with fresh tomato, leaf basil, chopped garlic, light marinara sauce (vegetarian), or English Fish & Chips; Icelandic cod filet deep fried in our own Bass ale beer batter, with English Chips; on the side:  lemon wedge, tartar sauce, malt vinegar & tomato ketchup, or Farmhouse Steak & Mushroom pie: diced filet mignon, simmered with quartered button mushrooms in a rich beef demi glace, topped with mashed potatoes and browned in the oven; fresh steamed vegetables, then English Sherry Trifle: traditional English sponge cake soaked in sweet sherry layered with strawberries, custard & whipped cream

Menu as above: $21 per person, inclusive of tax at 8.75%, or guests can pick any two courses for $17 per person, including tax.

This pricing and menu is available only to HP Lovecraft Festivalgoers, and is not available to the general public.

The theater schedule is as follows:

7pm-7:30 - Shopping, Mingling, Not Correlating One's Contents
7:30 - 7:40  Official Intro, Raffle
7:40-9:10  "The Thing on the Doorstep"
9:100-9:25  Break, Raffle
9:25 - 9:55   Macabre Fantasy  "Statement of Randolph Carter" (radio drama)
9:55 - 10:10  Break, Raffle
10:10 - 11:15  "South Park: The Complete Coon Trilogy"
11:15-11:30  Raffle, Shopping, Carousing
11:30- wee hours - Whale & Ale party (with happy hour specials) and Lovecraft Pub Trivia (hosted by filmmaker Frank Woodward)

Saturday, September 29

Brunch 'n Fun at the Grand Vision Annex, a few doors down from the Warner Grand Theatre.

The brunch menu will consist of eggs, bacon and/or sausage, potatoes, toast, apple or OJ, cold cereal and milk.  Rumors of a cash bar at this event fills one with mimosa wishes and Irish coffee dreams.

Card and video games will be played throughout brunch.  Be prepared for celebratory howls and good natured ribbing.

Noon-12:30 = Filing-in, seating, mastication (food served until 3pm)
12:30 - 1pm = Prayers to Cthulhu (Cody Goodfellow)
1pm - 1:45pm = Hello, The Future (musical performance)
1:45 to 2:30 = Author Readings
2:30 - 3:15 = Panel Discussion, guided by the fitting theme "cosmic horror."
3:15 - 3:40 = Oral Storytelling
3:40 - 4pm = Wind down, head out to theatre

The oral storytelling is a Portland tradition started by Scott Glancy telling "The Dog's Head Story". It involves getting up and telling a true anecdote (you can stretch the truth) about an unusual or spooky occurrence in real life... Something where, because we are into Lovecraft, we look at the real world differently.

Back at the Theater:

4pm - 4:30 = Shopping
4:30 - 4:40 = Raffle, Intro #2
4:40 - 5:25 = "Real Ghostbusters" & "Scooby-Doo"
5:25 - 5:35 = Break/Raffle
5:35 - 7:05 = Shorts Block #1
7:05 - 8:35 = dinner/shopping
8:35 - 8:45 = Howie award to Michael Reaves
8:45 - 10:15 = shorts block #2
10:15 - 10:25 = break
10:25 - 11:00 = raffle, filmmaker & screenwriter awards
11:00 - 11:30 = The Evil Clergyman
11:30 - late = Raffle/After Party at Grand Vision Annex

There will be a cash bar at the after party for the Grand Vision Annex, with complimentary dessert.

Bumper - "Five Year Old Niece Explains Cthulhu", "Wasted Land" Trailer
"Space Bugs" - 05:31
"Shine 3D"  - 02:49
"Chompers 3D" 2:30
(3D glasses will be available for these two movies)
"George Jones and Giant Squid" - 14:15
"The Artifact" - 3:49
"Music of Jo Hyeja" - 20:02
"Bedtime for Timmy" - 02:50
"The Captured Bird" - 12:13
"Doctor Glamour" - 19:31

SATURDAY SHORTS BLOCK #2 (87.5 minutes)
Bumper - "Cthulhu for President"
"Cultist Co" -  01:08
"Feed A"  -  10:51
"In Between"  - 14:45
"Gamma"  -  06:47
"Odokuro"  -  06;16
"Seizures"  - 19:16
"Stay at Home Dad"  -  15:00
"Shunned House " - 11:00

Sunday, September 30

"The Lash of St. Francis", a Lovecraft-themed scavenger hunt designed by Roselle Hurley, will run in the San Pedro Historic area.

All participants will meet at 11:30am, at either the theater or the Whale & Ale (most likely the latter).

There, they will receive directions and guidelines on the adventure. The cost is $5 per team, not per person.


The official trailer for the 2013 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival Los Angels is now up on Youtube, and posted for your convenience below:

See you down in the bay, Cosmicominauts and wonderful Weirdlings.  This fest should be a cornerstone of your Lovecraftian year, as it is for us.  See you all in two weeks.  Be there, or being boringly square (as opposed to interestingly non-Euclidean).


(just in case you missed the link in the capture to the photo above, the "Elegant Aged Pewter Cthulhu Pin" from Queen Penguin Production available by clicking this Etsy link)


  1. I followed a forum post over at yog-sothoth, saw your signature there and lo, found you here along with this post! I'd love feedback on the script for House of Yhargoth. Feel free to e-mail me, or heck I'd buy you a cuppa if you're in LA. domz AT gadzookfilms DOT com. Thank ye kindly!

  2. I'll be in touch soon, Dom.

    I thought the script was excellent.