Mutations Magazine

Friday, 27 April 2018

April Update!

There's been a lot of changes at the Mutant Compound over the last few months. A number of projects have been shelved due to changes in the creative team and new ones have begun as I start moving in new creative directions.  I'm moving away from some of the photography work I've been creating over the last dozen years or so and concentrating solely on original projects that I can take from concept to completion myself. So, here's a selection of things from April: some new and some reworked from older material.

BUNKER 15
This is a 9 page test comic based on our Instagram Series.










OTHER











Tuesday, 27 March 2018

March Update!

Been busy as usual. I have a number of projects I'm juggling so this is just an image dump of some of the work in March. Some are new images and some are revised versions of older images.

















Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Quick Update!

I've got a number of projects on the go at the moment including books, photo shoots, comic pitches, a short film and a soundtrack album. Here's just a few shots from this month's madness.







Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Timmy the Whipping Boy and the Wrestler from the Future!

After thirty years of professional writing in film, television, advertising and any other medium you can imagine we’ve collected our fair share of writing horror stories. With enough years and enough distance away from them we can look back and have a good chuckle at our adventures.

This first one is a repost of a writing horror story I used to have up on my old Blog.

TIMMY THE WHIPPING BOY AND THE WRESTLER FROM THE FUTURE!

Back in 1997, our film and television agent at the time hooked us up with a Toronto film production company called P.N.A. (Producer Network Associates). They were known primarily for making cheap science fiction and thriller films for under $2M. We met with them, checked out their body of work (rented some VHS copies of their films) and showed them some of our screenplays.

They ended up optioning three of our original film scripts: CHROME, KABUKI-MONO and SOLOMON which was very exciting at the time (although none of them got produced it was awesome getting three properties picked up at the same time). They also hired us to rewrite a medical thriller they had bought called THE ETHICS COMMITTEE. We happily signed a contract and got to work.

The script itself was a pile of crap, bad dialogue, ridiculous characters and scenes that were flat and lifeless. We tossed out everything except for the fact that the main character was a woman and that she was a lawyer looking into some questionable medical practices. We wrote the new script in eleven days from beginning to end (we didn’t sleep much when we were young!) and the company was thrilled with the final screenplay we delivered. One of the producers exclaimed very loudly, ‘Now, we have a movie!’ The buzz around us was hot and we felt that were on our way…but, as it turns out, not very far.

Ultimately, the film was never made due to the fact that they couldn’t get the financing for it in place and we spent the next eighteen months trying to collect the money owed to us on the writing contract. It was a flat $5000 on delivery of the script (which we had done) and an additional $15,000 at the start of principal photography (which at this point we knew was no longer on the table).  Lots of phone calls and pressure from the agent yielded absolutely nothing.

I even traveled down to Toronto and camped out in their front offices for a couple of days to see if they couldn’t be persuaded to honor their agreement (they kept using the back door to sneak in and out of their offices). I eventually got ushered into one of the producer’s offices and he was shaking and sweating as he nervously wrote me out a check (which, of course, bounced like a proverbial rubber ball). We figured it was a lost cause; there was no getting blood from this stone, so we walked away without ever getting paid.

But, that’s not where this story is supposed to go (that was just a bit of saucy background) You wanted to hear about Timmy the Whipping Boy and the Wrestler from the Future. Read on!

Before we started working on The Ethics Committee we had the opportunity to visit a couple of P.N.A. film sets that actually were in production. The first was MEN OF MEANS starring Michael Pare (I’m a massive Streets of Fire fan so that was quite a thrill!) The second film was a Roger Corman (New Concorde) backed production called SHEPHERD (a.k.a. CYBERCITY to everyone outside of Canada).


Shepherd was a ‘Z’ grade science fiction film production destined for home video. The original budget had been cut down considerably and the set was located in a run-down warehouse in the industrial district and was literally made of painted cardboard held together with duct tape and prayers.

Despite the surroundings, we had a great time walking the set and meeting the crew. There are two things you can be sure of on pretty much every film set. It’s the most boring place on Earth most of the time and the crew is usually made up of the most amazing people you’ll ever meet. Every movie set I’ve ever been on I always end up spending most of my time talking with everyone from costume, to makeup, to set design. They’re there because they love the work (the pay and the hours are usually atrocious) and they’ve always got incredible stories about all the other actors they’ve worked with and all the films they’ve labored on. They’re like roadies to the rock stars (which is how we feel as writers most of the time).

And, speaking of actors – it wasn’t long before the stars of the show arrived. We were introduced to C. Thomas Howell (OUTSIDERS, RED DAWN) and his entourage. Next up, was superstar wrestler ‘Rowdy Roddy Piper (THEY LIVE) who had the biggest bodyguard I’ve ever seen in my life (and seriously, why does a professional wrestler need a bodyguard?) I was really excited to meet the late, great David Carradine (KUNG FU, DEATH RACE 2000, KILL BILL) and his girlfriend Heidi Von Palleske (who was playing the leading lady). I grew up on drive-in movies and late night television so Mr. Carradine was always a big deal in my books.

As the day’s shooting got underway, we spent an enjoyable afternoon shooting the shit with co-star Mackenzie Gray (from the Mark Wahlberg film SHOOTER and way too many television shows to mention)…oh, and Roddy’s giant bodyguard (we sort of bonded over the Espresso machine although it was hard to tell as he was so tall I spent most of the time talking to his belly-button).

Everything was interrupted by a production assistant who ran over to tell me that I was wanted on set.  I hurried to the shooting area and was told that the producers had convinced Ray Serra (PRIZZI’S HONOR, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES) who was shooting on Men of Means to do a small scene in Shepherd (they figured they could up the ‘star’ count on the film by offering Ray a little more cash). The writer, Nelu Ghiran, had written a scene in ten minutes and they needed a bald guy with a goatee to play Ray’s assistant ‘Timmy the Whipping Boy’ (how ironic a name that would become later on in my pursuit of a payment from P.N.A.!)

A quick dry shave with a disposable razor in a production bathroom (almost as dirty as the one in Trainspotting) to smooth the head and then it was off to wardrobe where I stood around in my underwear while the wardrobe ladies found me an appropriate monk’s robe to wear for the part. Of course, I’m still in my underwear when Ray Serra comes by and introduces himself to me and insists on talking my ears off.

Then, it’s off to the cardboard set and after an hour of the crew moving lights around and the director talking everyone through the scene the cameras start to roll…


And, then stop…I’m blocking Ray’s light…not once, but twice! That’s why I’m usually behind the scenes and not in them! We shoot three takes of the scene and then it’s a wrap. My fifteen minutes of fame had come to an end. I was off to the Espresso machine to down a few more coffees and catch up with my favorite giant bodyguard.

A FEW INTERESTING ASIDES:

I swear our early writing career had some kind of weird connection between science fiction and wrestlers! More on that in a later post!

Turns out Mackenzie Gray starred in an episode of FOREVER KNIGHT. We’d written a couple of spec scripts for that show that got us into a very weird production meeting. Another post coming on that one! More recently Mackenzie Gray has starred as one of the villains (The Eye) in the television series LEGION.

Much to my amusement, I actually had an IMDB credit as an actor in Shepherd for about two years as Timmy the Whipping Boy but it was later removed as I wasn’t ‘officially’ credited in the film.

C. Thomas Howell starred in the original version of THE HITCHER written by Eric Red, one of my favorite screenwriters. Mr. Red also co-wrote one of the best vampire films ever made called NEAR DARK which was directed by Kathryn Bigelow. The first screenplay we wrote back in 1991 (we’d only written television scripts up until that point) was a sequel to Near Dark called Dusk. We didn’t own the rights and it was written as more of a calling card piece to show producers that we could actually write more than an hour long script. We sent it out anyways and got a wonderful letter back from Eric Red, an invite to submit it to Kathryn Bigelow’s company First Light and had a few conversations with Lance Henriksen’s publicist. Kind of cool!

Thursday, 8 February 2018

War on Gotham 2017


Another project I was busy working on for the last few months was War on Gotham! In August of 2017, I was invited to the 2nd Annual War on Gotham as a photographer. William Bloom, the owner of Ottawa Gothic Designs had assembled a number of DC heroes and villains for the ultimate showdown and set it up so that a photography group could come in and snap some fantastic shots of all the characters in action. William is a master costume maker and his creations are stunning. I was thrilled to be surrounded by such a group of talented people from models, to makeup, to hair design, to jewellery to costuming. It was an amazing day to say the least and I'm looking forward to next year's event!

Here are the photo/art pieces I've done so far for the project. I may still do a few more if time permits. Please check the credits at the end of this post to see all the amazing talent that was involved. The credits appear in the same order as the images posted.























BANE & FAEORA
Costumes: William Bloom/Ottawa Gothic Designs
BANE: Sadasius Col
FAEORA UHL: Erin Haddon
Makeup: Jessica Batten
Photography/Edit: Timothy Bacon/Mutagenic Studios

BATGIRL VS SCARECROW
Batgirl Model: Lisa Robinson
Makeup: Laura Busby
Costume: William Bloom/Ottawa Gothic Designs
Scarecrow Model: Alexander Nigel Kilby
Costume: William Bloom/Ottawa Gothic Designs
Photography/Edit: Timothy Bacon/Mutagenic Studios

BATMAN
Model: Matthew Cunningham
Costume: William Bloom/Ottawa Gothic Designs
Photography/Edit: Timothy Bacon/Mutagenic Studios

BATWOMAN
Model: Lisa Webb
Makeup: Jessica Batten
Costume: William Bloom/Ottawa Gothic Designs
Photography/Edit: Timothy Bacon/Mutagenic Studios

BLACK CANARY
Model: Lauren McDowell
Makeup: Jessica Batten
Costume: William Bloom/Ottawa Gothic Designs
Photography/Edit: Timothy Bacon/Mutagenic Studios

CATWOMAN
Model: Shanal Snow
Makeup: Caroline Lecours/MakeUp by Caroline
Jewellery: Carole Faucher/Willowdreamjewellery
Costume: William Bloom/Ottawa Gothic Designs
Photography/Edit: Timothy Bacon/Mutagenic Studios

DEATHSTROKE
Model: Paul Burberry
Costume: William Bloom/Ottawa Gothic Designs
Photography/Edit: Timothy Bacon/Mutagenic Studios

ENCHANTRESS
Model: April Skyee
Makeup: Caroline Lecours/MakeUp by Caroline
Hair: Darcy Langille
Costume: William Bloom/Ottawa Gothic Designs
Jewellery: Carole Faucher/Willow Dream Jewellery
Photographer: Andy Mostowski
Photo Edit: Timothy Bacon/Mutagenic Studios

MR. FREEZE VS HAWKGIRL
Hawkgirl: Eva Mikhaila Jane Deeble
Mr. Freeze: William Bloom
Hawkgirl/Mr. Freeze Makeup: Laura Busby
Costumes: William Bloom/Ottawa Gothic Designs (collaboration w/Paul Burberry on Hawkgirl)
Photography/Edit: Timothy Bacon/Mutagenic Studios

HAWKGIRL VS CATWOMAN
Hawkgirl Model: Eva Mikhaila Jane Deeble
Makeup: Laura Busby
Costume: William Bloom/Ottawa Gothic Designs & Paul Burberry
Necklace: Carole Faucher@Willowdreamjewelry
Catwoman Model: Shanal Snowl
Makeup: Caroline Lecours/MakeUp by Caroline
Costume: William Bloom/Ottawa Gothic Designs
Jewellery: Carole Faucher@Willowdreamjewellery
Photography/Edit: Timothy Bacon/Mutagenic Studios

HARLEY QUINN
Model: CĂ©line Lavoie
Makeup: Laura Busby
Hair: Darcy Langille
Costume: William Bloom/Ottawa Gothic Designs
Photography: Andy Mostowski
Photo Edit: Timothy Bacon/Mutagenic Studios

HUGO STRANGE
Model & Costume: Bread Box
Photography/Edit: Timothy Bacon/Mutagenic Studios

LOBO
Model: Michael Ozga
Makeup: Caroline Lecours/MakeUp by Caroline
Hair: Darcy Langille
Costume: William Bloom/Ottawa Gothic Designs
Photography/Edit: Timothy Bacon/Mutagenic Studios

MR. FREEZE
Model: William Bloom
Makeup: Laura Busby
Costume: William Bloom/Ottawa Gothic Designs
Photography/Edit: Timothy Bacon/Mutagenic Studios

PENGUIN
Model: Rob Sherman
Makeup: KD Shields
Prosthetic application: Jessica Batten
Costume: William Bloom/Ottawa Gothic Designs
Photography/Edit: Timothy Bacon/Mutagenic Studios

POISON IVY
Model: Mallory Smith
Makeup: Myriam Cyr
Hair: Darcy Langille
Costumes: William Bloom/Ottawa Gothic Designs
Photography/Edit: Timothy Bacon/Mutagenic Studios

SCARECROW
Model: Alexander Nigel Kilby
Costume: William Bloom/Ottawa Gothic Designs
Photo/Edit: Timothy Bacon/Mutagenic Studios

SILVER BANSHEE
Model: Melysa Parent @AsylemOfGaia
Makeup: Melysa Parent @AsylemOfGaia
Hair: Darcy Langille
Costume: William Bloom/Ottawa Gothic Designs
Photography/Edit: Timothy Bacon/Mutagenic Studios

THUGS
THUG #1 Model: Adam Tanner
THUG #2 Model: Scott Connelly
Costumes: William Bloom/Ottawa Gothic Designs
Photography/Edit: Timothy Bacon/Mutagenic Studios

TWO-FACE
Model: Rik Micheals
Makeup: KD Shields
Costume: William Bloom?Ottawa Gothic Designs
Photography/Edit: Timothy Bacon/Mutagenic Studios

WONDER WOMAN VS HARLEY QUINN
Costumes: William Bloom/Ottawa Gothic Designs
HARLEY QUINN: Dovie Lavoie
Makeup: Laura Busby
Jewelry: Carole Faucher
WONDER WOMAN: Randy McManley
Hair: Darcy Langille
Makeup: Caroline Lecours/MakeUp by Caroline
Tattoo cover: Caroline Lecours and Jessica Batten
Photography/Edit: Timothy Bacon/Mutagenic Studios

WONDER WOMAN
Model: Rando McManley
Makeup: Caroline Lecours/MakeUp by Caroline
Tattoo cover-up: Jessica Batten
Hair: Darcy Langille
Costume: William Bloom/Ottawa Gothic Designs
Photography: Andy Mostowski
Photo Edit: Timothy Bacon/Mutagenic Studios