The Platinum Peacemaker

The Platinum Peacemaker

Today’s lesson is about “Post Production Hell” – It doesn’t matter if your film is good or bad, if the people handling your post production phase are greedy, badly motivated, inexperienced or an everyday asshole… then chances are something you nearly froze and starved to death to make may never see the light of day….


Sony NEX-FS700 Retrospective

Super 35mm Image Sensor?  Check.  Interchangeable lenses?  Check.  Cinema quality?  Well… not exactly.  There’s a lot of room to UPGRADE this camera to be something more Cinema-grade, but when it’s all said and done you’re looking at jacking the price of the $9,000 Sony NEX-FS700R (latest model) with stock lens up to nearly $20,000 worth…


The Best of BDW Backyard Wrestling

A compilation of grainy, Hi-8 analog glory from the turn of the millennium.  Teenage backyard wrestling with some Jackass thrown in for entertainment value… “digitally remastered”, if you’d call it that.  Director’s “commentary”, if you’d call it that.  It’s “feature length” if you’d call it that.  What a heap of shit… but hey – these…


Sony PMW-F3 Sizzle Reel

First you take $14,000 worth of camera body, then you combine it with $1,400 worth of glass, then finish by sprinkling on some spare batteries, SxS memory cards, cabling, docking station and an entirely superfluous rail kit/mattebox and follow focus combo and what do you get?  Probably some of the prettiest footage I’ve captured so…


B.J. Thomas – “Hooked on a Feeling”

I was invited out by Larry Commons to assist in filming the Grammy Music Award Hall of Famer in his first (and so far only) performance in his hometown of Arlington, TX… about 20 minutes in city traffic from the house.  Of course!  I was dying for an excuse to be away from my (at…


GRIM – Pirate My Movie Here!

RELAX MAN… YOU ARE NOT ACTUALLY PIRATING ANYTHING – This video is a 100% legal stream uploaded by Troma straight to Youtube for exactly this purpose… to build a buzz.  To make you look.  In fact, Troma has tons of other films made 100% free on their Youtube channel, so check it out if you’ve ever been interested…


GRIM

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The $2,500 feature film produced, written, directed, shot, and edited by Adrian Santiago.  When I first set out to make “GRIM”, I had applied via mail for a Texas independent filmmaker’s grant.  In it, I outlined the plot, tech specs, and the amount of money I had at my disposal ($2,500).  A few weeks later,…


Word Chums Trailer

“Word Chums” from People Fun (descended from the makers of “Age of Empires”, “Orcs Must Die”, and “Halo Wars”) is the top-rated word game on Apple iTunes (iOS) and Google Play (Android), beating out competition such as “Words With Friends” in terms of features, playability, and art direction.  This video was on a tight deadline (more later)…


My Second Feature Film = Oh No Not Another Newspaper Article

I hated working on this fucking movie.  It’s time to come clean on a lot of things, because I’m not sure how much is publicly known or not but “Skunkape Hunters in Texas” was probably one of the darkest times in my life.  Day and night, my stomach was constantly tense worried about what impending…


Panasonic HVX200 Retrospective

The first “tapeless” HD camcorder that I had a chance to work with… and it was on the first western I’ve ever worked on – “The Platinum Peacemaker”.  For the time being, you’ll simply have to trust me – I used the hell out of this thing and I have a clear memory of it’s…


Four Horses

The BEST western I’ve made… so far.  If we could do it all over again, I would have insisted some serious cash have been spent renting a big boy camera with an array of prime lenses to compliment… because, my God, the places we went, the things we saw, the freaking story we told.  Ramirena…


My First Feature Film = My First Distribution Deal

“GRIM” just signed to a distribution deal with Troma, my name was buzzing about the D/FW filmmaking social networks (in positive and negative ways), and I was finally able to exhale and just relax for the first time since the Spring of that year.  Like all of my interviews, this one begins with a phone…


The Real Megan

Teenage bad-ass Megan McConnell hits “ICE at the Parks” (inside The Parks Mall in Arlington, TX) for this showy little demonstration video.  Megan is a member of the United States Figure Skating Association and the Dallas Figure Skating Club.  She has placed Third in the 2011 ISI World Championships, and despite suffering from torn cartilage…


Express University

Express Energy Services is a leading provider of products and services to the energy industry. The company serves the upstream oil and natural gas industry throughout the lifecycle of the reservoir and helps customers locate oil and natural gas.  Express University (seen above) is a multi-million dollar state-of-the-art safety and educational training facility located in Houston,…


My Second Short Film = My Second Newspaper Article.

Before long, I was back in the newspaper for filmmaking (and holding an NES Controller for some reason.  What year was this!?)  I’m pretty sure they invaded my Myspace or Facebook gimmick for that photograph because the interviewer DID NOT have a camera with him. Still, fun experience rushing out to Blockbuster Video (rest in peace……


Tentacles in a Twisted Deathdream

Part of Author/Screenwriter/Illustrator Stephen Romano’s “Shock Festival” Book and DVD Compendium.  Me and Romano had a minor love affair for a few months while I was promoting Bubba’s Chili Parlor and working on “GRIM”.  In fact, thinking back on it, he had offered to do the poster artwork for “GRIM” and I just damn forgot…


Sony PMW-EX3 Retrospective

How can such an expensive camera be so powerful, yet so fragile?  Sony had a head-scratching design with the Sony PMW-EX3.  The viewfinder was a mess… at it’s heart, a very decent LED screen outputting at some bastard resolution close to 720 with a phony viewfinder gimmick that drops over the LED, allowing you peep…


My First Short Film = My First Film Newspaper Article.

I’ve been in the newspaper a handful of times in my life, and each time it happens it charges me up.  For this, my first ever (film-related) write-up, I was interviewed by Mr. Brian Abrams from the Fort Worth Weekly.  He would later leave the newspaper to join the writers at satirical jewish magazine, “Heeb“….


Texas Lusitano Dressage Exhibition

These rich bastards had THE BEST cheese and cracker spread I’ve ever been invited to eat from.  I was told that the massive estate in Benbrook, TX where we spent the afternoon recording belonged to the heiress of the Levi Jeans company (or something like that… hard to tell the truth with this particular content…


Il Ultimo – Chapter 02

The all-improvised guerrilla action short film we made for “On the Lot” was so fun, we decided to go out on our free time and make a sequel to it.  Spearheaded by Dan Patterson, the guy who arranged for the first Il Ultimo film, we had a better camera with us in the Canon XHA1…


Il Ultimo – Chapter 01

The second of three “On the Lot” short film contest entries I was involved with.  For “Il Ultimo”, Director Dan Patterson wanted to go all improv based on what locations we could afford (sneak into) and what complications we encounter (getting kicked out).  The police were on us, asking for permits and shit the second…


“What’s my Name?” – “I Don’t Know!”

Eight or six of us gathered as the drunk blonde took her clothes off and… there.  That should be enough text to make a provocative featured image caption.  Although it’s true, it’s not what you’re thinking – She was just having sex on camera.  FOR BUBBA’S CHILI PARLOR!  That’s as solid as doing it for…


Gluttonocalypse

In this video, I eat too much food and shit my pants.  Don’t look at me like that!  I was following orders.  This movie is Written, Directed, and Edited by Garrett Wilkerson.  For all the times he has helped me out with my movie stuff (even way back then) I was happy to help out…


Mixed Up Burgers – “Harlem Shake”

If you were getting paid in THESE burgers… you would have made a Harlem Shake video too!  Yes, it was an internet fad… but that’s the funny thing about internet fads – Our collective short attention spans allow us to reminisce on these things every five years or so with the same enthusiasm we exhibit…


Meet The Brazos Banditos

I met Jason Ramirez on the set of Scott Mollette’s “The Platinum Peacemaker” (my first Western).  I didn’t really know anyone, and the dashing Benicio Del Toro look-alike made for interesting conversation.  I just clung onto the guy, and he dragged me across the state of Texas to historical sites, original wild west ghost towns, recreated…


Canon XL1S Retrospective

1080p?  Nope.  Tapeless?  Nope… but at one time in history, THIS camera was the hot buy.  THIS was the camera that documentary shooters and the guerrilla filmmaker begged their penny-pinching producers to book.  Add onto the front of it a high-dollar gimmick that lets you put better lenses on the Canon XL1S body and create…


ADRIAN NAKED ON CAMERA – CHAPTER 02

On this particular day – Nudity was a necessity.  Filming the bordello sequence in “GRIM” allowed us a chance to step out of the 103F Texas heat and the Sun’s entirely overstated presence for an hour or two… even if it was in a recently burned-to-the-supports home in the country side that, three weeks prior,…


Desire/Deserving

Our team’s submission to a Dallas, TX-based “24 Hour Video Race” gimmick.  From the time all of the participating teams received their requirements until the time we turned in our completed work, we spent about 16 hours on this thing.  We didn’t want to turn in typically video race fare, and we suffered for it…


The Russ Martin Show Band – Fun, Fun, Fun

Being able to work with this legendary radio host was a highlight of my career so far.  Hot off the heels of shooting GRIM (and I mean like, later the same week we wrapped) I got a Facebook message from this Russ Martin on facebook.  He called me “Movie boy” and wanted to “see what…


Bubba’s Chili Parlor

Sex, drugs, and rock and roll was in full swing throughout the production, and for many of us, that was the sole reason to drag ourselves all the way the hell out to Will’s Point, TX.  Fine city… me and “The Real” Garrett Wilkerson enjoyed many breakfasts at The Lone Star Texas Grill (which sadly…


Sony DCR-VX2000 Retrospective

A solid, middle-of-the-pack standard definition prosumer camcorder.  Chances are, if you’re just now getting into filmmaking at the independent level you’ve never had the headache/”labor of love” involved with working with an all-analog workflow.  Having to connect this camcorder to your PC via IEEE 1394 (Firewire) connection and watch every fucking frame of video you…


Adrian Naked on Camera – Chapter 01

While it’s not full-on wang, that IS more of my ass than I was intending on showing.  As if I needed to explain it to you, I’m good to go full nude at the drop of the hat… at even the slightest show of aggression towards me… but it’s embarrassing when it’s due to a…


Andolini’s Office

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Handsome guy Sergio Andolini (Christopher Dimock) plays a guy who has to take over his recently “retired” father’s furniture store in order to keep up with his family’s needs.  Soon, he partners up with the same neighborhood crime boss (SAG Actor Dennis O’Neill) that broke his father’s legs in order to make ends meet. Made…


North Texas Best Kept Secrets

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A cozy little “No Reservations” style pilot for a hole-in-the-wall foodie web gimmick.  It was a fairly quick evening on location… from “Hello” to “Goodbye” it may have been three hours.  Little Italy (which is a hell of a restaurant across the street from Tarrant County Community College Southeast Campus) was only about three or…


Why the Hell did I do a “Harlem Shake” Video?

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The short answer, “For some badass burgers and money.”  The longer answer, and perhaps more satisfying, is because “Mixed Up Burgers” owner Kyle is a guy that’s extremely passionate about his chain of restaurants in Grand Prairie, TX.  I found out about the place as part of a freakin’ Groupon promotion – Soon, however, friends…


Morris Bart Attorneys, LLC. Spot

I actually had to dislocate my shoulder to land this role.  Well, truth be told, it was all staged.  The clown?  The cop?  The giant check?  All of it was for show… and I was telling the biggest lie of them all.  I was actually feeling pretty good that day.  I met two people on…


Skunkape Hunters in Texas

This is the LAST time I base a filmmaking decision on financial desperation.  While it’s not the worst movie ever made, it’s certainly the worst movie I’ve ever made, and dammit, that was after a LOT of trying. Synopsis (Adapted to be Spoiler Free, Abridged from the official website): “Ben Bridges and his three friends…


Canon XHA1 Retrospective

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This camera has LITERALLY taken me around the world and back.  For that, the Canon XHA1 will always hold a special place in my heart.  Does it hit 1080P Resolution?  Nope.  Can it record at a cinematic 24P?  Nope… well, not really.  It has it’s own funky little 24F mode, which is fine provided your…


“Holiday”

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The short film that launched my career… my name is Adrian Santiago, and (as of 01-24-2014) I am an award-nominated independent filmmaker from Texas with three feature films under his belt, a bunch of shorts and commercial works, been the subject of a handful of newspaper and magazine articles, and been a background extra on…