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Havoc, a Wannabe Villain, must confront his Super Villain father, Doom, on his quest to prove himself as a legitimate Villain.

A DAY OF HAVOC

A Day of Havoc is a Drama/Comedy short film about a guy with a strong passion to follow his dreams and to prove himself to his father, but in this case Havoc dreams of becoming a Super Villain and lives under the shadow of his demanding Super Villain father, Doom. Havoc has the opportunity to show everyone what he can do by being on Mark Stewart’s ‘Day in the Life of’ news segment, but in his quest to prove he’s villainy Havoc must confront his father for the first time to legitimize himself as a Villain.

This father-son drama takes place in a fantastic world where Superheroes and Super Villains live among us and are treated like Celebrities with fans and Paparazzi around the world. Drawing correlations from the Celebrities in the real world, these Supers play a huge role in society and pop culture regardless of their Heroics or Villainy. A Day of Havoc also examines and comments on the implications and power news media has on our world and society.

THE DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

A Day of Havoc is a very unique story that draws from my love of Comics and the Superhero genre of stories I grew up with. I loved reading X-Men, Superman, and Batman Comics as well as watching animated Spiderman, X-Men, and Batman TV shows in the 90s. These influential stories coupled with my curiosity about the origins of their most interesting and complex characters (at least to me), the Villains like Magneto and the Joker, created the rich and thought-provoking basis for my story idea of A Day of Havoc.

I built on the fantastic and grandiose basis of this genre and the Super Villain protagonist with a grounded, real life human story that the audience can relate to. I centered the story around a guy with a strong passion to follow his dreams and to prove himself to his demanding father, but he can’t seem to get out of his own way and stand up for what he believes in to reach his dreams. This is a very personal story for me, because Havoc’s journey and desires is rooted in my own dreams and pursuit of a career in filmmaking. Much like Havoc, I’m trying to prove to my family that I belong in the film industry and to justify that leaving a career they deemed “stable and reputable” to pursue my dreams is not only necessary, but the right choice for me.

I have very high expectations for A Day of Havoc. It’s an incredibly ambitious project, which incorporates Animation and Live-Action as well as a difficult Superhero/Super Villain genre to make on a budget. In order to achieve a successful film, every aspect of this production will need to be handled with creativity, collaboration, and professionalism. I will lead by example and keep up communication with every member of the cast and crew to create a nurturing environment where collaboration and creativity can flourish. But it will take more than a well run Production to create a successful film. It requires a well-prepared, passionate, and creative vision along with a nurturing and never-say-die attitude to meet the expectations of this ambitious film. I’ve also surrounded myself with an amazingly talented cast and crew that I will collaborate with every step of the way. 

My goal for this film is to tell an honest and truthful story the audience can emotionally connect to within a rich, believable Superhero/Super Villain world. 

THE PRODUCER’S STATEMENT

Being a part of this project was a no brainer for me due to my previous experience working with the Director and crew on other film projects. More importantly, I was drawn to this project because of the story and the mixing of Animation and Live-Action to make the story come to life. Wanting to follow your dreams and have the support of those that you look up to and love is a universal feeling (situation) and desire that most have had to deal with. Sometimes having to abandon the balance of trying to please others while still staying true to your dreams needs to happen in order for your dreams to become a reality. This is at the core of what A Day of Havoc exemplifies.

For A Day of Havoc, the real challenge comes from being able to successfully incorporate the Animation and Live-Action together making it feel like they belong together. If executed properly, the film cannot stand-alone without either the Animation or the Live-Action because it will be a perfect marriage of both. In order for this to happen, the Live-Action part must be planned out thoroughly with specific details in camera, lighting, production design and costume departments to make sure each visual element contributes to the overall theme. The Animation portion should enhance and setup the environment that is shown before, during, and after the Live-Action.

As the Producer, I plan to work alongside the Director and each department head to help take the script and create a world that the writers have envision. The location that we want and have chosen is one that distinguishes Los Angeles, but has not been overdone. The costumes are being handmade, which takes time with it’s intricate detailing. Once the details are finalized it will make the film that much stronger and have a lasting effect on the audience that they can appreciate. 

THE TEAM

Clarence Ma (Writer/Director/Producer): Clarence Ma was born on September 18, 1984 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Growing up in a conservative Chinese family, Clarence was expected to purse a career as a Doctor, Lawyer, or Accountant. But since the age of 8, Clarence dreamt of becoming a filmmaker. Clarence received a Business Degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and worked full time as a Financial Analyst in Investments at Central Pacific Bank. Clarence finally got the opportunity to chase his dream of becoming a Filmmaker in 2010 as a Graduate Student in the Film & Television Production program at Loyola Marymount University, giving up a bright future in Investments.

Mindy McKoin (Producer/1st AD): Mindy McKoin was raised in Bastrop, Louisiana, which is where her entire family resides. She has been captivated by movies ever since she was a little girl. She would fall in love with movies and watch them over and over memorizing every line. When Mindy moved off to college, only two hours away from her family, she never thought that majoring in film, TV and video would be an option or something that she was even good at. After her first introductory to film production class, she had a new love/hate but mostly love relationship with making films. 

After undergrad, Mindy headed out west to attend Loyola Marymount University as a graduate film student, where this past May 2012 she received her MFA in Film & TV Production. Mindy’s film production experience ranges from being the 1st and only AD on the independent feature film The Last Tour to working on 20+ films holding positions such as Producer, Director of Photography, Editor, and Director of documentary films.

Anthony Berenato Jr. (Director of Photography): Anthony Berenato Jr. is a visual storyteller, embracing the aesthetics and principles of motion photography as a means to connect with people. He is currently studying graduate-level Film and Television Production at Loyola Marymount University, often lending a hand to student productions and learning new techniques through other dream chasers.

With a secondary background in music and audio recording, Anthony tries to apply the concepts behind the dynamic flow and range of organic sound to the film medium. His interest in cinematography spawned from his love of still imagery, now adding another level of life and movement.

Peter Sebastian (Editor/Actor - Dave): Peter Sebastian discovered filmmaking at the University of Colorado, Boulder. There he studied under Stan Brakhage who inspired Peter to view the screen as a canvas. Peter’s cinematic world was forever changed and he has since strived to breath life into that canvas. Peter landed a job at ChicagoHD where he worked as an Assistant Editor. Working on professional projects provided a crash course education in all the fundamentals of on/off-line editing, coloring, and visual storytelling. In addition to filmmaking, Peter performed theater throughout Chicago. Under the bright lights in dark seedy comedy clubs is where Peter was able to sharpen his comedic timing, which has proved useful in many editing sessions.

Peter works as a freelance editor and has had the good fortune to edit several great projects with the Neo-Futurists, So Natural, and Kraft foods. He is currently earning his MFA from Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles.

THE CHARACTERS

Havoc: Havoc was born into this world as Harry Park, son of the legendary Super Villain Doom. He grew up idolizing his father and dreamt of following in his footsteps as a Super Villain. Nothing can stand in the way of Havoc reaching his passion in life and making his father proud, except for his inherently good heart that skews his view of Villainy. On top of that, he doesn’t show any signs of superpowers, including his family’s ability of telekinesis. Instead, Havoc uses his smarts to engineer weapons for his many failed attempts at Villainy over the years. Now, he works for Doom as his Chief Weapons Engineer, but his dream of becoming a Super Villain and proving himself to his father is constantly in the forefront of his heart.

Havoc played by Albert Kong (credits: Weeds, The Elephant Clan, The Roommate)
Havoc played by Albert Kong (credits: Weeds, The Elephant Clan, The Roommate)

Doom: Doom is the world’s foremost Super Villain, feared by his enemies, beloved by his many fans, and respected by all. Doom made his mark as a Super Villain by going on a rampage that lured all 26 members of the Hero Legion away from their headquarters only to have his minions stroll in and blow it up. Ever since then, the world can’t get enough of Doom and Paparazzi continuously chase after him for photos. Doom has a son named Harry, whose continuous failures as a Villain brings embarrassment to their family’s long legacy of Super Villainy. But Doom isn’t all bad, he wants the best for his son and sees Harry excelling in a stable and respectable career as his Chief Weapons Engineer and wants to save him the heartache of chasing a career with a high failure rate.

Doom played by Francois Chau (credits: 21 and Over, Lost, Rescue Dawn)
Doom played by Francois Chau (credits: 21 and Over, Lost, Rescue Dawn)

Mark: Mark Stewart grew up in a small town outside of Los Angeles. A future Super Villain named The Tornado picked on him when he was a freshman in High School. This is when he vowed to become more powerful and the world’s most incredible Heroes and Villains. In college, he realized the impact of media in society and started his journey to become a Journalist. This way even Heroes and Villains would need him to keep their status in society. Mark is the host of a special ‘Day in the Life of’ news segment called ‘Up-N-Coming’, where he finds and introduces rising Heroes and Villains that can potentially become a Super. He also uses his show and his news journalist status to gain power for himself.

Mark played by Tom McLaren (credits: Harry’s Law, Monster & Me, Eleven)
Mark played by Tom McLaren (credits: Harry’s Law, Monster & Me, Eleven)

Carol: Carol is Harry’s faithful girlfriend who loves Harry for who he is. Carol works for Doom as a Weapons Engineer, which is where she met and fell in love with Harry. She fully supports Harry and his dream to become a Super Villain, but not at the expense of changing who he is as a person. 

Carol played by Julia Gallagher (credits: Abby In the Summer, Step Sisters, Polaroid)
Carol played by Julia Gallagher (credits: Abby In the Summer, Step Sisters, Polaroid)

THE CINEMATOGRAPHY

In A Day of Havoc, the Cinematography and Lighting will play a huge role in guiding the audience through the Drama/Comedy tone, creating a believable and consistence Superhero/Super Villain world, and follow Havoc’s transformative journey to prove himself as a Villain via Mark Stewart’s ‘Day in the Life of’ news segment. Through the use of the camera, lights, lenses, and color we will create an experience of Havoc’s journey and the world he lives in for the audience.

The Cinematography is used to tackle one of the biggest challenges of this film, the tone. It's difficult to create a heartfelt yet funny film that follows the natural progression of the story and Havoc’s journey from a sitcom style to a drama style. Thus, we’ve chosen to approach certain Cinematography elements in a similar progressive manner.

The shot selection, lighting, and depth of field follow conventional sitcom decisions in the beginning and through most of the film. We mainly stick with medium to wide shots with a few select close shots and a few glimpses of Wes Anderson camera work to build the comedy. The lighting is a flatter, high key, and low contrast style. We also chose to use wide-angle lenses to give us a deeper focus so almost everything is in focus. These choices carry through most of the film until the climax of the story and of Havoc’s journey, where we transition into an almost film noir style of Cinematography. Here we select medium to close shots with a few wider shots, the lighting is high contrast with a low key, and the lenses are longer to create a shallower depth of field that hopefully creates a stronger connection between the characters and the audience for real emotional investment.

THE EDITING

Much like the Cinematography, the Editing will also be used to tackle the tone as well as follow the progression of the story to emphasis Havoc’s journey. Editing will be used to build the funny moments of the Comedy, using more quick cuts followed by character’s reactions. When the tone shifts to the more serious drama, the editing will slow down so the audience can sit with the characters and connect with them on an emotional level. The Editing/Post Effects will also work hand in hand with the camera work to create a unique experience for the audience through our natural transition wipes, incorporation of animation, and visual effects.

Our goal is to create a smoothly edited film that the audience can simply follow along without wondering what’s going on, while also creating a unique and textured experience that will draw them into the story and characters. 

THE SOUND DESIGN

A Day of Havoc will gain almost all of its texture from its Sound Design. Even though it’s set in Los Angeles, it’s a Los Angeles where Superheroes/Super Villains are among us and are at the pinnacle of society’s Celebrities. The sounds of everyday Los Angeles will be the basis of the sounds in this world, but on top of it we will create a whole new world of sound for Los Angeles by incorporating ideas of the Super beings that inhabit this world. We will be creating and adding flying, battling, running, etc. sounds that the Super’s would bring to the city. We’re also creating custom sounds for each Super’s powers to develop a unique sound world that will generate a fully immersive experience for the audience.

The Sound Design will also help allow the Comedy and Drama to be effective and stand out. Our goal is to provide seamless audio cues for the audience so it can help point out whether something is meant to be funny or dramatic, without being overtly on the nose. 

THE ANIMATION

A Day of Havoc incorporates Animation and Live-Action to tell the story of Havoc in a creative and unique way. We’ve chosen to go with a Motion Comic/Graphic Novel style of Animation for the film. This was inspired by the Comic Books and Comic based Animated TV shows from the 90s that influenced the story. The Motion Comic/Graphic Novel style we’ve chosen are stills with moving elements that create a classic yet dynamic feeling that’s perfect for the film. This Animation will provide a fun and exciting way to bring the Superheroes/Super Villains and their world to life without having to do heavy Special Effects and blowing up buildings. Animation will also be incorporated in actual live-action shots to add to the atmosphere and the world of Havoc. 

THE PRODUCTION DESIGN

The Production Design in A Day of Havoc is extremely important and incredibly challenging to create a rich, believable, and seamless Superhero/Super Villain world. It’s vital to create the right atmosphere to capture the attention and build authenticity for the audience so they can be drawn into the world wholeheartedly. By taking real physical locations in Los Angeles and utilizing the right set dressing and key props, we will transform the Los Angeles we know today into a Los Angeles filled with Superheroes and Super Villains. In addition, the color scheme of the Production Design will assist in the progression of the story and journey of Havoc. We have a warm, vibrant world created through Production Design that represents the world with Havoc as a bystander and not a villain, and a cool, listless world where Havoc starts to become a part of that world.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The risks and challenges that come with completing A Day of Havoc lies within all the additional elements of this film on top of the already difficult nature of finishing a film. The Animation, the Visual Effects, and the Music are the biggest challenges of this film. In more common Live-Action films without Animation or Animated films without Live-Action, the added risks and challenges involved in successfully incorporating the two mediums of filmmaking are undeniable. The significant amount of Visual Effects required in the Live-Action and building a score that compliments, but doesn’t compete with the story, will be a unique test. But I’m not worried about an unfinished film; instead I'm aiming for a completed high quality film that everyone can be proud of. Please, take a look at the few scenes we’ve already shot that we’ve included in our video.

A Day of Havoc is my Thesis film at Loyola Marymount University so the possibility of not completing it is slim to none. It’s true that setbacks can always happen, but that’s when having great people around you is a lifesaver. And fortunately for me, I’ve surrounded myself with all great people. I have two phenomenal Animators that I’ve been working with on the ideas and the story for almost 6 months now. The Visual Effects Artist I have onboard is a young, but talented guy that’s dedicated wholeheartedly to the project. I’ve previously worked with my Composer on a film last year so we know how to work with each other and have a great respect for the work we each do. Plus, many of the crew members like my Director of Photographer and Producer are multifaceted filmmakers themselves and would be more than willing to give me a helping hand.

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