The World of Night School Vampire Hunter Trilogy
‘Journey from Vision to Reality’
The Beginning: The Idea
As authors we say we love all our Book babies the same. Now this is probably true on many levels, we love them equally due to the fact, each was conceived through our imaginations; beginning as a small seed, a germ of an idea, that blossomed and was given birth through, sweat, tears, sometimes blood(if the writing process is arduous enoughJ) and more than likely some version of caffeine… So yes, we love each and every one of our creations. But just as parents of flesh and blood children, there are moments that ONE of your children are slightly more understood by you, more ‘like’--- you and simply…and yes, I hate to say, may be favored a tad---more by you. No---No we probably would never admit that this is true; but if we look into the deepest, shadowed recesses of our hearts we know it is a fact.J
So if I would ever admit this is true---of course, not saying that it is J I would say at present, my first foray into writing solo the Night School Vampire Hunter Trilogy would be the story which I---just get. That is a tad closer to my heart than the other projects I’ve written. Now, I am unsure whether this will always be true, although I suspect it will; there is always a special place for that first.
So my first Book Baby is Night School Vampire Hunter trilogy, and although I have always strived to keep it simple. I just couldn’t seem to do so; it went from just a normal story of a troubled high school girl with virtually no family, besides the brother she adored; to that of soul searing love, murder---mayhem and possibly the end of civilization as we know it. This particular story has actually birthed a spin off--- from it was given birth the basis of my first full length novel soon to be released Chrysalis and the fantastical world of Bid’aBan.
Did it stop there? No, The need to see my characters as alive and walking blossomed in my heart and I am not one to wait---although, yes in some cases I have no choice --- but I wanted to see Ame Academy which I felt was just so very cool and the group of kids that surrounded and fought with Angel--- the main character in the trilogy. I wanted to see Rafael, the mysterious boy who speaks of loving Angel through two lifetimes. I wanted to see the incredible creatures, from Jinns, Dhamphirs, Natural Born Vampires, and ThunderKins (Shifters descended from the Great ThunderBird!) Granted I may not be able to see---as of yet--- this vision, in the WAY I wish to and on the level; but I also could not wait for the hope of Hollywood to suddenly discover us (Me and of course my children at Ame Academy.J)--- I knew that I needed to give birth to this vision; this was the desire that had taken a hold of me and urged me to publish my first book.
So I knew I had no choice but to follow my muse down the rabbit hole….
Making of a Vision
Ame Academy Elite
The Idea of Ame Academy Elite of course was inspired by Night School Vampire Hunter; but only the characters and the world. The webisode series might touch on bits and pieces of what happened in the novella series, but I envisioned a whole fresh bag of adventures and ideas for the gang in the web TV. series.
I knew the first step on this road to the flesh and blood Ame Academy, would be creating a prototype or beta version of what I imagined. Basically a rough draft; authors or anyone who has ever written a document before---letter, essay, whatever, realizes that to begin, all the ideas must be placed down on paper and shaped as best as possible; then from there the cut, trim and tweak to create the masterpiece that every author or producer of content wishes for when writing.
The same is to be said for video. Now I will preface this by saying that prior to this I had no experience in screenwriting, or film production. In my former job as a Director of an After School Center I had written and produced countless of plays and skits which I videotaped and ‘produced’ for student movies. I worked with a graphic artist and had been through the back end of video production on my student films for several years. I also taught drama workshops and film classes for other after school programs. But I was no expert, never having received formal training, basically going by instincts. So my thought for the webisode was well why not do the same?
This was an entirely different world. Previously I had only worked with students, children up to their teens. In the present project I would work with teens and adults. In my previous productions, I had a readymade environment, i.e. equipment, location for practice and accepting audience---because everyone loves to see their ‘baby” perform.
In putting together Ame Academy, I worked with adults and teens, where it was up to me to coordinate jobs schedules and locations for practice and performance. This was new, but I went in ready for the challenge.
I was blessed to have worked with a young woman, with a readymade group of friends, who was willing ‘to try” this crazy endeavor! I had previously used several of the young people on my book covers for Night School Vampire Hunter and Chrysalis; so this time more of the friends came on board.
The group volunteered for the project and coordinated their work schedules working at night. We met at coffee shops for script run through and practice in the local park during a hundred degree heat at Ten pm at night.
The group met on film day and sign on for a seven hour day, working in a building over a hundred years old with no air condition on a hundred and two degree day in Texas!
I was blessed with this bunch of young people who were willing to take this risk!
As stated, it was up to me to locate a place for filming, so a budget the size of an ant, I was blessed to procure a few hours at the Pythian Home, which is a Children’s Home here in Texas. There we were able to re-create the world of Ame Academy; it included everything from location to set design!
Although rocky at first, things were coming together, although I wasn’t sure if this would happen; two days before filming, I lost one of the actors who was a major character! So I had to re-do the script, which the actors (who were ALL new to acting) had to learn in twenty-four hours! The cast wanted to move forth, banking on the fact, the kids ‘within’ the movie were also during a play production, so there was some improvisation with dialogue and propsJ
Previously for weeks, I had worked to gain a videographer for this project, although I had taped before, I was no professional! But with virtually no budget or vast amount of lead-time there were no takers; I would have to tape myself.
I was afraid; I was used to working with kids, but never adults. I was used to student productions, but to have all these people re-arrange their lives, to come out and work for hours for no pay, in extremely uncomfortable conditions just to make real a vision of a world in my head----was humbling--- I was terrified!
But, after the crushing self doubt, moving past the heaviness of the rejections from professionals who did not wish to take a chance--- the motley crew and myself moved forward.
The film day was bittersweet---lots of challenges but also lots of fun! We prepared and taped for seven hours working until almost twelve at night! But I believe it’s an experience we would never forget. During that time, we were in Ame Academy. That world became real, the feel of producing a live performance became---addictive; I was on a high for days, wanting to do another one!
But I knew a long road lay ahead. I am grateful also to Author Courtney Vail of CVWriters Designs who was one of the professionals who did ‘take a chance” on this projectJ She signed on to edit the footage, although just as with the rest of us, she was new to it all as far as webisode production.
So the footage was taken and is now with CVWriters Design. There has been feedback such as the audio is a challenge to enhance post production, ---and I knew going in this might be a problem area, so the fault lies at my door, due to the video equipment will need to be updated;J also other problems with lighting and many areas that needed to be tweaked.
Why am I divulging all of this? Because it is a work in progress, I am big on Behind the Scenes so there is nothing to hide. Because what I would like readers and any viewers, who might see the webisode to take from this, is that this is NOT a finish product---but the beginning of a dream.
I will probably not distribute the webisode for the mass audience; this was a beta--- a test product. We all were learning, so yes there will be major flaws. But I count it as a success. I will probably have a private screening in October when the third in the novella (hopefully will be released.) Just to receive viewer feedback and tips, plus my hope is to use this prototype to show film students--- I am looking to bring professional help on for the actual webisode filming. Also, my hope is that when seeing the final product of this beta video, that the actors would one--- want to sign back on for the project; and two--- learn from it, and from there we tweak what is needed.
This is all a journey in learning, and there is no shame in that. I have worked in the area of education for twenty years, and that is what I was trained to do---teach, learn and explore and from our mistakes we move on.
So what do I hope? I hope to begin filming next year, the first actual footage of the Ame Academy webisode, but during this time between now and then, I will be working. Learning more of script writing, video production and all else that is included.
Like publishing a book for the first time, it’s a challenge---but I love challengesJ
Again, I count it all as a success, because we did escape, for those few hours into a world I actually created! Wow! It came alive and it was simply awesome!
Below a few pictures from film day and a few clips of practice and the Welcome to Ame Academy video when actors arrived on location.
Thanks so much Marilyn for allowing me the opportunity to talk on my vision:O)
Night School Vampire Hunter Trilogy’s
Ame Academy Elite
Ame Academy Film Day Pre shoot Preparation: Cast Members: Jessica Becerra and Javier Gonzales (Characters: BellaDonna and Aleksander M.)
Ame Academy Film Day: Cast Members: (left) Adam Becerra a.k.a. Rafael Santiago and (right) Javier Gonzales a.k.a. Mr. M.
Ame Academy Film Day Script run through full cast. Cast Members: (From Left) Brianna J. a.k.a. Angel, Adam Becerra a.k.a. Rafael Santiago, Javier Gonzalez a.k.a. Mr. M., Nancy a.k.a. Madison Clark
Ame Academy Film Day Run Through- Cast member far right: Allison W. a.k.a. Elin Pavlov
Ame Academy Film Day: Night Shooting
Ame Academy Film Day: Night Shooting Cast takes a break
Ame Academy Film Day: Night Shooting: Cast Member Lauren H.
A long day of filming.
Welcome to Ame Academy Meet the cast!
About this author
Michelle Cornwell-Jordan is a New Adult/Young Adult-Paranormal Author. Her titles include a YA Novella series Night School Vampire Hunter Trilogy and upcoming novel Chrysalis.
She is also the producer of the online radio segment IndieReview Behind The Scenes, where she and her co-host Jamie B Musings interviews Indie Authors and Musicians.
Michelle has been married for 18 years and has a 15 year old daughter. A book lover, her favorite genre has always been paranormal adventures.
Another love is writing. Michelle has been writing about as long as she has been a bibliophile! Losing herself in a fantasy world that she is creating on paper is how she loves spending her spare time.
Oh, and one final secret about Michelle is that she believes that she also has a secret power, but if she told, she would have to zap ya!
Night School Vampire Hunter Trilogy (Novella1&2)
Sales Link: http://www.amazon.com/Kindred-Vampire-Trilogy-Novella-ebook/dp/B00AA04YW0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376768321&sr=8-1&keywords=Kindred+Night+School+Vampire+Hunter
Author, Producer, Host
IndieReview Behind The Scenes Internet radio
Author, Producer, Host
IndieReview Behind The Scenes Internet radio
IndieWritersReview YA Blog
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