Archive for the ‘Kickstarter Campaign’ Category


October 21, 2015

Hi kiddies!

The monstrous fish people created by J. Anthony Kosar and his team at Kosart Effects are amazing!  I knew early on that I wanted to shoot portraits of these Deep One characters to compliment my main INNSMOUTH photograph.  Because the story by H.P. Lovecraft Shadow Over Innsmouth was written in 1931 and describes generations of Innsmouth inhabitants going back decades, I decided to shoot the portraits as genuine wet plate photographs utilizing photo technology from the 1800’s.


The Veteran


The Madame


The Bride


The Merchant

This type of wet plate photography is as esoteric as alchemy and utilizes dangerous chemicals that can choke you out or even cause an explosion.   Out of my depth technically, but still insistent upon authenticity, I recruited my friend and knowledgeable wet plate photographer Steve Wilson to come in and help.  I met Steve Wilson when I worked for him at Hallmark Cards as a young photographer. He was an early important mentor and it was joyous and nostalgic to work with him again.


We shot the portraits in my home.  Kosar and I dressed wooden mannequins in period costumes and posed them for the camera.


Steve used a powerful HMI light because wet plate has a very slow exposure time and requires a crazy amount of light.  I loved the idea that some young man from Innsmouth participated in the Civil War as a Massachusetts resident.


Here you can see Steve manning the giant 8×10 View Camera.  He was very generous in allowing me to help frame and light our portrait subjects.


After exposing a metal plate that he had prepared with a light-sensitive chemical coating, Steve would remove the plate from the camera and develop it my kitchen while we watched with amazement.


I think Steve’s artistry and the singular aesthetics of the wet plate process lend themselves beautifully to gothic subject matter, and hope for further collaborations in the future!


Interested in owning a print?  11×14 archival prints are currently for sale in my Online Store!

More Innsmouth goodies coming soon!


October 1, 2015

Hi kiddies!

This is my new photograph called INNSMOUTH.  This image is based on the story Shadow Over Innsmouth by legendary Horror author H.P. Lovecraft. This photograph stars actor Doug Jones (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) as the victim and features Special FX from frequent collaborator and Face/Off champion J. Anthony Kosar and his talented team at Kosart Studios.





In the 1931 story Shadow Over Innsmouth, the human victim is chased through the streets of the seaside town of Innsmouth by a teeming mob of monstrous fish people called the Deep Ones. The imagery of a sole individual being pursued by a city full of monsters is similar to Invasion of The Body Snatchers, I Am Legend, or any modern zombie movie, but exists first in Shadow Over Innsmouth.  As with my previous zombie photograph LAST STAND, INNSMOUTH is populated by a horde of monsters, not just one!

Staging the scene in deep focus with extreme foreground elements was inspired by my love for Citizen Kane.  Giving the monsters daggers was inspired by the assassination scene in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.  There are no daggers in the original story, but Lovecraft does make a point of describing the strange gold jewelry worn by the Deep Ones.  I changed the gold jewelry into golden knives, so that my swarm of monsters could fish-gut their cornered victim.

We ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for this ambitious tribute to H.P. Lovecraft to help celebrate the 125th anniversary of his birth. Many talented people came together for this grand collaboration.

My cousins Steve and Jerry Hoffine and Mike Clouse from the haunted house 3rd St. Asylum in Bonner Springs, Kansas built the walls in Jerry’s carpentry shop.  They are all big men and accustomed to wearing masks for extended periods of time, so they also flew to Chicago to play the lead monsters in the photo-shoot.


Our friend Kyle Stanley helped paint the styrofoam brick walls.  Kyle is a professional artist and has a booming business making custom illustrated shoes.  He drove up to Chicago to play a monster as well. Kyle is the monster on the far right with the bowler hat and bugging eyes.




My faithful assistant Demian Vela transported me, all of my photo equipment, and the brick wall we created in a rented U-Haul trailer from Kansas City to J. Anthony Kosar’s studio in Chicago.  He also plays one of the monsters in the photo!


Kosar and his talented team spent weeks creating the crowd of Deep Ones. Kosar acted as Concept Designer, FX Supervisor, and Lead Artist, with Jamie Leodones and Stevie Calabrese leading the charge as key artists, and Dina Cimarusti, Matt Kapolczynski, and Neil Viola jumping in as additional sculptors.  Joseph Kosar, as always, helped every step of the way.



The great Celine Collins at MonkeyWrench Clothing hand-made the costume for my star Doug Jones.  I wanted him dressed as a white collar city slicker – an outsider – to contrast the blue collar mob of Innsmouth locals.  He was forced to abandon his coat and tie and hat in his hasty retreat.


Doug Jones is famous to Horror fans for his roles in HellBoy, Pan’s Labyrinth, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Crimson Peak, and countless other movies. Here you can see my wife and savior Jen Hoffine adjusting Doug’s sleeve on set at Kosar’s studio.  Everyone was giddy to spend time with Doug.


Kosar created a virtual army of monsters as pull-over masks and gloves. With my encouragement, he mixed elements of piranha and the Creature from the Black Lagoon into his designs.  His collection of Deep Ones is truly amazing!



Here you can see Kosar giving Doug possibly the easiest make-up application of his illustrious career as film actor and suit performer.


In addition to Demian, Kyle, and the Cousins, several other friends suited up to play monsters, including Justin Gardner, Mark Lancaster, Coye Vega, and Dan Dudych.  Costumes and prop knives were loaned to us by Jerry Vest at my favorite prop house Have Guns Will Rent in Kansas City.


I used several strobe lights to ensure my  whole scene would be in focus at F/22, including a special battery-powered strobe inside the lantern.  Thank you to photographer Barrett McGivney for the additional equipment, tech support, and behind-the-scenes photos.




Spending time with Doug Jones is too awesome to convey in words.






Careful framing and the liberal use of fog completed the illusion of an outdoor night scene.


The brick building in the distant background of the final shot is actually 3rd St. Asylum, the haunted house run by my Cousins.  I photographed their brick building one evening at dusk and composited that detail into the background behind my original staged scene with the costumed models and fog.  If I’d had more money, I might’ve built the entire city as a set.  As it is, the illusion is seamless and I enjoy the secret nod to my Cousins.


A huge thank you to my MasterMind/Producer on this project Chad Hawks – pictured here in red on the far left – who worked harder than anybody to make this project a reality!


A special thank you to my chief collaborators on this project – the magical Doug Jones, and the brilliant Special FX artists J. Anthony Kosar, Jamie Leodones, and Stevie Calabrese!  Such fantastic work!


And lastly a tremendous heartfelt thank you to all of our Kickstarter supporters, especially our mega-backers Matthew & Dawn Cheek and family, and Alan Harris!  And a big thank you to the leaders of the H.P. Lovecraft community who helped spread the word about our project – including Aaron Vanek and James Knouse at the HPLFF in Los Angeles, Neils Hobbs at NecronomiCon in Rhode Island, Brian & Gwen Callahan at CthulhuCon and the Arkham Bazaar and HPLFF in Portland, Tom Jenkins, Mike Davis at the HPL-Ezine, Chad & Chris at the HPL Literary Podcast, and Sean Branney & Andrew Leman at the HPL Historical Society. We could never have done this without you! Hail Cthulhu!

To own a signed print of this photograph visit my Online Store.  Signed 13×19 Archival Prints are On Sale with FREE SHIPPING.

More Innsmouth goodies coming soon!

1 Week Left for INNSMOUTH on Kickstarter!

May 10, 2015

Only 1 Week remains to contribute and become a part of our new INNSMOUTH project on Kickstarter!


This project is based on H.P. Lovecraft’s classic story The Shadow Over Innsmouth and stars the great Doug Jones (HELLBOY, PAN’S LABYRINTH)!





The photo will also feature Special Creature Effects by FACE/OFF Champion J. Anthony Kosar!


Earn amazing rewards like signed prints, unique prop collectibles, and original masks and maquettes!





With your help, this will be my biggest photo ever!  Can’t afford to contribute?  You can still help by telling everyone your know.  Every gesture, no matter how small, is deeply appreciated!  This photo is going to be great!


April 22, 2015



My new Horror photo called INNSMOUTH is based on H.P. Lovecraft’s story Shadow Over Innsmouth. This image will feature the human victim of the story being pursued and surrounded by a terrifying mob of amphibious people called The Deep Ones, as he tries to escape from the decrepit seaside town of INNSMOUTH.

TV’s FACE/OFF Champion J. Anthony Kosar is creating all of the monster effects, and the human role is going to be played by famous actor Doug Jones, who was Abe Sapien in the HELLBOY movies, as well as The Faun and The Pale Man in PAN’S LABYRINTH (among many others)!


I discovered Lovecraft a few years ago when Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine commissioned me to shoot a project based on Lovecraft’s story Pickman’s Model. I’ve since become smitten with his writings. He deserves his title as the inventor of modern Horror. Part of what makes him intriguing is the long-standing tradition of other artists contributing to his ‘mythos’. ‘Mythos’ refers to the way his stories are all loosely connected and exist in the same world. Other writers, beginning in his own lifetime, began writing homage stories that incorporated and expanded his mythos, making it even grander. This tradition includes contemporary writers like Neil Gaiman and Stephen King. This year marks the 125th anniversary of his birth, so I thought this would be a wonderful time to do another Lovecraft project.


In the 1931 story Shadow Over Innsmouth, the human victim is being chased through the streets by an entire city full of monsters out to get him. The imagery is similar to Invasion of The Body Snatchers, I Am Legend, or any modern zombie movie, but exists first in Shadow Over Innsmouth. As with our zombie project LAST STAND, I am excited INNSMOUTH will be populated by a horde of monsters, not just one!

I’m trying to find every secret Lovecraft fan on the planet. If you could, please help by sharing info about this project with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or any other place else you can think of!

Thank you my friends! Hail Cthulhu!

INNSMOUTH on Kickstarter!

April 15, 2015

I just launched a Kickstarter campaign for my next ambitious photo project!  This image will be based on H.P. Lovecraft’s story Shadow Over Innsmouth and stars the great Doug Jones (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, Silver Surfer) as well as movie-worthy creature effects by FACE/OFF Champion J. Anthony Kosar!



This is my most ambitious project to date and we have thrown together an amazing array of rewards that include signed prints, unique collectibles, and original masks!  Check it out and tell all your friends!

HuffPost Live

October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Check out my 15 minutes of fame on HuffPost Live!



March 14, 2013

Hi kiddies!  While I am saving the debut of my big zombie photograph LAST STAND until the Last Rites Gallery opening in NYC on Memorial Day Weekend, here are some fun making-of pics from last week’s photo-shoot.

We built our set at the 3rd St. Asylum Haunted House in Bonner Springs, Kansas.  My cousins Jerry and Steve Hoffine did all of the carpentry and construction.



Bill Rose and his girlfriend Michelle stayed up late one night to wallpaper my set for me.



Here you can see Steve and Bill measuring the shag carpet.


I filled the set with my gathered props.  Jerry Hoffine and Mike Clouse destroyed the door by jumping on it.



Here you can see me talking with J. Anthony Kosar, who drove in from Chicago to lead the make-up team.  Beside me is my regular assistant Demian Vela, and behind us is Colin, one of my drafted zombie models.



Kosar’s sculpted appliances were marvelous.




Meagan Hester from FACE/OFF Season 4 flew in from NYC to help Kosar with the make-up effects.




Kansas City make-up artist Jeff Sisson also came down to help.  Here you can see him working on my regular assistant Demian Vela, who was excited to finally be on the other side of the camera.


My lovely bride Jen Hoffine, who played the title role in LADY BATHORY, also played a zombie.


My favorite model Bob Barber is feeling better and came in to be a zombie as well.



Brian Wendling, the man walking the tightrope in my early photograph DEATH, played one of the zombies attacking my daughter Sadie.  Here you can really see how good Kosar is with his make-up.




Brenna and her mom Rita work for 3rd St. Asylum and also helped with the make-up.


Demian with Kosar and Meagan, loving it.


My producer Justin Gardner.


My star A. Michael Baldwin on set, having fun.


Me with Brian and my daughter Sadie on set.


My brother-in-law Felix helping run camera.


My friend Erica Kauffman played the Mother character.  Here you can see Davis biting her arm as she reaches for her pistol.  And yes, that is a dinosaur.



A special thank you to  Mehron Make-up, who generously provided make-up and blood for our art project.

LAST STAND coming soon!

Photos courtesy of Anna Perry.

Kickstarting My New Zombie Project!

January 17, 2013

Hi kiddies!  I have officially started my first Kickstarter Project!

From May 25th through June 29th 2013, the great Travis Louie will be curating a show at the Last Rites Gallery in NYC entitled “ZOMBIE.” He has been kind enough to invite me to be a part of this show, so I am raising funds to help with the costs of creating my most ambitious photograph ever, “LAST STAND.”

This photograph will feature a family in their last moments right before they are completely consumed by a horde of zombies! The central figure will be the Father, who is blasting a zombie in the head with a shotgun.  My camera will freeze every detail of this explosive moment. The Father does not realize that right behind him his wife and children are already being taken down and eaten by the zombies pouring in through the broken barricades of the front door. This image will include over a dozen characters in full zombie make-up interacting all at once, on a set that will be destroyed by gunfire and fake blood.

Please check out my Kickstarter Page. There are wonderful incentives, and all pledges will receive a signed print of the final image. Tell all of your friends, help spread the word by sharing my link on Facebook, and let everybody know.  This image will be amazing!

I have already cast the role of the Father, and I am thrilled to announce that he will be played by none other than PHANTASM’s A. Michael Baldwin!

The special effects will be led by my friend J. Anthony Kosar, who recently exhibited my work in his Chicago gallery, and made his television debut this past week on Season 4 of Face/Off!  He is monstrously talented and a sweetheart and we are very proud of him! He won both events on the first episode – can you believe that? I am super-excited about our upcoming collaboration.

All prints will be signed by me, Kosar, and my star Baldwin.

Please help spread the word.  I will keep you updated on progress!


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