What You Leave Behind Synopsis

"Going into shock soon. Hate to be harsh, but if you have unfinished business, or anything to tell someone... might not have much time."

Driven by obsession, he left Texas and dove deep into the psychedelic heart of Old Mexico, chasing a dream that may cost his life.

Skip didn't know what was driving him exactly. He just knew that he had a story to get out and it had to be done before he slipped into the daily drudgery of earning a living for the rest of his life. His mother had passed away the year before without finishing her dream of publishing a book.

On previous trips, Skip had used the intense surreal nature of Mexico to fuel his creative efforts and he knew that if he could just get there with the kernel of an idea, he could use the flood of raw Mexican culture to fuel the rest. 

Skip wasn't too sure about the strange spirit world stories he'd heard along the travel trail, but he'd seen enough odd events that he couldn't explain. There was a mystique and power in Mexico that is different than any other country he'd traveled in. If only he could grab onto that mystic power and hang on long enough, he'd have the creative gold to propel him toward his cinematic destiny. 

It all started off well enough, but soon one thing after another happened that should have sent him packing. But, he just kept pushing himself through injury and pain until he'd reached the desert. Skip figured he was a third the way there and forging ahead was paying off. Or so he thought. 

An ex-entertainment attorney going by the alias of Diego, living in the desert, fasting and drinking his own urine while waiting for his peyote cactus harvest to dry enough for shipment... suggested Skip fast and eat peyote for his pain. The plan made an odd sense and was working well enough to propel him another few days. Until the fateful day he realized he was losing blood and a lot of it very quickly. Still, he continued with the obsession as he made his way up to the town of Real de Catorce to get location photographs. 

At this point his obsession had completely taken over to the point he even thought the orange quality is blood-drained skin had developed was merely a trick of the desert light. He was so close to meeting his objective that he could just taste it. 

Soon Skip began to wake up and realize he'd gone too far and might not make it. A Mexican witch agreed to work the spirits for Skip and by some bizarre bit of good fortune, he actually made it back into the United States and wrote the last lines "Fade Out" before passing out in the bathroom of a Mexican bus bound for his home in Austin, Texas. 

The doctor couldn't figure out how he was still standing and conscious after losing over 60% of his total volume of blood. Perhaps the witch's work paid off, or perhaps the obsession was so strong that it carried him beyond the reasonable. In any case, the doctor told him his brain would soon start shutting down vital organs and that there may be nothing they can do to save his life. The doctor said, "I hate to be so direct and harsh about this, but if you have any unfinished business you need to take care of or anything you need to say to anyone... now is the time. You might not have much time left."

READ Online Screenplay via Private Page HERE

The screenplay has been reworked and has a new title now "What You Leave Behind"

This still images below where made in Mexico while writing the screenplay. The first portrait image of the Mexican woman, is the actual person the character named Petra is based on. The portrait of the old man in the desert is the actual Don Tomas character. Both are very comfortable with a camera pointed at them and could easily be utilized as actors in the movie.
A travel journal was kept during the initial script writing trip. It has more location stills and location details HERE

Finished editing "Riding the Chupacabra"...for now ;)

Just finished tweaking the screenplay and changed the title from "Chupacabra" to "Riding the Chupacabra". Updated the teaser trailer with new title and tightened it a bit.

Had to change some names and it completely made the formatting go haywire. Was up past 3AM removing extra spaces and such. Ouch!

For those who have the password to read the online version, I just uploaded a brand new version that's much tighter and more lean. If you wanted to read it but didn't get around to it... should be a good read now.

At this point, I'm going to call this latest revision the last... unless I end up actually producing this. It started as a rough guide of something I might shoot on my own at some point, and evolved into something a bit more solid. 

The version on the private page has been updated and also has some location stills as well as the updated teaser trailer. Just refresh the screen.

It seems the name "Chupacabra" was implying more of a monster movie, when the monster in this psychedelic, travel suspense drama is more the internal variety. 

Wanted to keep the Chupacabra name in the title and since most of the travel is by bus, so I went with "Riding the Chupacabra". There's a phrase "Riding the Dog" which refers to Greyhound cross-country bus travel. I was never 100% happy with the title, but I think this new one is perfect. 

I'll enter a couple competitions. Whether I do anything beyond that... Quien Sabe :)

Soon I'll be on the road with my motorcycle again!

Chupacabra teaser movie trailer

Not final but getting closer!

Just a teaser/trailer. Have only just written a complete draft of the script. I think it's decent, but it needs to be tightened up. After I get it tightened up, this will hopefully at least serve to hopefully get someone to read it. ;)

It's not a final. I'd redo the text in Apple Motion. These were just the limited styles available in iMovie. Will leave it alone for now, but will likely add better type and subtle effects. Gotta move my attention to the actual script now. 

Chupacabra Title Sequence

Was hoping to collaborate with a friend on a Chupacabra teaser trailer... but it doesn't look like it's going to work out. Got some good ideas out of the process that I'll likely use, so it wasn't a complete bust. :)

So, since this is all about as speculative as you can get, I'm going to have to try and cobble something together myself. I've done it before, but it's been a long time. I did dip into my large library of stock video footage and found some stuff I think I can use, along with the recent Mexico footage I shot in September and just a month ago. 

And, I sound some creative commons music I like that fits the mood I'm going for. Still sorting through my clips, but here's a little title sequence I'm playing with using some heartbeat and the music I found. Will add the credit for the musician who's work I used to the actual teaser trailer.

Gonna keep pushing the Chupacabra...

...further on down the trail

After a little thought, I'm going to forge ahead with the Chupacabra Movie Project. Thinking I'll refine this script, ie. emphasize some points, more visual description, cut out some of the slow parts that aren't essential (mostly toward beginning and a bit toward the beginning of 3rd act), bring up the driving obsession earlier and show more evidence of it, possibly introduce a vague "inner Chupacabra demon" and loosely reference here and there, and add one more strong scene from the story the main characters writing to splice in about 2/3rds the way through. I toned down the screenwriting references on this version, but will tone them down some more. Don't want so much emphasis on the "writing story" and more on the "blind obsession story". 

Want to use the main character's photo stills he shoots as visual vehicle/FX throughout. Going to do all this and clock it in closer to a tight 100 pages. I believe this will be enough for me to make the rounds to get help. In the meantime, will likely start writing something short that takes place here in Texas that's logistically easier to knock out... just to keep the creative wheels rolling, but I'm convinced this Chupacabra story has potential and is a decent bet.

A friend is going to take a stab at making a new trailer as well. Might cut something else that's richer myself too in case his schedule puts it on the back burner too long. Looked through  the quickie clips I shot with a little YouTube style flip-cam in September, along with the fresh time-lapse and desert stuff I shot, and I think I've got enough to make something a bit better. I really like the Doors, but using their music but since I don't have a license to use it, if of my band pals have something they think would work nicely and would let me use, have a look at the rough trailer I linked to above and drop me a note. 

If you're someone who has any experience at all in shooting motion for dramatic cinema, and or experience recording audio for cinema and this project interests you, drop me a note. At bare minimum I will need 3 person crew that includes myself, and 2 male actors. If you've read the screenplay, 1 actor to play the "Skip" character and 1 other actor other to play the "Diego" character (he's not hispanic - that's just an alias). I can use locals for all the other parts if I have to. 

Onward! :)

~ Skip Hunt

Should the Chupacabra Screenplay LIVE or DIE?

In 2012 I made an audio recording of a personal true story that happened in Mexico and many have enjoyed me tell over the years. I then took that audio recording a step further and revisited the locations in the story in September of 2012, started a screenplay version based on the true story and took some still photos of the places and some of the people I'd use if I actually made it into a movie. 

I didn't get it completed on that trip, but I was close. So, I recently went back specifically to at least finish the screenplay I'd started. I found it easier to do so in Mexico with actual references and fewer everyday distractions, but I also enjoy spending time in Mexico anyway, so when I wasn't making simple edits to what I'd already written, as well as finishing up the screenplay... I shot some video clips using a small action camera that my wife got me as a Christmas gift. 

I really only took the new action cam along because I wanted to play with some slo-motion and time-lapse video, but I figured I'd see if I could make sort of a loose comp/pre-movie trailer of the desert location to get a feel for how it might go with regard to high dust, and very rustic accommodation, etc. I also wanted to see how it'd go getting non-actors to read a bit of text I'd written and doing a few actions in front of the camera. 

So, although the resulting video edit isn't really from what I'd actually shoot, I did get what I was after... ie. that given a small crew, a couple actors, a little dough for expenses, and some low-end cinema gear... I might actually be able to pull it off and have something watchable that some might find entertaining. 

Now I'm at the point I need to decide if I'm going to let this just remain where it's at, and start something new, or pursue this one I'm calling Chupacabra further along the trail. What I don't know is if this story would actually be interesting to anyone other than me in cinematic format. I also don't know if what I wrote would be compelling enough for others to hold their attention for the length of a movie. 

It may very well be something that should just remain an oral story I tell over campfires every now and then. 

What I would like is is anyone is interested in reading a PDF of what I wrote, and letting me know if 1. "This story doesn't do much for me, not my thing." OR 2. "I really liked this story and would totally be interested in seeing it come alive on the screen." Letting me know why you like or don't like the story would be nice, but just getting a simple yes or no with regard to your interest would be great. :)

If you've never read a screenplay, they don't read like a book. Its really just some instructions for how the story is told on the screen. There are descriptions of where shots take place, ie. EXT   DESERT - DAY means exterior shot in the desert during the day. There are simple character/location descriptions, what the characters say, and necessary props are upper case as well as special shots or music cues. 

In short, if you've never read a script before, and even if you have, they're not so easy to follow and a little cryptic unless you're familiar with the format. There are also drug references in the story, so if that sort of thing offends, you might not want to waste your time reading.

If you're familiar with the format AND have an interest in reading what I wrote AND giving me a basic reply soon of whether you'd like to see it on the screen or if it really didn't tickle your fancy, please drop me a message and let me know if you'd like to read the 139-page PDF. 

I posted this before, but here it is on Vimeo below and Flickr HERE Again, this is just a concept video made from a little camera that only has wide-angle coverage and has everything in focus from about a foot to infinity. It's not what you would typically make a narrative movie with, but it's what I had with me at the time, and thought it'd be fun to make something to test the location with. Nothing more.

Here's a link to more info I've gathered on trying to do this independently, some location shots, etc., if anyone is interested.

CHUPACABRA Movie Trailer

Only went to the desert to finish writing the story, but decided to use the gopro hero 3 action cam I was playing with to make a trailer for what I wrote to hopefully generate interest.

I shot in the Wirikuta desert region of San Luis Potosi, Mexico while writing the screenplay based on a true story. After completing the screenplay and while holed up in a simple adobe room I'd rented for the duration, I decided to use the small GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition that I'd brought specifically for time-lapse sequences, but wanted to experiment and shoot a movie trailer for the script I'd just completed.

This is the same location where the movie will be shot, but this is an approximation of the mood the film would have. I simply used what I had available and made due.

Photos from the Chupacabra Tour

Splashes of Color and Texture from Mexico

These are a few images I made while getting location ideas during a trip to Mexico in September 2012 to explore a possible new movie script based on a true story. I managed to get about 110 pages of the script written, but got stuck on the ending. I've since come up with an idea for the ending that requires adding a few pages to the opening. As soon as I can muster up ample enough obsession with this again, I'll at least finish out this draft and tweak dialogue a bit before sharing. 

I'd published a good deal of progress made from the road and had hoped I could keep the obsessive steam going long enough to finish this up from home. Now it seems, I should have just stayed planted in the desert a few more days until I at minimum had the first draft done. 

This project is still very much alive and nagging my psyche to be completed, but the muse is something I've yet to master control of and likely never will. She's never let me down before, so I will await her return patiently.

I'll use this blog to add updates related to the project, but if you'd like to see what I gathered from the road, there are more details HERE

All content within this blog © 2012 Skip Hunt