The suspense, romance and vampires from the earliest days of cinema to the present mesmerized their way into our cinematic vocabulary. “Twisted Dream Dead Moon” by local author, Chelsea Raine, is coming to life in a movie short. Raine has written a screenplay of her first novel and hopes it will hit the big screen or TV. But for now, she will release it on YouTube this fall.
“I just want to get it out there and to get as many hits as possible,” Ms. Raine said. Many talented people got their break on YouTube and Raine is willing and passionate enough to try. She believes if you don’t risk failure to succeed, then you will never amount to anything.
The first day of shooting began Sunday on location at a Victorian home in Chester, offered by Phillip and Angela Allen. The Allen’s neighbor, who is a client of Raine, knew the big Victorian home would be just right for Raine’s filming needs. Raine works full-time as a professional hair stylist. Angela Allen has read Raine’s book and really liked it.
“We just wanted to help out,” said Ms. Allen. “I thought the book was good and I am
interested in why vampires have to hide and am curious about their lifestyle.”
“Twisted Dream, Dead Moon,” published in 2010, is one of four in, what Raine plans to be, an epic series, The series is about Isla Van Burren, an average American girl, and her story of romance and the fight between good and evil, love and passion.
“It’s a fight for love and passion that erupts like a volcano between Isla Michelle Van Burren and Johnathon Daine, an honorable vampire,” Raine said. “I have always been fascinated with vampires and the mysterious magnetism that the bloodthirsty necromancers have on me and others. Vampires are the phenomenon of the world. The idea came to me to write my own vampire story so the Twisted Dream Epic Series was born.”
According to Joan Gordon, Veronica Hollinger, co-authors of “Blood Read: The Vampire As Metaphor in Contemporary Culture,” the similarities between death from a vampire’s bite and death by consumption denote the initial embrace of the vampire-as-disease metaphor: the associations with wasting, with paleness, with blood flow from the mouth, night restlessness, alternate burning and chills, even the victim’s rumored sexual energy make the vampire a natural metaphor for the symptoms of 19th century epidemics.
Raine arrived in Chester from Austin, Texas. She married young and her husband’s job transferred them to Virginia. The moved changed her life and her marriage ended in divorce. She said she did meet the man of her dreams and remarried. She and her husband, John, have a five-year-old daughter. Realizing she wanted her daughter to have chances in life that she never had, Raine began writing. “God helps those who help themselves,” she always says. So when the story of Isla and Johnathon began to form in her mind, she knew it was her calling.
Raine has dedicated a lot of energy and hours of preparation to be able to produce the movie. With websites and ongoing fund raising, she said the most difficult part of the process has been condensing the book into a screenplay, which could be a two-hour movie.
Consulting with the manager at New Millennium Studios in Petersburg, Raine said, “I was advised to shorten my script. I just can’t shorten it anymore. I would rather take away from the film during the editing process than take away from the story. My goal for the film is for people to walk away from the theater and say it is just like the book.”
Working on a shoe-string budget, Raine has recruited friends and family volunteering their time as actors. “I am hoping to find an investor, not only to help produce the movie but to invest in the books as well.” Right now she is wearing many hats as author, screenplay writer, director, actress, singer and songwriter, all for the movie. Another lead actress, Erin Atkinson, playing the character of Jeziaka, a vampire, is also helping with the soundtrack and writing lyrics. Raine’s husband, John Radcliff, has been recruited as an actor, as well as cameraman and film editor. Radcliff, a very patient husband, is still trying to take it all in.
“I am still thinking about it,” he said. “It is nice to see people take their time and their talent and put it toward this project. It is really cool. There have been pit falls here and there, but that’s life.”
“Our cast and crew for “Twisted Dream, Dead Moon” is as dedicated and excited about this project as I am,” Raine said. “At this moment they are volunteering their services.
Without them, the dream of ‘Twisted Dream, Dead Moon’ would be impossible. There are few words that can be spoken as to how much this means to me.”
Organizing a project like this not only takes a lot of time of finding the right props and building them, but costumes need to be made and special make-up needs to be purchased, there are fees for location shots and vampire teeth are not cheap. Along with fundraising projects such as a scheduled Battle of the Bands in Fredericksburg, an ongoing campaign on indigogo.com and t-shirt sales on zazzle.com, Raine is also reaching to folks or companies in a position to donate or lend out props. For those interested there is a list of needs on the official website at www.dragonflydagger.com for the movie and if there is immediate interest, Raine said she may be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to her website, Raine has completed the second book of the series, “Islathon Book 2”, which is getting ready to be printed. It can be pre-ordered, from dragonflydagger.com/books and has been picked up by Strategic Books. She is coming to the end of Blackheart which is book three. The soundtrack for the movie is in progress.