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Confessions from the Devil

I should have written this blog a year ago. But a combination of exhaustion, misplaced diplomacy and naïve hopefulness brought out the coward in me. I’m ashamed to admit that for the past twelve months, I—along with some close friends and colleagues—have kept silent about a really unfair situation surrounding a very near and dear project. Since you’re reading this blog, chances are that the project in question is special to you as well. It’s much too little, too late, but I want to take this moment to share my perspective on a very unfortunate situation.

confessions

If you follow my work as an artist, you’ve probably noticed that there hasn’t been much in the way of recent public mentions about my latest musical movie, Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival. Not from me. Not from the core team behind the project. And not for some time. There was a lot of hype leading-up to the film’s completion and subsequent promotional tour, yet the actual public release has been rather hushed. There are reasons behind this lackluster launch, and those reasons have nothing to do with a loss of love for the project or amazing fans who have been so supportive over the years.

Although not always effective (or wise), I’ve routinely used this online journal to speak candidly about the hardships of independent filmmaking and the struggles inherent to the artistic process. At times, I’m sure my written ramblings have come across as whiny, self-centered and ungrateful, but I’ve always tried to be honest and (hopefully) engaging.

stroll

I’ve kept the TZ blog for just shy of ten years now. Over that near-decade, I’ve written about many fun things, but have also shared creative failures, personal humiliations, and the occasional bewilderment (like the absurdity of plot similarities between Universal Picture’s Repo Men (2010) and my debut musical film, Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008)). Fans seemed to enjoy this frankness of blog, and I’ve enjoyed the kind comments and words of encouragement from friends and strangers all over the world here.

Over this last year, however, in regards to Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival, I closed off. Turned yellow. Went Nancy. Even though my creative energies are now boldly directed at a new work, the carnival-striped elephant has never left the room. My silence on the subject was wimpy, and it was unfair. Unfair to those whose who were hurt by the situation, including some of you.

profile

Here’s what happened:

It was a year ago this month that a ragtag group of dedicated souls and I boarded a Sprinter van to travel across the country – and parts of Canada – on the Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival film tour. I wrote the screenplay for Alleluia!, which was the sequel to 2012’s The Devil’s Carnival, played the title character in both movies, and spent the better part of five years developing, executing and sharing the end results with anyone who was kind enough to allow it.

This half-decade obsession was born and fueled out of passion and a philosophy that if a handful of likeminded artists banded together to create dark musical films that were humble-in-budget-but-outrageous-in-style, and were tailored to a rad likeminded fanbase, that the enterprise could be self-sustaining and ongoing. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way this vision was corrupted.

silhouette

Before boarding that Sprinter van last August, Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival was already fatigued. The project had taken two years longer than anticipated to get off the ground, and the production went way over budget. To help pay for these overages, the creative side of team Carnival, including yours truly, had to make a series of concessions that resulted in a diminished control of the film and brand.

We weren’t the only ones who stepped up to the plate. There were others who came forward with funds, and more, in order to make sure that the film got finished. As you can imagine, the ongoing contract amendments and up-against-the-wall decisions that we were having to make—often times in the middle of filming—were painful. For me, the situation felt especially unjust because I had nothing to do with the film’s financial overages. But like everyone else, I wanted to see the movie come out and succeed, so I took the situation in stride. Moreover, the idea of disappointing the loyal fanbase that had waited patiently for years to view Alleluia!, seemed unbearable.

down

In spite of our fatigue, The Alleluia Road Tour started off well, but illogical tour routing, poor ground management and worse communication made the adventure more difficult and wasteful than it needed to be. We grinned and bore it because we were excited to be sharing our movie nightly with the fans for whom it was made. Regrettably, mid-way through the tour, the brittle glue that was holding our limping caravan together began bursting at the seams. Those inside of the tour van—most of whom had absolutely nothing to do with the infrastructure of the Carnival brand—were struck with the fallout of a whole lot of bad business. To say that the work environment became a hostile one would be an understatement.

While traveling between cities to try and do our jobs, those in the tour van were confronted with a hailstorm of litigious, bullying and accusatory emails. Grotesque lawyers browbeat and name-called. The salaries of our tour staff were held as ransom. Credit cards that were relied on to book hotels and put gas in the van stopped working, or were cancelled. And morale around the project nosedived.

blue

The tour crew struggled to keep the ship on course. Enduring insults and empty legal threats, we continued nightly to show up at venues and smile as if everything was okay in front of audiences who paid good money to experience and support our film. We didn’t want to disappoint them. Moreover, we all believed that reason would prevail and that the behind-the-scenes of Alleluia! would somehow snap back into place. We were wrong.

In the end, relationships on the project were ruined, workers were stiffed, and two scheduled shows were made to be cancelled without any notice or honest public explanation. At the time, due to the oppressively litigious atmosphere, everyone kept silent about what was going on for fear of legal retribution. Well, it’s been a year and wrongs were never made right, nor even acknowledged. It’s shameful. And I’m ashamed for not speaking up sooner.

nails

Since the tour, I’ve been kept out of the loop of most of the business of Alleluia! and Carnival. I still haven’t even received a copy of the Alleluia! DVD. But even after the unfair way that everything went down, I still love the films—as I hope audiences do, and will continue to do so—and I don’t regret the experiences with the projects. It’s also a relief to come clean about a sore that’s been festering for too long on the back of a project that I still regard as my baby.

All of this may sound like the coffin nail for The Devil’s Carnival. It may be. But I hope not. Stranger challenges than ours have been healed with time. Who knows? Maybe this blog will help shove the conversation towards one that’s a little more honest. Or maybe it’ll just encourage more shoving.

war

Speaking of leaf-turning, I turned 40 last month. As if to herald this apocalyptic milestone, a devastating wildfire struck the hills about thirty miles north of my Los Angeles apartment. It turned the sky and pavement red on the morning of the anniversary of my birth. Me thinks it’s time for a change.

In fire and in ash, I want to take this moment to invite you to join me on a new journey. It’s a different kind of tour, and it’s happening this fall. There will be no bullshit. No drama. No lies. No cancelled dates without explanation. Just a great fucking show put on by good fucking people whose work you’ve enjoyed in the past.

wake

The project is called American Murder Song. It’s a collection of original murder ballads set in 1816 America by Saar Hendelman, TDC‘s co-composer, and I. It includes badass historical fashion, bloody folktales, and a cast of murderesses and cutthroats played by a sick lineup of rock stars and cult personalities.

Over the course of five weeks, Saar and l will be bringing our version of a wake to thirty American cities. So come wake the dead, and the living, with us. We’ll be singing live every night, and it’s an opportunity to dress up and act a fool with all of us likeminded weirdos. It’s not a funeral, it’s a wake.

tour

Get your tickets for The American Wake Tour: http://americanmurdersong.com/gettickets.

  • Ranae

    As a fan from the beginning, I can tell you that we felt the turmoil stirring behind the scenes. Even while watching Alleluia, the energy was different. Not knowing what is happening only leads to speculation, and we could feel the burden growing around the project even since its first announcement. BUT, the disappointment and waiting, and not knowing what was happening only lead to more excitement when I finally got the chance to see it. It was absolutely not what I expected and absolutely worth the wait.

    I guess what I’m getting at is that it was never about the movies or the budgets… It’s about you, your art, and your willingness to share it with us. Your passion shines like a light, and your appreciation for your fans is what keeps us anxiously waiting for your next post. You are a rarity in this world, as an artist and a person, and we love you for everything that is, and isn’t. Thank you for this post. We love you <3

  • Heather Baker

    I’ll be saving an extra tight hug for you next month… I knew *something* was happening with Alleluia! During the tour but prayed it would have resolved itself. I’m so sorry for all the shit you all had to deal with but your persistence and subsequent insistence on pushing forward are why I always have, and always will support your work. Best of wishes!

  • Caitlin Wolle

    I’m really really sorry that you had to go through this and that so much office bullshit interfered with what should have been a celebration of the hard work that you all put into the project. I can’t make it to the tour, but I hope that this one goes much more smoothly and you all have a great time!

  • Dante Falakos

    A couple questions for you good sir:
    1) Is there any way I can obtain the ‘karaoke’ tracks of as many of TDC1&2 songs as possible? I would love to sit down and do the work of syncing them to lyric tracks so I could gift them to my local Karaoke DJs and keep spreading the love and damnation of TDC.
    2) Is there a reason you avoid Northern California? While I hate San Francisco too, I would brave it to see one of your shows

    • Kirsten Dearing

      Agreed. No SF or Sacramento means no show for me.

    • Katy Nice

      I would also love to sing TDC at karaoke!

  • Dunthonwen

    I had no idea. I’m so sorry. 🙁

    Naturally, as I’m sure you would have imagined, there would be some shoving with this news. But I certainly hope that you will receive a lot of love. That’s what I’ve found in this community. Love.

    I wish you peace, and I will see you at the wake, my friend. <3

  • Stephanie Smith

    This really sucks that you and the team had to go through that. I have not even received my copy of the TDC 2. Can’t wait to see you in Baltimore for the wake.

  • Amber Bree

    I truly appreciate your blogs. Great reads. For me, it’s a gift when artists I fancy share a view of themselves that is relatable and “human”. I like to be reminded that we’re all hiking through life’s landscapes, and it isn’t easy for any of us, but rewarding if we persevere and take note of our blessings. I’ve always seen you as a grateful person who gives to their fans. It’s moving to read your fans talk about how kind and thoughtful you are to them. You are making your mark via multiple means, and from my view it looks to be positive.

    Thank you. 🙂

  • Zanzibar

    This breaks my heart. I’ve been a fan from the beginning and won’t ever miss an opportunity to go to a show. As other commenters mentioned, the tension behind Alleluia! was palpable for the fans. Hopefully, as you said, this stirs things in a more positive direction. In the mean time, I’ll be hitting the tour stop for the wake closest to me and can’t wait. I also just want to commend you for being so open with your fans but also maintaining your integrity and composure by not mud slinging at, calling out, pr blaming any of your fellows. That shows true character and just how much you love that project and desire it to move forward. So, Bravo, Lucifer! Remember that you still have our love. HAIL.

  • Ocelots Griblit

    It sounds like you need a change of scenery. Come to the Hocking Hills before the leaves start changing. There are so many places to get lost here. Seemingly endless forests and abandoned towns the forest has reclaimed. Here you can find some peace and a little history. Come before the death of summer, spend that last night in the Moonville Tunnel. Who knows, maybe you’ll see the Lavender Lady?

  • david amos

    I’ve been waiting for years for the sequel too, now I know all this, I can inform the missus as well. Wish your tour was in the UK though, would love to see Repo, TDC or American Wake tour live. Hope you keep doing what you love 🙂

  • princesstrashpanda

    I saw the Alleluyah! road tour and just from seeing it i had no idea what a struggle the project was. The movie was fantastic, the q&a went wonderfully, and getting to hug Terrance was an absolute gift and the envy of many a Repo! fan. If i come in with a party or alone I will come to the wake, and I want to continue to support your projects. They have brought myself and my friends so much joy and many a night of enthralled engrossment in these beautiful, deadly, exciting worlds you all work so hard to create. See you at the wake!

  • Maria Kaufmann

    Thank you for sharing your heart and soul with us. Sorry everything had turned out the way it did. But everything happens for a reason. Even if we don’t get to find out why until later or never even find out at all. It just helps mold us to the people we are today. I look forward to your new tour even though your not coming to a city near me…I will travel to you!

  • Kellie Stewart

    The main point here is that you plug along. You never disappoint, no matter what shit someone else i putting you through. The Alleluia Road Show was amazing. I hope you have full control over this project and that there are no money grubbers and backstabbers that can jump out and taint this venture in any way. We love you and will always be there to support whatever it is you are doing. Hope to see you in Austin. Thanks for sharing.

  • Samantha Barnes

    I’m saddened to hear this. I don’t think I could even pretend to understand how much hard work you all put into this project, and I’m so sorry that it went sour. I hope if there is a silver lining it is knowing how many people you have touched through your work. I look forward to seeing you on tour for American Murder Song, and I sincerely hope that one day, a third Devil’s Carnival movie can come forward. But if that does not happen, I know there will be many like myself who welcome each new project. Best of luck to you in all that you do, and I highly anticipate the wake.

  • Matt Holck

    moxy is a coward #mtg

  • erika

    i appreciate the honesty but i must ask why those two shows (one of which was the one i paid to see) were cancelled? we were told at the venue the van broke down. was that untrue?

    • terrancezdunich

      Hi Erika,
      I never made any claims about our tour van breaking down. If someone official speaking on behalf of TDC made such a claim, then they were lying. Those inside of the tour van couldn’t make it to your city because we were left stranded with no way to get to you. Until now, the only statement I made about those stops that were made to be cancelled was here: http://www.terrancezdunich.com/control/shake-it-like-a-polaroid-picture/

      In that statement, I also informed fans of the company to contact in order to get refunds. The refunds should have been automatic, but if for some reason you did not get yours, the info on how to be refunded is in the above link.

      I’m deeply sorry that we couldn’t make it to your city with Alleluia!, but hope to get the chance to remedy this with our new project, and in the very near future.

      • erika

        I did get a refund, but I didn’t to see you, which was the saddest part of all. 🙁 no i just wanted to let you know that at the pittsburgh show we were told by the theater staff that the van had broken down and that was the reason y’all did not come. if that is not true, i think you should be careful in dealing with that theater from henceforth. best of luck on the new project!

  • Dana Buxbaum

    This is really disappointing. I wish you hadn’t gone through all of that BS and drama. I hope Alleluia will one day become available, and maybe even a third installment of TDC will be possible. I can’t wait to see you guys in Chicago for American Murder Song. I already have my ticket.

  • Matthew Shrubsole

    Terrance if you read this personally, know you are loved the world over from low beginnings as Graverobber, to the Joker-esque and legendary Devil of TDC. We, the fans, are what you create and lead your visions to. If you require our help, we were all ready to pitch in to get TDC 1 off the ground and into our DVD players. We will do so again. No amount of red tape can stop what you believe is something special. And we will help you fight for it if need be. Lightening may not strike twice, but our loyalty has never wavered.

    “After all this time? Always”

  • Alexie Schauerte

    Gosh! You guys really held it together. I am so sorry that happened. You guys are pretty amazing at hiding all of the bull shit. I hope I was able to provide an escape, however small. You all were all rock stars. The ladies of the tour were/are beautiful people. I hope you were all able to maintain good relations even with the strain of the conditions set upon you. But I am glad that you are continuing to work on different projects. You are able to make the transition between them much faster than I ever could. I will make it a point to come and see you on Halloween, dressed in my best. As the Masters of the Universe would say, Good Journey.

  • Krisb

    Ugh, that blows. I’m glad I got to see it but I’m not sure I’m glad enough to justify its cost on you guys.

  • Helena Howell

    I have been following your works since Repo!. I love it. I was able to share it with friends who loved it. When you came to Boise, Idaho on the Alleluia! tour we were so happy. I even got my friend to dress up with me, which is something he never does. I am sorry, it sounds like touring was a bigger issue than it should have been. My friends and I are excited for AMS. We are sad that there seems to be no Northwest tour dates. I hope there will be a live DVD of some sort for us who miss the wake.

  • David Cothran

    I felt something was a bit off when you had to rush to the next show. If I can afford I shall be at the nearby murder songs stop as well. I’m soryr so much went wrong and hope this time you have less stress. Perhaps a crowdsourcing or patreon? I know if I ever win a large sum of cash, part of it is going to projects like yours just for the sake of art. Our children need to see that creativity, music, art is part of what makes this world move.

  • Autumn Shreve

    I have been a huge fan for many years and never had the funds to attend a tour. The Alleluia! Devil’s Carnival tour would have been my first and first time meeting you. I was immensely disappointed and a bit salty when my city’s show was cancelled. But I try to remember that things do happen and empathize with the bad luck and struggles you had along the way. The fact that you dealt with so much shit to give us such an amazing show is really inspiring and makes me even more if a fan.

    I will continue to follow all of your projects and look forward to seeing American Murder Song in October!

  • Oliver Lucas

    Maybe I misunderstood, but the root of the problem was money? That you had to rely on others to finance you, and these others meddling with the project and spouting legal threats and such?
    I’m sorry if I’m being dense, but I’m not sure I understood 100% why a third TDC movie might be problematic. Is it the money? If yes, why not try crowdfunding? I’m sure people would love to support your vision.
    But if there’s more behind it, I feel sorry to see the series go. Alleluia is one of my favorite if not my absolute favorite movie, and I would love to see some actual interaction between Heaven and Hell. It’d hurt to see the project abandoned.

    I’m sending my best wishes and crossing my fingers that this wasn’t the end.

    • Raven

      I fully support crowd funding. But I can see where issues might come of it. Everyone wants them to go to there state and or town. Surely, they cannot. Just as in his new project I cannot see it because it won’t be traveling through Nashville. However, if a DVD becomes available 🙂 anyway, even with the issues of where it will be I think crowd funding is a good way to go.

      • Oliver Lucas

        Hey, I live in Germany, so I’ve already accepted the fact that I’ll never take part in the tour experience. But a movie without the tour is still better than no movie at all.
        Crowdfunding really is the only way I can see it working while keeping full creative control. And hey, since the team already has two movies under their belt, there’s a fanbase that trusts in them. That’s more than a lot of projects that still got funded have.

      • Andrea Nolin

        Even if he doesn’t travel through Nashville, I would totally donate if I had the money to do so because I am such a big fan and I want to show my support. I’m sure other fans here would too

  • Raven

    I would love to see your new show, sadly the tour isn’t coming through Nashville this time. Had a feeling things weren’t going smoothly for you guys, especially at our venue when the sound system decided that it didn’t want to work. Luckily, it finally did. As far as Devil’s Carnival, I’m fully invested by way of buying tickets to be there and I bought plenty of merchandise as well. I hope to read more soon on the subject matter. It was a real pleasure to meet you and Darren.

  • Mette Marie Bossen Berggren

    Dear Terrance. I don’t know if you will read this, but I want you to know, that over in Denmark, there are two carnies singing your songs, watching your movies and all around loving your work. I pains us to hear about what happened, because it has become so dear to us. We wish we could come to the wake, but it is so far away! We will have to sing the songs ourselves. For now. You inspire us and our weirdness in great ways. Thank you. And a belated happy birthday. Kind regards, Niels and Mette in DK

  • Josephin H

    I regret to say that I haven’t been following this blog for quite a while, so I didn’t even notice your absence. I’m sorry to hear things haven’t turned out to be as planned but I hope that, in due time, everyone will be able to come to terms with what happened.

    I have to say it’s a shame you’re only touring the US again. A shame, yet understandable. I wish you all the best for the things to come. Maybe, one day, I’ll be able to say ‘Hi’ in person.

  • Andrea Nolin

    I wish there was something I could do to help. I’m such a huge fan. I wish you all the best of luck and I’m still crossing my fingers for Allelujah. Also, I wish you were coming to Nashville, TN. You might not realize it, but you have such an enormous following out here who would just love to see any of your shows/projects

  • Amy J Albin

    I am so sorry to hear about the heart ache and pain this time around with TDC. I hope there will be a third, but I think fans will understand if there isnt one.

  • Donald Fox

    Terrance the grave robber came into my life at a very dark time and it put a sinister smile back on my face. When the carnival opened and I was able to share it, it brought friends together that had long since seen each other. You have a amazing ability to do these things and greater. Worry not of these small mishaps for no man, women or otherwise can take what you created. Put pen to paper teach those that you would wish to be great and take a bow in the spotlight before the curtains are drawn, smile and know you greatest work is yet to come. I wish I could do more then just have faith in you but maybe it what’s needed right now.

  • Ian Kiser

    It’s always prettiest after the fall. You will always have the support of your followers. I am anxiously awaiting the show in NC.

  • Lisa Brown

    Oh Terrance, I’m almost in tears. I’m so sorry. I’m with Heather, hugs a plenty for you at the wake

  • Laura Gray

    I wish I could make it to the Wake, but as a lotal and fervent fan who (unfairly) judges people based on their knowledge or ignorance of your work, I hope it’s a healing experience for you and your crew.
    I hope there is eventually a meeting of the minds and TDC can eventually continue, but even if it doesn’t, I’ll continue to support you and your art woth my money and presence whenever I can.

  • kassie macmillan

    Thank you for sharing this with us. :3 I can’t lie, I felt something was wrong. I was so hyped when my friends and I got to the theater to see Alleluia. But by the end and when we got back in the car to drive home, I felt like I missed something. I wanted to go back in to figure it out, but everyone was already packing up merch and the crowds had dispersed. I didn’t want to bother anyone, I barely nagged Darren for a quick autograph before was whisked away. I didn’t understand why it felt so much less personal to the fans than the first movie tours did. The experience was just not the same without getting to see the creators take pride in their work for a moment and congratulate you guys to your face. I understand now, and I’m so sorry for the misfortunes that followed this tour. I still love and stand by you. <3 Here's to more successful and fun projects!

  • Babs.

    Hey, I am sorry that things didn’t work out as it hoped for Devil’s Carnival. I can’t make it to American Wake,but I hope in the future I will get to meet you. Your work means all lot to me, having gotten me through some hard times in my life. Thank you for your amazing creative work. Remember that Stephen King had problems when bringing his movies to life. You have to take the power and grow.

  • Abigail Gums

    I’ve been wondering what happened to Allelujah!…..thank you so much for opening up about this. I am a huge fan of your work and artistic perspective. I’m hoping to see the Wake in Chicago if money allows, but even if I’m not able to, I will always support your work. I cannot wait to see what you come up next!!!

    Best Wishes!!!!!!

  • Kelley Pegelow

    Terrance, you are one of those brilliant people who for some reason is bombarded with shit by an industry that can’t appreciate your vision, but luckily for us fans, you’re one persistent son of a gun. Thank you for everything you do to make the world a weirder place.

  • Shilo Mikey Alderson

    Massive hugs. I love your movies and can only say it brings me to tears to hear what you’ve all gone through, also to hear the chance that there may not be another devils carnival :'(. I wish you much luck and will continue to follow your blog and reccommend Repo!, the devils carnival and Alleluia

  • Jeni Sandor

    It take a lot to make me cry but this did. I was part of TDC street team and helped out when I could in Cleveland. I will see you when you come this year for the wake. I can honestly say that weekly somehow, Repo! or TDC will come up in a topic. My friends have sat next to me while watching one of them quoting the whole thing, giving the fun facts about it. At the end they either join my love for all that you have helped to create or fade away. I have faith in you and all this bullshit that you have had to endure will not going unnoticed. Those that are loyal will always be loyal. ((HUGS))

  • Sarah Gage

    I am so glad you shared this. I’m a die hard fan, and I’m so sorry that all that bullshit happened. If it makes you feel any better, the movie is still one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s a bummer you’re not coming to Utah for the Wake tour, but I will be waiting for the DVD release of it no matter what. 🙂

  • Hannah

    If I were rich I’d fund the hell (that was not meant to be a pun but now I can’t stop laughing) out of any projects you embarked on, because of how much they changed my life. the Alleluia tour, though it seems it was a negative experience overall, was one of the best nights of my life

  • April George

    I had no idea what was going on behind the scenes, you all hid it so well. I’m giving you and Saar extra big hugs at the Wake when I see you and I’ve got some other surprises up my sleeves for you both too

  • ScorpionTale

    Look kid, you are a genius! Realy, I can’t say that I don’t love your work, ’cause I adore it. No matter what, evveryone of your sinners (now survivors) will always support ya. I will love to go to AMS but the distance make it impossible, but if I were there I will make a lot of crazy things. Anyway, We support you, you already know it. I wish with all my heart that everything works perfect. Sorry for my bad english, but I do my best.

  • Dallas Kroyer

    I am so sorry for everything you and the team had to go through. I hope things will be better and it may take a while but I hope someday The Devil’s Carnival 3 will happen. Just remember “it’s always prettiest After The Fall” You will always have my support and I hope I am able to come to American Murder Song with my best friend Ashley and I hope I am able to meet you!

  • Thomas Hewitt

    its unfortunate i dont see a northern California tour date like sac which has a heavy scene that would love to go to something like this or even sf which has an even bigger scene for a show like this im sure my comment will go unnoticed but i have loved both repo! and the carnival films and it would be nice to meet you and share in your creative energy but i drastically lack the funds to travel to far out of my tiny bubble for the greater sacramento area

  • KolobosRexx

    …So honored for Vegas to be the first stop!! Can’t wait!! Best of Luck and Wishes, and here’s hoping the story of DC somehow gets to finish someday!!

  • Jeni

    Cleansing the air with hidden truth will remedy the problems in time. This is uncharted territory and you are paving the way for others who will follow with these types of productions. I’m sure everyone was doing what they thought was right even though some may had disagreed with them. Look at this as setting the learning experience stage for the future. Write a book on lessons learned and help others avoid the same hardships. Keep creating and being amazing.

  • Pingback: Terrance Zdunich writes about struggles on The Devil’s Carnival, highlights industry problems for indie filmmakers – Like a Crazy Bitch()

  • Wade Dearing

    Terrance. You might remember my wife and I from Dallas as hobo clown and applicant. After reading this I understand a bit better why you seemed tired at the show. We are so sorry things went like that for you. Your work has brought us so much joy and meant so much to us. I hope things improve and that we get to see you at AMS in Dallas (just bought my tickets). You are a wonderful and great person and we wish you all the best.

  • Thomas Signer Jr

    If you ever did some form of crowd funding where people put in $25 or something of the like and when the movie is done and the tour is over people get a copy of the blu-ray for putting the money up front. I would put in money as I am sure many others and you wouldn’t have to sell control of your movies to other people and then have to leave those projects stories unfinished.

  • Susan Stringer

    I’m sorry about everything that happened last year. Hopefully things will be a lot different this year! Sending good vibes and praying to Lord Lucifer that the AMS tour goes off without a hitch! Can’t wait to meet you and Saar in KC!

  • Brooke Violet

    As someone who has also worked in independent film, I understand these woes all too well. I’ve seen relationships, friendships, and business partnerships be destroyed during the long, arduous process. Thankfully, I have also seen new friendships unfold. This truly is a labor of love, often we see little or no return on our investments when it comes to independent film. We rely on the love and support of those around us, be it fans, friends, or family. As wonderful as that is, it doesn’t pay the bills. Everything is always over budget, something always manages to go wrong, and what began as an amazing experience, often quickly turns into some form of disaster. It’s rarely intentional, but sucks nonetheless. Please know, that I support the fuck out of you and all your endeavors. I am so sorry that Alleluia didn’t go as planned for you all, and I completely empathize. I really hope that you’re able to bring AMS around on a second tour, and make it back to Boise. I will personally pay for lodging for the crew, seriously. As always, thank you, for every bit of everything you share with us all. Happy trails, my friend!

  • MaryAnders

    I’ve followed you and your works for four years now. It’s been an amazing experience so far. So many good memories to have that have made me smile. I’ll be at the Chicago stop dressed up as The Tutor once again.

  • sotrab

    I believe this type of stuff was also going on during the filming of The Devils Carnival – people were promised a certain rate and those promises were not met among other production faux pas.

  • TkNyarlathotep

    Lord have mercy and Heaven smile, this is a litany of tragic and woeful news I hoped never to get. Should the cross be raised over The Devil’s Carnival’s grave, is there any chance we’ll see any form of conclusion, even in the form of a blog post of hurriedly written notes on potential directions of the story? (“The Devil gets chewed out, guest appearance by Fran Dreischer”?). If not, I’ll simply mourn in silence. You have my condolences and we hope to see you in OKC.

  • Deal with the Devil and sometimes it blows up in your face. Happens to the best of us.

    I totally get your being afraid to talk about things. Starts with being afraid of consequences (legal shite) and then the silence just sort of takes on a life of its own. The silence becomes part of you, and breaking it almost becomes like creating a fault in reality. So good on you for breaking the silence and bringing the bullshit that happened to you out into the light. Regardless of whether it helps birth the next episode of TDC, it’s good to have it out there.

    See you in KC this October. Can’t wait for the Wake!

  • Critic Corner

    Hope a third film is possible, and even if it isn’t, I’ll still be here to support the newest project with all the other amazing fans. Also I’ve been brewing my own fan made plot for a third film Genesis, but I digress—See you at the Wake, where my friend and I will be bearing the Mark!
    Murder be thy name!

  • Jvantheterrible

    You know, I had a feeling something was afoot even after the first film’s Q&A, because I asked my question and Darren’s response was simply, “You sound just like my wife.” Good for a laugh, but never answered my question – which was something to the effect of, “What is the fiduciary difference between being distributed by corporate vs. doing your own thing, and how has that worked out for you?” I know nothing about filmmaking, independent or otherwise, but I worked in Corporate Media and Advertising for 12 years – which is why I now own my own business and do my own thing like you guys – Corporate America is FUCKED on so many levels, and I’ve been duly fucked (and thrice over again – sadly, never in the “good way”) by same said people. Done with that garbage for as long as I can afford to be, and have the utmost respect for you, Saar, Darren, Emilie and Marc and the rest of your crew for sticking to your guns and keeping your art as pure as you can, delivering it however you can, and I will happily continue to buy the highest price ticket that I can to support your work…makes me even sadder after reading your blog. I hope that those rifts can be healed. I still remember seeing you at The Loft Cinema here in Tucson at TDC 1, and you sat in the same row as me – Christ, I’m 46 years old (44, then) but I instantly went into “Fangirl from Hell” mode because I was so in love with Repo’s music and your “Graverobber” character. I apologize for my rabid fanship, honestly I do…I truly love your voice, your work, and respect everything that you guys are doing. I don’t mean to revert to my inner 12-year old Duran Duran kid, but you guys just bring it out in me!! I apologize for wanting to hug you, but the hours upon hours I’ve spent watching and listening to Repo and TDC just make me feel like something like a kid again; and it’s okay to come dressed up (or not) because I love what you’re doing as artists. Your words, your voices…they’re special, unique, amazing…make me sing along like I do to a thousand other songs/artists, even though you’re not them – you’re better. It’s beyond awesome to be able to sign up to come and see you in person, and know that you’ll actually appreciate the fact that we’re there to see you. And I will be again – there to see you guys, and listen and watch what you have to offer, and be blessed that I got to see it. I was there “when.” Please keep making your art…and thank you for continuing to share it with us. <3

  • Mathew Bell

    I’m glad you wrote this because I was a bit sore. I bought tickets for the Michigan show as a wedding gift to my wife at a time when we had no money to spare (paying for a wedding is even harder than I anticipated). Devil’s Carnival is our favorite movie. We know all the words to the songs, and have watched the movie dozens of times. I even convinced Marc Senter to call my wife on her birthday once. So, yeah. I was pissed. The excuse of the van breaking down didn’t ring true. No one has heard of rental vehicles? Wouldn’t it be more costly to refund tickets than to just rent a van? And I don’t believe anyone really thought it was going to be rescheduled. It felt like you guys were tired, ran into a snag, and just said “Fuck it.” At least I know now that it was just an avalanche of shit that kept you from us. I had a really bad taste in my mouth in regards to any project you guys might make from this point on, but I feel better about it now.

  • Katie Hex Woods

    I’m glad you can share this with us but please don’t let TDC die, I wouldn’t be able to live with another project the never got a proper endding!!

  • ClanTechie

    So sad that you guys “lost” both REPO! and this 🙁

  • JadeNinja

    Reading this it does make me sad for you. Everyone’s life and passions seem to hit a roadblock somewhere. This you can feel where you all felt truly beaten down. That is sad to see and read about. The creative seem to suffer the more because we feel so deep. I am sorry for what happened with this project and having watched it, it truly FELT different. I just thought perhaps it was for a different pace. Keep going though and let nothing stop you. You have a great mind and full heart for your work that is seen in everything you do. That is a passion rare now a days in most art forms. I will sadly be unable to watch this new show because of my own issue with funds but I hope it blows everyone in NC away. I will still continue to support your work as it is beautiful. Keep your head up and heart strong sweetness.

  • Roy Rossi

    Just catching up after doing RKO CON. Sorry I did not see this sooner.

    I hope writing this granted you some level of Freedom from the compromised situation.

    We very much look forward to seeing you in Providence, and hope you feel it to be a “Home Field” show.

  • RabbÍt Bora Cuthwolf

    I can’t lie, if I hit the lottery or some such thing, funding your next project without any issue would definitely be on my to-do list. I look forward to meeting you in Cleveland. This blog says A LOT about you, how hard working and honest you are. These movies are some of my most favorite out of the hundreds upon hundreds of films I have watched. I can’t even bear to think that there may be no more sequels…especially with Alleluia’s cliff hanger. It will go on!!! There is always hope.

  • Abd L Azeez AlKalidy

    Oh my god this is repo all over again.
    The reason i’m following your work so closely is because i’m a graphic designer and an illustrator myself who also dreams about making my own movie. Watching your work made me start to like musicals.
    I don’t know if you thought of this but, what about starting a petition? I wouldn’t mind being the first to donate for 1000$. I’ll even make and fund a fan page on FB for the movie or your overall work. So the fans would have a place to meet and discuss it.
    I don’t know what else i would do to allow being able to continue this piece of work as is (As you might have noticed) very dear to me. I have always been and for years, interested in the philosophy of god and the devil, good and evil. Seeing you, the writer and the director of repo! to take on this movie was a dream come true. Adding to all that being a fan of EA’s work.
    I know what i’m offering is helpless, really. Because if it was about that, it would have been already done. As i’m right now just chasing the wind.
    Such a disheartening situation.

  • Vicki Chambers Grogan

    All I have for you is this – ❤️❤️❤️ I would love to see anything you have after seeing Repo.

  • Jacqueline Van Arsdall

    Terrance: I don’t know anything about Indie Film production and the BS you’ve had to deal with up until now; I only know how awesome it is to be able to come and visit you IN PERSON when you visit my town, bringing your art, crew, etc. in so “we” get to experience you guys LIVE. I DO know what Corporate BS is like, and how never-ending that crap can be from working in Banking, Media and etc. for years and years…no matter how awesome your ideas and ingenuity may be, “the man” will always be there to try to stick you under his thumb and undermine your brilliance, no matter how brightly it shines – and I KNOW yours shines more brightly than most. I’ve seen it on YouTube and a few DVD’s I happen to own.

    I have a mouth on me…and so the last broadcasting company I worked for garnered a freaking $650,000 media buy from MY work – and then they fired me 2 months later, even AFTER the multi-million dollar agency actually deigned to call and ask WHO made that proposal…it was ME, dammit; I’m sure those MF’ers are still collecting MY proceeds, but I let it go. I had to…for my own sanity which I somehow managed to hang onto some days by the very-chipped edges of my fingernails (even though I REALLY wanted to drive into a train at times). Even better? I was denied Unemployment for all my work, so I nearly lost my home and vehicle along with what measure of meager pride I managed to cling to.

    I just wanted you to know, from one 40-something to another, that I am finished with letting small (and so FUCKING stupid) people try to contain and treat me like shit. I’m a GOOD artist – 30+ years experience – I do good work, even if it’s in a different vein from what YOU do…you have inspired me greatly, and I struck out on my own about a year and a half ago and I’m making enough money to pay my mortgage, car payment, all my bills and can STILL come visit you via VIP, because what you do is so important to me.

    Thank you SO MUCH, for following YOUR dreams and your passions, and inspiring the rest of us artists – in whatever vein we can create alongside you – to stick with whatever we do and get along doing it. I can never thank you enough, and I remain, to this day, sorry that I clearly “fangirled-out” the first time you came to Tucson at The Loft Theater some 2 years ago and sat down in my row. I didn’t mean to scare the shit out of you, it’s just not every damn day Graverobber sits 4 seats down from you and expects to maybe be left alone, when you are sort of the “new coming” of RHPS (and NOT the remake that has no effing business being remade). 😉

    I’m older than you, I DO know better, and once I figure out why you and Saar maintain the capacity to revert me to a raving 15-year old fangirl at 46 years old, I will let you know. Until then? Thanks for coming back to Tucson, and I will do ALL I can to support YOUR work and art, because you are one of the main reasons I get to do mine. And I thank you profusely for that.

    I am NOT a California Girl (tried it for a year, BF punched me, had to come home to AZ), but I adore you guys all the same. Thank you, always Alleliua, and can’t wait to see you perform for us October 8th.

    <3 😉

  • Ravenira

    I never commented on this because I wasn’t sure I had the words I really wanted to share. After attending The American Wake, though, I think I’ve found my words. As someone who attended one of the later stops on the Alleluia tour, I can honestly say that your stress was palpable. Though you all smiled, it was fairly obvious that you guys were not doing the greatest. It showed in your mannerisms, you were distracted. Which was very sad, because Alleluia itself was wonderful! But seeing you again for AMS, that was the Terrance I saw the first time I met you. I’m so glad that this experience is a more… Healthy one, so to speak

  • Christopher Michael Sarno

    I love these films and always will.
    They have inspired my passion as a writer. Truly masterful, brilliant character work, and I hope all the words that shall be birthed from your work pay homage to the art and devoted time.