Tuesday, May 6, 2014

"I'm Thinking of an Animal" -- elephant (2013)

Back in June of 2013, my friend Billy Kelly (whom I collaborated with in the past) asked me to contribute to his "I’m Thinking of an Animal" TV segments. WXXI in Rochester, NY had already been airing the first four segments he created. It was then picked up for national distribution by American Public Television and they asked Billy for seven more one-minute long segments, each featuring a different animal.

Billy gave me a list of animals to choose from. I chose "elephant" and came up with a concept using Chloe's kindergarten class. Check it out above.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Power Force 4 (2013)

"‪Just when I thought I was out...they pull me back in.‬"
Michael Corleone (The Godfather: Part III)

After completing the final installment of the TEAM 12 trilogy, I had announced my retirement from making Fusco Family Films. It freed me up to pursue other projects (which I have many). But since then, Casey's friends have been watching our short movies on YouTube and they wanted to get involved. So I came out of retirement for one last hurrah. But don't call it a comeback.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

TEAM 12.3: Revenge Is Best Served Cold...Blooded (2012)

I never intended TEAM 12 to be a trilogy (see the other two here and here). It was meant to be a one time only, fun day with my friends and their kids. But after a little nudging I agreed to make a sequel. Once I did that then I had to make it a trilogy, most epics are. Little did I know the story would turn into one about love, redemption and loss – typical kid stuff.

Since Fifi double-crossed the kidnappers last episode, she'd need to recruit her own team of assassin vixens – The Fabulous Five – so I figured I'd get the rest of the wives involved. (After all, they have held up nicely, better than us husbands.) One thing I had to work around was Elaine's baby belly. That's right, she's pregnant! Did you notice? Hope not. The whole Bullet/Fifi love connection would be that much more weird and uncomfortable.

It's funny, every time I start cutting one of these together I immediately think it's going to be a turd. But as soon I I find the right piece of music for the scene it just snaps together. The music is the key. Granted, it's still rough around the edges, but that comes with the territory – working with 12 kids and a limited amount of time. In the end I'm quite pleased with the TEAM 12 trilogy. They were fun to make and the kids (and parents) did a great job acting. And a special shout-out to Joe Kollar for adding the awesome gunfire special effects.

Lately, I've been comparing the TEAM 12 series to the original Star Wars trilogy, as ridiculous as that sounds. Episode I starts off strong, introducing us to a new world with action and innocence. Episode II is arguably the strongest of the three with its major plot twists. Episode III is heavy at times but also gets a little cutesy (Manuel the Iguana = Ewoks), and it provides closure to the series. Now all I need to do is merchandise action figures.

And speaking of closure…I'm announcing my retirement from directing Fusco Family Films. A lot of time and energy goes into making these silly little movies and I've got way too many other projects piling up. It'll give my kids a break, too! At least that's the plan…who knows?


Monday, July 16, 2012

Casey & The Bee - "Crazy in the Head" (2012)

I realized I hadn't made a Fusco Family Film in a while so I thought a music video would be fun – we haven't touched that genre yet. So I wrote a song, had Casey and Chloe rap to it, and for some reason, chose the three hottest days of the summer to shoot it. Why? Because I'm CRAZY IN THE HEAD!

Crazy in the Head
Written and recorded by Frank Fusco
Sung by Casey and Chloe Bee Fusco

Head…Head…Your crazy in the head
Your crazy in the head
My Momma said!

Head…Head…Your crazy in the head
Brush your teeth and go to bed!
Go to bed!

Head…Head…Your crazy in the head
Your crazy in the head
My Daddy said!

Head…Head…Your crazy in the head
Eat your lunch, No crust on the bread!
Go ahead!

Shaddap you face
It’s stinking the place
Your mouth keeps running
But it’s losing the race!

Don’t say a word
Keep your mouth shut
Open it again
And I’ll kick your butt!

We’re A-Okay
We’re two of a kind
You lost your way
You lost your mind!

On a high horse
Sinking so low
We’re not crazy
You’re the one who’s loco...Loco!
(That’s Spanish for crazy)

Head…Head…Your crazy in the head
Your crazy in the head
My teacher said!

Head…Head…Your crazy in the head
Do your homework, be well-read!
Do as I said!

Head…Head…Your crazy in the head!
Head…Head…Your crazy in the head!
Head…Head…Your crazy in the head!
Your crazy in the head…Your crazy in the head!
In the head!
In the head!
In the head!
In the head!

*For those of you that didn't get the reference of the mustachioed, fork-eyed nut job character in the video...it's a nod to the Scorpions "Blackout" album. He also appears in their video for "No One Like You" around 2:47.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Eli Manning / Toyota "Family" - Super Bowl XLVI

If you happened to watch last nights Super Bowl, in the greater New York area, you probably saw my latest Eli Manning/Toyota commercial (you can see the rest of them here). What's even more special about this one is that it also stars my son, Casey! So that makes it a Fusco Family Film, too! I didn't direct the main part of the spot (that was Richard Farmer), I just directed the part with Casey.

It kind of happened by chance. When we shot the package of spots we thought we'd save on talent payments by shooting still lifes for the Toyota dealers flashback (ie: a Toyota mobile attached to a crib, a Toyota teddy bear, a toy Toyota car), instead of filming an actual boy. I was against doing that from the beginning, but it was out of my hands. Of course when we began the edit process it was painfully obvious there was no life in the still lifes. It wasn't working. I had faith in the concept so I offered to film my son in a mock Toyota themed birthday scene. But by the time I filmed it the rest of the spots had been completed and approved by the client, and there was no interest in pursuing "Family". So it was shelved.

So when the Giants made it to the Super Bowl this year I suggested we bring it back. People expect to see new commercials during the Super Bowl, why run what we've been airing all season? (If we could've predicted the future and knew the Giants would be in the Super Bowl we would've held back "Catch", because that spot is a homage to the great David Tyree catch from Super Bowl XLII.) Everyone agreed on airing "Family" and Casey made Super Bowl history.

Oh yeah…the Giants won, too.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Visitor (2011)



Thursday, August 25, 2011

Night Hunter: Hunter Of The Night (2011)

When I was my son's age my favorite TV show was Sid and Marty Krofft's Land of the Lost. I now have the entire series on DVD and introduced the show to my kids (for a while it was the only show Chloe ever wanted to watch). In 2009 they remade Land of the Lost as a movie, starring Will Ferrell, and they began selling Sleestak masks. I, of course, bought one.

My Sleestak head now sits on a shelf in my basement staring at me while I work. Through some sort of mind control it commanded me to make a Fusco Family Film with it. My mind was week so I succumbed to it's demand.

My son, Casey, plays the Night Hunter. The Night Hunter hunts at night – hence the name – protecting civilization from the Night Creatures. It's like the song says…"The freaks come out at night". Only these freaks are not out to party…more like a dinner party.

To play the part of the Night Creatures I got Kim's cousin Michael. (I once shot a music video with him in 2004.) With a little editing trickery I gave the allusion that there are many Night Creatures. That's another similarity between Night Hunter and Land of the Lost. Did you know you'll never see more than three Sleestaks in any given scene from Land of the Lost? That's because the Krofft brothers only made three costumes – presumably for budgetary reasons. Now you know.

So say your prayers, let the sands of sleep embrace you and dream those pleasant dreams, because rest assured, the Night Hunter will not rest until mankind is off the menu.