Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Some upcoming shoots

While shooting has been rather quiet, I've been really busy with a lot of production type stuff. Some new props, a major script rewrite, organizing a few upcoming shoots and the like.

The new script is pretty much the same as the old, just that over time certain lines changed and certain scenes were shot different then scripted and I'd changed quite a few ideas and images from the way they originally had been written. So a new script was definately in order. Took about 2 weeks of combing through it, condensing some of the more awkward exposition and fleshing out some scenes that didn't have much explaination of what was supposed to be going on - mostly fight scenes.

Added some new little details to the movie, nothing major - just a little extra something something here and there for visual amusement and atmosphere. Like a giant armoured demon, ony has a couple shots but it was added as a kind of Raiders of the Lost Ark moment. Another extra demon, with no lines and no real purpose, I had had the means and it doesn't cost anything but a few minutes time, so why not.

And finally all the locations have been secured, save for 2 (which are really not too much of a bother to think about just yet). And now with the location secured for the finale of the movie, I've also come up with better visuals of how the scene will play out - always a good thing.

I'm off this evening hunting for some old run down house exteriors. Should be fun.

So no real news, other then there will be some major updates hopefully in the next couple weeks.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

In the meantime

I hadn't really planned on updating this until I had at least one more shoot done. Hoepfully in another week I should have something - schedules are hard to organize these days.

In the meantime, I spent the day working on other part of the movie. One major change has been a new draft of the script - for anyone involved, don't worry, nothing majorly new has been added, just some reworked dialog to clear up some fuzzy point of the story. A completed 2nd draft will be done next week by this time.

Also, I took some time to look at some of the matte paintings I'd been intending to do and trying to make some sense or organizing my FX shots before I get lost in the hundred of files and have no idea what goes where. This afternoon I took a stab at the delapilated cinema shot. Luckily it's just one shot, not too worried about the others - unless it's really obvious. I have yet to check that out, so I may be in for a surprise.

This may be a bad idea for me to post, since it's just a work in progress, but what the hell.


And After

This is slightly rough at this point, I want to do more with the lighting and dirty the place up a bit. It's also only going to be onscreen for a few seconds so remember you won't have as much time to sit and pick out any flaws. One thing I want to add, but I cant at the moment is a fire in the engine of the car, just to add a little extra motion to the scene, as well as a bit of flicker from the lights. And if I get ambitious, I might as some debris blowing across the lot.

Looking at it after it was posted, with the brightness way up on my monitor, I'm noticing just how ugly it looks - definately good to know before the final version.

And here's the after-after. It's the next day from when I originally posted this, I started working on the mask to blend Malice into the scene - it's a fun and painfully long process called "Rotosplining". I'm sure the name alone makes you think, "Gee, if only I could know more about this rotosplining thing!"

This is still not the final version, but a lot closer to it. Obviously in the final version (and you can't tell from this) the fire and the glow from it will be animated. Also the 2 lights will have a bit of a flicker to them. And if I get really ambitious I'll add more debris here and there. This is pretty close though to the final version I'll settle on I think.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The last of The Bonehoarde

Finished a rough edit of the scene this morning - the last of The Bonehoarde sequence. Glad to have it over and done with too.

I took just a few shots from the scene to post.

Malice peeking around a corner.

Is that a dead body? Or did Graham just fall asleep again?

That's one big hand.

And there's a creepy ghoul.

Now I have another short break while I suss out what to shoot next and when.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Ghouls and you...

Monday: 12:55 pm

I spent the day, and most of yesterday actually, getting ready for this shoot. Mainly because anything to do with prosthetic makeup kinda requires you to do it all at once - unless you're really good at it and can remove the prosthetic without ruining it. I am not that good. So all at once it is.

Given that I spent the money on this makeup and whatnot, I wanted to make sure it was really worth reshooting and making the scene better, I spent speveral hours of storyboarding and trying to find the easiest, most efficient and most effective way of shooting. If my storyboards were at all amazing looking, I'd probably post them - maybe sometime I'll do that...but not today. They kinda look like sketchy anime with a lot of arrows and junk.

Monday morning comes along, time to doublecheck everything - since this is a reshoot and I'm dying to get to some new stuff, I want to make sure nothing goes wrong. Spent an hour or so doing makeup tests - which by the way, feels really silly. And even worse still if in the middle you get unexpected company (which I didn't, but it probably wouldn't have matter anyway, I think most people expect that kind of thing if they have the nerve to just drop in on me unannounced).

After that I realized how long it takes to really ruin a shirt that's in otherwise decent condition. And now it's all done. Time to wait until the shoot tonight. Unfortunately, I don't have a photographer tonight so I probably won't have any really great shots to post, other then some stills. But, that's better then nothing.

Monday 11:24 pm

How to make a Ghoul - in a few easy steps. First...forget it, it's not easy and I really wasn't paying attention to how many steps it took.

First we start off with a fellow named Dan - it's has to be a Dan by the way, Gary and Leonard, just won't work. Originally it was supposed to be Graham Putnam playing this character - but due to some really crazy circumstances it just wasnt' possible. No hard feeling though, Graham just had a better offer and needed a beard to do it. I can't explain that last sentence if you don't know the circumstances.

Then we add some red contact lenses. I love contact lenses! Every movie I make from now on will have someone wearing contact lenses - even just correctional ones will do.
And some poorly fitted fake teeth. The drool is optional - he was just getting into character...or perhaps it was all my supermodel girlfriends that came over at the time, who knows. Does this remind you of that movie Demons?
And then we slap on the prosthetic. Again, a little poorly fitted, but I was in a major hurry. I wish I could organize my time better.
A little makeup to blend things together...
Another angle on that. I noticed the forehead and cheeks blended pretty well, the chin and mouth area was a bugger though.
And some other stuff here and there...
It's a little severe looking, but it was meant to be since we were shooting in low, very dramatic lighting. It does look a little bit like an evil turtle doesn't it?
And back in with the fake teeth, no drool this time though.
And we're done. And we had no drive down to the shoot so we had to walk, luckily it was after dark and everyone looks a little like this around here at this time of night.

I will edit the footage tomorrow, my brain is way too baked to do it right now. I have a major headache and I'm tired as hell. It came out great though, I did have a chance to look it all over and I'm really happy with it. Thanks again to everyone who showed up - I might not seem like it but I really do appreciate it. Dan, you did a great job as a crazy cannibalistic ghoul, Heather, you were awesome as usual and Graham, you may not have been a ghoul - but you're a hell of a corpse. And to City Cinema of course for letting us film in their hallway - Wendy for staying late and Derek for telling her she had to. Oh, and Dr. McGillicuddy's Fireball - you are a godsend. Sort of. Maybe a satansend, I'm not sure.

That's it...Stick a fork in me, I'm done.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Scenes from The Bonehoarde

This is a series of stills from a sequence in the movie called "The Bonehoarde", it's supposed to be a rather creepy placed filled with ghouls, Malice goes there because a strange psychic named Zed has information for her.

Malice enters the Bonehoarde...

And encounters some of the hungry locals (Draper Bulger).

Yes, that is a jawbone.

The scary red hallway of scary redness.

Another ghoul (Graham Putnam). This part is being reshot with Graham in makeup and acting much creepier.

Guess what movie that is.

Zed (Nikkie Gallant) gives Malice a funky looking knife she found.

Zed...hey, she's blind and creepy!

And this jolly little fellow is The Resurrectionist. He doesn't play well with others.

This is pretty much all shot, just requires a reshoot and some post work to tidy up all the loose ends. There's 2 major matte paintings that need to be done; one of the opening as Malice enters The Bonehoarde and another as she approaches the cinema, the exterior isn't run down enough looking.

I'll post some shots of the reshoot of the sequence with Graham after it's done on Monday.

Stills from the movie

Izual (Greg Webster), Malice (Heather Panton) and Karl(myself) hanging out at the bar.

The crazy preacher dude (Pete Murphy) seconds before a good egg pelting.

Ooh, it's the evil mugger (Dan Caseley) about to get his ass kicked.

Malice checks out her spiffy eyepatch.

Malice getting a little lost.

Malice again, but not so lost this time.

Malice and Sascha (Devon McGregor) get ready to check out a really big library...or standing in the doorway to a bathroom.

Malice and her landlord (Miles Gilbert) have words...and then she chops his head off.

Grayson (Derek Martin) talking to someone who's really tall.

It's Grayson and a bunch of temples. This isn't a fully finished shot, it's a composite actually with some work still needing to be done on it. There's no temples like this on PEI...maybe in Murray Harbour.

Some behind the scenes stuff so far

George (Draper Bulger) and Karl (myself) having a bit of a chat down at the pub. This was shot at Baba's Lounge one Sunday afternoon.

Malice (Heather Panton) and Zed (Nikkie Gallant), shot at City Cinema.

Malice and Zed again.

Left to right; Devon McGregor, Draper Bulger, Heather Panton, Greg Webster and myself - behind the camera is Shante Peddle.

For some reason, Heather doesn't look too happy to see a camera.

Karl, taking some time out to stare at a camera.

The Monkey Rodeo: In The Beginning...

After a year has past, I finally decided to try and keep track of this movie I've been working on, The Monkey Rodeo: Malice.

It's a feature film (hopefully), should be about 70 to 80 minutes long if all goes well. Even if it's only an hour I guess I can live with it. It's sort of a mix of Hellboy, Constantine and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The story is pretty simple - at least I think it is - it involves an ancient secret society called The Brotherhood, that was formed to fight evil, a demon king they banished hundreds of years ago and a malcontent "champion" (a half human, half demon girl who was recruited by The Brotherhood in their fight against evil) called Malice.

Some (very exciting) history. The Monkey Rodeo started out as a short film. Just a demon hunter and some big CG demons, 5 - 10 minutes long maybe. It never got done, it changed lead actors a couple of times as well, until I finally settled on having a female lead (it was a male at first). After the short version never got done I decided to put it off one last time and make it a feature, which at first was closer to Resident Evil/The Matrix kind of deal. I couldn't make it work no matter how hard I tried, it was a much more sci-fi kind of movie at first. Then eventuallly it became a little more of a "ancient prophecy" kind of movie and that seemed to stick.

It ended up being my "Joss Whedon" movie, if you know who he is, then you get what I mean, otherwise you're on your own. I spent several months trying to get a story to work, it went from a very twisted, hard to follow thing to another very twisted, hard to follow thing - but at least the last one worked pretty well.

A friend of mine, Derek Martin, helped me hammer out all the annoying little wrinkles in the script. And there were a lot...several hundred maybe. Once the script was done came the task of trying to figure out if it was actually possible to do this. It required not a massive amount of computer animation, but a decent amount. The 2nd character you see in the movie is a 200 foot stone titan, that gives you an idea.

The other 2 main things were; weapons - you can't have a supernatural adventure type movie without some cool weapons. And makeup - again, can't have this kind of movie without monsters. Both problems turned out to be pretty easily solved. Not cheaply solved, but solved nonetheless.

Casting went pretty easily, before it was written the main character of Malice was already cast, my friend Heather Panton - she'd been in a few short films I'd done and figured she'd be pretty cool as a angry demon hunter.

We shot for a few months late last summer, everything went pretty well I think. We did all our exterior stuff as soon as we could so we could move inside for the fall and winter. And ended up not shooting anything until the next February and then not again until just a couple weeks ago. Everything's back on track now and seems to be running fine. The plus side to all the delays (technical, financial and personal) actually gave me time to seriously rethink some parts of the script and the ways I intended to shoot them. This kinda came to me after one scene that should have looked really cool came out looking really boring and I realized right there if this was going to be one of those "eye candy" kind of movies it actually needed some.

The rethinking ended up creating only 1 new scene, bringing in a whole buttload of new prosthetics (more monsters) and more weapons (in total around 17 different pieces). We also have to reshoot 2 scenes already done - to fix the "looking really boring" problem. One of which is being done this coming Monday at City Cinema.

It just involves Malice walking down a corridor in an abandoned cinema and encountering a ghoul gnawing on a corpse, seems pretty simple and it is, also pretty easy to make boring if you're not careful. One of the main reasons for this reshoot is the actor playing the ghoul, Graham Putnam, while he's a great actor and all, he's a little too associated with doing funny stuff (recognized locally at least) and I just didn't want to get that reaction of "oh looking it's funny Graham" and ruining a potentially creepy scene. So, some prosthetic makeup, contact lenses and false teeth and I'll a little more confident it should play out properly.

As far as what was shot already, not too many really great or interesting stories. There was one incident involving a rather nervous security guard who must've thought Heather was throttling a homeless person - he left pretty quickly when I said it was just a movie. And then there was another actress in makeup and having to walk to the location across a busy street and into a bookstore that was open to the public while we were shooting. Other then that, just a couple months of decent, incident free shooting.

So now I'm all caught up. Back into shooting and I should hopefully have this badboy wrapped in 2 or 3 months - and then about another 4 or 5 for post.

I'm going to also be posting pictures while shooting. That's the main reason for all this really. That's it for now. I'm going to post a separate blog after this with some stills from stuff that's been shot already.