Monday, October 30, 2006

The Animated Monkey Rodeo

So I thought about this for about an hour, then decided what the hell...

I'm going to attempt, once the actual movie is done, to do an animated sequel to The Monkey Rodeo: Malice. It'll be called The Monkey Rodeo: The Final War. Without giving away too much of the ending and whatnot of Malice, this will take place shortly after the ending. Of course what that ending is I can't say, although it's probably obvious now that Malice survives.

The format will probably be like this; it'll be available online - on some website that I'll put together at some point in the future, updated maybe once a month, depending on how elaborate the animation and characters will be. It'll be in episodes and each one will kind of be self-contained, but part of a larger story.

At this point in time it's just an idea, so it MAY NOT actually happen depending on a number of factors. There's no plot as yet, although I do have a few ideas of where it'll go. I have no idea what characters from the movie I'll use, other then Malice, how long it'll be or anything.

The reason I'm doing is is because I wanted to write a sequel (sort of) but make it so over the top that there'd be no way without a buttload of cash I could do it. I'm still planning on doing that, by the way, it's totally separate from this and actually will NOT feature Malice at all - but another, more demonic looking main character. Some of the minor characters would of course return for that one.

That movie will be much farther into the future perhaps, or maybe even a completely different set of circumstances - either way the 2nd movie will stand completely alone and have almost nothing to do with the 1st movie. And whether or not this even happens is dependant on money.

I will admit there is a lot left up in the air at the end of Malice - so instead of trying to do another movie continuing that story - which I really don't want to honestly - I thought the cheapest, most simplest way was to do an animated version. I got the idea from another online animated cartoon called Xombie - it's really cool, you should check it out if you like zombies and robots, or even if you don't, it's still cool.

My last words on this, is that it won't be computer animated - most likely. I'm thinking Flash, because it's come a long way. There's a lot of junk done in Flash, so I have an aversion towards it. But doing it in 3D would be a nightmare probably. I'm used to Flash, haven't used it in awhile, so I'll probably be testing things out for some time.

In anycase, I'm just thinking about it at this point. Thinking so much in fact I even did a cartoon version of Malice just to see how it might look.

Note: Heather, this was done really quickly and I actually didn't try too hard to make it look like you - so if someone thinks it does, that's cool. And for everyone else, I haven't done 2D stuff in a very, very long time - keep that in mind.

PS. I'm rather sick right now, so this could just be part of some delrium induced whim.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Another night of shooting done.

Did a rough edit, everything looks good. Some shots will need some colour correction and whatnot, but that's becoming pretty common right now so if that the only problem I'm encountering then that's still damned good. A few shots the burned out pixel shows up really obviously in, so I'll have to touch that up too. I had nightmare about burned out pixels last night, isn't that sad?

Now we have to cut together some scenes that already have footage done, over a year ago. This shot here cuts with an opening that was done at least last September. Luckily the weather was nearly the same that day too.

And this was originally in a kitchen, but because the previous footage of the kitchen kinda shows it looking completely different - we went with this.

Malice gets headaches. I'm debating using the "headahce effect" on this shot. There's a whole point to Malice getting headaches, kind of a major point in a minor way - so to draw attention to them I'm doing a whole effect to sort of visualize them. It'll look a bit like the weird shakey effect from Batman Begins. Not perfect, but looks pretty good.

Again, old footage. This was last September on a Sunday night after shooting something else. Originally the scene was supposed to include both Malice and Grayson in the shot together, but for some reason the original setup just looked horrible. I couldn't think of a decent way for it to open or close, so I went with this:

And the other side of the conversation was done last night.

Offscreen is the prophecy the whole movie revolves around. No shots of it as yet - even though it was in this scene - it came out blurry so I'm either reshooting or doing a post effect with a computer generated prophecy.

While this looks relatively simple, it was acually a bit of a bugger to get everything in the shot and lined up. Came out good.

And there's the Spike of Valania - one of the main weapons in the movie - although after the opening sequence you don't see it again until the last 3rd of the movie.

Not too much to say about these shots - just some back and forth dialog between Malice and Grayson as the world is about to end.

And that's it. this is the closest shot to the end of the movie at this point.

So there everthing is. After last night's shoot there's only 11 scenes left. And most of these are going to be buggers to shoot. I have no idea what the running time is so far, I think I'll take a moment this week and see what we're at so far. Keeping in mind there are 3 major "story" scenes left to shoot that involve a lot of talking and plot points - then there's 3 major fight scenes as well, so all that alone could be pretty long.

That's it for today.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

"It's already started."

It's a crappy day out there, but it doesn't matter, about 98% of the shots today are all interiors. And exteriors will probably just be faked somehow from here on out.

Just 4 small scenes today. A couple with Malice and Grayson, then a couple with Grayson alone. Less then 4 pages, so it was a pretty easy day overall. There wasn't too much to worry about, other then lighting, which I have to admit this is the first time I've really been concerned about it - and given the relative ease in which things are progressing, I don't have too much to complain about.

So here's the deal...This has been a regular pattern, for the past few shoots, so I'm planning on doing it this way from here on out. I shoot, Moe takes photos, we finish, too tired to do anything else, check the footage to make sure it's good, then look at the photos, I'll edit the following day. All that means is this: from here on out this is the way the blog will probably work, with each shoot there'll be 2 posts. One shortly after shooting, containing the "behind the scenes" photos, and a little bit of what went on. Then the following day (or fairly soon afterwards) I'll edit and take some still from the editing to post as well.

Here's the photo's for today's shoot then.

Ooh, we're blurry and then when you look closer...we're not.

This is when Malice realizes Grayson needs some Grecain 5.
Actually this is the best I could come up with to make
Derek look older, there's back story to this I might
not have yet explained, but I will at some point.

Just myself and Derek getting ourselves organized...
This took 18 years, we're that bad at it.

Malice has a headache..
Grayson has an umbrella...
not sure what else to say about this really.

Setting up for the 2nd scene. For some odd reason,
regardless of how small this space looks and how short
the scene was, it still took a while to walk through it
and make sure everyone knew what they were doing.
At least it felt like it did to me.

It was at this point in the movie that Heather
threatened to quit unless she got a bigger trailer.

And that Derek realized those weren't bi-focals.

Moments in the movie before Malice goes to see
Karl (me) for some backup to fight the big bad.
For some reason this shot looks like it should be on the
poster for a play, it has that kinda "on stage" look to it.

See...those aren't normal books...I had another name for
them, I don't think I can repeat. Something about Harvey
and body parts. Only Derek and Moe heard it,
and I'm not sure what they remember.

I think this is one of the few handheld shots in the the movie.
I hate hand held shots, mainly because they always look like
a spastic idiot was holding the camera.
Aand much to my dismay, there is suddenly proof.

Derek reads his contract for the first time
and doesn't understand a word of it...
and then wonders where can he get a big knife to stab himself
with to threaten for a bigger trailer.

That's it for now, I'm dead tired again. But at least I got what I needed and everything came out great. Both Heather and Derek did a great job - I always feel like I forget to mention that at the time because I'm so relieved we're done and everything seemed to come out fine.

At first glance the footage looks awesome, I will be taking a closer look tomorrow and doing a rough edit - from which I will pull a few choice stills to post here and ramble on further about. But for now, thanks again to everyone involved - we're so bloody close to being done!

I think at last count we have about 11 scenes left. Both Heather and Derek have 6 scenes each, and one of those they're both are in - so assuming my math isn't totally buggered up, 11 it is. Of course, 3 of Heather's scenes (I'm sorry if you're just finding this out know, I meant to mention it if I didn't) are fight scenes. One she gets to beat up some Bile Demons (dangerous weapons are involved), the 2nd she gets to beat up Draper again (he's also one of the Bile Demons) and lastly she gets to beat up and kill the big bad of the movie - which is going to be played by her boyfriend (we haven't shot with him yet, those will be close to the last scenes shot probably).

So the next month should be fun. Sorry if there's some spelling mistakes, it's 1:30 AM and am I'm bloody tired. Have a good night.

And one last thing. I've decided, not right away, but I'll probably be doing a website for the movie too once I've completely done filming. There'll be a trailer, probably nothing too major, but at least I'll be able to use a lot more footage then the last one I cobbled together with a lot of "faked" footage.

I think I mentioned doing the mini-poster thing before, so at the same time I'm doing a series of deskstop wallpapers as well. Still at the "I'm just thinking out loud" stage when I talk about it, but I figured once it's done there won't be too many updates to this blog - because post-production is only so much fun, it moves at a pretty slow and boring pace it might not be worth it to update as often - so it might be worth it to have something a little more visually permanent afterwards.

That's it. I'm a frelling zombie and frelling tired and I'm going the frell to sleep.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Is it that time already? Bugger.

I got a chance to go over the footage finally. And it all came out perfect. Which should be a huge relief to everyone concerned.

So, join us as we take a magical journey into the world of Bile Demons, Jim-Jims and Voodoo Spirits Bombs...

Malice approaches the spooky old house,
and it really was rather spooky. smells funny in here.

The first official glimpse of the dreaded Bile Demons!

Ooh, and another one...The excitement of it all.
By the way, what the hell kind of wallpaper is that?

The Voodoo Spirit Bombs.
Not recommended for children under the age of 3.

Malice pays visits Karl (me in case you forgot) a visit.

"This is a Jim-Jim."

"I've alwasy wanted one of these..."
Start asking now kids, Christmas is coming.
Don't want to left out and not cool, do you?

Don't worry, it's just the end of the world. No big.

The Ark of the Covenant has swords in it!
Not really, it's just a trunk with a hole in it
and a smoke machine. But the swords were real.
That's it for now. I might actually have some other "behind the scenes" pictures coming up. Rick took some as well while we were out shooting in the country. So there might be a small update again this afternoon.

We're shooting again next weekend, I'll be behind the camera - so that leave my photographer, Moe, a little more of a chance to do her thing. Should have a few decent things to see come next Monday.

Until then, have a groovy one, I'm off for coffee.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Creepy Houses, Jim-Jims and Voodoo Spirit Bombs

This was a long couple days - it could've turned out to be the biggest bite in the ass in the history of everything, but I think it came out pretty good. I haven't checked all the footage completely yet, I'm way too tired. Started at 8 this morning, it's a little after 11 at night now - there was not one second wasted.

Today we did our last big exterior shot, it should've been done ages ago, again one of those things that just never happened. Given the time of year, we needed to get it done soon - and today was gorgeous, not a cloud in the sky until about 3 (and we were done by then, so who cares).

The shot is the leadup to one of the biggest (aside from the ending) scenes in the movie, it's just called "The Bile Demon Sequence". I'll let you think about that one, for those of you who have no idea what the story is about. Bascially, Malice has to retrieve an artifact from an old house infested with Bile Demons, this particular breed has extremely flammable bile, by the way.

So we shot this 1 minute leadup, where Malice drives up, walks into and through the house towards the basement - because where else would Bile Demons be but the basement. The actual bulk of the scene will be our last shoot ever, mainly because of the logistics and massive amount of planning needed.
We had a house in mind a long time about, it was in great condition, ugly and vandalized, with mattresses in all the rooms, creepy as hell. But it's been sold and is now looking all brand new. No good. A couple weeks ago, a trip out to Cardigan area found this place, it's a beautiful house - the paint and plaster is all peeling and it reeks of mildew, but at one point in time it must've been a great house. Too bad it's in such decay - but, that's good for us.

The whole shoot was uneventful, I really expected some local to get a little curious and upset and come "have a talk with us". Nothing, we shot, we left. All good.

Malice (Heather looking like she could kick your ass)
enters the creepy house.
Bile Demons are so hard to dress. Me trying to get a
cloak onto Rick (the obligatory stand in guy - thanks Rick)
Oh, and that's Heather laughing at us.
And did I mention Rick is also the obligatory driver guy?
Thank again, Rick
Heather has one of the cooler weapons in the movie here.
The Spike of Valania.
We got back into town shortly after 3 (we left shortly after 1). I had a couple hours to race getting into makeup, setting the last minute things up. I had a bugger of a time finding the shirt I wanted to wear too - nothing like preparing in advance...I find out too late. But everything's all good regardless. The makeup was a little pissy getting on, but it looked pretty good. The shots Moe took of the makeup look awesome, I only hope it came out as good on camera.

Me and at mid-stage in slapping on the makeup.
It's one thing putting a prosthetic on someone else,
it's an entirely different situation when you have to do this yourself.

I feel so pretty.

And I'm all done.

Then came time to start shooting. I think we were a little late shooting, sorry about that. But things seem to go rather smoothly. Like I said, haven't checked the footage, but there's nothing that could've been done anyway if it hasn't

Karl and George (Draper) play...yes...that's Hungry Hippos.
Thanks Bobbi-Ann.

Heather slaps on the dreaded eyepatch!

In the middle of a scene. The little skulls were awesome.
Designed by myself and made by Kim Braford and me.

Ooh, it's a sword and some eery smoke and glowly stuff coming from a trunk!

Karl gets ready to fight some evil! I decided it'd be fun to do a series of mini-posters for the movie. Not sure what the end goal of doing this is, just thought, why not, it'd be fun. Figure the rest out later. This is from the first photo shoot for the mini-posters.

And off it comes...

And yes, this is every bit as fun as it looks.
If you're a self-loathing bastard maybe.
So ends another day. I still have makeup residue on my face. My apartment is still in slight disarray - I don't care at this point. After 12 now, I'm bloody tired.

It was a good day, tiring, but damned good overall. If I didn't get a chance - Thanks Rick for the drive out to the country (even though I did pay for it AND bought you breakfast).

Thanks Moe for taking some awesome photos and working behind the camera tonight when I couldn't - and not throwing things at me if and when it got stressful and tiring.

And thanks again, for the millionth and probably a million more times to Heather. You have no idea how much I appreciate the crap I get to put you through, it'll be worth it when you get to beat up Draper a couple times and kill him.

I think that's it. What little brain power I had left is gone. All I can think of is that it'll be days before all this excess makeup will be off my face and out of my hair.

So have a good night. If all goes well, the world should still be here when you wake up in the morning.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The day the world went away, then came back because it forgot its keys...

After a very long 24 hours of wondering exactly what the hell is going on with this project, I finally got my answer. I had a couple brief and painless meetings with my 2 lead actors, and a few phone calls and messages here and there to other folks involved - and we're well on our way to having a near completed movie.

All I can say is, if I found the last year or so stressful trying to get this bad boy done - the next month is going to be 35 gallons of hell in a one ounce squeeze tube...upon reflection, I have no idea what that last sentence means.

I've got at least 15 scenes left to shoot, slightly more then that, but I'm doubling up on locations - so there's really 2, maybe 3 scenes being done per location all at once. So the next few weeks, if you want to read about the slow decay of my mental state, be sure to stay tuned. It should be good time fun for all.

This weekend I have my last exterior shoot lined up. We're heading to an old supposedly abandoned house out in Launching Point...I think it's called that, I need to check a map or this is going to be a really long day. We've got some minor, but very important shots out there.

From there we're taking a bit of a break for the afternoon until the sun sets, then we're doing a fairly long shoot. Some of it's reshoots, some is new stuff. The best part is I'll be in makeup, so there should be some really great shots to post here in the days following.

That's it, just seeing who's paying attention.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Last minute changes

After having had time to go over the recent footage, than talk with Derek about how shooting went and all, I decided to make some changes to the scene that was just shot. So I'm not going to post any of the footage, I'm scraping it outright and redoing the scene completely. Normally, and given how often this has happened lately, I'd never do this - but I have sunk a lot of time, money and energy into this so if I'm even slightly iffy on something it becomes reshoot time.

I only have a few pictures to post right now, only 2 from the "Exorcist Hallway" (as I'm calling it), don't want to give too much away. The rest are behind the scenes photos taken by Moe Chandler.

Holly McGee in mighty empty hallway.

And at a mighty locked door.

"No, no, you don't stab her like this!"
(Some fine directing by me - luckily there were no
fatalities, that knife is really sharp.)

"Like this?"
That's Draper in costume. He's wearing a ski mask under
the hood so there's less work removing his face in post.

Damn right.

Much easier then permanent tattoos...
Me drawing on Kim Bradford's face - just something
to pass the time.

Ooh, scary purple colours.

And you can put your weed in it. Or you can put prophecies about
the end of the world in it too, your call really.

Okay, so Mulder wasn't really helping too much,
other then being a sandbg for the tripod.

The last couple shots of with Derek Martin and Kim Bradford in them are of the original idea for the flashback sequence - while it looks pretty cool, it was just too confined and way too much useless dialog. So after the talk with Derek, I decided to trim the talk way back, make it a little more efficient and make the scene a little more unusual and interesting (hopefully).

My main problem was I couldn't find a really large empty space that I could light just right, so I went with a smaller space - problem being it really limited the shots I could take. So when Derek was up to reshooting, the only problem was finding a larger space. On Derek's suggestion of totally changing the environment to something else - it kind of opened things up a bit. The final version of the scene will really depend on the location. Obviously not something too abstract, because the audience will spend too much time wondering what the hell is going on. And not something too boring or what's the point?

Now the only other problem this presented was in needing Derek to look older for the "present day" scenes. What I'd hoped to do was simply have about a month for him to grow his hair longer and a bit of a beard (and trying to use makeup to make him look older can come off kinda crappy so I wanted to not rely on that too much).

My fix was this, nothing brilliant, although it should add that little something-something to the overall feel of the story. The character of Grayson is pretty much a player in the world of magic and all things creepy, so it stood to reason that there was the possibilty that perhaps Grayson had found in his travels a harmless way of slowing his aging. Which will be a minor point in a couple scenes and let's me off the hook without derailing the whole thing too much with waiting months between certain shoots. This also ties together a few smaller insignificant lines already in the movie too, which is kind of cool...I think that all makes sense, if it doesn't, don't worry about it.

I'm hopefully shooting this weekend if the weather holds and it should be the last of my major exterior shoots (thank god) and then it'll be onto a huge pile of interiors and that's when all the cool stuff happens. So there's a lot more to come.

Oh, and for all those folks out there waiting on the edge of your seats about the burned out pixel problem, it has been, more or less, officially resolved.