Friday, June 15, 2007

Editing Update

Well, I got home, did a rough edit and I think we're pretty good. Some of the shots that needed work I ended up not using - some just didn't cut together very well or really weren't needed in the end. A new problem popped up, should be fixable, and it was my fault. One of the reverse acting shots was done wrong - but with a little effort I can redo it to make it work with no problems.

Looking at it all now, I kinda wished I had more Bile Demon closeups, mainly because they looked so good on screen and it would've been nice to have something to cutaway to at a couple points. Ah well.

All things considered though. It's roughly a 4 minute 30 second scene - not bad at all actually.

And now some Before and After shots of some incredible feats of de-pregnatization! This first shot is going to be easy to fix, Heather just walks in from the right side to this point, about a 6-8 second shot maybe. I have an empty version of the background already, no shadows are being cast near where I need to slim her down - so I just make a mask to remove Malice's suddenly pregnancy.



This one is going to be a little tricky, there's lots of movement in this shot, this is the clearest image that's obvious. I won't explain how I'm going to fix it, but it should be seamless in the end. And the darkness of the image really helps. Also, this was just a test and was done in about 2 minutes, so if you think you spot some flaws - congratulations! You get a gold star and a donkey punch.



The 2nd one is going to need a lot of work, but it's an awesome shot - I won't tell you want it involves, but it's one of those shots that I would spend weeks on cleaning it up it turned out so well. I had originally intended for this to be a body double shot, but we tried it with Heather and I shot it a little too wide - each take was perfect though, so I decided I'd take the time to work on it.

That's it for now again. I feel I accomplished more then I intended to already today so I'm off for more coffee and see if I can't track down the new HellBoy animated movie that just came out.

On Editing Bile Demons

I'm writing this while I'm down at Cafe Diem having coffee and doing a rough edit of the footage from the other day.

So far so good. With a few exceptions however - there's always those. It was rather dark and hard to see sometimes just what I was getting in the frame, so because of that there's a few shots where I'll have to see if I can slim down Heather. Not the end of the world, just a bad oversight on my behalf. Luckily she's wearing all black so there's no obvious wrinkles or patterns in the her outfit that will show, I can just remove the pregnant part and suddenly she'll be a little less so.

I was aware that this was a possibility, and in some shots it's VERY obvious - but you learn to live with a lot after a fashion.

And of course there's the burned out pixel to contend with again. You might be thinking, but hey, wasn't that on the camera that got stolen? And why didn't you notice before? Well, everything we shot until today was fairly bright, so it wouldn't be noticeable. In a dark basement however - pretty noticeable. No worries, I know how to fix it.

I have pretty much everything sorted through for editing, might be a little clunky here and there, but I think overall it'll be really awesome looking. The only reason for the clunky is because we shot out of sequence 4 times. We shot with Heather, we then did a pass with Jordan, then we shot all the Bile Demon shots that were left over and finally some hand closeups with Kim (since Jordan had bright pink or red nails and Heather didn't) - there there was room for a massive amount of error - however, we encountered only some minor things. I won't be able to really see any problems until I get down to editing.

The reverse and slow motion shots we took should work out great. The forced perspective shot looks awesome. And the Bile Demon costumes and makeup came off really great - so overall one of the better shoots we've had in awhile - especially considering the amount of time and energy that went into it.

And the best part is, it doesn't look like we missed anything. So now, on with some pictures. I'm not writing amusing little captions today, not really in the mood.

So that's it and there you have it. Bile Demons galore. I'll probably edit this together over the weekend, should be pretty cool. Funny, while shooting it I was pretty impressed at how little post work would have to be done with this scene...and looking at it now, there's a bit to be done.

Obviously a couple shots with Heather need to be tweaked, no worries there. There's a symbol on a wall at one point - always knew about that part and was well prepared for it. Some parts just need to be cleaned up in general, the burned out pixel, some lights got into the background of some shots - things like that, no real problems there either. And some light effects need to be added.

The biggest oversight however was the lack of proper Bile Demon footwear. I never intended too many full body shots of them. But things ran long and we all got tired and whatnot, so when that happens you tend to get sloppy and not notice things. There's at least 1 shot at the end when the Bile Demons all pile into the room after Malice - we can clearly see they're wearing jeans and sneakers...I suppose it's very possible Bile Demons might've snatched them off some hapless victim, but I don't think so. A little cleanup is required there, not the end of the world though. In the end you probably will never even notice the difference if I hadn't mentioned it here.

So that's it for awhile. I have a couple little snippets of shots I'll be taking in the next week. A new lead up to the final scene with the Security Guard character and some entering and exiting of the scene with Jordan and a news report cutaway from another scene.

I hope to get around to doing something with the documentary footage Andrea shot soon. I'll post it here once it's done.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

An almost totally random post

It's funny, after my last post and that little rant at the end about why I do this, I started thinking what if someone serioulsy asked me "Why do you make movies?"

Honestly, I have no aspirations to end up being an assistant Dirtector to Sam Raimi or Peter Jackson. Or even working for a major studio doing another remake of some crappy 80's sitcom - like either of these things would ever happen anyway. I don't want to end up doing commercials for haircare products. And as far as the computer animation side of it all, I don't want to work for Pixar, or do special effects for the next Harry Potter movie. I have no end goal for this in mind at all.

If you really start to think about everything I just noted that are the exact reasons I'm not doing this for, you'll see most of them involve me working for someone else. Not that I even have issue with that, it's not a matter of I need to be in control of the project. And I have no pretentious art-fag need to "have my voice heard", if you've seen anything I've done not a one has the feel of my "trying to say something" with my movies. Or even as lame as exploring my -insert current topical emotional issue here-.

So what is it? You know, I figured it out finally. Because it's not the end that I like the most. It's not "Oh, the movie's over, I can't wait to show everyone so they can all bathe in my awesomeness". I kinda hate that part. I'm mean, it's cool when someone sees it and they like it - but I really don't give a shit if they think it sucks.

It's the making of it. Not really the writing of it, although it's kinda fun, but isolating. It's the making of a movie that I like. And this is what I think it boils down to: It's like I'm still about 8 years old somewhere in my head. The toys and shit I play with have just gotten way more elaborate and the little make believe stuff just got way out of hand. So I call up my friends to come over and play, and pretend we're fighting evil and shit, and I justify it by filming it and putting it all together to make a story.

It's cool to watch it all once it's done. But remember, I've seen every shot, heard every line of dialog, sound effects and music a million times while I'm putting it together, so there's no real moment of sitting back and being overwhelmed at how it all came out. I can see how it's going to come out long before I see it all finished in the end. The end is more of a relief then a high point in some ways.

It's odd that my reaction to "Oh you make movies, that must be fun" is that "No, it's not always fun", when I just realized this is just a grown up way of playing make believe. I guess that's all movies are anyway in the end. I think this is probably why I hate "thought provoking" movies or movies about crippled children, or things that make you feel bad about not recycling enough - that's not fun. A little lame and childish perhaps, but that's it.

I have fun making my friends play dress up, and then whack each other with swords. Or get blown up in cars. Or curse at each other alot before they rob banks. Or fight evil alien robots from space. Or replace a shipment of coffee beans with a severed head. Or see what happens when the Grim Reaper loses his job. No real artsy-fartsy motive here, that's for sure.

It's hard work to have this much fun, but god-dammit it's just fun sometimes and we'll leave it at that.

And now a little FAQ on movie making in case I didn't make my point clear enough. (This is meant to be funny, if you take offense easily, don't read it. If you think it's about you, you might be right - in which case - please, take the hint.)

You're a filmmaker? Have I seen anything you've done?

Do you live on PEI? Have you been to any of the Reel Island Film Festivals?


Then probably not.

You make movies? Really?

Why is that so hard to believe? I never said I was Steven Spielberg. I make crappy, weird, little low budget movies - therefore I do believe I am allowed to say, "I am a filmmaker".

Do you enjoy making movies?

Pretty much.

Do you want a job doing it?

Don't care.

Will you do a bunch of special effects for my movie for free?

Are you retarded?

Will you buy my script?

That answers my last question at least.

I think you should -insert some stupid idea here- .

Where'd I put my hammer?

Is Natalie Portman hot?

Yes. You shouldn't have to ask me that, that's a given.

You could work for Pixar or something, your animation is awesome.

Not really a question, but thanks. In all honesty, I'd be laughed at if I went to Pixar with my stuff, but thanks anyway.

Are you going to make more movies?

I don't know, and right now, I don't care and I don't have time. I need to start acting all grown up and make money - if the two coincide, we'll see.

Hey, if you ever need any help...

Not to be rude, I can't tell you how many times I've heard this. And I've lost count how many times people who volunteer in this fashion never show up.

All your movies have aliens and are science fiction right?

No, the 2 or 3 you saw out of 30 did. Quit bothering me and fling yourself off a building please. I HATE science fiction, generally speaking.

Are you going to do a sequel to...?

Probably not.

You should call -insert some random person's name here- they'd be awesome in one of your movies. You should cast them.

Here's an idea, you think they're so awesome, you make a movie starring them.

You should show your movies at/on -insert wherever here-.

Since you're so concerned about my movies being shown, why don't you shutup and pony up the cash and time to distribute it for me since you seem to think it's so easy.

Wow, you're hostile, I was just trying to help.

Yeah, nice defense. If you really want to help, like I said, pony up the cash and time to distribute it for me since you seem to think it's so easy. I mean really, do you think I'm that mentally challenged that I've never considered this kind before? Or that you're so brilliant? Do you have any idea how annoying this conversation becomes after the 10 thousandth time? Next question.

I was just trying to help.

I had that hammer just a second ago...

Where do your ideas come from?

My head, more specifically a mass of tissue residing in my head that also tells me when I'm hungry and when I should go to the bathroom. I have no idea really where this stuff comes from.

Would you ever make a movie with Natalie Portman?

Yes, but you'd never see it.

What does that mean?

What do you think?

Hey, I have this idea for a movie...

Oh really? Well, that's nice and all, but so does everyone else. Can we talk about something else other then movies sometimes?

(10 minutes later after hearing about aforementioned movie idea.)

Um...yeah, sounds cool. Hey, I gotta go make a sissy, be right back...Really, I'll be right back.

I didn't like your movie.

Did you pay to see it?


You get what you pay for then.

But I paid for it, and I didn't like it.

Yeah, and how much did you pay? Before you answer, remember, you get what you pay for.

Can I get a copy of all your movies?

Were you in it?


There's your answer.

Would you ever get a tattoo of Natalie Portman, you seem to like her.

No, that's a one way ticket to Creepy Town, kid.

It'd be cool if you did -insert random/strange idea here- in one of your movies.

Yeah, I'll write a whole story based around that idea, just so you can see it. I'm not doing anything else anyway.

Do you make money off your movies?

Of course, haven't you noticed my Mercedes and my huge mansion? Really, if I'm lucky, I can feed my cats for a week off what I've made making movies.

Then why do you do it?

You really haven't been paying attention, have you?

What do you mean?

Ah, there's my hammer.

That's it. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this FAQ and it's apparent sarcastic bitterness, please email me at:

I have no idea why I wrote all this. Just seemed like something to do in between other things. I hope to get around to taking a look at the Bile Demon scene footage soon and posting some stills.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The end of another long day

It was one of those days, missing money, bridge closed for a bicycle race. What was supposed to be a quick trip to Petitcodiac turned into another 12 hour day. Anyway, I'm home and I'm going over the pictures from yesterday's shoot.

There's some really great stuff, so get settled this is going to take awhile. First off, I hope no one is suffering any ill effects from the dusty basement. And there's a lot of pictures with this update, so if you're on dialup, you might want to go for a stroll or something while it all loads up.

The end of the makeup session for the Bile Demons.
Moe arrived too late and didn't get any shots of me doing the makeup,
but luckily for everyone, Andrea MacDonald was there to
document the whole thing - I'll be adding that eventually.
This is Dan in makeup, by the way.
And here we have Draper.
And for a first, an actual shot of me.
I gots a broom! Screw you Harry Potter, mine's bigger!
And we arrive on location...
And we scare the locals a little bit.
Bile Demons are also very good hairdressers.
I'm not sure, but I think he overdid the hairspray and
is trying to wipe it off, and Heather looks rather amused by it.
Ooh, the scary basement of Bile Demon death!
Eww, Bile Demons actually leave Bile on things?
Another failed attempt to make Blacklights cool again.
Yeah, Bile Demon Bile (tm) is really dish soap..
What else did you expect?
I like these shots. I'm the Hulk.
And our actors lounge in our luxurious lounge/laundry room.
My first attempt to use reverse acting. Basically we do the shot in reverse,
because it's safer, then I reverse it, so it's now playing it the right direction
and hopefully it looks like Heather is actually grabbing and
stopping that sword before it hits her in the head.
I don't even know which one this is, Draper or Dan.
I think it's Dan.
Some more reverse acting excitement!
For only pennies a day, you can sponsor a poor
starving Bile Demon, just like little Gary here.
He just wants your love...and perhaps your liver.
"So, you think it shows at all?"
"Nah, barely noticeable at all."
This is Heather moving in realtime - she's that fast!
This is actually kind of creepy looking.
"That is the camera. Do not look at the camera!"
"Oh hey, come look at the camera."
This guy will eat your entire family for breakfast.
And this is Heather's reaction to:
"That was your last shot,'re done."
And in comes Jordan, Heather's double.
Hi Ho, Hi Ho...and something about killing Bile Demons.
Dan takes a moment to mentally prepare himself for what lies ahead.
And that's Kim, by the way, my newly appointed Production Assistant.
Dan and Jordan contemplate the best way to kick someone in the groin.
You can almost see the look of "She's going to do what to my where?"
You know, out of context...this is kinda strange looking.
"And now you get to chop him up with an axe."
She does look pretty happy about it, doesn't she?
And this, is officially the coolest picture ever.
If this was of Heather, it would without a doubt be the movie poster.
More action and axe chopping danger!
Meanwhile Draper,
who has been up for probably 20 hours at this point,
starts to fade on us.
"And don't talk back to me, or I'll smack you again!"
Yes, that is Bile Demon Bile (tm) once again,
splattered over the shot list.
And Draper's done.
We're all done...actually.
No sooner said, then this happens.
You really shouldn't rip it off like that...
My first thought when I saw this was, Dan has a look on his face like:
"Actually, that stuff in the mayonnaise jar we found
under the stairs there, wasn't so bad."
"Really? Can I have some?"
"Uh...On second thought..."

And I will leave you with this one last
heartwarming Bile Demon Picture.

That's pretty much how it all went. Only this makes it look like so much more fun. I was talking to Draper afterwards about the fact that there are people who do shoots like this 6 days a week, sun up to sun down - I have no idea how they survive. This was a pretty painful shoot, well worth it since it looks like all the footage is going to be awesome.

It's funny when I mention I do this and people's first reaction is "Oh, that must be fun." Well, in some ways it is, but don't think for a second we're all sitting around having a gigglefest the whole time. That rarely happens, this is damned hard work. It's stressful and sometimes physically painful - so why do I bother with it? Why not? When was the last time you got to wear monster costumes and play with real weapons?

It's partially for the experience of just doing something completely different for a change. And yes, it is fun sometimes. Although, I'd much rather be having "fun" in a nice clean room then a dusty smelly old basement - but you catch my meaning. Let's face it, you dress up for no good reason as a monster and go lurking in someone's might get your ass thrown in jail for being some sort of weirdo. BUT! Make a movie while you're doing it - now that's a different story.

Not sure where I'm going with this last little rant. It's 12 AM now, I'm tired. I'm going to drink some Canada Dry from a can and play Tomb Raider. Seems kinda boring after all this. However, if I dress up like Lara Croft and...never mind, there's no context humanly possible where that's exceptable.

I just noticed when I published this, I started at 9:49. That took some time to do.