Thursday, July 19, 2007

Piles of stuff on the way

I just finished placing several orders with some online companies for a whole pile of prosthetics for the movie - about 12 different pieces, mostly foreheads, a few ears and a couple different horns. Most of this is for the Boardroom Scene coming up in a couple weeks. All I can say is, it's going to be a freakshow.

As well, I have some more props on the way as well. Three custom made, Lovecraft inspired books - in look, not text. I don't know if there's actually any text in the books, but it's more about the visual of the books then anything. They're made by the same guy who made the book I've already used in the movie in the Library Scene - and these ones put this little guy to shame. I think the description said one of the books is almost 20 pounds it's so huge...I could be wrong there, not sure but I should be finding out soon.

I'm even getting a flintlock pistol for one scene - luckily it's coming from Canada so no more pesky customs problems. Although I actually have a pretty good in with customs now should I be ordering any more weird stuff from across the boarder.

As far as other props, I'll be making a bit of a roadtrip in about 2 weeks to go looking for some more odd little trinkets and things to fill out the Shaman's Lair scene. Since I'll be done of work in about 2 weeks this is my vacation time. I'll be back to the movie, as well as making a bit of a dive into Dan Caseley's movie.

So that's it for now

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Until August

So, work is going well. Extremely well...I think. And then I started thinking about what I'd shoot next for The Monkey Rodeo, then I got all fuzzy in the head and passed out, woke up several hours later only to be assaulting some small,balding man and screaming "Screw you, DeVito", and that got me thinking that I shouldn't be considering anything else right now...Okay, that didn't really happen, but it could. Trust me.

I had a few little things I wanted to get shot for the movie, but right now I'm thinking it's not going to happen. Not because of lack of time, but because of a fully functioning brain. As I said, work is actually going well. At least I think it is. I've made some pretty good progress in the last week, better then I expected and I'm doing the whole trying-not-to-jinx-it by wearing the wrong pair of socks sort of thing. Not that I haven't changed my socks, it was a analogy...or simile...or whatever the hell it was supposed to be.

I recalculated the amount of work I figured I should have to do over the next 20 days, it's gone from 58 5/10 second animations to 50 5/10 second animations - now we're at 37. Possibly less. I'd like to have more done, but it's proving in some cases to be more a pain then I thought in originally.

In any case, aside from the paying gig, the movie has been put on yet another little postponement. Nothing major, nothing unexpected even - and certainly nothing bad. In fact while I've been sitting for nearly 12 hours a day in front of the computer I had a few new ideas come to me - nothing that will make my life more complicated once I resume filming, but will hopefully make it work better.

I redesigned the Titan once again...After all my redesigning and settling, I've think I finally got it. I've been playing around with the design a little bit in 3D over the last week, I even started a pretty decent model and I can say it's very unlike the original designs I posted here awhile back. Still the same concept, a massive living statue - however very, very different looking. I'm really impressed with the results to the point where there is no doubt that I finally got it right.

After filming the last 5 scenes, the opening, will be the first to be done. I'm thinking as a little preview I might post a tiny segment of the opening by October or so. By December I'm thinking I'll have enough done to post an actual trailer.

This is just hopeful however, things could change. In any case, that's it for now.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Not much going on

The title says it all.

Been busy with work in the real world, no monsters or anything going on there - perhaps metaphorically speaking there is, I haven't been paying attention too much to notice.

I've been thinking a little bit about what's left to shoot. A couple little things through the month of the July, nothing too serious or difficult or even worth mentioning. However the last 5 major scenes with Derek are proving to be rather entertaining in the planning.

Two scene in particular are getting more attention then the others. The Brotherhood Boardroom scenes (yes I said scenes, originally there was one, I wrote a 2nd this morning - more on that in a minute) and Pyre's Lair (or Hotel Room, or even Pyre's Den of Women).

The Brotherhood Boardroom (originally just referred to as Crais's Office), is going to rather easy to shoot, since the set is already exactly as I need, lighting and all. So we're looking at a hopefully simple sit down and shoot kind of situation. The importance of this scene is that it introduces the character of Crais and now the Council of the Brotherhood. Previously there was no Council, at least not that you'd ever get to see - and that was because there was no location I felt was appropriate enough to bother. However, with the new location I can properly show off exactly what The Brotherhood is.

After all the compromising I've made, it's nice to be able to elaborate on a scene rather then cut back. And this morning I was thinking Crais and the Brotherhood are actually a very important aspect of the story but both have very little screen time, I might need to do more with them - it won't really change the story at all, add to it a little maybe but that's it. Now without giving away some integral plot points, there was a part of the story I was worried might not work, it was something that was just spoken about, not visualized. I wondered how that might feel like you missed something.

So I decided this morning, why not show it. I have the boardroom, I have the Council - no reason why I can't tack on a fairly short scene that will hopefully make the movie work a little better. It should add that twist in the third act that will leave the audience confused for a second as to just what the hell is going on - and then only to have it explained later. Originally, as I already mentioned, there was just an explanation, so this should tie it all up a little bit better and perhaps cut back on some clunky exposition dialog.

Also the visual of the scene should make a pretty good impact. I wouldn't call it shocking, but I will say it comes out of nowhere - hopefully.

And then we have Pyre's Lair. If you're following all this or are involved in the movie, you've heard me mention it before on probably several occasions. This is another scene that originally was quite simple and straightforward and more then likely visually boring as hell since it's an exposition scene.

Over the last month I've been thinking of different ideas to make all these 5 scenes work better on a visual basis, since I have the time and mental freedom to do so now. This scene really didn't have much going for it other then the presence of a giant, computer generate slug demon that speaks in a demon language and is therefore subtitled. It has changed drastically, and in fact Pyre is no longer a slug demon, at least not in the obvious sense of what a giant slug demon might look like.

The only other character in this scene besides Grayson (Derek Martin) was to be Pyre's wife, actually the 88th daughter of another character in the movie...yes, it's a weird movie I know. This was kind of just a Buffyesque (Buffy the Vampire Slayer in case you're wondering) sort of scene in the beginning, and maybe even a Jabba the Hut reference. The giant inhuman looking monster with a beautiful woman perched next to him. Over the last little while it's become a little larger and more campy as well.

Starting with the introduction of a mercenary/thug-for-hire demon named Gortch. To be played by Graham Putnam and written in specifically since he had to bow out of a previous scene do to a beard and a potential role in a viking movie. Grayson arrives at a hotel where Pyre lives in the penthouse, perhaps it's a sort of demon hotel, who knows. He encounters Gortch as he steps off the elevator, and of course there's a history between the two characters so an brief standoff ensues.

Grayson is then lead to Pyre's room where he has not one, but 4 (or more) wives, all milling about the room. The hard part is trying to find 4 (or more) women all worthy of being supermodels to prance around a hotel room pretending to be the harem of a CG demon...Yes, I am well aware of how strange this sounds - imagine having to explain this as I ask around at hotels if I can shoot it there. I don't think there's any way I can make it sound above board either.

"Yeah, I need a hotel room for a couple hours to shoot a movie. It'll just be me, another guy and 4 or 5 women."

And then further explaining to make it sound non-sketchy:

"See, they're the wives of a giant computer generated demon whose so fat he'd bedridden, they're all just kind of hanging out and whatnot."

Luckily, I find it amusing to do this. It's part of the fun of making movies - seeing people's reaction when you inform them a CG Demon and army of supermodel wives will be invading their hotel. I think the only reason I get permission to do this sort of thing is because most folks are so thrown and/or intrigued by what I'm suggesting they say yes just see if I'm serious.

Anyway, as far as Pyre himself goes, I changed his basic slug form into more of a big fat bedridden creature. He'll actually have arms now, whereas before he was literally just a giant slug. I'm thinking if I actually secure a room somewhere to shoot, I'll build a form that will slide under the covers of the bed to represent his body and all I have to do is add in an upper torso and head in post. That'll give the actors a better idea where to look and what they're dealing with. Plus it look pretty cool I think.

And of course all the wives will look fairly peculiar in their own way. the main wife (the 88th daughter) will have yellow eyes, strange elf ears and some facial tattoos (just like her mother who is featured in 2 scenes with Derek as well). The others I'm still trying to suss out. Perhaps some minor makeup, nothing too serious since doing makeup before a shoot tends to draw the day out and make nailing down an exact shooting time pretty difficult.

I have access to quite a few funky looking things to make it all work. There's one idea I have that will give the scene another added little element of strangeness, and should get a bit of a reaction from everyone - I won't go into details since you'll probably get to see something of it once it's shot.

This is probably the last you'll see here for a couple weeks, work is busy and I need to start organizing myself so I'm not doing 5 different thing at once. In the background I'm taking time to sort out all the little details of the last 5 scenes. Come August I'm hoping to take time off work, 2 months, to finish up some of my own projects, then come October it'll be back to work for some time.

So that's it for now.