Saturday, December 22, 2007


It's been a couple weeks since we wrapped principal shooting, I've been sort of taking it easy. Been working to get Dan's movie up to date and ready for production the first week of the new year, so far so good with that. I've also been working out costume and prop details (among other things) for the new extended opening sequence.

About 90% of everything needed has been ordered and on it's way. There's some new contact lenses that will be ordered as well as 2 prop swords - which are unlike the regular swords I've been using, these are much safer to really fight with. And then we'll be working on the sword fight choreography for a couple weeks, as well I'll be storyboarding the whole thing, plotting out any visual effects and if all goes as planned we should be ready to shoot this by mid-February.

I was hoping to have snow, mainly because I want this one little scene to really look unlike the rest of the movie, which is mainly dark and could be summer or fall, this I wanted to be a little more hostile looking. I'm just hoping it won't feel hostile while we're shooting. We'll be padded up enough so I think we'll be warm enough - the only concern is the camera in the cold. So our location has to be somewhere close to a place where we can slip inside.

Location scouting this might be problematic, we'll see.

Otherwise I've not really made any progress on the movie. I've taken a quick look at this and that. I spent a couple days redesigning The Library. It's the biggest FX scene in the movie I think, I'll more then likely be trying to complete that first. There's only 3 or 4 shots out of the entire sequence (maybe 30 or 40 shots in total) that don't require any post work. The rest is almost frame by frame touching up. Fun stuff.

I've been thinking about the movie as a whole lately, the overall look and feel of it. The more I think of it, the more I realize I could've gone farther with it. Not that I'm disappointed with it, it's just a matter of several things that were unavailable to me when I wrote it that have become almost simple and common now.

There are some techniques and visuals that I would never have thought of 3 and half years ago when the script was written that I've since become pretty comfortable with - and there's really only so much going back and adding stuff you can do. For instance, and CG actors - no problem. Real actors interaction with them? Impossible, unless it's already been shot like that, you can go back and add the real actors doing something that you didn't shoot - unless it's a long shot and you replace with with a digital actor, in which case it better be worth it because of the amount of work. And reshooting is more of a pain in the ass then anything, too much time has passed and too much has changed to even think of doing reshoots. So I'm settling on the sort of weird detached feeling the movie has, which kind of works since Malice herself is a pretty detached person.

Specifically action sort of stuff. I wish I'd had more moments of some action, but it would've required rewriting scenes and then working out a fight, or whatever, and then how does this action impact the location - could we do a fight scene on this location and what can we do safely - and still believable and worth the effort. And then there's can the actors do it? Do we need props, are the props going to hold up and will they be safe to use? So it boils down to, just forget it. Let's shoot what we can.

So in the end I opted to ignore this and just keep it as it was written and try to flesh out the scenes with more live action visuals to make it more interesting. I guess I came about with this thought over the last little while, off and on, seeing other movies, older ones that inspired this one. Lately I just happened to see the trailer for HellBoy 2: The Golden Army (the original HellBoy was very much an inspiration for The Monkey Rodeo: Malice) and all I could think of afterwards was how much larger and more impressive I would've really liked The Monkey Rodeo to have been.

Obviously I have to settle on what's already been shot and just deal with it. There is no more adding at this point. All I can do is take the post visuals already planned from the beginning and just make them 10x more cool. I've been pushing myself to add more details to the movie that in the end you probably won't even realize are added visual effects. Mainly just to see if I can do it. Overall they should gloss over any imperfections or slacker moments of the movie.

Like I said, it's not that I'm suddenly deflated and disgusted by what's shot. I think in comparison (both budget and talent-wise) to "Hollywood" movies, The Monkey Rodeo should prove to be a pretty impressive movie. It's just one of those things where you keep seeing potential to make a scene a little bigger and a little cooler. At some point you really have to just let it go and hope that you can make the best with what you got. And that's where I am right now.

Within the next 2 months I should have everything I need to start working on a completed version. Visually speaking at least. There's some software I need to complete some visuals that I should be able to snag over the next while.

By late-summer/mid-fall I hope to be doing all the dialog recording. That will mean all the visuals, probably rough versions at the least, will be done by then.

That's where things are now, I just wanted to make an update since things are very quiet on this at the moment.

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