Monday, June 30, 2008

Everything's going well so far. I've got written permission to film in Victoria Park, so no worries there. The Titan Device, as I've taken to calling it, is coming along well too. Might be a little early to say that, but so far it's working as planned.

Seems like everything's lining up to go well. I've got some great shots sussed out, I'll be working on them some more this coming weekend and if all goes well the Device should be nearly done as well - at least well underway enough to know how well it'll look.

I've had to create a makeshift styrofoam knife that seems to be working rather well, a little slow but that's better then not at all. I should have the basic forms done in a few days, I'm making them from huge styrofoam sheets cut and glued together to form 2'x2'x2' cubes, which will then be cut done further to get the basic shape right. Then I'm using expandable foam for the outer skin which I can carve into with more detail.

From there it's a simple paint job, some moss and crap and I should have an assortment of massive stones that form a 6 foot obelisk. It'll be incredibly sturdy and lightweight too.

Should be an amusing shoot.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Prop of Doom

I've been slowly working away at this reworked scene, and it's going to be so much easier this time around. Taking into account all the problems with shooting outdoors; a power source - can't film if your very expensive batteries die on you, location - hard to find a good one, even harder to find one you don't have to plan a roadtrip to get to, which also includes transportation and the time spent travelling...blah, blah and blah.

Anyway, all that is solved with one location. Oddly enough, I can find everything I need to shoot in the woods in Victoria Park (for those non-Islanders it's about 4 blocks from where I live). It'll require some creative shooting to avoid some minor background stuff that doesn't work, but not much, maybe for a small handful of shots at the worst.

And the best part is there's freaking electrical outlets about every 50 feet out there.

Now taking all that into consideration, it's a great place to do this. I scouted it out this afternoon, it should all work perfectly. However, I have to think about any potential problems such as, will any casual wandering through the woods person stumble upon our filming and cause some massive stink - I don't know why, but let's face it, some people feel it's their duty to bugger things up that quite honestly have nothing to do with them in the first place.

So I'm thinking, do I contact the city - or whoever, I've no idea really - and tell them that I'm doing this, see what their more then likely apathetic reaction is? Because it's a public place and it's not like I'm murdering babies or something, I'm just filming a stupid movie only a smattering of folks will probably even see. Regardless, it's the only "bad feeling" I'm getting right now about the scene.

For instance, even today as I wandered through there - I ran into a woman and her two kids...Imagaine their reaction to a bunch of dudes with swords and another bunch of leather armor clad demons with executioner hoods on. That won't be pretty. So I think you can see my concern.

My other option, would be to make sure I have a few extra hands on board to prevent folks from accidently wandering into this without warning. Not to prevent them from passing and making the woods off limits, just to forewarn so I don't have to pay therapy bills for anyone. I'm thinking regardless this is a good idea.

And after all that I'm still working out the smaller details of the scene, and one not so small prop. It now centers around a thing I'm just calling an "ancient device," it helps tie together a couple loose ends to certain plot points and whatnot, but also serves as a nice set piece.

It's going to be a 2' x 2' obelisk, about 6 feet tall, it will serve as a device that the Brotherhood uses to save the day - all very nicely explained, as well even serves to tie into the ending in a way I never originally intended - just visually though. That might not make sense until you see the movie though, so I won't bother to explain it.

I'm sussing out building materials today. I've a few ideas already, one if it pans out isn't cheap but requires almost no construction. The design is pretty basic, I'm not worried about that at all.

Overall, it's looking pretty good. The scene itself is 100 times better then before, asI believe I might've mentioned at least once.

And, Happy 50th Birthday to Bruce Campbell.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Rethinking the Near End of the World

As I mentioned in the previous post - I've been reworking the Demon Army Battle scene. I was a little annoyed after cancelling the shoot, only to discover the next day that I still could've pulled it off had it gone on as scheduled. It was a bit of a crappy day, but there was a good 5-6 hour window where I could've got everything done.

Ah well. Not the end of the world...Or is it?

That was a lame set up, in any case, I just got through reworking the scene and it's so much better in almost every possible way - so any annoyance at having lost a day of shooting is long since gone.

The new version should be a little quicker to shoot, most of it's handheld and moving very quickly. It's bascially a fight on the run. It'll have to be choreographed a bit to work properly, that's not a problem though.

It also serves to fill in any plot gaps I might've suffered over countless rewrites and redoing certain scenes - thankfully, I was slightly smart in making sure I had at least 2 scenes where major information is revealed that the spoken dialog could be rewritten if needed and not effect the visuals whatsoever.

I won't go into too much detail at the moment, other then to say I'll be working this weekend on creating what could be the biggest prop I've ever built. Not the most elaborate, but the biggest - the hardest part will be settling on a design.

Then I have to go over the entire script and make sure the line changes - the scene is without dialog, but there's a voiceover during the whole thing - don't contradict anything I can't change.

So that's it. I'll be aiming at shooting this mid-July, or earlier if everything falls into place.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Called on account of rain

I really hate dealing with weather dependant shoots. I stressed pretty much most of the day about whether or not tomorrow was going to happen and I finally decided to call it off. I had a few folks already taking the day off work and I didn't want to leave it to the last minute, I had three separate forecasts calling for rain and even thunder showers, plus I'd just gotten a call from one of the actors informing me he was unable to make it. So, it seems like karma or fate working against me. Tomorrow isn't happening.

On the plus side of things, in the same instant I cancelled the shoot, I came up with a much better idea for the scene anyway. Much less setup in any case, which is way better - and more actiony even.

I hate dragging people along and telling them, yeah we're shooting next week and then cancelling it. I know there's nothing really I can do about it, like I said, "weather dependant shoots" - they're a bugger at best.

So that's it. No shoot tomorrow, a much more stress free evening for me...and a plate of sandwiches for 15 people I have to pick up tomorrow regardless. At least I know what I'm doing for lunch and dinner tomorrow.

Stay tuned for more action-packed details. Not about my lunch and dinner, but what's happening with the scene next.

Friday, June 13, 2008

It’s been an incredibly busy week, it’s looking almost over however. The last of the costume stuff has been sorted out and finished, the hoods look pretty good – if not rather demonically gimpish.

The prosthetics are already pre-painted – and since very little of the full face and neck will be visible because of the costume, they should be easy to slap on and blend it.

I’ve been doing my homework on the best possible methods of getting my demon army shots. There’s only 3 shots that require a massive horde, so I’m hoping this will go as well as it can. . Worse come to worse, I do have a good-backup plan – one that I hope not to have to use, but I’m more then prepared should I have to.

The shot list is relatively short and simple, only a page and a half, about 10 of those shots are incredibly simple and handheld (which always makes for a nice quick shoot).

Now, about the swords. This is one of those situations that just infuriates the hell out of me, it's not a huge deal - but it becomes a huge deal with mistakes are made. There were two version of the sword I wanted - here's a pitcure right from the website itself:

They're not bad looking, but of course the one with the "blood" on it looks a little silly. I specifically asked for the ones WITHOUT the crappy looking blood - you can see where this is going. They didn't have 4 without, 4 with - but not 4 without, in any size, small, medium or large. They had 2 of each - with and without - but I was being picky and this caused a hold up. Tthen I was told they could get 4 without no problem from their manufacturer in Denmark - so I waited..and got 4 with the crappy looking blood anyway.

Now I'm going to give whoever the benefit of the doubt and assume that somewhere alone the line someone didn't mention which version or miscommunicated with version. In any case, I wasted 2 months waiting on the assurance I'd get what I wanted, only to get exactly what I didn't want.

I'd be pissed it the swords weren't so dark the blood's barely noticable - thank god. Anyway, all the wonderful costumer service in the world doesn't make up for the fact I go the wrong item and it's too late to do anything about it.

I probably won’t update anything until the evening, or morning, after the shoot on the 18th. So be prepared to see some pretty damned cool looking shit. Or at least a bunch of guys standing around in a field trying to look cool.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I'd like to say everything's ready for next week...

...but that'd be a lie. Not that what's not ready is going to ruin everything, it just means as usual with everything else I have going on it's going to be a little hectic.

On the plus side though. The demon swords are on their way right now, here's hoping customs doesn't see 4 rubber swords as a threat to our way of life and seize them. I had some last minute makeup that I may or may not need on it's way here today as well and that's the last of the packages.

This weekend we (and by we I mean myself, Kim, Draper and my friend Dave who was over from NS) took the demon costumes for a walk in Victoria Park and abused the hell out of them - they look pretty good now. I just need to do a little of the same for the gloves and the hoods - whenever the hoods are actually made that is, that's another thing I still have to go.

I still also have yet to get confirmation from one of my demon actors/stuntmen - not much I can do there but wait.

And I was hoping to snag a little portable battery type thing to power the equipment with - that was a dismal failure. After charging it for 2 days it last all of 15 seconds. We're going with plan B, which is "make it up as we go along."

And that's it. I'm going to try to suss out a quick and simple way of marking off areas for when we're shooting the mulitple passes of the demons and that should be the last of the crap I need to do for next week's shoot.

Until then, I'm sure you're going to have a much more relaxing week then me.