Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Look of Bimbo Zombie Killers!

For some reason I can't get the proper aspect ratio to display here, it's fine other - as soon as I upload it, it looks like this. Ah well, not that it matters anyway.

The point is, I've finally nailed down the final "look" of Bimbo Zombie Killers! I've got one FX shot left, and it's going to take a couple days, but otherwise the video aspect of the project is finally done. The last step is to colour correct the whole thing to give it more of an old 70's look. You can see the difference here.

Top: Before and Bottom: After
And add to this some dust and scratches to make it look a little beat up, and some flicker here and there and it should look pretty good.

I'm starting the first relooping session with one of the leads, Heather, tonight and I'm going to try to get everyone taken care of over the course of the next week or two.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I suck at keeping track of things.

I need a personal assistant or something. I can't pay, but you get half my stress - so that's something.

Everything seems to have come to bottleneck today, making me realize that I can't pay attention to everything at once. Funny how this comes after reading an article about how multitaskers make the worst multitaskers.

It's nothing serious, I just lost track of finances - such as they are when you're on EI - and lost track of time. While I've made awesome headway on Bimbo Zombie Killers! in the FX department, I totally forgot - well, I didn't forget, I just didn't know how little time I had - to get one of the main actors to come in to do their relooping before they left. She leaves tomorrow morning and is unavailable today. My fault totally. Ah well.

There's even 2 cutaway shots I still need to shoot, I can do them in my own yard, but still, the point is I forgot.

I finally got the paint to do the masks for the 3D movie, but I'm at a standstill on one of the locations and the backpack prop - and the more I think about it right now, there's a lot of other smaller elements I've forgotten about totally that need to be addressed before we shoot.

So I'm postponing the next 3 projects, the 3D movie, Grayson and Gortch (which was supposed to be next month - which is nearly here already) and Karl (which can be done whenever, but I haven't even given it much of a 2nd thought until now).

I'll leave you with a couple finished FXshots fom Bimbo Zombie Killers!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Finally some good news.

Not too major. I got the first Alien Brain Mask completed, although it needs another coat of paint to cover up the fact the paint I had doesn't work well with the latex rubber - and of course the paint I need doesn't exist on PEI at the moment, so I have to wait like a deranged Star Wars fan outside the one store that carries this stuff while only 2 bottles of this precious paint, apparently so rare because it's made from the eyeballs of unicorns or something, are coming next week and if I don't snag at least one of them I'm held up for god knows how long.

That was amusing.

Otherwise, I've finally made headway on the last big prop I'm making. While it still needs a lot of work, I've finally managed to fine some items that will work for me in assembling it. That sounds vague, doesn't it? Basically what I'm making is a 1950's Ed Wood version of a GhostBusters proton pack that runs on water. So I'm keeping it as simple as possible and making it look like it's really just an elaborate water tank delivery system - hi-tech stuff.

Otherwise, I'm also hoping to get into relooping dialog for the other two projects that remain in unfinsihed limbo. We'll see how that goes.

Here's hoping to more interesting new next week.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Slowest Production Ever

I can't say I'm thrilled with how slow things are moving with the 3D movie. Of course, I can't blame anyone but myself or maybe just the situation.

I still have a bit to work out before I can fully jump into shooting again. I was really hoping these last 2 days would've seen things wrapped up - that's not the case. However, I can say I think I'm starting to see the end of things.

The biggest hangup has been the weapon used in the final scenes of the movie, I'm having major problems finding the parts I need - actually it's more like I'm having problems figuring out what I need. I'm hoping I've got it sorted out and I can get a rough assembly within the next few days.

Other then that, I've still no UFO prop. I just can't find anything the right shape. Here's where being able to use CG would make things so much easier, but I'm refusing to rely it. So I'm thinking I might just sculpt something - since size isn't an issue.

And lastly the masks. I think I mentioned they're done and ready for painting, it's the painting part that causing the problem. I've got an airbrush and a compressor - both work awesome. The problem is in finding the right paint locally. As usual, the one place that carries this sort of thing doesn't have the one thing I need. White paint.

I have some, but it's meant for more solid objects. I'm hoping after tomorrow's test that if it can't be used on it's own it can at least be used mixed with the proper paint. We'll see I guess.

Other then that, I guess things are going fine.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Alien Brain Monster Masks update

I got four masks made from a 1 gallon container of latex, still a small bit leftover to do some re-enforcing of some of the thinner looking areas. And I tried painting them yesterday, however I was using air canisters rather then a compressor (I figured it'd be cheaper and easier - I was wrong) and it turned out alright, the airflow was really uneven. So I'm getting a compressor on Tuesday to finish the job.

I'll post a picture once they're done, didn't feel like posting a half assed paint job - but it looks alright for my first effort.

Otherwise, still plugging away at stuff. This one seems to really be dragging along. Ah well, hopefully it'll pick up soon.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Horrible Alien Brain Monster Masks

Took about a week from beginning to end, not working every hour of the day though, to finish the first mask. Don't know how many I'll make, all depends on how far the gallon of latex I have will go.

Anyway, here's a bit of a picture breakdown of the whole process. I'm not going to bother going into detail on how it's done, there's much better info out there then what I could ever give.

The head armature.
Building up the clay took some time.

The final sculpt, suitably 1950's looking I think.
Making the mold. This is the most stressful part of the whole thing,
because if you bugger it up, you just ruined your sculpture.

This is what happens when you pull the mold apart.

The final mold. Not too bad, I had to do some minor patching up on it.
Pouring the latex.
And then out pops this bad boy. It took awhile to properly dry,
I reckon because it was just my first time doing this. I'm pretty happy with it.

And that's it. I just have to paint the sucker now and we'll have our first Alien Brain Monster ready to take over the world. I'm hoping to get to the painting stage soon.

I'll point out now that I get most of my supplies from these guys, Monster Makers. I think I've mentioned them before, but I'll do it again. They're great guys to deal with, you have a question, give them a call and they'll help.

I've got a few more props to make and things to deal with before we just too much into shooting the rest of the 3D movie. Hopefully it'll pick up again next week.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Test of the 3D effect.

It's not too bad, not the greatest but it does get the point across well enough.

First Day on 3D.

I didn't feel like writing out the whole title. Sorry.

Today went great, finished in about an hour - not that this type of movie is all that hard to make. I guess if you wanted a very specific amateur, cheesy kind of feel you could spend some time, but I figure if I just rush and don't think too hard about what I'm doing it comes off just the right amount of clunky. I don't worry about lighting, shadows being cast, nothing - just set it up and shoot. It's going to suck a little going back to regular movie making after this.

I looked over the footage already and I'm really happy with it, EmilyAnne Fullerton played the Brain Queen and was able to give it just the perfect amount of cheese. I don't know how familiar with the genre she is, but she at least got the general idea. She did a fantastic job.

So a huge thanks to her for not being self-conscious in the ridiculous costume as we wandered outside across a very busy street to shoot a couple shots. Thanks to Derek Martin (aside from letting us shoot at City Cinema) and Tim Gormley for volunteering to operator the Brain Minions. Dangling a glowing rubber brain on a stick is the true test of a great actor or whatever. And Phil MacNevin, who came out to take some pictures, hopefully I'll see them soon, I'm sure they're awesome.

I managed to get a few pictures myself. And I'll be uploading a totally finished shot, by that I mean converted to Black and White (like that's really hard) and given the 3D treatment. So dig out your 3D glasses and see for yourself.

Tim trained for many years to operate a brain on a stick.
I'm a little disappointed the nylon string wasn't more obvious. It might be in the footage though, I haven't really looked too hard.
Probably the worst movie set ever.
The smoking bowl thing is kinda cool though.
And this was just too weird looking not to post.

And that's it for now. I'm going to look over the footage, we recorded for sound today since EmilyAnne is leaving PEI soon and I wanted this to be as painless as possible for her.

Now I've got to start in the on the latex masks, I have some pictures to upload later on that. I've a couple more props to build and we should be good to go on the rest of the movie.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Alien Brain Monster Latex Masks

I'm partway done making the latex masks for The Horrible Alien Brain Monsters From Outer Space in 3D. Doing a cheesy Ed Wood style movie, I figured I'd need some good cheesy looking latex masks - best way to do that is to make them yourself.

I've never done this before, but I am getting pretty used to mold making and I've done quite a few prosthetics at this point, so I figured this can't be harder then that. And it's not really, just a lot more time consuming. the prosthetics I've had to sculpt were pretty small, a forehead or something like that. This is a whole head, so it's a lot more work.

I'm happy with the results, I wasn't going for something awesomely professional looking - doesn't really fit. So I wasn't too worried about the final quality, so long as it had a huge brain and looked alien.

Anywhere, he's some pictures to break down the sculpting process.

A head armature to start with.
Then the awesomely fun task of building up the clay.
I started heating up the clay with a heat gun after about an hour because it was really hard on the hands otherwise.

Almost done blocking it all out.
And here's the final base of it.
I started smoothing it out a bit to make it more workable and less messy. You can see the difference, one side is done, the other isn't.
And this is it nearly done. I was going to leave it at this then I was looking at it last night and thought it needed a little something else.
So I added some squiggly ripples on the brain...
And 25 some hours later, the Alien Brain Monster sculpture is done.
It took quite a while, like I said my first time doing something of this size. I think I went through 14 lbs of clay, a lot got scraped off during the sculpting process.

That's it for now, I reckon tomorrow I'll start in on the part I hate, getting ready to ruin it. The mold will be in two pieces, front and back. I'm hoping to get that done tomorrow and perhaps do my first mask on Monday, maybe even tomorrow evening if I feel up to it.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Horrible Alien Brain Monster Progress

Had a bit of a photoshoot with most of the cast today, I say most because one of them couldn't make it last minute. Didn't effect things too much, I really just wanted to see how the cast is going to look and so far I'm pretty impressed.

Things are progressing really well, had few small setbacks if you recall me ranting about them last week - but it's all been pretty much worked out. And if all continues to go well, we should start shooting next week.

Anyway, here's the main cast:

Jaz Krautwurst as Susie and
Will Beckett as Dr. Jack Hammer
EmilyAnne Fullerton as
The Brain Queen
and her poorly photoshopped Brain Minions
Missing from today was Andrew Mooney as Lt. Edward Wood.

Still waiting on word back from one of the locations, still working on a couple props and that's it really. Hopefully this will prove to be a relatively quick and painless shoot.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

3D movie update

I've had a few folks as this me, and I guess I can't really blame them, but it would seem odd to me to have "In 3D" in the title of a movie and it not actually be a 3D movie. So yes, this movie, The Horrible Alien Brain Monsters From Outer Space in 3D, will really be in 3D.

No, I'll point out that this is not being shot in 3D, it's just a process. So it's not true 3D, it's sort of a fake 3D that kind of works and gives you the overal impression that it's 3D. I guess.

I'll also point out, I'm annoyed at several things, so all this is probably going to sound pissy.

I'd love to say so far this movie has been flying along perfectly and is going to be incredibly easy to make given how smoothly pre-production has been going. Actually, I will say it - but I will also be lying. Big time.

Nothing major or earth-shattering, just a lot of little snags and glitches and minor annoyances that are sort of taking the fun out of it just a little bit. Mainly the props are proving to be near impossible to track down without a lot of time and money, neither of which I have in abundance lately.

I think I've mentioned a couple of these things before, mainly the brains and the chainsaw prop. Well, I finally found a chainsaw to my liking, and here in Canada, it was pretty pricey but it looked awesome. It even had a rubber chain that would move. Well, $86 later and it turned out the damned thing was barely a foot long. Would've been nice to have known this when I ordered it. I do partially blame myself on this.

Of course I could've asked, but I did mention to the person I purchased it from that I needed it as a prop for a movie. One would think logic would kick in and this person would've assumed that perhaps I might've been looking for full sized chainsaw - even if he'd had the slightest inkling of an idea he could've said something. I mean you spend that much money on an item you expect something pretty impressive, right? This thing looked barely worth $20. At least he'll except a return, but I'm still out half the price in shipping regardless.

Anyway I wrote the chainsaw out of the script yesterday so it doesn't matter anymore.

So now I'm paranoid that the brain props are going to be useless. It only took them a week to ship them - apparently because their website checkout wasn't working properly? You took my money right away, seemed to work fine then. Does your checkout also package and ship your stuff? I'm curious as to how that works. Regardless, they'll be here next week, I guess I'll find out the hard way if they'll be of any use.

Other then that, it's just been a lot of little things not working as expected - but perhaps it's these sort of things that makes a movie like this work in some way.

Luckily, on just the exact opposite side of all the little problems, my actors turned out to be willing to work around their insanely conflicting schedules. And they were almost all on time for our meeting yesterday. That always makes things run so much smoother.

The costumes are very nearly sorted out. I'm hoping to do a last check to make sure everyone has everything on Thursday, as well as doing a quick photoshoot for the poster.

Also one of the more difficult sets, Dr. Hammer's Lab, has proven to be slightly less difficult then originally expected. Turns out we have a couple contacts who might be able to get us into the space we want. We'll see.

All the other locations are randomly easy to find. Other then a few minor things, and one major thing - the Alien Brain Monster masks I'm still sculpting - we're pretty much ready to start shooting soon.