Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fake Hatchet

Just like the title says, it's a fake hatchet. It's a prop for Breath of the Dead and more then likely the item in the online shop. Hopefully it'll be available soon - as soon as I perfect my hand painted wood grain technique. It's made in 2 parts, the handle and the head - the foam is tinted so it has as close as possible to the proper base colour.

Be sure to check out The Monkey Rodeo website, you might find it there by late July.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Another one over and done and DVDed. It should've been done weeks ago but the company I ordered the 3D glasses from were pretty poor about communication. It was taking forever for them to arrive, so I sent an email, asking how it was shipped and if there was a tracking number, no response. Sent a couple more and eventually someone responded, acknowledge the shipment was probably lost if it still hadn't shown up and FedExed me another shipment.

So the DVDs are all done. I'll mention this now in case anyone's curious, they're not for sale unfortunately. Not at this point in time. These were made specifically for the people involved in the movie. So why am I posting this since they not for sale? Because I wanted to.

At some point in the future, the very far future, they will be for sale. I might even make them available for download from the site, for a very small dollar amount - once I figure out if that's possible or not.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Awesome stuff

I got more supplies today. I hope to get the Flex FoamIt hatchet made this weekend. The mold of the handle is done I hope to get to the hatchet head itself today and it should be ready to go and be all ready for hacking people up on Sunday. I hope - god knows how busy I'll be otherwise.

The "otherwise" just happens to be the sculpt of what will soon be the Randall Meincke silicone mask. If you're wondering who the hell is Randall Meincke, that's the name of the deformed kid who is raised from the dead in Breath of the Dead. And so far, I'm pretty impressed with how he's coming along. I'd love to show you, but I've forced myself to put a bit of ban on any images of him until the movie is completed.

The actors won't even get to see him until the first shot he appears in the movie, and even then they won't know exactly when he's coming or where he's coming from. There won't be any images of him from the shoot being posted either - until after the movie is released.

If all goes as planned the movie should be available pretty quickly. We're doing live sound, all live special effects - as little post work as possible. No CG or anything of the like, the most I'll be doing in post is colour correcting and enhancing the sound effects and the music. So this could be ready before Halloween, which seems like good timing.

That's it for now, I'm about to try casting the foam hatchet handle.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Postponed Dead

It was a pretty quick decision to make, but we've postpone shooting Breath of the Dead until Late July/early August - the problems ranged from casting and actor availability, time and money and other things.

Can't say I'm upset about it, as soon as I was told that 2 of our last minute replacement actors were unavailable I actually was relieved because the choice was made for me. There was simply no way we could pull all this off in two weeks. So now I'm looking at 5-7 weeks - much easier.

In some good news, I got the mold done for the hatchet handle. I'll be doing a hatchet and sledgehammer, the heads and handles will be done separately. And the mold turned out pretty damned good, I guess we'll see when I get the material to cast it this week.

So that's it, nothing major things will go back to being quiet again for the time being.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Silicone Hand

I went back and forth on whether or not this was going to work at nearly every stage of doing it.

A little background, in case you've no idea what's going on here. The killer in the movie is a deformed person, resurrected from the grave through evil voodoo. Pretty simple. to create his look I was going to originally go with the old foam latex standby. I eventually, and very recently, decided to try my hand at creating it with silicone instead.

The main reason was to make it look better and cut down on the lengthy makeup application time. Time which we won't have while shooting.

The makeup, or whatever you want to call it, was going to consist of several small pieces for the head and a glove. It's now just a glove and a mask, a full head mask rather then the small pieces - which will look so much better.

Now, I've no idea how these silicone pieces are made. I saw some images, very vague images here and there and eventually felt confident enough to give it a try. I figured the glove would be easiest way to start.

Here's the original sculpt. It was done over an UltraCal cast of the actor's hand. I wish now I'd had made it much longer to go all the way down past his wrist, but this was meant to be a foam latex prosthetic at first.

I'm not that great yet at making 2 sides molds like this.

I used a material called Shell Shock to create the 1st part of the mold, backing it with another material called Plasti-Paste. I also learned the hard way that I didn't seal the clay properly and clearing it all from the Shell Shock mold was an absolute nightmare.

After many, many hours of scraping and cleaning I got all the clay from the mold. A lesson well learned, I now know how to properly seal it. You can't see here, but the Shell Shock was really thick and cured really fast so there were a lot of air bubbles in the mold. Not that I'm worried. It's a zombie hand, it's not supposed to look pretty.

And here it is all ready to go. I made up way  more silicone then I actually needed. Kind of a pain in the ass, but ah well, again - lesson learned. I've still to figure out how I'm supposed to gauge this sort of thing.

It was a bugger to pull from 2nd half of the mold off too. At this point I really noticed how thin some parts of the sculpt were. I thought I'd corrected it but I didn't do a good enough just. I can still reinforce it a bit though, it'll just be messy - as if this wasn't messy enough.

And here it is, about 10 minute out of the mold. You can see how a long sleeve on the glove would've been nicer, but again - lesson learned.

A quick test on camera about 10 minutes after pulling it from the mold.

And this is the only glimpse you'll see of the character of Randall Meincke, the deformed voodoo zombie killer until you see the movie. I have 2 weeks before we shoot and about 2 months worth of work to things ready for it - at least this here was some major encouragement that I made the right choice instead of makeup.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Grayson & Gortch Update

I guess it's a bit of an overall update really. In any case, I believe I might've mentioned that I've postponed Grayson & Gortch until mid-July, maybe even later depending. Things are sort of all colliding right now, project-wise. I'm trying to wrap up Cronus, get things ready for Breath of the Dead and I've got a bunch of little projects I'm either helping out on, volunteering on, etc. and it's all getting to be a bit much. This should lighten up a bit after this week, but it doesn't help balance out my financial situation. Seems the poorer I am the busier I get.

I'm hoping to get a few items ready and have the online store up and running come July as well. This should help things if I find some decent ways of promoting it. I might even use eBay at first. I don't know yet. I've got enough to think about that's happening right now anyway.

Anyway, the good thing that's hopefully coming out of all the chaos  is the possibility that the silicone mask idea will work out. If it does that's a huge jump in what I expected I'd be able to do this summer and it makes things a little more versatile and efficient for other projects.

While I love the hell out of doing prosthetics, they are limited in a lot of ways. Silicone masks will allow be to do background characters, or extras, without the worry about making sure I'll have time to do the makeup before the shoot. That's a huge bonus. Another thing is that they encompass the whole head, while a prosthetic (that I'm able to do now without a huge oven) are just face pieces, so there's concern about the actors basic face shape and hair - this isn't a problem anymore.

Now what all this means for Grayson & Gortch, as the title implied, I've had time to look at the script and see where I can make changes that will save me time and money. This happened a lot with Malice. One scene that was pretty boring and would've cost me a rental fee was bothering me. It's a crucial scene, where the two main characters are introduced. I was always a little annoyed with it's simplicity. Not any more.

Originally it was two pages in an office-ish type setting. Now it's a raid on a drugged out vampire den who are holding human hostages. That might seem like it's more work and more money, but it's not. The actors are mainly the same, some roles are just adjusted slightly. And it's much more of a cool little scary action scene.

Where the silicone masks come in are the vampires. I don't want to do traditional Buffy style vampires, these are a little more feral looking - they are junkies after all. So I just make one mold, do a couple different paint jobs, a couple costume changes, and I can turn 3 or 4 actors into almost 10 or more vampires.

I'm even contemplating making foam stakes and I'll get to use some crossbow props I was given last year. Should be pretty cool. I just need an old house or barn now.