Sunday, September 23, 2012

BZK! Undead in the Water - CANCELLED.

I had to make the call on this today, I've been debating it for some time now whether with all the compromises I've been making if it's worth it to keep going. With each shoot, more and more I'm changing things to make it easier and more and more getting away from what I originally intended.

The lead actors, you know who you all are, have been beyond awesome. The only thing I actually feel bad about in cancelling the shoot is that you guys have done such a great job, it's a shame to just drop it all and move on. So I don't want any of the leads having even the slightest doubt that this decision was caused by them - it's only because of you guys I've kept going on this long.

And I'm going to be perfectly honest here, and possibly insult a great number of people - than again, those that I'm insulting probably won't be reading this anyway so who cares? The zombies. I created the group page, specifically to wrangle in the zombie extras. Out of supposedly 80 people who joined the group just to be a zombie, less than 1/4 of them ever responded to any of the calls for them to come out to shoot.

I could really go on about how disappointing that was but I don't want to. There were some of the extras who were beyond fantastic and who gave it way more effort than I expected. I appreciate people are busy, but there's always enough time when you're directly asked for something you've volunteered for to at least respond - it's only polite.

While the zombies were an issue, there were others. The blame does not by any means rest solely with them. Just a lot of bad timing, bad weather, delays. There was literally so much bad that went on, I think I've forgotten some of because there was always something worse right around the corner to top it.

Today it just finally went downhill far enough for me to just call it quits. We lost days of shooting because of the weather, which then turned out perfectly fine. If that's not something that makes you want to punch a duck in the face, I don't know what would. Unless it's just an asshole duck who deserves it.

There's way more I could say about all this, but there's just no point. We tried, everyone gave it their best (at least as far as I could tell) and what we did get shot was great, but it was just slowly fizzling around the edges until we're at this point. Cancelled. Or postponed I guess.

The Bimbo Zombie Killers! web series idea isn't over, just postponed until next June. I have all winter, and living in the country there's not going to be much else to do, to go over everything and rewrite, make it better and way more over the top awesome. Get all the FX and props ready. It will be way more awesome because of this.

So that's it. No more zombies for me this year - unless I end up doing makeup for Halloween, in which case that's fine.

I just wanted to thank everyone involved who helped out, you all know who you are. Everyone did an awesome job considering the circumstances. See you next year, some of you I'll be seeing very shortly to move on to other project, but you get what I mean.

And for anyone wondering, "Hey, what about the Indiegogo stuff?" Everyone will still be getting what they donated for, aside from the DVD, which is only delayed.

And the Facebook group is gone, so anyone wondering what happened there, I just wanted to get it over with and move on. Anyone interested can follow along on The Monkey Rodeo Project page to see if there's any updates.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Day 6 with zombies

Day 6 on BZK! wasn't as productive as I'd hoped.I happens sometimes and it's really no one's fault other than mine in thinking we can get x amount done in y amount of time. Some days we can, some days we don't. This was a "don't" day. We didn't miss much, just a couple short scenes and one pretty long one. Probably could've used another 3 hours - but given it was not the warmest of days, it probably worked out for the best.

And one thing, I've always known this, but I feel like admitting it, I hate feeling rushed when I'm filming. I can only think of how much time there is left and I can't focus on just getting what needs to be done, done. And done right. So as a result things get a little sloppy - and that's the other thing I think about too. Plus, I really hate having to drag everyone out for something we had planned on doing on this day - it just annoys the hell out of me.

Anyway, we did get some good stuff, I already edited the one scene I really felt was sloppy and it wasn't that bad. I might get a few quick insert shots to make it work just a little better, maybe not. I don't know yet.

So anyway, it's done and on with some pictures:

These shots, other than Julie in the jacket, make it look like it was pretty warm out there. It would've been okay, since it was 22 degrees, but the wind was rather brutal.

Our zombies for the day. My blood is getting thinned out so they weren't as gory as I'd have like, not happy about that but there's nothing I can do now.

This stuff was a pain to shoot. I hate fight scene or action scenes of any sort, they are really the hardest thing to shoot and shoot well. This was okay, not great, but passable at least. The insert shots might help though.

And the cast for the day, I think everyone seemed to have a good time, like they're really going to say otherwise I guess. Anyway, they were all awesome and did a great job.

And of course, the best line of the day:

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Day 5 over and done with.

Day 5 on Bimbo Zombie Killers! Undead in the Water is over with, without too much fuss. It was a bit of a pain to schedule since one actress couldn't make it, but in a way it all worked, because there was no way we'd have gotten it all done and we got done the worst of it. So next time, much easier.

Here's all our crap, you can't see most of it actually, but it's all there. I realized once we got the location I'd forgotten the sledgehammer prop, so thankfully, Julia ran back to Hazel Grove and got it. That was pretty damned awesome of her.

A friend of Tim Wartman's came along as our zombie for the day - it wasn't until I was soaking him in blood that I realized what his shirt said. And even he didn't get the significance right away - but we got a good shot of it, so hopefully it read well under the blood onscreen.

The fake axe in the arm gag worked perfectly, pretty damned happy with how it turned out.

I think John is loving that shotgun, he does look pretty bad ass with it.

Okay, not so bad ass here.

and Tim Gormley showing off one of the props of the day.

Cast shot, from left to right: Mark Wells, Tim Gormley, Tim Wartman, Julia MacDougall, Julie Laforest, Mary Gaudet, John MacDonald and Bill Pineau.

To was the first time I was doing two shoots in one day, luckily the second was too big a deal, but I realized pretty quick how terribly unprepared I was for it. Hopefully it'll all turn out.

And finally, the best line of the day:

And don't forget, we've got 18 days left on the fundraising campaign, we need all the help we can get. There's a link on the right sidebar.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Corpse Head prop

This isn't so much a "how to" post so much as archiving or for curiosity. The Corpse Head prop was one I wanted to make early on, but because we had to start shooting before we had any money it was scraped in favour of a cheap paper mache one. Well, since then our lead redneck villain had to drop out and those scenes all need to be reshot (as well as rewritten) so I got my chance to do this bad boy up and I have to say I'm really happy with the result so far. And yes, I believe I will be offering this up for sale online, but it won't be cheap.

So, I had the idea of what I wanted to do early on and how I wanted to do it too. I have a medical skeleton skull so I used it as my base. Kind of cheating, but it did help speed things up and remove a lot of guess work in making it look alright.

I start by slapping clay onto the skull and getting the basic shape. Leaving the teeth exposed because I didn't feel like sculpting them, especially with everything else I'm sculpting these days I'm willing to cut corners where it works.

After a few hours of sculpting I ended up with this, not too bad looking. I gave him some wounds and whatnot that will match up with a corresponding silicone mask that I'll be making soon.

I used Rebound 25 to make the mould, I decided not to make it a 2 part mould since it will be a somewhat soft(ish) final piece. So I just coated the whole thing making allowing that it would be split up the back of thead.

I don't recall how long it took to do the mould, but since I started in the evening I guess it was at least another day. Here's the final silicone mould with a Pasti-Paste support shell. You can see what looks like a bit of a ridge here along the back of the head, that's there I split it open.

Here's the whole thing pulled apart. It was a bit of a struggle getting the clay and the skull out, but it eventually ripped out. You can see the silicone mould flipped inside out here.

And the poor skull afterwards. The lower jaw was originally attached with springs, they got stretched and destroyed. Ah well, it finally served a purpose after all these years. I got this in a thing called "20 lb Bag of Bones" years ago, you can no longer get them, only 10 lbs bags now. That's the way things were in those days.

Wasn't much to see until this point. But I used Vytaflex 40 to do a slush casting in the mould, which was tricky since I've never used the stuff before and it's pretty runny. I did one layer at a time, letting it thicken up a bit each time. Not a perfect method, but it did work. I have a nice urethane skin filled with flexible foam inside. I even attached a pvc pipe with a hole drilled it in to attach it to the corpse body.

It's not done, it need to be all painted up. That's the next step in experimenting. I've never painted urethane, but I'm well aware it's a pain in the ass. My plan is to use another Smooth-On product called Brush-On 40 that can be tinted and thinning out and supposedly makes for a good urethane paint. We'll see soon enough.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Zombie Gator

If I had the funding I would actually make a movie called "Zombie Gator" and it would be awesome. Instead, what we have to settle for is a Zombie Gator head. This is the only image you'll see of the Zombie Gator in Bimbo Zombie Killers! Undead in the Water until it actually airs later this fall (hopefully).

This is just an hour or so after sculpting the basic shape in clay. It's about a foot and a half tall, maybe close to two feet. I'm not sure I never really cared to make it a specific size, just big enough to be awesome. I guess I'll be spending most of the day on this and starting the long and painful moulding process tomorrow.

I was debating about creating a central core mould to both halves in order to make room for arms to go through to puppeteer it, but I'm wondering now if that'll just take too much time or not. It's going to have a urethane skin, backed with flexible foam. The teeth will be resin, attached much later.

Making a core mould would cut back on material needed to cast the final piece and make it easier to puppeteer. I guess it all depends on how soon I want it. I would like it for a shoot this coming Saturday, but given how long it takes to mould it's probably not going to happen unfortunately. His scenes will be shot later I guess.

So that all I had to say, I just wanted to post this for anyone hearing me mention the Zombie Gator that I am indeed serious about it. It's not just CG, there will be a CG counterpart, but I'd like to use this as much as possible.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Severed/Mangled Hand Prop

Day 5 of shooting got postponed due to rain. It was pretty annoying since it wasn't raining where I was and I made an attempt to salvage the day and it went back and forth a few times until finally I just gave up.

So one of the actors needed to have a copy of her hand made for a severed/mangled hand prop (we actually needed it and a 2nd prop today but I chose to shoot them sort of 2nd Unit, but now I might not have to) and since she'd planned on filming today, she just came by to get this done.

I kinda screwed up with the alginate, I was too rushed and it came out pretty bubbly - but for the very limited screen time this prop has, it came out better than expected.

Julia with her hand in alginate.

I cast the silicone right in the alginate mould since I really only planned on this being a one off - but I'm actually running a 2nd one right now. I let the silicone form a skin on the edges where I knew it wouldn't be solid so I could slop in some thickened silicone (Eco-Flex 30 from Smooth-On) to simulate meaty bits inside the hand. I chose not to go with bone sticking out, just because I don't really care how ultra-realistic it looks, anatomically or otherwise.

Here it is fresh from the mould, still a little shiny and in need of painting.

It wasn't perfect, not by any means, but for our purposes in the web series, it's freakin' awesome. I'm planning on testing some silicone adhesive to glue fake nails to the hand as well.

And if you're seeing this blog for the first time and wondering just what in hell is going on, we're doing a web series - and we're raising money. Follow the Indiegogo link on the right, and feel free to spread the word or even donate something.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

New Zombie Prosthetic

Just did up a new one that will be featured in the series eventually. We shooting so much so fast I've been scrimping a little on the zombie makeup, but we've got some smaller shoots coming up where I'm planning to feature some more messed up zombies, it'll just be the crowded scenes where they'll be a little less like this.
It's $50, so if you have a hankering to get undead, for a zombie walk or whatever, just let me know. I'm offering 10% off for anyone doing a zombie walk, just let me know when you order. This piece is pretty thin and can be delicate to put on, but it's pretty dramatic looking once it's done.

It's not up on the website just yet, probably later today or tomorrow, until then you can just email me your order here. If you've never ordered from me before, it's pretty simple. I use PayPal for the most part, or even Email Interact if you're in Canada. Let me know the quantity and your address, I'll get a couple shipping quotes for you and once we're all set I'll send you a PayPal invoice. Pretty simple.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Piss Zombie

How's that for a classy blog title?"Piss Zombie" is actually a credit in the movie, a poor zombie that gets accidentally pissed on. This is not the normal kind of gag I would ever put in a movie, but it's a very slight homage to "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" - one of my favourite movies.

These pictures here, by pixbylorne, during the shoot show the perfect angle for this gag to actually work. It's not shown light this in the movie - mainly to keep the exact distance between the actors slightly obscured since they had to be decently close together in order for it to work, but in the series they'll be slightly farther apart.

All I used was a small $2.00 pressure sprayer from a dollar store and it worked perfectly. Even got nice and warm sitting in the sun. I haven't edited it, but the footage looks awesome and this was definitely another odd moment in movie making for me - specifically spraying blood on another man's crotch.

I normally don't have an outside photographer on set either, but Lorne asked and was understanding about not letting certain things out to the public just yet. Anyway, just wanted to mention again, these picture were by pixbylorne.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Day 4 on BZK! Undead in the Water

Today went off without a hitch and nearly right on schedule - that rarely happens. Even with a bit of delayed start we still only went half an hour (maybe even less) over schedule. Not too shabby with only 4 hours and 6 pages to shoot.

Today we did all of episode 2 and I think to date that put us at 1/3 of the way through? Maybe 1/4 at the worst. Pretty good for the major problems that cropped up this past week, like losing our lead villain. One major rewrite later and losing one full episode and 11 pages we got back on track pretty quick. The overall thing moves faster and I was able to remove at least 2 troublesome, potentially repetitive elements. And recasting was awesome. I couldn't be happy with our new lead villain, John MacDonald. He was brilliant. Just the right blend of huge scary motherfucker and campy cheese.

I finished the only real prop of the day just a few hours before the shoot, a foam sledge hammer. Worked great. Really happy with how it turned out.

We arrived a little, got to shooting a little late, but once things got going it was awesome. I kinda feel like I might've been a little out of practice until today. We hit a good stride and everyone seemed to really have a great time. Plus it was a perfect day for filming.

Vance getting hosed down for being a background corpse.
John and Jill as Bo and Daisy.
John reveals how rednecks take a leak.
James Davey as Piss Zombie - you'll have to see it.
Very quick makeup job on Dempsey as Vance
Mary, Amanda and Morgan as some hapless kidnap victims.
Most of the cast from today. Missing are James Davey and Troy Gallant.

Everyone did a great job, I think it's actually going to be pretty damned funny. And of course, the best line of the day:

And finally finally, thanks to everyone who came out today. Great job.