Sunday, July 28, 2013

Moonshine of the Damned, Production Journal #14

Not a whole lot to go on about, we've been on a sort of break through the month of July it seems. We did have 3 shoots, but they were all small shoots - still important though and I'm glad we got them all done.

First, we finally got the opening sequence done - had to alter it in order to finally get it done, but I was okay with that and added a little extra to the end which I'm hoping helps tie it in better to the rest of the movie. We'll see.

The main difference was shooting with 2 people instead of the 3 I'd planned, so it wasn't too much of a change overall.

Both Alana and Michelle are really great to work with, so it went by pretty fast was at least a fun shoot if not a short one.

And here's the line of the day from that shoot:
And today's shoot was the first with the Zombie Eater character, which was pretty awesome. Here's the only shot you'll be seeing of him though - when I see this I wish my video camera could get awesome depth of field shots like this, but I ain't rich so I'm sticking with what I got for now.

 Here's our small cast from the shoot. All out shoots this month seemed to only have two actors.

The biggest part of the day was finally getting to work with the full head makeup piece and seeing what the Zombie Eater would finally look like onscreen, and I'm pretty happy with it so far. It's one of those things you just make it up and hope for the best. I wasn't going for the most original looking creature every and plus I wanted to keep it simple for a couple of reason - being my first attempt every at something like this. I didn't want to go overboard and I wanted it to seem a little familiar, so I think I was able to do exactly what I intended with the character.

Here's Steve out of makeup. Rather than have him suffer in there throughout a long shoot, we shot the sequence sort of in reverse to have him done with right away.

Tim fell down a lot today.

The new and improved Zombie Frog. Last year he was just a simple, kind of fragile foam latex frog, I made him out of mask latex and was able to give him a much better paint job this time around. It was a little heavier, but we managed to keep him glued on long enough to get things done.

He stuck really well to Tim's forehead.

Overall it was a fun simple sequence to shoot. We'd done it last year so this time around it felt really familiar still and we ran through it really quickly.

And here's the line of the from today:

It's been a busy couple week, despite not shooting much. I've been spending the time getting the rest of the FX as done as possible so there's no holdups and I'm not rushing last minute to crank something out for a shoot the next morning. The biggest thing to overcome was indeed the Zombie Eater, everything else after that has been so simple.

Another big prop that I finally got turned out was the Saraphine Corpse. It needed to be simple and lightweight. I used a plastic skeleton I'd purchased last year as a quick fix zombie death sequence for one of the actors, however that ended up never even being shot and totally written out in the end, so I was left with this thing so it was a pretty obvious solution.

I went with just latex and tissue paper, some might think that's a little on the simple and cheap side, but I didn't want to destroy the thing, I can just peel all this off and reuse it for something else later - so as far as I'm concerned, the least destructive method, is always the best.

Here's a quick shot of the final prop. I used an old wig, bought for last year when this was a living character and a new dress was found and distressed and dirtied up.

Here's a closeup on the Voodoo Necklace prop - it's not something you'll be seeing up close or that will impact anything - just a small detail I wanted to add because I wanted to.

And finally a look at the facial prosthetic for the live action version of the corpse prop. Not only will this be on the live actor, but I'll be attaching it to the corpse prop as well, even if you don't see it all that well.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Update to the Moonshine of the Damned Fundraiser

Just a bit of an update on what's going on with the fundraiser, some recent changes and update and blah, blah, blah...

First off, thanks to everyone who has donated so far - the movie would've been so bland had I not been able to do the FX I wanted and just a bit more. They're about 90% complete, I've been whittling away at them and I've been really happy with the progress and the overall look of everything. This will easily be the biggest FX movie attempt I've ever done and I can almost guarantee if you like cheesy, campy movies - you will love this.

Second. Just a reminder to everyone who inquired about purchasing something, but hasn't followed through yet - best to get on it as soon a possible since by the end of August, we won't be needing to raise funds anymore, so soon it will all be unavailable.

Third. This is a bit of a change in the shipping on the Brain Keychains. Originally I was used small padded envelopes to minimize the risk of damage to the pieces and that drove the size from a letter to a package, well I'm offering to ship in regular envelopes to those that want things cheaper. Right now I think I can do $3 flat rate, worldwide even - on the Brain Keychains only. Probably the Chicken Feet as well.

Fourth. I reduced the number of items on a couple of the pieces. The Brains were originally being made in a lot of 200, that's been reduced to 100. Right now nearly 50 have been sold, so there's only about half left. And once the fundraiser is over, they will be unavailable for a time - although I do have plans to do another limited run around Halloween.

And lastly, I've finally settled on when I'm doing the draw and it will be AFTER the movie has had a week or two online, since the other possible prizes could be spoiler-ish. I'll be trying to contact everyone as best I can to see who is actually interested in the draw, to make sure those that don't really care aren't the ones getting the loot in the end.

As usual, send any orders to: brains @ And there's more info on the website:

That's pretty much it for now. I've got two more shoots scheduled for this month, July's been quiet since everyone's been so busy. By the time August rolls around I believe we only have 4-5 shooting days left, so we're looking in pretty good shape.

I've been looking at the footage and so far it's miles ahead of what we shot last year, so I'm really glad it all fell apart when it did last year, it's given us a much better project. It moves faster, less repetitive, there's very little (if any at all) filler type feeling scenes anymore and of the the FX are just so much better than I would've been able to turn out last year. And I decided this weekend, when you finally see it, watch for the Highlander reference...It's going to be awesome.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Limited Quantity Moonshine of the Damned Zombie Prosthetics (Part Three)

The Angry Zombie is the fourth in the limited series, up for grabs at $45.

This piece was designed for Out of Mouth Dentures, as well as for a slightly smaller, more female sized face although it could work for anyone since the foam is decently stretchy. Dentures DO NOT come included as they have to be custom made, however you can do whatever you want with the empty space to make you own look.


 If you didn't see Part One of these posts, you might be wondering what this is all about. I'm making a zombie movie, Moonshine of the Damned, and there's a lot of zombie prosthetics being made, most of them are for only one scene, but the moulds are still good and can crank out a few more - so I'm offering whatever else comes out of the moulds up for sale for as long as the moulds are useful.

If you're interested, send an order to: foxhenderson @ Payments can be made through PayPal or in Canada, Email Interact is the best option. Shipping is a flat rate of $5 unless you want something fast or more secure than a padded envelope.

And also, as the title of this post indicate, there will be more to come. And the same discount as on The Monkey Rodeo site for other prosthetics, also applies to these pieces. Zombie Walk orders - 10% off. Haunted Attraction orders - 25% off on orders over $100. Just make sure to mention if you're involved in either in your order.

And feel free to ask about rejects, there won't be many,  but it could happen. Rejects are 50% off.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Moonshine of the Damned, Production Journal #13

So this scene, in the script as 4A - where the character Freebird (Heather Panton) encounters some zombies and first comes up with the idea of the Spiked Zombie Head Mace. In the original script these elements were much more drawn out and it was just a bow and arrow she created, in the 2nd major revision it was the mace. In this version, there are about 3-4, possible more sequences all mashed down into one sequence.

It got postponed from June 30th, we were going to shoot it on my birthday, but had to cancel due to illness. No worries, because we got to do it today and it turned out awesome. I already edited it and I was a little worried at first I might've missed a few things and whatnot, but it all went together really well and I'm pretty damned happy with how it turned out.

The scene is significant in a couple ways, it represents the first really FX scene. Not overly huge on FX, but it did take while to do it all - and you have to consider, I'm doing all this myself with no help. It's a lot of work to break all this down and try to get it done on time and done well at that.

It involved one of our hero zombies, referred to as Angry Zombie - played awesomely by Angela Corrigan. Angela is fairly tall and thin and athletic, so not only was she the right size for a zombie, but could probably handle the physicality of it as well. First thing was to outfit her with some Out of Mouth Dentures, it was a little problematic since I don't have a vehicle and neither does she so we had to do this whenever there was even the slimmest of opportunities, and eventually it worked out.

Here's the finished dentures. Now, I've not even done enough work with this stuff to even be called an amateur. These were my 2nd attempt at them and they worked pretty well for what was needed. I ended up making a mould for the teeth themselves rather than trying to sculpt them by hand. That turned out to be a good idea.

It took a couple fittings, but we got them working well enough for the shoot.

And I had to create all these. It doesn't look like a whole lot of work when you see them just sitting there. But each head had to be cast in latex, cured and filled with polyfoam. The latex can take awhile to cure and with one mould, it can take a while to do this many. Once cured I had to damage each one, seal that up and once cured added some gory bits and wait for it to cure again and finally painted them all.

Then came the task of finding the right size and shape sticks to mount them on, which required a lengthy hike into sweltering hot, mosquito infested territory, the stick had to be cleaned up, all the little branches and crap removed and finally sharpened on both ends and head the heads jammed on. It was a lot of work, it took a long, long time and they're only onscreen for maybe 20 second in this one scene, but longer in another.
If you're thinking, "Wow, that's a lot of work, what a waste of time since you only see it for a couple seconds" then quite frankly, fuck you, you're probably an idiot and please stop reading, go away and find something better to do with your life, like help lepers or something. The whole point of this project was to go this distance, to create more work than you'll really notice onscreen. Why? Because I wanted to, that's it. This crap is what I do and I love the shit out of it, so if I can find an excuse to make a bunch of messed up severed zombie heads and jam them on sticks, than I'm going to do it.

Next is the Single Spiked Zombie Head Mace. The idea here is that Freebird grabs one to defend herself, realized it's a decent weapon and jams more spikes into it later on. So I had to make a 2nd mace with just one spike. The full spiked head will now be painted up to reflect the mess made on this one.

The staff from the original full spiked head was taken and put onto this head, since originally I didn't have the time to make a new staff. Since then I've made a new one and fixed the wobbly staff problem, so the Spiked Zombie Head Mace you'll see in the rest of the movie will look much better now.

And now, on with some pictures from the shoot. Here's Angel and Heather before we started.

The blind eye look was sort of a last minute idea. I had the contacts and since I knew Angela was fine with them, I figured we give it a try and hope it didn't mess up her depth perception to much. Luckily, even though it did, she was still cool with going for this look. It really added an extra little bit to the character and I think this will end up being some of the best zombie makeup in the movie.

Here I'm trying to get a locked down shot that will be combined with footage being shot in Scotland. We'll have this one shot with our footage and theirs combined, otherwise Freebird will just be watching the zombies in the other footage wander about.

I was just testing the camera and got this shot. No reason to post it other than it was a really decent picture of Heather.

I made this goofy looking little rig to mount my camera in, it kind of allowed me to steer it a bit more comfortably than just holding it. It could even be weighted and made into a sort of steadicam.

Some heads.

And another.

Kim took this random picture of herself while we were shooting I guess.

Finally, some zombie fighting action.

If I didn't know this was Angela lying there in makeup, I would swear this was just a prop.

Freebird after her first major zombie fight.

Angela and Heather in a couple extra "after" cast photos.

In the end Heather got bloody, Angela couldn't wait to get out of makeup, my camera survived a near whomping from the mace and we finished right on schedule. As I mentioned, I already edited the footage and it looks pretty awesome.

So a huge thanks to Heather and Angela for coming out to do this today. And to Kim for getting some awesome pictures. And now for the Line of the Day:

Not sure when we're shooting next. I've got a tentative date set on the 28th, but that all hinges on a lot of things coming together perfectly. We'll see what happens.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Moonshine of the Damned, Production Journal #12

This will be a photoless update unfortunately, just lots of rambling and updates - although there will be a quick update tomorrow afternoon, hopefully with some awesome stuff.

So, July ended up being a fairly quiet month, we've put things on hold because of lots of scheduling conflicts - which is awesome considering the amount of work I need to do to get caught up with where we are in the shooting scheduled. So this isn't really a setback - this all sounds familiar, I think I might've mentioned it before.

Just what do I need to get caught up on? Well, the Zombie Gator is nearly done. Later today I plan on doing a quick touchup with the airbrush to finish him off, then add a bit of a shine to him and get started on his teeth. I need to take stock of how many he needs and how many I already have made, get them painted up and attached and that will be the end of him until his scene comes up.

Prothetics, still got a few left to make. I think about 3 or 4 maybe? I can't recall off hand there's just so many. I suspect I'll be getting to them in the next week or so as well have them all prepped and ready for when they're needed.

Speaking of prosthetics, the biggest news there is the completion of my foam latex oven, I had to make a special trip into town to get 3 skinny bolts to attach the fan. I got it installed last night and threw in the Zombie Eater piece. To backtrack a bit, I had to figure out the right run schedule to do the Zombie Eater on my own. I used the amounts from a different foam instruction sheet (from a competing brand of the foam latex) and just made up the mixing time as I went and it worked great. I was pretty impressed in this heat and humidity that I was able to eyeball it all on the fly and had it work out the first time.

However, the core mould of the Zombie Eater had some moisture in it and kind of made the foam separate in some of the thinner parts, completely ruining the first attempt. It would have been pretty awesome though. First attempt at a full head piece in the first run of the foam latex oven. The foam was perfect otherwise, so at least I know it's just a matter or getting the excess moisture from the core and we're all set. The oven works perfectly, it ain't pretty, but it does the job I need it to do.

I have some other pieces for the Zombie Eater to paint up and still have to get a decent copy of the prosthetic, so I had to cancel the shoot with him tomorrow. Gives me a little more prep time as well.

Other than that, the whole project is going pretty well, there were a lot of hurdles to overcome and obstacles I really didn't think I could get past easily, but so far so good. The FX are on par with what I wanted, not perfect, high end, ultra-realistic, but stuff that keeps with the mentality of an 80s movie - which is what I'm going for. We'll see what tomorrow brings and then I'll be taking a break from shooting for a while and hopefully getting to do some photoshoots instead while I get the last of the FX ready and wait for August.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Limited Quantity Moonshine of the Damned Zombie Prosthetics (Part Two)

I was hoping to have more more limited zombie prosthetics to put online this week, but delays in filming means I haven't been doing up as many zombies as I'd had planned.

This time around we have a two piece set for $30. The Angel Zombie prosthetic, it features a mutilated right cheek and a missing eye along with a nice bite mark. The bite piece was moulded to fit the contour of the jaw and neck, but it's foam latex and I'd imagine it would work anywhere really. Vision is non-existent with the cheek piece on, so be aware your depth perception might be wonky.

The mould had some imperfections and as a result it may not hold up to many more runs, so if you want want, best to get it now.

If you didn't see Part One of these posts, you might be wondering what this is all about. I'm making a zombie movie, Moonshine of the Damned, and there's a lot of zombie prosthetics being made, most of them are for only one scene, but the moulds are still good and can crank out a few more - so I'm offering whatever else comes out of the moulds up for sale for as long as the moulds are useful.

If you're interested, send an order to: foxhenderson @ Payments can be made through PayPal or in Canada, Email Interact is the best option. Shipping is a flat rate of $5 unless you want something fast or more secure than a padded envelope.

And also, as the title of this post indicate, there will be more to come. And the same discount as on The Monkey Rodeo site for other prosthetics, also applies to these pieces. Zombie Walk orders - 10% off. Haunted Attraction orders - 25% off on orders over $100. Just make sure to mention if you're involved in either in your order.

And feel free to ask about rejects, there won't be many,  but it could happen. Rejects are 50% off.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Moonshine of the Damned, Production Journal Part 12

This past weekend ended up being a washout as far as filming went. I'm a little disappointed, but it happens and the reason were pretty valid so I can hardly get upset about it - still, would've been nice to have those two days done with, I'm hoping we can make them up this coming weekend or so since I've nothing else scheduled because the workload of FX is starting to get ahead of me.

The biggest FX element I'm trying to get through is the Zombie Eater.  It's the most elaborate character I've put together for a movie, some of the photo shoots have had more going on in the costume department, but as far as a character in a movie it's the most work.

The biggest and most worrisome aspect is the head. I've got it all sculpted, the teeth ready to go and finally got to moulding it yesterday. I really hate that part. You spend so much time on something and then you have to destroy and if you're really lucky it's not permanently gone.

I originally thought of just a full head prosthetic, so I'm going with an Ultracal 30 mould. It felt like it went alright - even though it took the better part of a day to do. However when it came time to cracking open the mould I wasn't too happy. The back half pretty much fell away in a couple seconds. The front half no so much. I left it and came back later, having made a make shift pulley, the first attempt did exactly what I suspected it would (why I went through with it, I don't know) and just ripped through the back of the head (the positive mould, so not a total loss) and the second attempt just pulled it out in a couple seconds perfectly.

There weren't too many issue with the surface, nothing that anyone who didn't know would even notice really. So I can't complain there. It's a little thinner than I would have liked, but that might prove to be a benefit in some way - better than too thick and end up with a heavy useless piece.

So, instead of just jumping right into a foam latex piece - I still have to finish the oven anyway today - I decided to go with a couple backup plans. Before anything else is run through the mould, I'm going to try making a silicone mask - not the best method, but given my limitations on this, it can't hurt even if it doesn't turn out. Then I'll try just a regular old latex mask - not the best option to put on screen, but I will if I have to, it's better than nothing. And finally I'll try the prosthetic version.

I'm hoping one will pan out decently enough to use and that the Zombie Eater won't go through too many looks onscreen. If the silicone works, I'll be using that for sure. The mask, maybe if I have to get a stand-in or for long distance reshoots. I'm really hoping the prosthetic version turns out - and it's more contingent on my oven not being a disaster - so we'll see what happens in the next few days. All three should be done by this time next week.

There's also a couple other aspects to the Zombie Eater I've never gone into too much detail about here and I probably won't. I'm putting a sort of black out from here on to the final release of the movie on any images of the Zombie Eater. I'll be taking lots myself, but nothing will be featured on this blog or Facebook or anywhere. Aside from one little teaser image perhaps.

I'm really hoping it works out, it's been a lot of work and the whole project really rides on me being able to pull off this one effect. Without it, the movie doesn't have the same impact. They've always been fairly low key as far as FX goes and I really want the last one to go beyond the expectations of what I've set in place so far with the first two BZK! movies

And if the full head prosthetic works, it marks a bit of a change in some of the things I might be doing in the future. Time and money will tell.

So for now, I'm scheduling shoots as best I can and working on the last remaining FX elements and hoping to hell we pull it all off this time.