Monday, August 26, 2013

Moonshine of the Damned, Production Journal #17

Not really much has gone on since the last shoot. We had two more scenes to go at that time, we just finished off another one and finally only have one scene left to go.

This last shoot was without a doubt our rockiest to date. So far it's been pretty easy, all things considered, and yesterday seemed like all that good luck had caught up with us and needed to be paid off with some shitty luck - hopefully that bodes well for the final shoots.

In concept it was a fairly straightforward scene, 3 of the bimbos get attacked by a rather large zombie on their way to tracking down the Zombie Eater. There was a little bit of makeup, another somewhat elaborate make job that had to happen in between shooting one actors scenes as well, so they were normal looking at the beginning, and they would be messed up looking at the end and absent from the scene in the middle - during which time they were to be made up - and we'd be all done of everything from that scene.

No such luck, last minute - I lost both of my makeup people, which meant if I wanted to get it all done, I'd have to stop in the middle of shooting and spent at least an hour on makeup, in the middle of what we discovered were mosquito infested woods. So I had to revert to my original plan for shooting, which was to do the makeup later and strategically hide the actor to blend her into the scene somewhat seamlessly by shooting her stuff at a later date. So we did that, I might need to pick up another shot of the other actors to fill in some blanks possibly.

And of course there were the mosquitoes, even with a cloud of bug spray hovering over us, we were all still covered in them. It sucked.

And then, upon arriving at the location, I discovered not only had a I left the camera on, draining one battery, but the 2nd one was suddenly messed up, the time remaining dropping from 52 to 26 to 11 to totally dead in about 5 minutes. Which meant we were stuck shooting possibly another 2-3 hours with about 80 minutes of battery life which caused me to rush, and rush even more since we were about an hour and half behind schedule, so it was about 4:30 or so, with sunset was around 8, and we were in the forest, so we were in danger of losing the light even earlier than normal.

I hate feeling rushed, it's the one thing that totally throws me off and causes me to make mistakes. My concentration is totally shot because all I can think of is whatever is causing me to rush in the first place, when I'm racing against two different things, the battery and the light, it makes it even worse. Add in the constant distraction and annoyance of the mosquitoes, there was no way this was going to work. And to top it all off, it was a fight sequence - which, I'm not so great at.

Luckily, it was with John MacDonald, who is pretty decent and going through the motions of a fight sequence and is up for anything. So we had worked out some simpler ideas before we even went to
the location in hopes of making it all work better.

And it did. Not perfect, not by any means. As the light grew dimmer I began to notice some of the footage becoming grainy, which I would normally have fixed in a couple seconds by adjusting the camera a bit, but in my rushed, distracted state it never crossed my mind so as a result we have some somewhat darker, grainy shots throughout the scene. As well as a couple awkward edits, which I think I have some extra footage to fix, so I'll look into that today or otherwise just live with it.

So it wasn't a great day. A little frustrating this close to being done - only one scene left, did I mention that - but it's done, sort of close to what I wanted. And pretty good when you consider the circumstances. The only real upside was, as usual, my actors were awesome and did a fantastic job. So a huge thanks to them for  getting through it all and making it worth it.

In the background, big John MacDonald. In the foreground, left to right; Julia Kilbride, Heather Panton and Mary Gaudet.

And some other stuff.

So that was it. We got through another day, and our worst day, and hopefully that means with only one - actually simple scene left to go - we're pretty much wrapped up on this thing.

I've no more prosthetics to make, only a couple teeth for a prop left to make and I'm done. Although we do have our big final battle coming up, I'm feeling pretty confident since I've got two actors, who I believe are more than willing to get banged up just for the fun of it, that we'll pull it all off without too much stress.

 And finally, the Line of the Day:

That's it for now. Our final shoot is lined up for September 8th. Not much to do now but wait for it.

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