Monday, September 16, 2013

Moonshine of the Damned, Production Journal #19

We finally wrapped up on Day Thirteen, it was a continuation and a sort of redo day for what we missed on our rained out Day Twelve. So recovering from that disappointment was a little stressful as I was checking the long range forecast and saw we'd be getting the tail end of a tropical storm just before our backup day was scheduled. And on top of that, the last minute week long scramble to get as many extras back as possible and knowing I'd most likely be doing all the makeup myself.

It all worked out. I'm a little disappointed in that small number of people who seemed at one point to be really enthusiastic about being part of the movie, who joined the group and I actually communicated with - only to have them flake out and become unresponsive when we really needed them. It seems to always be the way, I do a project and a handful of people immediately say "If you never need anything, extras, behind the camera, whatever, just let me know" only to have them never be available or just not respond when I do contact them. It's left me being utterly disinterested when someone I don't really know says that, not because I don't believe them specifically, but just that I've heard it so often to just be let down nearly every time that I tune them out when I heard anything near that phrase anymore. I feel bad for those few that actually are genuine in their offer, but they're so few and far between.

Having said that, I am impressed with the dedication of the extras we've had this year. They're all volunteers and have done an absolutely brilliant job. I've said this before, but it really does go to show that you don't need a huge wad of cash to make movies here - unless you're doing a huge FX piece like this - you just need to find those like minded people who enjoy what you're doing and are really interested in being part of it. Still, I'd love to pay people but with this pretty much being a not for profit movie and being somewhat poor, it's just not possible.

The group that came out for this last shoot, while slightly fewer than I'd planned, turned out to have been perfect. It ended up being a very rough sequence with a lot of potential for people to get hurt and they all threw themselves into it as much as possible. We ended up making those 6 zombies look like way more, really happy with how it all looks so far. I'll be trying to edit some of it possibly today.

Otherwise, things went off as planned overall. We shot some stuff with the Zombie Eater - a few minor shifts in the action happened, as it does when you've got so much going on and it's hard to plot out exact positions on the page or how it should play out naturally. All that got sorted without any effort, it just happened. Which helped speed things up.

The zombie extras, and two of the bimbos, got lost on the way to the location - however the timing worked out as they found their way to us, just as we needed them. So while they had an hour long adventure in the woods, we weren't delayed at all.

So here they all are, minus the Zombie Eater. It was a great day for out last day and really fun as it was a very physical scene, but really easy stuff to stage.

Afterwards I was able to grab a couple of the minor missing shots from other parts of the movie. Actually right behind the hills in the picture above is where I ended up shooting the Zombie Gator closeups, all the rain from the last week created several foot deep ponds. So rather than have to run out to the original location with cold water, we used these lukewarm pools instead - worked out great.

So now I have only a very small handful of shots left. There's the Zombie Banjo Boy shots, for which I created this crude, last minute prop. He'll be shot partially on a location and at least one shot against a blue screen.

Another sequence involving the victim of the Zombie Gator, one of the leads - I won't say which one in case you haven't been paying too close attention. Those shots too will be location and blue screen.

I recently dug out my blue screen that I've had for over 10 years now, bought for my very first feature, The Supposed Prophets, and never used. In fact, it's still in the exact same box it came in. Now that I have the space I decided this was the best time to try it out finally. I looked up a few really great tutorials, I've never successfully did a blue screen (or green screen) shot before, I just never had the patience until now. One quick test and it was done. Not perfect, but for my purposes, a cheesy 80s horror movie, it was absolutely brilliant looking. So not only was this project a huge testing ground for special effect, but even visual effects as well.

And lastly, a fight sequence with the Zombie Eater. And some zombie footage from Scotland too.

I'm starting in on the dubbing this week, in about 4 hours of writing this actually I'll be start that. And we'll just keep plugging away at it until it's done. I'm still hoping for a end of October release and possibly even a screening if I can arrange it without too much effort.

And, with about 95% of the footage done, I'll be working on a teaser this week finally. Maybe even later on today or tomorrow. I plan to have to done by end of the week if all possible.

And finally, the rest of the pictures from the shoot:

Most all the zombie extras had been in it before that came out today.

Trevor has been a recurring extra for nearly every zombie horde sequence and has been really supportive and reliable of the project. Hard to find people like this.

A closeup of the only zombie extra to appear in all three of the movie. A last minute email went out and Will Beckett was able to come out for our final shoot.

And as usual, Will gave it his all and was brilliant as usual.

Heather and her final moments with the Spiked Zombie Head Mace.

And I still don't know what the hell Will  was doing here, but that's pretty much what I expect when he comes out to shoot. He always come prepared to go way beyond what's expected.

And I really have to give credit to every else as well, Charles, Mitch, Pam and Kylie - they took a lot of abuse from the foam weapons. They were all awesome.

Finally, Mary and Julie got to get a little bloodied up.

It's not a fight unless a zombie bites your hatchet.

It was really impressive how everyone, especially Mary and Julie got into fighting the zombies. The shots were mostly closeups to make the group of zombies feel a little larger and from what I saw, it worked really well.

It was another decent day. The weather was perfect. It's all done and I can start winding down on this thing now. Once that fight scene is done with - hopefully this coming weekend, it'll be all downhill from here.

One more thing, the very last and final, Line of the Day:

That's pretty much it. There'll be a few more updates like this as there's still a little more to do. For now, thanks to everyone who helped out right from the beginning. It won't be a brilliant movie, but it will be fun as hell to watch.

No comments:

Post a Comment