Sunday, October 13, 2013

Moonshine of the Damned, Production Journal #21

Finally after all this time, we've shot the last of the secondary footage for Moonshine of the Damned. There was one little scene that someone else was going to do up for me, but as usual - unreliable extras and whatnot. So I had no choice but to do it myself or edit out the surrounding footage, which would have sucked since this partially sets up or re-enforces one of the minor concepts of the movie. I can't remember which one, either sets up or re-enforces because I forget where this comes in during the timeline.

It was an easy day, that's for sure. Less than an hour and we were done, but it was pretty fun since there was absolutely no pressure or racing to get things done, or waiting on people or anything. Just some very simple makeup and a trip to the woods on what turned out to be a beautiful day.

What the scene entailed was simple a couple zombies getting wiped out by a redneck booby trap. Obviously we couldn't have used a real trap, so it had to be safe and it had to be simple and cheap to make. I went with a log that would come swinging down and bowl the zombies over.

I got a concrete form tube, about 6 inches and I chopped it to about 3 1/2 feet long. Covered it in upholstery foam donated by Kim Bradford. My original idea was to score the surface with a soldering iron to simulate bark and whatnot, after several hours of that I realized a paint job wasn't going to work in time. So I came up with covering it in real bark. It was pretty much falling off the trees out there so I didn't even have to do any damage to anything.

And there you have it, it looks awesome, weighs next to nothing and is totally safe to have it slam into you.

Another prop I wanted to throw in was a severed hand. I used a mould from another mangled hand in another scene and since I knew I'd never use it again for anything, decided to run it as foam latex - just to see how it'd work, no other reason really. It worked great though, it was cartoonishly stretchy - although I don't think you'll see that in the final cut. Not sure yet.

So onto the shoot. With only two zombies I knew I at least wouldn't be overwhelmed with makeup all morning and with Trevor volunteering once again (he's been in every group zombie scene so far) I decided to use a silicone mask I'd make for last years version of the story. It was scrapped this year because too much had changed and quite honestly the mask didn't turn out very well.

For some reason it totally stretched out and deformed. No idea why, but since this is supposed to be a crappy movie, I figured it'd be perfect for this. Plus it was nice to just to be able to use it at least once and not just have it gathering dust on a shelf.

And now with the blood. Since I again didn't feel like mixing up some fake blood I used some old stuff I had lying around for some time now, it's actually Graftobian Stage blood and to be perfectly honest - this stuff is awesome. It's a little thicker than I'd suspect this much blood to be, but it smears and stains just like what you'd expect real blood to be like, plus it's totally safe and you can put it in your mouth.

And now for some slightly insane looking bloody zombie pictures with Lin Sigs.

The shoot went by so fast and went so smoothly it almost felt like we accomplished nothing at first, so I was constantly checking the footage to make sure we got what we needed - it would've sucked to have to come back again after all this.

I had Trevor help out with the swinging log shots, it was just easier to have someone actually holding it and letting it go than to try to tie it up and reset it each time. I'd rather have the chore of cleaning up a shot in post than struggling with resetting between each shot.

Seconds before or after they got hit. We did three takes and this was the last one and it was beyond perfect. I'd asked Lin to let go of the hand she as  gnawing it and let it fly up in the air as she got hit. I just thought it'd be kind of funny looking to see this severed hand flying up in the air.

Well, it worked and we ended up with the most awesome accident possible. The hand flew up, you can see it here in this picture if you look closely in the upper right corner on the log, and actually landed on the log for a couple seconds before flopping off onto the ground. While it might not read as a hand on screen, it still looks like some body part gone flying.

And so that's it, we're done shooting, no need for actors on camera at all anymore. I have 2 shots left I'm adding into it, they're just 2 minor FX shot that I don't even have to do but it's something I want to try at least just so I can have to experience in doing it and to see if it works better than the CG I currently am using. I am essentially building a miniature redneck booby trap and combining it with previously shot footage. But, more on that next week hopefully.

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