Thursday, March 23, 2017

March. Suck.

Didn't realize I'd been so neglectful of the blog...

Not that I haven't been busy...

So when last I'd posted, I'm in Florida and they're saying snow is going to hit Maryland the night we get home. I have a short scene in Ttory2 that requires snow, that I figured I'd just have to scrap since we got none this year.

But here it is...my final chance...and I'll be coming home from a sleep-deprived weekend, getting off a plane and running home to get things ready to shoot in the snow. Technically I wanted it to be a day shot, but the weather report is saying we'll have up to 12 inches the next day, so I doubt I'll get anyone to go out then.

Gotta do it the night I get home.

So we do it. I contact Mark, and he's got a guy with a decent costume for a monster. Not great, but acceptable since you're only going to see a flash of it. I talk to the guy via texts and he's good to meet up out there.

I get home, start charging batteries, clearing media. Getting everything ready. The new lights.

The weather's changing. They're downgrading it to like 6 inches. Still okay. But they're now pushing it back. Said it was going to start at like 7, now it looks more like 9. I've already made plans to be out there at 8pm.

We get Stewie to be our actor. He's got no lines. He's basically just wandering through and gets attacked.

It's 8pm and the light light snow is just starting, and we're in the parking lot waiting. I need some white on the ground not just for light, but because it's the purpose of the whole thing.

So we walk out and do some tests. Set up lights. Shoot some test shots. The snow is more like sleet, and it's getting on all the equipment.

We finally get enough sleet/snow on the ground for it to register...a little. We've been out there like 90 minutes and it's FREEZING cold. We try to do the drone shot I want, and let me tell you this: DRONES HATE SLEET. I mean, I've seen high winds not affect the drone as much as the sleet did. Couldn't keep it steady, couldn't get any great shots without wobbling.

I ended up getting one I can sort of use but it's not great. The lights I got are pretty great. If I had another 2...may bite the bullet and get 2 more, and then I'll have 4 pretty powerful lights to light up the woods.

Then we moved to the shot with the creature. It came out okay, but at one point my hands are so cold I can't feel them any more. I put them in my mouth to warm them up, and it's like someone's pushing needles into them.

At this point I'm just hoping anything I'm shooting is in focus, because the viewfinder on my camera's getting wet(so I'm worried about the equipment). Turns out, it's not bad. Not great, but not bad considering. It'll work for the flick.

Meanwhile we end up getting like 2 inches. Could have shot it the next day and had far less problems. Fucking weathermen.

This is us at the end of the night. I've blurred the creature, cuz I don't want it out there yet.



---------

Met a local author who does horror books. It's weird that this guy's been around here forever--graduated from my high school--and I never ran into him in our circles(of which we have quite a few overlapping friends).

We were just gonna meet for a beer, chat for an hour...three and a half hours later we finally call it. We have a lot in common, and he's a funny dude. Gonna definitely hang out more.

--------

Am breaking down the wrap into shooting script format. I did a rough schedule over 4 days and it's TIGHT. Should prolly break it apart into 5. Will probably do that. (which technically means 6, because I have us shooting the final, drone, CGI-intensive shot all along on one day so we can take our time)

Have sent out some inquiries about casting to people I've met to see if they can do video auditions. Would be nice to cast this without a lot of work. Doesn't have a giant cast, so I'm hopeful.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Goin' Away

Off to Naples Florida for work this week. Fast jaunt--out there Friday, back on Monday.

I have broken down the Ttory2 wrap into the scheduling program, and have started the shooting script. This is technically the reverse of how I usually do it, but shouldn't be a big deal. I'm going to try to do it in 5 days, which is roughly 8 pages a day.

Not crazy, but some of those days are heavy FX. Still have no idea how to do the CGI FX shot at the end that I wrote.

But man, this week I have been on the "Am I SURE this is the flick I wanna dump this money into?" train. Part of me thinks I should do my vampire movie. I'd need to raise probably another 10K through crowdfunding to even have a shot at it, but I think it's possible if I shot the opening of the script and a teaser trailer.

Don't know.

Watched the Expanse season 1 on Am-zn. Pretty good, if a little confusing at times. They did bring it all together at the end, so I'm curious about season 2.

Note to self: Really gotta start getting my tax shit together. I am gonna get hammered this year and have to find as many receipts as I can to lower that bill. That means going through my credit cards and finding all the bills related to the flick or my freelance job.

Have started putting that shit in a spreadsheet for this year so it'll save work for next year. I'm wondering if there's a better way to file than the way I've been doing it. But do I really wanna go consult a tax person?

Fucking taxes.




Wednesday, March 01, 2017

It's Gonna Be A Busy Year

Here's the list of things I'm going to try to do before the year is out:
  • Finish Halloween book 2. Considering I'm still in the early organizing stage and I need to have this done by September...I'm way behind.
  • Finish my book containing most of the crap I've written since I was 14.
  • Finish the re-export of FOC1 so I can put it up on the non-US outlets, and be prepared for when I get the US license back.
  • Finish the Ttory Making Of, author the dvd and slipcase, and get some made.
  • Make T-tory 2, every segment, get it completed ASAP.
  • Finish writing at least ONE of the goddamn albatross screenplays that I've been working on for over 5 years. Those are HH2, Backyard, Stand By Me With A Scarecrow, and Creepers. None of these are the actual names of the scripts, but I've been working on and off of every one for between 5-10 years. They are dragging me down.
  • Turn one of my more-expensive screenplays into a book. If it's any good, put it up on Amazon.
A lot of shit to do. And this doesn't count all the regular shit I have to do to pay the bills.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

It Is Done...


Had the meeting, and everybody's good with the deal. We all signed the paper, did the Ttory commentary, and now I guess I gotta get serious about it.

But remember I mentioned how Am-zon had changed their Xbox app to garbage, which worried me about possible loss of exposure for a lot of titles? And along comes this:

http://www.theblood-shed.com/amazon-cracks-prime-content-restrictions/

I got this notice myself about GOH. As usual, it's bullshit. But I don't care a lot because I already took it off of free anyway. But what's worrisome is that Am-zon can decide Ttory 2 is too violent, and refuse to stream it That would be a disaster.

It's scary. And on top of it I'm working on the Making Of Ttory for the dvd, and watching what it took to get the first one done...man, really makes me not want to go through it again...

Also, I was gonna totally half ass the making of. Just do one of those bullshit 8 minute videos the studios put together. Garbage. But I don't seem to be able to do that. Mind you, it won't be near as good or dedicated as my other ones, but it will have some good stuff in it.

Did some more tests with the flying machine.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-dVX8FzXWY

Including some night shooting. Also, that one shot way up looking straight down is the maximum height I'm allowed to go by law. Just wanted to see how high it was.

Also if you want to see me run the drone upward into a tree, go to 10:50. It was dark, so I couldn't see the tree above it from where I was.

Anyway, impressed with the camera's no-light performance.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Meeting Today


Today's the day I meet with the guys to confirm they're in for T-tory 2 and 3. That is, me on 2, them on 3. We're also gonna do a sober-ish commentary because I plan on doing a very limited run of T-tory dvds.

Did a more heavily-buzzed commentary for it with Zig and Stew the other night. I'm not going to put anything more than the movie, 2 commentaries, and some half-assed behind the scenes video. If I had enough stuff for a funny blooper reel, I might put that up instead but I don't think I do.

Here's the video tests we shot the other day. You can see the crash around 3:30.


https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ssytb52n3pg

Anyway, if all goes as planned then I'll begin to do serious work on planning for Ttory 2. Figure out how much I can afford to spend on FX and props and everything else. I've got to budget the wrap, as it's the most-important part, and then figure out what I have left for the other segments.

I guess a part of me hopes they back out.

Friday, February 10, 2017

More tests, plus a crash

Took the drone out with my brother to location scout, and shoot some drone footage.

Needed a place that overlooks an entire forest, since I have a character basically staring out at the T-tory. My brother said there was a place that might work that he knew about.

Like an hour away. Up a fairly steep trail. Then there's this crazy rock formation jutting out over the forest at least 100 feet up. My brother wouldn't go very far out--he doesn't like heights.

Not that I do, either. But fuck it, I'm not afraid of dying.

It's windy as shit, so I'm terrified to test the drone up there. I do it a little bit. It gets blown around a bit. I don't use it too much. Then I walked out to take some stills. My brother shot some pics as I went out.

 It's gonna be great trying to get Cutting out on this rock. I can tell you that in order to get the shots I want, we need zero wind. Because I have to not only get the shots I want with the drone, but also get some clean plates with the drone.

After we were done there, we went to another spot that was nearby that has a waterfall. Figured I could get some cool shots. Here's some video of both places. It's long, so feel free to fast forward through it.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/avmzCO-Gvmc

The next day the weather was ridiculous. Like 63 degrees in the middle of February, so I got Mike and Matt to go out and shoot some stills for a promo poster for Ttory 2, plus some video I can use as teaser stuff if I want.

It was the first time I tested actual shots that could be used in the film, rather than these sort of landscape/establishing shots that most drones are used for.

On one of the shots where I had the drone following Matt, it hit a tiny branch I couldn't see and went down HARD. Seemed to work okay after that, but the rotors are definitely taking a beating. (I've run it into some branches before that it chopped through)

I've got replacements, but figure...if it's still flying fine, why not keep practicing?

I'll put up a link to that footage too, but no sharing. It's got unedited Jack in it. (meaning, I haven't filled in the head so you can see Jack has hair)

Here's a promo pic I shot and did a rough pass on. I'll fix it up later.



Saturday, February 04, 2017

Life is Funny And Weird

It's funny in an odd way to see older movies and TV shows that have stuff in them that didn't apply to you when you first saw them, but when you see them again years later...they do.

For instance...I saw Rain Man when it first came out. Liked it. A funny story of a guy with a super rare and strange disorder that I had never heard of, and figured never would again. Like The Elephant Man or something.

To see it again years later, when I have a son with the same disorder as Rain Man...wow, really hits home a lot harder than it did.

Then recently I've been rewatching House, the tv show. My wife and I used to watch it every week. And it's funny, but just about every other episode they're testing for lupus, and saying things like "It's never lupus!"

And obviously when I first watched this show I didn't have it, so it meant nothing to me.

They also in one episode mention uveitis, which I've gotten a couple of times due to the lup.

Still a very good show.

--------

This week I'm just sort of tired of the T-tory. I was like 90% toward doing the sequel. This week I'm like 50%.

Just seems like it will be a lot harder to do than my stand-alone anthology.

Also of note, Am-zon changed their Xbox app so it's a clusterfuck now. Only shows like 144 horror movies in the horror category, and none of mine are there. So basically the only way someone on the Xbox is gonna watch my movie is if they add it to their watchlist via the web.

I wish I knew if the Playstation changed too.

Would really love to go out and practice with the drone, but it won't stop being windy.