Saturday, December 27, 2014

Merry Fucking Christmas


Wow, never get tired of the inlaws Xmas debacle. Matter of fact, I decided to finally go ahead and write a screenplay loosely based around it. It'll be my first comedy. People won't believe it's based completely on real shit that's happened.

Watched the Interview. Mildly amusing. Nowhere near as funny as Team America, but it's not terrible. Has some smoking hot Asian chicks in it, who you see briefly topless. I mean, that's gotta be worth something, right?

Followed it up with Prisoners, which I thought was very good. Enjoyed it a lot, and thought both Jake and Hugh were pretty amazing.

Anyway, over the holiday break I'm pretty sure I've gained about 20 pounds. I fixed some of the Xmas cookies my mom used to make. They're basically just butter and sugar. And I've been putting them away. Got a bunch of candy for Xmas too. Eating that.

Diet is in my future...

Also maybe the Panasonic GH4. I look at more and more stuff about it, and hell it's only $1700 for 4K...and for like $20 I can get an adapter to use my lenses. Hell, I can get some decent micro two-thirds glass for it for another $500.

May pull the trigger on it soon. I don't technically NEED it right now, but I want it. Isn't that enough?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Another holiday bearing down...

Every year it seems like I'm shopping later and later for people's gifts. I gotta go out tomorrow and get some.

The wife, no matter how many times I asked, did not provide any Xmas list. So I just randomly bought her some shit.

For most people it's gift cards. Some people think it's boring, but I love getting them, so what's not to like?

---

Uh, a pretty negative review for GOH. I've been waiting for reviews to pop up, but I guess that only happens when you send out 1000 free screeners to these cheap blog reviewers.

ASIDE:  (I saw a fellow filmmaker on FB post a picture of the just-announced cover to their new DVD that'll be out in Australia, and immediately someone--who must be a friend of theirs--is like "Man, I'd love to get a review copy for MYSHITTYWEBSITE.COM or whatever it's called)

Really, chief? You mean you'd take a free fucking copy of a movie? Wow, you're such a fucking saint. I mean, I'm sure you know how much we indie filmmakers would like to give away free copies of our movie! It only cost us a ton of money, a year or two off our life, but sure--I'd love to burn a fucking 100 copies of this dvd to send to you and every other shitty reviewer with a blog so you can trash our movies, and probably upload it to the torrents.

END ASIDE

Anyway, this guy actually bought the movie so I have no problem with him. It's his prerogative, as my good friend Bobby Brown once told me.

Here's the link(you gotta copy/paste it, cuz I don't wanna him to track it back to this blog):
http://adamthemoviegod.com/garden-of-hedon-review/

The thing I don't get is that he didn't like my lead's acting. It's the first time I've heard that, and I gotta strongly disagree. Cutting nailed that role, and with a few minor quibbles at specific points, he was right on.

---

Watched The Babadook. It's pretty good but isn't going to end up on my Best Of list. Probably another victim of Overhype for me.

However I did watch the Inbetweeners 2. If you haven't watched the show on Netflix, by all means do. It's funny, and only three seasons(British 6 episode seasons). Then there was a first movie, which was entertaining but not that funny.

But the sequel...man, at one point I was laughing so hard I was crying. That rarely happens.

This is a pretty cool fan-made Critters short. Well done.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yloNnvdWBU0

Hey, bonus picture just because it's Xmas soon!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Impressive

This is pretty cool. I don't understand where people get the time to do this shit:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5dfpe_-Lgg


Also, these guys are freakin' sick. How many takes did they have to do of each shot to get a strike, especially the ones on the skateboard park? Crazy.
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152747943988971&fref=nf


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cold Christmas

Did I tell you my furnace decided to stop working? No idea what's up with it. Sometimes it ignites and pumps out hot air for like 15 minutes. Then the flames go off and it just runs the blower FOREVER without igniting again.

Other times you can turn it on and the inducer motor blows, but the flames never come out and the blower motor doesn't run.

Did I tell you I've learned all about gas furnaces in the last week? I'm a regular expert. I believe our actual problem is the blower motor, so I ordered one(won't be here for a few days), but I think we screwed ourselves a little more by removing the inducer motor to see what was behind it. It's sealed to the heat exchanger by some fucked up insulation gasket that was probably 30 years old, so naturally it crumbled.

Didn't have one and the store was closed, so we sealed it up as best we could. I think air's leaking out, and that could cause the furnace not to come on because if the vacuum seal isn't tight there it won't induce the furnace to ignite(hence the name).

Ain't that fuckin' fascinating?

Anyway, house gets pretty fuckin' cold without your heater, FYI. We have a space heater and a heater dish, and I guess they're adequate if you're in one small room.

My downstairs is freezing. So my hard drives are loving it.

---

This is cool. I'd like to own one, put it on my house and just fuckin' kill people with it. You know, random people.
http://rt.com/usa/213583-navy-laser-gun-drones/

----
No joy on the ideas for the Xmas thing. I have two videos to do for the big January auction in L.A. anyway, so it's probably for the best.

---

This video is pretty funny. How not to unload a truck.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPvw7e-q53c

-----

On the "Who has this kind of time?" side of things, check out this neighborhood who has synced their Xmas lights together and then shot footage with a drone.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXieGSAdj4s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziXYL6sXVm8

I'm stealing all these videos from here, so why not just go there and cut out the middleman?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Rushing Holiday

It's coming too fast. Haven't done much shopping for presents.

Working on a new video of all the random footage of my kid that's been shot the last two years as a present for the father-in-law. He loves these things, watches them over and over after I make them.

My wife also complains she never sees any of the videos I've shot, yet I've burned her a copy every time I do it and she's yet to watch one. "No time," she's always saying.

You know, it was like 5:45am this morning and I suddenly wanted a Toasted Almond(which is my favorite drink--Kahlua, Amaretto and milk). Feels like one of those things you just shouldn't do, ya know?

But fuck it, did it anyway. It was good.

Been sorta obsessed with coming up with a Christmas short. Feel like something I've always wanted to do, and hell, the decorations are all up. And you never know, like I've mentioned, I may end up going out on my own on this anthology feature in which case I'm going to need to do five or so shorts.

Had another thought--a lot of people are putting decent shorts online for free right now. Wonder if I should exert some of my admittedly-limited reputation and attempt to put together an anthology feature of OTHER people's films. Do the work of creating Blu-Rays/DVDs and put up the same kind of distribution GOH did and see if we can't all benefit.

I'm gonna think it over. It's bound to be a fuck-ton of work, and if I put up the money to do the Blu's/DVDs then we'd have to make that back before any of the filmmakers make money.

Dunno. Been working on the ridiculous Syfy script that's actually pretty good once you get by the concept. Like, imagine you heard the concept of Sharknado and said Jesus that sounds stupid. But then imagine if you watched the movie and the script was actually good. (You have to imagine it, because it wasn't)

That's sort of what I'm working with.

Then I also have to get back to that Halloween book. Holy fuck I have a lot of shit to do. It's like, I'm ten times as busy as normal but making exactly the same pauper's money. This is GREAT!


Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Gnats, The Horror Movie


Know what I like about this picture? Photog knew what was important to put in focus. Her face? Nope. Her gun? Nope. The boobs. Congrats.


So did I mention how my house has been infested by gnats for like 2 months now? You do NOT know how infuriating these things can be.

It's getting so bad I'm thinking about bringing spiders into the house to combat the gnats, and I HATE spiders...

I thought I'd found the nesting place a while back, but then I went away for the weekend and came back to find my dog had shit downstairs near our pool table. My wife hadn't gone downstairs so didn't see it. (and my dog NEVER shits inside, so it was perfect timing)

I got back to find gnats and maggots all over it.

We got rid of that, and I've been killing hundreds of flies through apple cider vinegar, water traps, fly paper. The works. Can't seem to get rid of all of them though.

So yesterday I started a new plan. We shut the basement door constantly, so one way or the other we figure out whether the infestation is upstairs or downstairs.

Seemed to me it was downstairs after a day. I've been looking all over for water, little leaks near the fridge or the washer or the sinks.

It was none of those.

I don't know if I mentioned my downstairs fridge had broken a while ago. Just stopped working. I unplugged it, but it had stuff(a stereo, some booze) on it so we never moved it out. I'd talked about doing it near Halloween, but hadn't.

Well I was searching around downstairs(it's a disaster area) when I happened to glance at it. I thought...it's sealed, right? Gnats couldn't be in there?

Holy fuck was I wrong.

I opened the door and it was like the SWARM. I slammed it shut but some still got out. This was like midnight.

I got my wife out of bed, cuz I couldn't get it up the stairs by myself without it possibly opening. We dragged that bitch outside. I'm gonna open it in the light of day. Maybe I'll video it in case the gnats attack me and die.
---

On the film front, I volunteered to rough cut one of the other shorts for the anthology I'm producing. I wanted to see if they missed any shots on day 2.

Rough cut it together. It's rough. I'm more and more worried we can't compete with the mass of horror anthologies that are showing up. And this is the one I was there for a day of...what are the others gonna look like?

Mine is more or less done other than music, but I don't want to get their music guy to do mine because if I go off on my own with my short I don't want to have wasted their music guy's time.
--

My buddy's web series just premiered episode one of season two. You can see it here:
http://www.fastwalkerseries.com/

Enjoy my credits(on season 2).

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Back From Another Trip

The picture above has nothing to do with anything. I just saw it and liked it, so here it is.

Anyway, back from NY.

It was a fairly easy auction all in all. That doll that was supposed to sell for around $100K sold for $250K. I'm going to chalk it up to my stunning video.

Found a good place to eat while we were there. We ate there for lunch and dinner on Friday, dinner Saturday, then grabbed something to go on Sunday. That's right, four times in three days. (my brother tried something different every time--I ate burgers three times, fish and chips once)

Here's a picture. Awesome burgers, reasonable prices(which I've found to NOT be the norm in NY)

Got back, immediately dove back into the editing on the short. Want to wrap it up because I'm thinking this:

The short that got shot last weekend--the one I helped one day on--I'm a little worried about the 2nd day. The director's never shot anything before and I'm not super confident about his shooting script. I'm guessing they missed shots.

And the guy who's supposed to edit it isn't gonna get on it fast. I'm thinking I should offer to do a rough assembly just to see if they're missing shots, because if they're going to get them then they need to do it soon.
---
Did I mention to you that the guy, Mark, who played my clown in FOC has been hitting me up trying to get me interested in an FOC Carnivale flick. Personally I've found the idea to be ridiculous.

He just sent me an email that he wants me to skype with some producers he's got interested in the flick. Claims a director he knows pitched the idea to these guys and they loved it. Says he's gonna have the guy send me the script for my approval, and wants to talk rights and whatnot.

It's like I told him in the earlier email--I'm open to it, but only if it involves upfront money. Under NO circumstances am I signing off on this for backend promises. My two requirements are that the script can't suck and I need some money upfront and a small backend if by some miracle this thing makes bank.
----

FB friend got drunk and posted this. And I gotta tell ya, the highlighted part is something I've thought about over the years. Weird.

So drunk. Trying to find me. Buried under all the bills, petty life struggles, bullshit that doesn't... NEVER matters. I lost a friend. Who did not know his end was upon him. What was his last thoughts? BILLS? Daily life struggles? I am wrapped up as well as all of us. We have to fight. Not against people nor obstacles that lay before us. But against ourselves. Find a way to live. To remember we are dreamers. Who was that boy who watched horror films and would imagine himself in the roles of the main character and the love interests on a girl I would soon meet. Where is he? You know, we day dream about what it would be like to visit ourselves from the present to the past and tell ourselves about iphones and what marvel has to offer. But we can learn so much from our younger selves. I wanna link with that night. I believe the film was Spookies. My heart had beaten with such passion then. I want it again. I need to find him. HE WAS so much better than I. He longed to be me. And I long to be him. Is there a way for the two to meet? For their hearts to beat in the same rythym. Drunk rant. For that I apologize. BUT under the jokes and image. This is me ... screaming.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Frame By Frame Photopainting. Again.

So. The first half of the anthology short is pretty much done. I'm happy with it.

I put some temp music in, which I always do for two reasons. 1) If the scene doesn't work with good, professional music then the scene is not going to work at all. 2) I can help get a rhythm with some of the edits, sort of massage them into place.

Taking a final look at it I realized that there's a scene where we shot inside a tent. To make it work I had to cut a slice in the tent to insert the lens into to get the angle I wanted. Problem is, the tent is sliced in some of the later shots when it shouldn't be.

I was hoping nobody would notice, but I showed a buddy and it's the first thing he mentions. Super. So now I have to frame by frame stitch it up. No rotoscoping or rotobrush here, because the tent billows and moves with the wind(and movement of the actors).

It's probably only a grand total of about 18 seconds of footage. So that's only 432 frames to individually paint. Not that much, right?

Fuuuuuuck.

-----

I do not have the patience to be a color correction guy. Been messing with Speedgrade, and the name is deceptive. There really is no such thing as a fast color correction.

You mess with your primary color correction just to get a basic neutral picture, then apply some secondary stuff, and odds are you gotta fix the skin tones after that, and don't get me started on then using masks to get a certain effect.

Debating about just using the basic color correction I'd had in Premiere, and simply use Speedgrade to match some of the harder-to-match clips.

----

Could not pay me to go on this ride:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gK5MWQ__Ns

----

It's very cold. My computer and its hard drives approve. I do not.



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hahahahaha



Am going through some old CDs looking for something, and I came across this. Years ago I was trying to come up with a new look for my film company web site, so I was messing around.

I spent some time in 3D Max creating a movie theater auditorium with my posters up. The theory being I could add more as I did movies, and if they double clicked on a poster it would take them into the theater where they could watch the trailer and stuff.

So first off, I'm not an accomplished 3D Max guy. My knowledge of any kind of 3D creation software is very rudimentary.

Secondly, as the files tell me, this was in 2005 so it's a while ago. Hence my laughter.

But I uploaded it--it turned out that no matter what I did, the pieces were large and so the web site would take far too long to load. Nowadays I could probably make it work.

Anyway, here ya go. Hover over a poster to see it change slightly, click it once and the camera will zoom into it. Click on it again and it will SWOOP you into the theater(and stop). You'll have to reload it if you want to see the other posters in action.

This is hi-tech, people! hahahaha

http://www.kangaskahnfilms.com/city/website/widest-view.html

Also my furnace appears to be broken. There's about an 80% chance I'm going to need to buy a new one in the next couple of months, and don't get me started on how complicated and expensive THAT is.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Busy week


Finished two versions of the main credits for Cutting's web series. Waiting on the names/footage of some other actors in future episodes.

Then I got hit up to shoot a vid for the upcoming New York auction. Went in the next day, shot it all, got busy editing and had it up online the next night. Was a lot of editing(70 minutes of total finished videos) but I wanted it done.

Still using CS5 for those, as I'm not used to the new CC layout yet. I've discovered how to do much of the stuff I need to do, but am not really digging a few things. The way you now minimize/maximize your timeline workspace is particularly annoying. And there's this space at the top of your timeline that's just blank, and you can't remove it. I don't get that. It's taking up monitor real estate and does NOTHING.


Two weekends ago I also went out and helped with another short. It was at an abandoned VA hospital. I feel like I posted this already, but I don't see it.

Anyway, the location was great but the shoot went horrible. We shot in the road around the area--there was a bunch of abandoned buildings, but the main building looked like the set of Session 9.
I got there at like 10am, and the problems began immediately. They were going to do a shoot-in-car thing, and he had a tow truck that was going to pull the car. Sounded good. Then the tow truck and the car get there.

The tow truck is gonna pull the car on a chain, I find out, and the car has terribly-tinted windows. The camera guy is gonna sit on the back of the tow truck and shoot, but since he can't use a tripod and doesn't have a low-boy, he's gonna hold it on his leg.

None of it works. The car keeps getting jerked because the tow truck pulls, slows down, pulls, slow down. It looks like ass, even though we lit the interior of the car so you could see the actors' faces through the tint.

After a few hours of messing with it, the director asks me what I'd do. I say I'd abandon it. Not gonna work. Figure out something else. So we do that.

We go to a nearby trail and get a scene shot out there. That's goes okay. It's cold though.

Then we prep for the woods shoot. We have to create this prop item from the sticks and things he's prepared, but that means dragging 10 foot sticks into the woods, along with a giant buck of large stones. Takes some time. We needed to shoot a scene at dusk, but we lose light too fast. He changes it to a night scene, so we shoot that.

Biggest problem is this--we have no power. He has two LED soft boxes, that I'll grant you are pretty freaking bright and last a lot longer than I thought. I think it was this kit:
http://mikescamera.com/spec_sheet.html?catalog[name]=PROMASTER%C2%AE-P180-Manual-Control-Studio-Lighting-Kit---2-Light-%239413-Studio-Lighting-Kits&catalog[product_guids][0]=832965#category_3

Problem is, that still left the background black. I have an amazing flashlight that widens and casts a massive light, so we ended up using it to light some of the background on each shot to give a bit of depth, but at one point I asked him what ISO he was shooting at and he said 3200...

Now, I tested the 5D and it was unusable on video at any ISO above 2000(and even 2000 is gonna take some noise-removal software), but I don't know anything about his cameras so I just grimace and don't say anything. I don't get home until 3AM.

Couple days later I talk to him and he's bummed. Says it's all very noisy, looks nothing like what his monitor what showing him(he DID have a very nice monitor, rather than use the LCD screen). He's looking into noise removal software(he has one but I think he's pretty skeptical he'll be able to use any of the footage we shot, and he's thinking about quitting the entire venture...)

So yesterday I went out and helped actually SHOOT another filmmaker's short. It went substantially better, and I don't believe it's a coincidence. There's still some things I can't believe go on. (missing props? Really? I mean, if it was some sort of background item I might understand it, but it's literally a PLOT POINT.)

At least it was a day shoot also, but again it was very cold. As Murtaugh says, I'm getting too old for this shit. Was out there from 9am to 5pm, then took off to attend a friend's birthday party.

Anyway, back to my segment--trying to finish it up. Shot a composite pumpkin on my own, which was tough(have you ever attempted to do a selfie with a DSLR that's zoomed in? Now picture trying to line up the hole in the top of a pumpkin from 10 feet without a monitor AND get it in focus)

Have been putting in some temp music to see what's what, whether it's working. Parts of it certainly do, some other parts don't.

Oh yeah, we went out to the woods again to get some final foley sounds plus get some publicity stills. Here's a couple, and again, no share. It's a testament to nobody reading this that I feel pretty free about putting them on this blog. :)

So, more work this week, and off to New York from Friday to Sunday. Staying at the Waldorf.


Monday, November 03, 2014

Big Doin's

Took the kid out trick r treating, then threw on my minimalist costume. (hey, I got TGH cape on!) Went out and got pretty drunk, had a good time, danced. It was weird because they had a band, which I think is a pretty shitty thing to do on Halloween when people wanna dance.

A weird band that started with 2 original songs, then launched into 80's heavy metal. Then later on did Lady Gaga. It was weird. We danced during the break when the DJ came on.

Didn't throw up, so that's cool.

-------------

Was out tonight, cuz I'm getting a sore throat so I wanted a Slurpee like you wouldn't believe.  First 7-11 the machine was broke. Completely broke. Drove to the other 7-11 near my house. The cola machine was not frozen. It's fuckin' NEVER working there.

So I drove a ways away to another 7-11. Success--I thought. It looked like it was working but it only filled up an inch of the cup and then froze. Wouldn't come out. I tried for like 2 minutes. Nothing.

I left the cup and walked out. I drove five miles up the road to ANOTHER 7-11. That's right, it took four 7-11s to finally find a working cola machine.

On the way out there though, I saw this truck. I couldn't take a pic, but I noted the name and looked it up and some other girl had photographed it in daylight. Take a look:
Full service novelty solutions? Like, huh? Does this seem like the kind of truck a serial killer or the FBI or maybe The Punisher would drive?

-------

The big doin's I alluded to above is this--and you non-techies will probably wanna skip this:

On the credit sequence I'm supposed to be doing...was given a deadline of sorts, which is much faster than I'd been told. And I'm not being given some of the elements I need to complete it.

The original guy who worked on this thing used CC, which I don't have, and you can't open a CC project in CS5. I told Cutting I wasn't putting CC on my computer because I don't want my edit machine attached to the internet.

Well, I decided to do this so I could take a look at the original project file and export individual elements. I took one of my smaller old hard drives and wiped it, put Windows 7 on it, and booted my edit machine to it, with no other hard drives attached.

Then I connected to the internet and bought a month of CC. All the apps(it's $50 a month if you commit to a year, or $80 a month if you're just going to do it for a month). But you can cancel after 30 days if you want and they'll refund your money.

I figure at the least I'll open this guy's project, export the elements I need, and then mess around with the apps for a month before canceling.

But I gotta tell ya, after experimenting with the programs I may just pay for the year. Man, these programs install fast, haven't crashed at all yet, and there's some fucking great new programs. One's called Speedgrade, which I'd heard of--a new color grading program for Premiere. I opened it, and it's pretty clear I'm going to have to watch a tutorial or something.

So now I gotta decide though if on my horror short I should mess around with my edit in CC or not.

What I don't like about Premiere is that once again they've changed the layout. You can switch the Workspace back to 5.5 layout, which is nice, but the timeline is still a little wonky. I don't like the way they keep changing the audio channels. I like rubber bands, I like the keyframes you can see when you open the audio waveform in the timeline--all that stuff appears to be gone.
UPDATE: Okay, they're there. They just start super minimized, and then when you open them you have to right click on them, and decide which rubber band you wanna look at. Resizing audio tracks could be time consuming.

Also funny--when I first installed Premiere and After Effects, I booted up After Effects and messed with it, then unplugged the machine from the internet. (since I have no virus program or firewall on it)

When I booted up Premiere it insisted it didn't understand the .mov I exported from AE, and also wouldn't allow me to export any hi-def file of any kind. I couldn't find anything about why that was online, so on a hunch I plugged back into the internet and relaunched.

When you first boot up any program there's something called Sync--you Sync the program, and then don't have to do it for 30 days after that. But since I didn't sync Premiere at all, it was basically just a half-ass DV-quality version.

Worked fine after that.

Anyway, exported one clip that the other guy was dragging on getting us. He claimed it would tie up his machine for about 3 hours. I think he's exporting using a Commodore 64, because it took my machine about 10 minutes.

Am working on the credits now. The show is about UFO's, so I've had some fun creating fake pics using public domain photos with UFO imagery, and then making them look vintage. We'll see if he likes them. Fuck it, I'll post some of them here when I'm done.

UPDATE: Okay, here ya go, and ignore the music--youtube sometimes gets butt hurt if you try to upload a silent video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0w4S_0jkjU&feature=youtu.be


Friday, October 31, 2014

Officially Halloween


Once again it's here, far too early. I have taken barely any pics for my book. Gonna have to beg people to let me use photos, and license them when that fails. Awesome.

Got around to watching Pumpkinhead blu.


Then Halloween H20 and Resurrection. I don't hate either of these Halloween movies, but I can't fucking stand how Myers looks in H20. He's like barely 6 feet tall(if that) and not stocky at all. Hell, Alan Arkin was bigger than he was.

He looks better in Resurrection but that movie has a real hard time recovering from the incredibly-bad beginning.

Also been working on that opener for my buddy's show. He essentially needs it done in the next 3 weeks. Only, I don't have a few elements yet, and he hasn't sent me the list of the cast for each episode.

Here's the 2 finished effects I did for them. They're not spectacular, but then again, I'm not a VFX guy by trade.

Here's some disappearing stuff.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SNd9vnP4Y0&feature=youtu.be

Then he wanted sort of the same thing, but backwards. Sounded boring, so I did something else.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WYabESvBLk&feature=youtu.be

Gonna go out tonight, hit the bar, get drunk. Normal Halloween stuff I didn't get to last year. And then try to forget it's already November.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Comp


Andrew's all talking computers and stuff, so I figured just for the heck of it I'd post the stats on my edit computer. I edited a 4K feature with it but a lot of that is thanks to the magic of CS5's Mercury Engine.

And note, I added many hard drives to this--the hard drive I bought here was simply where I installed the operating system, edit program and filters/whatnot. You want to leave your OS computer as empty as possible(though I got lazy and began saving my projects on that drive, which would mean that all of the conformed files would start getting stacked there)

But here ya go:
4 OCZ 4GB DDR3 PC10666 1333MHZ 4096MB(16 gigs of Ram total)
Intel DP55WB Socket LGA1156 Motherboard
Intel Core i5-750 2.66Ghz 8M LGA1156 CPU
Seagate 1TB Serial ATA HD 7200/32MB/SATA-3G
ULTRA LSP750 750W ATX POWER SUPPLY
Ultra XBlaster Mid-Tower Case Black
GeForce GTX580 Video Card(which is pretty much the cheapest card you can use for Premiere, and in fact you have to trick it into knowing it's useable by altering a text file in the premiere folder)

That's it. Total cost of just this working machine(without the added hard drives) was about $1500. So when they tell you that you can't edit 4K without spending 5K on a computer you can tell them to fuck off.














Monday, October 27, 2014

Too FAST, I tell you

It is blazing away toward Halloween. I have done hardly anything I wanted to do. Have taken barely any pics for my book. I have to get out there, cuz you know people take those decorations down right after the 31st.

Haven't watched that many more movies.

My wife had her pumpkin party. Good time, as always. My brother came over and shot some pics. Hopefully he got some good ones. We lit a pumpkin on fire, which was very cool. Again, a Youtube find. We used weed killer, where they used Boric acid.

It didn't work that well(the fire on the outside of the pumpkin), so I dumped some Bacardi 151 over it, and let me tell you THAT did the trick.

Here's some VIDEO--that's me having a good time pouring fuel on the pumpkin. It didn't appear to hurt the pumpkin at all, so it definitely wasn't a very hot fire.


The next night we went over Zig's to check out the pumpkin trail. They put lit pumpkins all along a trail in the wood, and TONS of people walk through. It was cool, but would have been cooler if there were LOTS of pumpkins. I mean, there WERE, but the trail was pretty long which amounted to about one every ten or fifteen feet.

We came back afterward and watched The Ring. Haven't seen it in years. Still a good movie. I just started Motel Hell, but I have a bunch still to watch before Friday. I think we're going out Friday night to a bar. I feel like we're on the cusp of being too old to even get dressed up and go out to a bar.

--

Am also working on the opening credits for that UFO series. I still haven't gotten the straight story on why he's not using the original guy for this, but the guy provided his AE file but it's a CC version, and not backwards compatible to mine. So basically I'm going to reconstruct it(and make it better) with the elements.

Only bad news is that it doesn't appear he's provided all of the elements.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Cruising Through The Movies

This is really just a list for me. So I can see what I've watched. But I will tell you what I thought.

  • Cloverfield - Been a while since I watched it. Still dig it. A solid found footage flick.
  • Silver Linings Playbook - not Halloween, but I hadn't seen it. It was okay. Not as great as I'd heard.
  • Banshee Chapter - Couldn't finish it. Bored me pretty severely, and I stuck with it for a good hour.
  • Wake Wood - Not bad. Fairly unoriginal premise(Pet Sematary?) but decent enough.
  • Grosse Point Blank - It's been on my list to rewatch. Still a super-fun flick.
  • Trick Or Treat - Finally got my wife to watch this. It's really grown on me as a flick, and I'd kill to live in that town.
  • WXYZ H Special - I didn't put the name in cuz I don't wanna show up on any searches. It's a local film. It's a really well-done recreation of the past, like a VHS you found at a flea market, but ultimately it drags after the novelty wears down. But it's still pretty amazing how authentic it feels to the time period, even stuff they shot recently.
Gonna watch some TV show Halloween episodes.

I'm really feeling like I haven't shot any freakin' pictures for my H book, and the holiday is bearing down on me with force.
----------
I wish people could hear the conversations my wife and I have. They're really pretty funny. Examples:
Wife: "Hey, do we have anything to watch tonight?"
Me: "Yeah. Something big going into your mouth."
Wife: "Oh yeah, I was thinking about making caramel apples."
Me: "You can coat it with caramel, whatever, long as it ends up in your mouth."

Another one tonight after I re-hung my kid's blinds because it kept falling down.
Wife: "Did you get it up?"
Me: "You know I got it up."
Wife: (be serious mode) Does it work?
Me: "You know when I get it up it always works, baby."

And then finally we had the electric guys coming this week to change our meter to those BS new meters they can simply read at their headquarters. The dude shows up, wakes me(cuz I sleep during the day), so I'm out of it. I show him where the gas meter is and he's like "I can't install it there--you're going to have to cut that bush. " He's gotta get a screwdriver in there and be able to attach it to the front of the current meter, and the bush is all over it.

So I tell him I'll have my wife cut it in about eight inches. Later I tell my wife and she laughs. I have no idea what she's laughing at. She says "So you told the BGE guy that you'd tell your wife to trim her bush?"

Then I laughed, cuz I got it. It's funny that the BGE guy didn't laugh, but I guess we never put the bush and wife thing together.



Thursday, October 16, 2014

Grand Dame of Mystery





Am reading "Hallowe'en Party" by Agatha Christie. One of the books I'm reading so I can accurately compile my list of best books for the holiday.

Back in middle and high school I read a TON of Agatha Christie. Probably about twenty five of the sixty six she wrote. Loved them. I was a mystery junkie back then and couldn't get enough.

But I never read H-party. Hell, didn't even know about it until recently.

So it was with a little trepidition that I started reading the book. What if I didn't like it? What if I had out-grown my taste for Agatha Christie's novels? That would feel like another piece of my childhood dying.

And the first ten or so pages of the book continued my worry. It was a little slow, a little wordy. And it's Stephen King's fault that I sort of cringe when people over-use words with ly at the end. Adverbs I think they call them.

Christie uses a lot of them. But luckily the second Hercule Poirot comes on the scene I was right back in it. From a basic writing standpoint he's an interesting character. Why is he so likeable, I ask myself.

He's so full of himself that it's amusing at times, but normally that will make you dislike a character. My guess would be because--to put it basically--he saves the cat at the beginning of every book. Someone comes to him for help, and he never says no. Always seeking to right the wrong and catch the murderer.

Anyway, my goal is to finish the book before the actual holiday. Hard to do because of all the shit I got going on.

---

Went to see The Guest tonight. It's the new movie by the guys behind You're Next. I thought that movie was okay, but not as good as I'd heard. Expectations too high.

I went into The Guest with no idea what to expect. It's a pretty fun movie, sort of action/horror, and it takes place at Halloween so that was a nice surprise. I won't spoil it at all--go check it out before it's gone from the cineplex.

It also has a great 80's sounding soundtrack--kind of like Drive. Reminded me of it a lot. Am definitely going to buy it.

Watched Stitches. It wasn't bad. Had some very cool FX to it, but I couldn't get over how every time the clown talked I thought it was Gerard Butler under all that makeup.

Watching Dust Devil now. Can't remember if I ever saw it or not. It's weird watching the Dust Devil dude though, because he played such a funny part in Rescue Me, so I'm used to him being a comic actor.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Good, more work to do!

I went back through some of the random audio files I had to search for useable clips in the short. Figure I'll see if there's anything I can salvage in there before I make the list of stuff I'm going to need to finish, and then go back out to the woods to foley them.

Cutting contacted me--needs an effect done for his UFO series, sent me the clip. I started working on it, cuz why not?

I watched The Caller last night. Not bad, but it's pretty obvious it was written right after the dude saw Frequency.

Currently on my list to definitely watch before Halloween this year:
Pumpkinhead Blu
H20
Halloween Resurrection
Jeepers Creepers
Cloverfield
Shaun of the Dead

There's a bunch of other ones on the maybes, but those are the ones I pulled out and haven't seen in a couple of years.

Did I mention just how much work doing a layout on a book is? Trying to figure out the best layout for pictures--so they're big enough people can see them, but small enough you can get maybe four per page?

OCTOBER IS MOVING TOO FAST! 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Rough Cut Basically Done...


...on my short. The sound in the second half still needs to be fixed. There's a couple of shots left to composite once I get some better "plates" of the bottom of the pumpkin. Then there's the fuckload of color correcting I have left to do.

But I have both halves exported and watched them. Not bad if I do say so myself. More works than doesn't, which is nice. A couple of places to tighten.

Went back to writing by H book, since I've gotten sidetracked on that. I really gotta get out and shoot some photos, then I'm going to make my wife make a ton of these cool foods so I can take pics.

---

Finished the remake of Carrie. Ugh. Never liked the original, liked this one even less.

Watched The Gift to wash that out of my brain. Hadn't seen it in ten years. Still very enjoyable, and Jeez does Katie Holmes look great topless.

Now I'm watching Nightmares in Red, White and Blue, a documentary on horror that's been in my queue for over a year.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Update re; Rolling Shutter Fix

Remember that rolling shutter post-production fix I found a while back? It was in this post if you forgot:
http://maykillyou.blogspot.com/2014/07/rolling-shutter-fix.html

Anyway, at the time I had wondered if there was an easy way to make a template or something so you didn't have to do the complete process every time(which involves making 3 compositions)

I'm a little shocked that the solution didn't occur to me as I typed that post, but today I figured it out immediately.

If you do it once, just save that project As another project with the name of the next clip you want to de-jello-fy. Then simply right click on the original file name in your project window and click on Replace Footage > File, then go click on the new file you want to fix.

Voila. After Effects will do all the work for you right there. Render your new file, then repeat for each clip you need. It's pretty simple.

October, Time To Starting Acting Like It


So here it is October, and I haven't seen one goddamn horror movie yet. Time to rectify that, big time.

There's some new horror flicks on Netflix, so I decided to check one out today. Cabin Fever: Patient Zero.

I start watching it and note that it's directed by Kaare Andrews. I know the name because he started off in comic books, doing covers. Then he went on to direct the moderately-entertaining Altitude, plus a segment of ABC's of Death that definitely said fuck-the-budget.

The movie looks slick, I'll give it that. And it has Sean Astin in it, which was kind of surprising. It's moderately-entertaining, just doesn't bring anything new to the table at all in regards to Cabin Fever. (Yeah, there's gonna be some gross out shit going on, big time)

Up next is either Motel Hell, which Zig lent me, or The Town That Dreaded Sundown or Shivers, which is an early Cronenberg flick--both of those are on Netflix.

Turned out to be Sundown. Can't remember if I ever saw it or not. Pretty weird movie, with a narrator, and some really bad day-for-night in the first 20 minutes. Am watching it as I type this.

Update: Interesting movie for the time, for sure. Funny that someone was called Loomis in this--guess that's where Carpenter pulled the name from?

Turns out I'd seen Shivers a few years ago. So I'm watching the remake of Carrie instead. Will let ya know.
---

Apparently it's a big week for clowns. Not only does American Horror Story have one, but out in California some funny pranksters have taken to dressing as scary clowns and just standing around at night.
http://jezebel.com/american-horror-story-in-real-life-creepy-clowns-stalk-1645289423?utm_campaign=socialflow_jezebel_facebook&utm_source=jezebel_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

And my moviemeter readings on my clown movies--which hover normally around 50,000-60,000 are both in the 12,000 range.

---

Work continues on the anthology short. It's all about filling in the top and bottom of the pumpkin and the eye holes. The eye holes are the easiest. The bottom is the hardest.

My computer is hating certain clips, for no discernible reason. Sometimes it crashes just trying to render a clip on the timeline. So I'll re-export the clip into a new quicktime file using the animation codec(one of my favorites). Then drag it back in--and many times, Premiere STILL has a problem with it.

Weird.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Back From Work/Right Back To Work


Back from the L.A. trip. It was a clusterfuck of epic proportions. Worst disaster for the company I've ever seen.

What happened was, we had two wired internet lines from the hotel(under AT&T). Blazing fast. And as always we have our wireless hot jet packs from Verizon.

And a couple hours into day one's auction, the hotel's wired connection just went out. Both lines. And weirder still both wireless units also lost connection.

I'm not sure how it's possible. Two different companies, one wired and one not. It's like a fucking invisible dome dropped down over our hotel and cut us off from the internet.

And just like that we lost--best guess--around $100K. The internet wouldn't come back reliably. We got back on occasionally but we essentially had to call the company that handles online stuff and have them run the program from Utah while we had them on the phone, relaying bids to them.

The next day it was still pretty spotty even though the hotel had brought in their network engineers to see what they could do. It was some highly stressful work for me. I had two computers, and was going back and forth between both them the whole time.

----

Anyway, met Proctor Friday night. Me, Luke and he went to a steak joint and got some good food. We also were treated to this woman getting on the mechanical bull. She was smoking hot.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzJbJiCfhko

Tom's doing well--dude's in everything now. He was flying to Texas the next day to be in another flick. Luke and I had written a script with him in mind for one of the lead roles, and I thought I'd sent it to him. Turns out I hadn't.

He wants to read it, so I told him I'd send it when I got back home.

---

Weirdly we were literally eating at the entrance next to Universal's Halloween Horror Nights. I have wanted to go there for YEARS. And the year I finally make it there? Lame lineup of exhibits. The only one I would have genuinely liked was the American Werewolf in London.

They had The Walking Dead. Not really interested. From Dusk Til Dawn sounded good but then I saw it was the TV show.. To cap it all off it's like $80 to go. Had it been like $25 then maybe I'd have gone just to say I did it.

------

Monday night I met up with Jacky and Mun. An FOC reunion(well, FOC2 to be precise, cuz Luke was there also). We had dinner, chit chatted. Jacky left after a few hours, and us guys headed back to the steak/bar place for some beers.

Here's me and Jacky, taken by the Mun-ster.


Here's a selfie I took of the guys.


Got back home to shitty MD(rainy and like 50 degrees) and had to get right back to work. It's October, and that means I have about 1000 things to put up on eBay(I have so much horror shit, and it all sells well in October). I have GOT to get rid of some of this shit in my house. You can barely walk.

Then back to the anthology. Did I mention how much CGI work that is?

I'm not going into how much work it is, but here's a quick comparison so you can sort of see what I'm having to do. I split screen it so you can see what's going on:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruEiX64gXLw

In a perfect world of motion-controlled computer cranes/dollies this would be easy. In my world it took about 8-9 hours to make this finished 9 seconds(no color correction's been done yet):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hifq4cqxElg

And remember the hole in the head thing? Here's a couple of finished shots of that that I think are pretty solid. Don't spread any of this stuff, eh?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IG8eqVK7NA&feature=youtu.be

I gotta finish dicking around with the rough cut just so I can put down all the audio I need to go get before it gets too cold. I'll go out with my brother and Matt, recreate some of the scenes audio-wise. Foley. Not my favorite thing to do.

We'll probably take some promo pics while we're out there too. I also need some better composite plates of the bottom of the pumpkin, as we barely shot any of those. I didn't realize how bad I'd need them.

Also, got back to my house and my wife had decorated the place all Halloween and shit. So now I feel like Halloween is closing down on me too fast.






Monday, September 29, 2014

I'm Gonna Need You To Shoot Me In The Head

This is an actual album apparently.

Did I mention there's a fuckload of compositing work in this 12 minute short?

First, every shot with my pumpkin guy requires--at the least--me to fill in the holes we made so the actor could see. They're tiny drill-bit sized holes, but visible nonetheless. Damn you, hi definition.

So I gotta motion track each hole, then clone a section very near to the hole, and parent that to the motion tracks. Fun.

THEN...in most of the shots with my pumpkin guy you can see the actor's hair in the top of the pumpkin. That's trickier because he turns his head at times and the angle he looks down changes. So creating a fill and just motion tracking the hole doesn't work. I had the crazy hope that tracking position, angle and scale would help me out.

But what's really killing me right now is that we were running out of time toward the end so I was cutting corners to get it shot. Time to pay the piper on those.

I have a shot where an actor is dead on the ground. He has a big gaping hole in his skull. However, the actor in question told me five minutes before we were to apply some blood that he cannot do that because--and I quote--"Blood will ruin my highlights."

I try not to judge. But he's had the script for 6 weeks. The hole in the head was there the entire time. A little heads up?

The thing is, I only wanted a ring around the area on his head because we have a prosthetic head with a gaping hole. If I have a ring of blood on his hair I can see clearly where to composite the hole.

ANYWAY

What happens is that the character's girl runs near the scene, sees something in the distance and then zooms her camera to it to get a better look. And see her dead boyfriend on the ground with the hole in his head.

With time I would have put the camera on a tripod, shot the actor on the ground and zoomed in, and then added motion to it later. Then I would have put the prosthetic in and shot that in the same position.

What instead happened is that I had to rush, so I just shot the shot handheld, then also shot a handheld of the prosthetic. I was also immensely exhausted by this time and shaking like a fucking epileptic.

Now I'm having to frame by frame the hole in his head--and you see, I'm also zooming in toward the body at the beginning, so I have to try to make the zoom on the hole look the same. Also the camera blurs as it zooms, and in erratic patters, so I have to keyframe a blur on every frame to try to match the original blur.

I have been working on one fifteen second clip for 7 hours now. It's still not rock solid.

Later today I'm meeting the actor to get a few shots I missed in a random woods near me. Hopefully I can make it match.

Then Friday I'm going to L.A. until Tuesday.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Rough Cut Done


I have edited more this week than in a LOOOOONG time. Finishing the paid auction video, then diving right into this short.

And the short's not easy. Having to sync the audio to the picture without a slate. On occasion we clapped. I do have the reference audio on the camera that helps a little, especially if there's a loud noise I can see in the wav form.

Also we shot two camera--so I'd sync the two clips together then sync the separately-recorded audio to those.

I started with the end scenes because I knew that's where I'd missed shots, not having time to consult or follow my shooting script at all.

Whole thing ain't bad, either. And now I have a list of pick-up shots to do.

The most egregious miss was a reaction-shot from one of my actors that's pretty important. Am waiting to hear if he can meet me at a local woods to get it real fast. He's going to San Diego for like a month, so it's now or WAY later, and the color's gonna be gone from the trees...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Not bad, not bad


So I'm rushing through an assembly edit on the last half of the short so I can figure out what pickup shots we need. We're gonna go out and reshoot a few FX shots, get a couple of inserts I need. All without any of the actors other than Matt who plays Jack.

Zig's gonna double for Johnny's hands, arm and gut. That Zig is multi-talented.

With the speed we were working mixed with the complexity of the shots I was going for and the fact that all the FX shots were what we were speeding through...I kinda felt like the end of the shoot was one big fuckup.

But it's not half bad at all.

Note: When you change the battery on the 5d, apparently it loses white balance. That would have been nice to know. Got a lot of color work to do.

Couple of questions not to ask a guy who's just finished shooting a flick:
1) How's it look?
2) When's it going to be done?

I get your enthusiasm and interest. I appreciate it. But the magic takes TIME.

Stumbled on an interesting set of LUT's--they're settings for color correcting film. Here's the site:
http://www.vision-color.com/osiris/

It's only like $69 for 9 settings, which isn't bad.

But check out #1--they're little video under tutorials that expounds on Stu's now-famous color correcting tutorial. The prepping a digital negative video is also interesting, and not something I knew.
http://www.vision-color.com/tutorials/

Then go to downloads and download the 2gigs of free film grain. I haven't had time to test it, but it's free if you like their site on FB.
http://www.vision-color.com/free-stuff/

Yeah, I keep a fake FB account just for that sort of thing.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

After Action Report

Do me a favor and don't spread these pics. 
Since nobody reads this blog I feel relatively safe posting them here.


So, the weekend from hell is past. I'll skip the nitty gritty.

Friday night Zig came by and spent the night so we could be out the door by 7:15am. Grabbed two dozen donuts and some ice for the cooler, and headed to the parking lot near the woods. Everybody showed up on time, which was sweet.

We load everything up on carts, plus(of all things) a little red wagon Cutting has in his truck. We start wheeling and carrying it all--seems like we can do it in one trip. Things go bad fast as Zig dumps a dozen of the donuts on the trail. Oh well, I told people to eat them in the parking lot.

We make the long walk to the camp site and drop all the equipment. Me, Johnny and Melissa head back a ways to try to get a quick shot at one of the rusted car wrecks. I shoot a couple--we get an awesome lens flare in the background and then we realize, they're not wearing or carrying their props(a camping bag and a mini-cooler).

Fuuuck. Someone runs back to get those, but by the time they get back the flare is gone. Well, I'm gonna try to recreate it in AE with you-know-who's awesome program.

Then back past the camp for the first scheduled shot. A crane shot where the couple is coming up the trail and I crane to eye level from very low. I have to rack focus manually without disturbing the crane's motion.

LET ME GIVE YOU SOME ADVICE, RE CRANES

Take the amount of time you think the shot with the crane is going to take. Multiply that by ten and you're going to be far more accurate.

And this was the mini-crane. But anyway, we weren't TOO far off schedule at that point. We went back to camp in time to eat some subs my brother had gone to get everybody from the local deli.

Then we shot the whole scene that takes place at the camp site. It went okay I thought. There was some issues with the tent(the stakes were little tiny metal spikes rather than anything actually, you know, VISIBLE to the naked eye), but the cops didn't come when we repeatedly fired the gun and the blank gun.

We walked out of the woods at like 5pm, having only missed like 5 shots. But the next day was the tougher day in the woods.

Six of us went to Stewie's house to film the "interview" scene. We ordered some pizzas and waited for them to come, ate, and then shot the interview. It went pretty smooth. We ended eight minutes earlier than I'd scheduled: 7:52pm.


DAY 2

Back at it--in the parking lot at 7:45am. We have to shoot the quick car scene. I look at attaching a camera to the outside of the car but it looks like I'll get a weird shadow and maybe reflection, and I don't need this kind of shit.

I say fuck it--we'll do the angles I didn't want but it's a short scene. We bang through it and are back in the parking lot at like 9:15am. Forty five minutes early.

I show everybody where the day's camp is, and the good news is that it's only like 500 feet into the woods from the parking lot.

We wait for everybody. I set up the ghetto steadi-cam. Did I tell you about that? I'm too lazy to go check. Basically here's where I got the idea:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JW6AWmqa8ZM

The problems for me were this: The tripod I got used metal spokes on the legs. Not comfortable to grip. I wrapped grip tape around it. Bigger problem--the camera outweighed the legs even fully stretched out. My fix, when I tested it the night before, was to put batteries in ziploc bags and hang them on the legs.

It seemed to work during the test, and now that I've seen the results I gotta tell ya--fuckin' amazing. Here, check it out:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLLTvl6WhF4&feature=youtu.be

I chased Johnny and Melissa around for a while, and did I mention I'm out of shape? By the time we were done I was SOAKED in sweat. And it was only like 10:30am.

So we head down to the gully. Have to pick up the scene we didn't do the previous day. I wanted to dolly but wasn't gonna attempt it. Cutting had a slider so we set that on the ground and I discover that the plate on it has a screw roughly double the side of a regular screw. My camera won't mount on it.

I jury rig it. I hold the camera on half the plate--if I put it on the screw it will wobble--but I have to hold it tight as I slide it to keep it steady. I think I get some good shots though.

Then farther down the gully to do another crane shot. Only this time I'm going to be using my remote pan head to tilt up as the crane comes down and then when the camera's low enough I have to rack the focus as Johnny comes to about 4 feet in front of camera.

We did, no shit, seventeen takes. Took a while. Never got the timing perfect on it. And then when we were done I had to carry the 30 pounds of weights up the hill back to our new base camp. I am fucking dying already.

And I can already feel us slipping behind. We've got the FX stuff all coming up and I'm guessing we got about five hours of good light left.

We order lunch, try to get some stuff done while we're waiting. Long story short, we start falling behind bad. The FX at one point aren't working(a slash doesn't blend in enough to be believable), and I'm having to abandon my shooting script in the name of just getting it done.

But I have some fairly complicated compositing to do, and when you're rushing it's bound to fuck things up. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be spending months working on the painting out of things, and I don't think some of the FX will work, so I need to figure out how to pick them up.

We shot well past the good light. I had to go from ISO 650 to 2000 by the end, so matching this shit is gonna be a nightmare. I may have to look into some grain removal programs. Fun.

We packed up, ate at Wendy's, and came home to unpack. Dead tired, body hurting. But I couldn't go to sleep because of how much stuff I had to do. Dozed off for like 2 hours before I took my kid to school, came back and dozed another two hours but kept having a dream I was directing a film that was going wrong because the DP wouldn't do what I wanted. I finally took the camera from him and started shooting.

I woke up and decided I'd go back to the woods today and get some POV shots I know I missed, plus some ambient sounds, and maybe a few pics.

So I did. Here's me, wishing I was dead. I had forgotten how much walking it was.

Anyway, spent today working on the video for the auction coming up--paid work, gotta do it, but was feeming to look at the footage we shot.

Now I've looked at all of day 1 plus a little of day 2, but it's getting painful now. I'm reliving the moment shit starts going wrong...

But much of day 1 looks good. Will get back to ya on day 2.



Thursday, September 18, 2014

Happy B-Day To Me. Or Not.


Yeah, today's the day. And like a cruel jab at me I have been feeling like shit lately. My neck hurts when I wake up.

And now for the past three days my lower back is KILLING me. Worse every day. Not good when I have to be DP on a flick in two days.

Anyway, my mission today is to go to the woods where we're shooting this weekend and do my last minute walk though. Make sure I know how long it takes to get from location to location in the woods, and in what order we're going in.

I figure hey, I got 25 pounds of weights that are needed to counter-balance the crane, so I might as well take them with me. I'll drop them behind a tree or something--one less thing for the crew to carry in. PS: Weather's supposed to be clear all week long.

I get to the woods. Keep in mind I've only been there twice, and both times with my brother who knows his way around. I head in. There's an immediate fork, and I'm pretty sure our main camp area is to the right, so I go that way.

Spider-webs cross the trail and I walk into a few. I pick up a stick and wave it in front of me as I walk so it won't happen again. The trail splits a few times but I keep walking in the direction I think is correct. After a while I come to a clear-ish area that looks familiar. I think--yeah, here's the main camp.

I spend some time there picturing the shots in my mind, where we're gonna set up a tent, etc. Then I drop the weights behind a tree. Good riddance.

I head all the way back to the first trail split, knowing I have to take the other direction because there's some shots that way too. I follow that for a while but get lost. I call my brother who talks me through but then mentions that he thought the main camp area is in the direction I'm currently walking.

I keep walking and sure enough run into the real main camp area I'd chosen. Also there's no sun whatsoever right now and the woods are pretty fucking dark. Getting kind of creepy for 3pm in the afternoon.

So I know I have to walk ALL THE FUCKING WAY BACK TO THE OTHER SIDE to get the weights and bring them here. My back is hurting like a bitch, and hey, are those rain clouds I can barely see through the canopy?

I walk briskly back to the weights, grab them and lug them all the way back to the main cutoff. I'm out of breath, sweating, tired. I call Zig to tell him what a shitty time I'm having. Then I walk the weights back toward the camp.

It starts to pour. I get them most of the way and say fuck it. I drop them behind a tree, and jog back the way I came. Only good news is that I now have an excellent idea of exactly how we shoot from location to location.

---

Since my parents live down there I stop by. I ask my dad if there's any way he can take the kid to school for me, and drop off his van, take my car. That way I can use the van for all the equipment. He says sure. But he doesn't have a key to my new door knob.

I give him mine. I then text my wife and say Don't lock the bottom lock on the door if you leave.

You know where this is going.

I go to my house and nobody's home. The door is locked.

I spend ten minutes trying to pick my lock. Good news/bad news. Good news is my lock is a very nice lock and is not pickable with my quik pick. The bad news is I'M STILL LOCKED OUT OF MY GODDAMN HOUSE.

I manage to push open the window next to my door(it's not locked) and climb in, sliding over my couch and down on my belly.

Happy Fuckin' B-Day To Me.

--

Went out to get the knife back from the FX guy. He gave me my original back plus the rubber one he created. It's pretty cool. Check it out, real one first:
 I told him not to spend time dicking with the rune lettering, cuz the only time we'll use this knife is if it's being swung, so you won't see those.

Pulling all the equipment together so I won't forget any. And oh yeah, the remote follow-focus that I went to Bel Air for last night...doesn't fit the rails of my rig. So that's a big fucking waste of time, and now my crane shots have to be all wides(or nearly).

Yay no budget filmmaking...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Soooooooo Much To Do

It's days like these that I wonder why I put myself through it all...

Not that today was overly-bad. It's just, the sheer amount of stuff still to be done before Saturday's shoot is pretty ugly, and since I'm doing it all myself...

Last Saturday I went over and had Matt try on the whole Smiling Jack uniform with mask thing and all. Here's a top secret pic of that.
The big problem here is that I had to digitally-fix that pic above. You could see his head slightly through the top even though he's not looking down too much. So I'm guessing I'm gonna have to do that in the actual flick, which is gonna be a lot of work in post.

I only wish I had his knife for that pic, but unfortunately the FX guy is casting it so we have a non-lethal version. I get that back this week.

I'm glad I got Matt instead of Cutting who was supposed to do it. Matt's willing to put up with the hassle, the shit that sucks, and he doesn't gripe. For instance, that mask was on him for maybe 5 minutes and this is what his forehead looked like afterward:
Ah to be young again. That mark on his forehead is where the nose indention pushed on him. I've now added a bit of cushion so it's not as bad.

As if I didn't have enough to do though, I got a paying video gig Wednesday morning. So Monday I get tortured knowing I can't look at any of this footage I shot over the weekend--I gotta edit the boring pay work first.

--WORRY: How long will it take to dump footage from a 32gig CF card to a USB hard drive? Odds are we'll fill up the 6 CF cards we have, so how long will all that take to dump Friday night because I won't be able to do it until we get back. So I gotta make sure it's all transferred before I get some sleep so that we can format the cards for Saturday.

--WEATHER: So far, so good. It appears it'll be mid to high 70's, partly cloudy. Partly cloudy will help me with the car shots, as the background shouldn't blow out as much as if it were sunny. However it won't help me in the woods, which are pretty dark as is. I gotta go back and make a last look at the woods.



Friday, September 12, 2014

More Blasts From The Past

 Man, I see this and I want a time machine more than ever...
I wanna go back in time and see this movie again for the first time!
 A Drive-In ad. You remember those, right?
 And another!
 Weirdly, I don't remember ever seeing this poster for the movie. 
It's pretty cool(but I prefer the regular one which sits on my wall)
This was labeled as the weirdest LP cover ever. I will not disagree.
---
On the We're About To Shoot A Segment For An Anthology Feature news, the shoot date is barreling toward me. I took the guy who's going to be playing the bad guy to Good Will and we bought him some old pants. I'd already gotten some shirts and had someone age them so they look very old.

We're still working on the mask thing. The FX guy is finishing up all the other stuff. Here's a shot of the head of someone in the movie. Fair warning--some people aren't making it out alive.

I went down to my brother's place to test his camera out on the car mount. Well, it vibrates. Worse part was that apparently my cheap monitor doesn't work with his camera, which is weird because it works with my damn camera and they're both made by Canon.

So trying to mount this camera so it was pointed in the right place and focused correctly was a nightmare. My choice for the car scene is now A) Sit in the passenger seat and shoot the driver's side from there, then cheat the passenger by putting her in the back seat and making it seem like she's in the passenger seat or B) Shoot the convo from the back seat so you basically get an ugly half profile from the back.

Other problem is how the shot would go from over-exposed to under-exposed to acceptable-exposed depending on whether there were trees in the background or not. Shooting from the back seat would probably minimize this problem.

Dunno, gonna think about it. Lot to do, especially since I'm pretty much doing all the pre-pro by myself. The big things are:
1) Locate everything I need equipment-wise and make sure it's ready to go.
2) Go shopping for everything from food/water/soda to batteries and more

Fun.