Thursday, May 28, 2015
But I have been busy with a lot of other stuff. This video I'm doing for the massive auction coming up is taking a LOT of time. More than I thought, but then again we shot for an entire day.
A ton of stuff, and because we didn't want to have to remove items from the room like we usually do, they just put all the items around the room, and I just moved the cameras, spun the track lights, and shot each angle of the room while she spoke.
But that makes it harder to edit--I shot a lot of 4K stuff just so I could do digital zooms and pans, but I'm having to color correct a bit. It's fairly dark.
Figured I'd try Auto-Levels to see how that is. It's actually quite nice on the wide static shots, but it tends to flicker when the picture changes at all. You have to up the temporal smoothing to nearly 3 seconds and the problem is that it turns your half hour render(of 15 minutes worth of video) into...no joke...nearly four hours.
And I have five segments to render, and some of them are more than 15 minutes long.
So either I leave it and take the long render, or I individually go into the clips and color correct them all like I normally do. We'll see.
I did finish the draft of the T-tory wraparound I'd been messing with. Luke threw out an idea that I thought sounded kind of interesting, so I ran with it. Not sure how people will like the ending, but then again when has that ever been a consideration for me?
It's 22 pages long. That'll be a tight weekend to try. Might have to see if we can do it in a three-day weekend.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
I met with the model for Siren on Saturday. She's good to go. Seems happy to try it and has no compunction about nudity. I was like, "We're gonna wrap you in a little gauzy fabric so you won't be entirely nude" and she's like "Why?"
Good question. I really am just a little worried about whether people are going to pay attention to the story if they're staring at a completely naked woman for 10 minutes. So we'll see.
I remember prepping for my first movie and my second movie and even my third...and man, was I nervous before them. What was going to go wrong? How could I make sure they didn't happen?
Now I don't really get nervous. I get anxious. Even though we've been a month out from shooting, and it's just a weekend shoot, I still find myself lying awake thinking about the stuff I still have to do in order to make it all come off well.
Will that ever go away? I guess if I ever get some money so there are other people to worry about shit. But I mean, on this shit I'm basically writer/director/producer/propmaster/costumes/location scout/casting/and more!
I have to head out to the woods and cut down that tree, and pray it either falls into the right position, or it's light enough that we can move it.
I've got the day 1 shot list done. Once we get the tree down I'll do day 2, but it's hard to visualize it until I know where that tree's gonna be in the meadow.
I have to get the FX guy to start working on the heads, gather the body parts I need, cast a fake stick and make sure it's going to work with the leg-impale, then get him to show me exactly how he plans on peeling a strip of skin off a guy's face.
Wasn't sure how we were going to make the head explode since we can't get electricity out there in the woods. Don't want to deal with explosives since they're pretty unpredictable.
Decided to say fuck it--we want it to look like the Scanners head explosion, so why not just DO it that way? They actually used a shotgun to blow apart the fake head when they couldn't make it work any other way. My brother has a revolver that fires shotgun shells, so it'll be easy to sneak into the woods, and then out as soon as we do the takes.
Gotta find a wig that matches the hair of the actress.
btw: Under no circumstances should you go see that giant piece of shit Poltergeist remake. I'm not one of those people who's like "Every remake is shit"...but this one is completely. Absolutely nothing good about it, and I'm including Sam Rockwell in that--and I like Sam Rockwell in virtually everything I've ever seen him in up until now.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
I have no idea what this is, but it's got some cool imagery:
That local model finally got back to me. Apparently she finally got around to asking about me--she thought I was just another douchebag looking to sleep with a model by giving the old "I want you in my movie" line.
So she knows I'm okay now. Am meeting her on Saturday to chat it over, see what I think of her.
Sure would be more convenient to use someone local rather than someone from NY...
Monday, May 18, 2015
Went to the beach for my wife's birthday this weekend. Her parents' beach house has had some issues lately with the plumbing, so they had a plumber out there working on it. It was supposed to be all fixed.
See, they only use the house during the summer, so it's closed up all winter. Nobody's there.
We get there, open the place up, turn the water on...and all of a sudden we hear water leaking. There are still broken pipes. So we have to turn the water main off.
We now have no water. No showers, no toilets.
And we're supposed to stay there the whole weekend? My wife calls the plumber and gives him hell. He says he'll come out Saturday to see what's up.
Meantime, we gotta figure out what to do. It's already late Friday evening, so I say hey--let's suck it up and stay there for the night. We went out to get some jugs of water so we could use it to flush the toilets. If the dude can't fix the pipe on Saturday, we'll get a hotel room and go out and get drunk for her birthday.
(we rented the Wedding Ringer from Redbox and watched that. It was okay. Not great)
Long story short he couldn't fix the pipe Saturday--he has to tear out the main pipes and replace them entirely. Only good news is that he capped off the leaking side so we could turn on the water mains and get water to half the house. The shower side, so at least we had one working bathroom.
Good thing because it turns out the hotels were pretty booked up.
We went out Saturday and the wife got drunk. We saw some bands. Ate some good food. By the way, dunno if you have something called Go Brit! where you are, but they claim to have "authentic British fish and chips". Don't know if they're authentic but fuck if they're not great. Glad we tried it out.
Back now. Have to edit that new video for the big auction coming up.
I shot some more vid with the GH4. Don't forget to 720P them. What is it with Youtube's sucky auto 480p for me? I have a fast connection, so you'd think the auto would go right to 720P...
Nothing exciting. Still loving the slow mo. I think I'm either going to shoot Siren with the CineV or the Natural setting with some tweaks.
Have actually gotten a couple of video auditions. One of them has possibilities, though she's not exactly what I had in mind(and she's a redhead, which is REALLY not what I was thinking).
Going to wait another week, and then maybe get one more video from her to convince me. Maybe Skype with her or something to see if I can get an idea of her personality.
I gotta pull the trigger on it soon, so the FX guy can begin work on her head that we're going to blow up. Or at least, try. Right now we're trying to figure out the best way to do that in the middle of the woods with no electricity(so an air compressor is out). I wanna just go buy some M80s but apparently they're hard to find since they're illegal in this state.
btw--what is this and where can I get it? It's awesome:
Hey, bonus slow mo footage I shot of a bird flying off:
And then some guy trying to recreate Hitchcock's The Birds:
Monday, May 11, 2015
Cutting's convinced we're going to get arrested. He's a bit nuts, cuz this isn't a shade of what we did for Bounty and we never got arrested there.
I planned to come back over the bridge and do some location scouting with my brother, but some idiot flipped their tractor trailer on the bridge, so I was stuck for almost 4 fucking hours in a traffic jam. Worst one I've ever been in.
So Sunday I came BACK again down that way to go scouting with my brother. We wandered the trails again and I got a better idea of where I'm going to shoot individual scenes.
First thing we notice when we move into the woods is that it SOUNDS like it's raining. But it's not. We're like...what's that noise?
And there's thousands of worms dangling in the air from the trees. Little inch worm looking things. And eventually we figure out that the sound, all this constant pitter pitter on the ground is falling worms...
It's creepy. Here's a little video I shot just to try to pick it up with the camera mic. (All of these videos should play in 4K if you've got the connection)
Biggest problem logistic wise was how far the meadow is from where we parked.
Like, no way are we lugging gear that distance. I'd have a mutiny.
This is a shot I'll probably redo with Ryan(the actor)--I like the trail here.
All of these videos are 100% straight out of camera.
So I went over to the other side of the meadow where we hadn't gone, up the hill toward the houses. And I found a nice trail leading behind the houses--if we parked up there, we could walk down and it's not really that far at all.
BUT! I also found a really weird fenced-in area. It's hard to tell what it's for. And the fence has vines growing through it and shit--it's really pretty cool looking.
So I figured I'm gonna rewrite part of the script to work with that. I'll ditch the part about the crater and save myself an assload of digging and compositing.
The meadow's a little more flooded out than it was a few weeks ago, which is weird since it hasn't rained much. I'm hoping it'll dry out completely.
There's some cool fern grass shit in there, video above. I guess the last thing I'll have to do location wise is cut down whichever tree I like and hope it either falls right where I want it, or that we can move it.
Still not much luck on finding the Siren. I even posted on back stage. Got like 600 submissions so far. Most of them are from New York.
Am requesting videos, but I'm super leery about casting a NY actress I haven't met. If she comes down and pulls a "I'm not doing nudity", then I'm probably going to leave her body in those woods.
I can't wait until the flick is done, and all those bullshit actresses can come out of the woodwork and say "Why didn't you consider me for the role? I'd have LOVED to play it." I may just say fuck you right to their faces.
Tuesday, May 05, 2015
Watched the Drew Struzan documentary on Netflix. Can't believe I hadn't heard it was there before now. And can't believe I've never seen the picture above before...
Man I had the biggest crush on Bo Derek ever, so naturally I loved that Tarzan movie.
Anyway, the doc is pretty great but also depressing in that Drew is so naturally talented an artist. To see that, it makes me realize that no matter how much work I've put into trying to be good at things I always end up barely mediocre...man, that's depressing.
Jersey was fine. Fairly easy. Certainly is nice not flying, and getting back Sunday evening(hell, I was back home at 6:30pm)
I cannot believe how hard it is to find a female actress for this fucking Siren role. This is one of the few, few times I wish I lived in NY. There's not a lot of choice here in shitty MD. Most of the models who fancy themselves actresses that would fit the role either don't get back to me at all or they don't get back to me with an audition video, which is fucking unbelievable.
Actresses typically kill themselves for a role. They try to do anything they can to get it. They go out of their way to hope they perform well during an audition.
And here I'm giving them an opportunity to tape themselves and submit the best takes they get. If they fuck up, erase it and do it again. That way I only get to see the best.
But so far, fuck all. I may have to get less picky very soon. I don't like doing that. There's more than enough compromising once the shooting starts that I don't want to do it beforehand.
Regardless, here's some things I need to remember to do if I'm to shoot this in June:
- Nail down the locations--do a 2nd run through and figure them exactly now that I have a rough idea of where it is
- Find the back road/clearing location that I haven't found yet--prolly have to go to the Eastern Shore.
- Cast the woman
- Test the special effect for the crater/hole
- Do another pass at the shooting script, and double check my shooting times to see how doable it is