Saturday, August 29, 2009
Am pleased to announce I am 40 minutes through the rough cut. Just finished the Ghouls Picnic and it worked a treat. As a treat to myself, I allowed myself a rare glance at color in the work I have at hand. Here's the Gary Church after futzing a little with paint programs and the like. Seeing the world in color is so strange after being so immersed in black and white. Perhaps I don't see the world the same way most people do.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Our last day of filming was on location at KL's place in the western suburbs of Chicago. Cast and crew were treated to BBQ and all the amenities of home - but were a little perplexed at how I was going to film the 'puke-athon' in the woods. There were houses everywhere you looked and it seemed almost unavoidable that a house or 'something' would get in the way of the shot. No matter where you looked, there was a house, a garage or a road in either direction. One thing I learned a long time ago was how to work in tight spaces and find the shot. We only see on-screen what the camera sees. For my film students working alongside me, it was a nice chance for them to see how selective framing can really pay off. Here's Yar in the woods losing his lunch after drinking tainted water.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
One of the things that is vitally important to me as a filmmaker is the look of the film. As the cinematographer as well as the director, I was determined to shoot a film that reflected my fine art photography background with work as beautiful as it was disgusting. Here is an image that will be adapted for the final poster. Shot on location outside our principal location in Cranberry Lakes, IN, Yar and Janice walk the long, lonely road.
Am now finished with transferring the thirty hours of footage we shot. Have already started editing as I go and am twenty minutes into my rough cut. I am determined to have a cut as soon as possible for festival submission purposes. Screened the second reel for DJ and Mal and they were very gracious and complimentary. EP Julie has been invaluable in her comments and suggestions. I will not post any footage until I am done - but I will post screen grabs and token stills to wet your appetite as we go. Here's a nice one of Yar (Brian Shaw) and Janice (Kathleen Lawlor) at the Gary Post Office.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Have formatted new T1 hard drive and backed up all materials. Have 29 hours of material to cull down to 110 minutes and have 8 days of transfer and logging ahead. I am determined to do 4 hours each day and have a little time to try some sample cuts and constructions. Editing is something that I greatly enjoy as I can cut out all the dodgy bits and concentrate on story and performance. Here the film becomes real.
Monday, August 10, 2009
We are indebted to actor/ production designer/ still photographer and all-around fixer, AM, as we wrap this show. Always ready with an insight or an addition, AM is off to England at the end of this month to start a 2 year residency in higher learning. The photos on this blog are a direct result of her contributions. Many thx. AM for your good spirit, gear-humping, bear-smelling involvement.
As we completed the last shot on "A" camera, the Canon HV20 - our trusty workhorse - shut down. It would not allow me to do any of the manual overrides that I had been doing throughout the show. It simply ceased to function. We were all more than a little spooked as we wrapped the film and hoped to do a "B" camera insert as we were getting the actors cleaned up and could not shoot. Our still camera has also packed it in that day (you did not break it, Alden) and we took it as a sign that we were finishing just in time. After getting some much needed sack time, I examined the HD camera from top-to-bottom and found a switch that I had never noticed in the eight weeks we filmed (nor throughout the testing periods before). After adjusting the camera, was able to coax it back to life and all appears well. With 24 fps shooing in HD available, the Canon Vivia Models (HV20) and above now) are truly fantastic and I recommend them highly. Am thrilled my camera is back online as I already have my next film in mind for Summer 2010.
The normally shy (and photo averse) Kara has been an invaluable associate throughout this film. On the 2nd last day, she saved my bacon big time when after shooting for 16 or 18 hours I forgot a key shot (it happens... I must be getting old). She was learning on the job with this gig and I am thrilled at how thorough and patient she was throughout the production. Thank you for putting up with me and for making this picture all that it is.
We were blessed to have the beautiful and talented stars of "The Defiled" throughout this production. Through thick and thin, cold, wet or burned alive - we are indebted to them for their graciousness and hard work. I have so many memories of making this film work despite the odds. Both Brian Shaw and Kathleen Lawlor attacked the material with gusto and were up for everything I could think of. THANK YOU FOR YOUR HARD WORK!!!
After 7 weeks, we are wrapped shooting "The Defiled". Am thrilled with the footage, new found friends and all of the work we have created. What a rush to race off into the wilderness (okay, Gary, IN is not the wilderness...but it is barren) and make a film like this. Am only now coming up for air. Bought a new hard drive today and am cleaning up everything for the edit as needed. Lets give everyone a hand for their hard work. It is well deserved.
Friday, August 7, 2009
As we finish up principal photography, I have to thank BS for leading us throughout this journey. Never a complaint, always a willing suggestion and helpful hand and a trooper through-and-through. As we complete this work, I know that the reason that this film will be a success is a large part due to BS. Thank you, my friend.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Wow - goodbye Gary and hello end of the road. We have a quick PU on Wednesday and a balls-to-the-walls last weekend next week to wrap up the film. Photos and laffs and updates to be posted fully. Now starting to look at Post Schedule and animations with great vigor. Will start on 'big cat' preliminary animations this week for compositing. The big challenge will be the baby - but I have a couple tricks up my sleeve. Keep watching this space for lots of cool stuff to come.