Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Treat For Me

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

Shooting in tight places

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

Yar and Janice

My stars of this film are truly fearless. Working long and hard, both Brian and Kathleen did exceptional work and it is a treat to be editing their fine performances. Here are two closeups so you can see what they will look like in the finished film.

Post Production Process

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.

Editing Update

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

And so it begins...

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

A special note for Alden Moore

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.

Camera Shut Down

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.

Kara Continuity

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.

Thank you ny FIENDS! (I mean, friends)

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!!!

"It takes more than caring To be a real friend; The nature of friendship; Requires a blend Of warmest compassion And love deep and true To reach and to comfort The way that you do. Because I can see That your kind of friendship Is priceless to me."javascript:void(0)

That's a wrap!!!!!

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

Brian Shaw Rules

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

Leopard Test and Lighting

As usual, we continue to explore and examine the look of the show and here with CGI, it is no different. Shadow tests and lighting and textures. This time a leopard.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Jag Test 1

Started to mess around with look of the jungle cat that chases Yar in the forest. Here's a test. Loop it a couple times to see the run cycle.

Week 6 Complete

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.