Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Fake Mayor and an Inside Joke

As far as Props and Design go, things are on schedule. Mark Collins, an old friend of mine came up with a cool name for one of the fake magazines. Here is the rough design for it.

With the recent debacle going on in New York with the mayor we decided for Jeopardy's "Metro" make believe city, the local mags and newspapers were going to be riddled with two headlines: The Leather Strap Strangler kills again and the Mayor's Sex Scandal. Mark's "Morning Cereal" chooses to cover the Dirt on the Mayor rather the Sicko killer on the loose.(Hmmm, sound familiar?) We plan on using somebody I know to take candid pictures as "The Mayor" to use on the different magazine covers including inserting a page wide shot on this cover. Freddy Robinson, may not be in town for the actual production, so he obviously being a part of our film community here in Bumpkinville would be a candidate to play the fake Mayor. There was also talk of getting my Father which would be absolutely hysterical because he's never really gotten into to me making films in fact we decided because he is so prominent in our community that he could not attend the 'Meter' premiere in fear of a backlash of the subject content his son threw up in the Bible Belt's face. I think it would be quite funny for him to show up as the Mayor in the middle of a sex scandal in a make believe city in my cleaner less controversial film. (FAT CHANCE of THAT HAPPENING.) Another thought was making me the Mayor, but I think with Freddy getting a written part if he's around leaving the Newspaper Vendor open, I may be that guy or just do a classic Hitchcockian and have me be the guy that breezes by Henry on the street. I couldn't be both obviously. There was also a little talk of having our friend Clint, who is slowly becoming a Bruce Campbell type star in the Horror Film Genre along with Gerald Nott, do it. I haven't talked to him about it yet, but I thought it would be a cool little cameo to have him or Gerald do it, since we all at one time studied film together and didn't really get good at what we did until we had drifted apart. I gave Clint the lead role in my first film, 'Soldiers Battle' and Gerald and Clint also showed up in my film 'Jobbers.' I played a villian in one of Gerald's films, (it may have been his first film as well,) 'Demon Cult on Fire' and I was to help him produce his third film, 'Attracted to Elroy', but hit the Infamous Burn Out Depression Era in my life and high tailed it out of LA right as we were beginning the venture. (Which I will owe him for, for the rest of my life. It was the first and last time I ever flaked on a friend.) Anyway, I thought that would be a cool inside joke type thing amongst friends. Maybe have Clint play the Mayor and make a fake Fangoria Style Magazine with an 'Interview with Gerald Nott' on the front of it. Now that I'm typing this, I really think that's what I'm going to do. Nuff said...

See more on Gerald and Clint's films visit these links:

Nott Entertainment

The Quick and the Undead

The Flesh Keeper

Sunday, March 23, 2008

May Be Crazy Enough to Work

Production hit a huge snag when we lost, (almost before we had,) Viewmont Square Condos as the location for the final sequence of the film. That location was a "All in One Location" meaning, the scene calls for a common room, elevator, hallway and then apartment in that order. Viewmont Square had all that and the coffee house, alleyway and exteriors of the building. It would have been a cake walk. Well, they decided not to participate which leaves me in quite a bind. There are three other building besides VS, (excluding hospitals,) that have more than four floors and an elevator. One is The Abbey apartments which want work. One, the hallways are too narrow and the elevator opens up to the outside entrances to the apartments which leave no room for lighting unless we use a crane. (And my only enemy in existence is the company that runs the realty property, so well.... Shucks.) The other is First Plaza. It is a commercial building on the outskirts of town. I think it has about 9 floors, BUT it looks like a commercial building not a residency and I don't know, (because I haven't been out there to take a good look yet,) how well it would play off even if I find the private owners beg them to allow me to use it after hours. The one cool thing is I believe they have 24 hour security there which means one, shooting at night for us and them would be absolutely possible and two, we wouldn't have to worry about anything because we'd have the Carte Blanc because we would have Mr. Security in our corner.

If the location won't work or we can't get it then there's Plan Z 1/2--- The combination of the School for the Deaf and Broughton in Morganton.

So for the last week all I have been doing is stressing about locations because we are in the middle of final negotiations with rental equipment etc.. And all of a sudden I may have to move in the middle of a tight four day shoot an hour down the road. Worse than that, until I secure or figure out where that location is going to be, the production pretty much stops... (Because in a small budget like this, your location is what you base everything around.) That location is unfortunately like the downtown sequence; it can not be sacrificed nor compromised. Well, so I'm going over and over in my head trying to find a solution, even at times THINKING of rewriting, (NOT GOING TO, JUST THINKING,) then I'm sitting there watching SEVEN, (f#$!ing great movie,) and Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman are standing at John Doe's door and John Doe comes around the corner and for the first time, I'm looking at the hallway surrounding the actors. I pause the DVD player and it comes to me:

I typed up this email/letter to Ryan, Mark and Freddy seconds later...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Method to the Madness

OK, so I got asked over the weekend how, why and what the hell about my elaborate storyboards. The question I wanted to answer first was:


1)Do you draw that stuff out of your head combining it with what you want out of the shot?


--No. When I wrote this script I had a pretty good idea which shots I wanted. Then I sit down and read the script over and over. Then I try to find the pacing and then I start sketching little chicken scratch thumbnails or what I call "pace boxes" that just kind of have one liners in a box to signify the quick shots. Then I take those notes and sketches and draw out my boards.
My scribbled up script.

The End Result of that Page

For this film, (because it is so important,and this answers another question by the way,) I will scan every plate and import it into Keynote, FCP, AE, something and actually cut the still frames together to music and narration. This will-- One will allow me to feel the pace of the film and also, (and more importantly,) know if my shots will work. If some dont, I will have time before we are ever standing downtown waiting to shoot to fix my shot list.

 2) Why are they so elaborate this time?

 --- OK... Yes, they are much more elaborate than normal but again I had two purposes for the elaborate ones.

Storyboards from a film I never made, entitled "Robbin' Biggies".... Maybe one day.

  1. Before, I had acquired money to make the film, my intentions were to do them very detailed so that I could make them into a Power Point/Slideshow to include in the business package. I figured if they saw that piece of media, they would know I mean business and it would help them get a feel of what I am trying to do with the money they were/are going to lend me.

2. As explained earlier... I could use them to pace and secure my shot lists.

Now... Since I have the money to shoot the movie now, why continue to devote time to it when there
is so much more to do?

 1. If you noticed I haven't been pumping video up on these things like I use to... The reason being, is my daughter really doesn't allow me to sit at the computer by myself for long periods of time. The reason my website has not been updated in months?.... The same reason. BUT, WE CAHYER, (Payton's Pronounciation of Color,) together all the time and as long as I leave spare scrap paper between her Care Bear coloring book and my storyboard drawings, (for spontaneous draw off the page episodes,) I am able to do them with quite efficiency.

2. Is wrapped into that reason? I started it and it looks really good and I enjoy it so on the off hours when I can't be on the phone or breaking down stuff or editing... I do these. It relaxes me.

3)Why do them to begin with on such a small "little" action film?

Answer: All of the answers above plus, Ryan and I have limited time to collaborate on this so the more diagrams and drawing out stuff that I did, the easier it will be to convey my vision. Also.... We've been tryng to hire a Gaffer and many of them have been asking in detail what our lighting needs are. Me not exactly knowing have just forwarded them my drawings and said, "here, we want to do this kind of stuff... Outside.... At night."

They return to me with, "Ol, OK. I get it now. I'll get you a quote together." .... The less I have to talk the better off I am.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Location Scouting

I took some stills and ran a little tape of the ambient night light of downtown Hickory to shoot to Ryan and potential Gaffers to let them know what we would be dealing with shooting downtown. Charlotte is the next option for the Exterior Night Shots. I have made communication with The Prism Group and it looks rather positive at this moment that we will be able to shoot at Viewmont Square. I will let everybody know when something is finalized.

Check out the Still Shots of Downtown Hickory

Check out my Top Spot for Dana's Apartment Exteriors and Interiors.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Color, Costumes and Bargain Shopping

Trying to find props and costumes and everything else at thrift stores are impossible sometimes. I am fortunate because my wonderful in-laws are the Champions of Bargain Shopping and are unconditional in helping with me with my little "jiblets" of hair brain schemes and off the wall projects I come up with. So just like in the real picture show pre-production I have to get my vision across to everybody involved on what I need. What better way to do that than what I've always done.... In the words of my daughter, "cahwore it" (color it.) Meet the unusual suspects: Henry and Dana.

These were quick drawings of what I thought the two should be dressed in for the Present Night Exterior shots needed for the story. Henry is a guy that is so wrapped up in his world/work that he has forgotten that times have changed. This shirt, (terribly "cahwored,") is one of those loud plaid flannels you see all the time. They are ridiculous yet have managed to never go away nor change with the times. You can walk into any Wal-Mart today or ten years from now and pick up a yellow and blue checkered or plaid flannel shirt. (They come in red and black, I believe too.) Henry's is faded as if he has worn this shirt for ten years straight. After Ryan and I decided that the Exterior night shots were going to be "cool" in color, and there were going to be some deep shots we knew we had to make Dana stand out. Not only as a target but could not let her get lost in the muddle of the dark streets when we are doing Reverse OTS shots of Henry. What better way to do that but to pay tribute to one of the masters himself, Alfred Hitchcock, and put her in a deep red jacket and put her on a black dark canvas. My wonderful wife went to three thrift shops and found the perfect red jacket to match this drawing... And that's why I continue to do this.

Dana - Henry

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