Friday, December 31, 2010


I was kind of disappointed in the relatively low success the Chronicles of Riddick had. I thought the picture was exceptionally well written. One thing about it, upon re-watching it, man -- it's dark.


I wonder how much Warhammer 40K influenced Chronicles? Dune is a clear influence on both works.

But man, that movie does not let up. No robots show up and say funny things. There's no soldiers cracking wise under pressure. And although I don't mind that, I suspect that grimdark does bad things to profitability in a movie -- especially a big-budget wide release.

Pic via (with more pictures of costumes.)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sound and Picture

Dig it: Ian Hubert's new VFX reel.

There's a shot from Clonehunter in there!
I sure miss working with Ben Sulzbach. He went home to the Midwest. A still from Alien Uprising
Sound & Picture has an online version of its magazine. There's a whole article on Modern Family sound recording. Nothing too illuminative but you'll note I mentioned their sound in another post.

The Future

Edward Jay Epstein writes a fascinating article about the risk that Netflix is taking in going into the online streaming business.
Remember last year when I blogged about the article on the 10 Brands That Will Disappear in 2010? Hmm... there are quite a few brands there which ain't disappeared.
For us the most important one is Blockbuster.
Now what would be interesting is if Netflix takes a bath now and Blockbuster comes back (only smaller). Very interesting. But I don't like to make predictions because (as the article above shows) predictions can be very unreliable.
Right now my business plan is that we absolutely must make three pictures this year. But firstly, I shall take a nap. But then -- three pictures.

Party Video for Earthkiller

Henry Steady, who's rather brilliant, makes these videos for our wrap parties. One of the amusing things is that he hides the edit from me until the unveiling at the actual party.

Here's the party video for Earthkiller. And yes, if you don't come to the wrap party we do talk smack about you.

0801 Earthkiller Party video from Andrew Bellware on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Counting

When I was a wee lad my father would set me on his knee and tell me "Son, always make sure you calculate in your profit before bidding on a job."

I see what he's saying, but I'd take that one further. "Dad, always calculate what you get paid, as a worker, in addition to your profit before bidding on a job."

My dad, being an engineer who convinced the Dean of his school that he wouldn't be able to pass to get his engineering degree unless they accepted his course in accounting as his math course (I'm not kidding about that) actually uses one of the most brilliant accounting systems I've ever seen.

He uses an accounting system which sacrifices precision for accuracy. Boy, that's an engineer way to do things, isn't it? Here's how it works: his company does all custom fabrication (wow, just like a film studio or a theater) and each job is given a job number (which is why our movies have job numbers).
So each employee counts how much time they've been working on each job during the week. And each employee is assigned an hourly expense. Say you're a welder and you make (I'm just making up numbers here) $20/hour. Well you also use a welding machine which effectively costs $x/hour. And there's the heat and the rent on the space you use, there's your safety gear, the truck you ride around in, etc.
So rather than try to calculate all those thing separately, my dad in his internal accounting creates an arbitrary number like (and again, I'm making up these numbers as I don't even know what he uses nowadays) $50/hour of cost of that employee.
So all he has to do is look at the number of hours each employee has worked, multiply by the somewhat arbitrarily come-up-with number of $50, add the cost of materials and viola! He know how much that job is really costing right now.

Honestly, it's a pretty brilliant system. It doesn't pass muster with the government in no way no how, but if you want to know internally how you're making a profit or taking a loss it's an off-the-charts brilliant method.

Asylum Movies

It looks like there's a new Asylum picture with both Tiffany and Debbie Gibson. Mega Python Vs Gatoroid. It's being directed by Mary Lambert whom I have worked with. She's hands-down the worst director I've ever seen. Like "you'd be better off without a director" bad.

I was the sound mixer on The Attic. It's the last picture I did sound for (immediately afterwards we shot Millennium Crisis so I've been doing that ever since.) John Savage is in that picture. Funny thing about John -- he's an old song-and-dance man. His voice is amazing -- as an actor and as a singer. He's a great example of how much of acting is simply in a trained voice. When you hear him he is instantly recognizable and he always sounds great.

So one day we're doing a scene and John comes through a doorway and he flubs a line. He says to the director who tries to feed him lines "Don't give me my lines -- I have them, I just have to do it a few times." So I'm there in the room and I figure OK, he's one of those actors you just have to give a little bit of space to -- he'll totally deliver because he's not thinking about the lines, he's in his role. But Mary comes onto the set and starts to read him his lines. He keeps telling her he has his lines, but she keeps reading them to him. And better yet, she reads them wrong.

I was trying to figure out if I could hide under the kitchen sink at that point. 

In retrospect, John was pretty cool about it. But other actors were not. I've never heard actors yell at a director as much as she was. Yelled at in the "You don't talk to me like that Mary, I will not respond to you" way.

It was also readily apparent that she has zero idea about performance, or editing, or really anything. She was constantly in an argument with the art department on that picture. I have no idea why, they were pretty good. But it made the set very tense, which is why by-and-large I put my recording gear in another room and ignored them.

There was a shot on the movie where did a take of a wide and suddenly Art and Electrics realized that there was a huge bundle of electrics cable running along the wall in the bottom of the shot. So they ran in to dress the cable and Mary started yelling at them and made them put the cables back. She said that "something you should know about me" is that she will use a take if the performance is good even if there's something in the background!

And I'm thinking: so you use that first wide take, and want to maintain the continuity of electrics cables in the background?

So yeah, trying to explain to production that they should have used quieter generators so we're not hearing them grinding away in the back yard all the time wasn't even a worthwhile proposition. They had a lot bigger problems on their hands. And although we shot Millennium Crisis after The Attic, we released the picture a year earlier than they did because (so I understand) of arguing among the producers and the director about the edit.

Hopefully the boys at The Asylum had a better time making Mega Python! ;-)

Getting Ripped Off by Spielberg ;-)

Oh I am amused endlessly that we put out Day 2 first, but Spielberg's Falling Skies is coming out on TNT in June.

Their tag line is "Join the Resistance" whilst ours is "Join the Fight".

Day 2 trailer from Andrew Bellware on Vimeo.
The irony is that we'll probably be marketed as a Falling Skies mockbuster. Ha! (But at least it does increase our chances at distribution, thank you Mr. Spielberg.)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I Am Home Alone

This would have probably made both movies better:

Fun fact: our own Nat Cassidy was one of the zombie extras running through Washington Square Park (but was replaced by CG zombies) in I Am Legend. Ooh, I guess technically they're vampires.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gross Sales

So the North American gross sales of Millennium Crisis in the first two quarters of this year (January through June of 2010) was $173.51.
One hundred seventy-three dollars and fifty-one cents! Woo!
But those are the gross sales applied to our account, which had returns of over five hundred dollars in the same period. What I mean by this is that our advance is pretty much the last money we'll ever see for that movie.
Which is all well and good because it's what we expected. Besides, the movie is a number of years old so as a title it's dead. Indeed those gross sales might represent sales which actually occurred at Best Buys many years ago.
I suppose as a company we're unusual because we worry sometimes about how our distributor is faring. That's right, we're the producers who care about distributors.
The movie Pandora Machine made a decent profit for our distributor (The Asylum).
Millennium Crisis is as above (that's Pop Cinema who distributed.)
So far Solar Vengeance hasn't been released in North America (but with the upcoming Cowboys and Aliens maybe it will be?)
Alien Uprising probably made money for the distributor(s) (Maverick), but we don't know any details of their deal. We took our bit of upfront cash and ran.
Clonehunter didn't make money for our distributor. And we feel bad for him.
So far we've made the distributor happy on every other movie. The odd-numbered movies.
Oh, and the movies with lots of orange on their covers have done better than the blue - art movies. Hmm...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Islamic Insurance for a New Generation

No, I have no idea what this site is about but apparently if you aren't afraid of what sort of cyber STD your computer can catch, you can download Clonehunter from it. Bizarrely, I think the site itself actually is about Islamic Insurance.* Why it has links to torrent sites is beyond me.

In any case, it might explain why the only reviews for Clonehunter on IMDB are from countries that do not have a licensing deal for the picture (as of this writing, the UK and the Netherlands.)

In Japanese the name of Clonehunter is


Which I believe is "Terminator 2525"**. I can't find any Japanese reviews online but honestly I wouldn't know where to look. If you happen to read Japanese and find any, hit me up! I've found a lot of places to buy the picture in Japan but no reviews.
*You know that many Christian sects were opposed to insurance at the turn of the last century. It's because buying insurance meant you didn't believe in Providence or some such.
**In my browser that text is seriously messed up. In my editor on Blogger it seems fine. Yeah, I have no idea how my computer handles Japanese text.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hot Chicks With Stormtroopers

This is pretty much why the Internet exists, right? Christy Marie is like a professional slave Leia.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 2 Deliverables

We have a definite delivery date for Day 2. Well, we have a definite delivery month and that is January of 2011. I guess we should have a screening in January too. I refuse to try to schedule any sort of get-together between now and, say, January 3rd. Because nobody has a reasonable schedule between now and then.
Act 7 fell out of sync. Either I didn't tell Maduka that it was locked and I was mixing it, or he (understandably) wasn't paying any attention to me. Or something else entirely. Something weird and unexplainable. Because honestly, that happens more than you'd like to think it does. UPDATE: of course, it turns out to be weirder than that because the act is in sync but the upload to Vimeo was not. Meh.

You know, you think that you have plenty o'time to finish picture before delivery, but there's always some damned thing that can go wrong. And we haven't even run a QC check on the movie, much less made a dialog continuity script (with all the English dialog and its location in time-code so that the movie can be dubbed or subtitled.) But we can have drive failures, failures at the lab, stupid mistakes in the audio, and missing or weird color-correction. We have, in the past, noticed that we were about to send a movie out with missing scenes. Sheesh.

And I guess we should do a commentary track. We could just bring everyone over and set up a couple microphones and watch the movie. That would be the cheap, dirty way to do it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

EarthWar notion

I do not know what these are other than "Fireball S. G." Presumably that means something to someone. Is that a Japanese anime? A TV show?
Apparently their kits are all sold out.

But for the "dumb" unmanned mech at the beginning of Earthkiller, they look like they might be "easy" to build and operate from inside. Just remember -- guy in black tights makes up for a LOT of potential issues in the joints. Also, the arms wouldn't have to actually work, they could be mounted so high on the body that the operator couldn't work them anyway. A few barrels on a gun and off you go!

Drug Policy

We shoot a lot at my dad's metal shop in Metuchen. Before discovering the joys of Zoloft, drinking was the best way for me to get through the day of directing. I actually direct drunk pretty well. When the damned fog machine is acting up it perturbs me a lot less. In any case, screwdrivers and other fruity cocktails are a regular part of the Pandora Machine experience.
Recently I had this conversation with my father.
My dad says "Is that your bottle of vodka in the refrigerator at the shop?"
"Oh yeah, that probably is."
"You know we don't have alcohol at the shop."
Oops. No. I didn't know that. At the theater we are so not a dry shop. Hell, the place is practically an opium den. For the longest time we gave out beer and wine after shows (for a donation) and would frequently drink hard liquor during the day. There was even a period when vice cops came in (I know, right? No kidding.) And they told us we really needed to have a permit if there was alcohol in a public space so all the whiskey and bourbon got moved into my office for a couple months.
But I should have known better about my dad's shop. Firstwise, it's a metal shop so it's dangerous. Secondly my dad has all his life been a guy who people down on their luck have been able to lean on. In practical terms this means my dad has in the course of his career hired a lot of alcoholics. I mean like "drive the guy to AA meeting, pick him up and bring him home to give him dinner and let him sleep in my old bedroom* so he could get to work the next day" alcoholics.**

Well we in the Pandora Machine have no drug policy. We have a "don't get hurt" policy. Why test people if they have marijuana in their bloodstream if they aren't actually high? And why worry about someone driving a forklift impaired on Jim Beam when they can be perfectly impaired on cold medicine?
So don't be unable to do your job. That's the rule. And if you're an alcoholic, don't drink.
*As a child I would change bedrooms as my older siblings moved out of the house. As they're upwards of 15-years older than me, that process began when I was 4 or 5.
**Fomenting, as it were, my love for Johnny Cash but that's another story altogether.

Vera Cruz

Because Montserrat Mendez told me to, I'm watching Vera Cruz which is free this month on Hulu. That Burt Lancaster is a man's manly man, I'll tell ya. And Mozz is right, Vera Cruz in space could really rock.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Giving Thanks

Most people put their "Thanksgiving" posts somewhere around Thanksgiving. I waited 'till December.

Yesterday we had our wrap party for Earthkiller. Much wine and amusing fruity drinks flowed. The conversation went from Dr. Who (it was agreed that Maggie Smith should be the next Doctor), to Jane Austin, to Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and, I believe, swung back to Dr. Who.)

And I thought to myself how wonderful it is to be surrounded by so many talented, interesting, and dedicated people. I can count among my friends such wonderful and insightful artists and can work with them and have a wonderful time doing the things I dream of doing.

There's a quote in Macbeth
And that which should accompany old age,
As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have
 Which has always made sense to me.  I think, for instance, that my father has achieved those things which should "accompany old age". The respect he has of his peers, those who have worked for him over the last 50-odd years, his family, his friends, that's the point of life, right?

And at this party yesterday I felt, these are the sort of people who I want to share my time on Earth with. These are the people whom I am blessed to count as my friends. This is the reason to be here.

And I give thanks for that.

Rap Pahrtay

Having failed miserably at providing a re-write of the Earthwar screenplay today, I did instead throw a shebang of a party in exciting Jersey City. It was the wrap party for Earthkiller and it involved not nearly as much the act of drinking alcohol as I would have normally expected but instead the consumption of a LOT of fruit from groovy little frozen fruit - pouches which made for tasty blended drinks.
The secret is a dash of real maple syrup. Rik Nagel showed me that trick, I can't take credit for it.
And just think, we may have been all vegan an the shindig.
I don't have any pictures to prove that we had a party. I don't even have Maduka's fabulous patented "wrap party video" he made. I am, however, incredibly tired. We had Joe and Libby and Maduka and Alana and Robin and Anthony and Die Koenigin Mars and Montserrat and Katie and Kristin. I'll put up Maduka's video sometime soon. Just as soon as he says I'm allowed to.
Conversations were all about peace and love and how awesome the Road Warrior screenplay is and Nigerian cinema and Buffy. There was also a divergent path where I blamed Jane Austin for making writers think they could write about nothing just because she was so good at writing witty prose without a huge plot and other writers should know they simply can't do it without adding zombies. But that's a whole 'nuther post.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Two Bottles of Vodka

Tomorrow is the wrap party for Earthkiller. I have two bottles of vodka, a blender, and a whole bunch of frozen fruit chunks.
But if we don't have sandwiches my tummy will riot like English schoolchildren in London.
Also: hummus.
Having the party so close to Christmas is kind of weird. And because of the acting lifestyle we're having the party in the middle of the afternoon. Normally we go for a Sunday afternoon but not this time.
Did I mention we have a blender? I actually borrowed it from my parents. How dorky. Not as dorky as my permanent solution which is to get my stepmom's old blender she had in her old apartment and doesn't want anymore.
You'd think that most discussion about blenders on this blog would be about, well, Blender.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Philadelphia Desert

Joe Chapman has been working on 2D comps of the background in the Philadelphia Desert. 
Wow, I remember back in the day when Montserrat Mendez came up with the idea of the Philadelphia Desert. I think I vaguely recall thinking "How the heck are we going to do that?".
Well it looks to me like we're in Camden and the nuclear blasts took out the Delaware and the lower half of Jersey. Which is very cool. Hmm... running some calculations in my head I bet this is just about where the spaceship would have crash landed in Planet of the Apes.
That's Robin Kurtz' hand in the forground with the Queen of Mars on the left and me on the right. These are temp comps with different ideas of shadowing and background.
Red Giant has a post on using their water-simulator in Final Cut Pro.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Gotta Love Mechs

If you like mechs, and you do, you'll dig this guys page of miniatures.
I have promised a brand-new page-one rewrite of EarthWar by the end of next week. We also presumably need to deliver Day 2 by the end of this month. And at some point there's a whole bunch of work which needs to be done on Earthkiller (post production).
Maybe I should just work through Christmas.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Your Movie Has a 2.2% Chance at Getting Distribution

From the comments below, your movie is one out of 27,000 made each year. It has a 2.2% chance of ever being distributed.
We've been extraordinarily lucky. Sure I could be a big sniff and say "It's not luck, it's hard work and perseverance my boy. Put your nose to the grindstone and you too can get your movie(s) distributed."
But it involved a lot of luck.
Talking about luck, however, isn't terribly interesting. So I'll talk about the perseverance part of it.
Actually, my first two movies didn't get any distribution at all. The second movie, Apostasy, didn't get into any film festivals at all (the first one, Hamlet, only got attention because who would actually make a Hamlet on a Pixelvision camera?)
And truthfully, my first two movies are unwatchable. I mean, unless you're really really high. But I learned a lot from making them. And I learned more from making those two features than I did from making any of the handful of shorts I've ever shot.
Making, and more importantly completing a feature is vastly different from making a short. And if I'd given up after those first two movies and just decided that there was no way I could get distribution, then I'd be in the 97.8% of the filmmakers who don't get distribution. Statistically that isn't really true because that's only films made this year, but you know what I mean.
So I guess my advice to people like me, who don't get distribution with their first features, is to keep making features. It takes practice.

Neue Script

So I avoided a disastrous fate and managed to get a new script finished before any autobots could zap me. But the script needs a lot of work. Indeed, it's a big ol' mess. Some of the mess is just that we have too many good ideas. Good ideas which belong in their own stories. So we're reducing those good ideas to the ones which are important to this story.
Luckily, I have a good set of notes from my collaborators. And man, if we didn't have Joe Chapman and Libby Csulik on our team we'd be lost.
This will be my third feature-length script in a year. Did I mention how much I hate writing screenplays? But the worst of it is over -- the brain vomit of that first draft. And that first draft is easier nowadays because of Save the Cat, and going over the screenplay to the Road Warrior (which is a brilliant freakin' screenplay.)

Joe sent me this inspirational artwork for the main evil dude.

If we make a two-legged mech, can Ian model a 3D version of it to flow seamlessly?

Must go fight mutant sorcerers now...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

So Basically

In the meantime, a puffin.
I have two hours to write the last twenty pages of the Earthwar screenplay. There are two Titan-class autobots with Mark XVI plastisteel railguns aimed at my head and they've told me if I don't deliver some sort of screenplay by 9pm they'll be "very angry". They've gone and explained that "very angry" for a Titan-class autobot is... well... very angry.
So here's a nice summation of Blake Snyder's 5-point finale. I have a couple problems with the screenplay so far. One is that we know now what the antagonist looks like, but we don't yet have a clear picture of the protagonist. Is he a dude in a Halo suit? Is he just a regular soldier who gets a 2-legged walker at some point? What's better? What's more important, his coolness or his relation to the combat witch character?
I suspect that right now I just have way too much stuff in the movie.
One thing to do is just put in some placeholders for the action at the end of the movie. That way the autobots will shut down (and possibly give me the cure to the nanobot virus they injected me with before they do!)

Monday, November 29, 2010


Ian Hubert finished the Earthkiller model in Blender 3D. What's funny to me about this particular render is that as big as it is, it doesn't even show the whole model!
This week I simply have to work out the post-production schedule on Earthkiller. I thought about using project management software, flowchart software, and now I'm seriously thinking that this technology called "a piece of paper" might very well be the best thing for us.
Also, I've done zero work on the Earthwar screenplay this weekend. I'm trying to do some work on it today. My big question is: what will be the headcount of the good guys? How many die?

Saturday, November 27, 2010


So really? 27,000 independent films are made every year? Bill Martell takes on the AFM this year.
I've never actually gone to the market. My producer has. There's not really that much for us to do there, as we have a sales rep who's there -- they cut the trailer and make key art -- and we would really annoy the pants off him if we were hanging around all day.
We did get two small sales from the AFM so far. We hope to confirm at least one larger sale by the end of the year.


I've done a lot of whining and complaining about Netflix here on this blog. Netflix has been a disaster for independent film. Back in the day, Blockbuster was heaven-sent. Our first picture, Pandora Machine, got something like 4700 orders from Blockbuster at $7.25 a piece. And that was a small order from the big "B".
Our distributor at the time was The Asylum. They took a big chunk of the $34K order. And, stupidly, at the time we had a sales rep whose territory included North America (and they didn't really know what they were doing with North America). So they took some money. Still, we ended up with about $17,000 when all was said and done with the Hollywood Video rentals and such.
And that movie sucked had one good scene.
Nowadays a Blockbuster sale is hard to come by (and it'll typically be a revenue-sharing deal). Blockbuster stores are closing by the thousands and Blockbuster restructures under Chapter 11.
So indy filmmakers think "Well then maybe Netflix will buy my movie?"
Netflix hates indy movies the way Blockbuster used to love them. They expect so many people (x) to queue an indy picture (y) before they will even order the movie from the distributor/producer. And frequently they won't tell you what x is for your movie. This is so they'll agree to order like maybe a couple hundred copies of your DVD at three bucks a piece.

Even The Asylum is complaining about Netflix.

The thing is that for the indy world, the Netflix model just doesn't work. Say you have a movie with some awesome cover art and it's sitting on a shelf at Blockbuster, a movie the customer has never heard of, but it has an awesome title like (say) Fear of Clowns. And it has a really freaky looking clown on the cover ready to butcher dozens of innocents in the suburbs. If you're into horror pictures and you think "Hey, there hasn't been a good clown horror picture since Killer Clowns from Outer Space" you're GOING to pick up the movie.

What you won't do is scroll through thousands of titles on a computer and pick the cover of the movie you want to watch on a Saturday night with some beer, a pizza, and a couple friends. So Netflix just doesn't make sense for indy titles.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The 'Zon

The Russian Solar Vengeance.
Everybody loves the new Amazon Studios. Ha! No, I'm kidding. Nobody thinks its a good idea.
And honestly, I can't figure what Amazon thinks they're gonna get out of it. I mean maybe they just have way too much money and are looking to spend it more places.
The strange thing is that it seems to be a terrible idea for everyone. Writers tend to like to think of themselves as oppressed coal miners in the year 1923. So anything which has a "cap" of $200,000 seems egregious to them.
But as a studio owner (albeit, the smallest studio there is) I have a different take. From John August (linked above):

When you submit material to Amazon–say, a script–they have an exclusive option on the script for 18 months. During that 18 months, they can do whatever they want with your script. They can change it, smash it together with other scripts… and of course, make a movie from it, or commission a book, or any other derivative work.

And that's all true. And, quite honestly, your script sucks so you dearly need someone to do some work on it (and if they don't work on it now, let me tell you, they'll do it in the editing room.)
But that's not what I'm here to talk about.
I'm here wondering why Amazon thinks this is a good idea.

Well, if you seen their introduction video you can tell they've never produced a movie in their lives. They want "stories that can become commercial that delight audiences around the world." Well that's a novel idea. Actually, the parody of the introduction video is better and, shockingly, not that different from the real intro video.

Most of the complaints on the interwebs come from writers. And yeah, sure, it's a stupid deal... for Amazon. If you have millions of dollars to make features with, you don't have to crowdsource scripts. You can hire a screenwriter. And you can hire one cheap. You invite one over to your house. There's twenty thousand dollars sitting on the table between you and the screenwriter. You say "We aren't signing a WGA contract and we need the finished script in 20 days." The writer says "But I have integrity. I can't just do whatever I'm told! And besides, I'm a member of the WGA."
But you just stare the writer down. You were going to offer him forty thousand dollars to do the whole job, including revisions and rewrites. But just as the doorbell rings (because you invited another screenwriter over at exactly the same time) the writer glances down at the pile of money.
You put your hands out and you divide the money in half. Calmly you intone "Ten thousand now, and ten thousand on delivery." The doorbell rings again. You move to get up. "I think that's one of the other 35 writers I called this morning."
The writer grabs the ten thousand dollars shouting "I'll do it! I'll do it!" Stuffing the money into his courier's bag, he runs out the door so fast he knocks over two other writers making their way up the driveway.
So really? 27,000 independent films are made every year? Bill Martell takes on the AFM this year.
I've never actually gone to the market. My producer has. There's not really that much for us to do there, as we have a sales rep who's there -- they cut the trailer and make key art -- and we would really annoy the pants off him if we were hanging around all day.

Monday, November 22, 2010

You So Thought We Were Done With Behind-the-Scenes (part II)

The unnecessarily handsome Joe Chapman sits atop his set.

Rik Nagel, rocking a mohawk, looks through a "table" which I'm shooting through. For some reason on set I'm not my usually fastidious self and I don't mind getting filthy dirty -- if it's in the service of a shot of course. That being said, I wash my hands a dozen or more times a day because I don't want to touch the camera with dirty hands.

Rik Nagel. I smell Facebook profile picture here.

Did someone want to remind me why Henry Steady isn't the bass player for a progressive funk band? (You know it's gotta be funk because of how high he holds the head of his boom pole bass guitar.)

Joe Beuerlein on his knees, with Rik Nagel, Andrew Bellware is apparently directing... something...

Libby Csulik working in the hot sun to paint these Styrofoam blocks which we didn't end up using this day. But we more than made up for it by using them other times.

This picture made me laugh. David Frey on boom, but still in zombie makeup. When I first looked at this picture I thought "What is he wearing -- a sari?" But no, it's just his torn-up uniform jumpsuit tied around his waist.

I'm being sexually harassed by Tom Rowen. 

David Frey as a sad, sad clown. Sad, zombie, clown. Still, he has GREAT hair.

Brian Silliman and Tana Sarntinoranont lounging around for the 5 minutes or so they had to relax on this very busy day on set. 

Libby Csulik and Joe Chapman -- after building sets they then had to be zombies. I believe the Queen of Mars did most of the zombie makeup. We tend to use the nice theatrical blood (approved by Actor's Equity and all that) which doesn't taste too bad and is very non-toxic. It does, however, stain clothes.

Katie Hannigan attempts to convince people that she could play evil roles. "Look, I have a mustache! 'You MUST pay the  rent! Bru-ha-haa!'" she laughs maniacally. 

A very serious moment of contemplation between the Director, Andrew Bellware, and the Production Designer, Joe Chapman. Now the question is: what's funnier: that Joe is in zombie makeup, or that THE DIRECTOR IS NOT WEARING PANTS!!!!???

You So Thought We Were Done With Behind-the-Scenes (part I)

The Queen of Mars stands behind me, and I (this is probably the only time I ever did this on set) am actually sitting down. I don't know what's going on in this though. It looks like Maduka Steady and David Ian Lee doing something (fight rehearsing?) on their knees while Robin Kurtz is getting ready to go upside someone's head with a rubber crowbar.

Libby Csulik and David Ian Lee. If I'm not mistaken this photo looks like it was taken before David managed to break the crowbar. For those of you who have difficulty with the concept I'll just say it again: David Ian Lee broke the crowbar. Also: note the golden codpiece. I've seen the man naked, he needed a big codpiece.

Andrew Bellware helps David Ian Lee practice dentistry. Or something. In the background Henry Steady is doing what looks like actual work. 

David Ian Lee, Andrew Bellware, and Henry Maduka Steady watch playback. I assure you there is alcohol in the cup I'm holding. I assure you I'm already smoothed out with a good buzz by the time this picture was taken.

OK, that's Joe Chapman and the Queen of Mars on the left, Robin Kurtz on the floor, and my Dad. I'm probably on the other side of the set (to our left) shooting. This was one of the funniest things which happened on the set:

We'd worked out this choreography where David Ian Lee throws Robin Kurtz up against those block you see stacked here on the right. My father, unfortunately, had no idea that she was going to go flying into them knocking them everywhere because he hadn't seen the rehearsal.

So there's video of Robin smashing into the stack of blocks, surprising my 84-year-old dad making him jump out of the way. He moves fast for an old man. Let me tell you, you wanna be in as good a shape as he is when you reach 84.

Andrew Bellware looking like he's giggling while watching something through the lens.

Sketkh Williams and Robin Kurtz.  

Maduka Steady, in costume on his haunches with the Queen of Mars, David Ian Lee (with back toward us), and Andrew Bellware on camera. I'll tell you that I honestly don't know what set this is or what scene we're shooting here. 

This is a neat picture of David Ian Lee (as "Mach", the character named after Mac Rogers) and Joe Chapman (in costume as "Riggs", the character named after Mitchell Riggs.)