Friday, September 17, 2010

Earthkiller Post-Mortem

1. As already established, I have to be nicer to the boom operator. I've started work on that. Early reports are that I'm doing much better.

2. We have to do something better with transportation. New Jersey Transit has raised their fares significantly. It now costs $22 to go round-trip from New York City to Metuchen. We were hoping to put people on the PATH and drive most days to Metuchen from Jersey City but that didn't work out. So our transportation budget went up by about a thousand dollars by putting everyone on the Train directly from Midtown to Metuchen.

3. As always, it doesn't matter how good the screenplay it, how great the actors are, or how well the movie is shot. All that anyone cares about is how good the CGI is. So that's what we're working on. CG. That being said, we worked with a great screenplay and actors and:

4. This was the best-looking picture we've ever shot. We had exceptional sets. Every single set was amazing and looked different which is certainly a first for us. One issue we had though was that although normally we're able to leave sets standing. But not this time. Because of the fact that the now-closed Broadway show Tale of Two Cities is, weirdly, storing their old sets right where we used to be able to work -- we had to take our sets down completely each weekend because we were working in the part of my dad's shop where people were actually... er... well working. That added about an hour of take-down at the end of each weekend but also added an hour (at least) to the beginning of each weekend to re-build stuff. Actually, maybe two hours.

It would be awesome if we had our own sound stage. In Jersey City. With all sprung Marley floors. Ooh. Nice floors.

I can dream, can't I? Yes, that's what the post-mortem is for.

5. It's nice to have a combat android whom you simply know could beat you up, and Robin Kurtz did a great job of that. We had a very strong cast and we were lucky to get Maduka Steady to actually play the part written for him this time. But really everyone was fantastic and we had a nice gamut from the whiny-comical to the deadly serious to the weirdly insane -- each character carefully delineated in such a way that they're all memorable and their interactions with one another was very clear and motivated.

Also: I can't believe I spelled "delineated" correctly without asking the spell-check.

A corridor set in mid-construction.
6. Joe Chapman and Libby Csulik went way above and beyond in the building of those sets. It was funny -- as the DP realizing I could turn around in any direction and shoot. I can almost NEVER do that. Even when shooting outside. Maybe especially when shooting outside. But lighting was very easy and kind of delightful to not have to keep saying "I can't shoot in that direction because there's no set there."

7. I should either drink more or take better drugs so I'm calmer on set. We need a blender for the fruitier cocktails. Maybe the first set should be a Tiki bar...

8. For the call sheets we did everything we could to keep every single day with the same call time. I think that helped lower confusion levels.

9. I'm sure our producer will have a list of things I should be doing better. As long as nobody is actively hitting me I'll be OK. Or using any sort of stick or club. I hate that.


Chance Shirley said...

"As always, it doesn't matter how good the screenplay it, how great the actors are, or how well the movie is shot. All that anyone cares about is how good the CGI is."

And with that, Andrew summed up the state of indie sci fi movies in two sentences.

Though MOON gives me hope that we might see more non-CG sci fi flicks in the future. Maybe.

Andrew Bellware said...

I wish I could agree but I think Moon only did a $5 million gross in the US. So the producers took a bath on it even with DVD and cable sales. Eek!