Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cell Phones of the Future.

We're looking at a possible Robocop mockbuster-y script. It's a pretty brilliant enclosed-in-an-apartment-building script with zombies and fun by Steven J. Niles. One thing in the script that's pretty important is the cell phones. But this is the future and I worry that we have to come up with a decent design. I kind of dig this design though. I believe it's from here.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I'm Tired of Being a Jerk

The reason I ask that the slate always be shown "open" to the camera is because in post when you're searching for the slate's marking the shot you're looking for the point at which the slate has come down. So you want to feel certain that if the slate is down you move your playhead to the left and you'll find it open.
Does that even make sense? Probably not. Just always show me an open slate and I'll quit saying "Always show the camera an open slate. Open that slate up. Open. The slate."
Yes, it's out of focus because I'm focusing on the subject who will step into frame. 
I ask for second sticks because just as you dropped the slate you stepped on a branch -- those two sounds are practically identical in post. So I'm sorry I was obnoxious and suggested that was the worst slate in the history of Mankind on the planet Earth. We just need to do it again.
Did I ask you impetuously what in the world did you think you were doing when you were supposed to be recording sound? I may have. I am, apparently still, mean to the boom operator.
Here's the thing about doing sound on a movie set. You're the only person doing sound. So you have a different place for your head to be than any other job on set. This mean that whatever you're normally doing on set, stop doing that and focus on sound. Which, of course, if you're the art director and you have the 702 strapped around your shoulder at the same time is... tough.
Gaffers Unite! is a pretty cool blog. Dude is way into mirrors. Which is also very very cool.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Eye in the Sky

Here are a couple dragon point-of-views. I set the ARDrone so it would go a bit higher than it had been. I still don't know how to consistently get it to record. I think it's when the REC light blinks. But maybe it's when the REC light is solid.

IMG 0190 from Andrew Bellware on Vimeo.
Click through to embiggen.
Amusingly you can see the whole crew at the end of the above shot. The giant field we're in here is part of the "permanently green" bought-by-the-county or whomever, in order to keep it from being overdeveloped.
IMG 0189 from Andrew Bellware on Vimeo.
One issue I have is that the camera looks straight out from the 'copter. Which is fine when you're in flight but as soon as you hover you're lookin' at trees.
I hope these shots will intercut nicely with a POV of Amelia looking back at the dragon.

Another day another dollar

We shot up in the Dismal Swamp of Metuchen some more today.
Annalisa Loeffler being very Grimm or biblical with her apple.
 The skies were perfectly overcast all day. I realize that's because the big storm is coming but boy does it make it easy to photograph things.
This glamour shot is awesomized by the perfect background of autumnal foliage.

Here's the 50's pinup version.
 We didn't have to worry about the sun moving, that's for sure.
Julia Rae Maldonado shoots her crossbow at camera. I flinched the first time she did this.
 We shot some whip-pan-alistic arrows flying. It should work out fun.
Claude waited all day for his closeup. By the end of the day he was starving.
 The Middlesex Greenway is just a fantastic park. I wish I'd had it growing up.
Julia Rae Maldonado's Facebook shot of the day.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Pandora Machine Process

Our distributor keeps saying "You're making a sci-fi action picture!" to me. So I made up a flowchart to carefully explain to myself what I am doing.
The Pandora Machine Process
Look, I've made all these mistakes and more. Just... just don't listen to me. Make sci-fi action pictures.


This is, quite frankly, a terrible picture of me. I look dumpy and my hair is a mess. Who do I talk to about that? But I'm flying my ARDrone with the "outdoor" hull on.

The drone turns out to perform very well out of doors. It's easier to fly than indoors actually. Just like the Internet said it would. 

The footage from the onboard camera is wobbly but that's how dragons see so for a dragon-eye cam it's perfect.

Here I am with my iPod touch commanding the AR Drone. I was having a lot of trouble with my pants falling down. Maybe it's the Gerber knife on my belt?

Julia Rae Maldonado and Annalisa Loeffler look at the "dragon" (which is the POV of the quadcopter which you can find like Waldo.)

Dragon lands.

This scrum formed when we did playback of dragon-eye view footage.

This picture is for when we do the dumb comedy: Five whacky roommates have to live together for a year without driving one another crazy.

Julia Rae Maldonado stares down some soldiers.

I wanted to get below her but she was already sitting on the bottom step.

Joe Watson held me up so I could steady my shot.

Still life with camera, screenplay, and crossbow.

Julia Rae Maldonado has her makeup touched up by the Queen of Mars. 

The overly sexy Joe Watson rolls sound.

Joe Chapman is... doing what? Poking a hornet's nest? Who knows? I'm just shooting on clearly a long lens.

The Queen of Mars tells me what to do. I listen. And obey.

Julia Rae Maldonado eats her yummy Choco Nom Noms.

Choco Nom Noms are endorsed by superstar Joe Chapman.

Joe Watson was ready for his California shoot.

We must be getting close to the martini shot here. Joe Watson un-mics Annalisa Loeffler.

I shoot the last bit of chocolate eating with Julia while everyone else wraps.

Annalisa Loeffler has one for the Facebooks.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pictures from Libby II

Yes, I do think of the song "Pictures of Lily" whenever I write 'Pictures from Libby."
Queen of Mars, Annalisa Loeffler, and Julia Rae Maldonado look at script things.

Annalisa (as Miranda) and Julia Rae (as Amelia) walk through the tulgey wood.

The tulgey and muddy wood.

Gotta drop that slate. I had to pull down like four stops as I swung from right to left on this shot because the actors walked out of the shade.

This is shortly before I went insane because the camera froze up.

The beautiful and beguiling Annalisa Loeffler standing in the mud.

Dragon hunter Amelia (Julia Rae Maldonado.)

Yelling at dragons.

Pictures from Libby I

Here are some behind-the-scenes of our first day of shooting Dragon Girl (the name "Null Zone" has been suggested for this picture).
Soundman Joe Watson wires up Julia Rae Maldonado.

Annalisa Loeffelr, the Queen of Mars, Joe Watson, and Joe Chapman resetting the shopping card.

Annalisa, Joe Chapman being a zombie, Joe Watson screaming in terror, Andrew Bellware in a bunny T-shirt, and the Queen of Mars script supervises. This is the place we're not allowed to shoot at.

Drew Bellware directs. Ha!

To Grok

So these faux trailers used in pre-production seem to be hitting the web now. Perhaps some studio's legal department had a change of heart and pressed the OK button on letting these on the YouTubes and such because the clips are "fair use". I have no idea. But they're very interesting to watch. This is the one used for Looper.
Looper clip-o-matic trailer from rcjohnso on Vimeo.
You know, we should really do these. We so don't. But as a thing to describe the tone of a movie they're a really good idea.
Of course it's also possible that our entire movies are nothing more than concept trailers so maybe I should be quiet.
On my GH1 issues:
So, uh, this is what was causing the camera to fail on our first day of shooting. Yes, having the camera on a tripod will cause the write error when shooting with a 24p wrapper. That is... sooo intuitive.
So I unhacked the GH1 and didn't have any problems (although we never went on sticks on the second day of shooting).
What's my remaining issue? That dang ARDrone software. Is it recording when the REC light is blinking or when it's solid? And what does the blinking mean? Because I can't reliably get the thing to record such that I understand what I'm doing. So we do multiple takes and check them and... sometimes that works.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Two (Maybe 3)

On the second day of shooting I had an unhacked GH1 (with the stock lens and everything, there was nothing out of the ordinary.) We're shooting exteriors with a color balance of 10K.
You know, we're actually on reel 03. Because we had that one day where Tommy and I went and shot plates of that air intake at the Holland Tunnel
John Dillon as the Captain.
 We're using Michael Bevins costumes all over this picture. These robes are all his. He designed the brown ones for Ed McNamee's La Gioconda musical.
Chris Pope as Voss.
 We got to play with apples and another appearance of Choco Nom Noms.
David Frey as Ralph.
Boy there's a lot more poison ivy in these woods than I'd like. And probably deer ticks (although we're all being very good about using bug spray so I don't think anyone's been bitten by anything yet.)
I was going for a large sort of framing here -- like a pastoral painting. Funny, the guys are still fairly large in the frame.
 We did some more shooting with the ARDrone quadcopter.
The lovely and graceful Julia-Rae Maldonado as Amelia.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dragon Girl day One

The woods. They're mythological. Or rather, welcome to the Dismal Swamp.
 We had a good first day of shooting. Joe Watson came out to do production sound and we got a bunch of beautiful footage.
Julia Maldonado enjoys her Choco Nom Noms (package designed by Hanna Garland.)

A closeup of the Nom Noms. Julia was actually tired of eating chocolate by the end of the day's shoot. Hee!
 My clothes were all begurgled with bug spray when I got home. But other than being stopped by the police (who informed us that we were actually on Federal land -- no matter what the maps say) we got almost the whole day shot.
After the Dragon Apocalypse, pray she's out there.
I'd never had a shoot stopped by the police before. It does play a bit of havoc with our locations. So we shoot in some parks.
While I had this light I decided to go for Facebook status update pictures.
The GH1 was being a bit troublesome. It's been hacked to shoot 23.976p and... well it just hates that. So it will just stop shooting and you actually have to pull the battery to get it to talk to you again. Plus, of course, the take you've done when it tells you it won't shoot anymore is history.
The brilliant Annalisa Loeffler as Miranda.