Sunday, July 28, 2013

Two Things for Today

Mitch Gross on Cooke lenses. I will gladly accept a set of Cookes if you want to buy them for me. Really I only feel I need a 35mm (equivalent) 85 (or thereabouts or equivalent) and something really long. Oh, and a diopter for extreme closeup. Kthanksbie.
The Russian version of Android Insurrection.
Shane Hurlbut on lighting exteriors in daylight.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Russian Uprising

The art for the Russian version of Alien Uprising is kind of cool. I mean our Alien Uprising -- not the new one with Claude Van Damme in it.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

End Titles

I'm stealing from here. Obviously the first three things don't apply to us because we don't have those positions.

Unit Production Manager
First Assistant Director
Second Assistant Director
Full Cast / Character List
Stunt Dept
Production Departments (Grip, Electric, Camera, Sound, Wardrobe, etc)
Post-Production Departments (Assistant Editors, Visual Effects, Colorist, etc)
Song Credits
Title Designer
Special Thanks
Camera, Lenses and Equipment Makers
Location of Final Sound Mix ("Recorded at...")
Copyright ©

Monday, July 22, 2013

Do To

Today's list of things to do includes:
  • Going through and scheduling Dead Residents. Right this second I don't even know the project number for that movie. I need to work on it. We want to shoot the movie in August. 
  • Rendering out more dragons in Dragon Reign. We've been working with Nathan Vegdahl and now the animations have been turned over to Nathan Taylor. 
  • Coordinating the creation of some AfterEffects visual effects in Android Masquerade. We still have some plates we need to shoot for that movie. 
This is a plate of an un-textured giant dragon which gives the dragon's scale.
Oh, and some breakfast. I need breakfast too.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

High Speed

So some idiot shot all these POV improvised monologues at "40%" on the GH3. Which means they're at "60p" and, essentially, in slow-motion. Sheesh.
I had tree sap on my lip for hours after shooting this.
That is... less than awesome. Especially when I can't figure out the math. I have to speed it up by... 250%? Is that right? 40, 80, then half of 40... I think so. I'll have to see. But of course it means re-rendering everything. Again. Pleh.
What I was hoping, and this is kind of a giant "hope", is that I'd be able to actually finish the picture cut of the dragon movie today. I have a feeling that won't happen.
Hey -- for the end credits: should we do alphabetical order? I think we usually do.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Prometheus Trap review

Fair enough, this is a review of Prometheus Trap.

Movie Reviews I Monkeys I Vampires - Stupid Blue Planet: Mockbusted #4: The Prometheus Trap and Alien Origi...: I didn't get the chance to review Ridley Scott's pseudo-Alien prequel Prometheus for this site, as I saw it several months before...

Honestly I don't know where the movie is as far as North American distribution goes. I see it's available in the UK on DVD.
Barbara Stanwyck never had these problems.
Today's big project in the Pandora Machine is to create interstitials in Dragon Reign. Right now we just have these monologual or monologulist "bookends". But this morning's shower inspiration was to simply go through and put some direct-to-camera in every act. I'll tell you how that goes when we're done.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Get in the Robot, Fight the Monster

Now this is a fairly spoiler-free observation about Pacific Rim.
Here's the thing: as much as we love the idea of giant robots fighting monsters (and let's face it, you love that idea) there is an inherent dramatic problem with fight scenes between giant robots and monsters.
This is one of the same dramatic problems which leads you to having soldiers taking off their helmets all the dang time in a war picture. Two guys (or one giant robot and one monster) fighting is by and large dramatically uninteresting unless we know or understand something about the relationships between the people involved.
This is also a Starship Troopers problem. Or, for that matter, a stillsuit-in Dune problem. The idea of being encased in super armor or what-have-you is pretty cool. Pretty cool in a book I mean. Once you put on helmets (especially face-covering helmets) you really stop caring about the characters. Luke and Han lose their stormtrooper helmets really freaking fast in Star Wars. I mean seriously, they wear them in a handful of shots and then put them down just before the firefight.
While tactically that is quite possibly insane, dramatically we need those characters to freakin' interact. Otherwise we got nothin'.

So. Pacific Rim. Giant robots. That can be a real heavy-duty problem. So they add to it an interesting conceit -- that giant robots require two pilots. And then those two pilots share one another's thoughts and... well I'm not going to posit that the conceit actually played out right. But it is a brilliant dramatic solution to this perennial (for sci-fi folks at least) problem.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Angry Planet

Angry Planet is our third Pandora Machine movie and we'd only just gotten North American distribution for it. It's also, I daresay, the movie I have the most affection for. It may in fact be our best picture.
It does not seem to exist on DVD but only as streaming. I don't know if it's on Netflix. But:
It's on iTunes.
And on Amazon:

It's on XBox.
There's an overview in the New York Times.
On Google Play.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Workstations Anywhere

So my Titanus computer died. It's 14 months or so old. I called Titanus, told 'em it was dead and the guy was like "Well, it's got a 2-year warrantee and it sounds like you just need a new power supply. How about I send you a new power supply? I'll even upgrade it."
Holy cats. Yes.
So I installed the new power supply (they sent it overnight via Amazon) and the computer works fine. If the guys at Titanus saw how sloppy I did the wiring they might be outraged. But it works.
Being without that workstation for a week concerned me though. Made me anxious. Makes me feel like I need another high-end workstation. Maybe I need a heavy-duty laptop?
Robin Kurtz in Earthkiller.

Trying to look further into Adobe Anywhere it seems that it simply isn't practical for a small shop. To which I say "bleh". I would switch over to Premiere in a heartbeat if we could actually use Adobe Anywhere and set up licenses on editors' laptops and suchwise. But we can't. So we don't.
Lastwise, an essay in Forbes about why the DVD isn't going away.  What I should do is write a post titled something like Why the movie business sucks and why it isn't all that bad as a business.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Shower Scene

Although principal photography on Android Masquerade is complete we knew we had to get this one shot of Kate coming out of the shower.
First I had to prep the gun. It looks roughly the way it did when Joe put his red-dot scope on it. But the caps had to be taped in the "up" position (which they don't really do). This closeup makes the contraption look awfully ersatz, but we didn't photograph it such that you should really notice or care. I think.

Yes. It's not in the script. I just thought it would be amusing if her character were hiding in the shower -- with the shower on -- fully dressed and carrying a gun.

I want credit here. Hottest day of the year so far and the lead actor gets to stand in a shower where she can control the temperature. It seems like every other time we're shooting on hot days we get the "Oh for continuity you have to wear this winter coat/be slathered in body paint".
Because it amused me. It still amuses me.
I'm glad that you can't see my reflection in this shot. But you can see the mask hanging on the wall.

I also got some very gratuitous closeups at high-speed of water dripping off the muzzle of the gun. Click through to embiggen a little selection of that. I am enjoying my ability to shoot high-speed again now that we're using a GH3.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Mars Needs Producers

We put an ad on Craigslist today.

Production/Producer Intern for Film (no pay) (TriBeCa)

What we're looking for ideally is someone who wants to produce movies. We are a micro-studio in New York which makes science fiction no-budget movies. Right now we make two movies a year but we're in the process of ramping up production.

Our blog (NSFW) is at and links to trailers are on the upper left hand side. We also have a fairly extensive wiki at

Time commitment: anywhere from 4 hours/week to whatever you want to do really.
Some work would need to be done in our office, you can also work from home on many parts of projects.

The producer intern can do a variety of things depending on their skill sets and interests including:
Breaking down and scheduling shoots
Overseeing post - production (or even picture editing)
Making sure elements are prepped for delivery
Making sure contracts, etc., are all in order
Help with casting

And so on.

We're looking for someone who is capable and competent and interested in producing and has free time in which to do it.

Contact me for more information.
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
  • Compensation: no pay
Posting ID: 3908143654
Posted: 2013-07-01, 8:09PM EDT