Sunday, October 27, 2013


Today was the first day of our "delinquents".
The brilliant Matthew Trumbull as Teevo, the lovely and talented Sarah-Doe Osborne in her first non-android role in one of our movies. I swear she's better and more beautiful in each of our movies. And the unnecessarily handsome Tarantino Smith loses at cards to the pretty girl.

Matthew Trumbull as a troublemaker

You can get lost in Sarah-Doe's eyes, which is how she beets you at cards.

The fantastic Tarantino Smith knows he's being had.
Our own Don Arrup who's worked with me since Hamlet (he played Polonius) is awesome as Blink.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Day uh... something.

Sarah Schoofs and Kate Britton are menaced by a robot. It's all about the front-light.

This hadn't even occurred to me.
This picture of Sarah winking with a mouth full of blood just cracks me up.
Kate Britton after the nanobot apocalypse (note to self: name a movie this) drips blood on the floor.
I've got a robot who confiscates the illegal drug "fleck". And yes, "fleck" is from a Warhammer 40,000 book. And that's the Queen of Mars who rolled in today and made fleck for us.
Virginia Logan has a cg robot stomp by her in this plate.

Sarah Schoofs drips a lot of blood. Also, the nanobots drip grey yuk out of her nose.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Groove to our own Juanita Arias in Amores Peligroso.

Amores Peligrosos trailer oficial from Antonio Dorado Zuñiga on Vimeo.
Click through to embiggen.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Shoot the Robot Day

Jeff Wills came by, and he totally brought bagels. Because of his intrinsic awesomeness.
You're asking "Hey, isn't that the robot hand Brian Schiavo made for Angela Funk in Clonehunter?" The answer is yes. Yes it is.

Our location has some interesting geography which we'll have to use in order to shoot the picture.
 Jeff and I both wore our "Kill 'Em All!" t-shirts because we were dorking out anyway.
Jeff's physicality is perfect for this character, isn't he?
This is not color-corrected. I really can't imagine what sort of cc we'd want to do to this image? Desaturate it very slightly? I don't know. I think this just might be how the movie looks. 5300K color balance on the GH3.
Blind in one eye is worth the look of the awesome backlighting of the right eye.
 We're all adults here (or not). We know that I invited Jeff over to play robots with me.
The last thing you will ever see.
It may end up being better to put a radio inside the helmet so that it's easier to talk to the actor inside. That's a thing we learned today.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Production Based on Post-Production

I got the pleasure yesterday of hearing two actors talking about how great the script was. The script we're shooing, presently titled Dead Residents, was writ by the muse who directs the hand of Steven J Niles.
The script moves. And the characters are all specific and different. It's pretty awesome. And I'm digging how it looks.
I've also been really enjoying the 4-hour shoot days. I would like to keep us down to 4-hour shoot days. What does that mean? Well it means I'm lazy. But also:
We have to increase the number of shoot days.
The other thing is that we have some very hard deadlines for this picture.
But if we shoot the movie based on our post-production bottlenecks, we can do production and post at the same time. For practical purposes this means we shoot in such a way that entire acts in post can be edited. Which means we need to be sure to unload series of scenes which all go together.
I think this means we should immediately shoot:
  • all the scenes which have composites
  • all the scenes for the first act
So that's what I'm going to schedule.  A shooting schedule based on post-production needs, making sure post has the footage they need in order to work concurrently on the movie. This means we can actually be shooting picture right up until we need to make delivery. I mean, not right up until we need to make delivery. But, or our purposes, pretty darn close.

Monday, October 14, 2013


Today we had Sarah Schoofs and Kate Britton on set. We were helped by Jim Boyett. Maya Graffagna designed costumes. On this day she did Sarah's costume, Kate brought her own.
We shot a very short day, as we have for all three of the first days of shooting this picture. I like shooting a short day. Can we double the length of this shoot but only do short days?
Sarah Schoofs and Kate Britton. 
These parts (Vinnie and Cheyenne) were originally written by the brilliant Steven J. Niles for a man and a woman. Something happened when I cast Vinnie and Cheyenne. And something happened where they don't even have a bedroom anymore but have to live in the basement. 
I hadn't even met the awesome Sarah Schoofs (Cheyenne) before today. We cast her based on Mandira's recommendation (which is totally the way to do it). 
Kate didn't have time to find a costume so she just wore what she was wearing today. 

My brother David lent us the electronic cigarette we have here (in Kate's hands). He custom - filled it with a vegetable glycerin so there's no nicotine and it just blows some pretty white smoke.

We're starting to really like the look of the GH3. I've got it set to a 5300K color balance and it just looks... well it looks like this. Even un-color corrected it just has this sweet unsaturated look. The mids in the lighting get punched up a bit -- which has meant that we haven't been as concerned about key light as we typically would. This continually surprises us. But in a good way.
I suspect that for a lot of DP's the "finished" look of the GH3 would be frustrating as it doesn't take to color-correction as easy as a flat, low-contrast image would. But I kind of like making a decision about how things are going to look right there on set.
Man, those engineers at Panasonic do know how to make skin tones work, don't they?

The Queen of Mars reminded me to take mug shots. We totally need to do that with every character on every movie. There are so many reasons to do that -- including having a reference for makeup.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Dead Residents Day 2

My plan to front load the shooting of this movie with very simple days is working so far. Today was the Don Arrup day where we get to kill him (we've killed Don Arrup a lot in our lives. We even got to whack him as Polonius. ;-)
The nanobots in your brain are getting hungry.
 The set was built by Marcie Kintish. I'm not entirely sure what Don is wearing -- it may be pieces of a Prometheus Trap costume. Although it might be from Alien Uprising. I suppose I should have asked.
Everyone looks awesome on night-vision cameras, right?
Oh. Darn-it-all. I forgot to take "mug shots" of Don's character, Blink. Dang nab it. We absolutely have to remember to do that for each character. Somebody remind me next time.

Day One of Dead Residents.

This robot's eyes are on FIRE!
The reverse camera puts an image on the screen. I think this should be an album cover.
Virginia Logan in full uniform. Virginia found her pants today. (I could have probably put that a different way. ;-)

Virginia Logan gives her robot the final instructions.
 Camera set to 5300K. I think we shot the whole day at a shutter of "50" and a f2,8 at 1600 ISO. I kind of suspect that's how it'll be.

Maya Graffagna gets into the Nighmare Armor Studios armor to do some "shemping". The Queen of Mars knows where one tongue goes when doing such precise and exacting work.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Location scouting.

Scene 21 Cheyenne and Vinny could be shot isolated

That sentence above is just a note I had to scribble somewhere. Now. Onto the point.

I don't know how I'm going to shoot this movie. You'd think a good director would know that by now. Hmm... maybe the issue here is "good" director...


For the main Cheyenne and Vinny scene I was thinking they'd just live in the basement or a hallway. I know. But hear me out.

This air vent is actually fantastically important to the screenplay.
 We have to shoot this sub-Rosa guerrilla style. But we can shoot here. This is what we'll call "Location Option A". There are white walls, which is a negative. But it's quiet.

Location A: You can kind of infer that we should have exposure here, but the walls are white. There are giant dead bugs on the floor. But they are, in fact, dead.

Location A: This a further away version of the shot above.
 Then there is location B. Location B has amazing looking walls. It is already lit and I don't think we'd need to do anything to it because it looks so nice. There are two downsides.
The first is that we would have to be guerrilla style for location A. But for B we'd have to shoot ninja-guerrilla style. We'd really have to be quiet and shoot quickly.
The second downside, and this is important, is that it really smells like heating oil here. I mean it stinks. And I suspect it's not that good for you. There's clearly some oil spilled somewhere around here. So we'd have to shoot quickly and limit our time here.
Location B: the Art department seems to have already been here.

Location B: You don't even want to know where this goes.
Location B: You could totally imagine Vinny sitting here, smoking a glass pipe.   
This cat is a cat. Not a location. Pay no attention to her.

So. Which location should we use? "A" will require more art. "B" smells like heating oil. Who will choose for us?