Sunday, July 31, 2011

Go Behind Your Back

Another weekend, another Witch shoot. And another set of problems. While today was our most productive day of Witch photography so far, it was still not everything we were aiming for. I feel like we prepared ourselves to combat everything that we'd come up against in our other two days in make-up, but it seemed to make little difference.

The day started out on a positive enough note. Sean and I got the car packed with no difficulty, made it out to Norm's ex-house on time. Norm was already there, setting up his make-up station and letting the air conditioning cool down our make-shift studio. Marie showed up shortly thereafter, and we got started as quickly as we could.

White M&M's melt in your eye, not in your hands.
We got the contact lens in alright. Wasn't any easier than it'd been on previous occasions, but it wasn't any harder, either. Norm then painted up Marie's face with his new adhesive, the name of which I don't know how to spell and am too lazy to look up. He and Sean then rolled the mask down over Marie's face, and it seemed to sit on there really nice. She adjusted it some herself to get a better fit, and as she explained to Norm how to help her get it where it needed to be, it was moving REALLY well with her face.

Sean and Norm fend off Ted Turner's attack JELLYFISH!!!
But it was tight, much tighter than previous occasions. Tighter than O.J. Simpson's alibi. But if the mask too tight, it don't feel right. Marie was starting to feel a little claustrophobic. To her credit, she didn't ask us to take her out of the mask or anything. She expressed her discomfort, and then quickly pushed it to the back of her mind.

Norm had cut the chin piece off the rest of the mask, believing that having it separate from the rest would allow it to move more realistically with Marie's own bottom lip. He glued it to her bottom lip, glued up a few additional areas of the mask, and then he was ready to blend all the seams.

Can we kill the background action please? You're messing up my shot of this studio light...
Seemly seams seen to, Norm then did some painting to further blend it all, as you do. And it looked fantastic. She slipped into her newly-gloved hands, which seemed like they were going to work out great. Sean got her into her hat, with a little knot difficulty. He did some quite necessary still image work, and then it was time to shoot video. That's where I actually get to do something...

We figured we'd start with dialogue while the lips were nice and tight. But it didn't take many takes before that damned bottom lip started slipping down again. Norm reapplied or touched up the work many times, but it just wouldn't stay put. While the air conditioned space was much cooler than shooting outside, those studio lights put out some heat. Anyone who's seen this video knows we're aware of the phenomenon, but we didn't anticipate the extent of it. Marie was still sweating, and it was still interfering with the make-up.

It's getting HOT in here! Oh look, and there's a light, too...
While it was clear that dialogue was not happening today, with the Witch stuff being so oft-delayed, we wanted to make sure we got as much done as we could this afternoon. This meant a couple of hours of behind-the-back shots. We first got that troublesome chin-piece off Marie and removed the pesky contact, trying to make her a little more comfortable, then put Ms. Rizza through her paces. Switching hats, using umbrellas, standing on one leg (apparently that's like a thing with her)...

At what point did Rihanna's stylist just totally give up?
And it is in the realm of these behind the back shots that I'm able to present to you the happy epilogue to the cabinet saga of long ago. While we scrambled so to have that cabinet ready two weeks ago, we only just got a chance to film it today. And it was better than we had ever planned for it to be, thanks to Norm. For some reason, he had this bizarre fez-monkey bowl thing at home that we were able to use as a stand for the cabinet, creating a pretty unique, subject appropriate piece of furniture.

Old Mother Hubbard's house is WEIRD...
When we wrapped shooting for the day, Norm was tremendously apologetic, even though he had no reason to be. In the end, this is the first project of this kind for pretty much everybody involved, and part of the point for us is to push ourselves into new territory. They (some of they, anyway) say that the best film school is to just make a film, and that's something we've clearly taken to heart.

We may not have accomplished as much as we wanted to today, but we did make progress, we learned plenty, and we're honing our technique for the next shoot. Which won't be for two weeks, given the fact that Sean, Marie, and I will be in North Carolina sharing some footage next weekend. In the mean-time I'll keep going with the raw frames of the day, and maybe fill you guys in on some effects progress that's being made.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day

Angelo requested something involving Glinda, so here's some full-on Glinda. Nice, right?

Frame of the day requests can be made in the comments below or on our Facebook, which you can find through the widget on the right. Widget is also the name of my pet oyster.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day

Seems once again we're only sort of fulfilling a request. Bryan on the Facebook requested a shot of Scarecrow taking a hit from the hammerheads. That's not something we've shot yet, for a couple of reasons, but we do have the aftermath of the action, and so we present an image of that to you.

Don't forget, raw frame requests can be made in the comments below or on the Facebook. We'll fulfill them to the best of our ability...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day

Today's raw frame is something a little different. Charlie requested on the Facebook that we show something involving the Lion, which was a tricky proposition for a raw frame, given that the character is CGI. Unlike the Woodman, who we had an eyeline double for, Lion was almost always just... air. However, the rest of the gang needs to ride him at times, and for those instances we needed something for Mare and the Scarecrow puppet to interact with. This is our first failed attempt at creating a Lion-riding set-up. This frame is not something that will be used in the film, we ended up reshooting all the Lion riding at the end of the Dorothy block.

Don't forget, you can request the raw frame of the day in the comments below or on our Facebook. Yes, I AM going to say that at the end of every one of these. Maybe we get some new readers who aren't hip to the game. Or maybe some of our existing readers have bad memories. I dunno.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day

A moment from the beginning of the China Country Sequence, requested by Angelo. She's holding what will be a broken piece of a church. Lest you think we're taking lessons from George "I hate filming things" Lucas, there's a very specific piece of timing involved, which is why what she's holding will be CGI in the end.

Don't forget you can request a raw frame in the comments below or on our Facebook. And another reminder, when making your request, try to think props. Props are good.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day

Dorothy in Kansas, requested by Logan. You can tell by the shoes, people.

As always, feel free to request a raw frame of the day in the comments below, or on our Facebook. In an attempt to steer us towards more interesting, dynamic territory, I'll tell you that pretty much any time Dorothy had to physically interact with an object, we had to have a prop or stand-in on hand. So try to think back to your favorite proppy bits of the story.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Well, that was painless. We filmed Glinda's guards this morning, and it was totally hitchless. Went without a hitch. We were a little nervous, to be perfectly honest. Madeline Lovegrove, who plays the lead guard in Glinda's palace and also voices the stork, had come in to audition in summer 2009. We'd met her for ten minutes then, and had not seen her since.

On top of that, she was bringing two friends with her to fill in as background guards, and we'd never met either of them. So we had three people coming in who we basically didn't know, and we didn't know if we'd work well together or even get along. They might be awful people. It happens. Plus, we'd never gotten the chance to do a fitting of the costume, so we weren't even sure if it would fit on any of the girls. Or... y'know... look good all put-together.

Turns out we needn't have worried. Madeline was perfectly lovely, her friends (Taylor and Viv) equally so, and the costume ended up fitting all of them quite well. Since Madeline was with the having of the line and all, and the costume was made specifically based on her sizing information, we started with her. We got to shoot a cool little piece with Madeline standing guard and experiencing the perplexity caused by a horde of monkeys with wings swooping in and dropping a little girl and her wacky pals.

I feel as though my training left me unprepared for flying primates...
After that, it was all boring stuff, getting her to stand very still from various angles, or walk in various directions. Stuff we can composite into other shots, or cut away to if need be. When all her stuff was in the (strictly metaphorical) can, it was time for Viv and Taylor to share the pain.

The only thing more Spartan than her costume is the set...
While they helped Madeline out of the cumbersome armor, and then helped Taylor into it, Sean and I removed the horse-hair plume from the helmet. Because only the captain gets a horse-hair plume. That's one of the perks of captaining. Plume removed, we set out and filmed Taylor's stuff. She got her own little moment of close-up, and then it was back to the boring background kind of stuff, stand-still, rotate, walk forward, etc.

One can tell from her manner that this guard is suffering from plume envy. Y'hate to see it.
Then it was back inside for another armor swap. Despite each of the three of them helping get whoever into the armor, it never seemed to get any easier for them. As has been the case with... well... EVERY costume... I'm glad it's not me who has to wear it. We made our way outside with an armored-up Viv, and same deal as before. A brief close-up to cut into the sequence, and then background guard sort of... standing. Standing at attention. Like a guard.

Does it count as a close-up if none face is visible?
Guard duty over for the day, our last act was to record some dialogue with Madeline. I picked out the best take of her line as Glinda's Guard, and she ADR'ed the heck out of that. Then we recorded her dialogue as the stork. If you've read the book, you know the stork to which I refer, and if you HAVEN'T read the book... Why not? Go and do that, or something.

It's nice to write an entry about a day that went exactly as it should have... I won't let myself get used to it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day

Boring stuff happened today, so let's have a raw frame of the day instead. Dorothy oiling the "Tin Woodman."

Don't forget, you can request a raw frame of the day in the comments below or on our Facebook.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Murphy, The Vengeful God of Law

So... Uh... THIS is awkward... Remember yesterday when I said we were all set to shoot our Witch stuff on Saturday? And remember how today is like... Saturday and stuff? Well... We started our day off properly, rising early so as to arrive early. We packed up everything we hadn't brought over already, Witch costume articles, cameras, scripts, storyboards, a cooler full of bottled water. Everything a body needs.

Despite getting stuck behind a very slow truck and trailer that was crawling along despite... not hauling anything, we arrived more or less on time. Norm arrived shortly after us, and we started to get set-up. While Norm brought in the mask and his various boxes and bins, Sean and I spent considerable time sticking tape to his walls. Don't worry, it's painter's tape, and for delicate surfaces to boot. I could hear all the property owners gasping...

In short order we were all set to go. Air conditioner was pumpin' out the cool stuff.

Haier, air conditioner of choice for L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wiard of Oz. Now pay up, People's Republic of China.
 Screen and markers were good to go.

Penn... Tennis ball of choice for... Oh screw it.
 Walls were checkered.

Yeah, no idea what brand of tape we used. Enjoy your blurry photo.
 Costume was ready and willing.

Say, that's a lovely rack.
 Norm's hands were nimble and his materials were prepped.

ABC slashes the budget on Extreme Makeover.
 But something felt off. Something was missing... Something a bit crucial and stuff... Marie. Y'know... the actress who plays our Witch. The most important cog in our terror machine. It was nine-thirty, making her a half hour late. This was so ridiculously unlike her that we started to get a little worried. We decided to give her a call, which required stepping outside and slowly loping around the back lawn in order to find the one area that the cellphone signal could penetrate.

We didn't reach her, so Sean left a message. We all sat inside and waited around for Marie. A little while later, my cellphone notified me that I had a message, so I stepped outside to find the signal again. The message was from a super-apologetic Marie, explaining that her car had broken down. After a little bit of phone-tag, we finally got to speak to her, and she explained that a friend was headed our way shortly, and she'd be there as soon as she could.

Not wanting to write the day off as a total loss, Norm, Sean, and I sat around waiting for Marie to arrive. Had a good ol' chat. Guy talk. None of your damned business, nosy. Around eleven we got another call from Marie. Her friend was just now heading out, which meant she wouldn't arrive until two thirty or three o' clock. Since it would take another three or four hours on top of that to get her into a camera-ready state, we decided to write the day off as a total loss.

I think Marie might actually read these things, so I just want to make it very clear that we don't blame her at all. Cars can be assholes. Everybody knows this. We've rescheduled for next Sunday, bright and early, and fingers crossed everything will go well.

It's weird, back when we were shooting with Dorothy, things kept going wrong, because Sean and I sucked. Now we suck less, and things still go wrong. Monday we'll be shooting Glinda's Guards... with a camera... Not like... criminally. Hopefully that can go off without a hitch. Because SOMETHING has to... right?

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Psychology of the Transfer

As I obliquely alluded to in a previous journal entry, make-up guru and all-around magnificently off-kilter man Norman Rowe is in the middle of a big move. As I straight up friggin' SAID in another entry... The heat wreaked havoc on our Witch shooting last Saturday. What do these two things have to do with one another, you ask? Maybe you don't ask, but even if you don't, you do. For my purposes at least.

And so you ask me, "Say, what do Norm's move and a sun-spoilt shoot have to do with one another?" And I reply thusly; "Norm's air-conditioned shop is mostly emptied out, Norm's a generous guy, and he offered us the use of the space for Witch photography." Thanks for working with me on that one, gang.

So Sean and I have spent some time in that little building, as our frequent readers will note. We had a vague idea that the building would be satisfactory for our needs, but we wanted to go in and measure stuff out, turn that vagueness into something with a concreteness about it.

Concrete like what this building is not.
Armed with a tape measure and a sense of grim determination, Sean and I made our way out there the other night. Norm had taken all the lights with him, so we examined the space by camera light and flashlight. Some remnants of the old days remained, so it was fairly spooky in there in the dimness. We told ghost stories and had a pillow-fight, then set to work.

TOLD ghost stories? We were kinda IN one...
The measurements were appealing in every way. You might call this building our Jennifer Love Hewitt. We needed a new way to hang our magnetized tracking markers, but a quick trip to Lowe's (hardware store of choice for L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) yielded some nice metal bars that we figured would do the trick nicely.

Last night Sean and I dismantled our current set-up and packed it all into his truck.

There lies our biggest fan. Sorry, Angelo.
This morning we popped over to Norm's old place and met up with Norm's young face.

Remember this face, children, for it is he, the bringer of all nightmares.
The aforementioned spooky remnants still... remained, so we spent a little bit of time cleaning house. Or more accurately cleaning unattached garage.

The new craze that's sweeping the nation...
After the space was cleared to our satisfaction, and Norm had packed up as much as his car could handle, he had to boogie out of there, and Sean and I got to work setting up our green screen, markers, and lights. We made quick work of it, and ended up with a pretty nice space.

I don't have a pun for this one, but all the other pictures have captions...
All that remained was to make Norm's ex-man-cave a little more cave-like.

Michael C. Hall has really let himself go...
Equipment set up and windows blocked, our work was done. We locked up, took off, and chilled out. We're primed for further Witch photography tomorrow. Norm's got a new adhesive, he's turned the prosthetic hand appliances into full-on gloves, we're set with the A/C... Everything's looking good for tomorrow. I'll be sure to keep you in the loop on that. Even though you've done nothing to deserve it.

Oh... I almost forgot. When he was sweeping, Sean found a dead, petrified frog. Which Norm decided he was going to keep and so placed it in a jar. Who the hell else would you ever want working on your witch make-up?

You thought I was kidding, but this is a thing that happened...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day

Per Angelo's Facebook request. Anything specific you want to see? Ask me. I'm nice.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Raw Frame of the Day

I thought I'd try a little something new today. While we're moving ahead in some respect everyday, it's not always in a way that makes for an interesting journal entry. You guys don't want to read about how I'm waiting for a battlement render to finish, for example. On the other side of things, sometimes the progress IS interesting, but not something we're ready to share with you all just yet.

That leaves days where no journal entry is forthcoming, which leaves often times prolonged silences on the blog. In an effort to counteract that, and keep giving you guys new content everyday, I'm proposing something I cleverly titled "Raw Frame of the Day." See what it is is a raw frame from the film. And we'll do one a day... By raw I mean you're seeing exactly what the camera saw, no color grading, no visual effects, just actors or puppets in front of green. As we start pumping out finished shots, we'll revisit some of these frames to show you how far we have to take things.

To start us off, we'll maintain the Witch theme that the blog has had lately, and show you something from our costume-only Sunday shoot:

Like the idea? Think it blows? Have a specific piece of the story you'd like to see a frame from? Leave me a comment down below, or on the Facebook.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Treason of the Witch

Son of a witch. That's a punned up version of an expression that was tossed around plenty today. First day of witch shooting, and things didn't go exactly as planned. Which we should have expected, honestly. This project has a way of walking up to our plans, jacking them in their manly business, and running laughing into the bushes.

Started with an early rise. Which is never the way to start your day. Early to bed and early to rise makes a man want to find a high powered rifle and a tall bell tower. I myself woke up at six, I can't speak for anybody else. Had a quick breakfast and a quick shower, then spent some time getting my cameras and computers ready for action.

When Sean was ready we went out to clear our "set" and get the green-screen ready for action. Marie Rizza and her son, Xavier, showed up just as I was sweeping off the screen. About eight o' clock. She got here a bit before Norm, and, ever the professional, wanted to find a way to put that down time to productive use. I would've just face-planted on the couch or something...

We first went over the storyboards, I showed her the CGI model of the battlement, all so she'd have a better idea of what was going on today. Then she wanted to go out to the green screen to run her lines and walk through everything we'd be doing. So we went out there with the camera and blocked some stuff out.

She also wore a silly hat and stood on one leg...

The weird thing is... I didn't even ASK her to DO that...
Norman Rowe arrived, and when Norman storms in on the scene he brings with him a maelstrom of mayhem. Also some nifty little kits and utensils.

He uses them to concoct... concoctions or something
So Marie went inside to get into character. Literally. I followed her in like the freaking paparazzi. Because I had a camera... Contact lens was still a little iffy this time, but it went much more smoothly than that first test a couple weeks ago. Teeth snapped in as easily as before. At this point Marie looked like the best anti-smoking poster ever.

You got it all wrong, Doc. I have like, one cigar a month... max.
Then we got her into the mask, and Norm glued all the pieces down. After which he held them in place for four to five minutes. Four adults in an air conditioned room, one of them filming as another presses his hand into a woman's face for four minutes... Y'know, good clean American fun...

That's a lovely frock. American Eagle?
Satisfied with the mask, Norm then went on to the hands. Like y'do. Now. I didn't mention in the entry for our make-up test that we had a bit of trouble getting the hand appliances to stay attached to Marie's actual hands. But we did. The fingers kept coming off her fingers and flopping around. Norm reckoned he'd solved the problem this time, something to do with powder on the backside interfering with the adhesion. Powder that he'd cleaned off this time.

Norm's career as a manicurist never really took off.
Hands applied, we got Marie into her costume and prepared to film. We all clomped outside, eager to get going. Of course, we didn't get through very many shots (two, actually...) before her hands started coming undone again. Norm mixed some fresh goop like he likes to do, and reapplied the hands. Went outside, got through a couple more shots, and the fingers were flopping around more violently than a raver on MDMA.

Since it was clear that the adhesive... wasn't, Sean suggested a temporary ghetto fix. You all know how we like those. And so it came to be that, hand close-ups finished, the fingers were tied on with fishing line. This proved to only be a temporary fix as well, because the line kept coming untied. Which meant flop flop flop.

It's worth making note of, friends, that while we got an early start at eight o' clock, it took about four hours to get Marie into make up. And with all the delays these fingers were causing, two o' clock rolled around and we only had one scene in the can.

But it wasn't ALL hand problems today. Oh no. It was also lip problems. Norm sliced the mask like he'd suggested, allowing him to glue it to Marie's mouth area more cleanly. But the adhesive (same stuff as we used for the hands) was only good for a few takes with dialogue before the bottom lip started to slide down her face. Between reapplying the fingers and reapplying the lip, we burned through adhesive pretty fast.

Norm used the last of it to do one really excellent application of the lip. Beautiful. Seamless. We managed to get through all the dialogue for one scene with it before it detached itself from Marie's face. We then sped through all the remaining shots for that scene. Shots like this:

You didn't think I was going to show you her FACE, did you?
Five o' clock, two scenes down. The fingers were flopping, the bottom lip was no longer attached, and the mask had started slipping down over her eyes. Also... Marie couldn't eat in that mask. And since Marie couldn't eat in the mask, and we couldn't take her OUT of the mask, the rest of us weren't going to just take a lunch break. Because that would be rude AND waste time Marie had to spend in the mask. So nobody had eaten in ten or eleven hours, if at all, and we'd all spent most of the day out in the sun.

With our resources depleted, the mask and hands not snug enough to do half of our required shots, a small group of exhausted, hungry people, and the sun encroaching on our light set-up, I decided it was time to call it quits for the day. Nobody voted me down. We got Marie out of the costume, and then regrouped and discussed what to do next.

We were hoping that after all the careful planning and preparation, the make-up tests, rough edits, storyboards, etc... That we'd be able to blow through this stuff pretty quickly, and wrap the Witch in a day. We ended up finishing two very short scenes. Guess we failed to factor in some wild cards... It's not the least productive day we've ever had, but obviously very far short of our goal. Which means at least one more day of Witch shooting is required.

Norm's schedule leaves him available only on Saturdays, so we can't do anything more with the mask and hands until then. He figures the adhesive just wasn't holding up well to the heat of the sun, and the perspiration it caused. We'd hoped to be able to film this in an indoor, air-conditioned area, but that proved to be financially... not... a thing that we could do... Norm's going to order us some different adhesive to try on Saturday, stuff that will hopefully hold up to the rays.

Marie is free tomorrow, so she's going to pop by and we're going to do some foot shots, costume inserts, get done as much as we can without having the prosthetics on. It won't be a lot, but any progress is progress, and one less thing she'll have to film while she's melting (get it?) under all that wool and silicon. As an aside, Wool and Silicon would be a good name for a death metal group... Made up of preppie super models...

This could be their album cover.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Taste of Your Own Medicine Cabinet

And here it is, the moment you've all been waiting for. The epic conclusion to the Cabinet of Quelala Trilogy. I say epic, but... Y'know... They said that about Return of the Jedi too...

THIS movie...
 We started the day off right, by doing something I'm not going to tell you about. Gonna have a fun little easter egg for you fans, and it's sort of ruined if we point it out. But after THAT was done... Well, we gave the green table a fresh coat of spray-paint. It was getting ratty. But after THAT we got back into the cabinet business. Since we were spray-painting anyway, and we'd need to wait for them to dry, we gave our shiny brass cabinet hardware a rusty paint-job.

Because it was easier than waiting out thirty years of rainy weather.
While that was drying, we went inside to do something a little special for the door. Remember I mentioned that the outrageously expensive antique cabinet supposedly had the faint outline of a woman on the front? Well that gave us the inspiration to put a monkey on the front of our cabinet. We figured that even though our own monkeys will be very different, we'd go with a Denslow Monkey drawing. Sort of like the artist was going on myths and legends and had never seen the real monkeys before.

This required a Denslow image for reference. Sean and I went through the whole book, and didn't find anything that would really fit on our very vertical cabinet door. We found one with a good monkey body and one with good monkey wings, I stitched them together in Photoshop, and Sean printed it out.

Be respectful. Apparently he's a Civil War veteran...
We needed to print it so Sean could do a little technique he picked up in art school. He first rubbed charcoal on the back of the paper.

Every good artist has his black period...
And then traced around the more prominent lines of the drawing.

Call him TRACE Adkins, amirite!?!? No..?
When he removed the paper he had a pretty decent reproduction of some of the original drawing. of course, if you were to sneeze it would be gone.

That which holds the image of a monkey becomes itself a monkey.
So he traced over it with a brush pen, and then filled in the details, creating a more permanent, more complete, Denslow monkey on the cabinet door.

We got ourselves a regular Spencer TRACY over here!
The next step was to ruin our clean, pretty wood. For that we used black shoe polish, applied it to a rag and gave the lucky furniture a vigorous, invasive rub-down. Then I had to put the camera down so I could help him hammer the tiny nails into the tiny hinges and screw in the handle for the door.

After that, we took some cheap scented candles we'd bought the other night and arranged them on top of the cabinet. We both took turns digging troughs into the tops of the bigger candles, lit them, and then had a LOT of fun running the lighter all over them, melting them down, scorching them, and making a waxy mess.

Try this at home, kids. It's awesome.
And then, after almost three days and too many friggin' hours, the cabinet was finished. And not looking half-bad. Well, looking half-bad, but in ways that we wanted it to.

We're now holding a vigil for our sanity. We have candles...
I guess it wouldn't be a cabinet-related journal entry if I didn't remind you all that this is a two-shot prop we spent half our week on... Two... Shots... But it's done now, and in time for the Witch shoot tomorrow! For which there will be a massive entry. So be anticipatory, please. For me...

Saw VI: The Final Straw

I was going to write this last night, but I was as tired as a really tired guy, and I figured nobody ever reads these until the next day anyway. So this is yesterday I'm talking about. Because today has only just barely started happening.

It's all cabinet antics again. Because that was so interesting the first time. With our pieces all cut out, yesterday Sean and I spent hours trying to assemble the damned thing. And... Um... it didn't go... well. At all. In fact it went the opposite of well. It went badly.

Actually... It STARTED well... We wanted the cabinet door to have a little depth to it, because flat things don't catch the light in interesting ways. Nooks and crannies are gold on camera. With a little wood glue and thirty seconds of pressure (times four) the cabinet door went together a treat.

He's either playing an invisible Nintendo 64 or initiating a thumb war with himself...
We then moved on to cutting a few little support cubes. To nail into the corners and strengthen the whole deal. That went smooth as you please.

Any carpenters who read this... because I'm sure an independent fantasy film for children has carpenter fans... were probably aghast when they saw the kind of saw we were doing that cutting with before. A jigsaw is NOT the kind of tool you want to use to be cutting the angled ends one desires when assembling a cabinet. And there's a reason for that. It's because it does a crappy job. It's hard to keep a saw like that cutting in a straight line, and the blade bends as well, so you can't keep it straight going the other way, either. Sadly, it's the only saw we had available to us.

So after we'd cut out our cubes, we tried assembling the whole thing. But we had our boards from the day before with double your pleasure Double-crooked Cuts, and those don't fit together in the way you like to see.

We showed this to Norm Abram. And now he's dead. Contact embarrassment...
Not very nice at all. And as you can see, the quite-square door does not fit over this wonky, ghetto cabinet. The problem was that the cuts started out at a forty-five degree angle, but that bendy saw blade ensured that they were not CONSISTENTLY forty-five degrees. So the inside corners of the cuts butted up against each other and kept the cabinet from being the correct width and height for the not-as-sucky door.

After a disassemble and a failed attempt to plane against the grain on composite boards, Sean decided it was time to break out the saw again. He wanted to hack at those corners so that we could get those boards fitting together in a better way. And so hack he did. Seriously, I mean hack. Ugliest cuts that have ever been seen on a prominent piece of movie furniture. Except for maybe Nicolas Cage's abs...

Straight line? No... I'm afraid I'm not familiar with this concept...
But it actually did the trick. The corners went together in a pretty clean fashion. Well... As clean as could be expected under the circumstances. And cleaner than they were before.

Oh. I forgot. Somewhere in the middle of this the creepy ice cream man went by.

Father Fitzpatrick sure drives a weird car, mom...
Sean proved a little garbage at nailing the pieces together and he got tired of me telling him how garbage he was at nailing the pieces together so he made me nail the pieces together. My own nailing turned out to be only slightly less garbage. Not quite as garbage as the wood we were using... But in the end, we wound up with something sort of okay.

It's not pretty, but it will definitely hold a hat. And also... Um... The Wicked Witch of the West is a cruel taskmaster, who made her Winkie slaves build this cabinet without providing them with the proper tools. Under such conditions, the Winkies hastily slapped together a cabinet without all their trademark craftsmanship... So see, it's like that on PURPOSE...

The door's not actually attached yet, and we want to age it and do a few other things before we put it on camera tomorrow. On camera tomorrow for a grand total of two shots, I remind you... More on this story as it develops.