Saturday, October 27, 2012

Weekly Round-Up 02

It's been a whole week already. Doesn't really feel like it's been the right number of days for that, but I'll take the calendar's word for it. Which means it's time for a weekly round-up. Guess I'll go ahead and round-up the week, then.

Costume and prop pieces continue to arrive by mail. Most exciting of this week's arrivals are a pair of cowhide chairs Sean ordered online. They're actually genuine chairs from the era, which we picked up for a very reasonable price. These will of course be finding themselves at home in the Gale farmhouse set.

In the meantime, we'll see if Clint Eastwood wants to yell at them.
Also arriving by mail was a fake beard. So many of the characters we're looking to cast have to sport lovely beards, but beards aren't exactly "in" anymore. We knew of the existence of fake beards, but we'd never done anything with them, and we thought it might behoove us to buy one and test it out. If it worked out, that would allow us to widen our options for casting these beardy parts. Since Sean is already sporting an all-natural face-hugger, I had to be the guinea pig for the application.

Least attractive beard ever? Your move, Phyllis Gates...
It worked out pretty nicely, which is good, because most of the men we've had express  interest in auditioning haven't been the beardiest bunch. Neither have the women, thankfully. We've had some video auditions coming in, and yesterday we drove to Spotsylvania (by way of the Devil's glen) to do our first in-person audition, with a fella named Curt Rose. He'll definitely be getting cast in A role, and we'll let you know WHICH one exactly as soon as we tell him. Only fair, right?

Here's a hint; It's not Aunt Em or Nimmie Amee.
Rounding out the last of the tales worth telling, Thursday Sean and I secured a location in which to film our additional greenscreen material. We knew we didn't want to borrow somebody's garage again this time, and since we have a little money to play with, we figured we could rent something. The best option seemed to be renting a large, climate controlled storage unit, so Thursday we drove around to all the storage places Sean knew, checking on pricing and asking if we could film our emphatically not-porn movie in a unit if we rented one.

After stopping at six places, three of which wouldn't allow us to film in a unit or didn't have electrical access, we made the mature, considered decision to go with the place where the cute girl drove us around on a golf-cart. Fortunately they turned out to also have the best prices and the largest available unit.

And that's it for this week, friends. Next week we've got plenty more auditioning coming up, and potentially some casting announcements too.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weekly Round-Up 01

So this is a new idea I had. Well, I say new, it's actually old. Pretty much every website and blog does some kind of a weekly round-up. But it's new to this blog, anyway. As I've bemoaned in the past, even on days that we do make progress, it's not always necessarily interesting enough for its own entry. I decided that in the interest of keeping updates flowing, I could post a weekly collection of however much there is or isn't to report on. The longer, in-depth entries will still be around for days when something demands it, like any time we're shooting, but for the other times, we've got these now.

We're currently gearing up for shooting with new and exciting characters. Well, I say new and exciting, but they're actually from the book. We just haven't done anything with them for our movie yet. Costume pieces and props and bits of set-dressing keep coming for us in the mail, so pretty much every day has been like a miniature Christmas. Except better, because we don't have to visit with any distant relatives or help clear the table. The other day we got a nice, $160 cabinet that... isn't for being a cabinet, and Sean promptly assembled and set to ruining it.

Ruin is a strong word. Stability is overrated in the furniture industry anyway.
Personally, I've been enjoying editing a sequence featuring footage that looks like footage, and not a small bit of footage that requires immense imagination to wrap your mind around. I refer of course to the breakfast scene we shot last Saturday. I've also derived no small amount of joy from compositing Dorothy into that footage where necessary. The work isn't finalized yet, but I'm still pretty satisfied with how it's been working out.

More satisfied than Dorothy is with the way her day's been going.
With an edit in place that I feel pretty confident about, Sean and I popped over to Wesley and Crystal Edge's place on Wednesday to record some ADR on this breakfast scene. The fans in the studio lights and, at intervals, their baby Emily were too noisy for us to be able to keep the on set audio. By now I've gone into the ADR process at some length, so you know what the deal is there. Same situation, different actors.

If you drop a fresh enough beat, you can always count on Wesley Edge to spin some sick rhymes.
And that's about all we've got for this week. We're in the process of tracking down and auditioning some promising new actors for some of the roles we haven't cast yet, and we'll keep you posted on all that progress.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Location, Location, Location?

Wait... THAT doesn't sound like us. Yes, today we got to return to filming (thanks so much to our cool Kickstarter pals), and we did it on an actual set this time. Well, I say set, but it was really a location. The beautiful 1828 log house belonging to Jon and Maxine Yagla on the grounds of Eagle's Nest, established 1647. As I mentioned in a previous entry, Sean and I went to scout it out, and we liked it for Munchkin governor Boq's house. Today we finally got to film there with Wesley and Crystal Edge, their adorable daughter Emily, and our old friends Glenda and Wiley.

Before I get into that, though, I have another one of our last minute improv stories to tell. We found out on Thursday night that there was a hiccup in our costuming situation. Some of the fabric for Crystal's dress didn't work out right, and because of this the dress was not finished. This being a family film, the naked wife wasn't an option. Sean and I were scrambling for a solution, and Sean had an idea that saved us. We dug out the shift from the Good Witch of the North's costume, bought a box of Rit dye, and Sean managed the dying process while I examined the inside of my eyelids.

That hurdle surmounted, we were good to go for a 10:00 start this morning. I woke up early and cooked a couple of fried eggs. I ate those, and then I cooked a couple more for the movie, to go with the sausage (ye olde Jimmy Dean) and tomato we'd purchased yesterday. Sean and I left for the Yagla's an hour early to rearrange the furniture, set up the studio lights, and lay out a convincing spread.

Convincing, sure. Appetizing..? Ask again later.
Our two parties arrived on time, and we got as early a start as we could. Once the Edge family was in costume, I spent about an hour chasing Emily and Wiley around the building, trying to get a couple of cute shots of them together. And despite rolling for about twenty minutes, a couple of cute shots was about all I managed to get.

To be fair, there probably wouldn't be any cute LEFT for other shots...
We also did one quick bit with Wesley giving Wiley a treat, and multiple takes earned Wesley a friend for life. Toto wrapped, Glenda and Wiley took off, leaving the rest of us there to hammer out the heavy dialogue of the sequence. It took a little time for Wesley and Crystal to get comfortable in front of the camera. In this situation though, who could blame them? They were two inexperienced actors working on a very dialogue heavy sequence, featuring a ghost participant voiced alternatively by a creepy dude with braces and a bearded man struggling with an energetic baby.

At least they had each other.
Once we all found the rhythm though, the shoot flowed pretty smoothly. While both of them did a good job, I've got to give props to Wes. This three page sequence was very nearly a wall of text, and the vast majority of it belonged to Mr. Boq. Wes handled a difficult situation with patience and humor, and for his trouble we got some very cool footage.

As far as furrows go, this man is operating on Andy Rooney levels.
We wrapped on the scene, the Edges departed, and Sean and I removed any trace of our presence. Satisfied that we had left the building exactly as we found it, we made our way back to the computers. I was eager to back-up the footage, and we were both anxious to give it all a once-over, having never shot anything for this movie that would be automatically complete. And of course, I couldn't resist the opportunity to composite Mare into one of the plates I shot today.

"When he looks the other way I am SO stealing that basket."
Sometimes I like to pretend that we know what we're doing, but it still never fails to surprise me when something actually works.