Monday, December 31, 2007


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Just an idea for evening...not night time...

Stunt people vs the insane actor

We obviously couldn't afford stunt people on our project. That's why we only used crazy people. Danielle got a bit bruised crashing into this tree. We had a mattress for her to land on a foam rubber 'thing' behind the tree to crash into, but it still hurt. I know. I did it first to show her how it was done. I merely lied about how much it hurt before she did it THREE TIMES. What a trooper.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Zeke's been busy with Danielle...

Did that sound wrong? Zeke has been building a body double for Danielle for a rather dangerous stunt. Here is the progress so far.

Friday, December 28, 2007


This is one of my favorite scenes. It is where the DEATH RUNNER is soaked in animal blood to draw the GARUM out so that the warriors can ambush it. It does not go well. However, as we were shooting this, (Tiffany applied the fake blood to Katie) Katie was unaware of the fact that the camera was rolling as she was licking the fake blood off of her arm. Great gag reel stuff, that.

Shameless Plug!

My sister, Jill, got me this for Christmas! And you too could have one for the low price of $18.00 ($13.00 if you are part of the crew). It was all my wife's idea and she passed it on to Jill.

I wear it to bed.

Coffee mugs/T-shirts...coming soon!

Thursday, December 27, 2007


As of late, I have felt like this...

Seriously, you need to watch the entire video...that pretty much explains my mental state about right now.


Coolness. I just heard from Ted (we are editing the rough this Sunday), Ron (the Garum will be done and textured in Mudbox by next Sat) and Jay regarding music changes.

This weekend I'm to be the Garum and Max, my 7 year old will be Gwen...I know, I know, sounds weird. Ron wants some references for animating the Garum and to get the scale right. And no, Max will not be wearing a wig.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Attention all SPFX dudes and dudettes!

Ted and I are assembling the first, full length rough cut of all the stuff I've edited so far. We want to start dropping in any of the SPFX that you might have completed, started or roughed out. If you have any of that ready to go, email or snail mail it on a disc to me. Otherwise I'll just drop in a storyboard sequence or key frame. No rush, tho. I understand that all (or most) of you have real jobs that pay and that this is a side gig. So do the stuff for cash first, and then try and squeeze in our little project as time allows.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Waiting...waiting...oh top ten!

While waiting for the family to crash so that I can at last FINALLY watch BLADE RUNNER uninterrupted, I decided to post something I have long thought, but not done. My TOP TEN favorite films and TV shows...tho not in any particular order.

Star Wars - A New Hope
Outlaw Josey Wales
Raiders of the Lost Arc
Blade Runner
Rocky (1 and Rocky Balboa tie)
Die Hard (1 and 4 tie)
Star Trek (even numbered films)
Passion of the Christ

TV shows
Babylon 5
Twin Peaks
Star Trek (original and Next Generation)
Battlestar Galactica (the new series)
X Files (season 1-3)

Honorable mentions in film (ie top twenty)
The Thing
Dirty Harry
Apocalypse Now
Lord of the Rings
Black Stallion

BLADE RUNNER finally arrived...

I'm sure I'll have multiple interruptions all night long, but I'm going to watch as much of this as I can tonight. Tomorrow I'll be a mess, but who cares. Long time coming!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


First off, I never thought that that slogan was very well thought out. But to answer the UPS question...apparently it can MESS UP MY CHRISTMAS GIFT! I was expecting UPS to deliver the 5 disc BLADE RUNNER set today. I even slept in a bit to get myself ready for an all-nighter. But discs. My wife called UPS and they swore that they had delivered it to my house at 12:15. When she informed them that I was a mere fifteen feet from the front door between the hour or 12 and 1, they said, "well, you'll have to check with about it." But wait, you brown shirted morons...didn't you claim to have delivered it to my front step at 12:15? If so, why pass the buck to Amazon? Why? I'll tell you why...because BROWN DON'T CARE. What can brown do for you? NOTHING. Now, after getting blown off by the morons at BROWN (gee, he thinks to himself, what else is brown that reminds me of the service I got from them?) Kristi called Amazon and they are shipping a new Blade Runner set to me tomorrow or Thursday at the latest FREE! They asked me to put a sign on the front door so that the individuals at BROWN can realize

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas break begins!

I have the next three weeks off! YES! One of the few pleasures of being a college instructor. I plan to edit all of the 'bit' I've cut together and insert the SPFX as they come in. In the mean time, I'll use the storyboards to fill in the gaps. This is where the fun begins...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What a day...

I was cleaning out the basement of the old office building I used to have an office in before I was demoted...long story...and slipped and fell down a flight of concrete stairs today. A bit of pain!

Anyway...chilled with Bob tonight with an Artuo Fuente and then watched some TV (Bones season 1 Christmas episode...what a great show).

Here is a Christmas gift I am putting together for my mother in law. The boys are mine...Lincoln is sorta dead so I had to get creative. Still have a bit of work to do...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The other day...

...Ted and I got together to look at the rendered footage that I had edited. It got me psyched seeing it on the TV instead of the small window on my crappy computer. We finished the night chasing my boys around the house with plastic guns.

But then, late into the night when I could not sleep and after my son had asked me questions about Jedi's and Sith Lords (Can Sith Lords marry?...I dunno.) I got to thinking about something. Originally, before Lucas' head trauma that turned the Force into Midicloriens or whatever, the Force was something that people either had or they didn't have so the whole "Going Monk" idea worked. But, if it's a blood thing, then shouldn't the Jedi be encouraging their young Jedi to hook up and procreate in hopes of creating more Jedi?

Yoda: "Mmm. The Force with this one is strong. Boogie the night away he should. Meet babes with high midi's this one should. Younglings to make, baby showers to attend."

Anakin: "So...I don't have to hide the fact that I'm with Padme?"

Yoda: "Congratulations are due. Babies you should make."

Anakin: "Excellent. Thanks Dad-er, Yoda. By the way, Palpatine's a Sith Lord. Good luck with that. I'm going on a REAL honeymoon! Padme!!!"

These are the things that keep me awake at night!

btw, can Sith Lords marry?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Trust the Director? Are you NUTS?

So there I am in costume (I'm to play the part of a guardian that lives out side of Switch's lair and I try to stop Gwen from entering) the arm raps and all with a horse skull attached to my right hand as a club of sorts. The rain is pouring down and it's a tad less than 40 degrees. Oh yeah, I'm standing in about eighteen inches of water. I suddenly wonder to myself, "Do I look like a dork in this outfit? I mean, come on, I have a HORSE SKULL tied onto my hand!" But then I relax and tell myself what I always tell the actors. "Trust the Director"...Then, as I realize that I am the director, and I shout "Action" to Lana and Danielle, I wonder to myself..."Do I look like a dork in this outfit? Ooh boy."

On a side note, Danielle strong point isn't kicking (as she was supposed to kick me in the side but barely made contact) but she can elbow a guy in the back rather convincingly. I have the bruises and scratches to prove it.

Also, there was too much rain so Lana did not get a picture of me.

but these pictures are cool.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Remember when I used to complain about no rain?

During our shoot it rained once...we decided to add a scene this past weekend, so Danielle, Lana and I went to Salamonie Reservoir to shoot. It rained and it was 40 degrees f.

At the bottom of the ravine, Danielle got stuck in deep mud.

I decided to help, but mainly got muddied myself and Danielle got out of the 16inch deep mud by her self.

Danielle (as Gwen) makes it up the steep incline and heads off to face the GUARDIAN.

Then I got Lana's car stuck in the mud when she said to "Pull over, I want to take a picture."

I was trying to push the car out of the mud as Danielle sat in the back seat smoking..then she emerged and pushed on the back end of the car and it was free from the mud. I need to work out more!

More pictures to come later...and I will include the story of the fight between me and Danielle that involved a horse's skull and eight inches of muddy water.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Pick ups

There's some great shots of Michael And Mark freezing their ears off on Michael's blog. We plan to do the same tomorrow while shooting "Gwen in the Dead Forest". Today it was 30 degrees with snow. Tomorrow, a balmy 45 degrees and rain. PERFECT!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


okay, in the last post I was a bit of a complainer. But Salamonie has cleared us for our "DEAD FOREST" shoot this Sunday! All is cool...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sometimes life is sorta a drag...

I'm an optimistic sorta chap, but it seems we are missing some scenes that I KNOW we shot. On top of that, I have a pick up scene that I was planning on shooting in a local park. I decided to be professional and ask permission to shoot for two hours in the park just to make sure no one would get their undies in a knot. Now, after being bounced around to four different agencies, I have to answer such questions as

Who is the project for and what is the specific intended use of the footage?
How large is the production crew?
How many hours or days will the production crew be on site for scouting, set-up and filming?
Do they anticipate filming outside regular business hours and, if so, when and why?
How many vehicles is the crew planning to bring?
Is electrical power needed and, if so, how much?
Where does the production crew expect to film?
Does the crew expect to film people participating in activities or scenery and buildings, or both?
Will there be any special equipment, sets or props used on-site in the production?
Does the crew anticipate requesting any road, trail or facility closures during the production?
Will there be a need for security, traffic control or crowd control?
Will there be any use of noisy equipment or props that would interfere with regular visitors’ experience?
Has the coordinator been provided with a property regulations booklet and has he/she reviewed that booklet?

And yet here is what I asked for...

I am an Instructor of Art at IPFW. I have been working with a group of
students on an independent movie project. We are a few quick shots away
from being finished with our production. As a teenager I used to enjoy
hiking around Salamonie Reservoir and I recalled a few locations that
would suit our needs to complete shooting. I read through the rules and
found no restrictions re: cameras or movie making, but I wanted to make
sure that what we had in mind was legal and within the standards you have
set. The scenes are simply a person walking/hiking through various
locations. There are no props or set ups, we just want to use the
location. There would only be a crew of three (camera operator,
director, gaffer) and the one actor. We would only be there an hour or
two and use only a Canon XL1 and a tripod (no lights,cables, external
batteries or sound equipment). We would like to shoot Sunday, Dec. 2 in
the afternoon.


Allen Etter


Sometimes life just makes you WHERE IS MY MISSING FOOTAGE!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Vegging and enjoying a flashback or three...

Thursday, Friday and Saturday I did very little which is the complete opposite of what I normally do on a vacation. Usually I am running about like a mad man trying to get caught up on everything. Well not this time. I decided to do a bit of writing, watch a movie or two and generally just chill. Our movie is to a point where I need a larger computer to go any further so I am waiting to meet up with Ted to slap together the first full rough cut.

Now, regarding the flashbacks...

First, there was the joy of watching Rocky Balboa and Live Free or Die Hard. In my younger days I enjoyed both Rocky and Die Hard. It's great to see Stallone and Willis doing what they do best. Makes me look forward to Indiana Jones and Rambo 4 (or whatever title they have decided on...I liked the idea of JOHN RAMBO).

Then I came across a little snippet of DR. WHO and it took me back to the late 70's and early 80's (okay...mid to late 80's as well) when I'd watch it on PBS with my dad. Tom Baker was my favorite.

I know, I KNOW! I'm such a geek.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Listenin' and doodlin'

I've been listening to the soundtrack that Sean and Jay have been working on and doodling with Sketchbook pro. The music really is setting the tone for the movie and there are a few scenes I need to re-edit after hearing the music. It seems to be a cross between "Twin Peaks", the "Dune" soundtrack, and "Tangerine Dream". Hmmm...that's sorta what I told Sean I was looking for. The colors in this image are really inspired by the music.

On a side note, I realized that it had been a while since I did any drawing and I was a bit rusty...this was fun to do. After sketching in Sketchbook, I lit it and added the rain in photoshop.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Storyboards and shots...

I've been working on a series of posts in which I have storyboards and the actual shots we did...I should have this posted by the weekend.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Took a break from editing...

I was spending way too much time editing and it was starting to take it's toll. So the other day as I was in my basement (it used to be my studio but now that I've stopped painting, it's a weight room...cause I'm outta shape!) I found an old Peter Gabriel CD. I used to love listening to Peter Gabriel back in the 80's and early 90's but then...I stopped. There was a song that I always liked called "Come Talk To Me". I went to YouTube where EVERYTHING exists and found this FANTASTIC performance of the song. It ties in naturally with my hatred of phones and my thoughts on men and women and how they communicate differently with each other. I think I'll watch it about a thousand times tonight.

Go here to see it...enjoy. It tastes good.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I thought we were done shooting

Good news, bad news...Danielle has to wear her stinky costume one last time. There is a sequence that I really wanted to do, but due to cutting the character of the Librarian out of the movie (budget and time) I could not do. It is a sequence where Gwen goes on a bit of a journey to find a large sculpture, and by large I mean 200 feet tall, that has fallen over against a cliff. It was once a sculpture of their leader Garult. Deep inside of this structure, the Librarian resided...but now there is no Librarian. Then, as fate would have it, as I was editing the scenes where Gwen seeks out Switch, she seems to only travel a mere 15 seconds and is suddenly hangin' with the crazy woman. Well that won't do. So I am going to shoot Danielle in the now leafless trees of the forest and have her do that journey thing through the DEAD FOREST. Since Zeke is already making a CG Gwen and Brandon is animating her, we can have her walk up the pathway to the crack in the sculpture!

Now, we can not figure out why Danielle's costume stinks as it does, but I promised her that she could burn it after this last shoot.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Your opinions please...

Ted has been having more success than I with creating an evening look. I think it needs more contrast...what do you think?

Ted's been keeping busy

Lilly charges her gun and fires!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

What a weird night!

Our long lost DEAD cat Morris returned at about 10 pounds heavier than when he left long ago...then, not to take away from the miracle of the 9 lives of a cat, I suddenly see our Movie Trailer on TV. There it was playing out on public access TV, IPFW's ch. 30. What a surreal moment.

...and cool.

Now...if only we had a finished movie!

Friday, November 09, 2007


I've been editing the scene with Switch and Gwen this evening. Thankfully Ted shot the scene more than once. We lost a lot of footage from the malfunctioning Canon XLPOS that day. Several wonderful takes of Megan being absolutely wicked were lost. However, what we do have looks nice and creepy and Dan's still photographs should help out with the flashing lightning thingy we are trying. I remember an episode of Babylon 5 where Sheridan is taken down by a bunch of thugs. They had a photographer on the set that day who shot Black and Whites stills that were cut into the fight scene. We are doing (sorta) the same thing.

Day for night...still working on it...

This is a bit extreme...but it might work out in the end. I am trying new things with the color balance for some day for night shots. I think it needs some work and it will need CG rain as well as a bit of blur...

It's late...I'm about done...

This weekend (Saturday) I am taking my eldest, Zack (9), to his first concert. The local orchestra is doing a Celtic-themed concert, complete with bagpipes. They will be playing traditional Scottish and Irish tunes as well as songs from the motion picture "Braveheart". Zack went out with his mom this evening (while I worked at ITT) and bought a suit and tie for the event. I will post photos after the evening.


Debbie claims to have no NINJA skills...I think that she has lied to us...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sally's been working on the Graphic novel.

Sally is going to be able to do things in the graphic novel that we could not do in the the Librarian scene as shown below.

Danielle is informed that she must buy the vodka...'s an inside joke...

The last day of shooting...last words...

Just found this footage of Ted and I being questioned on the last day of shooting...

Ted: I am looking forward to Post-production.

Allen: He thought we were done...we're not!

More editing tonight...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Michael rocks!

Michael has been working on our opening flyover. So far so good.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

It's 12:30...time for bed...

Danielle is hurt...but she has a tree to lean against so I can go to bed now...

Gwen teaches Clarr to throw stones at a tree...

Gwen has a great sense of ear-hand co-ordination. Here she teaches Clarr to understand that concept before he can use a sword.

After Gwen fights Bree...she stumbles back to her 'home'...

Monday, November 05, 2007

What a gal.

We had a scene planned out with someone else and he did not show. Brittany showed up and took his place with the fight scene and then did a fantastic job of dying at the hands of the Garum. What a thrill it was to work with Brittany!

Busy, busy, busy...

Editing is fun...I'm tired.

Gwen's CARETAKER SWORD is lost...

The Garum smacks her sword away and she is unarmed...editing this now...need some CG GARUM!

Workin' on the scene with Debbie and Danielle...


I've decided that since the amount of people who view this blog is quite small, I'll post some images that I originally was not going to post - the sword was going to be kept secret until the end of the movie but most people working on the movie (they being the ones who check out the blog) know about it anyway. Just wanted to keep you guyys and gals updated.

This scene is at the end of the film at a point where Gwen has been given the sword to kill the Garum...these are stills from the movie. Some of those lense flares are real. We wanted it to look overly bright as this is the first time it has stopped raining.

There will be a lightning flash between the first "twig" sword and the "metal" sword...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Well, cool!

Despite the problems at the show, I just got an email from IPFW's video gurus and they have informed me that they have begun running our trailer on the local college cable access channel. SWEET!

Old school vs. New school

I'm an old school editor. I learned to edit on an old Bell and Howel (sp?) reel to reel splicer and as a teenager had my walls covered with strips of 8mm film. Now, working on Premiere (I first did non-linear editing on an Avid) I am amazed at how fast and how slow it can go. I am glad to have cut my teeth on actual film. I think that it has made me a better editor, but this new technology the kids call com-pute-ers is really some awesome stuff. We used to joke about our films and say "we'll fix it in post" but now we actually can. And I don't mean 'making the film' in post. I'm talking about color balance and cropping and frame rates. WOW!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

One of the top ten worst days of my life.

I can't even really begin to explain how much today was a toilet full of poo.

Due to the nature of my job I can not share all of the stuff that transpired at work today, but the four and a half hours was the worst day at work I've had in six years. Maybe after I leave this job I can post the events as they transpired. The day was absolutely surreal.

Then, off to the art show where my poster was hung in the least flattering corner of the gallery and my trailer was placed after a really odd and vulgar videos. I was not told that it would be presented this way until the last moment and, I was not informed that I needed to have an intro credit page. This is not a reflection on Justin, gallery curator as he has been swamped with 10,001 things to do.

Kristi and I left early, tho not before having a fun conversation with great artist and all-around-good guy MAURY PAPIER

Then we found a quaint Chinese restaurant to eat at since the food at the art show was lame.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I found these images on one of the discs...

Just thought I'd post these images. Sally and Tarina on location from MANY weeks ago.
I've got some Halloween images to post later.

Also, funny anecdote. Some kid at one of the colleges I teach at said that I was trying to be Spielberg because I now have glasses (due to frustration with contacts) and a beard (which I've had for ever) and I have worn (as I do every Fall and Winter) hats as of late. What a dork. It's clear that I think I am Coppola.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I'm editing and writing...While the footage slowly loads onto my dinosaur-like computer, I'm writing part for of the Entropy Gate series. Then, once it's up, I edit. Tonight I edited the fight with Danielle and Brittany and now I am working on the confrontation between Norfleet (Granes) and Danielle (Gwen).