Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Addition to the team...

Last year, when Darkness Aftermath looked a lot different, John Blume did some extremely cool stuff with 'red head pony tailed' Lilly and a drifter that had legs...over time both have changed drastically...well, John, no slouch with the pencil or computer, is back on the team!

The Caretaker...

I've dyed a bunch of fabric and this weekend I'll be making the Old Caretaker's will be a combo between Jack Sparrow and Obi Wan...not an easy needs to have the 'wise man' look of obi wan and the 'lets collect a bunch of stuff and incorporate it into my costume' look of sparrow... the clothe I dyed looks fantastic...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Head gear...

This is a design for a warrior's head gear based on an EXTREMELY cool drawing by Lauren Reeser. She's a fantastic artist who has graciously allowed me to draw inspiration from her sketches. My sketch is not done yet...still hammering out some details.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Can't sleep so I'm...

...making a record of all of the footage we have. We actually have shot a lot more than I realized. But tonight we also lost the guy who was doing the Drifters...thinking I might give it a go. Ron has wanted me doing animation and I do have experience in traditional animation...

Kristi loaded the BLADE RUNNER soundtrack and a few songs by Andy Hallett (It's Not Easy Being Green - just as example) into an MP3 player for me so I am a little happier than I was several hours ago...

I think I can sleep now...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Well it was bound to happen...

We had our first bad day of shooting. I was tempted to cancel because I just had this bad feeling about it this morning...I'll post more later. For now, here are some pictures by Lana Mabbit. Oh, check out our official site here.

Here I am with Danielle about to ask her if she can put a little emotion into the scene where she finds the fur vest of her mentor, the Old Caretaker. It is covered in blood and she stumbles across it while Garum hunting...just as I'm about to ask her for a more emotional run of it, she asks if she should be more emotional. She nailed it.

Here is the sequence.

Danielle had to run and fall. We made her do it three or four times. The last take rocked...Ted called a while ago to say that the tape was screwed up and none of the footage worked for this shot!

I remembered to get Danielle warm water for her hair when she is deep in the forest.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Never really realized how tall I was!

One thing that's cool is how quickly Danielle has become Gwen. Tho she's never had any formal training and only acted in small videos, the moment I say action, she is no longer Danielle...she really becomes Gwen. But fortunately she stops being Gwen the moment I say cut. It's also nice that I hardly have to direct her.

And this is something that I've noticed about a lot of the people involved. Sally turned in a performance that caused me to write her more lines. Luke is really getting into the physical aspect of his character and everyone is just doing a great job in front of the camera. Today, for the first time, as I edited the shooting schedule, I realized that very soon we'll be done shooting. I don't want it to end because it has been such a great experience.

I have been on other shoots where it has been chaos and the director is yelling and the cinematographer is stomping around and it's just no fun. This is a blast! I think one of the reasons it's been so much fun is that I have a dorks, no divas, no darn know-it-alls. Those are the three types who really ruin a shoot. I've actually had to tell some people that "we're fine, we don't need any more help," because there have been people who I know would bring the production down and we don't want them on the shoot.

Can't wait for Sunday. Lot's of dialog.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Poster contest

Ted came up with a great idea for a promotional. As we are 40% done shooting, it's time for a promo blitz. We are going to contact the local news agency (I have a connection) and a local business(again with the connections) and we are going to have a contest to see which of three posters people like best. The winning poster choice will go into a drawing and the winner of said pool will get a free poster and a copy of the DVD...but wait...that's not all. They will also get two tickets to the premiere...fancy that!

Poster #1

Poster #2

Poster #3

Shooting schedule.

I will plug in the rest of the names as I work out the scenes to be shot.

Location Hunter's Forest

Day - Sunday, June 24
Hours - 1- 4

Day - Sunday, July 1
No shoot

Day - Sunday, July 8
Hours - 1- 5
John G.
the other John

Day - Saturday, July 14
Hours - 10 - 4
Roosevelt Norfleet

Set Satterthwaite Studio

Day - Saturday, July 28
Hours - 10 - 4

Day - Saturday, August 4
Hours - 10 - 4
Brittany Gorrell

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Today's shoot part four

Gwen is fighting the Garum and Clarr runs to aid her finally understanding Lilly's cryptic message about 'unification'.

Matt and Luke after an exhaustive shoot.

A hug after the defeat of the Garum.

Fire. It will make sense when the movie is done...

Danielle at the end of a very physically challenging day.

Nothing more fun than a cow's jaw and a cup full of blood. This is for the scene where the Garum is totally driven mad by the drifter demons and, where he had once spared the Barl (a dog-like creature), he nows rips it to shreds.

Today's shoot part three...

My legs are killing me...not only did I do a lot of running around chasing Danielle as she ran through the forest, but I also had to do the stilt work so that Ron could animate the Garum over me. My left hip is all wonky now and both knees are in a great deal of pain.

I needed to use Shawn to help me get up on the stilts. Then I had to crouch down as Danielle approached. I almost fell over backwards here. That was a bit frightening.

Then Danielle and I fought.

Part Two of today's shoot...

We ventured deeper into the 25 acres.

When we're that deep into the woods, we can't have the rain rack so Danielle has to soak her hair and costume from a small tub of very cold water.

Gwen (Danielle) is now deep into uncharted woods and she has lost the scent of the Garum. She has to keep her weapons at an angle to move through the dense trees.

Long day...good day...PART ONE

(All pictures here were taken by Lana Mabbit - professional photographer)

We shot from 10:30 to 3:45.

We arrived and tried out Shawn's new rain rack. It worked out a lot better and we were able to control the direction of the water spray. He is adding a valve for next week so that we won't have to keep running back to the house.

Stephanie and John joined us and Stephanie was really great at keeping things organized...even if she did get lost in the woods.

Danielle had a difficult time getting into costume when it was wet.

We built Gwen's hut for two shots and then had to take it apart.

9:00 am

Here we go again...

Can't sleep...

It's 1:10 am...can't sleep.

Friday, June 15, 2007

All in all its just a 'nother stick in the wall...

One of tomorrow's shots is a reverse angle shot looking out of Gwen's hut. We need the walls and doorway so that we can see her sleeping near the door as the Garum sloths on by. I built two walls this afternoon and have the blisters to prove it.

Step one: Line up some interesting branches...

Step two: Tie them together...

Step three: Make a second wall...

Step four: Take a close up of the wall...

Step five: Have your son pose in front of it for scale...keep in mind he's tall for his age...

Death of a BARL

There is a creature in the film known as a BARL. It is used to hunt the GARUM. I always thought that the BARL would be CG and it looks like 90% of it will be...however, when it is killed by the GARUM, it was going to be the skull of a pig and the jaw of a cow. I spoke with a student who had access through a relative to get us the bones for the shot...however, upon getting the "bones" I discovered that they were still covered in A FAIR AMOUNT OF FLESH! INCLUDING THE EYES OF THE PIG!!! We are still going to shoot the scene where the GARUM tosses the 'flesh and bones' but it is going to be a little more gory than we had thought it would be...ewww

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Can there be comedy in this drama?

The movie is Darkness Aftermah and it's about a world of people who live in total blindness and are haunted and hunted by a Garum, a nine foot all creature bent on destruction of all living things...

Sounds rather bleak. And it could be. Someone asked me if there was going to be humor in the film. Well, to an extent, there can be, but I have to make sure that the audience doesn't laugh at the characters. I can't have Gwen tossing her sword to Clarr, have him reach his hand out for it and it sores past two feet from his reach. That would turn the movie into a rather sick comedy.

There is a scene, however, where Gwen is teaching Clarr to fight. During the shoot, the two actors, Luke and Danielle, almost fell onto each other and started laughing. Ted edited it together and it works as a moment of laughter and fun, as a scene of humor without the viewer laughing at the characters.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Ted got a temp job at a local college. His job was to test the system and see if they could broadcast from a laptop to all of the TV's throughout the campus. He played our trailer and a lot of people just stopped and stared at the TV's. And they weren't pointing and laughing. Some seemed disappointed that the trailer was so short. So, that's cool.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Gwen and Clarr hunt...we got bones!

One of my students has a relative who works at a slaughter house. She is going to get us a bunch of bones we can use for after the hunt. Then we'll toss them on the bon fire.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Area 51?

I mentioned in my previous post that we found and area of the forest with a path made by a bulldozer...well it turns out that we had wandered off of Kevin and Denise's property and onto someone else's (which I had assumed but did not want to admit as the location was too sweet to pass up). Tonight I met with Kevin and he told me that the next door neighbor was making walking paths through the forest and he hoped that it wouldn't mess up our filming. I told him that it solved another location scouting session and he just rolled his eyes. Then he told me that the land was owned by some really cool guy and he would probably have no problem with us shooting on his 25 ACRES OF LAND!!! Our location just expanded by 25 acres. I'm pumped to do some more location scouting as some of these trees are REALLY old. Any way, Kevin then asked if we needed a fire. I asked why. He answered, "because I have a huge pile of brush that needs to be burned." I smiled. "Our film has a large 'thing' on fire near the end of the film." We could use a large fire. He grinned and then said, "you're sick."

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Another great day of shooting!

The day started out pretty good. We got a lot of great shots...CLICK HERE

Shawn showed up with the skeleton armature for the GARUM arm complete with missing 'ring' finger.

But then disaster struck. The rain rack had a major breakdown. It took a while to get it working again. Duct tape to the rescue. Shawn is taking it home to repair as he has become the grand master of PVC and super glue.

Matt took over as camera operator (he has had experience on films with actual budgets!) freeing me up to do more directing and less frantic running about.

Then we shot Danielle and Luke after she has fought with Adam and received a minor scratch. It's minor compared to what Adam is going to look like.

Then it was time for Danielle to wipe out and dislocate her shoulder. Well, her character Gwen dislocates her shoulder...Danielle rolled in the water and cried out in pain a lot.

Hopefully we'll post some cool footage of Danielle running through the forest. There is a scene where she is tracking the Garum and it is on a rampage ripping up trees and she is able to run unobstructed through the forest. I had no idea how we were going to shoot this but when we hiked through the forest, we found this long stretch where a bulldozer had torn down an enormous pathway (in a GARUM-like-fashion) for Danielle to run through. Ah, if only we had a steady cam. The footage looks pretty cool though.