Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Gear: Homemade Slate

Here is the "Estrada Special Clapboard": a 7 dollar, rugged, crisp sound making, 11"x 13" work horse.

A decent one can range from 60 to 180 bucks, while one with timecode generating abilities are beyond a grand. Go ahead and check online. Anything you might find for less than that is more than likely flimsy or so small it could be hard to read (I'm talking about that cheap 8 dollar one that say 'Hollywood' on it).

I assembled this bad boy, with the help of my father and two of his power tools, in an afternoon.

We used scrap pieces of wood that we measured and sanded down (no one wants splinters). The dry erase board is the key here. That was generously donated to the cause by my uncle, an awesome dude and school teacher. It came in the dimensions we needed. I used some tough cloth tape to create the grids and a permanent marker to label the section headings. I purchased the hardware, including hinge, at a hardware store for a little under 7 dollars. It's a good tool to have to sync sound, but it gives a quick visual reference when you start to edit. 

I can't build a capture card, a camera or anything like that. But if there is something simple, but essential, I'd try my luck at building one.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Feature

Zach Gossett and Melody Gomez star in "The Hush"

It has been a while since I posted yet again. This time however, it has been due to my feature film taking up a large chunk of well... my life. The film is "The Hush" and the easiest way to describe it is a graphic novel, supernatural thriller. It's about victims, violence and redemption.

Chuck Phelps in character and makeup. 

It was a large undertaking due to the nature of the film: action, multiple locations, all-night shoots, a lengthy script, prosthetic FX, multiple characters etc... all the while staying as far below 10 grand as possible. But I was fortunate to have a dedicated cast and crew who, beyond anything else, enjoyed the material and as cheesy as it sounds, did it for the sake of the art. I am also lucky to have a gigantic and generous family who gave their time and resources to this film (from props to vehicles, locations and hands).

Zach Gossett on location.

So far I am assembling my rough cut from about 22 hours (about 4.5 TBs) of HD video, while simultaneously shooting pickups and other smaller scale things.

Please stay tuned for a summary on the shoot, a breakdown of processes, cast and crew reports and other interesting tidbits. 

   Steven R., friend and action coordinator, leads the assault.