So I have completed my rough cut (1 hour and 46 minutes). Besides watching and trimming my film, I have begun recording a preliminary soundtrack, doing all sorts of color/style tests, and getting ready for ADR. It feels very good to see everything (on the visual side for now) coming together well.
Here are some stills that I have recently attained thanks to Ashley E (D.P).
My wife, Sofia, is a great producer. I am allowed to be as creative as possible and she keeps me grounded to the fact that there is only a certain amount of time in a night. Or doing some serious crunching of our nightly shooting schedule so that we can roll with the punches that reality throws at us (unplanned, unwanted, often unnecessary crap).
Catering by la familia. Everyone loves mom's cooking. So thankfully she was craft services. By her good graces she provided wholesome, healthy and delicious meals for lunch and dinner.
Zach was our lead, committed to the story, the character and the project. This was taken on our first night of shooting, which in my experiences is always the most difficult day. We worked hard that night and finished in a strong fashion.
Here we are getting setup in the "warehouse". We got amazing locations for free or for trading services. You have to bargain when you have no real budget.
Here is a hungry cast and crew before we got started shooting. I cannot stress how important it is to keep your people fed and happy. It's not just about feeding people, it is about respecting what everyone brings to your project.
Here is Nick F. on the way to the "warehouse" set. We traveled together, in our giant convoy. Bringing a family feeling to the project is essential. Nick was very devoted to the material. We spent lots of time building up his character, talking with a source who knows the kind of 'real' criminal elements that Nick was embodying.
Here is our superb Crew and Cast. From left to right, Leseja (Gaffer), Dwayne (Co Producer), Cassandra (P.A as well as Capture Station Op), Shaka (Boom Op and Lighting) and Nik B. (amazing young actor).
Here are some photos during pre production. We spent lot's of time doing our storyboards. By the time we were done we had 80+ pages of storyboards for an 80+ page script.
Here I am testing out our rig way before shooting. We had to do a fair amount of camera tests to see where our strengths and weaknesses would rest, especially when using a super toy (like the HV20). I know people are talking about FILM blah, RED this, and new gen DSLRs that, but I would shoot another film with this camera. It really is about knowing the limits of your camera and creating a package that meets the needs of your story. We shot low light with a camera that everyone says "don't shoot low light with" because we knew how to set up for that.
Here is our rig being assembled in the foreground. Leseja adjusts lights and Dwayne holds my daughter in the background. This was our soundstage where we shot various things from an entire scene, to inserts and our FX shots.
Here is Ashley resting before we embarked on a difficult night. We were tackling about 8 big scenes that night. Ashley and I shared the same visual ideas about the material and she has a good eye for grabbing shots on the fly (which we ended up doing from time to time).
Here is a taste of some of our effects work. From left to right: Phil, a buddy and talented FX artist, works on Jeremiah (actor and fellow film noir fan) while Michelle (Makeup Artist) blends.
Phil and I spent time discussing and creating the antagonistic force that our hero battles.
Well that's all for now, but stay tuned for further updates on this project.