Archive for January, 2004

Keeping Austin Weird, Part Deux

We had our second day of filming today and it went great. The morning started with what I knew would be one of the most difficult scenes to shoot. To complicate things, I was supposed to have 2 “men in black” who were parodying the Agents in The Matrix, and one didn’t show up. I quickly initiated my backup idea of using the one guy in both roles and trying to splice it together later to have him playing against himself. After filming all the complicated scenes to make this work, the second actor called me and had only just seen the email. He rushed down, and we filmed it all again with the both of them to avoid the editing headaches later.
After running a bit late on that shoot, we ran around town during our lunch break, gathering up props and such that we needed, and grabbing a quick drive through lunch. The second two shoots of the day went amazingly well, as I suspected they would. We had a great scene with a long coordinated sequence which we shot in one continuous take. It went great. Giant thanks to Andrew Fraser who came on board as Director of Photography and Camera Operator. We could not do this without him there. Also Big thanks to Dan Eggleston, who not only runs the Yahoo mailing group where I got a lot of my cast and crew. He also came by and played a small role for me, and hung out on the other two shoots of the day taking a buttload of pictures! Very cool! Thanks Dan! He was very covert too. I had no idea that he had taken that many pics throughout the day.
The one big snafu was that at the end of the day we realized that we had forgotten to shoot the last line of the entire film. Doh! We quickly re-thought it and came up with a solution that I think will work excellently.
One more day of shooting either next week, or the week after, and we’re done filming! Then it’s on to editing.

Action!

My cousin and I did our first day of filming on Saturday. We decided to start out easy, since we weren’t sure what we were doing, so we set out to film several Austin landmarks for the opening credits. I luckily figured the camera out fairly quickly, and found that all the experience I had picked up from my crew work came in handy. I had picked up many little tidbits about operating Mini-DV cameras, what settings to use, and various other little pointers that had osmosized into my brain. We ended up getting some really great looking shots. I was quite happy.
Then I put out a call for cast and crew on a local E-mail list that is and extremely popular and widespread tool here in Austin. There’s something like 3500 members on it. After being deluged with headshots and resum�s, I started casting. It was weird to be on the other side of that scenario. Normally I’m the one sending in my info and hoping to be called. I also felt a bit bad having to be the bad guy and not being able to use everyone, or deleting someone’s E-mail because they just didn’t have the “look” I was going for in my head. However overall I’m quite enjoying being the captain of the ship and making my very own project as opposed to trying to get onto other people’s projects.
If all goes as planned, we will shoot our first actual scenes this Saturday! This train is a rolling, baby! Let’s just hope I can keep laying the track down in time!

Kinetoscopic Wonderment.

Long time, no update, eh?
So I’m about to embark upon my first film making endeavor. My cousin works for the computer science department of the University of Texas, and his department decided to create the “Kinetoscopic Wonderment Festival”. Anyone can submit a 10 minute or less short film into the festival as long as there is someone affiliated with UT on the team. I whipped up a script based on the “Keep Austin Weird” slogan that’s popular here, and we’re going out to scout some locations and possibly film some opening establishing shots today. The deadline is in March, and we probably will only really be able to film on Saturdays, so we gotta get a move on!
In addition to writing, I’ll also be directing and starring in it. Jess will also be starring in it, as will my cousin, some of my actor friends, and anyone else I cast for the various other roles. I already have various bits of music I had recorded for other purposes that will work great as soundtrack music. I’m excited and nervous as I really have no idea what the hell I’m doing. Well I do, but I don’t. At this point, I’m just hoping we actually get through it and end up with a cool finished film.
My world domination plan continues.