Overdue Post - really long

Where to start…

We are trying to hone the camera settings to achieve a good “look.” And this requires some of the most tedious testing you could think of to make it all look right. Changing one fraction of a setting on the camera can change the whole look of the picture. I wish I could post before and afters to show you how things change, but hours upon hours of footage have been shot, and it’s just impractical to upload it all.

We are trying to get an art sponsorship so Will can start painting. He has been practicing a bit with borrowed supplies, and the first complete one is below. A Florida artist may be helping collaborate as well.

We have a production designer! Elissa Cain is excited to jump right in. She’s taking off work to do this, but we have the same work ethic and tastes – even in obscure movies and music (a must in my book for this job).

We have three new fundraisiers – Jinae, Kris, and Jackie.

We have two engineers – Michael Guntherberg and Robert Hill. They are working to make camera dollies (to move the camera smoothly).

We have two communication assistants – April Washko and DaVaughn Lucas who are arranging sponsorships from around the country.

We have a photographer! He is an established professional named Joseph De Sciose. He was a tenured photographer for Southern Living magazine shooting many of the cover photos and pictures inside of the magazine.

Christie has written about 39 letters to food places around Birmingham.

Hannah is delivering several thousand flyers around the south to raise money.

Leeanna is knocking casting out of the park. We are having live sessions in NY, LA, and B’ham. She has been putting ads in the right places and we are getting tons of great responses. I cannot tell you how hard she is working and how much of her heart she is putting into this. It’s absolutely incredible, and I’ll never be able to thank her.

Richey (composer) and James (additional music) have been working away on new sounds. We have been sending sound refernces back and forth

John has been doing a lot of research and watching movies w/o sound to study the cinematographer. He has been trying to get his hands on the Red camera, and has an internship, but the economy is bad and there haven’t been any jobs to work on. He’s ordering lighting equipment now.

Every crew member is working hard, and there’s too much going on to write it all down!

Several people have helped with location scouting. Especially our new crew member, Ward Neely. He’s been on the ball with helping and is going to act in our next short film.

We have been preparing and writing the new short film – shooting tomorrow. This is an exercise in writing and directing something dramatic as well as testing a new look for the film (and practicing sound). The new look is achieved by putting pantyhose on the front of the lens as well as using two glass filters (UV and IR/Hot Mirror). The other key is the shutter speed (fraction that light hits the sensor). We are using either 1/454.5 or 1/43.4 seconds.

About 12 sound designers will be adding sounds to the short film as an audition of shorts.

Location scouting has been a huge priority. I have been to Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and all around Alabama over the past three weeks, and we have found a few places. Much more scouring to come. Two locations are going to the highest channels of approval – city hall for a Water Tower and Vulcan Materials corporate office for a rock quarry.

25 people are working on the film now!

The short film, “Suitcase” was entered into a local festival playing tonight.

Pro-active Craig’s List spamming is still producing results all the time.

Again, it’s hard to see where the time is going, but fielding e-mails from the crew – communicating so they know what to do as well as doing my part in the relationship takes a while. Additionally inquiries from misc companies and communication with companies – the time all just adds up.

We are still truckin’ along with equipment research/purchase/rebates/returns, etc.

Our tentative start date for the big production is September 13 (and finishing by Thanksgiving).

I wrote a 20 page business plan for a Jewish Arts film project as a freelance job to raise money for this, and it has proven time consuming as well.

Color Correction and Film Out

We want to take one minute of film from beginning to end. This would include professional color correction (this video) and printing the digital video onto tangible 35mm film strips. Doing this adds organic imperfection to the picture which makes it look like a big budget movie (we hope). Two color correction places (Independent Studios - shown here (http://www.independentstudios.tv/work9.html) and another) have offered to do a free sample, and one “print to 35mm film” house has offered to do it for $250 – paying for 35mm film materials costs.

Camera Tests

It's too time consuming to post actual videos here, but I hope the pictures help a little.

The image on the left has a black panty hose over the front of the lens (and a UV filter and IR filter). The image on the right is just what the camera picks up (with our custom settings).

Lens test - comparing shutter speed. The difference in image quality is affected by simply changing the amount of light that enters the camera (shutter speed) by a fraction of a second.


Locatin Scouting

Possible grocery store location (1.5 hours outside of B'ham). Ward Neely found this one.

Our Colorado "snow" location - very abandoned. See more pictures here (http://www.theronwelch.com/mountains/gore/dora/index.htm) I hope the link works when you read this. Jackie Glenn found this one and is helping w/ housing in Colorado :)

Truck loading zone (main character is a delivery man).

Tower #2. Our request is going up for Triana City Hall on June 22.

Tower #2.

Tower #2 base - no longer in use.

Tower #1 base.

One of two Triana city towers - both are awesome. This will be tower #1.

B'ham tower - mediocre.

We're shooting our short film here tomorrow.

Different quarry - still enormous.

Same quarry, different view.

The prize quarry - our request has been sent to corporate. This picture does not nearly do justice to this. The spec on the opposite side of the canyon is a full size dump truck.

Parking Lot - different view.

Parking lot near Birmingham.

North Carolina mountain view.

Harrison (brother) and I climbed a mountain in North Carolina to find a cool spot... we got to the top but nothing was amazing.

One possible industrial factory up in TN.

Pics Galore

This is one of my favorite singers - Katie Herzig. I talked to her after the show and asked about using her music in the film. Obviously she was unsure, but at least she knows about the movie :)

Will is painting the paintings in our movie - this is his first - he's developing a style.

DJ sound testing - Day 1

Casting puzzles- off to the post office - $162 worth of stamps

Mom's celebrity puzzle assembly line

Casting Puzzles - a bunch of em

Equipment boxes



I think being too burnt out/overwhelmed/tired to post progress is part the story of making this thing. I'm sorry.

Things are going very very well, it's just a lot to keep up with.

Suitcase - A Test Footage Short Film

We made this to practice with our camera as an alternative to shooting arbitrary test footage (which we also do). It's playing in a Birmingham film festival. We filmed the entire thing within 24 hours of being informed of the opportunity. More shorts to come.

May 2009 a picture

May 2009 - a picture