Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Movie Update and a Title Change

Been real busy and not had time to post much. But there is news. First off we are still on schedule to shoot starting 9/8/2007 and should be done by the following weekend.
The actors have been rehearsing and though some are not all off book I am pleased with the way things are going, though my Lucy can be a bit of a pill at times about commitment. Being my daughter and 13, she knows everything and I am the stupidest person on the planet. This is natural behavior but it will be a challenge to get her performances. I know she loves to act and to be in the limelight but she is still at the stage where acting is memorizing her lines and going a little over the top. But she is dialing it in and I have every confidence in her. It is really me that I am worried about. We have tested the cameras and I trust Mark to do the right thing by the show. (Mark If you think we need a bit of ¼ CTO on the 1200 PAR then so be it. I need to let go and let you do your job)
I am still rooting about for props but that will all come together soon enough.
As for the music, I contacted EMI about the license to ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ and they quoted me $750.00 for one year. I will pass on that thank you very much, too much money for too little return. So I continued my search and found some music from a group that is one of my friends on my Myspace page. They are called Vocal by Locals, click the link and go listen to the song ‘Fearless’. Even though it is not my original intended music, I think I was kidding myself that I could actually secure license for the original thought but I went down that road regardless just to be sure. I sent Vocal by Locals a message asking if they would let me use their song. They responded rather enthusiastically and wanted to talk on the phone. So I called last week and chatted with the woman, her name is Lessia. She was very sweet and told me about the group.
It seems that she was a classically trained pianist who in her teens after having played in various venues around the LA area decided she really loved writing music more then playing something others wrote years ago. Jump ahead to the last few years and she put together this group of girls aged 13-18 for a weekly Sunday singing writing performing workshops. They were called the Crew. Being in Santa Barbara, the girls crossed all social and economic strata including the daughters of a noted Musician and Actor. The girls performed publicly a number of times and Lessia recorded a number of the songs. If you listened you have to agree it is pretty nice stuff. Well the Crew disbanded for the most part and Lessia changed the name to Vocals by Locals for the recordings. It gets better. A producer told her that the Groups story is pretty cool and if she could get a script or at least a 2 Page treatment in her hands that she could get the attention of a major studio for further development for a feature about the girls and the music. Lessia tried but was not really a screen writer and asked me if I could help her out. Now I am not a writer of the caliber to do her story justice and further if they were thinking about a development deal my use in my show might queer the deal. Lessia was having nothing of that. Her only issue was that the girl singing the version on the site was problematic and she would have to rerecord the song. But yes of course we can use it. (This is the point where we changed the title to “Fearless”)
I told Lessia that although I was not a writer I knew a few with the chops to pull this off and I would try to find someone to write her treatment. The first woman I asked had just had a baby and really did not have the energy to do any writing but the second woman said sure. I hooked them up and they will start in earnest in a couple of weeks. I hope when the get the Oscar, they remember to thank me.
I Lessia, true to her word, sent me 3 versions of the song and promised that she had another on the way and oh by the way she had written it for the daughter of the famous actor who had been working with the song and that that would be a fourth version and if that were the one that was chosen Dad would likely see my flick. (His dad played a scuba diver of some note on TV and also picked the wrong week to give up Sniffing glue)
I think it is really cool how a simple contact and request of a stranger made all these connections for so many people. Some times things just work out.
But Shit… Now I really got to pull this off.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Camera Test 2

UPDATED WITH Lighting Diagram

Saturday Mark and Benito came over and we ran another set of camera tests
We changed the rating to 250 and lit to the exposure we wanted. I also wanted benito to get some experience with the dolly. I'm glad I did. The dolly shot was a simple push in on Dylan as she is reading. We tried a couple of different angles but Benito nees work on his operating skills. You can see that he was searching for here in a jerky manner rather than a smooth pan to keep her framed.
Finally we tested the blocking of the reverse angle of the room with myself and the spouse as stand ins. yeah I am kissing my wife of almost 16 years. Get over it.
Also Note that the video did not transfer correctly and I had to do some fiddling around to get it to upload but the point is the lighting at this time.

This is the Diagram of the shots as she enters and sits as well as the dolly

This is the diagram of the reverse angle as we are sitting in the chair

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Sometimes They Just Don't get It

UPDATE: I heard back from ASCAP and BMI to discover they only license live performances not sync rights. I found that that was managed by BMI and I sent them a hat in hand email asking for rights to the song for our show. We will see but I do not hold too much hope
Now on to our regularly scheduled post.
I belong to this online group called The Indie Club. Basicly a web based bulliten board for film makers of all stripes.
So the club in Columbus OH put together a couple of promotional videos for the club as a bit of fun. They were clever and funny but a bit long for being a commercial say about 3 minutes each.
Regardless they posted them on the club board and it raised a complete shit storm of multi paragraph diatribes about how the quality was poor and their sillyness did not represent the group yada yada yada.
Fine but it I was bothered by the elitest attitude so I put together a response to the nonsense.
Here are the two videos posted by Columbus


And here is my response Enjoy


Apropos of Nothing, Just for Iwanski

This Sunday was Seafair here in the Jet City so I got these shots of the Blue Angles from my front yard nonetheless

Nice formation shot

To much contrast but not bad. Note the tail hooks are down.

To get a sense of how low these guys are

check out the inverted flight. these guys are the Patriots Team flying Czech L-39s. They flew before the Angels

And the best for last. I like this shot and they are about 50 feet over my house. You can see the pilots heads

Neener Neener John

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

License and Registration Please

So here is the deal. Dancing in the Moonlight is titled after the song that Came out in 70s. It is the song that is posted on my right sidebar. It was the inspiration to the show. I pictured the song starting after the last line as the girls go out and Dance in Triumph.
But...I need to get permission from the publishers to do so legally. I could just use it I suppose but my hopes are to submit the film to festivals and they are pretty persnickaty about having all the Ts crossed and Is dotted. So after doing some Wicky research I found the label which was bought by UMI. I went to their site and found the links to publishers BMG and ASCAP and submitted requests for gratis cover license to the song.
If denied or costs too much I will have to come up with something else but, Hey I tried.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Pre Production Update

So we shoot in little over a month. And things are humming along from an organizational standpoint. I have an AD, Rachel who has been a great help getting basic documents in line.
Contact Sheet – Every production needs one of these
Call Sheets – Since this is a four day shoot I sat with Rachel and we looked at the strip board and came up with call times and lunch times for each day. I find it very important to follow general union guidelines for this. Meal breaks after 6 hours an d12 hour turn around after wrap to next day’s first call. This is only fair, especially for a volunteer crew. Rachel typed up the notes and I spent about an hour entering them into call sheets for each day so everyone knows the schedule.

I run an exchange server so I set up distribution groups with email addresses and contacts in those groups for Cast, Crew, Extras and All. Send mail to one of those groups and everyone gets it.

I scheduled for this Saturday, to continue shooting basic story boards on the still camera. Benito will join me and we will get as much done as possible as the spouse is entertaining that evening.

The following Saturday, Benito, Mark and I will shoot another lighting and exposure test to finalize our lighting. One thing I forgot to mention in the previous post was that I was very pleased by one thing about the previous test. The scene does not look like it was lit. It looks natural. (Except the sickly tarp blue fill)

I have scheduled a production meeting with all players for the 18th.

I posted an ad on the local Indie Film board asking for a script supervisor but no one answered the call until a couple of days ago. A guy asked if we were still looking and I said sure send me your resume and references. After a bit of around and around it turned out he is a noob with some PA experience, but wants to try. So unless the references come back negative what the hell, he has a car so I’ll give him a shot.

The spouse and the child have been running lines but we need to start real rehearsals now so I am trying to schedule that in along with the neighbor.

I still need to find someone to pose for a ‘grip and grin’ shot of the mom receiving the writing award. We have some nice meeting rooms here at the office with podiums etc I just need to find the bodies and get permission to use them.

I need to meet with my art director and find an old recycle bin for a prop as well as get props in place.

The spouse needs to get here wardrobe for the “Scullery Maid” scene

I need to go to champions and get some makeup and powder.

And contact and confirm with the extras

The list goes on but it is not overwhelming.

Having sent out the call sheets I did get one scheduling conflict with one of the actors. She sings in the choir at the cathedral and the new season starts the weekend we need her. I scheduled the party scenes for Sunday of day four starting at 9:00AM but she will be unavailable till 11:40 so I looked at the strip board and shuffled a couple of scenes that she was not in and viola it all works out with out changing the actual call time.

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