Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Fan Films

So what else has there been going on? Funny you should ask.
Now I am not one to do fan films. I leave that to the fanatics but Lucien convinced me to go do one last fall for some Star Trek types, called ST: Phoenix. So I show up with Mark Schapiro and we shoot a couple of separate vignettes at the local public access studio. If you want to see them I will post them below. Both involved some green screen work which I am slowly figuring out. Though the productions never suffered.
About a month or so later we showed up again and shot another vignette and then in January we shot again but this time for the primary photography of the show.
Now the Phoenix universe takes place about 40 years after the events of the last Star Trek Movie that does not have Captain Kirk young or old in it. The Phoenix is a huge ass ship. One of it’s nacelles is about the size of the entire ship from next generation. It actually carries a smaller ship in its hold. Their mission is to hang around the Romulan sector while peace treaties are being negotiated or some such. It follows a core crew and that is about all I really know or can say about it. Now I went in dubious about the project but I have to say that the writing is spot on for the Star Trek universe, the performances are fantastic and the Geek factor is not on the level of say Indian Food night with the gang from the Big Bang Theory. Thought production was rank amateurs at the outset they have been learning and are getting much better at running a professional production. And, truth be told I like these guys.
So the shoot in January was a big day. They had lots of bodies on set and we all had little name tags. Very McMovie.
The set was simply 4 flats of muslin and Florescent lights to be corridor walls. They wanted to light through the muslin for the keys and there was a ceiling to the set. They had a lot of work scheduled that included reconfiguring the set to make a Tee corner. The ends of the set had green screens for adding BG and star fields I guess. They also wanted to do a trailer that included the entire cast and was a completely different setup.
Now I had just bought a few new lights including the 2 K and Tweenie and EVERY SINGLE HEAD worked on that setup.
My call was at 6:00 AM which I made. Turns out the art department was not ready and they had not even started building the sets when I got there. I told them not to screw around with the ceiling portion as we would need to get lights in there but they did not listen. Instead they fucked around with it for a couple of hours before they gave up on the ceiling and I could even start lighting the set. The work basically involved having actors encounter each other in the corridors as an introduction to the characters. All happening at separate times. And we had about 12 pagers of script to shoot not including the trailer. Also the effects guy wanted a clean plate shot of the each empty scene for the matte shots. We finally start rolling the camera, I was going to say tape but this is a digital Red One Camera that uses a hard drive. So we will start calling it Poking Bits.
Anyway we finally start poking bits at about 11:30 when they wanted to start at 9:00. Come lunch time I indicate to the AD that hey it has been 6 hours since first call, Where is lunch? Oh go ahead and take a break and get some crafty. We did not break for lunch till dinner time around 7 PM.
BAD production!
No I was not too happy about that and once I got some food in me and a break under my belt we agreed that we would not reconfigure the set to the corner scene and simply shoot it as lit.
All told it was about 19-20 hours for me that day.
But the next time we shot, which was in the Darth Vader Building in downtown Seattle they split the work into two days, had lunch on time and we got every thing done. Like I said they are learning.
Come Norwescon which is the Seattle Science Fiction convention over Easter weekend ,they had a booth and screened a bunch of stuff that had the attendees all in a twitter. So yeah, am doing Fan Films and enjoying it.
Now Take a look at some of this stuff.

This is the first vignette we shot called Hollow

Hollow from STAR TREK: PHOENIX on Vimeo.

This is the Second one called Third Degree. Note, this was all done in front of a green screen Cyclorama. Also Snaps to Amanda Cherry who plays the young LT. she did the Technobable in one Take. No shit. One Take

Third Degree from STAR TREK: PHOENIX on Vimeo.

And here is a third one we did on a set. It is called No other Medicine

No Other Medicine from STAR TREK: PHOENIX on Vimeo.

For more information about these guys check this out, ST: Phoenix

Also one of the Actors, Ben Andrews was part of this group that produces this really cool High Def Live Actor Graphic Novel called Night Zero. Check them out here, Night Zero It is the Zombie Apocolypse in Seattle.

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At 1:57 AM, Anonymous movie social community said...

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