Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Sound Design & Photo Fight Storyboards

Met with Dan today, who recorded sound on CrimeFighters and will be doing the sound edit & mix with me after pickups. We met today to discuss the sound design of the film, from creepy echoes and footsteps to the sounds of bikes, skates and fights, and how the music will fit into the scenes to enhance your viewing pleasure. Sound is absolutely one of my favourite parts of filmmaking, and we'll be going out to record foley (sound effects and elements that replace quiet or unusable parts of the film) in the coming weeks.

Then met Kung Fu Chris and Tony to go over the remaining fight scene we have to shoot in October. Chris and Tony took the lead in this one because they're experts at creating fight scenes, and from what we've already shot, that much is clear. Take a look at the storyboards we did, using Tony and Chris as various characters from the film (Chris makes a particularly convincing Ella).
Have begun storyboarding most of the rest of the pickups shoot as well, so everything's visual for me and the camera crew. It's been great having a bit of a break between shoots so that we know exactly what gaps we need to fill come October. Apparently George Lucas always plans to shoot 10% of the film in pickups as he doesn't know what he needs until he's watched the first rough cut. Makes sense, although we have about 30% more to shoot I reckon!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

CrimeFighters Promo Posters

The benefits of accidentally waking up at 5:45am (I say accidentally, it was the smoke alarm) are that I am often at my most creative round that time. Weird.

So before I had to work at 11, I did these CrimeFighters posters for a display at work. I call them 'The Logo Campaign'.

Soon there will also be character posters, teaser posters and the all-important giant quad poster for the cinema foyer. Damn this film is fun to market, and it's made more fun by the amazing photography done by Matt Dobson.

Meeting Dan tomorrow to discuss sound design.

Ah, movies...

Friday, 25 September 2009

Messages from Heroes

It's always nice when someone you admire turns out to be not only NOT a complete douche (they do say don't meet your heroes), but just as awesome, nice and supportive as you hoped they might be.

Two of these people are Jed and Maurissa Whedon, who have replied to messages I've written them about our various projects. Another is Edgar Wright, who has on several occasions taken the time to reply to a message I've sent or given words of advice or support on various projects.

Yesterday Felicia Day replied to a message I sent her about Zomblog, saying that it sounded awesome and she'd like me to send her a link to the show. Now, I know it's not that massive a deal, but it kind of is to us, since she is one of the people who inspired us to make Zomblog, through her web series The Guild and one she's in called Legend Of Neil, both of which are pretty much made for no money. Legend of Neil is particularly hilariously stupid and brilliantly vulgar.

As a hard-up but hard-working filmmaker, these little nuggets of hope and support go a hell of a long way, and help us to see ourselves less as idiots with camcorders (which we'll always be to some extent) but more as part of a group of filmmakers involved in forging a new path of creativity. Ok, 'path of creativity' sounds really cheesy, but allow us some cheese, we're starving. For the first time, the future seems bright and shiny, even though the horizon seems to shift a few feet every time we run toward it. Yay, TV for the web though!

Let's just hope one day I can get Joss Whedon to watch CrimeFighters. Now that would be something.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

CrimeFighters Trailer and a gap in my John Hughes viewing

Just discovered, while watching Sixteen Candles today, that I've never seen it before! How could such a glaring omission occur? Anyway it's great because it's like the John Hughes movie that fell through time after his death for me to enjoy, whereas for everyone else there are no new JH movies.... although, same for me now. Sigh...

Also today, we put the first CrimeFighters teaser trailer online. Nice to show people what we've been working on, although now of course I want to get on with the next trailer... and the rest of the film!

Monday, 21 September 2009

Sometimes It's the Little Things...

Sometimes it's the big things. I think the point I'm trying to make is that it's hard being a filmmaker and sometimes all you need is a teeeeeeeny bit of support in the dark times where nothing seems to be happening, and today I got an email from Sue Denim (from the band Robots In Disguise who were in The Mighty Boosh and my first feature The BandWagons) to say how much she enjoys Zomblog and wants to be a zombie in a future episode.

So that was nice, and also this website which tracks down web series and advertises their existence has contacted me about Zomblog. Always good to be included up there with Dr. Horrible and Felicia Day! Speaking of whom, here's a really good blog she wrote about making your own web series. She and Joss Whedon have/continue to be an inspiration to me and it's good to read stuff like this, just to know that even she's in the same boat as us. Granted, she has dozens of loyal fans (baker's dozens) but still, we're in esteemed company.

Episode 11 of Zomblog is up, and despite the fact that I have to reupload it due to some glitching issues, all is well in Zomblog land, with a site update covering Hannah's classic Bog Blog videos. Between episodes there will also be extra stuff that didn't fit into the series, such as Tony and I living in the car between episodes 9 and 10... fun times ahead.

And that's all without mentioning the Zomblog graphic novel on the horizon...

Friday, 18 September 2009

The Last Zomblog of the Year...

...was filmed tonight. It was emotional. Actually it was hilarious. Some great guest stars and classic zombies as always, and lots of blood which is always, er, nice.

Hard to believe it's a year since we started the whole thing off, with Hannah sat in a bath and two idiots and a gypsy in a supermarket. In the space of a year we've come pretty far. Next year though, is all about publicity, fanbases, promotion, contacts and whoring the series.

Not to mention Season 3 and the impending movie...

Thursday, 17 September 2009

The Factory of Unprofessional Sound

That's what they call it anyway, Hayley and Sam; their outhouse where they make all their music that sounds anything but unprofessional.

We headed down there tonight to work on some of the music for CrimeFighters. They've already done a kick-ass main theme and trailer music plus something more romantic, and we were working on one of those subtler themes this evening. Subtle but a lot of fun.

Here's Hayley about to put the finishing touches on using her drum and cymbal skills. She got a little carried away and had to be... carried away.

Fun times. I love post-production, although as we're technically mid-production it's not really post, but still a calm, creative joy. Can't wait to paste the music and images together and see if they work... on which note, we're working on the trailer and the new website tomorrow!

Also watched a Ghibli double bill of Nausicaa and Laputa. Absolutely wonderful, makes me want to escape to my own land. Oh wait, I already live there.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Heading into Autumn...

...means plans, pubs, long evenings, leaves, talks, breakdowns, panic, disillusion, best friends, recovery, excitement in the air, editing, filming zombies for the last time in a while, lining up more CrimeFighting action, sadness, hope, dreaming, moving house.

It does for me, anyway. The CrimeFighters website is totally and utterly imminent.

Friday, 11 September 2009

A week or so with pictures of things.

It hath been a nice week or so, and here are some wordlings and pick-chers to prove it.

Tony and I and a bunch of zombies gathered together to film the Season 2 Finale of Zomblogalypse:

I always say this but it really was the most fun ever; the zombies were staggeringly (ha) good and the FX team, made up of 2 Baldies FX guys Ian and Darren who've blown up several of our friends' heads and outdid themselves this time, with the assistance of Pete from Millennium FX (he's worked on Batman Begins, The Wolfman, Harry Potter and Dr. Who, we can boast, well he can boast) and the awesome Dani, who did some disgustingly real decaying effects on people's faces. After the explosive finale, in which we redecorated Tony's lounge with bits of Emma and Arron:

...I sodded off to Dorset for a week of parental hangage, that's hanging out with them, not murdering them, had a filling, and went to the beach. Not all on the same day though. Also went to Athelhampton, the big house where they filmed Sleuth with Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine:

If you haven't seen the film, it's ace. So, a week of nice relaxing... niceness, but also a week of thinking about upcoming filmmaking projects, listening to the AMAZING CrimeFighters score music Hayley and Sam have been unveiling over the past few weeks, and planning CFs post-production:

That includes pickups, rough cut deadlines, music mixing, etc... so much to do and having a holiday has made me want to get on with it. And so I will. Trailer next week.

And I really want to move house. Waiting, waiting...

Thursday, 3 September 2009

CrimeFighters Phase 2: Tapes and Pickups.

Here's what we're left with after 2 weeks of shooting:

Well, seeing as Tony's editing the film, it's him (he?) that has to deal with all these. Thankfully Tony captures tapes in his sleep and edits them even quicker, and having seen the rough cut and worked on the trailer with him, I can say we have nothing to worry about. Well, apart from doing all the sound, and arranging reshoots, and blah blah blah.

Speaking of which, I'll be going round York finalising a few extra locations for pickups and 2nd Unit stuff (shots without actors, establishing shots and so forth), to create a big nerdy dossier for the cast and crew when we all gather to finish the film in the last week of October. Here's one of them:

Oh yes. Rooftops. Cameras. Hopefully not apocalyptic rain storms like we had this week.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Notes from Limboland.

I knew making CrimeFighters would be hard work and tiring and rewarding and all that, I just never realised how weird it would feel afterwards.

It's taken at least a week to get my mind back to proper speed, and even as I plan pickups week for October, it's bizarre how everything kind of fell away while I was shooting and we were all so focused on making the film that now we're left with this weird surreal aftermath where none of us have quite known what to do, or been quite able to let go.

Now that a week's passed, I've started making plans again; not just CrimeFighters plans, but plans to film the next two episodes of Zomblog, plans to move house, plans to visit my parents in Dorset, pay bills, sell things, work at the cinema, see friends, see movies, listen to music, and it's reminded me how when you're focused on one thing you can totally neglect everything else, and then when you're done and your mind starts coming back to the here and now, to your life, everything gradually creeps back in.

I've said this before, but I know the world doesn't hold its breath while we make our films, it just feels like we do, and when a project is complete, or takes a break, there's this strange kind of numbness that replaces every other feeling you were having planning and making the film.


It's gradually coming back to me though, the life I had before CrimeFighters. It didn't take long, ho ho.

Last August I had a shit month and I took time off work and came up with Zomblog and CrimeFighters out of that period of stress and a feeling of being lost. And now, a year later I can reflect on how lucky we were during the shoot, and how much help we had from everybody, and also how much I love doing Zomblog and how odd it'll feel making it, compared to the crazy intensity of CrimeFighters. We will need a little more help to finish the film, so please do help us again.

I dunno, I'm feeling oddly sentimental today.