Posts Tagged ‘actors’

A looking from the view of the trusty, Atomos Ninja Blade courtesy of Chance Carroll.

…Sunday a handful of us descended upon an office in Denton, TX to film ‘Shrinking Things’ a short comedy that will be my entry into Round 5 of the Rack Focus film competition. I had wanted to continue 20 Minutes or Less, the short action film I did a few rounds ago, but after some casting issues and then some location issues I decided to back burner that and do it outside of Rack Focus. We’re rebooting that series to ensure it is closer along the lines of what I envision for it. More on that to come in the future though.

Mike Loud getting ready to rock it.

So, I needed a script that I could manage to do in a weekend or two, pretty low maintenance, so I thought about doing something more comedic to be different. Shrinking Things is about a couple who have a free session with a counselor and come out a lot worse than they went in. After all, you never realize how bad your life is until someone else points it out for you right? I called in the incomparable Capt. Clutch himself, Mike Loud to play the shrink as I knew he would kill the roll. Telisa Kyle was going to be great in the wife roll and Allan Thomas, who I worked with in a video for my 9 to 5, he was brought in for the husband.

Ready to run another great take.

Isadora Viana and Chance Carroll helped out on set as with a number of things, among them script super and photographer. Had some bumps when it came to the location as some folks who looked they were going to help out the production, didn’t. It’s OK, that happens. It would be easy to let that frustrate you, you want people to stick to what they say they are going to do, but it happens. Improvise, adapt, overcome, that is indy filmmaking. I called in a few favors and we were able to secure the law office of County Commissioner Hugh Coleman. Hugh and I go back a little over nine years now to when I started working at the Denton Record-Chronicle and he was a newly elected county commissioner. He was always a good interview and helpful source and fun to talk to about sports and movies. And best of all he supported Taurian Films. So when called upon, he let us into the office to film.

Great cast/crew, just great people to be around.

The shoot went OK. There are of course any number of things looking back on it, that I would change a bit. Nothing the cast did, but just organizational things, technical things that I need to iron out and fix in my own work flow and will endeavor to do next time. I brought in new gear to shoot with so that provided new challenges and new lessons on how I need to fix my work flow. But I will learn and grow.

Usually I would have a rough cut done by now, but I am not cutting the film. I am not touching it in any way shape or form.My brother, Jermaine Spencer, out in Cali with his new baby boy, he will be editing it. J is great at it and has done work for BET, Playboy Channel and a number of reality TV productions. This will be the first time I have had someone else edit my footage so it will be interesting. A little nerve-wracking I suppose, even if it is my brother, lol.

We shall see how it turns out.

Perky Chicks and Roundhouse Kicks!

On the CKS front, Cheerleader Karate School should be on Amazon Video soon. As I have stated before, I want people to see it and hopefully some people like it and see potential in it and will help us do a second episode. There are a multitude of things I want to do different in another episode, casting I want to change and other things to improve the quality of the show. The first is a good first try but I want another crack at it.

Work on the crossover between CKS  and Denton comic creator David Doub’s Dusk comic is ongoing. I have seen a few sketches and pages and it looks awesome. Can’t wait for people to see that.

Previous work on HTB with Annie Cruz

More CKS is coming, 20 Minutes or Less will be retooled, remolded and redone and a short film with the incomparable Annie Cruz will be filmed in late September. In addition Jermaine will be jumping down to Texas to co-direct that project under he and I’s Jigsaw Entertainment banner. Looking forward to that.


Lots to do, lots to come. Just trying to get better, get seen and have some success at following this big dream of mine.

Alas, far too long since I blogged, eh?

Well things are moving on two fronts. For Insourcing and for Party Girl.

Insourcing’s first episode will indeed drop on the interwebs on Valentine’s Day. I am going to work on a new teaser cut this weekend to help get the word out about that. I am excited for it. We still have some things we need to shore up on the last couple episodes and hoping to get those taken care of soon enough. I am looking at some advertising costs on a couple web sites that I know get a lot of traffic. Definitely plan to do more than just post the stuff on youtube and tweet about it. Also looking at doing some of that advertising for Dial-A-Ranger’s first season as well.

Dial-A-Ranger is in a think tank phase for season two as the break continues. I have an idea of the arc for the second season and a couple episodes already mapped out, I just have to fill in the rest. There will be more of Stan, more of the SPD Red Ranger and more fellow Rangers. Maybe even some Kamen Riders too, who knows.

Party Girl’s filming kicks off this weekend. Sunday will grace us with Jacob Drum and Chris Goddard as Benton Alridge and Joseph Alridge respectively. The scenes they are working are from the pilot episode. There are set to be some great interactions I am excited to see. I started working on the gauntlet prop for Bookworm. We won’t be getting into the party scene until the summer so I am time to get the version 1 gauntlet finished. But he does have a version 2 I have to get done as well. I thought I had an appointment Saturday, but that fell through so it will leave me time to get some resin work done on the gauntlet.

Emma Weatherford (Rachel Buchanan/Party Girl) learning some movies as her mom, Jenni Mabrey (Evelyn Buchanan) looks on.

Emma Weatherford (Rachel Buchanan/Party Girl) learning some movies as her mom, Jenni Mabrey (Evelyn Buchanan) looks on.

In other costume matters, Samantha and I have talked about Grasshopper costume stuff recently and at the second table read on the 16th, she should be bringing me some cost estimates so we can get the materials bought ASAP. We’re ordering the pieces needed for Rachel’s version 1 costume as well. That should be in by the second table read as well, so we’re hoping to get some pics of her in the suit soon.

Emma began working with my fight choreographer a couple weeks ago. Things got held up though due to some personal issues for my fight guy. But I believe those are resolved and we should be getting back into the swing of things this week.

There’s still a couple locations I need to secure for restaurant scenes. I thought I had a couple places on lock, but I don’t. Seems they have let other people in their door in the past to shoot projects and things did not go so well, so the owners are a bit skittish on letting me in. It sucks because it’s something I had no part of and I am paying for it, but hey, that’s the way things go. You just have to adapt.

Not sure how many people will care on the technical side of things but for Party Girl we are moving from a t3i to shoot on to a 5d mark ii. One is a crop sensor camera, the other is a full frame camera. Now I could go into detail on what that means, but I don’t want to bore people. Suffice to say it is a positive move for the production.

Thinking on building a shoulder rig for the camera too. I have seen a few I liked on youtube. I have looked at the cost of some of them to order online and it’s a bit outrageous for me and my budget at this time, so what the hey, why not build it if I can. I am going to combine elements of the rig I built from one of the Frugal Filmmaker’s tutorials and another one, and make a neat set up. I can’t wait to start working on it. Probably will handle that Saturday, while I am waiting for the coats of resin to dry on my props.

A lot to get to this weekend to say the least. But we’re moving forward.

I’m a fan of films. And a fan of fan films. Now I have had some chats with some friends who are against the idea of fan films and tinkering around with other people’s ideas. But I think, like fanfiction they are a great way to pay homage to an idea a character that you have a great affinity for. It’s good fun, that can even help a person cut their teeth on filmmaking, be it in front of the camera or behind the camera, you can learn what to do, what not to do, you can make contacts with people for projects down the line. Basically everything I did when I made my BioMan fan film earlier this year.

My only gripe I will admit with fan films is when people go the crowdfunding route to make the stuff. I may be wrong in this but I feel if you’re doing a fanfilm you need to pay for it. *shrugs* I dunno. That’s just me.

I got on to a fan film kick over the weekend as I have been known to do and checked out some of them that have been uploaded to the ol youtube.

One was a Killzone fanfilm which was pretty damn good. Made me almost want to play the game again on my PS3, if only pick up games didn’t suck.

The first of which was Batgirl The Web Series.

I have been seeing a ton of stuff mentioned about this series on Facebook and was curious to see what the end result would be. There are umpteen Bat-films out there on the interwebs, some of them really good, (World’s Finest, Grayson, Batman: Dead End) and some not so good (Death of Batman). Of course who am I to crap on the vision of another filmmaker, I respect them for making their vision come to light, that short film just did not go over well with me. But hey, it happens.

But I digress, I jumped at the chance to finally check out Batgirl. It centers on Stephanie Brown, the third Batgirl. Now I am not all that familiar with this character as I dropped out of regular reading of comic books years ago and have yet to really jump back in full tilt with the constant massive world changing events and reboots and such going on seemingly all the time. I just don’t bother. So this is new to me.

The actress playing Batgirl is good. Spunky, upbeat personality, but kicks ass when she needs to and takes a good beating when she needs to as well. Oracle was done well also. The whole episode was shot and edited well and left a nice cliffhanger at the end. My only gripe, which I commented on the video about, was the sound effects for the fight scenes. I am an action guy, so maybe I am biased in this regard, but I want bone-crunching sounds. I want to really hear every hit taken in my headphones. It sounded so muffled in that episode. Here’s hoping they fix it going forward. I will be sure to watch the second episode to find out.

The muffled fight sounds reminded me of Red Rising, a Power Rangers short film that had the same issue.

Good choreography but muffled sound.

The related video links led me to Batman: Puppet Master, a short that is new to me, but has quickly become a favorite of mine as it uses Scarface as a character (who does that? No one. That’s why it’s awesome) great cinematography (dying to know what they shot/edited with) and a fun little story. Would be curious to see any more work from director Bryan West, fan or otherwise.

Good stuff. Should check it out.

In the meantime we’re still working on Insourcing, Dial-A-Ranger, the super secret graphic novel project with Annie Cruz and Party Girl.

Yeah, we’re busy.

Boom! Here it is, the second episode of Dial-A-Ranger!

Has it been that long since this blog was updated? I would not have thought so, but looking at the calendar indicated otherwise. So I thought I would chime in with a few things that are going on.

Insourcing will pick up again on the 27th  of this month and Nov. 3rd. Provided there are no complications we should have a few more episodes worth of content shot. We have given people snippets of the rough cuts that exist now just to see how some of the jokes play on people who are aware of what the series is about and the content and people who I just walked up to and said ‘here, watch this.” It’s interesting to see what people laugh at versus what I thought were going to be the real joke winners. But as long as people are laughing, that’s good.

There is some technical stuff to clean up, but ideally that will be handled as we get into the second half of episodes. Still looking forward to the dynamic debut of Bobbie G as portrayed by Kevin “Mother F’n” Green. That will come in November as his October is fairly stacked with projects he is committed too. That is a hard working dude.

This weekend will bring folks together for another project I am working on that will start after Insourcing, that I am not at liberty to share at the moment (top secret stuff). We did some lighting tests on one of the sets this past weekend and there is a reason for tests as we found out as we broke one of the bulbs. But better it happen now then we have people gathered together to knock out a shoot.

This weekend will be the first audition for the “Party Girl” web series I aim to start in January or February of 2013. It’s a larger, longer series that will require time and some $$ put into the costumes. I have wondered what is the perfect timetable to start planning for it in terms of casting and such. I want to lock down the series star as soon as possible I know that so we can start working on the costume and doing some tests with that.

Looking at shooting a music video Oct. 20th. Which I am excited about. Working with Bunny Killer Ent. On that. They just put out a video featuring a local Denton artist, which is what I want to do more of myself. Ideally that will open some doors. Also met with a few more people local to Denton from the signs I posted who seem eager to participate in some of the upcoming Taurian works, which is what we want.

We have begun our renewed search for an artist for the “Hard Target B*tch” graphic novel. We had a creative disagreement with the previous artist we had and decided to part ways. We have had more replies to an ad posted online than we ever expected so we’re working our way through those. Well we were over the weekend and continue to do so today and over the next few days.

We are optimistic we will find someone in this crop so contracts can be signed and work can begin on this book, I think it will knock some socks off and put our name out there, and give us some good momentum going into shooting the film next fall.

Lots going of stuff going on, but we continue to move forward, slowly but surely.

And it was good to be back there. We shot the tail end of episode 1 as well as finishing episode 3 and shooting episodes 7 and 8. Well the James/Travis side of 7 and 8. Episode 8 requires a semi-naked individual in a lucha mask. Trust me when I say when you see who I get for the role and you see the role in action, it’s comedic gold.

It’s interesting to see Greg further sink his teeth into the role of Richard “Dick” Dicklan, the captain of the United Family Products ship. He added some adlibbed actions and words into the scenes we shot Sunday which made the scene in question much funnier I think. Fabian and Daniel continue to get settled into their personas as well and are likewise adding their own twists on the characters as we shoot. It’s keeping things fresh and funny, which is what I want as I think Insourcing will be a funny series for people to get into.

I have a long awaited part for Kevin Green that has been postponed a couple times, I am hoping to wrangle everyone necessary for that scene in a week or two so we can get it done.

Bioman is coming together and coming to the interwebs soon.
I decided to change up the intro and I am not going with the standard title intro so I said I would just make that into a little teaser. Which you can see here.
Full short is coming soon.