Sunday, August 31, 2008

Happy Anniversary

On a purely personal note, it was five years ago today that Tom and Mary started dating. It's been a hectic, stressful, and difficult five years-- but it's also been the best fives years of our life, and that's because, you guessed it, we've got each other, we've got love. The next five look to be even better-- hopefully less hectic, less stressful, less difficult, more peaceful, with more love.

Together, we'll keep making movies and keep moving through this life. And we just know, deep down, that some good things are coming our way. So you better stay tuned, because production is only part of a film's journey...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Last Day of Shooting*

Production: 95 % complete.
Post-Production: 88 % complete.

Yesterday was our fourteenth and final* shoot, in which we tackled Sequence C-- the interview scene. We shot at an office building roughly .01 miles away from our house (also known as, "across the street"), with the kind permission of Mr. Gary Kuhlman, who is certainly getting a special thank you in our end credits.

Besides David, we worked with two other actors. One was immensely talented, and we'll get to her in just a moment.

The other, though, is The Worst Actor In The World.

That's him in the green shirt. To say he is a ham is an insult to Porcine-Americans everywhere. He has no sense of timing, of character, or of taste. We're not even going to do him the dignity of naming him. I don't know why we agreed to work with him, and now we're stuck with him, and I hope to God he doesn't ruin the entire movie with his gaping comedic black hole of a performance.

And, to top it off, he's lazy. Just look at him!


Luckily, though, we got to spend most of the shoot working with the Amazing Mariya O'Rourke. For those of you unsure of how to pronounce her first name, the third syllable should be delivered as a loud karate yell, accompanied by a karate chop.

Neat Party Game
Here are some photos of Mariya O'Rourke and David Schonscheck. In order to win this game, you need to figure out which photos are of Mariya and which are of David. BONUS HINT: Mariya is female; David is not.

The thing that's great about Mariya, both as a person and as an actress, is that she has a very palpable force of personality-- it's a strange mix between cheerfulness and ass-kickery. She really brought that friendly toughness to the part of Penelope.

It's a difficult part, too. Many other actresses would have played the character as a bit of a ditz. But Mariya brought intelligence and aplomb aplenty-- which is exactly what we wanted and exactly why we wanted Mariya to play the part.

Extra Bonus Dash of Pretension
If you compare the screenshots from the two parts of the scene-- David and Mariya versus David and The Worst Actor In The World-- you'll note that, in addition to the fact that one scene features two good actors while the other features one good actor and The World's Worst-- the quality of the visual image is different as well. Not that one image is necessarily better than the other-- though the images from the David and Mariya scene, obviously, do not feature The Worst Actor In The World-- but that the colour temperatures are vastly different, lending a different "look" to each scene. This was intentional.

The scene with The Worst Actor In The World finds Nick, David's character, waiting to be called in for his interview. He's anxious about the interview, but also anxious about one of the potential end results of that interview-- i.e., moving up into a full-time job in an office environment. The dreariness of the room is meant to reflect on these anxieties in a subtle way.

The interview itself has a warmer feeling-- her red suit and his orange are more vibrant, there's more colour to the face, the walls are brighter. This is a reflection of her personality, and also on the ultimately confrontational nature of the scene.

Looking at the screenshots provided on this site, you'll note that each scene has a slightly different look. Sequence E, for example, features much brighter colours and far fewer shadows; Sequence F is much darker and grainier. That's not because we couldn't get equipment-- we own all our own lights and they're available to us at all times. It's because we had a very particular look and feel in mind for each scene.

We don't get too "arty" with it-- we don't switch into black-and-white, and we stay away from gross overexposure. But we do put a lot of thought and time into how the film looks.

And so, in this particular case, we thought it'd be nice to share some of that process with you. (You're welcome.)

*-- Well, it's the last regular day of shooting. We have one more tiny shot to pick up with David during the next week, and we're still waiting on some second unit stuff. But we're more-or-less done, mostly, sort of.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Lucky Number Thirteen

Production: 90% complete

We got a late start, but we finished pretty quickly. It was pretty relaxed and felt as "ordinary" as a shoot ever does. It was the last scene to be shot between our two leads-- which means that it was also Adrienne's last shoot for this picture.

Next week, David and Mariya shoot a three page scene, and then-- we will be done with the regular shooting; just some second-unit stuff is needed to finish up the film.

This whole experience has been rather strange. It's moved a lot quicker, both in shooting and editing, than our previous films. There was less of a need to rewrite or reshoot, and less of a need to pull a MacGuyver by making a lot of film out of very limited resources. There was far less stress this time around.

Sure, there were some grumpy set days, and some tensions-- but far and away this is the most relaxed and genuinely fun experience we've had in making a film.

It's been a real pleasure to make, and we hope it will be a real pleasure for the audience to experience.

SOASH goes international!

Contest! Contest! Contest!
One fact that many reading this site will not be privy to is that our film is actually in more than one language. Here, with subtitles, is a still from such a moment:

In what language is Mr. Schonscheck communicating? I leave it for you to decipher. The first correct guess will get some kind of prize-- what prize, I am not yet sure. But, hey!, it's still a prize, am I right?

You'll notice that we chose a frame in which his mouth is not open-- so as not to tip off any lip-readers in the audience. There is, however, a very vital clue located in one of the screenshots on this site. The very clever among you should pick up on it right away.

So, get cracking! When you think you've got it, post a comment on this entry.

And no, David and Adrienne, you are not eligible. :-|

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Thank Goodness for Nice People

Looks like we might have an office to shoot Sequence C in. We met with the property owner this morning and he was extremely nice and helpful. Still have to check with our actress when we have a chance to talk to her this Thursday, but we have our fingers crossed and it looks like this is going to be a go.

You can't understand what a relief this is, after running into so many closed doors. Thank goodness for nice people-- and for this nice person in particular, who will get a ginormous thank you in our credits.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

More pictures; thoughts on E-K inclusive

First up, we've got some new screen shots for you. These first two are from Sequence F:

And now, here's a couple from Saturday's shoot-- the film's final scene.

Well, it's nice to see that David wants to look his best.

We're celebrating a bit, as we've finally caught up on our editing, having spent most of our day slogging away at it. We've still got a lot of audio hiccoughs to clean up in Sequences E and F, but for the most part the editing on those sequences is completed. Which means that we got to watch Sequences E through K as one completed block of film, which runs roughly 37 minutes.

It's a good piece of work. Strong acting, strong writing, flowing seamlessly with an emphasis on a sense of time and place. It bodes well.

We did find, however, that we need to slip one more scene into these proceedings. We're working on that, and should present it to our actors on Thursday. If luck and time are with us, we'll shoot it on Saturday along with Sequence L.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Twelfth Night (of Shooting)

Production: 75 % complete.

Bugger of a shoot tonight. It wasn't a particularly long shoot-- just an hour or two-- and the scene wasn't particularly exhausting. But it was warm and we shot upstairs-- the hottest and dustiest room in the house. No matter how many times we vaccuumed and fussed, we knew it was going to difficult for Adrienne and her allergies.

As always, she troopered through it. The scene itself was a bit uncomfortable for her because of some of the content of the scene as well; but she was, above all, professional, courteous, and dedicated to getting the job done.

And done it is.

We have one more big shoot with both of them-- that's next Saturday, God willing-- a final shoot with David and another actress and the footage from our super-secret guest star remaining. After that, production will be complete.

Post-production's moving along, perhaps a bit slower than usual. We had fallen into the habit of editing a scene in its entirety between shoots, meaning that production and post-production were moving at pretty much the same rate. But once we got to Sequence E, we fell behind-- it's a long and difficult scene wiht a lot of footage to reconcile. That scene itself is now edited, and we're still working on Sequence F.

This scene-- Sequence M-- should be a lot more straightforward, and we'll probably have it-- and, hopefully, F-- done before next week's shoot. And so, if everything works out okay, we're hoping to be doing the final mix and touch-ups in the two or three weeks following the end of production.

So far, the film is shaping up to be roughly 85 to 90 minutes long; not bad for a script that, after cutting Sequence D, runs 54 pages.

Things have been moving pretty painlessly so far; everyone cross their fingers and hope our luck holds.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sequence F Screenie; Taking Stock

First, here's a nice evocative screenshot from Sequence F.

That's a nice shot.

We're now in the home stretch. The most difficult scenes have been shot, and the schedule is currently as follows:

Forty minutes from now: Second-to-Last Rehearsal
Saturday: Shooting Sequence M (the last scene in the picture)
Next week Thursday: Final Rehearsal
That Saturday: Shooting Sequence L (the last scene that requires both leads)
The Following Saturday, August 23rd: Shooting Sequence C

For all intents and purposes, that'll be our final shoot; we're still having some trouble firming up the location, but we've got our fingers crossed. We should have most of the picture edited by that time, and so if we feel we need to reshoot or add anything, we'll be able to do that on the last Saturday in August; production will be basically complete before David gets married/honeymoons in September, which would make shooting with him much more difficult.

While there have been a few scheduling conflicts, on the whole the filmmaking has been a pleasant and fast-moving experience. We're all worked together before, so we know what to expect from one another and how to get it. There were also some longer takes and less close-ups than our previous picture, and that helped tremendously.

All we'll have left to wait on is some footage from our special secret guest star; assuming we get that before November, we should be able to submit this to a couple of really choice festivals that, in theory, tend to embrace low-budget non-genre films.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Scary Face Contest! (or, screenies from Sequence E!)

While we were filming the happy-go-lucky adventure that is Sequence E, David and Adrienne decided to challenge one another to a scary face contest.

David went first:

Adrienne upped the ante:

Round one is a tie. Time for round two. Look out, Adrienne!:

Ooh, that was a nice save. But what's this that David has up his sleeve? Looks like he's going to try to pull off a devastating three-hit combo attack!!!

Oh noes, he flubbed it with that last one. That wasn't a scary face at all-- it was a goofy face! Adrienne has an opening... this could be it, folks...

... and, yes, she did it! Adrienne won the Scary Face contest! (Not that her face is normally scary; she's just a very talented actress.)

Wait, David-- where are you going...?

Are you in the bathroom, crying like a little girl?

Only little girls cry, David. Make sure you wipe your eyes with the hem of your dress, so that you look pretty. Otherwise you'll never get a date to the box social.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Eleventh Shoot

Production: 68% complete

Got Sequence F done today. Once it and its predecessor are completely edited, we'll have a huge block of the film done, running from Sequence E through K. We'll be shooting L and M (the end of the picture) at the next two shoots, then we'll pony back to shoot Sequence C. Still have the musical number ahead of us, though the more we look at it, the more it looks like it's going to get cut-- not because of time issues, but because of thematic reasons. As I explained before, Sequence D has been cut-- though we might put the script for that online in the next week or so-- and we've still got to get a small piece of Sequence A from our Super-Secret Guest Star.

Because we're not going to put his name out there until we're absolutely sure that he's good to go, we won't be releasing the full and animated opening credits on teh internets just yet-- though we finalized them this morning.

Things seem to be doing alright now, and we look forward to finishing the picture and getting it out there.

Pictures soon, from both E and F. I promise.

Two Title Images

First, here's the corrected version of one of our opening title screens.

As for this other one...

Well, while I can promise that it is somehow relevant to Son of a Seahorse, I am not yet at liberty to discuss exactly how.

Big shoot today; actors should be here in 2.5 hours...