MovieMaker Magazine has released their list of the 50 best websites for moviemakers.
Well, we’ve gotten feedback from two of our first-draft readers so far.
It was great!! Wow. You guys really put some work into this piece and it shows. Excellent job on many levels … I was intrigued, involved and enjoyed the ride. Felt like a mash-up between Gremlins and The Descent. I don’t think you’ll have any problems getting the right people behind this script!
Of course I lead with the most positive points, and leave out the dumb things he said like “make it better” and whatnot. 🙂 Seriously, he gave us some great feedback, pointed out the weak spots, gave us direction for the second draft but overall, the review was pretty positive.
I think it’s a great first draft. No real notes on structure, some scenes need to be a little more kinetic though.
Somewhat more reserved, as you can see. This reader is an asshole, obviously, and doesn’t realize just how groundbreaking this script is. Continue reading New horror project: feedback
As last mentioned, we’ve reached a place where an adjustment of our outline is in order.
The outline calls for another day at the cabin before the creatures are fully revealed. A day of further development of the character arcs, a ratcheting of tensions between them, some flashback scenes with the crazy old lady (illuminating her back story).
But as the story has developed to this point, there’s been plenty of organic evolution in the characters and their relationships… in other words, the characters needed to say some things and we let them say them. We allowed them to find their own paths, rather than forcing the outline on them. Consequently, although we’re essentially on task as per the story outline, the characters’ awareness of events, and their natural revealing of their subtexts, are further along than anticipated.
And that’s great. It means we’ve allowed the characters to develop naturally. And, it means we’re ready to really hit the big reveals, get the blood and panic flowing, and start the real juggernaut through the second act (which we’re both looking forward to).
So, today we met to review what that “fourth day” in the woods was going to offer, choose which of its story points we can live without, and which story points we must have. We were able to lose about half of what that day was going to deliver. Those things we must have, we found new homes for by folding them (elegantly) into previous scenes.
That means we’re able to get to the (horror) meat sooner. *
And our pacing will be better.
And we’ll be ahead of our outline as regards page count. 🙂
So, here’s where we are.
Page 40. Outline says we should be at about 42.
Hours (chip): 44.5**
* Lest one be concerned that we’re not getting to the “horror meat” soon enough (we’re on page 40!) we’re building something that’s akin to “The Descent“. I looked at that film again just the other day. The first time we see the creatures in the cavern, we’re at minute 50. We’ll beat that.
** Hours are approximate. It’s just my hours. Sean probably has about as many, maybe a few more. So our total man hours may be around 100 (just to keep numbers round). This INCLUDES the hours spent building the ten page outline. That means we’re averaging a page every 2.5 hours. Crazy. This process is proving very efficient (provided the quality is not compromised. From where we’re sitting, it’s not).
Today was the video shoot for the Computer History Museum‘s new upcoming exhibits. In it, I play Jack Kilby, inventor of the integrated circuit. (I’d like to clarify that I play Kilby at the time he invented the circuit, not the more well seasoned Kilby shown on his wikipedia page.)
At left, me in wardrobe, with cigar and ill-fitting glasses.
The shoot was fun. The entire thing was shot out on a green screen stage in Pleasanton, California, at the LMA Productions Studio in partnership with Impact Media. After extensive post production, the thing will have the feel of the Mad Men title sequence … all silhouettes and animation. Should look way cool.
Since they will be compositing multiple assets in the final footage, I had to repeat actions (simple stuff – writing, sketching circuits, etc) at a dressed desk, again at a green desk, all from several angles. No dialogue, and since it’ll all end up in animated silhouette, any subtle facial expression will likely not be seen… so it’s easy to understand why I got the part: I look like an old computer geek from the 50’s, and it didn’t depend on my acting chops. 🙂
There were five other guys in fifties garb as well, and a young woman playing a contemporary character using a piece of modern technology.
My understanding is that the video will premiere for IBM sometime in June of this year, and then will be playing constantly within the new exhibit for about a year starting in 2010. So if you’re in Silicon Valley next year, check it out. If not for me, then for the children.
Finally saw this movie… it’s one of those that’s such a “classic” and “groundbreaking” film that filmies love to talk about (and some growed up mens still say scares them), figured I’d better see it.
I won’t spend a lot of time talking about it.
Sorry. Poorly written, acted and directed. Yes, I get it, it created the genre. Yes, I get it, it had a black lead who didn’t traffic in his blackness. Yes, I get it, the flesh eating zombies were super graphic for their time.
It also had about four lines of dialogue simply repeated throughout the second act: “We should stay downstairs, we’ll be safer.” “We should stay upstairs, we’ll be safer.” “Why do you get to hold the gun?” “Shut up and help.”
And the lead (the black guy) pretty much just kills the whiny pudgy guy for no reason (other than he was just crazy irritating).
But mostly, and it bears repeating here, badly written, acted and directed. And really, since we’re talking about movies, not about good intentions or accidental historical being-in-the-right-place-ness, those are the things a “movie” needs to do right to be simply “competent,” and needs to do expertly and artistically to be “great”.
So yeah. Whatever. I laughed, and barely made it through. I’m glad it opened doors in a variety of ways, but let’s be honest. It’s not a good movie.
Following on Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Sin City, 300, and even TV series’ like John Adams, the advantages of virtual sets and locations are attractive to indie filmmakers, though maybe a little bit out of reach. Nevertheless, the unending advance of affordable technology is closing the gap, making virtual production within the grasp of smaller producers without compromising quality.
I’ve been following the efforts to build Southeastern Studios (Now LA Castle Studios), an exciting new green screen studio, for the past couple of years on indieclub.com. After mucking about with the local red tape of planning commissions and permits, they’re up and running and it’s pretty impressive.
**Edit: Since this posting the studio has moved from Vero Beach, FL to Burbank, CA. Check out the studio here: LACastleStudios.com.
Just as you saw with 300, the action can take place on their huge greenscreen stage, and all your sets and backgrounds can be virtual. They’ll design and build the backgrounds for you, or you can provide your own.
The real differentiation seems to be their integration of the Ultimatte system, which allows you to see your actors and virtual settings composited on the monitor in real time, rather than waiting weeks or months for your post-production specialists to composite, only to find out something didn’t work quite like you wanted it.
They’ve got all the equipment you need, from cameras to cranes, dollies to editing suites, all synced with the software and one another for maximum efficiency… so all you have to do is show up with a great idea and maybe some actors.
So what are you waiting for?
Geek alert! The transcripts from the early “Raiders of the Lost Ark” story meetings between Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Lawrence Kasdan have been released. For fans of the film, it offers great insight into how the story and the characters evolved in their minds, why they made the decisions they made, and how their collaboration resulted in a project greater than the sum of its parts.
And for writers and filmmakers, it’s a prime example of the process you might want to go through in developing your next property.
I found this first on the Mystery Man On Film blog… there’s some valuable commentary there as well. Check it out.
The FLIP – size of an ipod.
The way this technology gets smaller and cheaper blows my mind.
You tech guys tear apart the codec and whatnot… I’m curious what value this has. A Crash Cam? FX? Anybody?