Archive for the ‘shoot’ Category

A Somewhat Cold Alley (a.k.a. a USC student’s first film)

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Last weekend I worked on a USC graduate student’s short film. It was the first live action film he’d ever made. I’m leaving the names out of this post because I did have a few complaints and I don’t want to call out someone who is just starting out.

Saturday’s call time was 6:20am since we were shooting outside and wanted to film as much as possible before the harsh sun really came into play. The setting was the alley behind his apartment. Theoretically this was convenient, but we shot almost a block away, so after a certain point I kind of resigned not to need to go to the bathroom because it would take forever. Day 1 worked out because I drank less, but toward the end of day 2 I was doing a little dance between takes, and not the “I’m really cold” dance.

Did I mention that it was cold? It was cold. It was cold aaaallllll day. And I know I shouldn’t complain since we don’t get snow out here and the east coast is currently just buried, but I was in a light jacket and short skirt, often sitting on the ground. Also I’m a total baby when it comes to being cold. Boooo Cold!

Anyway, coldness aside, things went ok. It’s always hard on someone’s first shoot since they are still learning the camera settings and trying to choose the best angles. Hell, I still can’t really keep track of the 180° line most of the time and I’ve been on sets for years. I had come down a few days prior so we could storyboard, which seemed to help. And there wasn’t any dialog, so that helped too. But it was pretty clear in the middle of the day we’d still need a lot of time on Sunday. Only thing was, Sunday was supposed to be rainy. So we really needed to get it mostly done. This was one reason I never bothered with my breaks. They were like- “you sure?” And I was like, “I’m fine. Let’s keep going.”

Only a few things seemed to go wrong. At one point in the story, I slide down a fence and sit on the ground, but we didn’t realize the fence was really filthy. So we couldn’t shoot anything from behind until the jacket could be washed. (It did get washed and came out fine.) There was briefly another actor there on Saturday, but since he wasn’t there on Sunday, I suspect he’s not making the final cut. I guess his shots were too bright since the sun started coming out, so they re-shot in the morning with the DP in the role instead. Oh well. That happens.

We finished around 5pm when the sun was going down.

On Sunday I had a 6:30 call time, but the DP overslept so we didn’t end up shooting anything at all until maybe 8am? I’m not sure. We probably could have since the director ran the camera most of the day anyway. I did at least bring my coat that day, which was good since it did rain a few times. It was a light rain and basically stopped by the time they got back to the apartment with the camera trying to keep it dry. Better safe than sorry I guess, but I was stuck sitting in the rain watching the rest of the stuff out in the alley. They really should try and put the students in groups of 3’s so the actors don’t have to babysit equipment.
camera babysitter
That was me in the morning while the director went to his apartment for more stuff.

We re-shot some things and finished out the things that were missed from Saturday. In the end I really needed to go to the bathroom, but I refused since it would waste like 15 minutes in just walking there and back.

It was only until about 1pm when I was finished, but I was slightly upset at the director that it took as long as it did. Technically he cheated and deleted files from the cards even though it’s against the rules of the assignment. They are supposed to be learning time management as well as conserving “film,” even if it’s digital film. The lesson is still an important one. So who knows how long we went on overwritten media. I wouldn’t have minded really if he hadn’t cheated. But I didn’t sign on for that. My time is valuable too, and I don’t want to be spending it cheating. It’s not fair to other students who follow the rules and just can’t get all the shots they wanted since they ran out of media. And it sort of drove me nuts when he stopped slating entirely so I had no warning when the camera was rolling. It was literally him just saying, “Camera rolling action.” No pause. I guess it doesn’t matter if he is editing and it’s a really short film, but I don’t know. I like doing USC projects because they teach their students to work a little more professionally. I’ve done these non-dialog films in the past and they never did stuff like that. I hope that USC isn’t getting lazy and this was just a fluke. I figure he’ll learn why this stuff matters eventually. Or not. Who can say? It’s not my problem I guess.

On the plus side it’s good that worked on a new project. It had been a little while since I shot anything, so I figured I’d get back to doing some student films. I haven’t been getting out to audition for paid gigs, but I should still be working in some way. Work begets work, they say. Let’s hope so.

Old secret posts about Delivery: The Beast Within – NOW UN-SECRET

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

I recently got my first check in the mail for Contracted: Phase 2, so I made a secret blog post about the shoot. That reminded me that Delivery is released and I can unlock all my old blogs about the shoot!

NOTHING BUT SPOILERS AHEAD!

Delivery – Day 1

Delivery – Day 2

Delivery – Day 3

Delivery – Day 4

Delivery – Day 5

Delivery – Day 6

Delivery – Day 7

Delivery – Day 8

Delivery – Day 9

Delivery – Day 10

Delivery – Day 11

Delivery – Day 12

The awesome new scene in Delivery

Delivery World Premiere Q&A – Full of SPOILERS

 

ALL DELIVERY TAGGED POSTS

The Kilted Trooper

Monday, December 1st, 2014

I just remembered another thing I did this summer! I was in a short film at Comic Con.

So I went to LA Nerd Night a while ago and one of the speakers asked if anyone was going to Comic Con, so I raised my hand. After the speakers were finished and people were just mingling, a woman comes up and asks if I’m going to comiccon. I say yes. Then she asks if I’d be willing to be in a short film they are shooting there. I said yes. I think that’s the most random way I’ve booked anything.

When we arrived, I went straight to meet up with them. I got changed and then the director showed the Kilted Trooper and I the dance we needed to learn. Then we went into a less crowded hall and shot our adorable little number. It was pretty fun. People were good about walking around us while we were shooting.  At least once we got a nice round of applause when a crowd had formed. The guys in the suit was such a good sport because it was crazy hot dancing in that uniform.

Definitely one of the more unique experiences I’ve had at the con. Here is the short:

Break room web series shoot

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Last week a director/producer/etc. friend contacted me to see if I wanted to shoot a few scenes in the web series he and his partner were producing.  It’s a set of little vignettes that take place in a break room because it’s sponsored by Keurig.  None of it is actually about the machine, but we are making coffee in all the scenes.  They were really funny.  I think my second one was my favorite.  I won’t spoil what it’s about.  I’ll just post it when they are online.

It was one of those things that reminds you that the industry can be a supportive place.  People who know you and respect you will come to you with work.

Second 1st Date shoot

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

This weekend I went up to a studio in Glendale to shoot a quick bit for my character in Elizabeth and James’s project.  It was in one of those huge white cycs.  It was set up sort of like an interview, plus some sassy poses with a giant fan on.  It was pretty funny.  As far as I know I’m all done on that project now.

Grumpy Panda shoot

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

This weekend I shot a funny video with Peter and Cindy and Co. for Grumpy Panda, their production company.  They did Meter Maids. The shoot was very fun. The other ladies involved were so funny. It was hard to keep a straight face.

I think they are pretty fast at turnaround, so I should have a link to post soon.

Until then, enjoy this episode of Meter Maids I’m in.

Things I’ve been up to

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Well,  it’s been a while since I checked in here.  Not a while lot has been going on, so that’s mostly why.  I was also super busy at my jobby job.

December
I shot a book trailer for Cold Iron, by D. L. McDermott. (Pocket Star).   USA today

We also did the dvd commentary for Delivery.  They are apparently in the process of putting together a new trailer and posted and then I guess they let us know the release date.  Should be soon! (I know I’ve been saying that for a while, but for reals it will be coming out in a few months!)

 

Then I went to Paris for my jobby job for 3 weeks, which was a lot of work, but Paris is wonderful and I would definitely go back for an actual vacation.  I did get 3 days off over the 3 weeks I was gone, so it wasn’t totally crazy.  Plus they flew out my husband for New years and my Bday, because they are awesome.  Our clients there were super nice and smart, so aside from the insane hours, it was about as good a business trip as I could ask for.

 

January

I shot some scenes for an indie project by Elizabeth (she played Jenny in Delivery) and her husband James, who produced a feature together and sold it last year.  The stuff I’m in is all improvised, so we came up with a new, funny take on the character after the original actress had to drop out.  In the script it’s written as a super fitness-obsessed character, and let’s just say that is certainly not me.  ;)  The original script is set up as a feature, but they are thinking of dividing it into webisodes.  It was incredibly fun and the guy paired with me was hilarious. I’ll have another shoot this month for it.

Moon Times!

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Last weekend I finally shot my stuff for Moonbound24.  I actually thought they decided not to use me, or that they used my audition footage since I signed a release at the time.  But they just had like 90 people to shoot, so it took some time.  It’s fine by me, I know that independent stuff takes some time to do right.

So I went to the production office and I did a re-worked monologue based on the character I made up for the audition.  Then we did a series of improvised questions and answers.  It went really quickly and was super fun.  He said they are almost done with all the shoots so they should be launching soon (pun sort of intended.)

Test Shoot in a Top Secret Lab! (Sort of)

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Yesterday, Danny and I played a married couple again to help out our friends over at Psychic Bunny.  They are developing a pitch package for a really cool new technique for a feature film and needed to make a proof-of-concept short.  The whole thing only took 3 hours and that’s with the rehearsals and set up time.  It was fast and fun.  It’s always great working with those guys.

So, they often work with this other company that develops super cutting edge special effects technology stuff.  It’s the kind of place where white boards covered in equations (and doodles) line the walkways.  I won’t say what it is in case I’m not supposed to.  I will say the room we shot in had this totally awesome, huge rig that does something pretty impressive.  Cryptic enough for you?  (It was related to creating textures for 3D models, which I thought was rad because it’s a pet peeve of mine in a lot of CG.)  Granted we were using the other side of the room that looks like a high tech office and didn’t shoot the rig at all.  They were just borrowing the office since it fit the scene and they allowed them to do it there.  Hooray for connections!

 

A fun day as an extra?

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

So last week a casting director I follow online posted about needing extras for a comedy pilot, unpaid.  Normally I’d be like “Nope.”  But then it was a period piece from the 1960’s, so I was like, “Well, ok.”  I get to dress up and I haven’t been on a set in a while.  Plus it’s good karma and all that.  I was also totally free all day.

I show up, just on time and so were all the other “Moms.”  We were on our game!  Everyone came dressed in a great outfit, with makeup as requested.  No one was late.  No one put on eyeliner, as they said they would be doing that.  These ladies were pros.  Some of them knew a person involved in the production and others were like me doing a favor for a casting director they had met.  We got there at 8am so we could get our clothes approved and eyeliner done.  Then at 10am, most of the kids showed up and then they got ready.  It was freaking adorable.  They were all around 10-12 and dressed like it was 1962.  A few of the actual moms came dressed as well, and they gave one a sweet beehive hairdo.  It was rad.  We looked awesome.

Moms of 1962

In this snap I’m the only one looking the wrong way.  I hope i was looking when the set photographer too hers at least.  ;)

There was a cluster of girls next to me playing some online game and talking about wanting a PS4.  I’m pleased to see the next generation of girls not being afraid of technology.

I don’t know when we actually got on set, maybe around noon?  I didn’t sign an NDA (just a regular release form) but it probably would be bad form to talk about the awesome set.  And costumes.  And actors.  And music.  Just trust me they were great.  Also the crew was awesome.  Everyone was soooooo appreciative of us, and in return we were awesome on set.  Even after like 6 hours on a really uncomfortable metal bench, we still gave as much energy as we could.  It was more than just ‘background’ though, so that made it much more fun.  We were part of a lot of the jokes.  It’s suuuuper offensive, but really funny.  And the kids they found for the speaking roles were fantastic.  This kid in front of me was like a little stand up comedian.

The nice thing about working with kids is that it’s illegal to have them work over 8 hours, so we were done at 7:30 no matter what.  There was a welfare official there and everything to make sure of that.  Toward the end of the day it was a countdown trying to get all the scenes they needed shot.  I assume they did?  All the speaking kids had their scenes, so I think those were most important.  After we wrapped, we came out of the studio to find a million pizzas waiting.  I didn’t realize I was hungry until I started eating like a hundred pieces.

We did get some breaks during the day so we hung out in the holding area,  either reading, or using our phones, or chatting about surprisingly personal stuff.  Sitting around on a set is a good way to get to know people quickly.  I think there is a certain openness in that we don’t know if we’ll ever see these strangers again, so why not talk about fertility treatments and breastfeeding troubles?  Maybe it was also because it was all women, so people felt comfortable.  It was nice hanging out with a bunch of smart, interesting women all day.

On my way home I rolled the windows down and blasted my music. It was a good day and I am glad I went.

The next morning my butt was sore from the bench and I had the song stuck in my head, but no regrets.  I hope it gets picked up.  I’d like to see the finished product.