Archive for the ‘special effects’ Category

The not-so-secret rig

Friday, September 6th, 2013

It turns out the awesome rig I mentioned is in normal use already.  Here is a trailer that features the bigger full body version.  We were in the room with the smaller head-only version.

Also this movie looks pretty rad.

There’s a good shot of it around 54 seconds. It scans a person from every type of lighting so it can be mapped onto a digital version of them for special effects shots. That way they don’t look like rubber people.

Vegan Fly Trap Shoot

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

Saturday we shot at a studio downtown.  We shot in one corner of the space and they dressed the whole area with crumbled up concrete and grit.  It was pretty great.  Well, not when you accidentally sit on a big chunk of concrete, but mostly it was fine.

During the whole shoot, the other girls and I are in roller skates.  When I first put them on I was so afraid I was going to fall on my ass like a million times because it’s been a few years since I roller skated. After a few minutes up on my feet though it felt fine and I was even able to use the stoppers ok.  It wasn’t much of an issue for Saturday’s shoot since we were on the floor, chained to the wall, but we would be on our feet for Sunday.

We shot a little out of order so that we could have some footage for a surveillance camera shot later.  Overall everything went super fast.  There were 2 cameras, so they got twice the coverage in the same amount of time.  Plus they had planned out all the shots they wanted in advance and we were able to just shoot the scenes in little sections.

The other two girls got wrapped early and I had a scene where I leap up at the villain.  He’s standing in the doorway and I jump up and push him back, but on one take I stepped on the door frame which was kind of like a triangle shape, which gave me an impressive foot bruise.


We finished up all the dialog stuff in that set and then we went back to do the special effects stuff.  The blood effect wasn’t cooperating and I think more blood ended up spilling off the tarp than on it, but eventually we did a take that was awesome.  I didn’t get to see it because I was holding the knife, but the folks behind the camera had a good reaction.  There was some cleanup necessary after that, but that allowed time to prep the other special effects shot.  I was semi-wrapped so I didn’t stay to watch it.  I had to get home to shower since we were probably shooting a bit later and it’s an earlier scene.  I think I left around 7:30 or so.

I didn’t check my phone until after 9 and had a message that they wanted to shoot at 9!  Oops!  I called back to let them know I was on my way.  threw on some makeup- luckily I didn’t wash my hair so it was still pretty much styled the same.  I got over to the apartment and the guys that were there had a couple beers, so I had one too.  They set up for the scene we needed to shoot.  It was all pretty laid back.  They got the lighting all set and we shot a couple angles.  At some point the director’s cat went crazy hissing and meowing really loud when I was ‘attacked’.  It was really funny, but then we just closed the inner door so he would stop freaking out.  He was quiet, but did succeed in slashing one of the crew inside and later me because I was trying to pet him.  That’s on me.   Anyway, we got the shots we needed.

Sunday we shot all the restaurant scenes at M Bar, which is a great venue to check out if you’ve never been there.  The funny thing was that it has carpet, so we had to skate a little differently.  It was smooth enough that we could skate on it.  They brought flat panels for us in case the carpet was no good, but the panels ended up being more slippery, so we left it.

That morning they brought us McD’s sandwiches AND Porto’s pastries!  It was awesome.  Actually the director brought one and the producer brought the other not knowing.  I ate both.  They added a quick shot where I take a bite out of a burger, so we used one of the sausage McMuffins.  Actually I think we used 3 or 4.  I think that was the first time I took a bite of food for a scene and then spit it out.  Not because I don’t like them, but because I already ate one plus a danish.  I could take in any more.

Most of that scene is done in one long shot, so we rehearsed it a bunch of times to get our timing worked out.  The cop has to come in and say his line and then I have to be up to the front right as he finishes, then I say my line and the two other girls show up right behind me at the same time.  So we did some takes of that and then did the coverage of the cop character.  Then there were a few exteriors and the last thing was our super stylized pose.  And that was it!  We stuck around and ate some pizza and then I went home and went to sleep because I was getting a cold.

I’m super excited to see this finished.  It’s super fun.


Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Guess who’s got two thumbs and got to do some motion capture yesterday! This girl! *points thumbs at self*

I got a text Friday afternoon from the director of Tree of Knowledge asking what I was doing the following day. I texted back that I had some workshops and if this was about ADR. He texted Mo-cap and I immediately responded that I can cancel!

We were at Just Cause Productions. I got there and got suited up. Then this fellow Vince stuck a bunch of little dots all over me and then reinforced them. Unfortunately it didn’t occur to me to to the bathroom before putting it on, so I was going to have to wait until we finished (or lunch, whichever came first).

When I showed up I didn’t even know what I was going to be doing since my character isn’t in the animated section. Turns out I got to play the freaky giant rag doll. It’s supposed to be like 10 feet tall so sometimes I was on my knees, but still had to be about that same height as Emily, so I would kneel on a pillow on some apple boxes. That way my body was shaped right and then hers was too. They will have a bunch of adjusting to do later, but I think it should work out well. We got to see some real time before we started to give us an idea of scale. I ended up acting with my body mostly normal even though the doll’s head and body were taller than my skeleton. It was super neat to dance around and see it on the screen though.

We rehearsed a little while they were setting up, so when we started capturing we did most sections in one take. We had a prop stick that was a little awkward since it has an extra bar sticking out so they can capture rotation.

We got it all done before lunch but I really needed to use the bathroom, so they took a break to help un-dot me. It was so much fun!!

Man, I cannot wait to see the finished film! It’ll be a long time, but if they send over any screen shots or anything I’ll post them.

More Alien Pics

Friday, April 30th, 2010

I found a few more shots from the alien shoot on the photographer’s flicker.

*I was playing with and petting the cat- not trying to lure and eat it.

Funny Business shoot

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Got up early this morning to shoot my scenes for a student film for LA Valley Community College. My costume was rad. Stripey wool pants, tan button down, suspenders and a belt, round sunglasses, beige bowler, bow tie, and one of those knit winter hats (I forget what the name is) but with the top cut off so it was like a neck and mouth covering. I had it on all day so I still kind of feel like it’s on my face. Weird. Anyway, I looked way sinister. Once again I forgot to take a picture for myself, but I’ll get someone’s or post once I get footage. Oh and I also had a really creepy Dummy too.

So luckily we started with the heavy stuff. As the day went on I got pretty tired, so it was nice to have it out of the way. I think it went really well. Patrick, the director, seemed really happy with it. I shoot a guy in the nether regions, and then later I shoot a guy in the head. They don’t show it, but they had a few special effects of the guy whose guts would be blasted out. Then I was also shot. We did all that and then the rest of the actors came for my other scene where I just have to sit there with my dummy. So even though I was tired, it didn’t matter. I just have to shoot that guy in the head and look creepy. Oh, and operate the dummy. It was a simple pull-string kind and easy to use.

At some point the zipper on the vintage pants I was wearing disintegrated all at once and the teeth went all over (like those nightmares where all your teeth keep falling out.). I managed to get the zipper down enough so they would come off and then pinned it, since by then I was mostly sitting at the table and they didn’t see it. Sucks about the pants, but that can happen on vintage stuff. Hopefully they can replace the zipper without affecting and value of the pants. The wardrobe girl, Alanna, owns a vintage shop so we got to use a bunch of stuff from her collection.

Near the end of the day, my 2 sports bras that were keeping my feminine figure in check (I was disguised as a man) started getting really itchy and I was really warm with the wool pants and neck wrap and hat. But then we finished. I even made it home in time to catch the last 3 matches of Wrestlemania. (We recorded it so I watch the good parts I missed later.)

Very fun character stuff, violence, some blood, and finished in one day. Not too shabby. launching soon!

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Remember that awesome alien makeup thing I got to do recently? Well the series will be up and running next week according to the producer on Facebook. I may or may not be in it, since I was making a dating video to be either part of the site or possibly used in the series.

Also cool is that they ended up casting a friend of mine – Brooke Lyons – in one of the roles. I was rooting for her after I saw her headshot in their final 2 for the Ruthie character when I was over at Joy’s for the makeup. Small world!

Just an alien, looking for love.

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Yesterday was awesome. My pals at Funbox Comedy are working with this director, Joy, and they are producing a sci-fi comedy web series. I auditioned for the lead, but did not get it. Joy really liked my read though so she had me come and be an alien for their faux dating site ‘Date a Human.’ I was a cat-like alien with tall blue hair and another girl was a sparkly fish-like alien. I had full on prosthetic appliances, airbrushing, synthetic hair. I remembered I still had fangs from The Night Life so I got a ride over to my place and got them. I wasn’t really paying attention, but I’m sure we got some funny looks. I looked like a Who from Whoville.

The whole process took over 4 hours! I will post pictures as soon as I get them. They took a bunch so I didn’t think to take any for myself.

We alternated shooting still shots and video. It was part scripted and part improvised. Some were over a green screen to use in the series as a sort of hologram and others were just inside and would just be for the website. They got coverage of both since they weren’t sure how they would use it in the series. They may end up using both styles if it works in the effects.

I was surprised all that stuff on my head didn’t itch at all, though the slits for the nose holes were limited so I did a lot of mouth breathing all day. She stuck it on really well, so I could move my face without worrying about it coming loose. Then it took like an hour to get it off at the end. And I had to take a long hot shower to get the remaining little goobers and paint all over. I probably still have paint on me today. But that’s ok because it was super rad. I can’t wait to see it. I love that type of thing. Even if it takes 5 hours.

Behind the scenes

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Behind the scenes clip of the neck bonesawing effect.

Pledge money here to help it get made!
Read here about this ‘Horror Movie camp’ at or here at NBC LA.

Dr. Bonesaw! Rad injury day.

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

I went over to Psychic Bunny to help out with this promo they were shooting to help get money for a low budget awesome horror flick called Dr. Bonesaw, inspired by a hilarious/sexy picture taken of Christine behind the scenes on The Echo Game a while ago.

So yeah, they want to actually make this movie. Delightful. When my friend and I showed up to help they asked if I wanted to get my head cut off and I said sure! So I played dead while they took a bone saw to my neck and squirted chocolatey blood all over. Messy, effective. We did 3 takes- the first the table shook and they weren’t getting enough splatter. I blinked when the table shook anyway. Then the second take I guess something went wrong with the tubing, but it also slooshed into my eye and I blinked. Plus it filled my ear. That’s a weird feeling. They cut that one short, which is good since chocolate syrup and corn syrup don’t belong in my ear.

Third time we got it all right and I didn’t blink. Yay! the blood started a bit early, but they can use the clip pretty early on. they won’t get the full blade coming down part is all. It lasted a little while so the actual blade, which wasn’t really a flesh cutting device, mind you, started scratching into my skin. Felt a bit like getting a tattoo. Still didn’t blink or flinch though. Yay! Best dead girl of the day. I got to see it and it’s hilariously bloody. Yay!

So now I have a bunch of welts on my shoulder/neck area, but oh well. They should heal up fine.


The Night Life, wrapped!

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

You know, it’s not the sight or the feel of pig intestines that gets to me. It’s the smell. That’s what we used for guts last night and it was ok at first, but after the 3rd take I was reminded of 8th grade biology and got a bit queasy. Bleh.

And speaking of evoking childhood queasiness, the fake blood we used for going in our mouths was labeled ‘Zesty Mint,’ but I would actually define it as ‘Sullen Mint.’ It reminded me of the flavor of the fluoride they made us swish in elementary school. Ugh.

Ok, enough talking about how gross it was, it was also super rad! I had pretend blood running all down my face. And then the other actor surprised everyone by licking it off my face, which was hilarious and awesome. So was the point where one of the intestines was thrown directly at my face by accident. Hilarious, awesome, and gross.

So now I’ll go do some foley in a few weeks and it should screen at the school at the beginning of may. Tra la!