Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Monday, January 29, 2007
Mac: 1. I think "Corvette" is the wrong word - too much potential for unintentional giggles.
Drew: Really? Is that funny? Does it make you not think of WWII battleships?
Laura: Um. There was a WWII battleship called a Corvette? You don't plan to have any girls watching this movie? You didn't want me to be thinking of Athena as some sort of K.I.T.T on 2 legs?
Drew: well, the car reference I think is fine, I mean it's a bit of a joke to call a person a Corvette-class, but I didn't think it was “unintentional giggles” materials.
Mac: 2. Why does Stahl say it's a free planet?
Drew: I think he's being ironic. But maybe the line has to go away.
Laura: We don't lose anything by cutting this line (other than a little confusion).
Drew: OK, whiners. It's gone. What else do you want?
Mac: 3. Why is Galloway an alchemist? Then he wouldn't need one.
Drew: Maybe he's a low-grade one. Or maybe we just shouldn't make him one at all.
Laura: Yeah, he's not an alchemist. The Xik dropped the trial capsules and they had their evil effects. But when Galloway tried to replicate it, he couldn't. Something like that?
Drew: So now he's a “colonist”. If that's fine with youse.
Mac: 4. In the new model, how do Kyle and Maleyna make love if he's programmed to be revolted by her?
Drew: I think in my little brain the effect doesn't last very long. So that she looks like a corpse, but then fades into real girl.
Laura: Oh. I guess I thought they didn't actually succeed in making her look like a corpse until later. Guess I need to re-read that part.
Drew: it'll be cool. She'll look like a girl, he'll kiss her, he opens his eyes and she's a corpse, he'll close them again and she's a girl again.
Mac: 5. Why does Athena lick Maleyna's cheek?
Drew: To pick up enough DNA to mimic her later.
Laura: Liar. She licks Maleyna's cheek because Drew wants to see some chick cheek-lickin action. Athena doesn't need any DNA from the dead wife, now does she? (That said, I don't care if this stays or goes.)
Drew: no really, she suspects Maleyna is West's daughter, by licking her she can “taste” her DNA. Plus, there's some chick cheek-lickin' and who doesn't love that?
Mac: 6. We don't have the redemptive ending we originally talked about, where West learns the folly of vengeance and forgives Galloway at the end.
Drew: Right. Galloway goes to hell. West goes to hell. The kids survive. They'll go to heaven. Is that OK? I kinda like it.
Laura: I like that West dies instead of living happily ever after; I think that's well foreshadowed in his conversations with the android. But I think Kyle and Maleyna need to be a little more front and center at the end.
Drew: I say that we block it so they're in the second row on the right.
Mac: 7. If Galloway has an implant that controls all the Marshals, why does Stahl give him shit?
Drew: Maybe he shouldn't. I was thinking that Stahl being the only intelligent one could push Galloway just as Babish did. Galloway can't afford to make him insane.
Laura: See below when it comes to Stahl. Perhaps we need another look at his character...
Mac: 8. Why does West go for Stahl's gun if he's in despair?
Drew: Maybe we need an angry moment. I dunno. What think'st Laura?
Laura: What if it happens the other way around? After West puts down the controller, he picks up the gun right away and holds it on Galloway. Galloway then explains everything about his daughter, and West just absently hangs on to the gun. It's only after Stahl shoots him that West even realizes he's armed. Or, maybe best forget the gun altogether and have West stick to the controller and razor death thing.
Drew: Yeah, that last idea might be the best.
Mac: 9. If the mutants are just people, why do they eat Babish and Cub?
Drew: Babish and Cub kill themselves just as Stahl does. But we don't realize it 'till the movie is over. We might need an extended "flashback" moment to explain all that -- and Athena's changes too.
Laura: I think these 2 deaths have to be shot in a very ambiguous way. Cub looks down, obviously fighting something off his leg, takes his last blaster shot and shoots off his own leg. We see mutant children only in his POV. Or something.
Drew: They don't have to be ambiguous. We just can't show that West or Athena's POV being filled with mutants.
10. Stahl's dialogue needs a polish - we don't have a consistent tone for it yet.
Drew: Boo yeah. We wanna make sure too that West talks different from Galloway who talks different from Babish.
Laura: Yeah, I'm still not 100% personally in love with the circumlocution. It's hard for an ordinary actor to do this. And yes, all our actors will be extraordinary, but still in Pandora Machine and Bloodmask we didn't succeed in getting really great, convincing deliveries when the language was deliberately unnatural. I'd rather have this character be about the character than about the way he talks. (does that make sense?)
Drew: You are so wrong. Jason Howard said “You've injured my Nosferatu-Class Neuronecromotron” like nobody's business.
And I can't believe we missed the opportunity to make the pearl-handled straight razor not the weapon which West's wife used to kill herself! Jeezum Crow!
That's been fixed.
James Lee's art. I can't find a web page for him.
I'm plagiarizing David Latt's Myspace.com blog. Right here. Right now. Because I can't find a way to link to it. He's with www.theasylum.cc and this is an edited version of what he says:
-No more than 115 pages
-No less than 80 pages
-If you really want it read, make it 97 pages
-Put the genre in the first five pages of the script. Meaning … if this is a vampire film, then there better be vampire killings in the first five pages
-Write a traditional three act script
-Each Plot Point should answer the main plot with 'NO'. Meaning…if the plot is, Will Timmy get laid? Then at the first plot point (p. 18) the answer is 'No' because Timmy is sent to an all boys school. Plot point two (p.75) the answer is 'No' because Timmy's pecker fell off (plot point two should always be impossible to make right).
-Do not be lazy. Make each situation impossible to get out of. Do not make it easy. Think Pulp Fiction.
-A minimum of five set ups and pay offs.
-Do not over describe anything.
-Two sentence paragraphs at the most when describing things.
-Write a detailed Bullet Sheet before writing. Use only one line sentence. The whole script should fit on 1 or 2 pages.
-You will win the prize if you think of a cool title.
Here's a Blender 3D tutorial from Ian over at www.robotsoup.com
Because you want to use an open-source 3D animation program rather than 3DSMax or such.
Friday, January 26, 2007
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Drew: Make sure that no sound happens over dialog (because you'll have to replicate those sounds for the M&E so that the English dialog-free version sounds exactly like the full English mix). And make sure whomever's booming is "riding the line" just above the actor's heads.
And if for some reason neither of those techniques work, just do a wild take of the dialog - without actors moving around - immediately after the camera take.
Chance: Thanks for the audio advice. I'd already planned on getting all the lines "wild" after each take. And I'm not afraid of ADR anymore, which I should have done a lot more of on HIDE AND CREEP.
Drew: Please... maintain your [healthy] fear of ADR!
Chance: I think 4:1 is reasonable. But I'm a lazy editor. I've been trying to keep my ratios to 4 or 5 to 1 for years now, just because I hate going through all that footage.
Chance: And maybe that's not the right word. "Flat?" "Too Clean?" There's something about video, even good video, that always bugs me, and it's hard to put my finger on what exactly that is.
Drew: Yeah, video has that video look. It's not just gamma, or the highlights (because honestly color reversal stock has similar problems), the framerate, or the latitude. That being said, one can make film look like crap (see: most indy films). But if you have even a somewhat well-lit scene, there's just a little o' that extra magic you can get out of film which is nice.
Chance: Exactly. It just seems like less work for a good image in the long run. Plus, there's so much latitude in the negative. It's amazing how much detail you can pull out of the shadows or the highlights if the need arises.
Drew: And I'm also a fan of infinite depth-of-field, the advantage there goes to DV/HD.
Chance: I tend to like less DOF. That way, it's harder to see the flaws in the background sets/props/etc. I'm half kidding. Plus, like it or not, less DOF is fashionable these days.
Drew: But the way highlights squish on film is nicer (although Panasonic has done a whole lot to make their highlights better.)
Chance: That's for sure. I really hate shooting video outside on a sunny day. Yuck.
Drew: As long as you're shooting naked people there are fewer complaints about the image.
Chance: No doubt. I'm going to call that "Andrew's rule!"
Drew: "Off with the clothes!" I say! "No gratuitious costuming!"
Here's some of an email conversation with Chance Shirley over at Crewless. (Image courtesy Suicide Girls.)
Chance: Video and film both have their advantages and disadvantages. At the end of the day, you have to look at your budget and script and personal preferences and decide what's best for the project. So far, I've been making genre movies that I want to look kind of like a traditional 80s or 70s B-movie, and I own and am comfortable with a 16mm camera, so I go for Super 16. And I even write the scripts with Super 16 in mind.
Drew: Did you look at the Panasonic HVX200 camera when doing tests against super 16mm?
Drew: To me, 16mm hasn't been nearly as helpful to the image as 35mm.
Drew: That's why I'm excited about shooting 2-perf...
Chance: Yes, yes, yes. THAT'S what I'm talking about. I heard Arri's going to add a 2-perf option to their 235 camera.
Drew: ... as soon as we can get our hands on cameras with 1000' magazines...
Chance: Even on 400' magazines, you should get 10 minutes to a roll shooting 2-perf... is that right? If you're shooting lean, 10 minutes of film goes a long way.
Drew: The thing which drives me nuts is having to tell the actors we have to stop to change mags. So don't get me started about what its like to shoot short ends!
Chance: Even disregarding the time issue, short ends can come out a little wonky sometimes. It seems like factory fresh stock is more consistent, as far as color and grain go.
Drew: I'm kinda into Fuji stock...
Chance: Kodak's a little sharper, but Fuji is significantly cheaper. I vote Fuji.
Drew: [W]ould you be shooting 500 ISO stuff?
Drew: I've been kinda interested in shooting daylight in tungsten...
Chance: I've never really got "golden" out of daylight stock and tungsten lights -- more "orangen." But playing with the color is half the fun.
Chance: I'm pretty sure somebody makes a general "warming" filter for that sort of thing, though I'm not sure what they'd call it.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Furthermore, I always suggest having a writing partner. Image courtesy Cute Overload.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
The new production company name.
We're going to make genre films. Scripts will be pre-approved by our rep.
The stories will be strong. The acting will be good. There will be action and nudity and, of course, robots.
And they better sound good or it'll be really embarrassing for me.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
1. Braidwood Films
2. Empirical Pictures
3. Pandora Machine
4. Empirical Planet
Those are the choices. Choose wisely. Drop me an email or a comment if you have an opinion.
Update: so far I have a vote for Braidwood Films, Pandora Machine, and Empirical Pictures.
Here are some negatives with these names: I'm a bit bored with the "Braidwood" name. Pandora Machine is a name of a movie we made. And there's another company called "American Empirical Pictures".
Update Update: now we have two for Pandora Machine, two for Empirical Pictures.
UpUpUpdate: One for Braidwood Films, three for Pandora Machine, two for Empirical Pictures.
U4: Pandora Machine and Empirical Pictures are tied at 3 votes each.
U5: Pandora Machine has 4, Empirical Pictures has 5, and Braidwood Films has 2.
U6: On the advice of my lawyer, Empirical Pictures is out of the running. My dad likes Braidwood Films, but I'm weary of "Braidwood". The purpose of that name was to be pretentious. "Pandora Machine" -- like "Good Machine" but without the bankruptcy.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Or, How to make money making movies.
The model of the new movie-making business is:
Genre product: Nudity, action. Preferably monsters, fights, explosions. This means horror, sci-fi, or maybe thrillers.
Put name talent (names the consumer would know) in the movie.
Shoot some part on 35mm.
But first we'll start off with Kung Fu Monkey:
We've apparently been paid already from our Japanese distributor. The hard drive is at the lab in California (I haven't been able to find anyone in New York who can actually do the work of making a 4-channel DigiBeta from a Final Cut Pro project, who actually understands why we might need that for overseas.)
And really, at the same time we're formulating a business plan for our next film company. Empirical Pictures was going to be the name of the company, but it might end up being Pandora Machine Films. Just because I still like the name "Pandora Machine". I even named my iPod that.
The secret, it seems, is to make movies for $60,000 (sixty thousand dollars) plus one's overhead. Make them look like what buyers think at least 2 million dollars looks like (although I'm targeting 12 million in "looks"). But research shows that the magic number is $60K for production, and another $40 or whatever for "overhead".
There must be recognizable name talent in the picture. It would be really good if at least some portion of the movie were shot on 35mm.
We can do this.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Both Blair and Jim tend to call me "Drew Bear".
Catie calls me "Kualda". I have no idea why.
Ed calls me "Drew".
Jim sometimes calls me "Drewbee."
Maruti calls me "Chicken", and by extension Sarah Matthay does too. But they're the only ones allowed to call me that. It's because I had a haircut once which made me look like a baby chicken.
Ben Sulzbach calls me "Drewcifer".
Josh James calle me "Cat Daddy."
Once again, www.cuteoverload.com does it again.