Sunday, May 27, 2007

“Unconditional” principal photography - day 2

5:30am call time. Seems early for a Saturday morning doesn’t it? The call time was set (and certainly not by me) to take advantage of “magic hour” (“golden hour” or “alpenglow”) which is that hour just after sunrise (or before sunset) when the light is perfect for capturing images, whether on film or video. Well, it certainly seemed like a good idea and actually probably would have looked great, were it not for the 100% cloud cover and the pouring rain. Fortunately the city street that was chosen for the early morning exterior shot was the same city street where the Omaha Film Group offices and studio reside (coincidence?) so with some minor tweaking to the script and a last minute dash across the city (thank you Carole) to get some additional wardrobe, the scene was modified to be an interior.

We were able to knock a planned seven camera setups to two and the scene ended up working just fine. Roll with the punches.

Location two was also an exterior and while the rain had lessened a bit, it was still very present so we had to make due there as well. We needed a wide establishing shot which meant the camera had to be positioned in the street, out in the elements. Mad props to Robbie for his makeshift rain shelter made of C-stands, clamps and plywood for keeping the camera (and the DP) dry. The shots went well and ended up looking great. Derek has a knack for building a realistic looking crime scene so I’m sure his neighbors were looking out the windows wondering what was going on.

Out last and biggest location of the day was all interiors, out of the rain, so that was good. Of course, it would have been better if we had air conditioning, but hey, what’s a little sweat between friends, right?

Props to Derek for a great job in his (official) directorial debut and thanks for allowing me to be a part of your production. Huge props also go to Christopher for shooting a great film and to Robbie for the great lighting. The rest of the cast and crew did a fantastic job and we should end up with a nice little film.

On to editing!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

“The Hit” Rehearsals

Tonight we had rehearsals with Adam, Giovanni, Lindsey, Kelly and Lisa and everything went great. Everyone is getting a better feel for their character and a better general sense of the direction of the film. A few more days and we’ll be locked and loaded and ready to go. We’ve got a busy couple of weeks leading up to the film so strap in.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

“The Hit” short film cast announcement

It is with great pleasure that we announce the cast for our upcoming production of the short film entitled "The Hit."

Reaper – Adam O’Rourke
Deacon – Garrett Sheeks
Wealthy Man – Kelly Adams
Trophy Wife – Lisa Hinz
Secretary – Darcy Lueking
Mr. Short – Kevin Pufall
Gamer #1 – Andrew Welch
Gamer #2 – Shelby Rogers
Gamer #3 – Kevin McKeever
Gamer #4 – Jarred Welch
Rachel – Lindsey Jo Clemenson
Sampson – Giovanni LaFata

A partial crew list is as follows:

Director/Producer – Marc Longbrake
Writer/Producer – Chris Zech
Director of Photography – Craig Ladwig

The rest of the crew will be filled top to bottom with heavy hitters so I’m really looking forward to directing this very professional group of filmmakers.

Location scouting is going great, with all of the locations secured except for one. The shot list is complete, storyboarding about halfway done and location walkthroughs and rehearsals are scheduled heavily over the next two weeks.

Our first full-cast (with the exception of two) table read was held on Wednesday at the new Omaha Film Group Studio and it went extremely well. Thanks to all who attended and thanks in advance for helping make this short film one that will make us all proud.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

“Unconditional” principal photography – day 1

4:45am call time. That’s all I remember from the shoot today. I had to wake up and drive a half hour and be on set at 4:45am. It boggles the mind. I got there on time (somehow) and when I arrived, everyone else was there, bight-eyed-and-bush…okay, I’m not finishing that.

It was an awesome shoot. Everyone there was all about the common goal, and we were able to get all of the shots we needed, and ahead of time (how rare is that?)

Next shooting day is in two weeks. That should give me ample opportunity to focus on our new short film “The Hit.”

Friday, May 11, 2007

Rock your face off

Went out to the Sokol Hall tonight to check out some awesome local bands. I had a chance to check out Shatterproof, A.Symbiont, Stigmata and Narcotic Self and they were all fantastic. I’ve got the latest CDs from Stigmata and A.Symbiont but I’d never had a chance to check them out live so it was a great opportunity to hit them both in one night.

We’re using a Stigmata song in our feature film “Heart of the City” and Pat from A.Symbiont is working on the score for our short film “Still Life.”

I couldn’t stay late enough to check out Venaculas because we have a 4:45am call time for our latest short film “Unconditional” so I’ll have to check them out sometime in the future.

Support your local music scene. It’s better than you think.

Huge thanks to Lynn for hooking me up with tix. Great night.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

“The Hit” short film auditions 2

We had our second round of auditions tonight and they went great. Hopefully with all of the actors that we’ve seen over the last few days, we can cast our film. Decisions will be made on Sunday.

Thanks to all that came out and thanks again to Christopher and Julie for their help tonight.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

“Duval’s Gift” by Neva Cozine

Went to the cast/crew/friends/family screening of the short film “Duval’s Gift” tonight and had a great time. There were about 30 people in attendance and 4 of the 5 cast members were there. The film ran about 14 minutes long and the crowd responded very well to Neva’s directorial debut.

After the film the four cast members went up to the front and did a nice Q&A session answering questions about acting, the filmmaking process and telling funny stories from the shoot. A good time was had by all. Congrats Neva, you made a nice film.

“The Hit” short film auditions

Auditions went great today. We saw lots of fantastic actors and I’m constantly amazed at the talent that we have in this town. The decisions over the next few days are going to be tough so wish us luck.

Thanks a ton to Christopher Norton for the awesome studio space and thanks to Julie, Johnnye, Neva, Katie and Ben for all of your help.

We’re toying with the idea of having a few more reads this coming Thursday night but more on that as it develops.

So, we’re officially full speed ahead. Craig (DP) came up to the auditions for a while and it sounds like the crew assembly is moving along so it’s time to flip the switch and go into full preproduction mode. Which should be a piece of cake considering I’m working 60 hours per week and I’m helping Derek with his short film over the next several weeks. No problem, it’s the love of the game, right?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

"The Hit" short film auditions on May 5th

It’s that time again. King Penguin Productions is teaming up with Echo Factory (third times the charm) and we’re going to shoot another short film. This one’s going to be a bit different though, as we’ve enlisted the talents of a professional shooting/lighting/grip crew and we’re shooting on the CineAlta, so it should have a very professional look to it.

Open Auditions are going to be held on Saturday, May 5th from 1-4 pm at the Creative Marketing Solutions studio at 1904 Farnam, Suite 320 (Enter by Manhattan's Deli, take the elevator to the 3rd floor, then turn right. It's the corner office.)

We are looking for actors to fill the following roles:

Male, mid-late 20s, athletic build, comfortable around knives, guns. Somewhat physical role.

Minor (speaking) roles:
Well Off Man - 30-45, sophisticated, athletic to average build
Well Off Man's Wife - 25-35, sophisticated, slender, attractive
Secretary - 20s, attractive, athletic, slender
Rachel - 20s, attractive, athletic, slender
Mr. Short - 30-45, businessman, average to athletic
Deacon - 20-35, intelligent looking, average build
Samson - Mid to late 20s, frat boy, athletic
Gamers (4 required) - early 20s, actual gamers preferred but not required (can audition together)

This is a low budget short film and all actors are on a volunteer, non-paying basis. All credits and film compensation (copy of the film for portfolio, notice of accepted film festivals, etc.) will be given. We will be shooting on hi-def here in Omaha and will try to get the film into several film festivals. Shooting to take place in early June over three days. We are also in preproduction for a second short film to be shot later in the summer so there are several additional roles available in the near future.

Come on out!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Catch My Breath - Young Pflames

Had a great time this weekend shooting a music video for local rapper/R&B artist Young Pflames. It was a long shoot but we got a ton of great footage so the video is going to be awesome. We shot in three locations and had lots of extras and since we shot it all in hi-def, the final product should look real slick and real professional.

Topler did the directing, Robbie lit and shot it and I was along for the ride helping out with AD/SS and whatever else was needed. Meredith (Margaret) did a fantastic job of producing and Steve was an awesome grip.

Check back on Topler or Pflames’ MySpace pages over the next month-or-so to check out the finished video. I think you’ll be impressed.

By the way, we shot this two days ago and the song’s still going through my head.

And if you haven’t heard of Pflames, check him out. He’s blowing up and he’s gonna be huge.

Two fingers.
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