Saturday, May 2, 2009

Two weeks...

It's May 2nd now, which means we are exactly two weeks away from the start of the production! Things are really falling into place nicely, which means that this is the first weekend in awhile that we haven't been running around trying to do all sorts of fun movie related tasks.

This week, we made arrangements for our "Aidan", Cory Driscoll, to fly into Los Angeles from Jacksonville. He'll be here for almost two weeks while we complete our first round of shooting. I know everyone is really excited about him coming.

Last weekend, we finally found our John & Cheryl Spencer (Jack's parents, for those of you who aren't keeping track of character names) which finalizes our principal cast. We've also added a few awesome people to our crew, who will be a tremendous help as we get into actual production.

That's all for now- keep checking back. As we get into production, this blog will be exploding with updates!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Waiting is the hardest part... or was it movie making?

So I am sitting here wrapping up the final touches on my end of the producer's team.  What is it that I do for the production Claire?  Well, at this stage of the game, Michelle, Jermaine and Dan have things pretty well wrapped up.  So most of what I can offer is from the tech side.  In the coming posts, I am going to take you on a behind the scenes look at some of the TECH OF CLAIRE.  

But for now, I just wanted to drop in, say hello, and more importantly, say "thank you"!  Thank you for donating in these tough economic times, thank you for following our progress on Facebook, IndieGoGo and on the Claire blog; and thank you for your support and well wishes!

I'll have more to say as we approach production - and even more to say as we approach post production and my role becomes more relevant.  Until then, stay tuned for more production stills, behind the scenes footage and other little Claire tid-bits... maybe even a little swag give away contest!   Cheers!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gotta Give the People What They Want

First off, I'd like to thank everyone who has been following our progress so far and especially offer gratitude to all of those who have offered their support and services as well as any donations. I think it's great that we've started to amass a little bit of a following already and I hope you all will continue to keep track of how we're doing and spread the word even more about our little adventure of a project. This will especially be helpful as we get into the thick of production as I'm sure we will be calling out for helping hands either in the role of assistant crew on set, background and atmosphere extras for certain scenes, or any other number of special services that unique people such as yourself may have to offer. Maybe you just happen to have that old varsity jacket laying around the house which you could loan to us as a prop or wardrobe for certain scenes, maybe you happen to know of a picturesque neighborhood that would work well for one of our exterior scenes that you could tell us about. We would love for all of you to be as much a part of putting this movie together as possible.

In turn we'd like to keep you abreast of what's going on as much as we can.... but we also want to get feedback from you as well. We already plan to put up more talking head interviews with the filmmakers and cast. We also plan to continue taking production stills and showing you other things that happen behind the scenes. But what is it that you as the audience wants to see? Our goal is to keep you interested enough to follow us throughout the production and give us as many comments and suggestions as you can think of. What kind of things could we put up that might make your friends interested? Not only do we want to keep you intrigued, but we also want our audience to grow. When Mr. Joe Random stumbles across our blog or website by accident our hope is that it seems interesting enough for him to come back and keep checking in on us, then to tell his friends.

As we buckle down and bury our heads in the nitty gritty of getting this movie in the can, we have to depend on people like you to keep us abreast of the public perception. Both from those of you who know us personally and from the person who randomly found a link to one of our websites somewhere. I'd like for Claire to be as interactive as possible and this is really the biggest way you can help.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The TECH of Claire

So I thought for a few post I would talk a little bit about the technology being utilized on Claire.  But then decided that I would talk about some of my ultimate craft services fantasies.  Maybe there's a happy compromise here...

One of the best investments I've made in the last couple of years was the purchase of the Panasonic HVX-200 Pro-sumer video camera.  One of the unique features of the camera, and the penultimate reason I made the purchase, is the great P2 digital memory cards that capture the video footage.  The P2 card contains a bunch of little solid state memory chips, much like the ones you would insert in your PDA or digital camera.  This enables the user to shoot footage to a card instead of traditional tape or film which means fewer moving parts and no camera noise when filming.  Pretty cool eh?  No?  

Well I did have a pretty cool lunch with some friends from Sony at Gyenari Korean BBQ in Culver City, California.  They have a great $15 lunch special that includes all the little Banchan, three choices of meats and a side of rice.  They also happen to have my favorite scotch available at the bar!  It would be awesome on set, but the built in fans at each table rid you of that smokey, greasy smell and give Gyenari more of a wrap party feel than casual on-set snack.

I love digital junk.  But even more than digital junk, I love digital audio junk.  So for Claire, I wanted to make sure than instead of a traditional Nagra or a newer Tascam DAP1, we have the Tascam HD-P2.  Similar in concept with our camera, the HD-P2 recorder records the audio to solid state compact flash memory cards so you loose all the moving parts and help keep on-set transport noise at zero.  It has a nice option to record high quality audio at 192 kHz at 24-bits.  So potentially, we could release Claire on Blu-Ray with the same quality audio that was captured on the set!  But I digest..

On the other side of town, there's a great little spot that takes about a month to get a table on the weekends.  Osteria Mozza is the brain child of mega chefs Nancy Silverton, Joseph Bastianich and Mario Batali.  I had one of my top 5 meals ever there... twice!  The first time there, my wife and I went all out... got cocktails to start with, wine with dinner, digestives afterward, seven courses of pure culinary sex mixed with awesome 70s punk rock music and awesome service... we seriously laughed between each course.  Not sure how the laughing would play out on-set as a craft services option, but check it out if you have some cash to burn.  They're also opening a Take-Out version of the joint later this year, so check it out if you want to snack at home.

The workflow on Claire no longer deals with film loading tents, 1 light transfers, dailies, and 35mm negatives.  We've moved into the digital world.  Ones and Zeroes... sounds easy and less mysterious than film, right?  Well, the capacity of the P2 memory cards means that we still load the camera with a fresh memory card as a loaded card fills up with footage.  As the cards come off the camera, the digital image technician pulls the footage off the card using a MacBook Pro and a RAID hard drive array.  From there, the drives are backed up, footage logged and sent to the editor.  Sound is also transfered on-set to a RAID hard drive array, backed up, logged and sent off to editorial.  Our editorial systems of choice for this project are Apple's Final Cut Pro for video and Digidesign's ProTools for the audio side.  We'll talk a little more about post production after we get through a couple weeks of production.  For now, my stomach is grumbling...

George Lucas and Steven Spielberg's fourth installment of the Indiana Jones series of films shot a couple days on the Sony Pictures Studios lot in Culver City, CA.  I had the unique experience of walking by their stage with a friend of mine during a meal break.  We rounded the corner of Stage 30 to see several Russian soldier extras walking to craft services and  Mr. Spielberg standing there talking to his mom.  As my friend tripped in bullet-time, no doubt in a last ditch effort to catch Steven's attention, I caught a whiff of the most perfectly done steak.  And while Terry Lee Painovich and Nick Mestrandrea no doubt did a marvelous job whipping up steaks on the Indy 4 set, I want my craft services "happy meat day" run by Joachim Splichal of Patina Restaurant Groups incredible steakhouse, Nick + Stef's Steakhouse.  Two words - Rib Eye; three more words - Muscovy Duck Breast.  Break down and do it... at least once.  Enough said.

For my next post:  I'll throw in some of my favorite on-set trainers after we all gain 20 pounds just from reading this post. Stay tuned for more Claire news and thank you for your support!

Indy 4 Photograph by Annie Leibovitz

Producer's Meeting

Last night Jermaine, Dave, Michelle and myself gathered to make sure everything is on track.

On the 'directorial' side of things, I'm hoping to finish off the casting process this coming Sunday and move smoothly into rehearsals for the next few weekends. Also, Saturday Michelle and I will be headed up to Ventura again during the day to location scout exterior locations for Jack and Aidan's homes.

Jermaine and Michelle are focusing on talking to the Ventura film office and securing all the proper paperwork for location permits and insurance.

Dave and Austin have been keeping tabs on our equipment needs. Austin and Kelsey will be joining up with Dave and Jermaine sometime this weekend to take a look at our current interior locations so that Kelsey can begin work on Production Design.

Everyone is keeping busy and things are coming together very well for us.

I'm stoked.

Michelle's banana bread was a success.

So yay's all around.


Landon Ashworth is driving back from the east coast to be in the movie and is super sad that he wasn't mentioned on this amazing website...

Done and done.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Picking Up Steam

I'm going to pepper this entry with pretty pictures we've taken even if they have nothing to do with my current post because, let's face it, these are easier to get through if you have pictures.

(Jennifer Baute as "Claire")

Things are going very well for us. We've set shoot dates for May 16th/17th and 23/24th. These are a bigger deal for us than other shoot dates for a few reasons.

Cory Driscoll, who plays Aidan and lives in Florida, is coming out to L.A. for about a week and a half and we'll be shooting many of the major scenes with his character, including those at the Foster Bowl (Amphitheater) and the Ventura Pier. We're getting Cory's scenes in large chunks, so hopefully it will only take two or three visits to get him wrapped out. Aidan is a major character, so that's tricky.

("The Foster Bowl" Amphitheater)

(The Ventura Pier)

Also, we'll be shooting all the scenes involving Jack's father, who is not yet cast. Michelle has been spending her days pouring over LA Casting to find people to audition for John Spencer and I have rented out the NoHo Actor's Studio in order to read them this Sunday. (Side note, if you know any non-SAG 40-Something "sporty dad" types that might be interested, please send them our way.)

(Michelle is taking all the set pictures so far, so I took the liberty of creating this mock-up so she can feel included in the photos here.)

Tonight Dave and Jermaine will be meeting with Michelle and myself at our place (Michelle is making banana bread) to go over any last minute things we need to look into before our 3 weeks of prep kicks into high gear.

(Jermaine (left) and Dave (right) because I know you wanted to make sure they were as sexy as I described.)

Austin and Kelsey will be meeting up with Jermaine and Dave to take a look at their places. Jermaine's room will more than likely become our Jack's Bedroom set, and Dave's house will become 'Jack's House'. We're stoked to have finally decided on these locations, even if they were right in front of us the whole time, because finding Jack's House has reportedly been keeping Jermaine up at night.

(Austin working her camera voodoo)

Hopefully we will find our John Spencer on Sunday and the last major piece of prepro before these shoot dates will have fallen into place before we get entirely into paperwork and scheduling and just generally spending lots of money (ugh).

(Me... "directing" Aidan... while Austin makes sure the camera continues to work it's magic)

Also, Aidan Bristow, who plays 'Jack' was fitted for his cast on Monday. Jack has a broken arm for the entirety of our story, so it was nice to get that important bit of prop making underway. I wasn't there for it, but I heard it was a blast.

(Aidan being fitted for his cast by the Illusion Man himself, Mr. Scott Connor)

Also, yes, we have an actor named Aidan and character named Aidan. This will get confusing at some point, so you'll probably have to read closely. Strangely, this 'actors and characters with the same names, but not played by the same person' thing has pretty much happened to me on two other movies, so it's becoming an odd trend.

Oh yes, and Mike Kangaju is playing 'Mike Fisher', so just calling him 'Mike' will make life a little easier, I suppose.

We're hoping to cut a trailer together once these May weekends have been completed and with this trailer, drum up additional funding to complete the more expensive school scenes in the later Summer. If you've got a few bucks to spare, don't be afraid to head on over to our IndieGoGo site and chip in. We'll love ya for it.

I suppose that wraps it up for this entry. More to come soon. (That's what he said.)