Saturday, June 30, 2007

5th Weekend - TBOZ

Friday - Crew call: 5pm
We're here tonight to shoot mostly exteriors of The Drunken Dragon. Two different scenes: the arrival at the bar and Darwin's exit. We had already shot part of these scenes, but didn't quite finish them last week because of some scheduling conflicts and running out of night as the sun came up.

The most exciting part of the night was of course the flaming arrow. We shot Piper lighting and aiming the crossbow. It was a huge flame. Much bigger than I imagined it would be. We'll shoot it flying through the air and it's impact on a dummy later.
Flaming ArrowFlaming Arrow

Saturday: Crew Call 4pm
Make-up on the featured Zombies had already begun. I set up a camera to get a time-lapse video of Andrea Renken being turned into a zombie. Video coming very soon. First shot of the night was blood being shot into Charlie's face. This was great. Marcel and Erik shot a huge amount of blood at him with a shop-vac. He got drenched.
Blinded by bloodRehearsing Charlie's Fall
We got 2 angles on this, since it was a one take shot.

Soon after, the zombie horde came through the door. Really great make-up jobs on these guys.
Tell you...What are you looking at?
Then, we moved onto the fight between David and Alex Zombie. We spent some time working out the fight choreography. I won't ruin the death method here, but it was really cool - you'll just have to see the movie.

We were so busy all night that I wasn't able to keep any notes after this point. Delirium may have set in around 5am. I do remember this: we shot two more really cool zombie deaths before calling it a night - or morning, as the case may be. One involved a blood geyser to the ceiling and the other being a crushed head.
Coming soon: Geyser of bloodHow to paint a foot with blood

Monday, June 25, 2007

Weekend Four: The Book of Zombie just won't DIE

Friday: I arrived on set at 2pm.

We started the day shooting some pick-ups of a scene that we did on the first weekend. This scene takes place right after the heroes barricade the bar and the zombie horde tries to break in. Shots were needed of the door and barricade shaking as the zombies try to get in. Paul was put outside to shake the door on cue. I got slow zooms, dolly shots (me on a wheelchair), running steadicam shots and some snap-zooms. I also shot some more of the bar itself: swords, bottles, a smashed and bloodied TV.

After dinner we did some pick-ups of one of the pool tables scenes. We needed to clarify some information about the mysterious back pack that Darwin wears. I'm really hoping that everything matches the stuff that we've already shot. While we were working on this, the rest of the crew was setting up for the head explosion over at The Rail. Next we set up a low angle shot of David throwing down his battle axe and running towards the door. I wanted a blood pool in front of the camera lens, so Jenn came over and poured some more blood.

The exploding head team was getting close to having the head ready, so we moved everything to shoot the big explosion. We debated for a while about how much headroom to have in the shots for blood spatter. I set up 3 cameras.
Head ExplosionHead ExplosionHead ExplosionHead Explosion
Both the XL2 and 100A for the movie, and the PD150 on a wide shot for behind the scenes. Check out the video in yesterday's blog. Needless to say, the explosion was awesome. Scott shot it with a shotgun, I hid behind the freezer door. We set up for take 2 and shot it again. Blood got on every piece of equipment this time. I still need to wipe down the cameras some more. We put glass in front of one of the lenses and it got sprayed with blood and debris. Lighting and video playback provided by Oppenheimer Cine Rental.

Next up was to shoot the heroes leaving the rear of Linderman's. We used the back door of The Rail, just a few feet from the exploding head. Key grips Bob and Paul did a great job of hanging and wiring lights for me. We started off with a wide shot on sticks, then did all of the coverage with steadicam. For some reason, we were plagued with lights blowing out. I think we had to take three breaks for repairs. We finished the night with a roundabout shot of the whole scene on steadicam.
Leaving Linderman's
That was a lot of fun.
I left the bar at sunrise and got home at 5am. Awake for 27 hours.

Saturday: 4pm arrival on set.

Today is the big zombie horde night shoot. Zombie extras were already congregation when I arrived. The assembly-line makeover is very impressive.
Zombie assembly lineZombie assembly line
I had to decide how to light the front of the Drunken Dragon for our first night shot outside the bar. Paul and Bob rigged a 250 on the side of the bar to light the cool sign, and a 500 w/blue gel on a streetlight to simulate a little moonlight. We did some gunfire as the gang arrives at the Drunken Dragon. While this was going on, the second unit was down the street shooting with most of the Zombie Horde.
Hello, BrotherI'm ready for my Zombie Close-upWhy so Blue?Am I bloody enough yet?Ashley ZombieBad traffic will kill you...
Later on we moved on to the Darwin/Zombie horde scene and shot till dawn. We shot till the sun came up.
My Zombie, the Reverend

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Exploding Head

Here's the behind the scenes video of Team Zombie exploding a fake head with a shotgun. Marcel did an amazing job building the head. It's stuffed with condoms filled with blood and applesauce. Adam built a wooden pedestal to put the head on and Scott fired the gun. We shot with both the 100A and the XL2. Check out the slo-mo replay of take two. If you watch closely, you can see that the blast lifts the whole pedestal off of the milk crates. Lighting and video playback provided by Oppenheimer Cine Rental.
Don't forget to click on the ad at the end of the video. Your clicks help us pay for this monstrosity...

A Few Pictures from Saturday Night/Sunday Morning

Preparing for a bullet shot to the head.
Bullet to the head

Members of the Zombie Horde.
You can call me Elder KruseHi there

Welcome to The Drunken Dragon... Where the blood flows like wine.
Welcome to The Drunken Dragon

More blood on Nurse Zombie
Nurse Zombie

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Few Pictures from Friday Night/Saturday Morning

I'll blog this weekend's activities tomorrow or Monday. For now, enjoy some pictures from the set.

Blood and Applesauce filled condoms are perfect for a massive zombie head explosion.
Can you think of a better use for condoms???

Lining up shots for said massive zombie head explosion. This was take one. We set up a second take that was even bloodier. Both were awesome. I got lots of red on me...
Head ExplosionHead Explosion

Filming the Exodus from Linderman's - shot behind The Rail. We actually shot the head explosion right inside the door that they come out of.
Behind Linderman'sBehind Linderman's

Behind Linderman's

Last Action Hero.
Paul Cantu - Acion Hero

Thursday, June 21, 2007

No one ever expects the mid-week Zombie blog...

I just spent Wednesday shooting second unit on some awesome effects shot at the Drunken Dragon. We had a skeleton crew, but got some great shots. It was just me, Erik, Marcel, Ashley, Adrienne and Gered. We were trying to get some scary shots of Zombie hands punching through the door, neck ripping and blood pumping action. We got a great shot of blood squirting right into the camera lens. I held up a piece of glass in front of the camera. Really cool. Marcel got sprayed in the eye. On take two, the blood shot over the glass... onto my head. I got totally drenched. Lots of red on me. This should make a great behind the scenes video...
Welcome to The Drunken Dragon.... Where the blood flows like wine.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Third Weekend on The Book of Zombie

Welcome to week three! We started Friday putting our break-away doors to good use. We're going to have some zombies punch their hands through and attack one of our lead characters. This was one of the coolest things I've seen yet. We ran two cameras on the whole scene. "A" camera was the 100A locked down and "B" camera was the XL2 on steadicam for close-ups. Very fun to see someone ripped through a door. Great shots of zombies Alex, Gered and Elissa.
tboz_3rd_weekend 061tboz_3rd_weekend 055

Took some time off after the door shot to set up the blood effects.
While Marcel and Jenn were building the effect, Paul and I started shooting wild shots of the bar in disarray. We got blood dripping from the sword in the wall, the destroyed pay-phone, blood filled shot glasses and the beer taps.

...Getting close to shooting the blood squirting neck appliance. Can't wait to see it... We did three takes with both cameras. First take did not go well. Reset the effect. The next takes looked much better.

Another long break to reset for the next scene. Paul says we're only 2 and a half hours behind schedule. We only have one version of Piper's shirt, so we have to wait a while for it to be cleaned and dried.

The next scene was a continuation of something we'd shot last week. Piper at the bar taking the bucket back to Linderman. We did a cool wide shot where we put the camera on the beer taps and shot down the length of the bar.
tboz_3rd_weekend 068
Next we did some shots of the characters "arming themselves" at the pool table. Good follow-focus shot of Jenny and her machete.

Saturday - Crew call, 5pm

We're preparing to shoot the gang looking out the windows at Darwin. It's great to finally have Bob and Paul as grips. They take a huge amount of work off of my shoulders. They blacked out the windows (it's still day and we're shooting a night scene), ran cables and hung lights for me. We did some side shots first where the camera couldn't see the glass... We took a break to scrape all of the green paint off the windows so we could shoot through them. Child labor at it's best... We did a dolly shot from behind.
tboz_3rd_weekend 116
Scott was dolly grip and Bob pulling focus. We moved outside and shot everyone looking out the windows. Good looking shots. Finished the night earlier than expected. I feel much better not having consumed any rockstar today...

Zombie Makeover: Building a Better Zombie

Video Blog number 2. Watch Alex get transformed into a zombie.

Don't forget to click on the ad at the end of the video. Your clicks help us pay for this monstrosity...

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Book of Zombie - 2nd Weekend

It's Monday, and we've made it through our second weekend. I hope you enjoyed yesterday's "shaky-cam" video. I'll make more of those as time permits.

We started on Friday with scene 26. Please excuse me if I don't tell what scenes are about. I'm trying to keep this semi-spoiler-free. Erik did a guest directing spot here and did a great job. We have some awesome shots to work with. We used the fog machine a lot on the bar door. For a while I thought someone would call the fire department because of all of the smoke pouring out. We shot the whole scene on steadicam, which is always a lot of fun for me. We did shots from the top of a ladder, and some with me lying on the floor... all with the trusty steadicam.

Sometime Friday afternoon, (not sure when, I seem to lose all track of time) Marcel and Jenn did a head cast of Alex. He's going to be one of the featured zombies later in the film.
Turning a man into a zombie

At night we moved on to the end of the pool table scene where Darwin finally gets asked about his backpack. It was on the last line of this scene that we used the infamous "shaky-cam". (see previous blog for the short video) I got the shaky-cam idea from rereading "The Evil Dead Companion" last month. Great book.

We spent all of Saturday on scene 21, a very emotional scene with Darwin. We didn't leave until after 5am on Sunday. It's a very long scene. We did one camera set-up where I was shooting from the top of the pool table. I came close to falling off at least once. Probably not the best idea, since I was exhausted by this point. We finally did finish though.

Here's a some more pictures from the first weekend that I like:

We're getting ready to shoot a close-up of Piper at the pool table. We seem to be going through a lot of fog...
Directing the pool table 'o death.

Another shot from the "Sixteen Candles" scene. You can see what one of the shots looks like in the monitor.
Sixteen Candles 2

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Behind the Scenes Video #1 - Shaky-Cam

We just finished our second weekend of shooting "The Book of Zombie". I'll write about that tomorrow.
I just bought a new hard drive to edit the movie on today and wanted to make a quick production video. My favorite shot that we did on Friday was the "shaky-cam". It's basically just a camera bolted to a piece of wood. I'll tell you more about that later. For now, here's the video:

Don't forget to click on the ad at the end of the video. Your clicks help us pay for this monstrosity...

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Production Photos - First Weedend - "The Book of Zombie"

Cortesi made us CDs of our first TBOZ weekend yesterday. I was looking forward to seeing these all week. You can click on the photos to get larger sizes on Flickr.

I love this one of Marcel, Jenn and Andy as Darwin. They're working on a blood spurt effect.
Special Effects on "The Book of Zombie"

Here we are working on our romantic "Sixteen Candles" scene with David and Jenny on the pool table. That's Larissa as Jenny and Brian as David. That's Paul, the director, looking at the monitor on the floor. I'm in red shirt setting up the shot. Chris is getting sound with the boom mic.
Picture 060

Here's our "dolly" shot of the handle of the Drunken Dragon cooler. By dolly, I mean Mike pushing me on a wheelchair while I shoot with the steadicam.
Picture 005

This is us setting up a shot at the door of the Drunken Dragon. Our heroes are preparing to barricade the door to keep the zombies out.
Picture 095

Mr. Linderman - Steve Cortesi - exiting the cooler in the back of the Drunken Dragon.
Picture 012

I'm setting up a shot of Linderman coming out of the cooler.
Picture 021

Marcel and Jenn
Our amazing make-up and special effects team.
Picture 088

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Knitted "Shaun of the Dead"

i think she likes you...
Originally uploaded by cakeyvoice
I've found this girl on Flickr that likes to knit.... alot. Anyway, she seems to love Shaun of the Dead. Great taste in cinema! I'm actually using one of her Shaun pics for my profile both here and on myspace.

Check out the rest of the set. She even knitted Slash.


The Book of Zombie... Coming Soon.