Thursday, November 21, 2013

Grunge Layers. For you Freddy.

This is in response to Freddy Lopez (@FreddyiWonder) who asked on Twitter:

"For the walking dead toy story intro you made, how did you make the floating textures? e.g.: the particles"

I figured it would be best to try to explain it in a blog post. So here we go.

First off for those of you who haven't seen it, check out my Walking Dead / Toy Story mashup here:

I tried to emulate the floating particles you see in the Walking Dead TV Intro.

They float somewhat subtly (and not so subtly) in layers in front of the camera.

Layers is the key

Now you can do this in After Effects but I did this in Hitfilm Ultimate 2.  I took a grunge layer like this one:

I got this out of the texture file that came with Action Essentials II, but you can do an image search for similar images. Look for grunge or even pain splatter.

I switched the image to negative (or in Hitfilm use Invert) so now all those little cracks and bits turn white.

Adjusted the brightness and contrast so those whites become more evident.

And then utilizing 3D space in Hitfilm I duplicated it and separated the layers.

I changed the blend mode to Add so the black would become transparent. I then played with the layers, added some softness, increased opacity, and then moved the layers around, made them move left to right, up and down, etc. This way the particles would move around as the camera would move in and out of them in front of what ever image I wanted.

Now I just kinda threw this together because I wanted to get a response to you Freddy, but if you'd like I'll find the time to put together an actual video tutorial to better explain and how to possibly achieve the same effect if you don't have After Effects or Hitfilm.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Benotripia: The Stones Of Horsh

We were hired to make the book trailer for the second book in the Benotripia book series. A series of kids books written by a talented 12 year old author Mckenzie Wagner.

Find out more about Mckenzie and her books here:

This was a ton of fun to shoot. And figuring out some of these fx was a blast. Working with a CG parrot and figuring out how to make a girl fly on storm clouds, alot of fun to put together.

And what a talented group of kids this was. So professional to work with.

Astro - Gian Gibboney
Roseabelle - Ellie Dusek
Jessicana - Amanda Pahl
Sheklyth - Amanda Elizabeth

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Casting For A Book Trailer / Shooting in Winston Salem, NC.

A book trailer for the Children's Book BENOTRIPIA: STONES OF HORSH is looking to cast 5 parts.

This is part of a book series created by McKenzie Wagner the young 12 year old author who's series is gaining popularity. Find out more at her site:

One days work. There is minimal pay. Definitely perfect if you're looking to fill your reel and resume.

Would prefer that you were local to Winston Salem, NC.

We need to cast these parts quickly as we'll be shooting as soon as all the parts are cast.

Submit your headshot and resume to

Those selected may be asked to submit a video audition. Especially the part of ASTRO as he is the only character with dialogue.


ASTRO: 13 Years Old / Male. Spikey Jet Black Hair. Has the ability to manipulate electricity. Shoot lightning from his fingers.

ROSEABELLE: 13 Years Old / Female. Strawberry Blonde or Red Hair. Has the ability to travel through shadows and shape shift.

JESSICANA: 13 Years Old / Female. Beautiful Blonde Wavy Hair. She has the ability to change into a parrot.

SHEKLYTH: 30 Years Old / Female. Long Black Hair. Wears a hooded cloak. A bit gothy.

DASTROCK: 30 to 40 Years Old / Male. Red Hair. 6 ft. Broad Shoulders and Lean.

If you're chosen we may speak to you further about parts in other WTW Productions.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Halloween 1979. Audience Reaction.

The audience is one of the main reasons I make movies. There's nothing quite like experiencing their reaction. It's why I love a crowded theater on opening night.  This is such a great example of that kind of excitement. 
Such a great upload.  Special thanks to YouTube users JackOSkull and DarkCastle2012.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Proportional Response

I've been showing clips to several different people. Doing a bit of beta testing. A few chosen people have even seen the completed movie. The consensus is the same. "It's really good."

And that's why we're still working on it. Mainly because I'm perfecting the score, doing some minor re-shoots, and perfecting the FX. But also because "really good" isn't good enough for me.

I'm aiming for amazing.  If I aim high, then even if I miss, at least we'll land somewhere above "really good."

So one of the things I haven't been able to do is get alot of the final fight scenes to be really big. I needed alot of actors to play Grimm Soldiers in the final battle scenes. But I've been unsuccessful in coordinating everyone's schedules to get the amount of people I need.

So since I can't get an army of actors in, why not make it an army of Robots.  And all I'd need to do is build just one and multiply it in post.

I started with left over coffee containers, empty juice bottles, and some mini pads I bought for cheap at Goodwill.

Yes, that's a Planters Peanuts Bottle.

Put it all together with hot glue and cheap wood screws. Added a few details from plastic lids and caps.

Did a first coat of  black spray paint.

Then a coat of metallic silver. Letting it dry for 24 hours between coats helps keep it from chipping.

A final coat of off white on the body. It looks a bit orange thanks to the sun going down.

A final coat of black for the chest plate and shoulders.

After I'm done in post we'll have an army of flying robots.

This only cost about $7.

Before you know it this movie will be completely finished.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

It's Alive

First coat of paint done. What do you do to solve a plot / casting issue in your movie? Build a robot of course.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Dancing With Tilda Swinton

Tilda Swinton leads 1,500 people in a dance-along to Barry White's "You're the First, the Last, My Everything" during Roger Ebert's Film Festival in the Virginia Theater on April 20, 2013.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Look What We Can Do

From Boston to my beloved Texas, tragedy, shock, and terror seem to rule.  There is much I am concerned about. There is much I could be truly upset about. But I've come to understand that I'm evolving into a serial positivist (is that even a word?).

My immediate reaction after shock and horror is to seek out those things that are positive. Like how the Boston Marathon already had many paramedics and police in place. Like how West and surrounding areas in that area of Texas has some of the best firefighters and medical teams already there. Like how beyond the tragedy, the people rise up, they help each other, they work to make things better almost immediately. The resilience is evident and overpowers the terror. It shows me the light of humanity and it makes me proud to be a part of it.

I'm probably the biggest Superman fan you'll ever meet. So much so that I can't talk about it sometimes. It was Richard Donner's original SUPERMAN THE MOVIE that really inspired me to be a filmmaker when I was so young. The site of Christopher Reeve flying in the suit gives me chills and hearing John Williams amazing score inspires my soul. It really affected me.

The Man Of Steel trailer premiered this week. I've been anxious about really seeing it and even more anxious to hear Hans Zimmer's take on the score. I mean how can you top John Williams?

There are no words to describe how this trailer and how Hans Zimmer's work has affected me. It was not only, for me, a perfect trailer, but it feels and looks like an excellent execution of a true cinematic Superman. The original SUPERMAN THE MOVIE was an inspiration to me and always will be, but THE MAN OF STEEL looks to be a TRUE CINEMATIC EVENT. It feels like what all movies should strive to be, more than a film, an experience to behold.

For me it was the perfect light to shine through the darkness of this week. The symbol of Superman has always been an example of resilience and courage. He becomes the character that human's look to, to strive to be. And with that, this trailer is an example of the power of the movies.

I believe in the power of movies. I believe a great movie can lift your spirits and elevate your soul. I believe it can inspire you to do great things. That's something we can use now more than ever and it's why I strive to be a better moviemaker.

It makes me think of a line from the original SUPERMAN THE MOVIE. Jor-El says:.
They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way.

I disagree. As humans I believe there is much we may lack, but light is not one of them. I've seen more than one example of the light we can shine as a people this week. Maybe even more than the power of cinema, I believe in the power of people. We are capable of creating art that inspires and capable of helping and healing each other in times of tragedy. We are capable of creating and becoming that great experience to behold.

More than fear, this week, I've seen light and inspiration. We're not men of steel. We're beings of light and hope.

And I'm proud to be one.

To borrow a line from my favorite episode of Aaron Sorkin's SPORTS NIGHT. "Look what we can do."

Art by Alex Ross

Monday, April 15, 2013

Melissa Joan Hart's Walk Of Shame

Good old MJH has taken a cue from Veronica Mars and started her own Kickstarter for her own project "Darci's Walk Of Shame". Taking it to the fans to help fund a movie where she can display her acting chops beyond a Hallmark Channel Actor.

Personally I love Kickstarter. It's been very good to me and my projects. And it's an excellent tool for not only fundraising but to also for really building an audience.

I really do love Melissa Joan Hart and I would love for her to succeed at this, but there is talk about how this Kickstarter hasn't really taken off like Veronica Mars and there are a few conversations online about why someone as popular as Melissa Joan Hart isn't getting the same kind of traction for her own project.

One of my issues is with one of the pledge rewards. At the $250 level you can pledge and get your name in the end credits as a Special Thank You. But then there is a disclaimer that states

"We will do everything in our power to make sure your name is spelled correctly and we don't miss any names or leave anyone out. However, mistakes are made, and if we make one here, be assured there is no intent. We ask for your forgiveness, with the understanding that once the film is released, we won't be able to make any changes."

As both a Kickstarter creator and pledger this statement doesn't get me excited to pledge. It basically says we'll take your $250 but you may not get your reward. This statement really needs to be modified. There should be no comment on how someone may be left out, especially since the reward is only limited to 99 people. You'd better not leave anyone out. A better statement would have been:

"We will do everything in our power to make sure your name is spelled correctly. Please make sure you are submitting the proper name the way you want it to be spelled. This is the name we will use in the end credits and it cannot be changed once the movie is released."

Other than that I have no problems with the project other than I just don't find the movie concept to be that exciting. I may very well pledge because I'm a MJH fan, but I think it's tough to get to Veronica Mars level excitement for a project that no one is familiar with.

Veronica Mars already had a built in fan base and a movie was something alot of people were clamoring for for a while. That's why that Kickstarter took off like it did.

$25 grand 4 days in and they're aiming to raise 2 million with 40 days to go. It's a slow start but we can't count them out just yet. I wish her the best of luck in getting this done, hopefully with her fan base and the right push she can really pull this off. Good luck to you Melissa.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Toy Story (The Walking Dead Version)

There was a meme going around about how The Walking Dead and Toy Story were actually quite similar. This got my brain working and I threw this together.

I really had alot of fun putting this together. Took me two days. Used Hitfilm 2 Ultimate for compositing and color correction. Edited the whole thing with Sony Vegas Pro.

Yes I should be editing my movie, and I am, but you gotta take those quick creative breaks or you;ll go nuts. I'm glad I did this one cuz it really helped me figure a few things out creatively, stuff I never would have thought of before.

The cover art on the video I did not put together, grabbed that from someone online. If that's you're handy work then I thank you. The final shot before the end titles in the video is a variation on another artist's work. Woody riding Bullseye into Atlanta is a brilliant idea and should be credited to ~Toooooony on deviantart.

I had a quite a good time setting Al's Toy Barn on fire, and placing a zombie in front of Pizza Planet. I almost extended the soundtrack just so I could make a longer video, I kept coming up with nifty ideas. But I needed to wrap it up, keep it short, head back to working on REDD.

I really tried to get some of the same textures, grunge, and color of the Walking Dead intro.

This was sort of an eerie shot of a blurred out Woody staring out at Andy't room.

One of the first shots I thought of was taking the Pizza Planet truck and giving it some battle damage. Adding bullet holes in the body and the glass was something I really got a kick out of. I regret not adding a blood stin down the car door. 

Copying Rick's newspaper shot from the Season 1 intro. Had to build a new paper which of course meant me playing with some of the headlines. 

This is one of my favorite shots. Strategically positioned CG fire and inserted a Walker sauntering past the camera. 

Tim Allen as Buzz. Of course I used Shane's section. Used an all new picture frame and had to do all new shards of broken glass.

 I thought it would be neat to have a crawling insect over a shot, so I had a bug crawl across the Sunny Side box.

 I actually borrowed a still from the actual Walking Dead Intro for Sarah Wayne Callies section. Used the same frame and background but had to add in Jessie and lay new pieces of broken glass over her.

 Mimicing what I did with Shane / Buzz's picture frame.

 Again working off the idea that it would be funny to see Walkers in front of well known Toy Story locations.  

This was an idea I immediately got excited about. It makes me laugh when I see it. Blood trickling down Woody's shoe right over Andy's name. 

Mandatory! Needed to use some sort of reference to A-113 like you'd see in most Pizar movies. 

This shot of the toys lying lifeless in the bin I thought was rather eerie and I decided to use it as the second to the last shot. Helps signify the toys as a group sort of a live together die together type of message. 
 And the final shot that is based off of Art work by ~Toooooony on deviantart. I felt it was the perfect ender for the entire piece.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Pre-Production: Breaking Down The Script

One of the crucial parts of making a movie is taking the script and breaking it down so you can figure out logistically how you can shoot everything you need. How I do things varies from production to production. The bigger the production the more organization is needed. I may not always adopt the same system as the big studios do, but there are similarities between mine and theirs. The important part is getting it organized so you can shoot your movie.

I'll be covering how I do things in a later post, especially in a DIY No-Budget Situation. For now here are a few links on breaking down scripts followed by a video by Film Riot and then an 18 video Playlist from Expert Village on How To Breakdown Your Script utilizing a production board.

Film Riot - How To Plan A Movie Shoot

Expert Village: How To Make A Script Production Board

Friday, February 8, 2013

Hits and Misses (Making a No-Budget Movie)

I’ve been editing video since before high school. I love it. I love manipulating images to tell a story. It’s therapeutic for me. Like solving a puzzle or laying out cards in a game of solitaire, it puts me in a zone. Except here I get to express myself. Some people write in a diary, others talk to a counselor. Making movies, editing footage, that’s where my therapy comes from, that’s how I deal.

After my brother died I certainly had alot to deal with. And after the past couple of years filled with more downs than ups, I certainly had much to express. This was a tough one to work on. Took me about a year just because this was an emotional subject. But I felt like I needed to finish this one.

This is about the process of how I make movies, and about what drives me to finish this one.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Take A Chance

Friday morning I immediately got a call from my brother telling me that our Dad had a stroke. My Mom and Dad are in the Philippines and sometimes it's tough to get even a phone call through to me. I got a couple of texts and then a phone call from my brother in Texas.

Dad had a stroke, was rushed to the ER, and that's all anybody knew.

I was already under pressure as I was banging my head against the wall trying to figure this script out. I needed to write and shoot a script for this Poptent Ad that needed to be shot on Saturday and then edited and uploaded before midnight Sunday.

Going through the creative process of writing a script can be creatively painful. Because you want to create something truly great and you constantly compare what you've written with what you know you can create. So you beat yourself up alot. I spend alot of time pacing, talking to myself, doing push ups, and pounding my head on the desk as if the really great ideas might shake loose from the back of my head and tumble out of my ear onto the page.

Never happens.

Trying to do this on a deadline is worse. Now time is against you. So I bang my head on my desk even harder and swifter.

Trying to do this when you're worried about your Dad, that's a whole other ball game.

That entire day I did nothing. My intention was to get alot of work done. Re-write the Ad before it needed to be shot the next day, work on VFX and editing for REDD. But I was too distracted. I literally just sat at my desk for hours. I was paralyzed until I could hear any news from my Mother.

Eventually I had to force myself to work. I had to realize that no matter what happens with my Dad, I still need to get things done. Still need to make money. Otherwise I'd end up broke AND worried, so I had to find a way to put all my worrying energy into creative energy.  Wanna know how I did it?

I have no idea how I did it.

I had to slap myself around a few times. And when I finally tried to do work, I was really just going through the motions. But it's something. And I needed to do something. This Ad needs to be done. These re-writes need to be finished, and I needed to prep for the next days shoot. And although I was worried about my Dad, I had to realize that doing nothing wasn't good for anyone.

Thankfully I was able to squeeze out an "OK" re-write to the script I had written that week. This was a 90 second Ad that needed to be treated more like a short film, and I really wanted to nail this.

Thankfully my Mom called me later that evening. Told me Dad was fine. He was probably going to be discharged the next day depending on the results of the MRI which would tell what kind of nerve damage there is if any. I was relieved but still worried about that MRI. When you're waiting to hear about a bad situation you expect the worst, but I think the worst part is not hearing anything at all and not knowing what's going on. I would have been relieved just to hear anything. Thankfully the news was not as bad, but I kept thinking about that MRI

Brandon White
The next day we got on set and I knocked out the first few shots. But I now that I had a (somewhat) clearer head I wanted to really think through what we were doing.

We spend a good hour re-working dialogue.

I always talk about how movies aren't written, they're re-written. And the truth is that those re-writes happen well beyond the computer screen.

I write the script. I re-write the script. We run through the script on set, maybe even shoot some pages, and then I figure out what's working, what's not working. I know there are certain phrases that work in my head, but may not work with the actors. We do some cutting, re-phrasing.

I plan out my shots before hand, but I also have to consider what the set looks like when we get there. You may see something that you didn't know you could do when you were planning. I also consider what shots I need that are on the page and even not on the page. Need to make sure I have everything. We're on a tight deadline, no time for re-shoots.

Amanda Elizabeth
We do close ups, medium shots, wide shots, establishing shots. We do interiors and exteriors. Need to make sure there is sound. I check each shot to make sure the RODE Mic is picking everything up.

Really good performances from Brandon White and Amanda Elizabeth. Thankfully Brandon is a writer and producer and I can bounce ideas off of him as far as these on set re-writes go.

We knocked out all of the footage and then some, but the entire time I was dissatisfied with this particular story. It didn't have the right bookends, and I felt like the wrap up of the story was weak. I was hoping sometime during the shoot I'd come up with something brilliant to shoot. Instead I came up with a few decent ideas to plus this Ad. Nothing that was a home run.

I'll just have to try to reach that epiphany during editing.

Talked to my Mom again that night. She says Dad is doing better. He'll need physical therapy, but otherwise he should be fine. But I'm still worried. Worried about my Dad. Worried this may not be the last time this happens. Worried about my Mom and all she has to deal with through all this.

Then I pile that all on top of my worries about this Ad.

Can I make the deadline? Is this going to be the best that I can do? Will I find an epiphany that will plus this Ad to make it something special?

Then I pile even more on.

Will REDD turn out the way I see it and feel it? Holy crap! I need to double check the list of backers and make sure we've ordered all the shirts and merchandise. Can we produce the right quality DVD with the amount of content I want to put on it? Oh look I have to correct the IMDB page for the billionth time. Will people like this movie? Will they get it? Will they want to tell people about it?

Next thing I know I'm sitting at my desk, staring into space, head filled to the brim with worry.

So I have to remember this quote:

And it's true. Worrying happens. We all do it. But it really doesn't do any good.  You have to fight it. Ignore it. But I think we all tend to invite it because on some level we think that it's wrong to not worry. Like if I didn't worry about my Dad then that would make me a bad person. But I realize I have to separate WORRY from CONCERN. Worry paralyzes me, stops my day, distracts me. Concern means you acknowledge your worries, your fears, you care about something, but you're still able to move on. At least that's how I'm interpreting it.

So I climb out from under the pile of worry and head into editing.

I load all the footage in. Start sorting through the best shots. Laying everything out on the timeline I start to piece together how this is all supposed to go. I go along with the script sure, but I start to see a pattern that I didn't see and couldn't possibly see until I have it all in editing.

Editing is where the third re-write happens. The manipulation of those images helps you mold that story into a full fledged movie.

But as finally get all the pieces in place, that epiphany never came.  The video itself was just ok to me.

The epiphany would only come with the music.

The score is the 4th re-write. For me it seals it all down and really brings it together. The music tells it's own story and at the same time enhances the story at hand. Or at least I hope it does. You tell me.


So my Dad seems fine now. Finally got the Ad done and uploaded.  Now I'm back to work on REDD. And I do want to thank everyone who has messaged me and commented about my Dad. I appreciate all the love and support. I truly do. It means alot.

And speaking of REDD we're kicking off our third round of fundraising. 

We had our first successful run with Kickstarter last year. This last time with IndieGoGo we raise over $1,500. And now we try to collect what we can to help us increase our marketing budget. We're gonna need as it's always tough to get people to know about a movie, especially a no-budget indie like REDD.

Also, many folks messaged us saying they were sad they missed the last few and many of them really wanted an Associate Producer Credit, so no here's another shot at it.

I knew doing a feature like REDD was going to be a huge undertaking. But I was expecting so much of life to knock us down. Missing my brother when he passed away. Worrying about my father. The loss of April's Mom, Dian. On top of the countless obstacles that get in your way when you're trying to accomplish anything. It has been a rough ride getting this movie done.

But we're so close. And I can see that our efforts are going to be worth it. Will this turn out as good as I hope it will be. Are people going to love REDD?

I'm not worried.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Scripts are never written. They're Re-written.

"Mostly when I think of pacing, I go back to Elmore Leonard, who explained it so perfectly by saying he just left out the boring parts. This suggests cutting to speed the pace, and that's what most of us end up having to do (kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler's heart, kill your darlings) ... I got a scribbled comment that changed the way I rewrote my fiction once and forever. Jotted below the machine-generated signature of the editor was this mot: 'Not bad, but PUFFY. You need to revise for length. Formula: 2nd Draft = 1st Draft - 10%. Good luck.' Stephen KingOn Writing, 2000

That's from this really great article from The Atlantic. Read it here:

I'm glad I came across this article as I'm currently working on this script for an Ad I need to shoot this weekend. Trying to sum up a plot with a beginning, middle, and end inside of 90 seconds is always a challenge. The rule of "leaving out all the boring parts" is liberally applied when working on short Ads. And I've gotten use to it having made so many, but the frustration and creative challenge never lessens each time.

I made a blog post a while back on my other blog titled "Learn To Kill Your Baby." In that post I talk about how many first time filmmakers are afraid to kill their "babies". They birth this story and are afraid to touch one thing about to change it for fear that it will kill it. But the truth is that your story needs to grow up, evolve, and become a fully formed movie. You're new born story needs to grow up. So don't be afraid to kill off those things that keep your story from evolving.

If it doesn't serve the interest of moving the story forward, then you don't need it. Kill it off.

"Leave out all the boring parts".

One example I LOVE to bring up is TITANIC. Say what you want about the movie, but I think the story itself is a pretty great one. Although I do love to watch the some of the awful and rushed FX work. The ship sinking and all the big FX shots are great, but the smaller scenes where we see the wide shot of the ship and all the obvious computer generated people are robot walking along the deck crack me up every time.

But I do love the movie itself. I'll forgive all the rushed parts because I like the plot and love the end. Especially that perfect ending.  I think,"Wow, Cameron really got that right." But then I saw the original ending.


This was the ending Cameron originally wrote and shot and almost got out in theaters. THANK GOD they Joey Gladstoned this piece of crap. (Cut-It-Out. Joey Gladstone? Get it?)

The entire movie was epic and beautiful and adventurous and then all of a sudden it ends like a Scooby-Doo episode. I'm fairly certain had they left this ending in, Titanic would have been deemed one of the worst movies of the year or certainly not as great as most perceive it to be now.

Thank God for revisions.

So writers, filmmakers, please be honest. Go over your movie, story. Is every scene serving the movie as a whole? Is every scene functioning to it's fullest to not only move your story forward but to plus it?

If not kill it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Kaleb Lechowski is heading for Hollywood

Just read this article on

22-Year-Old's Sci-Fi Digital Short Gets Hollywood's Attention

22 year old Kaleb Lechowski's impressive CG animated short film is so impressive that it has attracted a Hollywood agency.

Congrats to him. The short looks amazing. And he definitely put alot of work into it. Great creativity, amazing detail, and wonderful imagination.

My question to you dear filmmakers. Can you do something just as impressive? Do you have it in you to create something with such great detail and effort that it could grab Hollywood's attention? I know when I watch the short I see scenes that are similar to shots I have in my feature REDD. I immediately realize I need to step my game up. I also see alot of things that make me go "Hey I can do that!" Then I immediately think "Well then, why don't I."

Check it out for yourself. Let it inspire and motivate you.

A very similar plot to Battlestar Galactica, but still very imaginative. I really enjoyed this. If you want you can follow Kaleb on Tumblr

This short is another example of what lone indies can create on their own effort and creativity and on a limited budget. If you're not impressed by Kaleb's work then here are a few other videos created by some other impressive indies that make me want to step my own game up.

Corridor Digital has grown to become very popular on YouTube by creating several amazing shorts, many of them based on popular video games. This one is by far my favorite.

I really enjoyed this action short by Pwnisher using props and weapons made from cardboard.

An impressive Sci-Fi short film by filmmaker Ricardo de Montreuil made for a budget of $5000.

Azureus Rising is a Proof of Concept short by filmmaker David Weinstein. Impressive animation.

Here is Ben Craig's Sci-Fi master piece. Very impressive visuals. Shot over a weekend.

There are several more movie makers out there making amazing things for no money and running on their own creativity and effort. As I always say, there is absolutely no excuses when it comes to Independent Movie Making. If these people can create something mind blowing, why can't you or I? So get to it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013

Tom Savini's FX - Two Evil Eyes

I always love hearing Tom Savini talk about his FX work. He really likes to break it down and emphasize that this is all basically creative problem solving. He really gets into how this is all about figuring out what images the mind needs to see in order for it to perceive that a specific effect is occurring  I mean it really is all a bit of an obvious concept, but hearing him talk about it, hearing him spell it out helps you really remember what should be obvious, but can often get convoluted when you're in the moment trying to make things happen. Sometimes the best solution is the simplest one.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

REDD Update 1/12/13

Concept art for REDD by Kelley Kombrinck

Composite Shot. The bad guys from our feature film REDD.
Richard Gaither is CHAPEL with the eye patch.
Alethea Delmage plays SNOW. Behind them are Grimm Soldiers

First off, YES, this is a new blog. This will be the hub for updates on WTW Productions and how we do what we do. This will also be a place where I post alot about moviemaking, special fx, behind the scenes on all movies, and anything and everything that may help in inspiring myself and others in their travels to make movies.

Second off (no one says that ever) if you're not aware of REDD, feel free to find out more about it HERE. To sum up it is our no-budget / micro budget Sci-Fi Adventure Feature Film that has a bit of spin on the Red Riding Hood tale, but not really.

We've been shooting this movie since March of 2011. We had a successful Kickstarter Campaign Summer of 2012. We just wrapped up a successful IndieGoGo Campaign. And now we go into the final months (we hope) heading towards wrapping up REDD.

Richard Gaither in his living room.

Our No-Budget efforts continue. Knocking out green screen shots left and right. I swear we've set this thing  up everywhere. In the early days it was just me slapping the green cloth up on a wall and sticking duct tape up all around it. We did this for the first time over a year ago in Richard Gaither's living room.

Me enjoying the hell out of this studio.

Then in early 2012 I was able to rent out some warehouse space and create small studio space. I bought extra cloth and set up a large green screen where we got to knock out ALOT of footage.

Jennifer Russoli as CARTER

Now in these last few months I've taken that cloth and put together a portable mini green screen. And that's what we've been shooting with as of late. It's come in very handy. With the large studio we were able to knock out the bigger action pieces that required alot of movement as well as scenes that had more than 2  people in the shot. Now we're getting into inserts and pick up shots that only require one person, and this tiny green screen has been great.

Shaun Holcomb in the mask as
his son holds the green screen.

We've been setting it up in living rooms when the weather has been nasty. But if the weather is good enough I love setting it up outside in the shade. Give is nice even lighting. Today there was an overcast making the lighting nice and even.

I put together a basic PVC frame from pipe I had used from a DIY light stand. Wrapped it with the green cloth. It's sturdy and light enough to carry around anywhere.

Here are some pics from today's shoot. Thanks to Kelly Emerson and her family for letting us shoot at her ranch.

Alethea Delmage is SNOW

Prop table

Tom Gore carrying Amanda Elizabeth

Alethea and Tom

The cheesy 80's buddy cop pose

Amanda doubling for April Crum as REDD. Tom Gore plays a Grimm Cyborg.

Alethea at the IHOP after shooting. Hair down make up still on.

Ok, I've got to get to work on this Ad that needs to be edited. More on REDD later.