Monthly Archives: May 2009

Director’s Journal #7

Wendesday, May 6th

Got some more fur swatches. Need to show Rachel. In my opinion, none of them are as well suited as the one we liked from fauxthrow.com, but they are cheaper. There are one or two that might work. The one I like has a little bit of green in it, I’m told. (Got problems with my colors.) Showed it to my wife and she said it looks more brown than green. That’s good. Bigfoot probably shouldn’t be green.

Concept art for green bigfoot...

Concept art for green bigfoot...

Finished reading the first 60 pages. I think we’re headed in a great direction. The slight plot change we came up with about a month ago has made a huge difference for me. It’s gone from something that was good to something I find very compelling. Back when I read the first draft, I liked it but questioned whether I would actually rent it if I found such a movie in the video store. I would rent the third draft.

A writer reacts to positive feedback: "I hear a 'but' coming..."

A writer reacts to positive feedback: "I hear a 'but' coming..."

Still got some tiny nitpicks and stuff I think we should change around, but it’s looking great.

Thursday, May 7th

Been looking into a camera to shoot this thing with. Started leaning towards buying on, as opposed to borrowing or renting one. If I had my own, the stress of the shoot will be very much diminished. All I’ll need to finish is the scenes with the actors I’m not related too, and all the stuff on Rich’s land. We can then finish the rest of it at our leisure… Well, not really, we still want to keep to a schedule – I don’t want to be shooting this for the next ten years (see The Projection Booth.)

Artist depiction of what Tyler would look like after 10 years on this film.

Artist depiction of what Tyler would look like after 10 years on this film.

But if it rains – which is a strong possibility – and I have my own camera, I can make those days up on some weekend in July. Also, I could spend a day alone getting nature shots somewhere in Eastern Ohio on my own time with no one waiting on me. Or, if I’m editing and I think of a cut in I wish I had, I can go do it immediately.

On my short film, The Projection Booth, I learned the importance of this kind of flexibility – and also the danger of that kind of indulgence. But If I can strike a balance between sticking to a structured plan, and doing whatever the hell I want whenever I want, our film will benefit greatly.

I looked at a bunch of camcorders. The best thing out there for under $10,000 is undoubtedly the Sony EX1 or EX3. The EX1 goes for about $6000, which is way more than we were going to spend on the movie. I started looking at cameras around $3000 – $4000… although if you get close enough to $4000, it seems like you should cough up another 2k and get the sweet ass Sony.

GH1... really? Perhaps...

GH1... really? Perhaps...

I asked a friend at work if had heard anything about a $3300 Panasonic model that shoots on SDHC cards. He thought I was talking about the Panasonic GH1 still camera. Before I could say ‘fuck that still camera shit,” he told me that it shoots 1080p 24 video with some kick ass depth of field. We watched some videos that had been shot on it and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It looks great. And it costs a ridiculously low $1500. It’s set to come out in early June, so it could be just in time for the shoot. Need to look into it more.

Writer’s Journal #256

May 25, 2009

It is finished.  Nine months, two and a half complete scripts later, and it is finished.

As I have stated in my previous journal entries, I have actually been working on this idea for about a year. What journal entries? you say.  Oh, that’s right… I don’t have any journal entries.  BECAUSE ALL I HAVE BEEN WRITING FOR NINE MONTHS HAS BEEN BIGFOOT.

But it is over… at least until Tyler reads it…

I wrote for 12 hours yesterday, with very few breaks, none lasting longer that 20 minutes or so.  I drank a shitload of caffeine.

Tools of a writer

Tools of a writer

And to top it all off, my central air is out at the house.  So, my sweat is sweating.

But I finished. I double-checked it. It does not say “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

"I said, I'm not gonna hurt ya. I'm just going to bash your brains in."

"I said, I'm not gonna hurt ya. I'm just going to bash your brains in."

I think we are good.

I sent it to Tyler and celebrated by going to bed.

FADE TO BLACK.

Director’s Journal #6

Wednesday, April 29th

Made the test latex mask using the new face mold of Jory. The cast looks like Jory. But we took a little bit of time mixing the ultracal before we poured it into the alginate mold. The alginate may have shrunk. And when I first examined the positive, I thought it looked like his eyes were smashed a little.

Got a call from Ryder, asking if we ever returned their truck. Apparently, it’s missing. Marvelous.

"I say this calls for action and now. Nip it in the bud. Nip it!"

"I say this calls for action and now. Nip it in the bud. Nip it!"

Thursday, April 30th

Pulled the latex mask off the stone positive and took it to work with me. It is kinda creepy looking. Looks like Jory if he started melting. After work, I stopped by Jory’s place and he tried the mask on. It looked good.

Tyler's two priorities.

Tyler's two priorities.

Everything lined up. I am worried about getting the area around his eyes to blend with his skin, but according to my 1980’s mask-making instructional VHS tape, it’s all good. I think we’re ready to sculpt.

Sunday, May 3rd

Went to a production meeting today. It was nice to finally go to one of these things without having to cast Jory’s face.

Rachel took more measurements for the Bigfoot costume. We now know the exact curvature of Jory’s asscheeks. Rachel plans on building the costume in two sections, a shirt and pants. Usually, this kind of thing would be a one-piece. I’m a little worried about that, but if it works, it’ll help keep Jory cool in that costume running around a forest in the summer – He’ll be able to do shots that are only waist high without his fur pants on and visa versa.

In an effort to save time, I had rewritten the climactic fight scene between our main character and the monster. I had concerns about the original ending and had spoken at great length with Dennis about how I thought the fight should go. After a major plot rewrite, I realized that I’d be fine with the original ending as long as my concerns were addressed. I thought the best way to address those concerns was to do it myself and present it to Dennis. I gave it to him and we talked about. He didn’t seem over enthused… or enthused at all. But he also didn’t have any negative feedback. Perhaps he is just soaking it in.

Reactionless bastard....

Reactionless bastard....

We talked about the rest of the script. The movie was designed so that, at a certain point, the only actors will be Dennis, Stephan, and Dennis’ son, Max. The reason is that family members are going to be much more manageable on a lengthy shoot. I learned on my very early films as a teenager that you can abuse your family members on movies and they’ll keep showing up. This is important. In talking with Dennis about the script, I found that the moment when only those three actors are left comes very late – around page 60. In the original script, it was around page 45. I told him to keep going, that we would look into it later. Don’t want to derail the progress.

"React, you slow writing sonuvabitch!"

"React, you slow writing sonuvabitch!"

Later that night, Dennis sent me the first 61 completed script pages. Now, I can take a look at it, decide if it needs to be cut down, and start making my shot list.

Monday, May 4th

Called Ryder again about their missing truck. They found it.

"A boob that's what I am, a boob!"

"A boob that's what I am, a boob!"