Category Archives: Production Journal

Quick Update: We’re getting there…

It’s been a while since Tyler or I have written an update to this site. Needless to say, things have been very hectic these past few months.    But, I’ll do my best to sum it all up and then get into what’s next.

First of all, we finished the last of our outdoor shooting. This is a tremendous milestone, considering that 80% of the film takes place outside in the woods. We managed to get in about 5 more shooting days before the weather would no longer permit it.  But we got a lot of good footage during those five days, including the majority of the climax (what’s left will be mentioned below).

These were not easy days. People were tired and worn out. Schedules, as usual, were tough to coordinate. But, folks hung in there and gave their all. And I think it will show in the end product.

Getting the shot, anyway we can.

Since then, Tyler has been continuing to edit the film. I’ve seen much of the new stuff from this year added in and it looks damn good. I have been working on rewriting the few remaining scenes to account for location and story changes. And we both have been having meetings regarding the stuff that’s left. And in between all of that, we have been dealing with real life, which is it’s own unique type of pain in the ass. I think I speak for us both when I say that the bullshit, imaginary world of moviemaking is way more fun.

"Death and danger are my various breads and various butters."

Which leads me to what is next. We have three indoor scenes to shoot with the three core actors. We are location scouting for two of them, and one is inside a vehicle. We have one indoor scene that is half complete, but the location is not available until the weather gets nicer. And we have some effects shots to do in the studio (We call anywhere people let us shoot indoors “the studio.” We’re kinda like filmmaking hobos that way.).  One of the key effects bits involves the climax of the film and a really cool stunt that would kill people if we tried if for real. Which, of course, we considered.

Tyler, with his Nth adventure hat on, makes magic out of fur and leaves.

Add to that all the work that needs to done in post (more editing, sound, visual effects, music), and we still have a ways to go. But we are confident that the film will premiere this year. Somewhere.

Insanity: the final stage of filmmaking

What then? Who knows. But, keep checking here for updates and more insight on this ate-up process as we put the finishing touches on the greatest bigfoot movie to ever to be made for a few grand by two jackasses and a team of untrained professionals in their own backyard. Ever!

Feel the heat! More shooting, more good times.

It has been a while since our last post. It has also been a while since we have shot anything. There are a couple of reasons for this. One, our real lives, the things we do that pay the bills, have been kind enough to really interfere in our filmmaking time. Two, availability. Making a micro-budget movie tends to put you at the mercy of the schedule of the people who are kind enough to volunteer their time to your endeavor. And third, it has been apocalypticly hot out. Every time we turn on the weather report, it’s another Heat Emergency. And, let’s face it – a bigfoot movie with a dizzy sasquatch that passes out in every scene is not really what we are going for.

So, we’re determined to grab the days when we can and get this film finished before the fall (or rather, before Mother Nature decides to mess with us again). In the meantime, we have been working on what we can; Tyler editing our footage into a very viewable rough cut, myself working on some scene rewrites, our make-up FX  head creating and testing new blood formulas (enjoying it a little too much sometimes, I think).  So, without further ado, or excuses, I give you Day 23 of shooting.

Day 23 – August 1, 2010

After a day of purchasing supplies, dusting off the wardrobe, arranging the availability of the actors, and confirming a shooting location,  the team was ready to begin another intensive day of shooting in the woods.

Tyler and his army of one.

We arrived on location and I was pleased to see a familiar face onset: Kirk. Kirk has been a friend of Tyler’s for many moons, and he helped us out on our short film The Projection Booth. He had been following our progress via this wonderful blogstrosity here, and had offered his services should we need. Hell yeah, we do! In fact, just a few nights before I had told Tyler that he desperately needed a right-hand man, or two, to work with him through the organized chaos that is our shooting style. Being so short-staffed, while intentional, has also been a bit of a hindrance.

So, it was cool to see Kirk again after all this time. And it eased my mind to know that Tyler had someone there whom he knew and trusted, and who knew him and his bizarreness, to provide needed support. Kirk would be our sound guy this shoot. Awesome!

You think you're above the law?

Stephan, Max, and I geared up. Today would be a actiony day. Two scenes, both with a fair share of running, ducking, jumping, falling, and slamming into trees.  The first 2/3 of the day was a lot of me doing the aforementioned physical work. It was surprisingly hot, and I was soaked, exhausted, and not feeling well by the time we finished. For some reason, only a handful of water bottles were brought down from the vehicles into the woods, so it was a while still before I got any fluids in me.

"More action hero, and less you, please."

Stephan had a stunt, which he nailed several times very well, and then he and Max had some running of their own to do. And it was done. It’s been rare, but I love when we get a whole scene finished in a day, more-or-less on schedule.

We then headed back out to the Lebanon, OH location for a couple of quick pickup shots for a scene that seemed to be missing some things.

Water... why did it have to be water?

Max was not pleased to find out that he was going to wind up in the creek for what would be the second time.  But, he stuck it out. We shot there for about an hour or so, then called it a day. Everyone did a terrific job and it felt good to get back into the groove. And Kirk jumped right into the mess without missing a beat. It was a good day.

August 2, 2010 – August 4, 2010

I have heat exhaustion, having been severely dehydrated from the 5 hrs in the heat.  I spend the next 3 days dizzy, cramping, nauseous, and swimming in Powerade.  I curse my stupidity for not ensuring we had enough fluids on set because, as a former EMT and US Army Medic, I most definitely know better. I decide that I would rather be accidentally caught on fire again than to let myself get dehydrated like this again. In a light-headed daze, I silently make a Khan-like vow to avenge myself.

This shit just got real! Shooting resumes.

After taking the winter off and enjoying some unexpected attention to our film on the internet, we’re finally back to it. Enjoy as we resume filming, weekend by weekend until we have everything we need to present you with the greatest bigfoot movie ever made by jackasses.

Day 21 – April 16, 2010

This was a short day of shooting, just to get a some… well, I’ll let Tyler explain:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Day 22 – May 29, 2010

“Holy shit! We gots cave!” I believe were my exact words when Tyler informed me that he had made contact the owners of a cave/mine and they were excited about allowing us to shoot for a day out there. The awesome folks at the Lewisburg Haunted Cave agreed to permit us to film our cave scene in the mines which they use to run a kick-ass haunt attraction every year. So, Tyler arranged the shoot date with them, and our cast and crew, and Thundercats were GO.

Despite last minute travel instructions and arrangements that could easily have gone horribly wrong, everyone made it to the location, about an hour north of our Cincinnati base of operations. I have been to caves before, but none this large and not for this length of time. Let me just say: this mine was intimidating.  80+ feet below the surface, 40 miles of tunnels, home to 30,000 bats. This wasn’t just a film set. This shit was the real deal.

Well, that looks mighty inviting....

Several members of the crew had some serious anxiety to overcome, but everyone was professional and dedicated, doing what they had to to make this work. We all went deep inside the mine to the location Tyler had picked out. If we thought the woods were dark at night, well this place was pure nothingness without the lights. Fortunately I had purchase a lantern the night before, which not only did an excellent job of providing some workable light, but also managed to light the scenes for us as well. Why? Because we had no electricity. At all.

Everyone was on the money, performance-wise. It was as if we had never had the past 6+ months off.  People jumped right into character, folks worked together through scenes, joked around like always. It was excellent. The crew was also on with extra set dressing, props, make-up… you name it, and everyone was brought their A-game.

Anybody remember what the hell this movie's about...?

One scene in particular, involving everyone’s favorite cryptid Bigfoot, was so good that everyone, including the workers of the Haunted Mine who came on set to watch, was dead silent. You could hear a bat shit, it was so quite. And it was perfect.

So, this was a tremendous return to filming. Exactly what we needed: actors on, crew focused, and a location that makes our film look way better than it may actually be.

After countless takes, nothing remained of the actors but bones...

I especially want to thank Jebenezzer Law and the folks at the Lewisburg Haunted gave. If you have a chance this fall to check them out, I highly recommend it. However, per Jebenezzer’s recommendation, bring a change of pants. They’ve won awards for… that.

Their website: http://www.hauntedcaveatlewisburg.com/

Their Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lewisburg-Haunted-Cave/121195016829