Last summer, I helped shoot a short project with some friends called Silver Moon. Afterwards, I spent the last few months of the year compositing the green screen photography. Well, Travis and Ben have finished tweaking the audio and now it is online for everyone to see.
Silver Moon is a proposed feature-length horror/western. What you can see embedded below is a teaser. It is two scenes from the movie. If we can get funding, we hope to shoot the whole thing. Pass this video around if you enjoy it and become a fan on Facebook if you are social network savvy.
I’m still kicking. One of the things keeping me busy lately is toying around with DSLR cameras for photos and video. Expect to see a short soon called "Delivery" shot on a Canon 7D. I’ve also helped some friends with a couple of other 7D shoots and motion graphics. The big news: Thanks to my tax return I was able to buy a lower end digital camera with interchangeable lens options and full HD video capabilities. I have been spending some of my free time lately testing out my new Panasonic GH1. Some of the photos can be seen in an album on my Facebook page. I have also ordered a little camera I am very excited about, the Go Pro HD Helmet Cam. Weather and USPS permitting, I’ll get to try it out this weekend rock climbing in Chatsworth. I look forward to taking that little thing down waterfalls, diving, trapeze-ing, and anywhere else I can.
I’m done with the VFX for "Silver Moon." Travis is wrapping up its loose ends and it will be online very soon. Fan it on Facebook if you use that site. I’ve finally started editing my first "I Am Yo-yo" Duncan spec spot. That should be completed soon. "Marty Mitchell" is still sitting in the wings, but I plan to start working on its open right after. If you have ever been curious what some of the videos I put together at work look like, you can check out a YouTube playlist I’ve compiled with some of that work. I’ve embedded the Book Trailer I put together for the "Shutter Island" Graphic Novel below.
I’ll be going to small claims court in April to attempt to bring justice down upon the chick that lied about our car accident last year. Calcote was kind enough to serve her at her office last week for me. Blood work from my allergist claims I am only allergic to dogs, cats, and cockroaches. My lifelong sinus problems and itchiness tell me otherwise. I’ve been on a few hikes recently and I am really looking forward to an exciting March filled with canyoneering, trapeze, Death Valley, and whatever else I can fit in. The West Coast Trail in British Columbia is looking like a definite possibility this summer. I will need to start planning soon if that is going to be a reality.
Well, that takes the two of you interested up to speed. See ya.
Working on the Van Von Hunter project at my job for the last two years has introduced me to a number of people. One of those people is a guy named Travis Stevens who has been playing a major character in the project and contributing a lot of assistance in other ways. He has worked in television and film production for a number of years and is much more friendly and cordial than you may expect from a person mired in an industry known for brewing cynicism and distrust. Much like all of us involved, he has his own aspirations and passions. He has a devout interest in Westerns and Horror and penned a screenplay combining the two. I read it. I liked it. I was absolutely interested when he said he wanted to shoot a scene from the script as a test piece.
There were a number of factors that made me interested. I have recently become intrigued with the Western genre myself (I think I have hit that age where Western story elements suddenly seem relevant as a male). It would be shot on the RED camera, a camera I have been interested in working with. It would be an opportunity to try out a variety of effects and keying techniques on very high quality footage. Travis is a standup guy and has helped me in the past with my Marty Mitchell project. It would be fun. And the clincher, Daisuke. Dais is an editor I work with. He exudes a stoicism and dry wit that makes him a perfect candidate for playing a cowboy. He would be part of the cast. Deal.
Travis wanted his actors to feel comfortable with a six-shooter so he took them and some of us on the crew to a firing range. Despite growing up in “Sportsman’s Paradise” (that’s Louisiana for those who don’t know) surrounded by an extensive hunting culture, I had never managed to fire a real firearm in my life. It was an interesting experience. Holding a real handgun, feeling its weight, experiencing its explosive force, and hearing its deafening roar is intimidating. Especially when you are standing in a firing range where various weapons are being fired every few seconds. There is a great power there and a necessity to treat it with respect. It was a valuable learning experience.
The video shoot encompassed the first three weekends in June. We started in a green screen studio and moved to a ranch for the last day of shooting. Travis compiled a relatively small, but exceptionally efficient crew. Everything was pre-planned, each position was filled, everyone knew what they were doing, and the days ran smoothly. We often wrapped early. The nice thing about the crew is they were all friends and associates of Travis’. Thus, everyone got along very well and most of the time everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. It didn’t feel like work. This was the first shoot I have ever been on that used a crane. It was spectacular to see it in action. I look forward to using a crane on a personal production someday. It allows the camera to get places it can’t normally and move in ways a person can’t. It also makes finding shots and preparing setups much faster. I really enjoyed the location shoot also. Having the actors on horseback trotting across ranch property added a beauty and believability we wouldn’t be able to mimic in a studio.
Now the project is in editing and soon it will be coming my way. I was on each shoot and helped as much as I could, but my real work on this project is yet to come. Soon I’ll receive an edit with all 60-70 shots and the compositing and visual effects process will begin. I have lots of keying, comping, and grading ahead of me. I look forward to seeing this short when we finish it and I hope to work with this crew again in the future.