Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunshine Sunday

Wow - been a long time since I blogged! We shot nights for the last couple of weeks! It just goes by in a blur! But such a fun time!

Shooting is wrapped! Back in LA - still haven't unpacked everything...

Now what? Very confusing time. Taiwan directing deal is here and on the table! Yay! Another kick ass film also hovering on the sidelines...been in a couple of meetings with the director and team...

Some other cool projects have popped up too. Must be getting busy out there! So for the moment, just regrouping in LA and then will land...somewhere...

Will post as soon as I know!

BTW - just saw Inglorious Basterds last night - WOW! Haven't enjoyed a film so much since...I guess Pulp Fiction! Quentin rocks. He is for sure my #1 favorite director! The Kill Bills rocked too...his films are perfection and so twisted!


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sleepy Saturday

Yaaawwwnnnn. Worked all night - went to bed at 7:30am this just got up at about 4:00p!

I really don't mind working nights. Plus last night we shot a bad ass explosion at a power plant. It was HUGE! And the actors were running in front of it!

They looked pretty darn nervous as we had the safety meeting and the crew was told they had to stand way, way, way far back from the pyro because it wasn't safe to be any closer - which of course left the 3 actos asking, "But what about us...????"

Anyway - it all went well and looked fucking cool! So what more can you ask for if you are working all night?

Not going to set until about 11:00p tonight - even though crew call is at 7p. No vfx until later - in fact, just some monitor comps. So, if shouldn't be a whole night for me. Good day to be part of the vfx dept...

Monday, August 31, 2009

Meandering Monday

Oops! Been way too long again!

Let's see - last week we shot more sequences with explosions, squibs and muzzle flashes. Cool! Working split shifts now - from about 2p to "hope we get out of here before sunrise!"

I actually prefer it - hate 6am calls. When I have to get up so early - I wake up every half hour to check the damn time! Never get a good night of sleep. But when I don't have to be in until afternoon - cool - I just sleep in as late was I want!

2 more weeks left to shoot. All going so fast!

Not sure what I will be doing next - negotiating for one project and supposed to meet the director shortly for another....whichever lands first is the one I will go with I figure!

Tonight we shoot at the casino - no vfx. But I will be there for a pyro meeting during dinner break. Guess I will just have to hang out at the black jack tables - you know, just in case any vfx comes up, I want to be close by...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thirsty Thursday!

Damn! I drink a whole lot of liquid out here! Hot Hot Hot!!!

Fun week! On set monday and tuesday for just one vfx shot each day! DOH! But that allowed me to get caught up on inputting camera reports and other show related stuff.

Wednesday - a day to go down in history. We shot a very brave actor dancing naked with veggies in his butt! Yep - we did! Funniest damn thing I've ever seen... 'Nuff said. And no, I'm not working on a porno! But definitely a hysterical R rated comedy!

Thursday - tons of shots! Took camera reports for about 38 camera setups today...lots of squibs and bullet hits and muzzle flashes coming our way.

Everyone continues to be in good spirits and fun to work with. What more can you ask for? Well, maybe a bigger paycheck!!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sleep in Saturday!

It's saturday already! Thursday and friday zipped by in a haze!

On thursday I scouted the locations that we were going to Lidar. The vfx house we awarded the work to has their own Lidar! Cool! So they grabbed a couple of building locations and then out to some amazing cliffs to scan for a 3D build.

I left them in scanning land and went back to the hotel to enter camera report data....boring!

Friday was awesome! We blew up a van - I mean a HUGE explosion! Love that shit! It's always so cool. KABOOM!!! said the van...

The hardest part of this show so far is trying not to burst out laughing during the takes. This show has some funny shit in it and the entire crew gets doubled over trying to laugh in silence. I asked one of the actors how he keeps from busting up during the takes and he said he actually has to dig his nails into his hand to distract him from laughing!

Comedies are cool.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Water guzzling wednesday

Forgot to write about tuesday! That was shoot day #2. I only had one day for night shot so didn't go to set until 4p. Spent the rest of the day inputting camera reports from monday and making velcro markers for the bluescreen shoot on wednesday.

Wednesday - busy day! Lots of cool SFX shoot ups and vfx shots. This is really an amazing crew - not one pain in the ass or overblown ego to be seen. The comraderie feels like we've been working together for weeks - rather than just 3 days! The SNL guys are really nice and, of course, incredibly funny! Makes the shoot a real hoot!

The velcro markers worked like a charm on the fuzzy blue. Too bad the bluescreen we dropped on the set was all in shadow! :-(
But we will be fine...we always are...

But damn hot out there...but crafty is great and brings us popsicles! Yay! They taste like the best damn popsicles you've ever tasted when you are burning up from the heat! I drank SO much matter how much - I still wanted more...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monochromatic Monday

First day of shooting! Call time was 6a and it was 45 minute to set. So - left hotel at 5:15am - was up at 4:15am! DOH!

We shot in some gypsum mines - totally white! Absolutely blinding in the sunlight - you couldn't last a minute without sunglasses if you expected to still have your eyesight at the end of the day! And when the wind would kick up - we would all get covered head to (and breath in) white gypsum powder...yeck!

But cool shoot. Considering it was the first day - it went surprisingly smoothly. No hiccups or hithces. Wrapped up at 7p.

Tomorrow - I don't have to be on set until 4p as there is only 1 vfx shot! Can get some other work done!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wandering Wednesday!

Went on a scout today with one of the location scouts. Cool! A private tour of all the awesome cliffs in New Mexico! I was searching for the "perfect" set of cliffs to lidar and photograph for the 3D cliffs we have to create.

Went to an navaho reservervation and had to wait around for a while for the pres/chief to come down to the office and ok letting us in. Then went driving down lots of dirt roads checking out cliffs. They were perfect! And they allow good access for lidar and photographing. Cool!

This took most of the day. Wrapped up and drove back to Albuquerque, had some lunch and then back to the production office for some meetings.

First up - the miniature meeting. Had the guys there that will build it and all the keys who have input - director, dp, production designer, sfx sup, line producer, gaffer and moi! Good meeting and a good plan in place! Lots of big explosions coming our way!

Then the Pagoda meeting...more chat and debate and chat and debate and then finally settle on a plan. All good and great to get all they keys in the same room and to agree on a plan. Unlike some productions in which no meetings are ever planned and everyone tries to get info by osmosis! Much prefer a production that believes in communciation!

Also got to "officially" award the project to the vfx house we've wanted to award to the whole time. Just lots of politics and money stuff to deal with first. But now it's all groovy and all in place!

Then off to some dinner - a quick bite at one of the local places everyone said was good - and they did not lie!

Now I blog and then go to bed!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Technical Tuesday

What happened to monday? Well, lots of meetings about what we need. We are shooting with the Red Cameras - so we deliberated about whether to use digital blue or chroma blue...finally, we settled on chroma blue because all our bluescreens are going to be in bright sunshine - so the darker chroma blue will actually be better and not so faded when shooting.

Then, the next realization: my usual use of grip tape to mark up the process screens is simply not going to cut it in this heat! The tape will melt and just peel off. The answer? Velcro! I'm getting male velcro with a sticky side. I will cut into 6" strips and the male side will stick to the fuzzy chroma blue material. Then, on the black sticky side that will now be facing outwards - I will tape green 1" grip tape. Cool! I can mark it all up ahead of time and not think about it ever again. I like that.

Okay - today - tuesday. Last full production meeting with all the heads of dept. to go through the entire film. Was productive and faster than expected. At this point, we all know eachother and have had all the side bar conversations (well, not all). After the meeting, the rest of the day was spent in more sidebars with art dept, special fx, gaffers, grips, etc...

Awesome crew! Everyone very helpful and agreeable. Makes a big difference when you don't have to deal with any big egos or attitudes. Just feels like a professional group of people all trying to make a cool film and support the director - which is really all it's supposed to be about in the first place!

Rest of the day was spent updating the vfx breakdown per the tech scout and production meetings...

Okay - tomorrow, I scout for cliff locations to use for the CG cliff we have to Will be nice to get out of the office and see some scenice stuff down here!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Working weekend!

Forgot to blog yesterday! Oh the horrors!

Did another 12 hour tech scout yesterday. Long day but very informative! Good to actually get all the department heads together to figure out what we are actually doing - or think we are doing!

All subject to change when we shoot of course! And so it goes. But that is what makes it fun. Would be quite dull if everything was exactly as you planned and you didn't shoot from the hip a bit on the day! I much prefer that - get the best shot you can with the time you have and make the adjustments as you go...

blah blah blah...

Got back to the production office around 11pm. Had a beer and left at 11:30p. Tried to get a birthday drink (at midnight) at the hotel bar but they close at 11p! Huh? That sucks!

Today - sunday - went up the tram here in Albuquerque. Amazing view. Came back and am still working on updating the vfx shot breakdown per the 2 day location scout...

Gotta have it ready for a meeting with tomorrow to go over it all...

That's all for now! Happy birthday to me!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Fact Finding Friday

Went on a 12 hour tech scout today - 7a to 7p! Was up at 5:30a - but unfortunately wasn't able to go to sleep before 2am! Hard to change my night owl ways. Always takes a few days of early call times to break me in. Actually, I never get used to early mornings - even when the shoot lasts for 6 months!

Another 12 hour scout tomorrow...but its fun and the crew is very cool.

Now on the phone with a studio exec and his engineer talking about mind bending ways to shoot film differently. My brain hurts...oy.

Time to go to sleep...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Whiz Bang Wednesday

Yowza! Day before I fly - wouldn't you know I had a tooth that was killing me! Luckily the dentist was free. Better than having to find one while on location in New Mexico.

Finished packing. Had a conference call with a company in NYC. Went to the dentist. Downloaded more 2k files from london for a film I'm doing R&D on. Very cool having a nucoda 2K playback in my office!

But it's gonna go away soon. Phase one of the R&D just about done. Phase 2 to happen down the road...TBD!

Not an exciting day - just very busy!

Now time to have some of my famous chili for dinner!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Trip Planning Tuesday

So - show I'm consulting for is back on - off hold! Flying out on thursday now. So, today has been a day of packing and prep for 6 weeks away!

Not sure when I will actually be needed to fly to Taiwan for directing gig...but that can be figured out once all the paperwork on both sides is signed. No sense worrying about time tables until those pieces fall into place!

They always say as soon as possible - but as soon as possible is only relevant to the deal being done...know what I mean jelly bean?

That's all for now. Gonna go make some curry!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monkey Business Monday!

Weird day.

First, I was told that the film I'm consulting for is on hold. And, I was also told, on the same phone cal, that it may be off hold as early as tomorrow - so I need to be ready to fly as early as wednesday...!!

Huh? Damn this town is weird! Hard to get any films going - never mind actually keep them going!

Then, the guy that called me about directing a spot in Dubai never answered my agent. He tried and tried and tried to force me to talk and commit to money over the weekend. I just kept saying that he had to deal with my agent for anything related to money and the deal terms.

So, an agent scared him off I guess! And what does that tell you about the honest intentions of someone who runs away when they find out they have to be legit and talk to an agent and deal with guarantees and up front payments, etc.?

Ha! Good to have the agent as a buffer against the shady ones out there! Mucho better not to deal with it!

Also got an email that the directing gig in Asia is a go...just nailing down the budget I guess and will be picking up where we left off with my deal again to wrap things up. At least these guys have no problems dealing with agents! :-)

Interesting day. I feel like a clap on/clap off light system. Project On! Project Off!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Slacking Saturday?

No slacking on this saturday! All work work work today!

Was woken at 8am by the director of the film I'm consulting on. Just to chat about stuff. He's a cool guy. Can't wait to shoot on location with him!

Then, due to my own procrastination, I had to dive into writing my chapter on data acquisition for the VES handbook. I wrote my postvis chapter long ago - but for some reason, this second chapter kept getting put aside for other things!

So -write, write write.

Happily, I was interrupted by a phone call about my availability to direct a commercial in Dubai! Cool beans! Don't know if it will happen or when....hope it doesn't cut right into my shooting time on the other film...

Okay, then back to writing. And that is all I've been doing and am still doing. It's 5p and I will be looking to a cocktail at around 6p to ease the pain of thinking about data acquistion! Then friends over at 7p.

All good - except that means I won't finish my chapter today - and now it has to spill into sunday as it's due on monday! And once monday hits - all kinds of other "priorities" rear their ugly head!

Oy. So much for procrastination. It gets you no where!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thirsty Thursday

Was thirsty for a margarita - so I had one. And then I was thirsty for a glass of wine - so I had one...or two....

Conference call with a vendor this am about vfx breakdown. Nothing too exciting!

Lunch with a producer friend - sharing gossip and tips on upcoming films!

Then a haircut. Best to be done on weekdays if your schedule allows. Hate going on saturdays with all the ladies sitting around in curlers and tin foil and shit!

Got a deal memo for the film I'm consulting on. Need to take a look and discuss with my agent tomorrow. Pretty straightforward and basic stuff...nothing big to dwell on.

That's it. Pretty uneventful!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Waiting Wednesday

Just a lot of busy work today...and lots of waiting! That damn task list just keeps getting longer...

Reviewed 3 more reels for potential outsourcing work. Of the 5 I've checked out, only 1 company really shows some good promise. But really, all the companies will just keep getting better and better as they get more opportunities for work. All they need is a few key personnel who have been through the "ropes" before to share their failures and successes with them.

Had a good phone call about a big live action film with tons of vfx I'd like to work on! It's gearing up...soon I should get to meet with the director and producer. Already met with some of the studio peeps and they seem quite groovy...

Still waiting for the "unofficial award" to become an "official award" for the directing gig in asia...

Waiting on the rest of the bids to come in for the film I'm consulting on so we can award...

Waiting for my deal memo and pay check to arrive for same film...

Waiting on financing for 2 indies to come through that I am attached as vfx sup/co-producer

Waiting on financing for another feature animation film I would direct...

Tick Tock.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Touring Tuesday

Visited 2 more vfx houses today - always nice to find new companies to do work with!

One of the houses wins hands down for the funkiest and coolest digs! Sweet! If you gotta work, at least let it be in groovy surroundings!

Got a first bid back...and it fits within our budget. Phew!

Got an email saying that the full cg project I'm attached to direct is an "unofficial go." That's cool - but I would prefer the "official go."
But it's getting closer and looks like it might actually happen. Cool Beans!

Now home and surfing the web - all the usual suspects - facebook, imdb, hollywood reporter, variety, cnn, twitter, blogs, and on and on...what did we do with all that extra time we had before we got attached to our laptops, iphones, palm pilots, nintendo ds and playstation psp? Damn - must have had a lot of free time...seems like a long, long time ago...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hello Monday!

Day began with an 8am conference call with the director and all heads of dept...and it lasted until 2p! My damn headset couldn't pick up everyone on such a large conference call so I had to hold the stupid phone to my ear for 6 hours! Ow! But - it was productive...just not so productive for my ear, neck and arms that had to take turns holding the phone while I attempted to type in notes on my laptop!

Then went to a really great fx house I have never visited before! I LOVE boutiques! They are so flexible and cool to work with! Went over the breakdown with these guys and we were on the same page right from the get go. Would be nice to work these guys for sure! Very nice demo reel...

Then came home and posted an updated vfx breakdown for the vendors to bid on - had the changes from this morning's conference call in it.

And, I finally made a decision about whether to use a miniature or go full CG! For this one - a miniature and some CG enhancements will serve our budget the best! Too bad - fun to blow things up in full CG! But it's also cool to blow up miniatures out in the desert! So, either way it was going to be fun!

That's about it for now!

Friday, July 17, 2009

It's Friday!

Downloaded some 2k files from the UK on the nucoda in my home office for review!

Reviewed a whole lot of vfx reels for possible outsourcing options and for companies to bid on my vfx shot breakdown...

Wrapped up the vfx breakdown and will post this weekend for bidding!

A few phone calls here and there...and that's about it!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

More on the great week!

Also got a LOI for an indie film that I would vfx sup/co-produce. And, the director is a friend of mine and super cool guy. Now how cool would that be?

Great Week!

Came back from a scout in Albuquerque. Shoot is 3 weeks away. Should be a blast - crew is awesome and script is f**king hysterical!

Find out in the next couple of weeks if I get to direct a full cg piece in Asia...would be rad!

Dinner with a talented group of creatives/producers...let's get a piece of that outsourcing pie! Why not? Everyone else is. It's all about globalization and since I love travel - I am happy to travel wherever the work wants to go!

Had lunch today with a really cool producer/friend. Awesome guy. Need more producers like him!

Busy wrapping up a vfx breakdown to send out for bids...and the big question...can they do the work for the money we have? Or is it the usual - our appetites are too bid for our budget! DOH! But I think we can pull this one off...

That's about it

Monday, June 29, 2009