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!