Saturday, August 4, 2012

Vampire Pants, Bonsai Trees and Other Necessities

This has been a crazy week where Demonspawn is concerned. I had to gather up the assets that we could depend upon before writing the script. Early on, I was getting a bit panicky, because the budget for this teaser is tens of dollars. Meanwhile, we have to produce something compelling enough to attract crowd funding. I found myself asking many incongruous questions like 'Do I still have those fangs?' 'Why are bonsai trees so expensive?' 'Why do costume versions of prison jumpsuits cost more than the real thing?' 'Does Simon really need pants?'

The Vampire Has No Pants part two

Those who followed the field notes for Demon Under Glass know that there was a problem with Simon's pants – in that, he had none as of the day before the shoot was to begin. Somehow, they were left off a list of wardrobe items. On the first day of the shoot, Phil McNamara and I had to find a thrift store and find some pants that fit and went with the rest of the outfit. That wasn't the biggest disaster of the day. That would be the queen sized mattress on the 405 freeway. But that's another story. The pants problem this time was a matter of expense. The skimpy budget for the teaser doesn't not allow me to get some of the outfits – even with the frugal methods I detailed in the first blog. I toyed with the idea of only filming Simon and Joe in half costumes. However, that wouldn't help the actors get into character. It would also set the wrong tone for how the web series shoot would be. I also believe that it would cause a lot of frivolity on set while we're on a tight schedule.

It was a puzzler. I had the modern day costumes, and I had one era for period costumes. But I needed one or two more. Then as I was crewing up, the answers began to present themselves. I was talking a friend that goes way back in our filmmaking efforts about bringing him on bard as cast and crew. Robert Lento worked with us on The Privateers. He lead a stage combat troop called Have Sword Will Travel (HSWT) that provided our pirates for the pirates' den. Since then (wow, it's been a long time), he's been honing his skills in front of and behind the camera. In fact, he has a long running, award winning webseries on his Youtube Channel. I realized that his show was set in many eras and that he had a lot of costumes for the troop's performances. Eureka! Simon will have pants and perhaps pantaloons. I can't reveal. Nor can I reveal the part Bobby will be playing in the webseries. The only thing I can say is that he plays Simon's favorite TV character for reasons that confound Joe.

I was also a bit concerned about set dressing. It has to be as period appropriate as possible down to drapery fabrics to dishes and glasses. In present day, the set dressing has to match Simon's taste for the lush and comfy as detailed in the books. Everything must make the shots look interesting. I must admit that set dressing is not a strong suit. I can gather the elements, but putting together a room that conveys a mood or a feel is something else entirely. Fortunately, Sunshine Lliteras is and she is back in Los Angeles. Sunshine was in Portland for several months working on FX for Paranorman (this film premiers on august 17th. Go see it, and take everyone you know). Sunshine is amazing with set dressing. She has an eye for it. I'll collect the items that we need, but she will turn them into magic. That shoot will be a bit of old home week for all of us. Though our productions have been very luck with hiring crew with only an exchange of emails, it will be nice to do such a tight shoot with people we know really well. It'll be fun, too.

Now that we have the production elements in place, I can write the script. It's pretty much all in my head now, so it shouldn't take very long. I will not post it until after the video is online. There are some really cool surprises that I don't want spoiled. Next time, I will go over the character interactions that we want to convey and the tension that we're trying to develop. Although, there may not be a blog next week if we get really crazy setting up for the shoot.

No comments:

Post a Comment