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Back And To The Left . . . Back And To The Left . . . Back And To The Left

Perhaps you are beginning to tire of our endless posts about editing in Premiere Pro (CS6)? Don’t blame ya. Felt that way Day Three myself.

And yet . . . as Benny Hill would say, “Learning . . . Always Learning.” Today, I have rough-cut footage for the whole piece running at 8 minutes. Slowly, I nip and tuck at the transitions, a frame away here, a frame away there. I see friends and feel like we spent the whole night together but it was just their image scampering around the editing screen, “Back and To The Left . . . Back and To The Left!” I re-did the last 5 seconds tonight, totally changing the rhythm. Fascinating.

I find myself getting giddy when I learn a new shortcut – currently Grave Key is my favorite. What’s yours?

I start to look at the material, the look and feel of the piece differently. My god, there’s so many ways to approach the flow with these. And that’s before we smooth out the audio and make soundtrack music. Its overwhelming, in a good way.

And, may I say, God bless the Cut-Away Shot! Young film makers, you cannot have too many of them. Seriously, they are miracles of coverage and will save your butt. ‘Course, as the older, wiser Spielberg would even admit, you don’t HAVE to use them all in the final picture. But, they are golden for getting you out of situations like a nightmarish repeated jump cut dead end. 

So, the battle rages on. We are winning. Matt Jackson will start writing the soundtrack around December 4th and this is all very exciting. Viva los Zombies!

Creative Overload Alert!

Lots going on here, even though technically we are STILL EDITING!!! So don’t ask me yet when you can see the movie, ’cause it’s gonna be a few more months, at the minimum. 

But don’t think all we’re doing is sitting around in our undies in front of the flickering light of the computer monitor, editing like crazed monkeys. Okay, that is part of it, but there’s an awful lot of other stuff going on too.

Like…prepping the Press Kit, working on a fer reals website, researching various film festivals, revising the script for the feature and exploring some other (related) creative projects. So yes, at the mo’, this household is on creative work overload. And we wouldn’t want it any other way.

But if you come across a spare bit of brain matter floating around, know that it’s just us doing our best to keep the zombies fed!

A VAMPIRE PERSPECTIVE

Every Friday, this blog will re-post a letter to the editor of the “Crest Top Chronicle” newspaper, to provide a platform for voices from the community concerning some of the real issues raised by the short film “Dead Votes Society.” This week: vampire activist Isabella Barlow.

            OK, so this is like what I don’t get. All these zombies- and all the breathers out there advocating for zombies- are moaning and groaning (literally) about how zombies don’t have the right to vote. Boo-freakin’-hoo. I mean, hello, we vampires can’t vote either, and you don’t hear us complaining about it. I myself have resided in America since the end of the Civil War, but just because I didn’t have the good fortune to have died here, I am not considered a citizen. There are literally dozens of others like me out there, our plight all but ignored while the stupid zombies get all the attention. Nobody’s asking to see their death certificates. And nobody’s spraying holy water in their faces when they gather to protest, either. But again, you don’t hear us complaining.

            And it’s not like there’s any shortage of issues that are important to us. Like take just for example the blood that’s running through your veins. It’s not like you earned that. You were born with it. Vampires should be entitled to a fair redistribution of inherited sanguinary wealth. But we’re not likely to receive our fair share of this nation’s hemo-resources if we’re not allowed a voice in government.

            Vampires are for a strict separation of church and state – let’s keep crucifixes out of all buildings, thank you. We’re for comprehensive food labeling laws- we have a right to know if our food was processed in a plant where it might have come into contact with garlic. We’re for marriage equality (most vampires are bisexual at the very least,) we’re for environmental concerns (global warming means a lot more sunlight) and we’re for strict dress codes at the nation’s nightclubs. And what’s stopping us from achieving these goals? That’s right. Corporate America, man. F****n’ corporate America and the brainless consumer support system they’d receive if zombies are given the vote and we’re not.

            But you don’t hear us complaining about it.

ISABELLA BARLOW was born in a small village in the Carpathian Mountains sometime in the late 18th Century. She spent most of the 20th Century attending high school and has thus far devoted the 21st to protesting outside of various blood banks.  The views expressed here are hers alone and do not reflect those of the administrators of this blog or in fact of anyone, anywhere, ever.

My Zombie Movie Is in Pieces!

*Production Designer Penelope Davis has guts ‘n zombie parts!

Yeah, okay. I was a little busy last week and completely spaced out on the blog post. So here’s the latest update on our progress!

Last week, we merged the video footage with the audio tracks and now the real fun – and work – is fully underway. It’s a little weird, because even though the finished movie will run somewhere around nine minutes, we have about an hour and a half of multiple takes and variations of shots to work with.

And thank god for that! A good edit means the shots flow so that most people have don’t stop to think that a different shot is being used. Mainly because the transition just makes sense.  Andrew’s got a pretty nifty first pass almost done and I’ll be taking a swing at my version later today.

“Say what?” you ask. “But why do TWO different edits?”  Since Andrew and I know each other – and the overall vision of the movie – so well, we decided it would be easiest to each make an edit so we could actually SEE the editing decisions, discuss them and then make the final cut. We’ve worked on a lot of projects together, and we tend to talk about everything before making big decisions. 

Maybe not the norm, but then we’ve never been the ones who do things in the ‘normal’ way. We just do what works for us.

So hooray for editing and viva los zombies!

WHAT I SAID, BUT WOULD NOT YOU LISTEN PEOPLE

Every Friday, this blog will re-post a letter to the editor of the “Crest Top Chronicle” newspaper, to provide a platform for voices from the community concerning some of the real issues raised by the short film “Dead Votes Society.” This week: undead voting activist Zeke Steppinski.

 

NOTE: MR. STEPPINSKI, AN UNDEAD AMERICAN, COMPOSED THIS LETTER WITH THE AID OF GLOBECO’S G2T® GRUNT-TO-TEXT AUTO-TRANSLATION SOFTWARE.

 

      When I started my campaign to regain voting rights for Americans dead at the end of 2010, I had thought that there would be enough time to <<UNKNOWN PHRASING ERROR>> Zombies, nevertheless, are the most precipitously on the increase demon graphic in the USA populace, and as such ask for to have their voices have the sense of hearing. I had no brainwave, on the other hand, the sum of forbearance <<TRANSLATE SERVER ERROR>> indomitable to repudiate my comrades their most axiomatic American right.

            America has from tip to toe defecated racism, and homosexual terror is rapidly befalling a thing of the past, butdiscrimination (and even spurting in the head) against zombies is still far and wide customary. Because of these anti-dead predispositions, efforts at propagandizing zombie suffering have been buggered at every level. And now America is arousing to the aftermaths of their percipience. Every agreeable American’s worst incubus: four more years of Borat Hansen Odorama.

            If zombies had been permissible to particulate in the ballot vote on a coast-to-coast parallel with the ground, every <<OBJECT NOT SET TO A REFERENCE>> we would be looking at the far more to your liking panorama of a Glove Romero dispensation. Just think, no OdorCare with its openly anti-zombie death panels. No blitzes on human handgun rights or religious lack of restrictions. The new dawn of the dead America. But no, you publics just had to persevere with the dead down in the dumps. In a way, it obliges you correctly.  

            Though the 2012 voting is in our rear end, the zombie people entitled to vote can still spasm the deluge in 2016. If you form a junction with us in <<FATAL SYNTAX ERROR>> for the voting rights of all Americans, be they undead or full of beans, simultaneously we can disclaim our terrain from the Socialite-Muzzle Librarian Schema. Only look-in and entreat that it won’t be tardily.

 

ZEKE STEPPINSKY is President of the Arizona Dead Votes Society, a grass-roots organization pushing for zombie suffrage at state and local levels. The views expressed here are his alone and do not reflect those of the administrators of this blog or in fact of anyone, anywhere, ever.

LIBERALS CAN VOTE, SO WHY NOT ZOMBIES?

Every Friday, this blog will re-post a letter to the editor of the “Crest Top Chronicle” newspaper, to provide a platform for voices from the community concerning some of the real issues raised by the short film “Dead Votes Society.” This week: conservative radio host Roger Schlaumberger.

I would like to relate to you an experience I had this weekend, which I think says quite a lot about the current state of our country. I was attending a party at the house of a friend of a friend. A bare acquaintance, really. I was there for only a few minutes when I realized something very disturbing about the people around me. The suspiciously high number of Priuses parked out front should have been an early warning, and I did notice a conspicuous lack of American flag lapel pins, (heck, these people didn’t even have lapels!) But it wasn’t until I saw the autographed picture of Michael Moore hanging proudly above the recycle bin (!) in the kitchen that I realized the horrible truth.

            Yes, dear readers . . . I was among liberals.

            At first I tried to view this as a rare sociological opportunity to observe these creatures in their natural habitat. I retreated to a corner of the room and inconspicuously listened to their asinine discussions of how global whatever-they’re-calling-it-now caused Hurricane Sandy. I tried to laugh at their naïveté, but was soon overwhelmed by the heady scent of intermingling body oils and the high, sweet smell of drugs, drugs! being smoked in one of the bedrooms. 

            So I’m ashamed to say that instead of enlightening these mental midgets on the real causes of the storm, (God’s punishment for gay marriage, obviously) I just kept my mouth shut and belted back the vodka.  Say what you will about these lefties, sometimes they have pretty decent hooch.

            But then the conversation moved on to a subject about which I simply could not hold my silence. Zombie voting. The latest liberal bug-a-boo. “OMG,” these nitwits exclaimed, “I just can’t believe those mean old conservatives would dare to stand up for the rights of Americans, LOL.” (This is how they actually talk.) That really gets my goat, folks. It underscores the essential hypocrisy of modern liberals. After listening to them whine for years about “voter suppression,” now they want to deny the rights of American’s fastest-growing demographic group. And why? Because zombies have the good sense to mindlessly adhere to a rigid ideology. There’s nothing wrong with a herd mentality when the herd is for lower taxes and less government spending.

            So, liberals, I’ll let you keep your illegal alien vote. I’ll spot you ex-convicts and every false name ACORN can scrounge up. Heck, I’ll even let you keep the “too stoned to find my photo ID” vote. But hands off the zombies. If you can’t handle the collective will of seven million undead Americans, then maybe democracy is not for you. Move to some bleak socialist hellscape like Canada or Sweden.

            I stood up to tell the roomful of pinkos exactly that, but unfortunately the booze and the nauseating presence of practicing feminists had grown too much for me. I opened my mouth to declaim, but ended up vomiting all over my neighbor’s Birkinstocks.

            Come to think of it, though, that was a more eloquent expression of my true feelings than mere words could have ever articulated.

ROGER SCHLAUMBERGER, along with his wife Loni, hosts the popular radio program “I Told You So.” The Schlaumbergers have also authored several books together, including “Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosy,” “Jesus was an American,” and “The War on Error: Fighting for Truth in the Obama-Nation.” The views expressed here are his alone and do not reflect those of the administrators of this blog or in fact of anyone, anywhere, ever.

Hurry Up and Wait…

“So when can I see your movie?”

That has to be the question we are asked most. Even on the set of the last day of shooting folks wanted to know when the movie will be done and ready to watch. While most people are familiar with “hurry up and wait” when talking about working on set, it’s also a very accurate description of the post-production process. 

Unless you’re doing a quickie, completely amateur movie for YouTube, the truth is that post-production takes a fair chunk o’ time to complete. Right now we’re in the process of cataloging the shots, audio files and scriptie notes. That has to be completed before we can even start editing the video.

Once the editing is done, the movie heads off to our AfterEffects guy. We really wanted to try out as many aspects of movie-making as we could, while keeping the process fairly simple. So yeah, we’ve got some green screen work and digital effects (no CGI, ’cause we’re not completely crazy), plus the end credits, etc. that need doin’.

Once we’ve got an edit with the AfterEffects that we feel good about, then the whole shebang goes off to the sound team of Matt Jackson and Nick Stecki. These guys will work their magic on the sound mastering, Matt will create some original music for the flick, and we’ll deal with any ADR (automated dialogue replacement, or additional dialogue recording) that needs to be done. Considering the vast number of motorcycles, dogs howling and children screaming on the last shoot, we will probably be stuck dealing with some ADR. Not my first choice, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do, right?

After all of that, we’ll have a finished short movie and the work of submitting to various film festivals, including Prescott’s own film festival begins. So, yeah, “Hurry up and wait.”

But fear not! We will keep y’all up to date on the process and there will be a big ol’ announcement when we have our premier here in this lil’ mountain town. 

Viva los zombies!!!

And . . . its a Wrap!

*AZ legislature candidate Blaine Walpole, portrayed by the hilarious Kevin Goss. Photo by Denise Elfenbein.

Principal Photography for “Dead Votes Society” wrapped yesterday afternoon as DP Forrest Sandefer raced against the dying sunlight to catch the last shot of the day.

It has been a hell of a project so far and it was a hell of a day to get it all done. 18 set ups in 7 hours.

There are waaaay too many people who gave so much of their time, effort and amazing abilities to give them all the credit they are due this hot minute. Over 60 people crowded the north steps of Prescott’s historic Courthouse, where politicians from Goldwater thru McCain have played out their political drama. On Sunday, October 28, 2012,  we played out our satire of the same high drama

I will say that the cast, Judy Stahl, Dino Palazzi, Kevin Goss, Jody Drake and our herds of extras went above and beyond with their focus, their flexibility and comic characterizations while working in such a public place.

The crew was astounding – from Max Kornhauser’s creative and tireless fight choreography to Forrest‘s on the fly lighting and re-lighting of the shots to pull them off, Chad Castigliano and Matt Montgomery and Deb Gallegos racing from one side of the set to the other getting scrims and lights swung ’round, Cindy Nichols running up and down ladders and keeping the clapboard clacking on time, Penelope Davis – ladies and gentlemen, the amazing Penelope Davis and her crew (Chelsea Stone, Sylvia Boyer, Jasmine Castigliano, Dori Mion, Ginney Bilbray, Andrew Pigeon, Susan Crutcher and Debra Klein Duncan) who turned out such amazing make up designs for our zombies and “normies” with such incredible speed,  Phil Hammon and his crew – Nick Stecki and Jerod MacDonald-Evoy – dealing with an ENDLESS stream of motorcycle choppers, dogs and yes, at one point a freaking wandering saxophone player, Cynthia Kitts Sobo keeping the shoot flowing with her assistants Terri New and Kay Pifer, all three of our extra Wranglers – Dan Seaman, Coralie Cole and Cole Lahti for organizing and leading their herds of people through shot after shot, and finally our stalwart, Sean Souva who not only detailed the script continuity with a meticulous eye but came early, stayed late and worked his ass off.

Truly, without our hardworking cast and crew, Angie and I would still be sitting around the breakfast table going, “You know what would be cool?” “What?” “We could make a movie!” “That would be cool!””Yeah.” “What’s on television?”

Thank you all and it’s off to post-production. Viva los Zombies!

Finding Love in the Zombie Apocalypse

Every Friday, this blog will re-post a letter to the editor of the “Crest Top Chronicle” newspaper, to provide a platform for voices from the community concerning some of the real issues raised by the short film “Dead Votes Society.” This week: local activist Manfred Tungun.

 

         It’s been more than a year now since the dead rose up and took to the streets, driven by their insatiable hunger for human flesh. A year of sometimes horrific violence, of constant danger, as a public health crisis rapidly escalated into a grave threat to the very fabric of our society.

            As if all that wasn’t reason enough to make it the best year of my life, this was also the year I finally found true love.  

            So many apocalypses, and love connections, just didn’t happen. Multiple false alarm Raptures, comets that missed us by that much, the total failure of the Elders of the Trilateral Illuminati to bring off their long-promised global banking endgame, Barack Obama. And, most heartbreaking of all, Y2K. I got my hopes up sky-high with every potential cataclysm, thinking that maybe, at last, I would find someone to share my reinforced underground bunker with. And when these catastrophes fizzled one by one, what did I have to show for it? Dashed dreams of domestic bliss and a heck of lot of canned food.

            Then, just when I was beginning to lose faith, the dead walked. Hallelujah! Now my air and water filtration systems and chemical toilet don’t seem like squirrelly paranoid obsessions anymore. Now they just seem like good, sound investments. (I told you so, Mom.)

            Best of all, the plague finally brought Terry into my loving arms. We’d had a flirtation for years, sure. Dates at the shooting range and such, but it wasn’t until the marauding zombie hordes turned our city into a bloody abattoir that we were finally able to truly consummate our love.

            Before the uprising, people looked at us funny when I brought Terry with me to Dunkin Donuts. Some even called our love unnatural. Now, those same folks take turns buying me coffee. They know that Terry and I are all that stand between them and the slobbering walking corpses that want to eat their brains. Just a man and his one true love, my sleek and beautiful M-4 Carbine Assault Rifle.

            Terry loves it when I caress her trigger. I love the sensual heat coming off her barrel and the almost erotic smell of the powder flash. There’s something deeply, profoundly satisfying about a good solid headshot, too. I tell you what, before zombies came along, there just wasn’t anyone around you could mow down and slaughter without serious legal complications.

            That’s why I say the so-called “apocalypse” is in fact a Godsend. Terry and I have never been happier.

MANFRED TUNGUN is President of the Crest Top NRA chapter, and a Mayoral Candidate for the True Marriage Equality Party, which advocates for the right of individuals to marry firearms. The views expressed here are his alone and do not reflect those of the administrators of this blog or in fact of anyone, anywhere, ever.

What’s It Like on the Set of “Dead Votes Society?” – Take 3

Two weeks ago, Carie Hughes (lying down in the picture to the left) portrayed the hapless Poll Worker charged with teaching zombies how to use a voting booth modified for their special needs. Needless to say, it didn’t end well. But, in terms of our shoot, it went awesome, with Carie turning in a great comic turn. Here’s her take on what it was like on the set:

“WOW!  What an Amazing day, at the day of the shoot as the poll worker. This was my first time acting in a movie and I wasn’t sure what to expect or how it all worked, but once I arrived and got to make-up then costume I was ready for more. I so enjoyed watching the crew prepare and set up for each shoot. I was so impressed how well they worked as a TEAM.

When it was time for the Director to direct us to his visual of the scene I was so Excited I could hardly contain myself. I loved hearing “Rolling!” then “ACTION!” Each take I got more into it and wanted to give my very best. Working with the 2 Zombies was so cool make-up can make them be so Real.

My final scene was a great test for me on my patience.  Laying on the concrete floor for a period of time with blood, guts and other special props was so Intense! The time and preparation for this one shoot was long but fun. I have to admit I loved having all the attention on me, I truly felt like a star:) For the last take it got really messy, but I mentally prepared myself to keep on acting even though I knew what was coming. Once the blood started to shoot everywhere I tried to stay in character.  I was thrilled to hear Andrew yell Cut! I couldn’t see a thing but from all the laughter I knew it must have been a keeper:)

I had so much fun and laughed so much- I look forward to the next…
I totally have a new outlook and appreciation for the filming Directors and Actors.”

— Carie Hughes