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Enter Soundman

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Sunday night, Angie (Madame Producer) and I (Herr Director) met with our good friend Matt Jackson (musician/composer/sound engineer) and went over the rough cut of “Dead Votes Society.”

This was the first time Angie had seen my rough cut of the short. As you may remember, she’s doing her own cut, so we can compare and come up with a version that uses the best from both of our approaches. And doesn’t lead to fist fights in the editing bay.

It was also the first time Matt had seen the rough cut. In fact, its the first time the three of us have worked together since the days of Coyote Radio Theater on KJZA. We’d had a great time doing that, we respect the man and knew he worked in a simular comedic vein to Christian, Angie and I.

Earlier in the process, Matt and I had talked about how we’d like to approach the project. We decided he would write and create the music, and oversee the post-production sound at his studio. Premiere Pro 6 and Pro Tools 9 HD would be the software of choice. 

First, we watched the 10:40 rough cut just for fun and to see when the laughs were coming in at this point. Thankfully, there were some. (Hey, after all this editing, its difficult sometimes to remember where it is funny.) 

Then, we watched it a second time and took notes. We agreed its easier to adjust the length of the music, so Matt is going to rough out the music cues while we still are futzing around with the editing. We came up with some musical ideas for Matt to explore.

We talked about how to solve the unwanted background sounds on the Square (more on that later). 

I love working with talented people. More importantly, people who I enjoy hanging with, just as much as I respect their work. Feeling a great 2nd wind coming on!

MONEY TALKS

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: late night DJ Johnny Knight.

Am I the only one who’s noticed that the secret messages contained in dollar bills have been getting really strange recently? The holographic runes and magnetic strip back-masking used to be just routine coded communications between the Secret World Government and their sponsors on Planet 19. You know, the normal things you’d expect to find on the currency.

Then, just last week, I intercepted a $5 bill when I got my change back down at the Coffee Hoss. Viewing the bill under the ultraviolet microscope I bought on E-Bay, the Lincoln Monument statue on the back had been quite clearly replaced by one of Bob Denver from TV’s “Gilligan’s Island.” (I was going to bring the bill on my radio program to show the world, but I was informed that most people can’t see radio. Which is weird. I can see radio. It’s pretty.) The meaning of this is clear to anyone who has the understanding. We’re still on the island. The three hour tour is still happening.

No phones. No lights. No motorcars. Not a single luxury. Like Robinson Crusoe. As primitive as can be.

Is your spine tingling? I know mine is.

Like any good journalist, I sought confirmation. The latest batch of knock-knock jokes on Bazooka gum wrappers tell much the same story . . . when you look at them in a mirror. Knock Knock. Who’s there? Nobody. No, there’s somebody there, I heard you knock.  Nope, nobody here . . . except maybe the Thurston Howell Commission.

            Of course, there are dangers to this type of work. The magnetic strip contained within the bills has a tamper detection system that alerts the government’s new invisible helicopters. It’s true. They follow you wherever you go now. But I know the secret. If you line your pockets with aluminum foil, it throws off their tracing devices. Ha ha, You’re not getting my money, Mr. Obama Bobama Banana-fana-fobama. Especially not my prized $0 bill. (It has MY picture on it!)

            Despite the risk, you can see how I prefer to get my information this way rather than relying on the lamebrain media. Just yesterday I read something in the newspaper about how zombies are walking in the streets demanding the right to vote.

            That’s just crazy.

JOHNNY KNIGHT was one of the top-ranked professional bowlers of the 1990’s, until being struck by lightning six times set him on his current career path as “the truthiest truth-teller on the airwaves.”  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.

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!

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

What’s It Like On The Set Of “Dead Votes Society?” – Take 2

(Production Designer Penelope Davis does last minute touch up for actress Joanne Robertson as fellow actor Parker Anderson unleashes his charisma at the camera.)

Joanne Robertson, star of many, many productions at Prescott Center for the Arts, wrote us this note, fresh from shooting her scene as news anchor Melissa Blonde in “Dead Votes Society.”

“So what did I do today? Got to watch a team of very talented filmmakers doing what they love to do. Got to be directed by Angie and Andrew, who really get this acting stuff.

Got to hang out with Parker Anderson who was the source of continuous laughs. Got to know some really cool people like Penelope the production designer and latent actor (ha ha.) Got to hang out with some long-time friends like Arnold who I really respect. From beginning to end, a top-notch, professional and VERY fun time.

Thanks you guys for the GREAT day! Break-a-leg on the remainder of the shooting… Can’t wait to see the movie. It’s gonna be great!!!”

Don’t forget, if you’d like to be an extra in the climatic last scene of 
Dead Votes Society” on Sunday, October 28th, just send an email to thedeadvotessociety@gmail.com.

(Fine Print) Sorry, no one under 18 years old. Must be available from 8am to 6pm on that day. This is a volunteer position. We will, however, feed you and give you screen credit on the film and IMDB!

HAVE ALL Y’ALL LOST YER DANG MINDS?

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 ranch matriarch Maisie McAllister.

 

            All right, enough’s enough. I been reading all the back and forth in this here paper for weeks now and I have yet to see anybody express a sentiment containing a lick of sense. Lettin’ zombies vote? What in the name of Juniper Creek are people thinkin’? Zombies smell just as bad as hippies and they’re almost as stupid. And there ain’t nobody fool enough to suggest we let hippies vote. (Not since we put down that Amendment in ’69.)

            Heck, this used to be a halfway decent town to live in before all the walkin’ dead took over. Now first thing I gotta do every morning is grab my shotgun and blast me some zombie brains out. At least two or three a day. Like I ain’t got enough to do around here without that. Otherwise the smelly buggers’ll infest my property, spookin’ the livestock and gettin’ all bitey with the hired help. Plus you would not believe how many of them pus-brained corpses I’ve had to fish outta my cistern. Makes my water taste mighty pungent even iffen I boil it.

            (I don’t want to belabor the comparison, but once again these are many of the same problems I used to have with them dang hippies.)

            And now, insult to injury, I hear they’re fixin’ to put out a movie about this whole zombie voting debate. “Dead Votes Society,” they call it. Well, it just goes to prove that them Hollywood folks are plumb outta good ideas for movies. I don’t get down to the Antelope Theater much anymore since Clark Gable passed, but some nights when I’m soakin’ my feet I do like to watch the satellite, even if most of the stuff on there is about as pointless as a double-decker outhouse. Just the other night I saw some fool thing about a bunch of nine-foot-tall blue hippies that wouldn’t come down outta the trees no matter how much the brave soldier boys shot at ‘em. I don’t know who in their right mind would pay hard-earned money to see such trash, but I’m sure if people like that, they’ll just love this “Dead Votes” thing. Probably make a billion bucks. There just ain’t no accountin’ fer taste no more.

            Anyway, that’s my two cents.

 

MAISIE McALLISTER is a fourth-generation Crest Topper, a direct descendant of pioneer stock. She owns McAllister Ranch, one of the largest cattle operations in Northern Arizona. 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. 

What’s It Like On The Set of “Dead Votes Society?”

Sean Jeralds (that’s him in the black turtleneck) has performed in a lot of comedies over the years in Prescott, AZ. Besides many farces at Prescott Center for the Arts, he was a cast member in the last Coyote Radio Theater group on KJZA.

So it was especially fun to have him on this shoot – an adaptation of a CRT sketch – playing a completely silent cameo as “Nervous Guy #1.”

Here’s Sean’s reaction to a day spent shooting and re-shooting 6 shots of scary comedy.

“WOW! What a competent, professional, well-planned and executed film shoot – that’s what it was like working with the team Angie and Andrew put together for filming of DVS. No detail was overlooked; from the catering to costuming, everything was dialed.  I’m not sure what I liked most about the day, but my choices are 1) getting “glycerined up” by Penelope, 2) being drooled on by Cason, or 3) Watching Tiffany trying to keep a straight face.  It was a great time and I can’t wait to see the finished product. Break-a-leg Team DVS!”

Awww, shucks! (repeatedly stabbing right toe into the carpet) What a great cast and crew we have on this film!

ZOMBIE CANDIDATE SPEAKS OUT ON UNDEAD VOTING

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: Arizona State Senate candidate Blaine Walpole.

 

            Blrrg vjuFRRggl desjghrr vmbjgdigf birth certificate cmvmvrglrlg blasdffd deficit bfrfsdcfvg dhbvsdg grldsdf Ronald Reagan. Grrrrsvdvfs dafidddd klorrdffsdfe fweuhf 2nd Amendment grrggaagrrrr  dfdfasdf bf;;;w grwdvgfll BRAINS fkgjdfgjdoigfjdogj grgrgfl BRAINS fkgmdlkfgldjgrgrg BRAINS.

            Glllughd nvfjnvn Obamacare nvjfnvurnuh bhbffdb death panel drrgggggl djsfsjh privatization ggjadjcnbvb grrrq f;ssfc bjss lower taxes! Fjhngdjvh nfdefgrrr socialism bldagfv djnvjsnv BRAINS g;gafgagd ngndjon gndaujg job creators cnnhvnvsuihv gasdfksadh bvyhdgbv 47% brrdgadsg axbsauxb asdhb smaller government.

            BlrrwEF dfjgndi dnfuhs The Constitution nfgjdzncxnv Founding Father’s Christian principles dfnudf nsudhyfih gnsoi freedom. The troops cmvjxsodvihj grdasdr God bless America! Gdnfoi gardasd dfgijo BRAINS.

 

BLAINE WALPOLE is running for the State Senate seat in Arizona’s 31st District, and has already beat the incumbent Sen. Dudley Serling in a hotly contested primary race. Before his untimely demise, Blaine was the proud owner of a Chik-Fil-A franchise and treasurer of the Crest Top area Tea Party chapter. 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.