Trailer of the Week

Release Date: 12/18

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wasted: Write Up

**This post should have been up much sooner, but I started it one day and never finished it until now**

Wasted is finally done after a week full of production and work. The finishing of Wasted signifies the end of my class. It really is a great feeling to be done of all projects and stress for a while. Although I haven't posted it on youtube yet, it will be up hopefully by tomorrow. I'm just trying to compress is to a decent size where the quality isn't hindered too much. Now on to my write up:

Wasted was a great project to work on. The idea for it is kind of based on a personal story, yes a little scary but not to the degree that Justin in the film went through. If you want to hear more about my story, come ask me sometime, I will just leave it at that. I was eagerly waiting to do this project from the start. It all started with an idea when I was sleeping. I woke up and thought, what if I made a film that had someone dreaming really boring things like waking up everyday and going to work, but his real life was insane and crazy. This then evolved to the addition of drugs into the mix. I then had to refine this idea with how I was going to tell the story. While in the car ride up to Chicago, Jesse and I discussed possibilities to how the story would be told and what would be seen. The bouncing back and forth from flashback to reality was the best idea we came up with.

Now, as for production... this was one HELL of a production considering the time I had to do it and the amount of work I needed to do. First off, I just got finished with Doors of Life on Monday the 8th and the project was due Wednesday the 17th. Although this may not look like a short period of time, I had to attend Poultry Days (an ultimate tournament) that weekend before it was due, so I was out of commission for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. But, during the production of Doors of Life, I had to write the script the week. So, immediately after, I have to scramble for actors and props and EVERYTHING! The child actor was the toughest person to find. I asked every person in Bloomington that I knew to ask their cousins, nephews, and just anyone if they knew a kid. Also, I didn't have a main actor until that Monday night. I convinced Luke to do it, even though he was helping my friend Alex to act in his project. Soooooo, on Tuesday the 9th, I had to start shooting a couple of scenes: The child flashback and teenager flashback. Thankfully, the teenagers that I used knew of a kid that was willing to do it, which was AWESOME. Everything during that shoot went really well, except that I forgot the shotgun mic and boom pole at the lab when I checked everything out. I go home, upload all of the footage and edit it until 4AM. This is when I decided that I wanted to have the film grainy look for the flashbacks and looked up a tutorial to do it. Here is what I used:

Creating that Old Film Look with Final Cut Studio 2

This article was EXTREMELY helpful and would recommend it to anyone that is wanting to do that look.

Next day, Wednesday the 10th. Another Party Scene... These are the scariest things to do when NOONE you know is in town. I contact people saying: Party scene, 10PM, then party afterwards. A total of 10 people showed up after calling people at 10PM. So, we don't shoot until 11-11:30ish. However, all of the shots went really fast and smoothly. The toughest part was trying to make the party seem like it was a party with 10 people. I think that it turned out pretty well considering the circumstances. So, another night up until 3AM editing.

Next day, Thursday the 11th. I scramble to get as many colorful things in my room such as the mushroom tapestry, all of the weird orange stuff I own (which if you know me is A LOT), the blue sequin jacket I wore for Halloween, etc. I had to shoot 5 scenes after 6:00 because thats when Luke got out of work. I told him that it would be around 3 hours to do. Boy was I wrong. It took a total of 5 hours shooting time with a 1 hour break for food. Again, this shoot went extremely smooth. No forgetting of the audio equipment. The toughest thing about these scenes was rearranging EVERY scene to look different. Thankfully the lighting helped with this. Also, doing this really helped me learn lighting scenes. Also, because of the little time I had to plan things out, I was thinking of shots on the fly. But oh well. I would just like to thank Luke at this time for putting on a GREAT show at the end of the movie with how CREEPY he was. Nick (the bunny) and I were amazed at how freaking CRAZY he looked and sounded. Yes, I go home, upload all 5 scenes and edit until 5AM.

Friday the 12th. This is when I went into the lab and recorded all of the Bunny voices for the movie. This was pretty fun considering I was in the lab by myself and tweaking all of the sounds.

So the weekend comes and nothing happens for the movie. But I have 8/10 of the movie done because of all of the work I put into the movie the previous week.

Monday the 15th. This day is the last day of shooting (or so I think). Because I was splitting my actor with Alex, I only had Luke from 3-6 because Luke had work at 6. I thought that this would be plenty of time, but I thought wrong. I was rushing around to 5 different locations for the graduation and tripping flashbacks. We went to a middle school, my house for 2 scenes, the arboretum, and a parking garage. Because I rushed through all of these scenes, I forgot that Luke had to change clothes for when he is on the phone because its supposed to be time passed, or else it would seem like he called Krysta right after the trip. Despite this, I edit again to 5AM. But I think the movie is completely done.

Tuesday the 16th. I bring my project into class and show Jim, my professor. He is blown away but has some very insightful comments. First, he suggests that the pacing in the graduation and party scenes were a little long. Second, the flashbacks should be gritty looking like in Saw. Third, he said the same thing that I was thinking with the phone call scene and that it seemed too soon that this would happen. Sooooo, although Jim said that it would be fine if I left that scene the way it was and after telling Luke that he was done, I decided to ask him to shoot the scene over. This was for the best though. It really does make much more sense this way. So, another night up until 4AM, but the project was finally done and looks AMAZING.

The last thing that I want to talk about is the audio in the movie. Without the audio, the movie would not nearly be as good as it is. I found music at and sound effects from the network library at the lab as well as These sites are AMAZING for anyone looking for sounds and music. Editing the sound was just as time consuming as editing the video, but the overall mood and feel of the movie is set with the music and sounds.

Overall, despite the hours that I put into this project and my blood and sweat, the project turned out AMAZING and I couldn't have done anything better. I hope you all enjoyed this video as much as I have.

Lastly, if you can, try and spot the subliminal bunnies in each flashback scene. :) Also, try and find the two shadows that are in the film that arent supposed to be. (Hint: one is a boom mic and the other is a camera shadow)

Friday, June 19, 2009

New Wu-Vie: Wasted

Here it is, the long awaited and highly anticipated... Wasted. A write up will be written soon, but I've just been enjoying doing nothing and I'm going to go see phish tonight. See ya.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Movie Review: Bubba Ho-Tep

Where do I start with this movie? Here's the IMDb page for all of you that haven't heard of this movie, which is probably most of you... Bubba Ho-Tep

Ok, to start off the premise of this movie is ridiculous and awesome. On the back of the cover it states:

Mud Creek, Texas, is about to get all shook up. When mysterious deaths plage the Shady Rest retirement home, its up to an again, cantankerous "Elvis" (Bruce Cambell) and a decrepit - and black - "JFK" (Ossie Davis) to defeat a 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy with a penchant for sucking human sould! Can the King show the world that he can still take care of business?

Elvis? Black JFK? Egyptian mummies? I'm in. My friend Max Ellis was the one that borrowed the movie from the DePaul library and told me about it and that I HAVE to see it. After talking to him, I was weary of whether this movie was just a joke or actually a legit movie. However, after seeing the movie, I can definitely say that this movie is LEGIT! Although the story line is completely ridiculous, it makes sense when you watch it. They tell the story in a way that makes it comedic but dramatic at the same time. Furthermore, the production quality of this movie is phenomenal. I was expecting for some low-budget production that looked faulty and non-professional, but to my surprise it was the complete opposite. Also, the movie was made in a span of 5 week, which makes the film that much more amazing. For the production team to put together this film just blows my mind. Overall, I would suggest this movie to anyone that wants to have a good laugh and good movie when they have time. I would give this movie 4/5 Wu-Hawks

Wasted: Update

So, it turns out that I am not done with the production. I showed the project to my professor who really liked it and said it was a solid project and could've been turned in the way it was. But, he gave me a couple of suggestions that would make it better, so I changed a bunch of stuff from my original edit. Also, I am shooting a scene over to make the story make more sense. The edit will be done by tonight and handed in and shown in class tomorrow. Then, it will be on youtube. Keep checking back for updates.

Wasted: Finally Done

Its currently 3 AM and although it has been a LONG and STRENUOUS ride, it is finally done... well... most likely. haha. Unless I decide to make some minor changes, it is done. I will post a write up about this soon. I REALLY like the way that this one turned out. Another Wu-Vie added to the collection.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wasted: Production Day 1

Day 1 of Wasted began today. This is the last project and hopefully I can keep my engine going and bang out another good production. Today I worked with kids for the first time since the Wild Child. If you remember, which you probably don't because I didnt have a blog then, but that production was TERRIBLE! We hired a child actor that apparently had previous experience acting, but he was extremely timid and wouldn't be a "wild child." But anyway, this kid was extremely happy to be in the project and was very fun to work with. He was extremely happy the whole time and was eager to do what I asked him and always asked, "now?" Other than that, I had to film another cheesy love scene. Overall, the day went extremely smooth with about 2 hours of filming. Although I forgot to pick up the boom pole and shotgun mic when I checked out equipment. Also, Jessica Porter is a great person to work with and has very good acting skills as a mother. So, keep coming back and stay tuned for this project.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Next Production: Wasted

Here's a synopsis of my next project, Wasted:

Perception of the world and reality vary from person to person. However, with the addition of hallucinogenic drugs thrown into the mix, normal perception of the world is drastically altered with unlocked images that change one’s views and mentality for a duration of time. These drug induced hallucinations make you see, hear, feel, and perceive the world in a mind-altering way that cannot be experienced any other way.

Although these experiences can be positive and make you feel a sensation of ecstasy that runs through your blood, the mind can break you within minutes, even seconds. With a mere thought that triggers a bad memory or idea, the drugs can turn for the worst and that feeling of bliss and serenity that was once felt is quickly replaced by fear and seclusion. While one is in this state of mind, the drugs control you, and make you virtually helpless to the effects of the drug.

This is the story of a man that has been permanently affected by the effects of excessive hallucinogenic drug use. Consequently, his brain is damaged so severely that he lives in a world of chaos and isolation, in which the only way for him to escape into lost memories is the use of more hallucinogenic drugs.

In telling this story, the video will warn viewers of the frailty of life and how weak the mind really is.

Doors of Life: Write Up

Ahhhhhhhhh. Thats a breath of fresh air. After finishing this project, I really had to do one of those. The planning and production of this project was soooooo immense. This project started a couple of weeks ago when I had to hand in a proposal for a drama/storytelling project. So, the night before I had to drive up to Chicago for Machine tryouts, I woke up out of my sleep and wrote down on a piece of paper, doors of fantasies. This was the original idea, just one thought that a hallway of doors that led you to your fantasies. But on the car ride up to Chicago, Jesse and I had a long discussion on the upcoming films that I was going to do, which included Weightless, Doors of Life, and my last project that I have to shoot this week Wasted. Although we didn't talk as much about Doors of Life, we decided that we had to change fantasies to just real life situations. So, on this car ride, I wrote up a pretty complete treatment of the project. Here's the treatment:

Overview and Treatment:
Have you ever wondered what could have been if you decided to do something different? This story tells of the possibilities that could have been if you chose a different path in life. The main value and lesson that will be learned through the film is the immensity of your decision-making. Your life could change drastically with only one decision. Furthermore, it gives you a glimpse of what dedication and hard work can do for you in the long run.

The story begins with a man that has wasted his life away by lying on the couch, smoking weed, and watching TV all day. He looks extremely depressed and has no motivation to do anything. He goes to a door in his house as if it was a normal day, but gets sucked into an alternate dimension.

The alternate dimension consists of a hallway with many doors on the left and right and an exit door at the end of the hall. A man appears in the hallway at the other end and starts walking towards the protagonist. The protagonist asks, “Where am I?” The man looks at him with a grin on his face and explains that he is in the hallway to the doors of life. He explains to the protagonist that each door reveals the other direction that he could have taken if he decided differently. Furthermore, he tells the protagonist that if at any time he wants to leave, just walk down to the door that says exit. The man walks away as the protagonist is yelling questions at him.

The protagonist is left alone in the empty, deserted hallway. Nothing can be heard except for the ambience. He starts walking towards the exit, but is intrigued by the label on the first door: weed. He looks back and forth at the door and the exit, but decides to go into the door labeled weed. This transports the protagonist to a flashback of his first time being passed a joint/bowl. He is hesitating and the crowd that he is with is peer pressuring him to do it. After a moment of deliberation, he decides to just pass the joint. The crowd sighs and is unsatisfied. He decides to leave the party and go home. He is in a college dorm and decides to hit the books and start studying. A mini montage of him studying and saying no to going out and drinking and him graduating occurs. Cut to the protagonist coming out of the “weed” door.

The protagonist is extremely intrigued by the doors now and starts walking down the hall looking for more interesting doors. He finds one that says, “_____.” This door ends in the protagonist dying some way.

The protagonist comes out of the door and is frantically looking for another door because he is so frightened of what happened in the last door. He finds peace in a door that is labeled, “love.” The scene cuts to him and his girlfriend in college. They are talking about the plans for the future and what the next step is for them. The protagonist is talking about dropping out because he can’t handle the pressures and intensity of college. But his girlfriend is telling him to stay and she’ll help him along the way. He keeps disagreeing with her. But his girlfriend keeps insisting and starts talking about how they can both graduate together and move out to New York City and start a life together. The protagonist is extremely angry, but can see the purity that is in the girlfriend’s eye. He can see that she really means it and that she may actually be able to help him. Cut to a montage of the relationship getting closer and tighter. Also, the two graduate and leave for NYC.

The protagonist comes out of the door and is depressed because this has to end because he is at the end of the hallway. The only door left is the exit door. He reluctantly goes through the door and ends up in a nice apartment, where everything is different. A voice from the other room calls for him. He looks around and goes towards the voice. The voice is the girlfriend of the last door. She asks him, “What’s wrong?” because he is obviously crying and was in pain. The protagonist replies, “Nothing, everything is perfect.”

Well, the story was pretty thought out, but things needed to be changed and decided on. So, in class we had to pitch our ideas to the class and the top 4 would get chosen. And as you know, mine was chosen. I don't actually remember when the birth scene was decided or thought up, but I do remember that this would be amazing if we could pull it off. So, when writing the script with my partners, we decided that this would have to be the first door that he enters, which opened up a dilemma for us. We have the drug scene which ends up with him passing and becoming successful and the love scene which has him becoming successful. So, because I thought that it made more sense that we had at least one of the doors end with him failing and dying, we made that the drugs door.

OK, so thats everything that happened before we had to gather anything together. After my project was chosen and the script was written, I had to figure out the 10+ locations that we needed to shoot at, the complete prop list, a cast of at least 2 major characters and 9 smaller roles, and a shooting schedule. Like the other projects in this class, we have a week to do everything. Gathering all of the props took 3 hours and looking for a hallway that was suitable for our needs took about 3 hours too. As for actual production, we shot around 3 hours on wed, 3 hours on thurs, and 3 hours on fri. The best parts about the shoots were as follows:

1. We went to the psychology building and broke down this entire hallway. There were about 15 posters on the walls, 10 chairs in the hallway, and trashcans in the hallway.
2. There were only 2 doors that were open and unlocked in the hallway and only one end of the hallway with a door. We had to manage to keep continuity the entire time while shooting the ends of the hallways from the same side. Also, figuring out which way Frank would go in and come out of each door because the 2 doors that were open were on the same side. Lastly, we had to have Frank and another person in the room that he walked into so the door wouldn't lock.
3. I got to longboard with a steadycam down the hall.
4. For the apartment scene, Jesse had to smoke a bong for the first scene. So, because we are so smart, we decided to do this scene first. When the most important scene comes up where he finally sees Jenna in the apartment and realizes his life has completely changed, he comes in with a HUGE grin on his face after we told him he has to be confused at first and then extremely happy when he sees her. (probably my favorite memory of the entire shoot)
5. The party scene was a fun set up and my first time shooting a complete scene in POV. Thankfully, I could direct people while doing it, since we didnt use the sound.
6. The Birth scene... many of you are probably wondering how we did this. So, here's how we did it: There was a coffee table that Jess laid down on. The camera was set up behind her and a a little higher than her so we couldn't see her. Then we placed a construction garbage bag where her vagina would be with two people on the sides pulling it and stretching it out. The doctor was placed behind the garbage bag. We set up a white sheet behind the doctor and shined a light on it to keep the background completely white. So, as this is all happening, I zoom into the hole. Lastly, the audio was all done in post-production. And there you have it... Birth.

Finally, the editing process was actually extremely long for this project. I probably edited about 20 hours over the weekend. But, all of this hard work and stressing was WELL WORTH IT! I am EXTREMELY happy with the way that this project turned out. I hope all of you enjoyed it too.

And... That's a Wrap!

Tattoo Artist: Colin McClain Write Up

Overall, this project went pretty smoothly through production and post-production. However, it was during pre-production where it fell apart. I never would have thought that getting an interview story would be so hard in the planning stages. But things happen that you never expect. So, my original plan was to go to the WonderLab and interview a person over there in a high position and talk about the history, exhibits, children dynamic, learning, and things of those nature. However, after e-mailing the advertising manager, I get an e-mail back saying I have to go by their guidelines because they are a small company and that the only way that they'll do business is if they can use it in the future. OK, sure that's fine. But they wanted us to shoot 4 hours on tues, 2 hours on wed, and 2 hours on friday for like a 2-3 min feature. Totally ridiculous. Sooooo, after all of this, I have no idea what I'm going to do. Thankfully, I was going over to Luke and Lauren's place (the artist of Weightless) to show them the music video for Weightless. They came up with the genius idea of doing an interview with Colin McClain. So, I contact him and get a response to come in and talk about when we can do it. We set up appointments for the weekend, BUT... he never shows. So, the project is due tuesday and we have NOTHING! We end up having to shoot an interview and b-roll all on monday and edit it all on monday and tuesday morning. Although it was stressful getting all of this together, all in all, I am happy with the way that the project turned out and my professor says that the video is ready for broadcast. After this project and other projects in the past, I feel that if you put your mind to something, it'll work out in the end.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Doors of Life and Tattoo Artist: Colin McClain

I'm finally back and able to post again. I've been busy as hell working on my newest project, Doors of Life. I would've posted earlier about the Tattoo Artist: Colin McClain much sooner than this, but my life was taken over by this last production. Seriously, taking T351 this intensive summer session I has kicked my ass. I've done at least one major project a week with smaller projects thrown in. Even though it really is tough and there's always a project, script, proposal, or something due, its keeping me busy and making me better. So, here they are...

Doors of Life:

Tattoo Artist: Colin McClain:

I will post tomorrow about both projects with the fun and bad times of both. And let me tell you... there were definitely happy and terrible times with both projects.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Doors of Life: Production Day 1

So, pre-production is over. I went around to more places today than I did for Weightless. However, I did have 2 people with me this time so it was a little funner. I went to 2 costume shops, Telecom building, Target, 4 Jewelery stores, Good Will, Hardware store, MAC, Psych Building, etc. I probably went to some other places too, but can't remember. But again, pre-production is a bitch and I hate it so much. Also, I sat down and wrote down every location, prop, character, and costume that I needed. Very annoying. But whatever, procution started around 8 and ended at 11. The production went pretty smoothly. We filmed in a hallway in the psych building that ended up being PERFECT. However, there was only one end of the hallway with a door, so we had to pretend that there were 2 sides by shooting from different angles and stuff. It was more complicated than it should have been and very taxing on the brain. But, I'm pretty sure all the stuff worked out and the continuity should be fine. Also, a janitor came by and almost kicked us out, but let us stay for another 30 min. We were extremely rushed, but hopefully everything came out well. Also, there was only one unlocked door so, we used that for every door that he went in. Again, very annoying and more complex than it should have been. But, we made it work. I'm attempting to capture all the footage now, but I keep getting error messages, so its extremely frustrating. Day 2 tomorrow, and A LOT more filming tomorrow. Tune in later for more updates.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Production: Getting Inked

Today I went out and shot an Interview/Feature story on Colin McClain, a local tattoo artist that works at Skinquake on 6th and Walnut. This was a very cool experience in which I learned a lot more about tattoos and the business in general. The production went smooth today, but we're very tight on time because we had scheduled interviews this past weekend but he didn't show up, which REALLY sucked. But all in all, the interview came out really well and the B-roll that we came up with looks really good with some very interesting shots. Now, we must move on to post-production, which shouldn't be too tough. Check back tomorrow as this Wuvie should be posted.