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'Isotac' pre-production month 1


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#1 Michael Collier

Michael Collier
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Posted 22 April 2006 - 12:48 AM

so to any who followed my one and only posting on BeeKeeping, it has had its first test screening and got great reviews. It actually got 78% of comment cards came back marked 'excelent' which I was astounded by, being a comedy with no name actors (my understanding of comedys are only names make comedies, and you can see most comedies are sold on their lead actor)

anyways. i digress (I have been very sick all week, and when I am sick my ADD kicks in and I become half a retard, very prone to mistakes and digressions.)

'Isotac' I am very excited about. Same writer, briant mainord who wrote beekeeping. It shows amazing reach in his righting, going from a comedy that was very funny to a drama.

It is sort of a cross between 'constantine' and 'boondock saints' (focus more on the later for themes) It follows two guys who work for a secret orginization in the vatican whos sole purpous is to protect the secret chapters of the book of revelations (it is said that those pages describe the millenia long proccess of armegeddon, and he who possesses those books can control the events and tip the ballance towards hevean or hell....I digress again) they are exorsist, assasins, angels and love arbys (we are still working out a deal with arbys to use their food on screen) They run into trouble when Diggs starts to question the system and finds the system has evolved past him.

very hard to explain. Give me 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours and I could explain it (arent the good movies that way? they should)

Ok, since production is very hectic, I have a full time photography job to maintain (they are all very supportive of my work) and I am basicly DoP, Director (though there is someone to coach actors while I work), Producer (hey, i wont have anyone hasling me to wrap, but I have to be on top of things), uh, i am also editor and just about any other job that pops up. I will thank god have help on set (no pay, but bring food and people follow)

So first and most important part of producing. Money. I figure I need between 30-40K to make this film. I have a deal on a camera (its a CP-16, not too advanced, but its sturdy, has been serviced recently and is crystal sync, along with modest overcranking capability) I have saved about 3K myself. not a whole lot but a good start. A lawyer in las vegas has expressed such interest in this project that he is actually pitching it to some of his friends. That was a godsend. We also have meetings with business owners around town looking for funding, and anytime I find someone who may have more than 1K to invest I always ask. we shoot in about 2 months, so I hope all cash is there when everything else is.

I have been mulling over the script and storyboarding. I want to refine the look now, becuase when we get to set we will only have a 6:1 up to a 10:1 ratio, but I feel I can figure out my cutting style before we shoot to help minimize coverage and make sure i know what take I want the actors to hit.

I am not the best artist, but from those I have asked people respond well to the boards. I am hoping once they get to set the boards will help guide my eye. I am a very in the moment sort of person, but when I change a shot, they are direct replacements of other shots, and have the same intent, so boards help start things and focus things on set for me.

Its a daunting project. I have never worked with so much money before (I suppose that should be a good thing) and I have never worked with film for motion picture before (I have a lot of experience on stills, but still a little anticipation i think will keep me on my toes)

I am just a bit tired from the last film (hahaha, try dead tired after 2 solid months of editing and endless shoots, but its done) Since my first movie when I was 10, I have never rested too much. If I rest or become complacent I start to fear I will never make another movie, then I cant enjoy movies I see because it reminds me I am falling behind. I dont know if this is normal, but whatever. I have obsessed about making real films my whole life, so I might as well do it right?

we are hopping to make our money back in Anchorage, but if anyone out there is an independant and would like to help set up a local premiere there we are definatley looking for different markets to get the name out there. and we are also hopping to get acceptance into sundance and have a great showing (any awards would be awsome, but just getting a deal, making back that 40K will ensure I can get investors next time.)

It seems there is so much involved here with going to meetings, writing contracts and setting up budgets, I have little time to get the movie ready to shoot. Fortunatley since nobody is being paid except on differred status, we will only shoot weekends. So I only have to get half the money up front, half the scenes planned, etc before the first shoot date. If we have that in place we should be ok.

We are shooting super16 (the cp-16 will be converted in exchange for 4 months of weekend rentals) on Kodak 200asa film (I believe its 200T, 250D. I dunno, maybe i reversed it, I will have to check my notes again) but we will be overexposing by 1/3-2/3 a stop (depending on tests) to further minimize grain. most of the film is B/W but for grain consideration we will shoot color stock and desat later on down the line.

To finnish the project we will edit the DVCPRO video dailies on adobe premiere pro and get to a final cut, then cut our negative with long handles and send that to back to the telecine to be scanned in HD uncompressed to hard drive. we conform that, finalize color and send that out to a post house to be put on HDCAM-SR (or DVCPRO HD or HDCAM) we arent sure yet, all depends on what film fests will accept.

Wow, in 2 paragraphs that almost sounds easy dont it? well lets hope for the best.

Hopefully we can pull some kind of a profit down and open the doors to make another movie. You have heard of living paycheck to paycheck, I live movie to movie.

I will probably post one more preproduction journal and then I will have one per weekend (there will be 15 2 day weekends.

Stay tuned, I hope your interested, because I love the feedback I get from these forums.

.....also if anyone wants to help financially....private message me...had to throw that out there.
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