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"Dragon Hunter"


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#1 Cole Webley

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 10:55 AM

I landed my first feature a couple of months ago, and we start production on Monday the 25th of June.

It is a genre picture, straight to DVD...a sci-fi fantasy type dragon movie. It will be interesting. Very small budget, but we are shooting 35mm.

My camera package includes:

Arri BL-4S Super 35mm 3-perf, Zeiss Standard Speed Lens package: 16mm, 24mm, 32mm, 50mm, 85mm, 100mm. and support...

I am shooting night scenes on 5279 and day on 5212.

The dragon is entirely CG.

Shot on location in Utah, in Alpine, Heber and Provo.

We have a small 3-Ton grip package with an even smaller lighting package...my biggest light is a 9 light Maxi Brute...

I will try and post some weekly updates, it is a 19-day schedule...an average of 5 pages a day...its going to be crazy! But I am excited to "cut my teeth" on the show. It is a SAG show with some decent actors.

Let me know if you have questions about the production...and if you are in Utah and want to come help I know production is still looking for interns!!!
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#2 Jayson Crothers

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 12:34 PM

Congratulations Cole! This is great news - keep us updated as often as you can.

Some advice I can offer about shooting your first feature is to wear very comfortable shoes (I always wear Cole Haan - pricey, but even after 14 hours it still feels like I'm not wearing any shoes at all), don't overlook your health (it's virtually impossible to be sick on set and still be on top of of your game), and remember to enjoy the whole experience - your first feature only happens once, so savor it.
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#3 Chris Keth

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 01:35 PM

I landed my first feature a couple of months ago, and we start production on Monday the 25th of June.

It is a genre picture, straight to DVD...a sci-fi fantasy type dragon movie. It will be interesting. Very small budget, but we are shooting 35mm.

My camera package includes:

Arri BL-4S Super 35mm 3-perf, Zeiss Standard Speed Lens package: 16mm, 24mm, 32mm, 50mm, 85mm, 100mm. and support...

I am shooting night scenes on 5279 and day on 5212.

The dragon is entirely CG.

Shot on location in Utah, in Alpine, Heber and Provo.

We have a small 3-Ton grip package with an even smaller lighting package...my biggest light is a 9 light Maxi Brute...

I will try and post some weekly updates, it is a 19-day schedule...an average of 5 pages a day...its going to be crazy! But I am excited to "cut my teeth" on the show. It is a SAG show with some decent actors.

Let me know if you have questions about the production...and if you are in Utah and want to come help I know production is still looking for interns!!!


Are the intern spots paid?
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#4 Cole Webley

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 02:36 AM

Chris.

Actually I don't think they are Chris. However, I am looking for a loader for that last two weeks of the film so let me know if you are interested.
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#5 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 07:36 AM

Sounds great Cole, sounds like a fun idea too and not to mention a great opportunity.

Good luck with it,
Andy
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#6 Chris Keth

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 05:25 PM

Chris.

Actually I don't think they are Chris. However, I am looking for a loader for that last two weeks of the film so let me know if you are interested.


Sure, I've never loaded that cam but I'm sure it's simple enough. Drop me a line.
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#7 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 01:40 AM

Sure, I've never loaded that cam but I'm sure it's simple enough.

Chris, the BL4 mags are super easy to load (they're coaxial), I doubt you'll have any problems with them. Just don't try to put a full roll into the feed side before feeding the film through or you won't have enough room.

Cole, congratulations on your first feature (in 35mm, no less!). Keep us updated if you can, I would love to hear the details. I'd also be interested in know what the film's budget is.

Good luck!
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#8 Cole Webley

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 04:39 PM

Thanks Satsuki. The films budget is only $65,000. I am shooting the film on short ends and it is straight to DVD. We are transfering with Entertainment Post and processing with Deluxe. Camera is through Otto Nemenz. All of the crew have signed backend pay deals, with some of the keys getting points. It worked it pretty well for me, if the film makes any money. They are hoping to get it into Blockbuster, Hollywood Video and of course they will try for Walmart. Anyhow, they are also banking on foreign sales and they will try for the Sci-Fi channel. The executive producer has done a couple of features, his last film was with Jon Heder, Rutger Hauer, and Mila Kunis budget 1.5 million. I don't know if I could have financially taken the risk later in my career but nobody was knocking on my door asking me to shoot a feature and since I just graduated college in April...I still have a little of those student loans that I could live off of for the next month.

The first three days have been crazy, dissapointing, exciting, fun, and challanging. It has been a nightmare getting locations tied down. The first day of production we were on this location in Heber, UT setting up when we got a call from the lead actor who said that he "couldn't do the show anymore." His manager had found out that he was doing the show and didn't want him to do it or something... The show is SAG and he must have had some union issues...and why he hadn't told his manager about it...I don't know...anyway we found this out an hour after call time and he was in every scene that we were to shoot that night. Crazy huh?

Well, they actually new another local actor that they called and he took the part. So an hour or too after call we were given the go to begin setting up for the scene. Then a guy shows up and says "What are you doing on my land?" Apparently, the locations manager had gotten the wrong permission to be on this land so we were kindly thrown off. We hurried to another location that we had as a backup and were able to eventually shoot three scenes that night. Very insane and rushed. I was o.k. with the first two, however, the last scene of the night was a big 360 degree dolly move. I am worried how it is going to turn out. It was lit o.k. but with so many variables and not enough time to address them all, I just hope it turns out.

Its hard with our night work because we only have about 8-9 actual shooting hours. I was trying to avoid shooting day for night but we may have to next week. So far we are only 2 scenes behind in our night work. That's actually very encouraging considering our many challanges the last couple of days. One major challange has been getting art done by the time we need to shoot. They are mostly all inexperienced hard workers but I fear they don't have enough hands. We lost an hour or so last night waiting for art which is hard to swollow when grip/electric and camera are working so hard to move quickly. Although, I will say-I worked my first feature a couple of years ago as an the on-set dresser and I have a deep appreciation for the art team. They work more hours then most people on set and have an extremely important job.

So far, I have been staying mostly on my 50mm, 85mm, and 100mm lenses. I like to use the 50 or 85 on close-ups and 100 if I am really trying to compress the frame with layers of branches, etc. Too bad that is my longest lens. I have been shooting the key at about 2.0 My lenses are all T 2.1 And I am rating 5279 at 400 ASA. One of the challanges has been allowing myself to underexpose areas of the frame. I guess its the "beginner instinct" in me to want to make sure I don't lose anything but I know that dark is not bad. "The Godfather" films prove that. When the moon is my key light I am keeping it 1 to 1 1/2 stops under, while all the time keeping my backlight around a 2.8 or so.

My gaffer has several pictures that i hope to post on Sunday our day off. Until then, let me know if you have any questions and I will try and address them. We are shooting nights so I don't really get up until 3 or 4 in the afternoon then we are back at it by 6:30 pre-lighting.


Chris. Please send me an email at cole@j-four.com if you are available the next two weeks!
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#9 Cole Webley

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 07:47 PM

Here are a few stills of the past week of night shoots. Things went pretty well. We have had our challanges but for the most part I am pretty pleased. Everyone in lighting and grip are working really hard and have been great to work with. 2 more weeks of day shoots start on Monday.

Our lighting package consisted of a 9-Light Maxi Brute, 2 5ks, 2 2ks, 2 1ks Baby Babies, and 2 Tweenies and a few 200w LTM Peppers.

Web_1.jpg

(right before the orcs crash through the door...)

web_2.jpg

web_3.jpg

His key is a fire light gag using a 2k with a chimera on a flicker box.

web_4.jpg

web_5.jpg
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#10 Richard Boddington

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 10:27 PM

You are shooting on short ends or re-cans?

I can't believe you'd use actual short ends? You must mean, re-cans?

The lead actor bailed right before shooting? Wrong location? Geez I thought I had it bad ;)

One thing missing from your stills, where is the hot babe in the skimpy leather warrior outfit? I assume you have one? If not, I'd add one real quick, I've spent the last several weeks talking to distributors at all levels. They basically expect that sort of thing.

I know it's Utah, but hey the BYU cheerleading squad usually has a few hot babes on it. I'm sure you can squeeze one into the outfit :D An essential element in swords and magic movies.

R,
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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 10:57 PM

The lighting looks really good.

My only suggestion, and it's probably too late, is that the actors look too clean and clean-shaven, the wardrobe not aged enough, etc. to feel real, to get rid of that feeling of modern actors in dress-up.
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#12 Cole Webley

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 11:15 PM

Thanks a lot David. It means a lot coming from someone of your experience and knowledge. I am afraid you are right on about the wardrobe and makeup. It has been challenging for some of us to swallow some of the art and wardrobe/makeup. I suppose we are all at fault though for allowing little things like that to happen. I should be more assertive in my comments about EVERYTHING within the frame....I mean, if we really do direct the photography I suppose we should comment about things like that. I hope to post more photos later.

Richard,

Yep, we are shooting short-ends (mostly). I do have some 400 ft. loads of 5212 and 5218. I have heard of a number of low budget features shooting on short-ends...I just shot a short on short-ends with the Panavision GII Student Grant package. Everything was fine with the stock.

Yes, I wish we could shoot re-cans or new rolls but unfortunately no money for it. They were bought from a professional level short-ends dealer called "Reel Good" out of Hollywood I believe. The one thing I would say is that we have had at least ten rolls that were listed at 250' feet and when they were loaded there was only 190' feet on the rolls. I don't know if that was the production that sold the short-ends to Reel Good or if they were mislabeled later...but if that happens a lot it could add...I hope it was a mistake rather then someone being dishonest.

Oh, and about the girl. Well, unfortunately your right. I just didn't post any pictures.
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#13 Richard Boddington

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Posted 02 July 2007 - 02:35 AM

How can you shoot dialogue with 250ft of film? How can you shoot any thing with 250ft of film?

I would have gone to the DR group and got 1000' re-cans for the same price as what you paid for short ends. Oh well it's up to you guys...I just don't know how you can do it? I can get 1000' ft re-cans as low as .26 a foot. Fuji Eterna stock, just as good as Kodak in my book.

The key is to start buying well in advance of your shooting date.

As for: "Oh, and about the girl. Well, unfortunately your right. I just didn't post any pictures."

Unfortunately you do have the girl, or do not have the girl?

Oh how can there be Orcs in this....aren't they a LOTR property?

And David, perhaps they have really good dry cleaning in this mythical land? Hercules was always clean shaven and well dressed :D

R,
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#14 Josh Bass

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Posted 02 July 2007 - 10:40 AM

Every fantasy videogame, novel, pen/paper game etc. in existence has orcs.

Edited by Josh Bass, 02 July 2007 - 10:40 AM.

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#15 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 02 July 2007 - 05:39 PM

Enough of this talk of who has rights to what. We want to see the chick!! :)
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#16 Cole Webley

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Posted 02 July 2007 - 10:52 PM

Richard.

I paid an average of 10 cents a foot for my short-ends. I usually go through the DR Group but I happen to find a better deal. I have gotten 5 cents a foot for short-ends at the DR Group before...those are prices that are hard to turn down when you are on a shoe string budget - and...all the shorts and specs I have shot on 35mm were on short-ends... Hopefully someday when the production has a greater budget I won't have to worry about the short-ends...until then, I can manage.

Oh, and yes, there is the girl in this film as well. I just won't bother posting pictures.

-Cole
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#17 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 12:01 AM

Very impressive. How much night exterior work is there?
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#18 Chris Fernando

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 12:23 PM

Richard.

I paid an average of 10 cents a foot for my short-ends. I usually go through the DR Group but I happen to find a better deal. I have gotten 5 cents a foot for short-ends at the DR Group before...those are prices that are hard to turn down when you are on a shoe string budget - and...all the shorts and specs I have shot on 35mm were on short-ends... Hopefully someday when the production has a greater budget I won't have to worry about the short-ends...until then, I can manage.

Oh, and yes, there is the girl in this film as well. I just won't bother posting pictures.

-Cole


Congratulations Cole, Great job. Best of luck on the shoot.

I have to ask, though, and I hope you don't mind me doing so; but one might infer from the above post that you are paying for the stock on this shoot; please, say it ain't so!

Oh, and thanks for not posting the picture of the girl.
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#19 Cole Webley

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 11:30 PM

Chris,

It does sound like that, but, no I didn't. We are working with a really in-experienced production staff so I had to work the deals with stock and post work i.e. processing and transfer, etc. Did a little producing I guess...but, oh well, it helped me make connections with some nice people.

Another long day today. Mostly bounce and fill - shiny boards and 6x or 12x Ultra bounce...also a lot of bead-board fill. I have been trying to shoot everyone with the light to the backs during our day work. On close ups I have occasionally put a 4x frame of diffusion up...usually Opal. Not much doing otherwise, no lights for our day work...what I would give for an 18k at times!! Oh, well...someday.

We did a week of Night Ext. work, about 28 pages and then two weeks of Day Ext.

Today we were really rushed at the end of the day. I was able to cheat most of the shots to have a nice rim light but we finally lost our light at about 8:50 or so...didn't finish everything but it was a frustrating day. Actors rides not showing up, props not being on set, and of course long makeup stuff...

Who knows if we will finish this film! I am sure we will, I feel like we have only had to compromise our creativity about 1 out of 10 times which is pretty good. We are getting a lot of great stuff, its that 1 out of 10 times that is hard to swallow. Ok, maybe its more like 3 out of 10...I mean its not like we have a crane or tons of lights...but even then sometimes you can get lost in all the toys right?

I'll try and post more soon.
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#20 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 07:59 PM

We did a week of Night Ext. work, about 28 pages and then two weeks of Day Ext.


... Thats a lot of night ext. work. Any condor work involved? What was your strategy to make your day on big set ups?
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