I just wrapped a fun project with a good group of filmmakers in Orlando, FL. I didn’t think this project was gonna happen because of the crazy weather that has been hitting the east coast but the weather Gods really looked out for us and spared us the hard parts of the storm.
Stay tuned for more info from this project.
Douglas Martin (1st AD), Brian Shephard (Director), Erik Van Lenten (DoP), Allan Marrero (Producer)
So still playing catch up. At the end of the “I Am That Man” project, I was getting ready to fly back to the east coast from Director Wesley “Wuz Good” Armstrong asking if I wanted to AD a short. I was like “when is it because I fly out on Thursday”. Wes was like cool, “we shoot on Wednesday.
So a little bit of history between Wuz Good and I. We went to Full Sail together and between the photo shoots, music videos and commercials, we worked on at least 50 projects together. After that run of projects, I set my eyes on feature films and Good turned his eye on the internet. While Wuz Good was killing the game on Vine and Instagram he always said the goal was to make movies and the opportunity presented itself to do a short and here is what we did.
The short is called “Ding Dong Ditch” Staring Sunny Mabrey, Brandi Marie King, Joey Diggs Jr. & Wes “Wuz Good” Armstrong produced by Off The Dock. The digital studio of Lakeshore Entertainment.
Shout out to the cast and crew of this project. We knocked this out in 1 day and it turned out amazing!!
Make sure you subscribe to my blog so you can get all the updates. Sometimes my post come to all my social media accounts, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s a little bi-poloar.
So to wrap up a pretty exciting 2016 why not fly down to Florida and film a crazy movie called “The Executioners”. Let me rewind a little bit. So I was in St. Louis and I received a phone call from my friend Allan. Allan is a producer who will help produce my very first short film called “No Charge.” We’ve always kept in contact ever since that first project and he always said if he has a project I’m gonna be the first one to call, so he called me. He told me he had this awesome script that he was trying to shoot it and he needed an AD and the rest was history.
Any way so I fly down to sunny Florida leaving freezing North Carolina and get picked up in a convertible to welcome me back to Florida. The production for this project was pretty interesting to say the least. I originally suggested that we shoot this project and 20 days. The final schedule ended being 14 days but we finished in 16 days. This project wasn’t the easiest to get through but I excepted the challenge and we got to the end of the project and finished the movie. This movie will probably be one of the best movies that I’ve ever been 1st Assistant Director for. It pushes the limits it makes you very uncomfortable but I think in making controversial films like this one will stand out and be really good at the end of the day.
So this was my 2nd or 3rd video working with Director Carl Verna aka Video Verna. Wait do 2 videos in one day count as 1? Anyway, this time we were shooting The Supervillians. I haven’t really heard any of their music but we are friends on myspace but I knew that they had a strong fan base and a lot of the guys showed up to actually be in the video. I thought that was a pretty cool way to reach out to their fans.
Anyway, let’s talk about the music video. Carl had a pretty interesting concept for this video and pretty much Dom (the drummer) was narrating the story that is going along in the video. So we set up this double dolly set up where he was playing his drum set and singing with the story line going on behind him. Also with some added animation this video is suppose to play out as a seamless cut video. So that’s pretty cool.
The production went pretty cool. Carl doesn’t really work with shot list, so I go into it as we have this much time at each location to get whatever you want as far as shots. Initially we had 5 locations to shoot at but during the shot we cut it down to 3 locations during production because if you shot 5, we probably would of had an 18-hour day. But as far as the actual production, I think things went well. The whole crew communicated wonderfully. Sometimes I think walk-e-talkies are retarded because they never work but for this shoot they actually worked. They had head sets and I didn’t have to yell. It made operation about 100 times easier.
Anyway, that’s all for now. I will blog to you guys and gals later!
Well there comes a time in every film student’s educational career where you have the “thesis film.” And “Falling From Grace” was it for me at Full Sail.
This project and the whole 35mm process was a big ball of kayos too begin with. Not everyone wrote scripts but then you had to sign on to scripts to work on the crew. I personally was on about 7 different scripts and none of mine got chosen so I had the potential of working as a grip or something on a project. Now I don’t have anything against grips but that is not what I do.
So after the storm settles. I end up on the camera team (sighs. . .) for this project. Let’s fast forward to the pre-production and actually building the set. I kind of mixed these two steps because pre-pro was pretty light on my side. I was on the camera team. Then came building the set. I am a fan of building sets, measuring stuff and cutting things with powerful saws. I think it’s fun to build stuff and it brings out the manly man part of every guy when your cutting stuff! lol Things were going good. I’m usually the lead foreman when it came to the school projects and I pretty much was on this one with Kev Dogg. We were building away on this project just like we did on the project Perception but this time we were thrown a different lab teacher who will remained nameless. And he came with an attitude. He out of no where thought I was slacking and not working because I take things seriously but my personality doesn’t put that out and so we had problems. Then I turned into ass hole Doug. So to make a long story short, he tried to take GPS points off of my grade and fail me but I am good with the other teachers so that didn’t happen!
So here we go on the actual production. Long story short. The AD didn’t have her A game on to say the least and we shot a lot of wide shots. I was frustrated with what we were shooting cause we have to edit the footage and from an editors standpoint, editing wide shots is a waste of time. But I was on the camera team and I was learning a lot about the Arri Studio Cam and the Arri 235 camera. We did shoot at a cool location downtown Orlando on Church Street. And another bad not was Krafty. That probably was the worst I have ever had. We shot 12 am to 12 noon and they thought it was a great idea to eat burgers (cold) at 6 am. Terrible! I always ended up leaving and going to McDonald’s. I didn’t tell anybody else cause they probably would of made a scene out of it.
Post production: So here is where the fun begins at Full Sail. This is where most students start talking ish and complaining on why their edit sucks. But I always go in and try to save the film and make a good story out of it no matter how bad it was shot. In order to take some wide shots out and make some close ups, I choose to add the anamorphic bars to the movie and use the 3d camera movement in the Avid to create new camera movements and close ups. I was really happy with the outcome from what we started with. I had a team help me out. I had my man Dan Selby come through and help with the sound design. Kev Dogg came through with the color correction. Victor did an amazing after effects intro. Kris Fame did the amazing score. So it was a team effort to get this project done and I think it turned out the best it could. The final cut is pretty long but I stayed on course with the actual script instead of doing the “student editor” thing and re-creating a new story and sucking! lol Be sure to check it out.