Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Post production has started!

The first thing I was asked was "What is post production?"

Production is when the actors, director, cameraman, etc get together to create raw footage. Post production is all the stuff after that.

Like creating holograms where none existed.

Or the part I really like to see, how these very creative people come up with a whole new world of places and things, like the inside of a space ship. Do you go sleek and modern like the starship Enterprise? Or rough and tough like the Klingon ships?

It seems to me the ship reflects the personality of the characters that built it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Its all about story...

To me, the making a great movie has always been about the story. It doesn't matter how good the special effects are, how good the sound is, how great the cinematography is, you still need a great story told by a great story teller to hold my interest.

The Down Home Alien Blues has "story" in spades. It started with a great novel by Linnea Sinclair called The Down Home Zombie Blues. (No zombies included.)

I love the way that all of the snarky humor and romance has been retained from that great novel. And to make me even happier additional social satire and fish out of water humor was added. In that way it reminds me of "Quigley Down Under" movie starring Tom Selleck. A great movie.

Ms. Sinclair described it as "Homicide detective Theo Petrakos thought he’d seen it all. Then a mummified corpse and a room full of futuristic hardware sends Guardian Force commander Jorie Mikkalah into his life."

But everything becomes twisted. Jorie is somewhat mystified how things work on earth, so even though Theo is officially a prisoner, in reality he's her partner in her race to save the earth.

"Jorie’s mission is to stop a deadly infestation of bio-mechanical organisms from using Earth as its breeding ground." said Linnea. "If she succeeds, she could save a world and win a captaincy."

But she’ll need Theo’s help and that breaks every rule in the book.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Making a movie is like a ballet.

Have you ever gone to see a ballet? There are dozens of people on the stage, each moving time to each other and the music. The crew of The Down Home Alien Blues are like individual gears in a clock all dependent upon each other to produce the final result.

The camera man, Bob Fox, and the sound guy, Steve Bernard, each must check on one another to make sure that they are coordinated and in synch.

The actors want to make sure that everything is right. Everyone is working towards a common goal. Its like a team sport, without a ball or helmets!

In a movie the gaffer, A.J. Martinson, and makeup artist, Coco Covarrubias, are working in the background unseen, but very necessary.

In a movie everyone is setting up the next shot, just like in a ballet where you can't see the orchestra, but they are coordinated with the whole effort.

Everyone wants the best images, best acting, and best sound in the most efficient way possible.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Un-sung heros of the movie...

For every star of a movie that are dozens of other people on set that do so many things. Some are wonderful character actors. Here Barbara Anderson plays Mrs. Goldstein opposite Jay Mitsch.

The character actors have to work just as hard on their lines and blocking as any of the other actors, and often have a lot less 'clues' in the script upon which to base their characters.

Many of the actors have to play more than one part. Here Kamilah Holder and Julian Gerami do two voice overs together before each goes outside to do other parts in front of the camera. Each of them is capable of much bigger things, but actors have to take the parts available until they get bigger.

AJ was the gaffer during the shoot. For nearly every few takes the lights, wires, scrims, etc had to be moved, adjusted or altered. Its a tough job that goes on throughout the shoot. For some reason every picture is of the side of his face as he's watching what needs to be done next.

Lets not forget the bit part players that may not have lines but add production value to the movie. They wait and watch for most of the day for their one chance to shine.

Tristan Starr was one of the 1st AC (assistant camera men). He was sooo helpful to everyone. A great guy to have on set as there are a million things for an AC to do.

Another 1st AC, on different days, was Xereni. Also very helpful, but I haven't found a picture yet.

And lets not forget your friendly neighborhood script supervisor (and actress.)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Movie stars go to glamorous locations... Not!

Sometimes the setting in the movie is glamorous and you get a little jealous of the movie stars who get a little romance when they go to those places. Ah, the magic of Hollywood...

The reality is often different than the image.

That water scene may be far from the water, or just have a little sliver of water behind them. "As important as what's in the image" said camera man Bob Fox "is the importance of what the camera view excludes."

And lets not forget crawling around in the weeds. The book and the script both called for our heroes to sneak their way down the fence line looking for Devastators.

And freezing your butt off in the middle of the woods at 1am. LOL

Sunday, March 4, 2012

There's something sexy about a woman taking charge...

I was wondering what it is. Did you ever notice that aliens in movies are often wearing black leather? Is it just because a woman in black leather looks really, really sexy?

Is it because they look dangerous? Here, Berenika Bailey is playing Lt. Tamlynne Herryck and she looks fabulous.

And here is Nathalie Biermanns playing Commander Jorie Mikkalah. She looks strong, cool under pressure, in charge... and they both still manage to look really attractive, sexy and desirable.

I'm sure a professional makeup artist on location helps, but I wonder if these two would look sexy getting up in the morning with their hair messed up and smudges of left over make up. What am I saying, of course they would. Gad, we don't need more competition from aliens. LOL

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A good romance requires a sense of humor...

Maybe it says something about the human condition, but a sense of humor seems to be required for a romance to work. That also seems to be required for alien love. Fortunately this movie has plenty of humor. Another big plus for women that want something other than explosions and special effects.

One thing that movies like "Quigley Down Under" and "Brother From Another Planet" taught me was the power of social satire. The Down Home Alien Blues makes good use of that.

How strange would aliens find it that humans are voluntarily smoking plant material that gives off toxic wastes and drugs?

How 'alien' do we earthlings find it if a beautiful woman selects her clothing according to how comfortable it is to do battle?

It must be funny throughout the universe if a good looking man and woman stare intently at each other, and the man only hugs her to hide her guns.

Many times I've thought that Eric Satterberg must have the most fun part. He gets to make all the wry observations and wise guy comments. "He reminds me of Tom Hanks. The every day sort of guy that's sometimes goofy, sometimes helpful and often funny" said director, Duke Marsh.