Well, it’s 9:00 here in Smothers, and the filming rolls on. Director of Photography Zachary Scott Garrett says it’s looking good.
Eight hours of rigorous shooting yesterday in Smothers yesterday, and eight more to go today. It’s tough work, but somebody’s gotta do it.
Keep posted for live updates from the shoot.
Recording with Cazz! We took our very talented musical ensemble to lay down some bagillion part harmonies with Cazz Brindis, who is writing some additional music for the movie.
Saturday we shot one of our biggest scenes, the ending of the theme of the musical, “Life is Not a Musical.” We had our crew hard at work for 7 hours, and they were great! Here are some photos from behind the camera, so you can get an idea of why we had so much fun shooting this weekend. Look for video blogs and camera stills soon and keep an eye on our Twitter feed for by-the-minute updates.
Firstoff, thanks to all who helped on the shoot of the title track, “Life is Not a Musical” yesterday. The footage is looking incredible and we wouldn’t have great looking footage without great things to shoot. All of our extras/dancers really gave it their all in rehearsals and the multiple takes done on a very hot Saturday morning. Thank you all kindly, production stills should be coming soon!
Now, as some of you who have been on set may have realized, we are no longer shooting on a RED ONE camera. We have instead decided to shoot on Canon DSLR’s, more specifically, the Canon EOS 5d Mark II. If you’re anything like the production team when we first uncovered this technology, you’re a little rattled by the idea of shooting a feature film on a “still camera”. However, the footage speaks for itself. There is a movement among independent filmmakers who are making movies on these cameras, and the quality is comparable if not equal to the revered RED. In some senses, the convenience of working with the 5d camera does a production like ours a lot more favors than a RED would have.
While I will spare you in-depth tech talk about the higher points of the camera (links will be included in this post for reference), I’ll say essentially why we chose this camera. It can record video in full HD with a full frame still camera size 35mm sensor, which is much bigger than a movie sensor. The availability of lenses for still cameras is a wide variety with reasonable pricing, as opposed to film cameras and the RED, where buying lenses for variety of looks can quickly run up to five-figure prices. Additionally, editing the footage shot by the 5d is a much more simple task than RED footage. 5d footage, with the help of some additional software, can be edited in final cut pro without too many roadblocks on interface. The RED however, is quite a complex process; mainly because of the sophistication of the information it records. This requires very specific programs to edit, and thoughtful consideration while shooting.
As I said before, there is a movement among filmmakers who are adopting these cameras as their primary shooting cameras. One filmmaker specifically, Phillip Bloom, runs a website that he uses to showcase his work and runs an open forum for DSLR users to share and learn about the technology together (I will include links to his page at the bottom of this post). Robert Rodriguez, director of such works as “Desperado”, “Sin City”, “From Dusk Til Dawn”, and “Spy Kids” is famous for his work in cinema on a shoestring budget (see “El Mariachi”, $7000 to produce); recently shot a music video on a 5d, which should be released in the next month or so.
I encourage you to do some research of your own on this new technology. I’ll include a video in this post which compares the 5d Mark II with the RED as well as another DSLR camera, and as the video with the incoherent plot posits, see if you notice anything different.
For More Info on the Technology,
Well, now everything is in full swing and it’s getting pretty intense. Our weekly production meetings have doubled in size and things are getting very serious. Idea Box Productions has become official and is the producing company behind Life is Not a Musical.
As you’ve seen from the photos and video below, we had our first shoot and it was amazing. We can’t wait to put some more talent in front of the camera and show them off. Every time we meet I get so excited to see how the actors are going to illustrate the things we’ve been just imagining.
Every weekend now we are either in the music studio recording vocals or shooting a scene or both or rehearsal. Things are getting really fun as we start to see what our finished product is gonna look like.
We are excited to announce we’ve been sponsored by a couple of organizations. This week we received donations from Pepperdine’s Student Government Association and Inter Club Council via the newly created Pepperdine Film Society. We can’t thank them enough and we are excited about what we can do now that we have a little funding to back us up.
Also worth noting, a friend and frequent collaborator, Jeff Loveness, won the “Audience Choice” at this weekend’s ReelStories Film Festival. Check out our cast members and choreographer in his great short Tutor.
Now it’s time for us to put our nose to the grindstone and get to work.
Keep an eye out here for more updates and email us at email@example.com to get involved.
Friday night we shot our first scene for the movie and things could not have gone better. As you can see from the screen shots in the previous post, the RED really does produce a beautiful picture. This movie is going to look great and the music is going to sound amazing.
One of the things that became even more evident after shooting this first scene was that making this entire movie is going to take a lot of help from a lot of people. Now I know we’ve been doing nothing but recruiting for extras, dancers and crew lately, but as the director, having actually stepped behind the camera for the first time on this film, I wanted to personally ask for anyone and everyone attached, affiliated, related to or influenced by this production to step up and help in some way.
How can you do this?
First and foremost we need people to physically come out and be an extra or help with the production side of things. We have some big numbers coming up and we can’t CGI in dozens of fake people to fill our scenes.
If you’re not around or are too camera shy we can use any and all kinds of support possible. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information. Keep checking this site regularly; visit my personal film blog or our producer Zane’s blog as we will both be updating all over the place about the film.
And last but not least start spreading the word about this production any way you can. Post links to this site, mention it to a friend, etc. Word of mouth will go a long way in boosting our small little production.
I must say that I am extremely excited for where this movie can possibly go and I’m so grateful for everyone who has helped it get this far. I’m sure with more help it can reach heights this story rightfully deserves.
We have fantastic news. With the help of Craig Detweiler and Pepperdine’s Center for Entertainment, Media and Culture, we have secured a RED ONE camera for the shooting of Life is Not a Musical: The Musical. This is a huge blessing and we are incredibly excited. This will give us the ability to produce and incredibly high quality picture.
The RED ONE is an extremely advanced camera that has been used in a ton of movies including Book of Eli, Lovely Bones, Gamer, District 9, and many many more. You can take a look at the specs and see the Red Reel on their site.
ONCE AGAIN: We are starting shooting soon, and that means we’ve opened up a lot of new positions, from script supervising to costumes and make-up. Let us know if you’d like to help! Email email@example.com for more information, and keep an eye on this site!
Happy New Year!
Just making a quick update for everyone. We have some exciting news!
We have finished out first track from Life is Not a Musical. It is a powerful emotional number called “How Did We Get Here” and it sounds great. We can’t wait for everyone to hear it. But you’ll have to wait a bit longer, there may be a special sneak peek coming soon…
We are arranging the rest of the tracks and beginning to work on choreography. Soon we’ll be doing an open call for extras and dancers, so keep an eye out! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can get involved.
Also, we are starting shooting soon, and that means we’ve opened up a lot of new positions, from script supervising to costumes and make-up. Let us know if you’d like to help!
So keep an eye on this blog for all the production news. Soon you’ll start seeing video updates from myself and the production team. I hope you had a Merry Christmas!
I’m really excited to announce that we are going into the studio to record the first number! Right now Life is Not a Musical has six songs written with two more on the way. By next week one of our songs will be entirely done and ready for us to start shooting next semester. If you cross your fingers you may be able to see a completed scene from the movie by the end of January at a special event.
Life is Not a Musical has teamed up with Darkbloom Productions, which will be producing the music for the soundtrack. We are really excited about the partnership and we love how the music is sounding right now.
Things are moving quickly here, so don’t forget to keep an eye on this site for all of the news!
Here is a little taste of the music from Life is Not a Musical to give you an idea of what we’ve made.
This is a clip from the demo tracks recorded during the writing of the music and lyrics. The clip is from the theme song of the musical and features Colin Edge, who composed the music along with Zane Miller.
The clip is DEMO quality, as it was only recorded as a reference for the arranger and director.