pre-production

So i post on this site, x-realms.net and the guys there are really cool. It's a sci-fi movie film fan site with news and boards. Anyways, the boyz there are really cool and have been supportive and excited about this project as I've shared news with them. One guy Mitch just asked me for some details about the process and I thought i'd just repost my answers to him here for you folks! check it out!

So for those new to this filmmaking stuff, concept art is created during the pre-production phase to try and capture the director's vision for things - sets, costumes, props, etc - that need to be created for the film. In uber-budget films like Star Wars, there may be a huge team of concept artists with different skill sets that crank out ideas under the director's guidance. So George Lucas may say, "We're going to see Chewbacca's home planet for the first time. I want his Wookie species to live on a non-industrialized planet in the woods. They're technology should be sparse and heavily grounded in wood and organic elements. GO!" And the concept artists will sketch a brazilian ideas for him and Lucas will filter through them with nods and umm's and nah's, and the nods will continue to be refined until the idea fleshed out completely is approved and the concept art becomes more of a blue print for the production/creative team that will realize the idea. So to use the Wookie planet again, the wood-based props and costumes will be made by a prop/wardrobe department and images of the planet and woods may go to the digital art department for digital matte creation. That's basically how it works. Concept art is often thought of as rough and quickly thrown together, but if you've ever seen concept art from Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, your head would explode because it's soooo darrrn gooood. [artbyfeng.com best concept artist I've seen! Know of any others? Add them as a comment here!]

Anyway, I didn't have the budget for a concept artist and basically did all the concept art myself for the prop maker, effects team, and 3D designers. Since we were such a small crew, a lot of the concept art was just for myself since I had to do a lot of art department work!! I've included almost all concept art I have here on this page below and have added descriptions for you.

So, I’m not a handyman by any stretch of the imagination. My comfort zone is seated squarely in a world where you can just hit undo if you get yourself into a pickle. You have to keep this in mind in order to fully appreciate the situation I found myself in last fall during the pre-production phase of my science fiction short.

04-06

I must cast this cast

Unpaid talent is still talent.
So I needed a cast of 12 for my film and I had no funds to pay them. Dude, that’s no problem! New York City contains the largest pool of actors outside of L.A. I’m not sure if the majority of them are struggling, but I do know that many will work for free in return for a great experience. Working for free is the only way out of the cyclical career dilemma of not being able to find work without experience and not being able to find experience without any work. If you’re open to working for free, then you’ll definitely broaden your horizons. And to hear it from some of the people I’ve talked to, even when you are open to working for free, it can get pretty competitive! So I had no choice anyway look for free work. I ended up being extremely fortunate because I loved the cast I ended up with. They are great people, enthusiastic, professional and talented.

The first draft of Deployment Strategy was completed in March 2005. There were approximately 3 complete revisions and a brazilian tweaks made all over the place before any pre-production began. It continued to change all throughout pre-production and changed some more during the shoot as it came out of actors’ mouths. (isn’t that always the case?)

How I describe the movie depends on how much time you have.

If we met in the elevator I’d say,
"Deployment Strategy is like Aliens + Bladerunner with some Evil Dead 2 in it. There are guns and cyborgs in it."

Deployment Strategy gets 5 page article in April issue of Student Filmmakers magazine!

In the magazine that recognizes all filmmakers as perpetual students, we have an article about how one of our sets was built.

Hey dudes, here's episode 2 of our ongoing video blog series! In this episode we meet actor, Einar Gunnar, and the team of GornFX who've been tasked with tackling all the practical effects work for the film. We'll see these guy again in future episodes too. Enjoy!!

Other formats:


quicktime

Hot off the editing suite: our first web video blog!! check it out!

 


higher resolution links here for download!!

windows media

quicktime

Q: Will this be listed on the IMDb.com ?

A: I definitely plan on having the film and myself listed on IMDB.com...It's actually on my lengthy To Do List for after principle photography. I don't know any of the specifics of getting on the site, but imagine it shouldn't be too difficult, right?

Q: What are some of the benefits to potential investors?

I believe that the benefits for an investor of this film lie in two areas: 1) If the investor is considering getting into the film business as a producer, working with an independent short film will give them exposure to the business and process of making a film while limiting their financial commitment. Some feature films will only accept investors of a certain size- like 20% of the overall cost for example- to limit the number of financers they have to answer to. Investing in a small film gives you a sample of what it is like. 2) I think that there is an advantage to investors to build a relationship with a film maker early in the director's career. Relationships between directors and executive producers are like all relationships in that they are built on trust. When budgets and projects are smaller, so are egos and the temptation to mislead. This is good time to build a relationship where all parties can focus on what they love- creating and telling stories.

I just fired off an email to my entire cast about next week's shoot...then realized 90% could be repurposed as a director's blog entry! That's making good use of time! It's all about organizing the chaos...i've edited it a bit so that it's fits the blog style..take a look...

Hi all,

Working feverously to get shooting schedule done..like an un-fun board game of matching days with actors with shots�I�m planning to be filming everyday from 9am-5pm on Tuesday thru to Saturday. Monday will be an afternoon shoot.

I'm trying to optimize things so that the actors will be on set the shortest possible time with time spent as efficiently as possible. This can only be done by shooting completely out of sequence which is why it was good that we had a full dress rehearsal that Sunday a couple weeks ago to go over the entire final scene� I also have to make full use of the days the fx team will be on set, as well as the CGI puppeteers.

Who Am I and why in the world...
...am i doing this?? I ask myself this all the freaking time but the conclusion is always the same- I don't know why, all I know is that I just must, must, must make this film...

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