For Christmas this last year, my wife Christina surprised me with an incredible gift: she had full-size movie posters for all 12 films designed, printed, and framed for me. Needless to say, they turned out incredible. They were designed by our friend Daniel Benitez, and he did a fantastic job of giving each one its own unique style and look.
For film #11, I decided to do a sci-fi thriller called “Skytalkers”. The premise for this film is one that my wife, Christina pitched to me a couple years ago (in fact she’s already got Skytalkers 1, 2, & 3 planned out…) based on a story that she and an old roommate came up with. To give it a big, epic action feel on a very small budget and to break up the style of story-telling and editing that I’d done on my other films, I decided to produce this film in the style of a movie trailer. That way, I could just concentrate on getting moments of action and drama and not have to tie them into one point-by-point narrative. I could use a lot more montage to create the story rather then dialogue and continuity editing.
I shot the footage over three different days (shooting a couple hours a day) with different actors on each day. It started on a Monday, shooting some scenes with Holli Bibler (who was also in Eliza’s Last Day). I shot a lot of close-ups and dramatic takes. We had to find covered areas to shoot all of her scenes because it was raining that day, but it worked out and I got some good shots.
The next day, Tuesday, I had a four hour shoot with Chris Davis and Fox Clark. It was the one day that week that it was not supposed to rain and thankfully, it didn’t. Fox has been in a number of my other films this year and Chris has been part of them, but always behind the camera, never in front of it. I thought it might be fun to put him in front of the camera for a change. We started the shoot in the parking lot of a local church and then went out to UCSD to shoot the majority of the footage. I chose UCSD because I knew that I could get a large variety of architecture and locations within a small area and therefore be able to give the impression of a much larger movie with more expanssive settings.
Finally, this last Saturday, after shooting film #12, I shot a few extra pick-up shots with my brother, Blake for one scene at the beginning of the film.
I uploaded a few pictures from the shoots to Flickr here.
Over the last week I shot my final footage of the year for 12 Films in 12 Months. Last Monday and Tuesday, I shot footage for film #11 & then this last Saturday I shot film #12. Now I’m staring down the last 3 days of 2008 and charging straight into the sound design and editing.
Each of the last two films is going to have a very different editing style. I produced and am editing film #11 in the style of a movie trailer, so it’s full of quick, unrelated shots that make up the story as a whole. Film #12 is being edited in a much different style, but you’ll have to wait a few days to see what I mean (I don’t necissarily want to give the whole thing away before the film debuts).
It’s been quite a busy Fall so far. I got back from working the second National Youth Workers Convention for YS two weeks ago and now, as I write this, I’m on my way to Nashville for the third. Although the busyness has slowed the release of my monthly films, it hasn’t stopped production.
In regards to Film #9, I’m close to picture-lock and I’m getting started on the sound design and soundtrack. I’m still trying to balance the blending of film noir and kung-fu. The sequence that’s been giving me the most trouble has been a fist-fight that we shot. As it stands in editing, it doesn’t have the right rhythm and pacing yet. It lacks momentum. Other then that, the other main challenge is to find/create a soundtrack that can evoke both genres.
At the same time, I’ve also been working on Film #10. I have wanted to do a horror movie and more specifically, a zombie movie since I started this project and I decided that October would be the perfect month to dive into the horror genre (October being the month that this film was originally slated to be produced). Well, we shot it this last weekend and I’m seriously excited to get it put together and share it with you.
Finally, I’m starting into pre-production on Film #11. This month’s film is a sci-fi thriller based on story by my wife, Christina. It’s a story idea she passed by me before I even started 12 Films in 12 Months and I’m stoked to include it in the project.
Well, there you have it. That’s the current state of the remaining films for the year. I have six weeks exactly until the project is completed and I’m ready to kick into high gear and finish it well.