Friday, August 12, 2011

Horror Film In Progress

Well, after more than a year of pre-production, we are finally in production. Our first official shoot day was June 27th, but that did not require the presence of any of our actors. Our first day with cast on location was last Friday, August 5th. It's been an amazing first week of shooting.

From left to right: Alison Monda, Tessa Archer, Megan Lacki, and substitute Director of Photography Jacob Rosen. (photo by Adam Smith)

Our first three shoot days (August 5th, 6th, and 8th) were our busiest of the shoot as far as how many cast members we had on set. Brian Sutherland, Alison Monda, Bjorn Whitney, Megan Lacki, David Nail, and Tessa Archer were all with us for most of those three days and it made for a boisterous set. One thing we quickly learned is that we have a great cast and crew. Everyone gets along and, on a small crew like ours, it helps keep everything running smoothly.

Intern/grip/AC Todd Johnson, Tessa Archer, DP Jacob Rosen, me, and sound recordist Gabriel Culkin. (Photo by Adam Smith)

Those first few days of shooting marked all of Tessa Archer's days with us. Sniff. She was great on set and terrific in her scenes. Wrapping with her on Monday, knowing she wouldn't be back with us, was sad, but we all hope we work with her on many projects in the future.
Tessa Archer (Photo by Adam Smith)

Monday also marked the first day on set for Jesse Keeter, who plays our bad guy. Jesse is giving an amazing performance and he's just getting started. He's the nicest guy you would ever want to meet off camera, but on camera he's something else entirely. The transformation is fascinating to watch.
Jesse Keeter (Photo by Jeremy Bell)

After three relatively blood free days (our substitute Director of Photography almost got conked on the head by a falling light), we finally got Bandersnatch Studios on set to do some blood work on Tuesday. And it's been all blood all the time since.

Tools of the trade. Bandersnatch's brushes. (Photo by Jeremy Bell)

Jesse in the early stages of a Bandersnatch attack. (Photo by Jeremy Bell)

It's been an exhausting and exhilarating week. After spending most of the pre-production time trying to put this together with my producer Matt Ralston, who has done an insane amount of work to make sure Reunion can be successful, it was great to finally bring on some more collaborators. 
Matt Ralston, me. (Photo by Adam Smith)

All of that pre-production time has paid off in spades. With our minuscule budget and tight actor schedules, it's imperative that we keep to the calendar Matt put together before we started. We've done just that and have even put two kills behind us (don't worry -- there's more!).

On monitor: Jeremy Bell and Alison Monda. In background: Assistant Director Jared Hagen, sound guy Gabriel Culkin, DP for the day Jacob Rosen. (Photo by Matt Ralston)

Special shout out to our interns from Seattle Central Community College -- Todd Michael Johnson, Myles Basterrechea, Evan Elwell, and Gabriel Culkin. They are interns in name only. They've gripped, they've gaffed, they've recorded sound, and they've been assistant camera (they run the iPad slate!). 

Watching playback. Foreground: Jared Hagen and Matt Ralston. Background: Director of Photography Christian Hansen, David Nail, Jesse Keeter, Todd Michael Johnson, Evan Elwell, Jeremy Bell, Myles Basterrechea, and 2nd AD Nate Souza. (photo by Adam Smith)

Another shout out to an intern who is not really an intern, this time to the amazing Sam Shideler from the Art Institute of Seattle. Sam has already saved our asses a number of times with his problem solving skills. Sam has his own web series, The Dirty Do Gooders. You should all watch it here:

And finally a huge thank you to Brian Sutherland, Alison Monda, Bjorn Whitney, Megan Lacki, David Nail, Tessa Archer, Jordin Buttenob, and Jesse Lee Keeter for being such an amazing cast. It's been said that directing is ninety percent casting and I'd be hard pressed to argue that. Lesson to all of you who plan on making your own movie, web series, whatever -- take the time to get the cast you want. You'll thank yourself later. And if you luck out the way we have and have a cast that is also a joy to be around, so much the better.

Matt Ralston, Bjorn Whitney, Brian Sutherland, Tessa Archer, and Megan Lacki. (Photo by Adam Smith)

So far, so good. Can't wait to see how all of this turns out so we can share the gore with all of you. 

Special thank you to Adam Smith for being our set photographer for a couple of days (and more to come). Check out Adam's work here:

And now, a few stills from the movie. These are straight from the camera, compressed h.264, no color correction applied. They are, for now, just a tease...

Brian Sutherland and Bjorn Whitney in Reunion. 

Jesse Keeter in Reunion.

Tessa Archer, Alison Monda, Megan Lacki, and David Nail in Reunion.

Tessa Archer and Brian Sutherland in Reunion.

Brian Sutherland and Alison Monda in Reunion.

That's all for now.

Be seeing you...


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