Brightsword Productions: Making Cinematic History
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you...
Brightsword Productions: Making Cinematic History
Greetings to one and all that find their way here! This last year has flown by, and so the time has come to update our progress report. The turn of the year saw the team assemble to improv an adventure set on an island that could be called the Fantasy universe's Australia.
It was an amazing time, and the story was solid enough to form the skeleton of a feature screenplay. That took a few months, but has since been completed, thanks to the input of our many faithful reviewers.
As stated in the previous update, our team placed 8th internationally in the 2015 Lightsaber Choreography Competition.
On top of the experience it provided, it allowed us to meet new people, including the fantastic team at Rogue Zohu Productions.
"Othersight" was finally released for digital download on Gumroad. New members joined the team, and we launched into another round of training, but this time with a very different final test to prove their skill. A tournament!
In the early days, before Brightsword Productions made its debut in the world of cinema, several of the founding members cut our teeth in full-contact Medieval combat. Several team members decided it would be a good tradition to revive. Thus, our newest generation experienced the world of skirmish and massed combat, something that will serve them well in future.
2016 also marked the 10th Anniversary of Brightsword Productions, as our first sci-fi short was filmed in June 2006. This was the cast for the first block of shooting on Day 1, the 6th of June, just outside of Brownsville, OR. (Famous for being the shooting location of Stand By Me.)
So much has happened in those ten years...
Which, in a roundabout way, brings us to the present. This was written on November 1st, less than 24 hours after Brightsword Productions did its first public appearance in downtown Lebanon, during the annual trick or treating event.
The family of long-time teammates bought the local bookstore, and invited us to do something unique in the history of the event: a live action scene, played out for the passing children and their parents. The reaction was overwhelmingly positive. Even when the candy was gone, the people still came, just to walk through this tavern in Fantasy Australia...
So, here we are. As a year draws to its close, we look back in remembrance, and forward, in great expectation to the days and years ahead. To the friends who have been with us all the way, thank you. To those who are just joining us, welcome. Here's to many more years to come.
While the competition entry was in post, we shot a promo short, taking place in our sci-fi universe. Currently unnamed, the promo will give a glimpse at some of the conflict and core themes behind the saga of the residents of this war torn world.
In all of this we have also rediscovered some of the core principles of filmmaking, some of the things that I had long forgotten, the reasons why I chose film to begin with. One of the greatest being to share new worlds with all of you. My hope is that we will be able to do this universe justice and share it with you all very soon.
It has been freely described as "45 pages of people who are very bad at their job narrowly dodging death on a regular basis as they try to ferret out clues and complete their mission," so I think it will come as little surprise to hear that this is an action-comedy.
This is also the first time we have shot a project in true HD, and features the first major use of green screen compositing since our very first short back in 2006. My, how things have changed...
The edit has already begun, and we look forward to sharing the epic craziness with you all. Until next time!
Hello again to the sadly neglected viewers of this web site. Post-production proves thrilling as always, but unfortunately we never filled you in on finishing the shoot. Well... that's because we're not done yet. Even as the snow falls outside, and the first three episodes are almost ready for David's loving care, we make plans for the shoots that will finalize our work. So now let's bring you up to speed.
Our updates on this site abruptly ceased right at The Week Which Shall Not Be Repeated. Camera troubles, migraines, and other such nonsense temporarily hobbled production right before the mad dash through our two busiest shoot weeks. Still, we managed to blast through a large chunk of the required footage, despite our unreliable technology.
The horribly delayed, yet vital, camp scenes were finally filmed. The two "brothers" finally met for the first time, and we all discovered how fire takes a scene to a whole new level.
At the turn of the month, we shot the village and horseback sequences, allowing us to set two records in close proximity: Largest Shoot, and Most Ways to Make People Who Can't Ride Look Good.
If that last picture is any indication, I think we succeeded.
After that school started and we filmed a smattering of vital scenes, such as the season climax, a family reunion, and a showdown between two main characters.
Which brings us up to the present, and post-production. Below is a screen-grab from After Effects, where, on top of effects work and color correction, we have also subtitled the elven speech.
Well, now that we're all caught up here, I'm off to update the profiles page. Until next time!
Well, here we are, the dividing line, the last big push before the end of the summer. There are two big things that we must resolve in the next few days here before we can shoot next week, and they are our biggest logistical challenges. First off, we have the elven camp, which must meet several criteria, not the least of which being clear, yet surrounded by trees, and quiet. The other hurdle is horses. We will need a minimum of five horses for a few scenes, and we currently have three available. Wide open fields (without fences or structures) are also on the "in search of" list. Anyway, on to the updates. We shot several key scenes this week, not the least of which being Mike and Gwyn meeting Iallafan...
...and the beginning of the mysterious "ring" plot arc. The answers will not be what you think...
On top of that, we did montage work. Lots of montage work...
That said, some of the locations were quite impressive. Shooting in a state park during the summer, as we did for the waterfall sequence, means an audience. The bridge this picture was taken from had a long line of curious bystanders with cameras. Well, that's about it for this week. Until next time!
This week we filled in the blanks between large blocks of filming, capturing key scenes that would go into episode 1, and dialog heavy moments that link action-heavy sections. Well, I say action, but that also includes a lot of *SURPRISE!* walking. A LOT of walking. Anyway, we shot scene 7b and 8, with Trevor Owen as Cylavar. Regrettably our regular sound person was acting a lot this week, which meant second camera and BTS photographer was on sound, thus we have relatively few pictures. Still, enjoy!
Next up, lots of talking in a tent, followed by an emotional scene.
Lastly, the post-Solensgate recoup scene, featuring Silas Hart as the half-gnomic smuggler Gref.
Well, we're off to a shoot now. Until next time!
Okay, I wasn't aware of how belated these updates had become. Filming has kicked into high gear, which means updates become more and more difficult, but I shall attempt to summarize. In the last three weeks we have shot a great fight scene featuring four races (technically two of them are our heroes, but still...)
We visited Solensgate for a huge block of scenes, in which I got to try my hand at acting, while Zoe and Constance showed their stuff in dramatic exchange.
An altercation with bandits, (which was in turn interrupted by hornets,) and a mysterious dark figure capped off the events.
All in all a steadily productive time. Until next time!
I almost titled the last blog, “Burn!” I had no idea at the time how prophetic that would have been. Several days of shooting in the oven-like conditions of the quarry roasted Zoe quite severely. Ironically, the pale elf was relatively unscathed.
After many, many hours in that one location, we fled to the cool of the forest. Complications in scheduling once again prevented us from shooting a couple of pivotal episode 1 and 2 scenes, but we made up for it by filming large sections of a half-dozen other scenes. All in all a fair trade.
A special thanks to Ciera and the O’leile family for the horse, and the Staley/Darling family farm for the use of their forest.
That’s about it for this week. Until next time!
So, there's not much to report this time around, since some of our actors were occupied over the weekend. After still more of the series staple, walking...
We shot the first half of the dragon scene under stormy skies, somewhat unusual for late June, but then this IS Oregon. However, I think the dramatic effect speaks for itself...
The frames for the village huts were also put up, (once again, in the rain,) and a few other costuming bits and pieces were completed, not the least of which being Cylavar's cloak and prosthetic molds.
By the time you read this, we will probably be heading out to the quarry to finish the second half of the dragon scene. Until next time!