Mulan reference aside, this was our first week of shooting, well two days in, anyway, and it's been quite the ride. More logistics to be juggled than any of the previous projects, what with more extras/stunt guys, makeup and prosthetics, costumes and weapons, and the general entertainment of transporting people into the backwoods. That and my team seems to be accident prone almost to the point of comedy, with everything from breaking a spear before the shoot even starts, to someone else walking into the tip of said spear pre-break. Oh, and someone stabbing himself in the hand with a knife while it's in someone else's belt... Fortunately they suffered no serious injuries. That might all sound really bad, especially in a low budget production where there's not much wiggle room, but actually everything turned out really well. We have 3 scenes from season 1 in the can, plus two half scenes. (We also shot one from the season 3 script, a flashback, so a teaser for later, perhaps?)
Scenes 2 and 3a were shot Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, respectively. Below you can see Kate and Erin running into the fog that separates the worlds...
The fog was generated by our poor man's smoke machine, which works remarkably well, with the exception of the smell... Below are pictures from the shoot for scene 49a. Ah... family portraits...
Well, that's about it for now. We'll keep you updated as the shoot progresses. Until next time!
You heard that right, folks! In a little over four days, we will begin principal photography on Gatewalkers: Season 1. As we hurtle toward the deadline, many threads are coming together at the last minute. We are going into talks for the roles of Cylavar and Aurbren, the elven lords. Costume pieces are stacking up around me at this very minute. My middle sister sits beside me, sewing the sheath for Gwynmareth's knife. Armor has received some final touches, and new locations have been discovered. We ran our first reading/practice with Rebecca this week, and she did very, very well. Though now several scenes have acquired new reasons for the actors to burst out laughing on set for no apparent reason. (*cough* jogging scene *cough*)
To be honest, this is chaos. I am a habitually methodical and prepared guy. I have the "if you're not early, you're late" mindset. Yet here I am, mere days away from filming, without all of my actors, or a schedule for the shoot. Oddly enough, I don't feel panicked yet. Sure, I feel the overwhelming pressure that sometimes makes it hard to think, I see all of the projects that have yet to be done, the people we have yet to find, the money we don't have, but I'm not worried. For those who've known me for a long time, especially those who talked with me when Annie's involvement in this project was in limbo, they could tell you that this is not normal for me. I have been, in my life, a natural born fretter. I tend to think too much, and so worry a lot. But not this time. This time I feel at peace.
This last week I was reviewing a track for Othersight that my composer had sent me, and it just so happened to overlap a certain conversation, where Anna says, "Sure it's impossible... but don't you feel, deep down in the core of your being, that this is what you were meant for?" That's where I am right now. This whole thing looks so daunting, and no sane person would attempt it, but this is what I've been called to do, this is my mission, so it will be done.
Thanks for reading. Next week, our first update from the set!
Another week, another cascade of business. For example, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons all had stunt meetings, ramping up to the big one on Sunday, with 17 people present. Rebecca also came in to learn the Medieval Combat 101, and did quite well in the four hour session.
There's been a definite focus on leather-working, with helmets and boots taking most of the time.(The next picture, however, is neither.)
We've also been working on the feel of Savara's costume, since the chainmail finally arrived.
That's the armor, anyway. The under tunic will be different. New contacts are being made, so things might really take off in the next week and a half. Last, but most certainly not least, we have finally cast Gref! We are proud to welcome Silas Hart as the newest member of our cast. (Pictures to come later.) Well, that's it for our somewhat brief update. Until next time!
After two weeks of long hours on the road, and many test readings, it is with great joy that I make the following announcement. We have finally found a new actress to play Erin! Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce Rebecca Reardon!
Yesterday we did a reading opposite Zoe to establish whether the two "best friends" had the right connection, and this comes from that reading. A more conventional profile picture is coming. Welcome aboard, Becca! In other news, a new batch of shipments arrived, bringing with it two swords, one for Savara, and another... with history. (When will it be revealed? Only time will tell.)
Costuming has resumed, and our armorers have made significant progress, though that will be fodder for next week's update, as there are no pictures yet. Until then!
Hello again everyone. There was no blog post last week because, frankly, I was still in shock. After several weeks of persistent bad news, this week (on a Wednesday to Wednesday basis,) had actually started fairly well. We had a practice session that was really quite good, arrows were getting fletched, etc.
Abruptly, on Friday, I get an ominously vague message. To make a long story short, by Tuesday, Annie had officially backed out of the project. Her life had taken some unexpected turns for the better, but that required her to make some tough decisions. One of those was deciding between the series and her future career. It took several days to decide, and a full five minutes for her to finally say it. It was obvious that she really hated to do it, she loved the project and the people. The connection she and Zoe had was, in Zoe's own words, "magic." It has been a joy to work with her over the past year. She will be missed.
Now we are four weeks away from the shoot, without one of our leads. The team has pulled together, using our contacts to find someone to fill the role. That's been the number one assignment for this week, stacked on top of the general work of the production. We've already tried out a couple, with a few more in the near future. We also have a party interested in the role of Gref, so I'm happy about that. So, to recap, in the next four weeks we must find and train a new Erin to the standard we'd developed in the rest of the team over the last 9 months, (along with a couple other major characters.) Some people would throw in the towel at this point, but we've already established that I'm crazy, so... moving on. :-)
Sunday we developed the first half of the camp raid fight, a far more technically challenging mass skirmish than anything we've done thus far.
It's moments like these where I appreciate the steady hands and minds of my veterans all the more. Well, time to cue up "I'll Make A Man Out Of You," strap on my faithful sword, and once more into the breach. I'm off to war. See you next week.
So... what happened this week? A better question would be, what didn't? For the sake of time and brevity I shall only touch on the highlights. We finally have Gwynmareth's ears cast correctly, and Paris got to try them on. To say she was massively pleased would be an equally large understatement.
We also experimented with goblin prosthetics and makeup. While this is by no means the final version, I think it'll give you a good idea where we're going.
On Thursday we ran through a few scenes at a hastily assembled practice session. It was a beautiful and quite warm day, allowing us to work on the scenes out under the trees. However, the wind made holding the scripts open a bit... problematic.
Sunday we brought our actors (sans one) out to work on the first fight scene in the series. The performances got to be quite good, as evidenced when Zoe's (Kate) performance convinced me that she'd actually been hurt!
It's good to see the training paying off. We all look forward to showing you the end product. Well, there's the highlights for the week. Until next time!
After weeks and months of basic training, the stunt team is finally moving into the place where the rubber meets the road, the final payoff for all their work. This week we began choreographing the fight scenes in earnest. Our actors are only available on certain training days, so when they're not there the stunt guys step in and fill the roles themselves. This week the team developed the first fight scene in the series, a goblin ambush.
Monday Elijah came for training and we developed the framework of his one on one duel scenes.
All but one of the current batch of shipments have arrived, and we will be running makeup and prosthetic tests this week, along with arranging tent designs. There have been some hiccups in costuming, but we press ever on.
That's about it for now. Until next time!
Well, the biggest news this week has to be our location scout. We received permission to walk the property of one of our neighbors, looking for good places to shoot this summer. This one field definitely stood out, because every angle presented a new location, including some suited for down and dirty medieval conflict. Plus this oak makes for a striking backdrop.
Sunday the stunt team worked on marching and maneuvering as a unit. I'm very grateful for my veteran team members who ran most of the drill themselves.
Monday, Elijah (aka. "Mike") came in for some one-on-one training. Mostly we worked on precision drills with the spear. Next week we'll move into specific fight choreography.
Materials orders are slowly trickling in, the office is beginning to fill up, and we're all a flurry of activity as things kick into high gear. That's about all this week. Until next time!
This week has been generally full of good news. In spite of the fact that there have been no cast practices, we had a rousing stunt training session that focused on the knife and short sword.
Bows also arrived this week. They are of a simple, rustic design, with a Flemish twist string. I am quite happy with their look, and I think they'll compliment our actors and extras well.
Also, after months of grappling with it, we finally were able to successfully cast the ear tips for Anelryn. Now that we have them, we're moving on to Gwynmareth.
The ears, before coloring and blending.
All in all a good week.
Thanks for reading! Until next time.
This week was one of changes and new experiences, both small and great. With a new quarter upon us, the practice schedules are undergoing a major realignment. We met for a brief practice session on Monday. As you can see, the meeting location was a bit unusual. Great acoustics though.
The focus of this practice, after an initial sad scene, was on the interaction between Gwynmareth and the mute Mike. Wordless communication can be fun to direct, and we made some expansions to the script based on the oddities in resolving that form of communication. Since I was occupied again this Sunday, my stunt guys worked with some new people, teaching them what they had learned. I look forward to seeing how successful they were. Also, our resident metalworker has completed another axe and a new knife design.
Our custom cutlery collection continues to accrue on a circuitous, yet cumulative, course. (Sorry, after "custom cutlery collection," I just couldn't resist.) In other news, an avenue to more locations has opened up, courtesy of newly introduced neighbors. It turns out that we have many of the same friends, and at least three of them were in our promotional short. Their grandfather also owns a field that I've had my eye on (as a location) ever since we moved into the area. The phrase "providential" is not used very often these days, but it seems fitting in this case, as the odds of that connection goes well beyond "crazy random happenstance." Have a great week, y'all!
Until next time.