Sunday, March 21, 2010

Week 12 Post Production

Pic #1 Filming in the desert is fun.
Pic #2 Rocks are cool.
Pic #4 Our motley U.S. crew.
Pic #5 Our cowboy DOP relaxing outside the church from KILL BILL.  

Hello Friends,

We FINALLY wrapped the principle photography of Summer Coda! And what a place to do it. Weather was perfect, locations spectacular, performances... well 2 out of 3 ain't bad! ; )

We put together a cracking local crew and headed out into the desert. Great to make new friends, and awesome to film in a country where we'd like to do A LOT more. Big shout out to TJ and our U.S. production arm at Dilated Pixels.

The coolest thing about shooting here is that everyone, and I mean everyone, knows a little something about film. You could be 3 hours out of the city in the middle of the desert and the person selling you a burrito will have acted in a movie way back, or her cousin is a producer, or she'll ask questions like "what are you shooting on?". You just don't get that in Oz, and I adore it! Surrounded by peeps that actually have an understanding of what we do for a living (or attempt to earn a living from anyway!). LOVE IT.

So now we just need to get this gold footage back to Gaz in the edit suite. Then we can finally insert our U.S. scenes and make the final few calls before picture lock. Hmmmm, PICTURE LOCK, there's two scary words. No turning back after that... We'd best get it right!

We've become increasingly confident with the edit, but it's always hard to know what an audience will respond to -- particularly in Australia. So the best we can do is concentrate on story and performance, and then market the hell out of this baby!

Can't wait to show y'all!

Now onto more important things... DISNEYLAND! and then tickets to a ROLLER DERBY! (OMG).

Ricky xo

Pic #7 That's a wrap! Greg (DOP), Virginia (Prod Manager), Ricky (Slacker), Johnny (Producer)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Week 10 post production...

Hello friends,

Well, it turns out I'm not as powerful as I remember from my primary school days. Apparently posting pics of Rachael Taylor in a bath to coincide with the storyboards I posted last week is NOT a good publicity idea. I've been told this is for 3 reasons:

1. Not one pic of Rachael from Summer Coda has been released yet. These are the "hot items" of our long lead marketing campaign (snore).
2. Rachael in the bath MAY attract the wrong kind of dudes (ah, if they pay for a ticket they ain't wrong to Ricky).
3. No one reads my blog (hmmm, can't argue there).

So instead, here's something EVEN BETTER:

I think the little rubber duckies really cap it off nicely.

Believe it or not, the marketing of Summer Coda is something we take super seriously. We only get one crack at it. We had a super duper Unit Publicist in Tanja Nedel and now we have the all-conquering Chris Chamberlin (fresh from Samson & Delilah) taking on our release publicity. So crucial we get it right and the hero shots of Rachael and Alex Dimitriades are kinda like our ace-in-the-hole. People wanna see what they look like in the movie, they wanna see what chemistry is going on and we think we have something very special here.

Ricky enjoyed the Oscars this week, however I will say that if they really needed to politicise and drum up a David vs Goliath battle, they should have pitted Avatarded (thx Miss Lomas - LOVE that word) vs Up In The Air. I adored Up In The Air and believe it was kinda left behind when all that Hurt propaganda started building. For me, its story and screenplay was on a much higher level. Kinda reminded of when Crash won the oscar. But i know a lot of people loved that too, so i should just pipe down.

Anyway, the set looked fab and I'm a tragic Baldwin and Martin fan, so was still much fun and laughs to be had. Like the dancing -- that gets me every time!

Had awesome news this week: Looking very much like a Summer Coda soundtrack will be released! ACE, because we've been we've been working with Mushroom Records on the music in the film for a very long time and we reckon we've got some killer tracks! Love a good movie soundtrack and don't get many Aussie entries, so fingers crossed.

Heading to the U.S. on SUNDAY! WOOT!  Finally filming the closing scenes of the picture with Alex Dimitriades. I can highly recommend the months of pain and bags of cash it takes to get someone a work Visa. Thank God that's over!

...Did I mention I'm going to Disneyland? Expect photos. Expect MANY photos. Might even try to get Mickey in a bath with me for a pic. ...Vomit.

Lots of love,

Ricky : )

PS. Summer Coda twitters here. Ricky twitters here. Facebook is here.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Week 9 post production...

Hello friends,

Thought it might be cool to show some Summer Coda storyboards and then follow up next week with the actual shots from the film.

I'm a massive fan of pre-visualization. I don't dig just rocking up on the day and "feeling out" a scene. That's kinda lazy. When you storyboard you force yourself into closely examining what might work best for a scene. You can always improve those images on the day -- and often do, but you'll never walk away with a scene that wasn't AT LEAST as well composed as you'd originally imagined. It's a director and DP's homework, but man does it feel good to nail. 

I hear a lot of talk about letting the scene play out in front of you and then designing camera moves to suit, which is fine, but only to a point. Even that handheld / doco-feel (when it's done well) doesn't just evolve naturally. Intricate planning is required to pull off the photography of films like The Insider, Amores Perros, City of God, Eternal Sunshine, Constant Gardener, Children of Men. They are some of my absolute fav films . 

I think that's were most crappy handheld films go wrong -- thinking that you can just use handheld to create immediacy and forget about the planning -- cover things "organically". It's BS and annoys Ricky when he's watching shaky, funky-junky cam in the cinema, getting nauseas for no good reason.

Anyhoo, Ricky ain't here to preach and certainly doesn't have the runs to teach. Was just wanting to make the point that it doesn't cost anything to plan. You don't need a big budget to visualise every frame, and after the YEARS it's taken to get your baby up, it's not like you haven't had the time! You'd might as well create with craft. 

For me, it was growing up with Scorsese, Coen Bros, PTA and Wes Anderson flicks that really highlighted the importance of choice and composition.  Flicking through their DVDs frame by frame is all the film schooling you'll ever need. 

Here's a fav quote:  "...the language of film is our own interpretation of reality. You have to select what is important from the jumble of images we see in our everyday lives. You can speak without using words by the decisions you make about movement and composition."    THAT'S GOLD.

Being in the edit suite day after day is really hammering that message home. Many lines of dialogue that were necessary at script stage (to tell our story) become obsolete when we nail our visuals.  The cinema audience is REAL SMART too, don't need nearly as much exposition as we'd planned. If you can see it, really see it, you don't need to say it. Okay, that quote above might be a little flowery for some, but flowers are given to people for a reason. They're beautiful. 

Now isn't that pretty, more soon.

Ricky : )

P.S. Follow Ricky on TWITTER