Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 26, 2012.

Update #9

Oscars 2013 for Dummies

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by Pat Longstreth

Hello again movie lovers! The Hellyfish team has been chiseling away all winter on the post-production of Hellyfish, and I must admit that this monster is a tough one to REEL in. When tackling any large problem, it’s important to take a break, have a little fun, and learn about what else is happening in the world. So here goes.

Following Sunday night’s spectacle of the Academy, some of you may be asking yourself “What just happened?”. Well, following the Mayan calendar reset, the evolution of our entertainment pop culture has shown the mighty Ben Afleck to be the current leader of the left coast bearded wonderboys. However, the Family Guy guy was offensive and he left many questions unanswered. You may be asking yourself, “why didn’t Les Miserables get more attention with all it’s vibrato and sweeping camera moves?” or “Life of Pi was so much prettier than Argo, why didn’t that one win?” or “why does Leo Decaprio get to say the ‘n-word’ so many times?” As a person who lives in Los Angeles and spends too much time watching movies, allow me to explain.

You see, Hollywood is a social darwinist jungle where back slapping narcissists claw for attention and money like lobsters in a bucket, while the real million dollar decisions are made over lattes and fancy pizza. Directors and producers cling to their money and power for good reason (seriously, do you know how hard it is to find a staff job with benefits in this town?). Yet, amid all the political strife and 24/7 disaster broadcasting in the real world, Michelle Obama said it best, “these 9 movies taught us that love can endure against all odds.”

The triumph of Zero Dark Thirty proves that Kathryn Bigelow’s divorce from James Cameron was possibly her best career move. The portrayal of mankind’s greatest manhunt teaches us to respect the power of the mama grizzly, who, in the pursuit of protecting her own, is also capable of extreme destruction.

Beasts of the Southern Wild is also a movie. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Every human is simply another piece of flesh in this shifting world of insurmountable odds. We are just small pieces of “a big big universe.” As change descends upon us, we must come together as a family, even if that entails cremating the remains of our great forefathers and foremothers.

Silver Linings Playbook showed a glimpse at what is really going on with struggling 25 to 35 year olds today. But most potential grandparents are too busy tripping on their own cough medicine to notice that prescription drugs are not the answer. Our problems are not what they used to be. We don’t have time to feel sorry for alcoholic airline pilots or heart-broken old french couples. Bright young adults are the ones most in need of love and encouragement from their elders. A gentle nudge in the right direction can bring the family back together in ways we haven’t imagined. A little love goes a long way.

One thing is for sure, the American dream is no piece of Pi, and Lincoln’s dream has already come to pass. Also, the sky is not falling. In fact, Skyfall made a billion dollars.

Lastly, Django Unchained showed that the spirit of Mark Twain lives on in the sick sick mind of Quentin Tarantino. In the words of his acceptance speech, “2013 will be the writer’s year” and that is one prediction that fills me with hope.

On the topic of Visual Effects

There appears to be a ground-gurgle in what some are calling the “greenscreen revolution”. Many workers with families have honed their crafts and technical skills to gain a foothold in show business. By and large, many of these people deserve better pay, although there are some talented ones doing very well for themselves financially. Unfortunately, many studios and VFX companies have mismanaged their resources and made hasty business deals. Some of these entities will disintegrate. Jobs and health benefits will be lost. A VFX union similar to the Animation guild would be nice for some workers, but there is little energy from the leaders of the industry to support such an effort. Ultimately, America and the international markets will continue to demand entertainment and advertising. The show will go on, and the creative entrepreneurs of the bunch should not see this as a time for protest, but an opportunity to start their own shops on their own terms. It ain’t easy being green.


Update #8

Summer Update from Hellyfish

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Hello again Beach Bums,

Take a break from the summer blockbuster heat with the NEW Hellyfish trailer. WATCH IT NOW! and tell your friends!

The local creative community has proven once again to be very supportive of new artists. We are proud to be featured in Savannah Magazine's "Life on the Water" issue. Our favorite quote from the article: "the biggest danger of the film may have been the over-consumption of cheesy puffs". Read up and learn more behind-the-scenes Hellyfish trivia http://savannahmagazine.com/2012/07/01/creature-feature/

While the rest of you are out there enjoying the sun and treating jellyfish stings, we're diligently chipping away at our film one shot at a time. The exciting process looks something like this:

To help us get through this challenge, we’ve found inspiration in this year’s latest beach horror flicks like Jersey Shore Shark Attack. It was incredible to see how the writers were able to seamlessly amalgamate the plot lines of Jaws and MTV’s Jersey Shore into a single cohesive masterpiece. Any apprehensions over combining cinema classics with their trashy reality show counter parts have certainly been laid to rest. We can only hope that the popularity of this guido picture show will spawn similar classics (Real Stepford Housewives?… The Hills – Have Eyes?).

Also, “good” omens continue to follow the Hellyfish team. Just of the coast of my balcony in Marina Del Rey danger is lurking. An 800-lb shark was caught on July 5th. If only they’d have caught it on July 3rd, my view of the fireworks would have been as clear as a January morning.

We hope our fans are enjoying their t-shirts and stickers. Stay tuned for more blog updates and behind the scenes goodies!

Arrivederci!
Pat


Update #7

Hellyfish Heads West

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by Pat Longstreth

Before getting into the many updates and announcements, I wanted to assure our Kickstarter investors that the t-shirts and stickers are in the mail!

Erik Loften did an incredible job on the logo design. Rachel Raab and The Soda Shop cranked out the finished goods in less than a week! I would highly recommend her shop for all print and design work.

Let’s see… what else?… oh yeah!…


WE’RE DONE FILMING!!!

That’s right. We… are… wrapped.
Everything that was in the original script?… done.
Cameo kill scenes for our $500 investors?… done.
Extra inserts, b-roll and visual effects assets?… done!

In the past two months we busted our butts to gather footage on the beach, in the ocean, in green screen studios and in an underwater dive tank. Bob Jones, our director of photography, did an outstanding job and we were lucky to have him for the duration of production. We were also lucky to have Mehmet Caglayan as our underwater camera operator and Luke Mahon camera operating on several days. And we could not have done so much without the generous support of Nick Gant and Meddin Studios, who have been the friend of many independent film makers in Savannah. We were blessed to have the help of Savannah’s finest cast and crew, who are among the most talented people I’ve ever worked with. The list of people we need to thank is very very long, and they will all be given their due credit with the release of the final film.

So, now what? Well, there’s editing, sound design, and visual effects (lots of visual effects). The film will be longer than we had originally planned, but it will still be under the 15-minute limit for most short film submissions. We’re taking our time and doing everything we can to make it perfect. Our goal is to have it ready for submission to the SXSW Film Festival Deadline on October 4th, 2012. The film, if it were accepted, would not be shown until March 2013.

Two weeks ago I drove across country to live in Los Angeles where I now pay $13 for a tuna sandwich at lunch. Our editor, Brandon Neslund, and our sound designer, Kevin Lee, will also be out here this summer helping me finish the film. Rob will be assisting remotely from Savannah when he’s not sky diving or kayaking.

IN THE MEDIA

Aside from filming, we’ve also been busy pitching the film to potential investors, and we’ve already found success with the FastPitch Competition 2012.It was a blast watching 3-minute pitches for a wide variety of business ideas that included an exterminator, a Savannah-based food TV show, and a local news aggregator website. We won the student category and a $250 cash prize presented by the Joiner Anderson Funeral Home and Crematory (oh the irony).  They even quoted me in the Savannah Morning News!

Keep an eye out for our feature in the upcoming “Life on the Water” issue of Savannah Magazine (July/August). We regaled them with many  lascivious behind the scenes stories, so we’ll see what they find fit to print. Check your news stands this summer!

When I migrated West it turns out I wasn’t alone! ABC News reported that jellyfish are on the rise and causing trouble in some interesting places.

And this last one is just downright freaky! CBS News reported a large bag-like creature in the UK with strange appendages and the ability to turn itself inside out.

NASTY!


Update #6

Springtime for Hellyfish

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Hello again Hellyfish enthusiasts,

It may seem like the Hellyfish hullabaloo has died down a little, but since the success of our Kickstarter we’ve actually been so busy we haven’t had time to blog. Here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve been up to:

STUDIO A GREEN SCREEN SHOOT COMPLETE!

Our movies opens with the introduction of two unlikely heroes : Habib (Moh Sinbawy) and Natasha (Agnes Asplund)

In 1.5 days we collected over 20 amazing shots for the opening scene, including 5 very difficult dolly shots (special thanks to the dolly crew. Sorry we’re so demanding. You guys nailed it!). It was very challenging, but also very rewarding shoot. The cast and crew did an outstanding job as usual. See all the PHOTOS HERE.

 
 
PLANNING FOR THE NEXT BEACH SHOOT (Wednesday, March 14th)

Yes, that is what you think it is – an HD Go-Pro camera about to be strapped to a remote control helicopter. We’re still working out a few kinks in the protype, but we’re hopeful that we’ll be ready to get some big flyover shots of the pier in two weeks (weather permiting). Come on out to the beach next Wednesday (3/14) at noon if you can (it’s the first day of SCAD spring break!). Watch the Helli-copter virgin flight, drink a few complimentary beers, and be an extra in the movie.

 

 
HELLYFISH ACCEPTED TO “FAST PITCH 2012″

FastPitch 2012 is designed to identify promising local entrepreneurs, coach them, and then grant them access to community resources in an effort to help them start new ventures and grow existing ones.”

We are honored to be accepted and we are very excited to pitch Hellyfish to venture capitalists in the Savannah area. First prize is $1,250, but more important is the opportunity to show our plan to potential investors. We believe that the Hellyfish brand, including a locally-produced feature film, video game, and merchandising is a business that could bring growth and cash flow to the Savannah film community. Let’s hope the FastPitch people think so too! You can watch our pitch on March 29th at the Georgia Costal Center.

 

 
UNDERWATER SHOOT PLANNED FOR MARCH 30th

What beach monster movie would be complete without a few underwater shots? Thankfully, with the help of our Kickstarter donations, we’ve been able to reserve a day at the dive locker with the extremely talented underwater camera operator Mehmet Caglayan. We’ll be getting a variety of shots that will look much more professional than the underwater handycam stuff we had in the Kickstarter video.

 

 
A FEW OTHER TRICKS UP OUR CLAWS

Several of our donors have ponied up the $500 for their own kill scene. We’re brainstorming. We want to hear your best ideas for kill shots!!! Please leave it in a comment below…


Update #5

WE DID IT!

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Cue the balloons Jimmy!... WE DID IT!

We can't tell you how excited we are to get Hellyfish over the hump and into the final stages of monster mayhem. Your very generous donations will help us get many shots that will majorly increase the production value of the film. We're already making plans for professional underwater footage, remote control helicopter cameras, and more!

In return for your donations, we pledge to keep you updated on our progress through photos, blog posts, and behind-the-scenes videos. The more tangible rewards that we've promised you are also very important to us. Realistically it will take at least another month before all of you get your stickers and t-shirts, but we'll do our best. DVDs will have to wait until the movie is finalized (June 2012 we're hoping).

Keep checking the website. We'll be in touch.

See you in Hellyfish.com!

Cheers,

Pat, Rob & the Hellyfish Team


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