FEW THINGS ABOUT ME
age thirteen I made my first movie, a short cartoon. And I got a kick
out of it! At age nineteen I wrote my first feature script. And
shoved it into the drawer. At age twenty one I wrote twelve short
scripts, and shoved them into the drawer. At age thirty one I wrote
a script and found the agent. He shoved it into the drawer. At age
forty three I wrote the script and sent it to Hollywood. You guessed
it, they shoved it into the drawer. Well, that really ticked me off.
So, I wrote another script and made a movie. Finally!
orientation: hardened optimist
so much for formalities, now back to the movie.
Where is Hank?
Officer Jack pulls into abandoned property. He walks straight towards the dead body concealed by the dense vegetation. Not noticing it, he turns back and leaves.
Karen is uneasy. She's been looking for her landlord Hank, and instead she had found her ex-boyfriend from Chicago, whom she broke up with two years ago. Weird enough, they bumped into each other at the abandoned property. Two teenagers, Aaron and Kyle are also fond of the place. Torn up and abandoned, it's the perfect sanctuary, a spiritual hangout that will shake them to the bone. But for now their thrill is only to get stoned.
Something is not right there. A lot of people would stop by, but not for long. Suddenly they would get restless and leave. There is something forbidding and eerie about it. The rumor has it, it's the place where Hank's twin brother Earl has lost his marbles.
THIS MOVIE CAME TO BE
of 2007 I moved to Tucson. Both studios I worked for went bankrupt
within a month. Guess it was a sign. I picked a rental on the edge of
town. Film making was now only a distant past. In Chicago I worked on
Indy projects, knew people and could call in favors. And in Tucson?
Oh well, you win some and then lose even more. Or so I thought.
luck would have it, I lived right by the abandoned property. It was a
trashed out shack with a lot of stuff baking in the sun. And it
looked weird. Like people had just left, leaving everything behind -
some ten years ago. Then it dawned on me. It's a perfect setup for a
story! A murder mystery!
dead body found at the abandoned property! It's an exterior - there
was no need for lighting or extra grips! Beautiful!
finished the story in a week and the script a month later. Needless to
say, it had to be a comedy. Great! I can make the movie now!
not so fast Bubba! I was new to Tucson. How am I gonna find the good
talent and the crew? At this point, I have to share a peculiar thing
with you. Every time I hit a wall with a project, and in desperation,
utter words like “How on Earth am I gonna do that?”, things would
just happen. No joke, every time.
a few days later, I unloaded my grief to Kevin (Patrick), the guy I
knew from the water store. “You know, I had been in a couple of low
budget productions here in Tucson” he said. So we started talking.
And I learned not only did he work in front of the camera but also
knew the nuts and bolts of a rolling production. It was a Godsend!
one stroke, I got the co-producer, casting director and the police
officer character. Kevin did one casting call and all the characters
planned to use my old SD cam, but now, it just won’t cut it. The
talent was too good to be wasted by a low quality image. So my piggy
bank succumbed to the unfortunate encounter with the hammer, and the
rest I borrowed (thanks Julius) and bought a new HD camera and a few
other things to make the shoot easier.
the production company was named Flat Broke Pictures.
and twenty seven days later, the movie was in the can. I have to
thank the crew and the cast - they were exceptional. There is a
silver lining in this project. Every time we would finish a scene or
two, the results were way beyond expectation.
in point #1; I was hoping for an average cast and ended up with
actors better than seasoned talent. Every one of them.
in point #2; we were praying for a decent audio (the Achilles heal of
countless indie movies) and even the pros commented on how clean the
audio was (thanks Kenny).
in point #3; after reviewing the footage in open color IO (created by
Sony for big budget films) I found that it also has a pristine 35mm
quality, with huge latitude and is ideal for compositing and keying.
And that's a must.
AFTER THE CAN
I started tinkering with post-production during the shoot, but
results were frustrating. Editing, I am at home with, but proper
color correction? On 2K footage? Creating good particle CG? And don't
even get me started on sound design and the score... I tried various
low end solutions, spent another $7K on equipment and after a year,
finally realized that it will not suffice. High end post-production
is a very expensive, tedious and time consuming job when done right.
AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
a nutshell, it was depressing.
then one day, after uttering that quintessential line, “ And how on
Earth am I suppose to do that?” I got a phone call from Tina
(Gabrielle character). So, like any nice guy, I unloaded my grief
onto her and she said “Why don't you try Kickstarter?”
Kickstarter? What is that? I had no idea. I heard about it on NPR
but, I had no clue to what it was. And then I learned about crowd
sourcing and realized it was the best chance I have to finish the
movie the way I want it. Go straight to the audience and tell them -
”Hey, this is the movie I want to make but I'm stuck! I need help!
If you like the idea please pitch in”.
there you have it. It took a while but, I had to break it down. I
need your help. I would like to make this movie as good as possible.
years I worked on other productions, honing my craft, but I could
never call them my own. This movie has evolved in both quality and
scope, way beyond my initial expectations. The way I see it, it has
the potential to be a very good and entertaining motion picture.
FUNDING AND ALL THAT PHASE TALK
far the project has cost a bit over $40K. It needs $95,000.00 to be
completed, $45,000.00 for PHASE I and $50,000.00 for PHASE II.
I will pay for acquisition of additional footage of the airplane
interior (green screen), additional B-roll (approximately another
thirty hours), picture lock and sound design with the score.
the goal is exceeded, the extra funds will be used for PHASE II,
which includes creation of CG elements – airplane models (three –
one small for wide shots, medium and a highly detailed one for
extreme closeups (the original script had only noise and the shadow
of the plane in it). Those CG shots will add a tremendous production
value to the movie), animation (cloud particles and rain sequence),
compositing and color correction.
Alot of shots need rotoscoping to fix up reflections and the depth of
field (bad lens issue). This phase will also tackle title sequence
and animated transitions.
me say a few words about the release schedule. The planned release is
Fall of 2014. Does it really take that long, you might ask?
Unfortunately, it does. Let me explain.
are 65 scenes in the script, some long, some short. The airplane will
add 5 more. Footage wise, each scene was shot from a minimum of three
different angles with four takes per shot in average. We were
shooting two hours of footage per day, give or take. Multiply that
with twenty seven days and you get fifty four hours of footage. That
is without the B-roll, which is another twenty plus hours.
average it takes four days to rough cut the scene. If you multiply that
with sixty five scenes you end up with roughly nine months of editing
only, without the B-roll and the plane shots.
EARLY COMPOSITING TESTS
the visual side, once editing is done there is another beast to
you didn't, please check out COMPOSITING TESTS video clip. You will
notice that each take is repeated twice. First time in the original
form, and the second time with compositing effect.
we couldn't drive the squad, we had to cheat. The car was parked and
Officer Jack was pretending he's driving. To fix that, every bit of
scenery visible through the windows needs to be replaced with the
moving background. And that's the easy part. Now, did you notice
anything odd with Police Officer's glasses? No? Check it out again
and you'll see. Reflections in his glasses are that of a driveway,
not a moving street. All that needs to be cleaned up and replaced as
are plenty of shots needing similar treatment as well. You know how
the movie business works; if there is no budget for it, you cheat and
then fix it in the post - if you can.
you got a taste of what lies ahead on the visual side (not including
the CG elements). I won't go into the score and sound design. That's
another beast in it's own right. In short, it takes a lot of work to
make the movie look and feel right
B_Roll Sampler - footage is not color corrected or cleaned (city lights, cars and people have to be removed). This is just to give you a feel for some of the visuals in the movie
three years I was trying to do it by putting every penny and spare
time into it, but it was a constant catching up game. I would get a
top of the line computer and guess what? It's not fast enough and I
had to upgrade. I would add plenty of storage space and realize it's
not nearly enough, because now the pipeline is changed to accommodate
uncompressed edit, or compositing will not work out. So I had to add
ten more drives. And those issues are just the tip of the iceberg.
hope “Where is Hank?” has sparked your curiosity and, like us,
will want to see it finished. Please help us reach our goal and
make us proud with this project. Good movies can touch the heart, and
we hope “Where is Hank?” has touched yours.
I PLEDGE, WHAT WILL I GET?
Well, not really. As the next best thing you will receive
one or more movie memorabilia, DVD and the Blu Ray (depending on your pledge amount) and
your name will be immortalized for posterity in the movie credits
(again, depending on your pledge amount). Not so shabby, huh? You can
find the details in the pledge amount section.
is the sampler of some of our unique memorabilia. Enjoy!
And for the end, this is my old reel. It's far from perfect, but I was young then.