Last time on Dead Meat:
After taking a year off from gainful employment to finish shooting Dead Meat, I ran into a wall when a couple of my puppet makers didn't come through with puppets. Most people don't know this, but it's difficult to shoot a film featuring something when that something doesn't exist.
Here we are, a little closer to a year later than I'd like, and (long story short) there are still no puppets. I have hope that the original puppet orders will come through before this Summer's shoot, but hope has abandoned me (or I it) and I literally can't afford to wait anymore. So I'm pressing on.
That means shooting with what I've got and taking whatever bizarre shortcuts are necessary to make it work. Thankfully, since I'm doing a lot of this over a blue screen, I can cover up a lot of the strangeness. So far, so good.
These are all stills from one of the key scenes toward the middle of the story. The dialog here will make up a good chunk of the teaser (which I hope to get out ASAP).
I haven't been idle for the last few months. As I said in the last post, I'd have to get a job again. I haven't found anything promising yet, but I put together a couple of pitch bibles I'm taking around town. I've also been doing a lot of work on the Dead Meat car chase and general compositing.
Here are some more stills from some other scenes (no fancy color correction or anything yet):
I've also pulled a bunch of new people into my web to help out. There's puppet maker and puppeteer Jayden Libran who's been handling Heck, and sometimes-puppeteer Jarrett Sullivan, who's puppeteering Dead Meat. Tom Philips is also helping me out with puppets, props, compositing, and specialized equipment.
Mary Russell, an up-and-coming horror director (check out her short Carved on Amazon) has agreed to DP for me, and shot the Heck and Dead Meat scene above. One fun thing I'm doing is having her hand-hold the camera (where appropriate) and then motion tracking the shot. So even though most of what's on-screen is fantasy, the camera-work is still hers.
Finally, I recently repainted my living room blue screen to be even bigger and bluer than before. To save money, I'd originally taken a tip from the internet and had Home Despot mix up the blue paint based on a roll of painter's tape. The logic was that blue tape is only a few degrees off from chroma blue, allowing you to tape up anything you want and have it be the same color as your screen. The real win, of course, was saving eighty bucks.
Needless to say, I've burned hundreds of hours trying to work with crummy footage and I finally gave in and bought a hundred dollar bucket of digiblue. Maaaan... It's probably the best purchase I've ever made. It's made working with footage fun again, and as I type this I'm buckling down to re-shoot a good chunk of car chase in the coming week.
As always, I do apologize that this thing is taking so long. But I guess it's gonna take a while. I'm also sorry that I don't get out updaters as often as I should. I want the updates to be full of cool stuff and not just me apologizing for why there's not enough cool stuff, so I wait until there's cool stuff. But by then, so much time has passed that I feel like I need more cool stuff to show.
At the end of the day, I'm not giving up on this thing. If it was going to break me, it would've done it last year. Eventually, it will be done and you'll all get fun things in the mail and I'll be able to breathe a sigh of relief. Until then, I'll just keep breathing blood, sweat, and tears.
Don't worry. They're not mine.
One last thing: I've started an Instagram account. therealmaxwellatoms. Because a not-real maxwellatoms got the jump on me. This Summer should be full of fun Dead-Meaty Instagram shots and clips as shooting commences, and in the mean time I've been doing a few old-school Mandy-isms.
Alrighty. That's it for now. Over and out!