Monthly Archives: January 2012

Donate Your Old Stuff to Carrie’s List of Art Direction Needs

Carrie decided to save us some money by putting out a classified wanted ad for some of the items she needs for the film.

For those of you outside our locality, I don’t believe the pickup applies, but if you’ve got some of these items and you’d be willing to ship them to us, I’d gladly use them in the film (pending Carrie’s approval).  If you are local to St. Louis or roundabouts, I encourage you to comment on this entry (not email), and we’ll be in touch.

——Carrie’s Message——

Hi! My name is Carrie, and I am working on the local independent film ‘COYOTE’ from director Trevor Juenger.

I am doing the art production for the film, meaning it is my responsibility to acquire the props and to dress the sets! This is where YOU come in! We are a very low-budget production, so most of the items would need to be donated. I will be happy to come and pick up any of the items on my list, even if they need hauled out of your basement 🙂 Most of the items I am seeking I’m sure you would be happy to part with!

Any help with the film is genuinely appreciated, and the director will give you a special thanks on the production blog, as well!

Please e-mail me if you would like to donate any of the items on the list!
If you would like to help in other ways, feel free to e-mail me, as well!
THANKS SO MUCH FOR LOOKING!!!!

HERE’S THE LIST!
————————————————-
*Green couch-lightly to moderately worn would be great, but it can be tattered & loved, too
*Victorian style couch-any level of wear
*Couch with a hide-away bed-any level of wear
*Rabbit key chain-any kind at all, even a rabbit’s foot
*Fold out table- square or yard sale-type(the long ones) the older the better!
*Wooden chair-the older the better! Cob webs and dust are a plus!! Also, any chair that is just odd for one reason or another.
*Coffee mug-one with a humorous phrase such as “I’m up and dressed- what more do you want?” or “Number One Grandma”
*VHS camcorder- non-working, and once again, the older the better!
*Quiver
*Digital alarm clock
*Plain white fitted sheet & top sheet (Queen)
*Feather pillow-nothing is too old!
*OLD mailbox w/flag
*Flashlight
*Wooden picture frames
*Luggage/suitcase-the older the better!
*Dashboard hula girl
*Pine tree air freshener-the older the better!
*Lawn Nativity scene figures-even if you only have one or two stray ones
*Old (working) TV set
*Circular saw(working)
*Various glass jars-Mason, or baby food, or salsa or whatever!
*Rusted screwdriver
*Small bedside table
*Coffee table
*Fur Rug
*ANYTHING TAXIDERMY RELATED-animals, books on it, parts(glass eyes)
*Kitchen mat/rug
*Paintbrushes-ALL TYPES
*Plastic shovel & pail
*Tackle box
*Cork
*Fishing poles-Fly and Traditional, maybe cane
*Stringer
*Galoshes/Waders
*Fishing Vest
*Fishing bucket hat
*Lawn chairs-the older the better!!
*Tent

Another Key Prop!

SUPER special thanks to Jeremy Dietzel for “Bill’s bow” and for a bunch of broadhead arrows.  I remember seeing broadheads when I was really young, and thinking how incredibly brutal they are. Razor blades slice through arteries and veins while the rest of the arrow pushes its way through flesh.  Scary.

I hope Bill is stronger than I am.  The pullback on this thing is intense.  I really strained to get it. I need to start working out…

Bring on the arrow death!  Animals, humans, plastic statues – they stand no chance.  Lets shoot some stuff.

Casualties

When you make a film on no budget, bad things happen.  It’s like the only constant in the universe.  People have various levels of motivation when it comes to films especially when they aren’t getting paid. In my experience, the flakiest people have been actors.  You plan for months, only to have the talent cancel at the last possible moment, or even worse, just stop answering your phone calls the day they’re supposed to be on camera.  Johnny be Gone suffered this, when I had to step in and play a major role.  Similarly, Hermetica was riddled with disastrous problems.  Coyote can’t hide from it either.

After months of communication with our FX artist, I’m afraid we’re going to have to find a new one.  I can live with missing a few deadlines, but after a while, excuses start to look like lies.  There were reportedly multiple projects that were ready to go, but no real evidence (photos) of any of it.  Concept art that was supposed to be scanned, never came.  When I finally pressured the guy to produce something…anything, he had someone else answer his phone and pretend not to know him.

…so this is the shit you have to deal with on no-budgets.  We’re months in, and not only am I losing ground on the FX that I thought were done, but I also have to find a new artist really quickly.

That said, I’m used to this level of flakiness.  It sucks, but if you can’t roll with the punches, you’ll never finish a film.  Is anyone out there a practical FX artist?  We might be seeing a lot of FX projects from me on this blog. 🙂

Less disheartening post coming in the AM.

The Poster

After my original plans for a poster fell through, I whipped this up.  Generally, a poster image comes before any video or any… anything promotional with a film.  I’ve been working way out of order!

Yesterday, I showed this poster image to a class.  Students thought the typewriter and text were digitally introduced.  How nuts!  The only portion of the shot they considered “real” was the pillar and background.

Well, they’re wrong.  Here’s proof:

There’s something wrong with my thumb…

…or maybe it’s a photoshop cover-up.

If you have a blog, FB, whatever.  Publish this poster with a fury.  We should have alternates after the production begins, but this is what we’re rolling with until then, and it’s still a long way to July.

I’m updating some of the crew’s videos right now (Nick’s and mine), so for more insight into our style, go check out our pages.

Finally, we’re going with the spoilers.  Keep checking in every week for updates. 🙂

Where do we go from here?

As I’ve been working on storyboards and excruciating detail work, this question has come to mind: “In which direction do I go with the direction of the blog?”

I could keep you all in the loop with all of my storyboards, give access to the screenplay, and let you all know about very fine, and potentially pretty boring stuff going on with the film.  Obviously, that would make for more blog posts, and I’ve always thought it’s perfectly fine to know what happens in a film before you see it.  I like to divulge plot points, but definitely understand that it makes an enormous difference in the viewing experience.

You could also just ignore the posts with spoilers, but I don’t want to write to no audience.

So, here are the choices:  Keep this baby thriving with new updates at least once a week, and know all there is to know about the film before you have a chance to see it, or do updates at least once a month, letting you in on all of the major developments in casting, FX, etc. without any kind of plot spoilers.

Comment here to cast your vote.  Just say spoilers or no.  Thanks for participating.  I won’t publish the comments unless you write something more than 2 words.

Excellence

A word from Bill Oberst Jr:

Isn’t Bill excellent?  He’s a one of a kind, and has been all kinds of help through preproduction.  Haven’t heard of Bill Oberst Jr?  He’s been in a plethora of low budget horror films lately, and a few high profile music videos.  Check out his page and bio (under the cast tab at the top of the page).

Also, check out Bill’s Coyote Blog Entry.  Ignore the parts where he says good things about me.  It’ll ruin his credibility.  😉

That blog is excellent by the way.  Bill insists he’s not much of a writer, but he’s got a genuine attitude that shows in everything the guy does.  I’m excited to drive this guy to the edge, then push him over.

What else is excellent?  We’ve hit 1/8 of our budget on Indiegogo.  We’re still way behind schedule, but there’s a dent.  $3499 left!

I’ve put off storyboards for the night to work on endless lists of props/art direction notes with Carrie.  I dread organizing all of the storyboards and notes.  There are at least 3 notebooks with randomly placed notes in them, maybe more.

No webcam photo.  It’s only 2 AM, and I have the privilege of my wonderful PC, and horribly uncomfortable desk chair.

How long until July?

…Back Home

I just got back from a trip to Illinois, scouting locations and building this excellent coffin with a ton of help from Edward Juenger:

So it’s basically a human-sized crate with a door and detachable left panel.  A couple of finishing touches still need to go on this thing.  It looks a little too clean as it stands now, but it functions, which is important.

How about a video:

Check another item off the list.

Man, I found some really excellent locations.  Unfortunately, I don’t have permission to shoot in any of these places yet.  I’m working on that.

Back to storyboards tomorrow!  Tonight, I’m going to get some sleep.

I’m doing boring things… How about some POV progress?

Today I’ve been putting off storyboards and Art Direction notes (It’s 4pm and Carrie is still sleeping) to pretend like I know anything at all about the future of filmmaking on IM’s and G+.  Sometimes, I need a little affirmation to keep up the pace.

In less boring news:

Did you catch Nick’s POV (Point-of-View) camera prototype?  In case, you don’t feel like sorting through old posts (it’s actually just my last one.)  Here’s the first video:

Nick’s been kind enough to document the progression with the lens/rig.  Follow along at home.  Just get out your dremel, 6mm lens, and vice and start grinding away.  I’m kidding; dremel tools and vice grips are incredibly rare. 🙂

I can’t express enough how awesome Nick is!  Not only is he doing some extremely tedious work to give you all the most unpleasant viewing experience possible with Coyote, but he also shows off these rigs with a little bit of entertainment, choking tripods an whatnot.

Sometimes I’m torn about living in St. Louis.  I feel like there isn’t a lot of talent in the local film scene.  It really sucks to find someone that can do the things I want to ask of them.  That said, if Nick lived in a bigger film community, he’d have too many paying gigs to work with me.  I’m a pessimist though, so fuck STL. 😉

UPDATE:  Nick just uploaded some footage of his 12mm POV.

Crude Storyboard Progression and Point of View Prototype

Storyboard WorkHere’s an example of some storyboards along with matching screenplay selection.  The right is Carrie’s art direction storyboards.  The center is probably the worst selection of frames I could have chosen to demonstrate my drawing abilities, but somewhere in these six vague frames lies an idea.  I bet you can’t guess what happens next.

These are actually not from the storyboarding session with Nick.  I just thought the scene was interesting.  165 scenes.  11 more finished today.

I’d been struggling with a way to create a startling “point of view” camera rig for a few scenes in the film. Nick’s solution: simple, use a 6mm lens.  Check out the video:

I think we have a lot of opportunities to do some truly unique things with these small cameras.

Me, 6:17am6:17am now. Very sleepy.  It seems like the sun should be out…

Moonshine and Coyote Skins

I had a good night of drinking moonshine and ranting about the film with Nick (Walters).  We powered through 13 scenes of story boarding collectively; no great feet.  There’s something like 150 total, so working at the same rate, we’d both need to spend 90 more hours working out this film.  It’s going to be a long couple of weeks!  Ten hours well spent, though.  Nick added a ton of insight to some of these sequences.  Logistically planning really elaborate shots with hidden transitions can be daunting.  There’s always the chance that a small overlooked detail ruins the entire effect, so it’s great to get another professional’s scrutinous eye looking for potential hangups and then workarounds for those hangups.

I was going to wait for some scans of our poorly-drawn storyboards, but I got a special something in the mail today!

New Coyote SkinHow frightening is that shit!?  The titular…um…wardrobe for Coyote.  There’s also that bowie knife sneaking in somewhere there just subtle enough to make you wonder…

Anyway, stick around for some more updates of the storyboard variety sometime in the next 24 hrs.