Wildlifeless Decompression Update

The true history of the making of Wildlifeless is Brock's alone to tell. However, I'll offer some brief comments as an observer.

Saturday was the big studio shoot for Wildlifeless. At the end of June we survived an arduous trip to San Diego to shoot the exteriors. Saturday was the interiors that begin the story.

The Set - The interiors called for a very large canvas wall tent. These tents are pretty expensive, and a real tent would not have allowed us the manueverability we needed considering cranes and other filmmaking aparatus. So, the decision was made long ago to build our own tent set. It would be basicaly a 10' x 15' tent with three sides. When we built the smaller tents and tent facade for the exteriors, I used lightweight 2 x 2's. For the big tent, stability was key to support such large sections, so 2 x 4's were used. Heavy, wet, raw 2 x 4's. I precut the materials on Friday morning. Friday night we were supposed to have access to the studio to construct the set for a number of hours, enough time to get the job done. Well, when we arrived we found out that we had about a third the time we thought we would have. Beyond that, our drilling technique wasn't working so good. It was a fight to drive each screw. A half day prior to the shoot and we were already massively behind the eight ball. I was beside myself about the whole ordeal. I'm pretty sure it was tough to be around me at the time. I was fuming over the lack of cooperation from the school personnel, and the general lack of professionalism on their part. As it turned out, a lot depends on who you talk to. Saturday morning we arrived early and not much later, a much more helpful faculty member was there to assist us. It was a completely different experience from the night before. With better tools and techniques at hand, we got the whole set built (assembly and attaching canvas) in around an hour. Getting the thing in upright and supported was another matter. We used most of the C-stands and all of the sandbags in the studio to get it mostly stable. Beyond that there was the dressing: arranging of props, attaching of bamboo, faking a projection surface, etc. Tons of work, but well worth it. It looked great, and like a million bucks on tape. However, it was complex enough that we didn't get our first shot until around 2pm. Four hours behind schedule. Yikes!

The Shots - Before Brock conceived the storyboards for this film, I pumped him up with the following admonition: "Forget about limitations. We'll get a dolly. We'll get a crane. We'll figure it out. We'll make it happen. The sky is the limit." And eschew limitations he did. This film has more crazy camerawork than you can shake a stick at. Light years more than anything we have done prior, or anything I have seen in the local scene. Better still, every shot is in the interests of the story. That didn't make them any easier to pull off. We had crane shots coming up from toe to head, sweeping through the entire set, swooping around the characters, along with the simpler push-ins. Brock conceived of them, and we did our best to execute. They are some of the most beautiful shots we've ever done. If we have any issue, it will be that they are just too pretty compared to the exterior shots, which suffered somewhat from being my first time out with the new camera.

I really could go on and on about the how the day went, but I'll leave the rest to Brock. Just ten or so more pick up shots and we'll have our images.

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