Love & Plutonium: The Official Movie Web Site

Production Diary
October 2003

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Thursday, October 30, 2003

I spent most of last night breaking up my 1 hour video captures into snippets of takes. And then I decided I want to see what I can do with one of the short scenes, with Hank, Justice Kitten and Little Liberty in the alley. So I spent 3 hours on it, after which I was slightly happy--3 hours for a 1:16 rough cut of a scene. Whew! Editing this one's gonna be tougher than Arbor Daze, I'll tell you. But the footage looks quite good, and tonight I am continuing to break up the footage into smaller snippets. I'm also preparing for the upcoming shooting weekend: learning my lines, reviewing the shot and call lists, making sure we have all the props we need. We are on track, so word up and I'll post more after this weekend.

Happy Devil's Night,

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Work: heck this week. Weather: crappy Michigan fall. No daylight savings time: hate it. Secret Hideout menus: created and laminated.

Thanks to Dennis and Vicki for letting Jacquie and I come over to their house on Sunday night and wrangle their young children into costumes to play young Justice Kitten & Little Liberty for a photo shoot. Actually 12-year old Sara (young JK) was fine. It was getting 2 1/2-year old Nicole (my god-daughter) to cooperate and wear the Liberty costume that was the chore. And as it turned out, she never cooperated, and so we ended up draping the costume on 1-year old Jack. We got him in various stages of crying and laughing, but all in all, we got enough photos to use as props in Justice Kitten & Little Liberty's apartment. All that trouble for maybe 2 lousy seconds of screen time? Oh, what we filmmakers must do!


Saturday, October 25, 2003

All righty then! I have digitized all 5 tapes from our first shooting weekend (over 60 Gb worth of footage)! Holy crap. It's true when they say no matter how much storage space you have, you'll find a way to fill it up. Now I need to start going through each reel and splitting up the full clips into small scene bits for editing. I'm also working on creating the Secret Hideout Bar & Grill menus today. Having a little fun writing the text for those! And Jacquie has written several new Dick & Bob (sportscaster) scenes to use for transitions and such. You go girl!

Gotta run,

Thursday, October 23, 2003

OK, finally I think the web site is in good shape (for now). At least I can stop obsessing about it all night and actually get some sleep! I received my 250 Gb hard drive yesterday, a mere 2 days after I ordered it. God bless you Page Computers! It came already formatted, so all I had to do was install some drivers and hook it up. Perfect. So I proceeded to get the third tape digitized (and dumped to VHS simultaneously). The daytime footage on the playground looks great. The nighttime footage looks quite good on the computer monitor and camera LCD, but on my $60 13" TV in my office, it looks really dark and shadowy. I'm going to chalk most of that up to the crappiness of the TV, but even on Arbor Daze, the footage always looked brighter and sharper on the computer than it did when displayed on a TV, even a really good TV. I've learned a TON about digital video, editing and DVD authoring in the last 2 years, but obviously there's still something about this so-called "technology" that I haven't mastered. Fortunately I've got a great bunch of experts helping me with the technical side of things, including Tony, Dan, Jebby and maybe even Shaver (if he still loves me).

Dan and I met with Louie at Benny's Pizza yesterday, and he couldn't have been more accommodating to our needs. We have 2 days of bar shoots scheduled, and we're going to be able to get in the building around 8:00 am and we have until 4:00 pm before we have to be out. Hopefully we can finish everything we need on those 2 days. Positive thoughts, positive thoughts. Tony G. is working on getting us a "professional" second camera, like a Sony VX1000, for our bar shoots. They are very complicated scenes with lots of people, so we'll absolutely need at least 2 cameras. Plus, Mrs. Medlo shoots much of the scene from her video camera POV, so we need to work out those details as well.

We've also decided to shoot the plutonium warehouse/opening credits montage at McDowell & Associates in Ferndale. We'll get much more a feel of an industrial setting there than we would in Jacquie's garage! Thanks to Dan and his father-in-law's company for letting us shoot there!

Our publicity photo shoot is scheduled for Saturday, November 1. I know Mark France will have us looking extra pretty!

Also, we may be showing Arbor Daze at the Roseville Theatre a couple of days in December! Stay tuned for more info on that. If that happens, I'll have to try to kick out a Love & Plutonium teaser trailer. The pressure!

More soon,

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

I've been fiendishly slaving away at getting this web site in shape. I finally found some JavaScript that allows you to do a slide show on all images in a directory with very little coding. That was very important, given that our still photographer, Greg Krueger, took over 250 digital photos on our first two days of shooting. Now that's what I call documentary evidence! Check them all out on the Photos page.

We have scheduled the evening of November 1 for our publicity photo shoot, for the movie poster, press kit, etc. A very important evening. It's the first day where we will have all six principal cast members on set at the same time, so it seemed a very opportune time.

I've got the first two tapes digitized on my hard drive. We shot over 5 hours of footage last weekend, but I need to get my hands on another hard drive before I can even think about digitizing it all! I've got a Maxtor 250 Gb external FireWire/USB drive on order. Once that's here I'll have about 650 Gb of storage attached to my machine overall. And I'll still find a way to fill it all up!

That's all for now. Later today I'll be working on revising schedules and call sheets for our second shooting weekend (November 1-2) and trying to match up the captured footage to our shot logs.

Bye bye,

Monday, October 20, 2003

Well, we had a wonderful first weekend of shooting! The weather cooperated quite nicely and we were able to shoot everything we had scheduled for the weekend. We had a long night Saturday, until about 11:00 pm, but we made it and followed it up with another long day Sunday ending up around 9:30 pm. All in all, we shot about 22 script pages, which translates into about 30% of the movie. So, ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a movie!

I plan on beginning to review and digitize the footage tonight. But from what I've watched so far, we've got some great shots. Mother Nature was particularly colorful on Saturday afternoon, giving us some beautiful and striking images. In addition, Greg Krueger, our still photographer, took over 200 pictures on Saturday alone! (you know, for tax purposes).

I want to truly thank everyone from the bottom of mine and Jacquie's hearts for your lending us your dedication, professionalism and talents for these next few weeks in order to complete what we hope will be a very funny and potentially heartwarming movie. We've got 3 weekends and a couple of Friday nights to go, and we're off to a great start.



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