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Archive for the Category "My Experiences"

The Making of a VFX Shot Mar 19

Tim-GreenScreenA lotta work for a few seconds of screen time

Thought I’d share a behind the scenes “making of” video for a VFX shot we couldn’t fit into the TRIPLE TIMe pitch video.

Speaking of TRIPLE TIMe, if you’d like to contribute to the making of the actual short film, the time is now! Only one day left to help us reach our funding goal, and earn my eternal gratitude. Every little bit helps tremendously.

TRIPLE TIMe Crowdfunding Campaign Now Live! Mar 01

clock-r4What is TRIPLE TIMe?

TRIPLE TIMe is the next short film I’ll be writing/directing (and doing the visual effects for) with filming slated to begin at the end of March.

It’s a sci-fi, time travel extravaganza that tells the story of Tim, a theoretical physicist, who discovers his life is in danger when he comes home to find two future versions of himself.

If you love time travel movies like I do, or just want to see how weird I look in real life, please head over to the TRIPLE TIMe Indiegogo Crowdfunding page to watch the video.

I’ve been posting to Scriptwrecked for over five years now. If you’ve ever learned something important or picked up a great nugget of advice from my blog, contributing to this campaign would be an amazing way to say thanks. I know most screenwriters (like myself) aren’t made of money, so even if you can’t afford to contribute, simply sharing the campaign link with your friends will help tremendously.

The ultimate goal is to turn some heads in Hollywood and turn TRIPLE TIMe into a single-location feature film. That it all begins with a kick-ass short film. I’d love for you to be a part of the journey with me. Please click the campaign link below to find out more about TRIPLE TIMe and all the cool perks we’ve set up for contributors.

Crowdfunding Campaign Page

TRIPLE TIMe Facebook Page

My team and I will be providing updates on the crowdfuding campaign, and all things production related, right here (and on our Facebook page). So stay tuned and thank you for your support!


MY DEMON GIRLFRIEND – Teaser Trailer Feb 06

Here’s the teaser trailer for a short film I wrote and directed, called My Demon Girlfriend. It will be released next week in time for Valentine’s Day.

My Demon Girlfriend is a horror comedy short about a lovable loser looking to introduce his friends to his new date… only to discover that there may be more to her than meets the eyes.


Still from My Demon Girlfriend

The Hobbit and High Frame Rate Dec 22

Legolas or just Orlando Bloom?Liked the movie. Hated the high frame rate.

In select IMAX theaters they’re showing the The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug with the higher frame rate (48 frames per second vs. the standard 24 frames per second). Having never seen a movie with this controversial format before, I was excited to experience the high frame rate (HFR), which promised more vivid and realistic images.

Within the first few moments of the film (and Peter Jackson cameo), I immediately understood why there was so much controversy over this format. The images were crisp and life-like… and didn’t look like a movie.

What was it like?

My brother said it was like watching a televised BBC production (TV has a higher frame rate than movies). Some people liken the experience to watching a play. I’d go one step further. It was like watching really clear behind the scenes footage of a movie, where you see the actor in costume rehearsing their lines — and at no time confuse them for their characters.

And that’s the problem. It looked too realistic. In many cases, I stopped seeing a character, and started seeing an actor with imperfect skin and contact lenses. I stopped seeing an Elf Forest, and started seeing fake tree props.

If you’ve ever been on a movie set, you’ll quickly notice how fake everything looks in real life. Why the hell would I want that? I want LARGER than life for my movie experience, thank you very much!

The Art Form

I’m always an early adopter of technology. I love innovation and applaud Peter Jackson for trying this new format out. You never know when something new will resonate with audiences. Believe it or not, “talkies” (i.e. modern movies where you can hear the actors’ voices as they say their lines, instead of reading their dialogue in subtitles) were controversial when they first came out.

But I can’t help but feel like HFR is a solution to a problem that didn’t exist. Movies aren’t reality. They’re heightened reality. The paradox is that making films look more “real” may actually compromise our ability to suspend our disbelief.

If the goal is to make the movie-going experience more like real life, perhaps we should get rid of the score in scenes where there wouldn’t normally be music playing. Or maybe we should shoot all of the scenes from one camera angle. All this jumping from angle to angle stuff isn’t how we view the world.

And when is that smell-o-vision gonna get here? I’m sure audiences would love that. I can think of one scene in particular from Slumdog Millionaire that would be especially… powerful.

Did you see The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug in its higher frame rate? (If you’re unsure, then you probably saw it at one of the majority of theaters where it was played in its converted and standard 24 fps.) What did you think of the format?

Table Read for My Demon Girlfriend Jul 03


Table read for MY DEMON GIRLFRIENDAs this blog evolves, and as screenwriters evolve, I’d like to add directing, short films, video production and marketing to the conversation on Scriptwrecked. These days screenwriters need to have a utility belt of skills that they bring to table, in order to get noticed and stay noticed. I’ll continue to post my experiences so that others can benefit from the things I learn and the mistakes I make along the way.

A few weeks ago the cast, and some of the crew, of my short film script, My Demon Girlfriend, got together for a table read. As a screenwriter, I’ve heard actors reading my scripts before, but never for a shoot that I was going to direct. So it was a new experience for me.

What I Learned

Here’s how I did it…

We read through the script once, without stopping. I had a few notes for the actors, then we read through it one more time.

What I’d do next time…

I’d do the initial read through and the second read through, with my notes, again. However, I’d also spend more time using the table read as rehearsal time.

Jenni, Trace and KathrynThere were a few little things I noticed during the read, that I thought I’d just mention afterwards to the actors in a separate email, or that I thought we’d just fix during the rehearsals while we were blocking out the scenes. For the most part, that strategy worked out, but it certainly would have gone smoother if we had rehearsed the scenes a few more times.

As an example, there was one line in particular, where Jenni (the talented actress playing Krillith) put an emphasis on a word that imparted a slightly different meaning than the one I had intended. It wasn’t that big a deal, so I thought I’d just leave it for discussion later.

Unfortunately, on the day of shooting, the actress had solidified her delivery of the line, so when I proposed a change, it was more challenging for her to pull it off naturally. In addition to that, I (mistakenly — shhhh) changed up the line from the one that was in the script, so it took us a few more takes on the day to get it right.

What Else I Learned

There was a wonderful moment during the table read, where Trace (the talented actor playing Chad) tripped over a line, then embellished it into a really humorous moment. It worked so well, that I included it in the final version of the script.

It was a good reminder to always be open to new and better dialogue possibilities. There were also some lines that just kinda fell flat when they were read. The table read gave me a chance to go back and fix them and other issues related to the pacing of the scenes.

If you’re filming a comedy, I recommend having as many of your production team members available during the table read as possible, so that you can hear the laughter from the lines that work and the deathly silence from the ones that don’t.

To see more photos, and for more information about My Demon Girlfriend, please visit our production team’s web site or our Facebook page. If you’re in the Los Angeles or Orange County area, and have some skills or hardware that you’d like to volunteer for a future production, please let me know.

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