9 February, 2011
This scene of Cyxcyxdn emerging from out of the floor is one of my favorite shots, and it is from my favorite sequence in the film. It almost didn't happen - at least not as it is now. In After Effects (the program I'm using to build the shots) you can select different views other than the main camera view (the final result) to examine the footage. I switch to one of these other views because the stone he lifts just wasn't looking right, so I panned the shot back and forth by hand to see how it could be improved. Well, improved it was! The shot was originally written to be static, but once I saw it moving, Presto! it's now a wonderful dolly shot. The camera move adds a whole new dynamic to the shot.
Recognize the music? Yep, that's right. It's a re-mix of music John Williams did for "Raiders of the Lost Ark". Man, I'd love to have John Williams create my film's score. He is the first one I'm going after. When the previz is done I'm going to contact his agent and send him a copy and hopefully he'll love it and want to do it - for free. Yeah, from what I hear, he doesn't get out of bed for less than a million bucks, but I'm hoping to appeal to his creative side. Also, I plan on offering him a very sweet deal out the back end (the "back end" is monies received when the film is released). This is the same deal that my voice over talent received, and I'm very grateful to them for playing along and having faith in me and my movie.
27 December, 2010
Have I really not done a Blog! update in over a year?! Two Christmases have come and gone (hope they were wonderful for everyone), and so much more hair has gone down the drain since then. I'd say the biggest thing to happen in the past year, movie-wise, is that I completed all of the backgrounds and have moved on to the Pre-Viz part of the film. This phase of the production is also taking much longer than anticipated. "Distractions" still seems to be my keyword, but life happens, and as much as I want to get my film done ASAP, I'm enjoying the time I have with my girlfriend, Jin, traveling with her and, yes, even the upgrades I'm doing to her house. Don't get me wrong. I have always enjoyed working with my hands, and the construction projects I'm doing for her are definitely making her house much more beautiful. To see what I've done in the past as far as remodeling, click here to check out what I did to my kitchen in my house in Atlanta. Many people, including Jin, asked me why I ever left my house. I told her that I would never have met her if I hadn't! Have a wonderful, Happy New Year!
5 October, 2009
It snowed a good three inches here in Alturas yesterday. Hopefully it'll melt off soon or your's truly will have to find a few extra thousand lying around to make up the difference in what I would have made if the archaeological field season had gone until late November as scheduled. However, it is pretty seeing snow up on the mountains again.
My knee and foot continue to heal, albeit seemly very slowly. I am walking again, however, it's still not all that graceful nor that long without having to rest. It's making field work interesting at best since my right boot doesn't fit correctly anymore. Whenever I can I'm wearing my sneakers in the field. All the lava rock may be tearing my shoes apart, but my legs sure feel better at the end of the day.
The past two months have mainly been filled with the creation of just four backgrounds. They all center around Froschmann's apartment, and can been seen on the home page in the slideshow and in the Production Stills. Froschmann, the bad guy in my flick, is very posh and his surroundings needed to reflect that, so his apartment is very stunning too. Many of the pieces of art hanging on his walls currently reside in the Art Institute of Chicago (an art museum everyone should see many times). Other pictures that hang on his walls are my own work. An inside joke for all of you is to keep an eye on the picture hanging on the far left wall. You'll see it a few more times, 'cause everyone in the film seems to own a copy. It's also the introductory shot for the flashback sequence at Newkirk Castle.
Hope it's warm and dry where you are!
30 July, 2009
To say that I've been remiss in updating everyone on what's been going on is a gross understatement. I apologize for the "disappearing act". The select few of you that currently have access to this site are very close to me either as fantastic talent on my film or you help keep me sane – or both! And I owe it to all of you to keep ya up to date on what's been going on.
Be sure to check out the wonderful words Susan wrote about Jordan.
Since I last updated everyone, I've returned to the Modoc National Forest in NE California to continue my seasonal work as an archaeologist for the Forest Service. It's a good gig as I can make enough dough in six months to keep me going for the other six so I can just work on my film.
On the way out here from Atlanta, I took my time and visited several monuments, federal parks, Frank Lloyd Wright's home Taliesin and even stopped by to say "hi" to the Jolly Green Giant. It was news to me that he lives in Blue Earth, Minnesota (that's me in the lower right to give ya an idea how big he really is). Also, I've now visited 48 states with just North Dakota and Alaska to complete the set. Missed ND on this trip as it was out of the way and that it was still inundated with floods while I was driving through the area. Plus, it gives me an excuse to travel back through the upper mid-west. While I was in Chicago, I had to stop by the Art Institute of Chicago to see Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks". If the painting ever comes up missing, you know who's door the cops will come knocking on first.
The movie creation continues wonderfully (see the six new background images on the home page). My new computer is wonderful, and it really helps to have a ton of RAM to be able to render out my animations.
Being house-bound has provided me with lots of time to work on my movie. Why, you ask, I'm I stuck at home? Well, as the x-ray shows, I broke my fifth metatarsal near the proximal end. It's the bone that runs between your pinky toe and your ankle bones. The breakage is in a jagged line between the arrows.
It was a really stupid accident. After sitting for a long time, my legs were asleep and I stood up. My left knee twinged (hurt on the job), so I quickly shifted my weight to my right foot. Just as I looked down I noticed that my right foot was turned on edge. Too late! With a mighty snap I fell to my knees. That was three weeks ago and I'm itching to get out and about, and this weekend will be the first time I'll be able to drive – safely. Trying to operate a gas pedal, brake and clutch all with one foot just isn't safe for anything in my pathway.
Hope everyone's doing great!
8 May, 2009
The new computer continues to perform admirably. Now if only I could get my brain to do the same! Look forward to some wonderful scenes in the coming months.
If you haven't already, click over to Jordan's page to read some moving words from Jim.
Well, it's that time of year again. The birds fly north, the days get warmer and the forests go up in flames. So that means it's time for me to return to the Pacific Northwest and do my archaeologist/firefighter thing again. Man, I was hoping to be able to sit out this season, but all my money evaporated (see previous Blog! entry to find out why), and I need to generate some more capital. I'm taking my time getting back out there, though. I'm making a grand adventure out of the move and stopping by Mammoth Caves, Chicago (to see my favorite painting "Nighthawks"), Mount Rushmore, Devils Tower (think "Close Encounters"), Yellowstone then back to Alturas. Should be a great time.
So that's it until I get things set back up late this month. Take care and have fun!
11 April, 2009
Happy New Year, everyone! Oh. Wait. That has come and gone hasn't it? Where did the time go? I've gotten some stuff done, but, man, I've been fighting my computer for months. It just wasn't working properly and on top of that the warranty ran out, so Dell wouldn't take any more of my calls unless I paid for the support. It was time to turn my computer into a boat anchor.
Internet searches, research and checking consumer reports led me towards a new computer. I was a little hesitant when it all said the best computer for my needs was another Dell. Yeah, it did have everything I needed, but.... So I call up their sales department, fill them in on what my old computer was doing - or more accurately wasn't doing - and explained my needs. They were very eager to help me out, wanting to keep me as a customer. They probably thought it was a good idea to keep me happy so that I wouldn't bad-mouth their product. After a couple hours on the phone with them, I had a computer, and thanks to the sales agent one that was even better than I had originally opted for. And because they wanted to make me happy and because of the crappy economy, I walked away with a cutting-edge machine at half the retail price.
Terry is once again a happy camper! The new computer is lightning fast, has 4 times the RAM as my old one and I can now run multiple programs simultaneously with none of them bogging down. The biggest gain and what really made me joyful is that my imagination is no longer limited by the hardware I'm using. I had all of these wonderful ideas but couldn't build them because my computer couldn't render the results. Now that limit no longer exists. Yes!
I've reworked some of the things I've already made while scrapping others and building what I had originally envisioned. See the home page for some new Production Stills. The only draw-back is that all of the hardware problems have delayed my desired release date. And even though the new computer was half of what I thought I was going to pay, it is still a considerable amount of my available funds, which means that I will have to go back to work (I was hoping to just work on my film for the next two years). This will also add to the time it'll take me to finish. The movie will get completed and all the world will hear the wonderful voice talent you all did so magnificently!
If you've already seen the new Production Stills, you've noticed the almost total lack of color in the morgue scenes. This will be a very solemn moment in the film and the monochromatic tones will add to the despair. Conversely, the hotel shots are very beautiful, which is ironic, because this is where the antagonist - the villain - lives. Some of the best movies have a great villain go up against the hero, making each character better. With that in mind, my bad guy gains more depth, more dimensionality, by having him live in a better place than the hero. It also says something about the character of each character.
Now that I'm back in business look for more updates on a more regular basis!
20 November, 2008
What?! A new Blog! entry in less than two months? It has to be one of the signs of the apocalypse. Yeah, well, it's amazing what can be accomplished when I can spend all my time working on my film - and my computer not crashing. It may not be infected, but I am. Yep, the fire and archaeological field season may be over, but it's still with me. We had a lot of rain days the last couple weeks, so we did lab and paper work. Me, I was designated as the picture-taker for a lot of the historic artifacts in the collection. Groovy! or so I thought at the time (lots of cool antique toys, beer cans, china, etc.).
As I opened one box, a malodorous scent greeted me (hello!). I backed away before it totally overwhelmed me then I removed it and two other artifacts that had various fluids oozing out of them and wrote them up to be taken in for hazmat treatment. However, it wasn't the slime that got me. It was the bacteria on all the other artifacts. Hhmmm, let me see... Stuff (e.g. Junk) sitting out on the forest for at least fifty years, in various types of soil, with many four - and two - legged animals doing all sorts of calls of nature, warehoused for many, many years (think the end of "Raiders") in sealed plastic bags... Gee, do ya think some of them may have been contaminated? I do now. Man, aren't respiratory infections fun! I might have been okay just handling a few artifacts, but I photographed hundreds under hot lights and getting my face right up to them. At least I didn't lick anything - this time (click over to worldofterry.com and see the frog I immortalized and which almost put me six-foot under). I made it all through fire season without even a singe only to be waylaid by some microbes. All well, it's almost passed out of my system and I'm well on the way to recovery. At least my snot is no longer a vivid green.
This Blog! entry is the last thing I'll be doing computer-wise before leaving Alturas (read: Alcatraz). After I create the update, I'll take it down to the library tomorrow and upload from there as I don't have an internet connection here at the house. Then it's time to pack everything up (it may take two hours) and head on down the road. So, where to next? Thanks to the continued support of my friend Jacob and his parents, I'll be returning to his house for the winter. Yep, Atlanta, here I come! Time to start practicing "y'all". Everyone down there know I'm a Yankee when I use my upper mid-west "youse guys". It'll be a blast seeing everyone again and also going to Sonny's for some wonderful barbeque. "I's smells me some cornbread." Bonus points if you know what movie that line is from.
If you viewed the new clip, (again, let me know if you have any problems viewing Quicktime) this is the opening shots to establish Joe's. check it out! The character of Joan, performed by Susan Blaine, gets the spotlight in these shots. When the front door opens, it's Joan who walks in, looks around then goes over to Joe for some info. The set has been built but still needs the exterior city, props and customers to complete the shot. Wanna see the artistic process in action? Click here to see Joe's come into being.
Turn out the lights, the party's over - until I get my computer set back up. Oh, and for next time, I'll tell you the wonderful story of Frank & Ollie.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
3 November, 2008
Wow, it's been two months (again) since I've made a Blog! entry. Where does the time go, and why haven't I gotten more done? Well, as you can see, it's not all hard work and sweat. Sometimes my archaeological team and I take a break from all the drudgery to watch some TV.
Man, the junk people throw out on our park lands. "Pack it in; Pack it out" 'cause if you don't, thousands of your tax dollars will be spent on future archaeologists (today's trash is tomorrow's artifact) having to document it all. Hhmmm, I wonder if we can get the Discovery Channel on this thing.
As I mentioned on the Behind the Scenes page, I've begun work on Joe's. The joint's sign (you can drag it all over the home page, if you fell like it, by holding your mouse button down on it then dragging) was the first thing finished. I've had it in mind for a while now, and I made it first to 'set the mood' for how I was going to go about drawing the rest of the bar. Although it'll be run down, everything still comes to Joe's for some good food and for some good times - or to meet an adversary in the quest for ancient artifacts!
I've finished some other sets, but I'm keeping those under wraps 'cause they're really cool and I want you guys to have something to go "oooouuuuuu!" over when the film comes out. Well, okay here's a small peek. But no more until after you've finished dinner and have cleaned your plate.
Some of you have been asking about the characters in the film. What do they look like? Yeah, like I'm gonna reveal those tasty morsels (there seems to be a food theme going on here). It'll be some time before I present the faces to the wonderful voices already recorded. And to be totally honest, some of the characters have yet to be cast. Meaning, I'm still drawing them - in my head. Yep, some of them do not yet exist in the reality most people inhabit.
The lead character, Cyxcyxdn, has been in the works since before I started writing the script, but his final form only came into being a few weeks ago. Of all the characters, he has morphed the most. He started out as a praying mantis but has become more of a lizard thing. To give you a hint: he now looks a lot like a being I created for a drawing I made back in 1997. The more and more I gazed at that drawing the more it became obvious that that character should be Cyxcyxdn.
Technology is wonderful but, at times, it can be a real pain in the ass. One of the main reasons there's not much new to reveal on my film this time around is because of a major computer crisis. Usually when there's a problem, I can revert to an earlier Systems Restore, however, when I tried this approach every single restore point had vanished. "Uh, what's going on here?" I said to myself. There shouldn't be any bugs in the system since my computer hasn't been hooked up to the internet since I left Atlanta back in May.
What's happened is that I've been having intermittent audio problems with my mainframe system, but during the past week the whole sound system just disappears from my computer. Then my external hard drive decides that all of the files I've been using during the past two weeks didn't need to exist any more, including the entire dialogue audio tracks. ##%$$##!!!
Trying to keep the thought of losing years worth of drawings and files out of my head, I gave Dell a ring. After a multi-hour chat (won't that be a wonderful cell phone bill), they provided a solution that really helped. It didn't cure my computer, though, so I did a "back door" fix. Since my computer didn't want to recognize any of its audio components, I eliminated all of its audio components by pulling the sound card and installing some software that was not compatible. My computer did what I thought it would. Namely, since it could not recognize any of the software and would not uninstall any of the original software, it basically said "What's this crap?" and ignored all of it. Ah, I now had a clean slate to work with, so I reinstalled the sound card, the original audio software, turned it back on and voilà!
The external hard drive? After performing a diagnostic routine on it, I discovered it had a void in its drive that would not accept any data. There was nothing to be done. The data was lost. Ah! but I made a back up only a month ago so there won't be that much to have to recreate. "Bad pathway. File cannot be read." Now I really am S.O.L. So, I removed every file that I could (around 500 gigabits worth - there was a day into itself) then purged the external hard drive and reformated it. Another clean slate to work with. However, after multiple attempts, now it won't hold any data properly. Anyone need an expensive boat anchor?
Thank God and Adobe software, because as I was cleaning up the existing files, I noticed that Premiere (the computer program I'm using to construct the final movie) had automatically made back ups while I was working on the audio tracks. Yes! it was all still there! All I had to do was reroute the file pathways to the original .wav files and I was good to go.
So, for now, all is in harmony. All the back ups have back ups, the software is smiling at the hardware and all the various hardware elements in my mainframe are enjoying tea and biscuits, and Terry is once again a happy camper!
5 September, 2008
The Audio Samples are up on the site! Hear here. There's also a new link on page left so you can get right to them. I'll post some new ones now and again, but can't give too much away! The files are small - but not that small - so you may have to give 'em a moment or two to download. Let me know if you have any problems getting the files to open.
The set building continues. Lots of progress has been made - despite some cops. Yep, I was out one night photographing some cool shadows in an alley here in Alturas when two cop cars (half the town's police force) showed up. "All of your lights are ruining my shot!" That was the immediate thought in my head - not said aloud. I may be a little slow, but I've learned over the years to play nice with the fuzz. I put a nice smile on my face and my hands down and away from my sides (learned that one, too - the hard way. I'll have to tell you some day about almost getting blown away by a cop. And, yes, I was innocent - mostly). Anyway, living in a town of less than 2,000 can have its charm, but it can also have very nosy, paranoid citizens. After explaining what computer animation was slowly and in small words so that they could understand (i.e. "Toy Story"; "Disney"; "No, I don't draw with crayons.") and giving them my full name, they let me get back to work. On the DVD commentary I'll point out the shot that almost got me arrested.
As you've noticed on the home page, there's a slide show (if three slides are a "show") of my thought progression towards building and dressing a set. If someone hasn't done it already, I might write a paper on how Edward Hopper was a major influence on the Film Noir movement in cinema during the late 1930's and into the 40's. For those not familiar with Edward Hopper and his work, get thee to the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City (the museum is even better when a very good friend shares it with you on her birthday) and immerse yourself in some wonderful artwork. Or just Google "Edward Hopper" and have a look see.
Hopper's and Film Noir's interplay with shadow and high-contrast (deep blacks and extreme whites with little gray) have always held sway with me, because the mood, the mystery (what's hiding in that dark depth?) heighten the excitement of the painting and/or scene. It adds tension in the mind of the viewer or conveys a world in which there is grime, crime and slime (Hey, that'd make a great title to the piece!). You'll definitely notice a correlating progression from Hopper to Film Noir to the bar & grill, as well as other sets, in my film. "Joe's" is the location where a lot of interweaving action takes place and is the crossroads to the players in the movie.
Some of you have already seen my drawing "Everything Comes to Joe's". Click here to have a gander. I wrote a novel "Wandering the Jagged Road" (go to Amazon.com and enter the book's title or enter my name and purchase a copy of your own! And soon to be a major motion picture – okay, maybe not that soon.), and in the book there's a scene that takes place in a coffee shop. That scene was the influence to the drawing of "Everything Comes to Joe's" and the drawing inspired me to create "The Dark Edge of Light". While writing "Wandering", I was reading about and gazing at Edward Hopper's body of work. Click here to compare and contrast "Everything Comes to Joe's" to Hopper's "Nighthawks", which, by the way, is my favorite painting in the world.
In future installments, and as I complete scenes, I'll have you delve back into my mind as I expound on those influencing my visual pacing, editing and shot selections.
21 July, 2008
Okay, okay, so it's been two months since I've done an update to the Blog. Ah, but the wait is worth it! Check out the new stills on the home page and the new animation. It's a background action plate for the rooftop chase sequence.
Many, many days to build for just five seconds. I love it and I do it all for my audience!
I just finished some ruins for the chase sequence at Newkirk Castle. Mr. X will be running away with the box when Cyxcyxdn tackles him from behind, grabs the box, takes off running then Mr. X gets up and gives chase. Not sure yet if I'll have Froschmann in the shot or not. This image has a lot of cool factor for me – lots of ooouuu-ness for the audience, too. Like many of the images I create, it's one in which I want to be there. It's a tranquil setting for some good action. At 80 + hours to make, it'll have its full ten seconds on screen. Some of these images may try to eat my lunch from time to time, however, I'm still having a lot of fun constructing them.
Lots of non-movie stuff going on. As you've probably seen on the news, California is quickly turning to ash with all of the fires. Luckily, nothing major is going on in my neck of the woods. However, August is just around the corner, and that's usually our busiest month. So my days - and nights - could be toast (bad puns rule!).
On the archaeological front: I'm surveying an area for tree harvesting. When the land is almost mathematically flat and every tree is the same size, one could very easily become lost. Thank goodness for great compass reading skills. Having a GPS unit really helps too!
The Forest Service, from time to time, will exchange land parcels to consolidate its holdings. With one such exchange, a site in Ash Creek will greatly expand and will have to be re-recorded. I saw this site last year, and it's very intensive, artifact-wise, and also a very beautiful setting. I can see why Native Americans - or just anybody - would want to live there. I'll take some pictures for ya.
I'm trying to get access to a rooftop here, but cannot locate the owners. It's the tallest building in Alturas (all three stories of it), and it'd make a great shot for my rooftop chase. If I just happen to be up there, accidentally, and the police just happen to see me, be sure to send bail funds. I'll give you a 'special thanks' in my movie credits :)
18 May, 2008
It's time to gear up for the move back west, switching from just the filmmaker role to archaeologist/firefighter and filmmaker. It's a pretty good gig working for the gov'ment. I can make enough dough in five months to keep me going all year long. Plus, we get off every holiday you can think of - with pay. Yes, thank you for your hard-earned tax dollars!
The work is demanding and, at times, dangerous, but it is a lot of fun. Even after 'The Dark Edge of Light' makes it big, I can see myself coming back to the Forest Service now and again to work a field season. Plus, Modoc county (NE corner of California) is a great place to get away from it all and get a mental massage.
These blog entries will probably be fewer in frequency during the next few months as I perform the above said duties. However, when I do tap fingertips to computer keys I will make good on my threat to be verbose.
The audio wrap party was a smash! We all had a great time and the food was wonderful (Scott, you should of come!). Below is a picture of those responsible. Get to know these faces as their voices will soon be very recognizable. They are: Jim Vann (aka Cyxcyxdn) and his wife Jannis; Deborah Richards (aka Sarah) and her husband (argh! I should be shot for not remembering his name. Deborah, send me an email with your husband's name, and I'll get him on here.); Susan's friend Calvin and Susan (aka Sarah and also the Sound Engineer).
Thanks again everyone for your creative talents and truly bringing my film to life!
24 April, 2008
'Tis another number to remember - and one that I can hopefully keep. It's the target release date for "The Dark Edge of Light". And for everyone in the States, that 01 June, 2011. Day then Month then Year. It's a logical progression Americans should learn to embrace. Of course, it will be up to the distributor as to the actual release date. Also, as to whether I enter it into the Cannes Film Festival. Cannes takes place in late May each year, which would push back the release date.
To hit that target date, though, I'm counting on the animation moving much faster when I finish all of the sets and special effects are completed. At the moment, I'm making the wheels go round and round on a car that pulls up to a stop light during the Bus Station establishment shot. Just another added detail here; the nose of the car dips as it breaks then returns to its normal position.
Give a shout out if you're enjoying this blog (even if you aren't) to let me know if this is just an ego stroke or if people are really reading it. Would you like an email reminder when new content is added?
12 April, 2008
Remember that number, 'cause it is the official registration number of my script for "The Dark Edge of Light" with the Writers Guild of America West. I should have registered it two years ago when I wrote it, but I never even gave it a thought. Recently, I was reading about the making of "Star Wars" (the first 1977 movie) and George Lucas was discussing registering his script, and it dawned on me that I (duh!) need to do just that. So I did. It's another item in my stocking reaffirming me that, yes, all of this is real (or should that be 'reel'?) and no longer just a series of images from the depths of my mind. It just keeps getting better and better!
The new images on the Behind the Scenes page are from the Deity Room in the Newkirk castle where our hero is on a quest for one of the mysterious boxes. Lots of wonderful special effects going on in this scene. The flame on the torch was gobs of fun (sarcasm) to animate. Fire, naturally, reacts to its surrounding stimuli, so as the torch is tossed up through the hole and landing on the ground, it had to conform to those actions. Holy! But, oh, does it look good on the big screen. This was one of the shots I previewed recently at a theatre. Making it look realistic without becoming the focus of the shots it's in is just one of the many thousand of little details that will, in itself, go unnoticed, but will greatly enrich the over-all movie-going experience.
4 April, 2008
A glimpse into the mind of Terry. Okay, cut out the screaming and running away. What you are about to see is a before and after thing. Click on this link to compare and contrast a photo I snapped a few years ago in Ohio with the new image created for the exit shot of a flashback sequence. The end shot reinforces the dialogue during the flashback and the current situation in which Cyxcyxdn finds himself. Namely, between a rock and a hard place. In the end shot, there is a temple far in the distance while the characters, at present, walk though a rugged, harsh land. This is a mirror to the fact that Cyxcyxdn still has a lot to learn before he reaches perfection.
30 March, 2008
Set construction resumes. Now that the dialogue audio is completed (there is still a lot of sound effects to be created and added), I'm back building sets (see the main page for new images). This is one area in which I'm faster than if they were to be built in reality. But, yet, isn't cyberspace reality? Feel free to discuss. Some sets have taken over 100 hours to draw, yet it's still quicker - and a lot cheaper - than building something in a studio or on a backlot.
The set with the giant toes (the toenails are five foot tall) took a lot of think-time (building it in my head), but only around 15 hours to draw. Luckily, one of my photographs from New Zealand worked out perfectly for the background mountains. This shot is the first in a flashback scene, and it also helps to establish the giant statuary that'll make a cool dream sequence transition to become more realistic.
Bonus points to anyone who can guess which famous painter I'm using for as my Production Designer (the Production Designer is responsible for the look of the sets and overseeing that they get built). I should more accurately say that I'm being greatly influenced by him since he did most of his work in the first half of the 20th century. I often enjoy discussing how he and comic strip artist Milton Caniff (he drew "Steve Canyon" and before that, "Terry and the Pirates") had major influence on the look of Film Noir movies. Send me an email with your guess as to the idenity of this famous painter.
Kudos go out to Jack S. for instantly recognizing that an old journal I drew (I'll put it up on this site soon) was influenced by the video game Myst. I'm not looking to re-invent the wheel with my film. I want people to notice the influence of others on purpose. This way the audience is immediately drawn in to my story. It's know as the warm-fuzzy affect. Boiled down, you could say (I do - often) that my film is "Highlander" meets "The Maltese Falcon". The plot is also very simple: "Several strange and unusual characters get caught up in the quest for an ancient artifact that, according to legend, will bestow enlightenment on the one who can open it". Much like the James Bond movies, you may know (or think you know) what's going to happen even before you purchase your ticket, however, it's the journey to the end that makes it so much fun!
26 March, 2008
LOCKED!! At 6:57 pm today, the dialogue audio has been locked! This day has been over two years in the making. The first audio was cut in December 2005 with a few pick-up lines recorded a couple months after that. When Jordan passed, it locked me into the script that still needed some tweaks. The thought of replacing Jordan's audio was never even an option - when you hear how wonderful he is, you'll agree. However, this did leave me in a quandary. Jordan's character, Mr. Froschmann, was supposed to be the last one standing. Without his dialogue, this wasn't going to be possible. So, for six months everything came to a halt while I reworked the script.
The break was very productive, not on my movie, though. I finished remodeling my house, got it sold and moved off to New Zealand. Like I do with a lot of my projects, I worked on one thing physically while working on another idea mentally. As I hammered in nails, my mind wrote and re-wrote dialogue; as I flew for 13 hours to New Zealand, I worked on my script; as I hiked the beautiful hills and dales - well, you get the idea.
Finally, after another year passed, I arrived at a script that I was very happy with, and over the past few weeks, my wonderful cast stepped back up to the mic and added their talented voices to the new words. The last few lines were recorded earlier today, and tonight they slipped right into place. So, a great, big THANK YOU! to Jim, Scott, Susan, Deborah and to Jordan. You guys have really made me happy, and a few million more (in a couple years) will also be applauding for you!
18 March, 2008
Ahhh, I can rest easier now. Everyone came back to record some pick-up lines and also some new dialogue and everyone easily slipped right back into their character voices. I even reprised my role as Joe, but without the Scottish accent. Only one problem: It sucked. I didn't even try editing any of the raw tracks. The new voice just didn't fit. After auditioning other voice-over talent, I still wasn't hearing the voice for Joe like I was hearing it in my head. Oh, yes, there are several voices talking to me in my head! Anyway, I had kidded around with Scott Hilley that if I didn't like my take on Joe that I'd let him do it. Man, I should have done that in the first place.
The first direction I suggested to Scott was that I wanted a Mid-western sounding Mako (Mako was a Japanese actor with a gravelly voice). That might have been a weird request, but it got Scott to thinking. A couple days later, we sat down together, and I had Scott try a few variations. Within a few minutes he found the voice for Joe. He dubbed it "William Conrad" (he was the actor who played Cannon, the detective). It was interesting getting from where I thought the character should be to the actual voice that will now bring Joe to life.
Check out the new "Meet the Cast" page! You'll discover who is who in the movie and get the chance to read about all the other wonderful work they've done in their bios. I owe each of them so much for breathing life into my words and making the characters rich and dynamic!
27 February, 2008
It's all becoming official. Today, I applied for two trademarks. One for the Talonrock logo and the other for the word "Talonrock", serial numbers 77407820 and 77407867 respectfully. The gov'ment says it could take up to six months to process. Nice chunk of change they're receiving too! It's at this point that I wish I had the funds to hire more people like a lawyer to handle all the stuff like this, so that I could just concentrate on the creative side of it all.
New audio to be recorded next week (being scheduled as I write this). Mostly new lines for everyone. The main changes are that the character of Joe will no longer have a fake Scottish accent. He's now going to be a mid-westerner. Also, the whole 10 + minutes of back story exposition has been condensed down to just over a minute. Same message gets across, but now the main storyline will continue without interruption. Besides, I can always use the back story for the prequel.
23 February, 2008
Man, I was hoping to have the site up and ready for you guys a couple days ago, but my hosting service had the site locked and no one, no even your's truly, could see it. But now, obviously, it's up for a select few to enjoy. One of the issues was with passwords, so every quarter (if needed) I'll send out a new password for you to log in. If at any time you have trouble seeing the site, just shoot me an email and I'll get the issue resolved.
I've added a few more stills from the sets I've created. You guys are the very first to see the bus station and the dream sequence. Did you notice the name of the bus station? Yeah, I didn't want to have any issues with Greyhound. We'll see if I get away with using a modified version of their dog logo. I took ten pounds off their version, making him a very sleek greyhound, indeed. So, it's 'Greenhund'. 'Hund' is German for 'dog'.
In the detail shot of the bus station, the top poster is of my own making with the bottom two as modifications from government travel posters of the 1930s and 40s. It's a lot of fun - and hard work - creating everything for my movie world, yet it's the details like this poster that will make the film. It'll also make the DVD popular as people pause here and there checking everything out that they normally may have missed.
The final image is from a dream sequence. Using real places as a starting point, I then give them my own tweak to develop a setting for my movie world. This shot is a combination of northern California, the desert Southwest and Scotland. I'm currently working on a flashback setting, and I'll post a series of images to show you the progression from original paste-up through to completed setting.
The image in the very upper right corner of this page is the title card from the movie. From the get-go, I want everyone to immediately know this is a return to the Film Noir movies of the 1940s. At one time I toyed with the idea of making a black and white film. Yeah, it'd be cool, but it'd have limited commercial appeal. Perhaps for the DVD, hhhmmm.....
21 February, 2008
I was thinking of adding this site to the world wide web much later when the movie was closer to being finished, but my hosting company had a sale going on, so voilá! I've had the url for years waiting for this day when I actually had a movie in production.
Actually, today is a really groovy day in that I got to see some more test footage up on the big screen. My friend Mitch is a projectionist at a local theatre and he put it up through their digital projector. Lookin' good!
The stuff on the 'behind the scenes' page is what is currently up on my other web site (worldofterry.com). I'll have some new, secret stuff up for you guys within a couple days.
Okay, the character in the upper right hand corner. As often happens, when I first hear a phrase or a word, an image will immediately come to mind. When I heard 'blog' I thought the word sounded like a contraction of 'bloated frog', thus THE BLOG!