Archive for the ‘The Making Of Iridium Consequence’ Category

Yesterday, I watched an old cut of The Making of Iridium Consequence. For various reasons—money, frustration, other projects—I haven’t thought about this movie in a month. It turned out to be a good thing, because I was able to see it with fresh eyes, and my fresh eyes saw that the movie definitely starts slow, but that when it gets going, it is a good movie. It needs sound desperately.

These fresh eyes are ready to tackle the project again. There are a few things I want to simplify—the CGI, for example, and the beginning if possible. And if I can find all the actors again, we are going to need to ADR a bunch.

I had gotten caught up in how hard it has been to push this movie forward, and forgot for a while that the project is worth the effort. But it is worth the effort. So I’m rolling up my sleeves, spitting on my hands, and then I’m going to go wash my hands, because that is gross. But eventually, I am getting back to work.



They never televise the Academy Awards for best makeup or best sound design. But these invisible people are essential to the making of a good movie.

Jill, Make Up Super Hero

The makeup artist on set has several important functions. They make people look pretty. This is important not only because actors are vain, but also because we have this ridiculous thing we do in film called an extreme close up, which is the equivalent of standing three inches away from someone with a magnifying glass. People were never meant to be seen in such a way, and no one looks good that way. The Makeup Artist’s magic hides all the uneven skin monsters so close ups don’t burn our eyes with their horror.

Makeup artists do continuity. When we shoot one scene over three days, the makeup artists is part of the team that makes it look like one day. When an actor is supposed to become gradually more tired over the course of a movie, and we don’t shoot anything in order, the makeup artists tracks it and makes it happen. When Rocky Balboa gets his face beaten to a pulp in the first Rocky, that was all the work of some really awesome makeup artists.

They do special effects. Like faces beaten to a pulp. Burns. Bruises. Zombies. Prosthetics. It is a wide variety of difficult tasks, and they deserve to get their awards in prime time.

Jill Ekkawi did the make up for us The Making of Iridium Consequence. We only got to use her a few days, so we packed some essential scenes into the time she was available. Specifically, we had an alien army that had to be made up. Jill came up with the designs and then implemented them identically several times, weeks apart. And because our aliens were all nine and ten years old, she also repaired smudges and marks that come from little girls accidentally rubbing their made up faces.

Jill is an incredibly creative make up professional. She’s worked on other films, and she’s done wedding make up, which requires a huge amount of courage.

Evil alien. Scary!

Lately, she’s done a number of photo shoots, and everything she does is terrific.

What impresses me the most about Jill is how make up is something she genuinely loves to do.  She loves to buy make up, she loves to talk about make up, and she loves to do make up. But what she really loves to do is special effects make up, which is a specialized  discipline that not every make up artist is proficient in. She loves to create realistic wounds and boils and other gross things. And she is very, very good at it.

Jill did this.

Halloween is coming up, which is like Christmas for Jill. She spends hours on her horrific creations, and I promise you, what she does to people takes Halloween to an all new level. When her kids come to your door, you don’t say, “How cute!” You say, “Oh, sweet lord, what happened to you?”

I am fortunate to have worked with Jill, and more fortunate to have her for a friend. Demand for her talents is growing all over Florida, but she likes to stay close to home and her kids. I will be able to get her for my next project. Probably. Did I mention we are friends? Outlaws love to be friends with super talented people.

Ugh. Sound. Sound is the Goliath to my David, the Sauron to my Bilbo Baggins, the bug to my bed, the hang to my nail, the Sugar for the Production of Polyhydric Alcohol Program to my U.S. manufacturer of polyhydric alcohols. You get what I’m saying. It has been another week of wrestling with the sound on The Making of Iridium Consequence, and sound is still winning. But I feel that the tide is about to turn. Any second now.

I’ve been relabeling hundreds of files, so that I can match the sound to the take. That is something I shouldn’t have to be doing, but oh well. And there is this stupid buzz everywhere, in all the recordings, and I don’t have a clue where it came from. I just keep telling myself that the next movie will be better. And this one will just take longer to finish.

Sound. I’ll get you, one of these days.

This is what it feels like to be me.

This has been another week of delays. It is pretty frustrating. The picture is almost all edited, but sound has not begun, and it seems unlikely I’ll make my October 15 premiere deadline.

I could kick something. I really could.

This, my friends, is the biggest problem with low budget film making. No one takes it seriously. People feel free to interfere and throw things off course. And other people get pissy about working for little or no money, and quit or drag their heels.

Do you know how much I’m getting paid? Nothing. Not one red dime. Do you know how many jobs I’ve done? Let’s see–I wrote it, I directed it, I edited it, I’m doing opening credits and CGI, I was the line producer, I had no assistant director or script supervisor… and I could go on and on.

But I keep pressing on. Because I know what this movie will be worth to me, finished. And I’m not talking about money worth. I am talking about accomplishment-worth.

So today, I am a bit complain-y. And tomorrow, I’ll get back to work. That is how it is, folks.

You just have to keep climbing the mountain. Because I may be in a sucky place in the process, but it is still a pretty awesome process.

Well, this last week hasn’t been my favorite for movie progress. I have not been able to get anywhere with the CGI because of outside interference and because I can’t find the hard drive that has all my CGIU work on it. That is a major bummer. But I fill find it today or die trying.

The other less happy news comes from sound. Sound won’t be done for the October 1 deadline. So today, I am sorting sound to get it done faster, hopefully.

This is why it pays to hire assistants. Assistants speed things up by doing monotonous tasks like label every clip by scene and take that make things go faster and smoother when the real work has to get done.

So this labor day, I will be laboring over this. While you are eating your hotdogs and swimming in your lakes, think of me.


So it’s time for the latest news from the front.

We are getting pretty dern close.

And when you get pretty dern close, it is time to start thinking about ADR. The biggest problem we are going to have with ADR is finding all of our actors. Because I don’t know everybody who contributed performances to this movie. I mean, I don’t even know their names. I mean, I don’t have a clue how they even found us, so I don’t know how to find them. And that will be a problem putting together the closing credits, too.

So if you are reading this and you were an actor in The Making of Iridium Consequence, call me. Please.

Email’s fine, too. I just want to find you.

Now that The Making of Iridium Consequence is shaping up, I am now concerning myself with the order of the scenes. Now, you may think that there is a script, and that script tells me what order of the scenes, and that is kind of true.

For example, the first scene, where the main characters are introduced, needs to be first. If those scenes showed up in the middle of the movie, it wouldn’t make sense.

But there are a lot of other scenes that can move. There are several scenes revolving around the b-plot, which is the competition between Dalton and Haley. They can go anywhere. They don’t impact the a-plot. And so I can use those scenes to alter the pacing of the film, and create visual breaks between scenes.

So I am debating pushing back the climax of the a-plot by moving more b-plot scenes forward. So Will and I hashed that out for over an hour, and now, I have to see how that turns out, and probably change it again. Because I have the power! Wahahaha!