behind the scenes at StrangewerksFilms

Posts tagged “Monster movie

CHEAPO DOLLY TRACK

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Strangewerks Films’ new high tech dolly track–ain’t she a beaut?

So I have a dolly for my camera. It’s one of those “Glide Gear” systems they sell on ebay. It’s pretty nice for the relatively inexpensive price. The only problem is, I don’t have any track to go with it.

They have a track system on ebay as well, but I didn’t feel like dropping the $150+ for it. So I went down to the Home Depo and bought a 2 X 4 and some plastic pipe (one inch in diameter). Oh, some screws too. Cost me about $18 bucks. I went with one inch because it lifts the glide wheels off the ground a little more, in case you’re shooting somewhere outside and there’s gravel around that could obstruct the wheels.

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Unfortunately, I had to do the construction in my tiny NYC apartment, not much room to maneuver around, esp. with curious cats like Madame Sylvia here…,

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I had to cut down the pipe to around five feet because I don’t think it would fit in the company SUV if it was much longer. I would’ve liked it longer to provide for more tracking shot time,  but at least we got this muich. Maybe I can devise some kind of interlocking pipe system to make it longer…! Mwahahaha! Oh and I only stripped one screw!

It’s crucial to get as much camera movement into your project as you can and not just the handheld stuff. (I’ve had distributors tell me that overseas audiences don’t like the handheld stuff that much.) Getting smooth camera motion into your film is key to making it look professional. Also, it’ll set your film apart from all the other low-budget crap a distributor has to weed through. That and using a boom mic instead of a camera mic! Ditch the camera mic you guys/gals/gender fluid types/whomever is reading this. (Ol’ Max is open to everyone!)

Now, the only thing is, if I want to use this thing for a scene where two people are talking as they walk down the street, I’m gonna have to move it like twenty times to cover the whole scene.IMG_4245-min

So, if you see some strange guy moving his homemade dolly track down the sidewalk, again and again, don’t make fun of him, he’s just trying to save a few bucks!

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Mutated Monster Face…

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Now that our horror feature film Lifeform is about to be released, I thought it would be cool to show some of the many horror special effects makeups we created for it. (Too many if you ask my wife!)

We figured we’d have at least two creatures in the film–one is the main creature played by Virginia Logan and the other is the son of the villain, who is played by Adam Cerny. For him, we thought we’d have some crazy face mutation as well as a mutated monster hand. In this piece, we’ll show some of the steps involved in creating the face prothetic.

Here’s a shot of the face sculpture, you can see where we tried to work some tentacles in. Everyone knows tentacles are what’s best in life, after laying wasted to your enemies, listening to the lamentations of their girlfriends, etc. etc.

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After sculpting it, I had Anthony Jones cast it in Rebound from Smooth-On and make the mother mold for it.  Then he casted the piece in silicone, also from Smooth-On. Don’t remember which one. He did a great job. All the details were perfectly transferred to the piece.

After that, Christine painted it with silicone paint. She’s an artist, so of course she did a smashing job of bringing out the fine details (and she has not coerced my admiration for her work in any way!)

Here it is on Adam. He did a great job of acting out the part of a mutant freak! Though he really doesn’t look that happy, in fact he looks a little annoyed. The things you have to do for showbiz…

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The top shot is from the film set…looks pretty awesome especially with creature contacts. He gets to strangle people with his mutant tentacle hand too, a pretty standard horror movie convention, but still delicious!