1) Why ‘Black & White’ film making?
Excellent question. With Die Pig Die! I wanted to make an homage to old
60s horror films like Psycho or The Twilight Zone. I wasn’t very
experienced with green screen so having it in black in white also helped
mask my poor green screen skills.
Now, The Final Case of Ben Sabik is also in black in white. Ben Sabik is
part of a larger story I have planned and I want it to have a 1940’s visual
style. There is a very important reason for this story, as well as the others
I have planned in this universe, to be in black and white. It has something
to do with the Subolonian people. That’s all I can say for now.
Victoria Vanderbelt was in color, obviously, and that was fun to do.
2) We are surrounded by Canon XL1cameras in Central Valley film
making,BUT your camera is different in a good way…Explain it’s
I usually use my Panasonic HVX 100. It shoots in high definition and I
have a lens adaptor which allows me to use Canon 35mm lenses. The
lenses really help give it that filmic look. Shallow depth of field is really
hard to accomplish without the proper lens. I also use the Canon 60D. I’m
still getting used to this one but it has a lot of features the Panasonic
doesn’t have. Both cameras shoot in HD and I can play with frame rate as
well if I want to shoot slow motion or speed stuff up. For example, the
little mechanical man in Victoria Vanderbelt was shot at 12 frames per
second. I had him move slower than he should have. When I played it
back at 24 frames per second, the video was speed up 200% so he moved
at the speed I wanted him to move. The reason I did this was to give him
a less natural feel, emphasizing the fact that he is a machine. I don’t know
if the motion is even noticeable but that was my intention.
3) Is GREEN SCREEN your best asset in post production ?
As I said in the first answer, I’m really not that great with green screen.
I’ve just been using it a means to an end. I used it sparingly in Die Pig Die!
mostly for windows and the scene with the tunnel. I made Victoria
Vanderbelt in two weeks and I wanted it have a very stylized look so I
didn’t mind it being all green screen and not looking totally real. When I
make Ben Sabik I plan to use green screen as little as possible, relying
instead on forced perspective sets and miniature models for set
4) One Sentence Descriptions – Diana Vega-Pugh_____________,D.T.
Carney _______,Damian Hayes___________,Chris Mackey_________ and
Ron Blackwell_________ .
Diana: She keeps the energy flowing while she’s on set and does an
outstanding job acting, especially considering she hasn’t really been doinghttp://www.indiegogo.com/project/widget/86415
this for very long. She’s also very supportive and keeps me going. I’m very
lucky to have her in my life. Yes I know that’s more than one sentence but
I feel like she deserves at least four sentences.
D.T.: He’s a really fun, respectful and encouraging person.
Damian: I feel like Die Pig Die! worked because of the music he created
for me. He gets the music from my head out and onto his cello/guitar.
Chris: Now there’s an interesting character I want to put in all my movies
Ron: He’s a really cool guy who’s fun to just sit and chat movies with.
5) So, Crowd Funding…Like ‘Indie-Go Go’ and ‘Kickstarter’,Are they are
Good idea or Bad ?
I think definitely a good idea. I think with Kickstarter, if you don’t reach
your goal you don’t get to keep what you raise. Indiegogo just takes a
small percent so you still get to keep what you raise which is good
because I haven’t been meeting my goals. By the way, The Final Case of
Ben Sabik is going to be really cool but I’m still trying to raise funds for
sets and things so I’m going to shamelessly plug it here.
6) You work fast ,Your last film took two weeks from filming to post
The few things I’ve made have all been made with very quick deadlines.
For our wedding, Diana suggested we make a film to show and that was
only two weeks before the date. I storyboarded the thing, watched a
bunch of Buster Keaton shorts on youtube and we made our silent film
The Art of Love in two days and then I edited it and did the effects over
the next two weeks. Die Pig Die! was another “let’s make a movie for our
Halloween party” thing so I wrote in two nights and then we made it with
that four week deadline. Two weeks before Diana’s birthday this year I
thought it’d be awesome to make a steampunk movie for her so I got to it.
For The Final Case of Ben Sabik, I made a teaser trailer and it says
“coming Summer 2012” at the end. I’ve been slowly working on it. I think
once summer really gets here I’ll feel that push toward the deadline I’ve
set and I’ll knock it out.
7) When and If you ever get a production crew, Can you let go of control,
I’d love to have a crew. Generally the crew is me, Diana, and whoever is
acting that day. For some of the things I’ve been doing, that’s okay as I
don’t need a lot of people, but soon I’ll be doing bigger things and I’ll
definitely need all the help I can get. I already have a guy creating
building models for Ben Sabik and someone lined up for some CG work.
I’m letting my model guy be creative with his buildings and he’s giving
them history, which is great. I’d love to be able to show up and direct and
not worry about spending twenty minutes adjusting the lights while I’m
also trying to figure out how someone should be saying their lines, as well
as finishing painting props I made the night before. So yeah, I can let go
of control as long as I trust the people I’m working with and we’re all on
the same page.
8) You are getting involved with outside projects, like SOV documentary
and D.T. Carney’s DUST TO DUST, are you still in your comfort zone ?
SOV documentary was just a simple interview I shot as a favor for Chris
Mackey. I’m working on editing the wraparound for Dust To Dust for DT
and I’m really hoping to be heavily involved with the production of the rest
of that film. I think I can bring something really special to his stories.
Yeah, they’re in color too! I look forward to the challenge of working on
somebody else’s story and bringing their vision to life with my creativity.
9) Is music really that important as your films portray it?
Extremely! To me, music in films is just as important as the characters. It
always bugs me when a sequel is made and they’ve recasted an actor and
he clearly looks and sound different because he’s not the same guy. It’s
the same thing with music when a new composer does the sequel and
there are totally new theme songs for the characters. That’s one thing I
think the Harry Potter films did really well; even though they brought on
different composers after the third film, they still used John Williams’
theme for Harry so it still had that little fabric. I’m a huge fan of film and
videogame music and I like when I leave the theater or shut off the game
and I can hum the music. I want people to have that same experience
with my films, hearing a certain theme play so you know that character is
around and being able to hum the music. After I showed my brother-inlaw
Die Pig Die! He started humming Lori’s Theme and laughed. I thought
that was awesome that it stood out for him.
10) Make that BIG statement,For your growing pack of fans…
Stay tuned…. I have a feature I wrote three years ago that I’ve been
sitting on, refining and planning. Ben Sabik is literally only the beginning. I
have two more short films I plan to do next and they both take place in
the same universe as Ben Sabik and my feature. Once you see all three
shorts and the feature, you’ll see how they all tie together as well as stand
alone. And with the feature, you’ll finally see why the lack of color in thishttp://www.indiegogo.com/project/widget/86415
series it so very important. Also pay close attention to Ben Sabik and the
other two shorts I’m working, as there are lots of little clues that point to
the main character and plot of my feature. Heck, even Die Pig Die! has a
small reference that will be obvious once I get to make my feature
1) Why ‘Black & White’ film making?