View Full Version : "God and Country" - WWII Period Film
12-20-2006, 07:56 PM
SEE PAGE 5 FOR SCREEN GRABS STRAIGHT OUT OF CAMERA (NO CORRECTION YET ETC.).
SEE PAGE 4 FOR UPDATED BEHIND-THE-SCENES PHOTOS FROM OUR FIRST FEW DAYS OF SHOOTING!!!!
Well, here goes!
We are going to be shooting January 9th-14th. It is actually going to be a longer piece but I am hoping to be able to cut together a 6-minute version that makes some sense. But, I did name one of my main characters Eric so that I can submit to this contest.
It is projected to be a 30-minute short film set in the WWII-era. I know, I know. Indie film + little to no budget, should = Story about three depressed artists sitting in a room talking about how life sucks. Not for me. I've never been very good at staying within my boundaries.
So, for the next few weeks I will be getting NO sleep pulling this feat off.
I'll try and make updates to this post and also respond to any questions.
Thanks and good luck to everyone!
Some location pics:
Old Abandoned Barn
Train Tracks/Bridge Crossing
Photos from auditions (using some very rough props for staging/visualization purposes)
12-20-2006, 07:59 PM
Wow a WWII period flick. That ought to carry quite a challenge with it. I'm very anxious to follow you during your process.
Welcome to the fest. What will you be shooting on?
12-20-2006, 08:11 PM
Wow! That was a quick post! :)
We will be shooting HVX with the M2. We've used it on a couple of other shorts and are pretty happy with the results.
Should be a fun project!!!
Trying to upload some images now...not sure how to get them to appear right in the message rather than as a link...?
12-20-2006, 08:14 PM
There is a little icon that is a picture of a mountain. you click that and enter the http:// of the pictures you want to display. That should do it.
12-20-2006, 08:16 PM
Your Kodak gallery requires sign up by the way.
You can also upload stuff here to DVXUser (up to 1 meg per file, and a total of 10 megs) by using the member upload center.
If you don't have a site or a place to host your pics from, send me a pm, and I'll hook you up.
12-20-2006, 08:34 PM
Thanks for the help Ramjet. Didn't realize the Kodak thing required sign-up...thought I had turned that off.
Seems to be working now though.
12-20-2006, 08:37 PM
No problem. Those are some nice locations. You got my attention! Keep us all up to date on the process.
I'm always interested to see what folks can do with war pieces and fantasy pieces on a micro/no budget.
12-20-2006, 08:57 PM
This looks really cool to me...especially the bridge location. Good luck with the project...I look forward to seeing it.
12-20-2006, 09:38 PM
Welcome! It's going to be a challenge doing a WWII flick. I've done alot of
research into getting the US uniform correct and it can get pretty expensive.
Flags of Our Fathers finished production so I'm sure you can find what
you need on web! Dig the locations.
12-20-2006, 10:05 PM
Excellent!!!! Amazing!!!! I Cant Wait For This One!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
God & Country, A great title and subject- will find a good audience, count me in!
Everything looks good, let us know how you like working with the M2 in the field.
12-21-2006, 08:12 AM
Thanks for the support guys!
Inexistence: Yes, it can be difficult and expensive to get the uniforms correct! I've been doing research into several options and none of them are that cheap. We will probably have to cut corners on "period correctness" in order to make it affordable.
However, I think we can make the outfits believable to the typical viewer. The way I see it, if the story is interesting, fast-moving and the outfits are at least "cool looking" then I figure we can get by with some faking it. :)
I was just reading a thread on how a lot of Hollywood muzzle flashes are really not realistic, but they look cool. That is my approach to a lot of how I make movies. If I cannot afford to make it 100% realistic, at least make it cool!
Hopefully we pull that off.
12-21-2006, 10:24 AM
I am definitely looking forward to this....and the long version as well. Welcome to the fest and good luck :thumbsup:
12-21-2006, 10:41 AM
Looks interesting and I am sure it will look very cool. Our Homeless man is wearing that same jacket. I guess he was a WWII vet. Check it out http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=76675&page=8
12-21-2006, 10:49 AM
Yeah...looks like the same jacket. Ours was a Wal-Mart special (but don't tell anybody!).
I have not gotten around to making "high quality alterations" like you guys are doing in your photo. I think we are going to call it "distressing the wardrobe" when we do it though. :)
I saw you guys were having the jitter problem with Premiere Pro 1.5. I had the exact same problem on a documentary I did several months ago and the upgrade to Premiere Pro 2.0 fixed it for me. I know its bit pricey but I think I remember reading the only other solution was to recapture the footage manually (not batch capture).
Best of luck on your project!!!
12-21-2006, 10:49 AM
oooh im pictuing some high shutter speeds... mmmm....
best of luck! what a great idea for dramafest!
12-21-2006, 10:53 AM
oooh im pictuing some high shutter speeds... mmmm....
best of luck! what a great idea for dramafest!
Yes with dirt, dust, and smoke flying everywhere...
Can't wait to see this one... and yeah, Walmart special for us too, but don't worry I won't tell anybody:)
12-21-2006, 08:16 PM
I've never talked to any of the reenactors for using their equipment/uniforms
and such but, you could try contacting some of them. Give them a credit in the
short or promise lunch for comp.
12-22-2006, 06:41 AM
That is a great resource! I actually tried to contact several groups but there does not seem to be much in this area. There are quite a few up north/northeast seems like.
One of the forums I went on looking for reenactors I found a link to a no/lo budget film some reenactors were doing called "Rhineland".
The link to the trailer is:
Check it out....looks pretty good!
12-22-2006, 09:30 AM
There's also a place my buddy goes to around where we live a lot. It's called mp surplus. I don't know if it is a change store or not. Maybe you can google it.
12-27-2006, 06:52 PM
Spent the day after Christmas cleaning up the train/bridge location. You can see before picture(s) in the first post in this thread.
Painted over a lot of grafitti. Still a bit to do but it looks much better than before.
I was honestly a little surprised the cops never showed up. The bridge is no longer used but it is situated right next to a trail where people kept walking by...strange.
Anyway, there are a few shots here of my brother standing in for one of the characters. Nothing serious, just trying out different compositions etc.
12-27-2006, 08:08 PM
Wow. Those shots are great. I'm really looking forward to this one.
Will it be B&W? If you're asking, I'm in favor of B&W given your still shots.
12-27-2006, 10:09 PM
Yeah, I actually hadn't seriously considered B&W but when I was playing around with different looks I kind of like it!
I am not committing to anything at this stage but I will definitely play around with it in post and see what we can come up with...
12-28-2006, 08:01 AM
Will there be all the Ilsa-like regalia in the german uniforms??
12-28-2006, 09:15 AM
Great looking shoots. I like the one through the boards and the the closeup on the soldier with the track reaching far off into the background. BW would be cool or maybe just really desaturated.
12-28-2006, 10:12 AM
Uhm...had to do a little research on Ilsa...
My my. No, there will not be any Ilsa-like regalia in the German uniforms. I'm pretty sure you don't want to see any of the guys we've cast dressed like Ilsa!
I'm thinking we will probably go with something closer to what you suggested Jeremy...very desaturated but not completely B&W. Have to play around with it and find a look we really like!
That will be the fun part...I really like post. Mostly because it is less stressful (you don't have 20 actors and 10 crew members waiting on you to make decisions...). :furious3:
12-28-2006, 01:10 PM
Yeah, digging those shots, I agree with having a desaturated look, not completely B&W.
12-28-2006, 01:16 PM
And just to clarify, these shots are from my Canon 20D...not the actual camera we will be shooting with.
Although, I am hoping that with the HVX-200 and M2 combo we can get something similar as far as detail/dof.
Doing a full walkthrough of all the locations on Saturday with my DP and 1st AD so may have a few more pictures to post after that.
Trying to finalize all the wardrobe elements, props, etc. next week and then start shooting on the 9th...yeah, I'm a little stressed!
01-11-2007, 12:38 AM
I noticed you had posted on the 'war at home' thread in which Iam Directing and read you were having problems with Wardrobe. A couple of things that helped me get 20 Uniforms togethor were:
* Stay away from reproduction, just becasue it looks like the real thing, doesn't mean that you should get sucked into it.
* Involve as many friends as possible, and ask if they have brown pants and black shoes or boots, (in this case green pants), and just concentrate on the getting the top half looking good, as that is what the audience will focus on. If you need white shirts in bulk (for under the green U.S jackets) Go to your closest shopping center and say that your the captain of some local sporting team, and needed cheap shirts you can buy in bulk to get screen printed or something and suck up to them and they will give you a whole bunch for practically nothing.
* Borow as much as possible, and if from collectors, borrow like a helmet from them once and bring it back without using it, to gain their trust in thinking that it wont get dirty.... then borrow like as much as you can.
* Go to Op shops, or second hand clothing stores, and check ebay all the time. And if possible, give yourself more time to get clothing, that way you will not just spend money on the back that it needs to be done by whatever time.
* Contact your local National Guard Unit, or host a WW2 Re-enactment at your locations if you have any groups nearby, they would love the fact that they get filmed and can be part of something, you would be surprised.
Hope that I have been more a help than just a realy boring thread, lol
Hey pia, just to let you know, Big-5 sporting goods has tons of mausers and Kar98 rifles in stock for like $75. Believe it or not, they fire...
01-13-2007, 01:38 PM
Wow~! What an exciting first few days of shooting!
We have 6 days scheduled, we've completed 4 and then had to cancel today because of the wintry weather. Will probably have to cancel tomorrow as well and then pick those last two days up on another weekend.
However, in spite of the schedule changes I am in awe of the work of our cast and crew and the quality of the material we are getting. I'm posting some behind-the-scenes stills to give you an idea of what to expect.
Because of the shooting delay we will probably not have the 5-minute version ready in time for the DVXuser Drama Film Festival...but definitely expect to see the release of the full 30-minute short in the "near" future!
Without further ado...some pictures:
Turns out, people listen to your directing much better when you have a gun in your hand... :-D
Thanks for your insight Kingsland! Everything you said is great advice!!!
01-13-2007, 01:54 PM
these shots look fantastic! Just don't let the weather get you down :) FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT! (makes it more of a story and challenge)
01-13-2007, 02:44 PM
Oh my God (pun intended) this looks really good!
My favorite shots are 2 with the dogtags, and 6 with the men and their dirty looking faces. I can't wait to see this film.
01-13-2007, 02:54 PM
Wow! These look fantastic! I can't wait to see this one!! :)
01-13-2007, 03:04 PM
Wow, I agree - great, great shots! Looking forward to seeing this one, for sure.
Great costume choices and nice authentic weapons! Nice lighting indoor and outdoor too :)
01-13-2007, 08:53 PM
Just to clarify, these are all behind-the-scenes photos...not actual footage from the camera. However, the actual footage looks better than these stills!
Credit for the lighting on this goes to our incredibly brilliant DP, Eric Meisner. Seriously, if he is not making Hollywood's Top 10 list in the next few years then something is wrong! :-D
I'll also give God credit for the wonderful weather he provided for the shoot (nice, bright and sunny for all the stuff in the U.S. and then drab, dreary and gray for everything that takes place in Germany).
The costumes actually all really fell into place at the last minute. I had been collecting various pieces and elements but my Wardrobe people came in and pulled it all together.
In addition, we have had numerous people be very supportive in the form of great locations, period props/guns etc.
Allright, gotta go to bed. We are gonna try and brave the winter weather/ice and shoot tomorrow.
Should be quite the bonding experience! :-)
01-15-2007, 08:59 AM
Those BTS photos look great. Everything looks very authentic. The girls wardrobe and make up are great. Like you pulled her right out of the 1940's. The car is awesome too. Looks like you will have quite the film. Good luck.
01-15-2007, 03:38 PM
This is really looking good. I think the costumes look great, very convincing.
01-16-2007, 10:16 AM
The girl is actually a friend of mine...a very talented actress I have wanted to use in a 20's, 30's or 40's kind of role for some time. She has the PERFECT look for it. When I walked in the room and saw her in costume with the hair, makeup etc. I was SO excited!
She was actually coming out to set the last day of shooting (Sunday) just to help out behind the scenes and hit a patch of ice/water and flipped her truck. We were very blessed in that she only sustained minor bruising from her airbag!
The weather kind of kicked our butts the last couple of days. The ice storm came through and Texans don't do well with any kind of ice/winter weather. So, we are going to try and pick up our last couple of scenes this weekend.
Will keep you updated...
01-16-2007, 10:43 AM
WHOA! Just saw this thread updated... amazing pics! Looks great!
01-16-2007, 11:39 PM
Based on these pics I must admit that this is the one I'm really looking forward to.
Please press on and get something up for the Fest - regardless of weather.
And Jared and the boys surely ought to add a "wardrobe" category to the voting sheet this time out. It would only be fair ...
01-16-2007, 11:45 PM
This is one I'm REALLY looking forward to.
The grabs look absolutely amazing.
01-17-2007, 03:01 AM
wow.... WWII just thought of it makes me nervous and ur working on it...bravo.
even posted pics looks awesome... really waiting for the short
01-17-2007, 10:20 AM
Thanks for the comments guys!
I am hoping to at least get a trailer or something else up just to give everyone a preview if nothing else!
I know it's not very "avant garde" but I really like to make films that I would enjoy watching myself. I think this will definitely be one of those that is just a good story and a lot of fun to watch.
When we were shooting we kept saying this film has a lot of "Indiana Jones" elements to it...not in story but in style. I really enjoyed those films so I hope this is equally fun to watch!
We've got American soldiers, nazis, guns, shots, explosions, romance, old cars, epic locations, touching/inspiring story etc...
I really think that films should be made for the audience and I hope this one connects with the viewers.
More updates to come...
01-17-2007, 10:25 AM
Awesome BTS grabs! I'm really looking forward to this short. Is the 30 minute short going to be available as a download in the future?
01-17-2007, 01:03 PM
Really great BTS shots.
Looks like you are pulling off what is (in my opinion) one of the more difficult things to do- a period piece on a micro budget. And a period war piece at that.
01-17-2007, 01:43 PM
Yeah...I thought to myself, "What is the one thing you should never, ever, ever try and do on a micro-budget with a tight time frame and minimal crew? How about a period war piece with fighting and weapons and guns and costumes? Sounds perfect!"
It was a great learning experience as far as Producing...learned a ton about coordinating, planning, getting access to locations, brown nosing, praying more than normal etc. Very stressful but very worth it!
01-17-2007, 01:45 PM
That's great, man. I'm really looking forward to seeing the finished product
01-17-2007, 08:49 PM
So here are a few quick SCREEN GRABS STRAIGHT FROM CAMERA...not color corrected, not anything really except for a flip (Redrock M2) and the letterbox.
I didn't have all the footage on the computer, just a few clips, so that is all I could pull from. May post more screen grabs later.
01-17-2007, 09:01 PM
Raw and Vital
01-18-2007, 11:15 AM
Well, I'm glad to see there is another war based film being entered. We have elements of war, but it's definately not the whole plot. I'm curious to see how yours turns out...
01-18-2007, 11:19 AM
WOW!!! Nice shots. In this one, it would have been cool to fill the room with smoke/fog.
Either way, it looks fantastic!! :thumbsup: I'm definitely anxious to see this one!
01-18-2007, 02:04 PM
Looks absolutely awesome! Good job. Wow!
01-18-2007, 02:08 PM
Very impresssive! I love the last grab of the little boy running in the field.
01-18-2007, 02:21 PM
These grabs look terrible.... okay I lied they're, freakin' great.
I want a M2:cry: . How did you like working with the M2 by the way?
01-18-2007, 03:50 PM
Thanks guys! I'm very impressed by so many of the projects being done for the Drama Fest!!! Some great work out there...
Jeremy: I love the look and quality of the M2...so that kind of compensates for the complexity of shooting with everything backwards and upside down.
When we were shooting all the indoor scenes it wasn't that big a deal because we had a nice Sony reference monitor that we could use on set. However, when it came to shooting outside in remote locations without power it began to become a bit of a problem.
It would probably have been ok with a nice Marshall HD monitor running off HVX batteries...but that would have probably doubled our production "budget". :-D So, instead, we had a crappy $100 monitor that is supposed to be used to watch DVDs in a minivan powered off of a 12v lantern battery. It worked semi-ok for framing but the image got washed out by sunlight very easily and could not be counted on for any kind of exposure/focus.
The real problem came the last few days when we were shooting in rain/cold. Trying to shoot with that big bulky monitor and a rain jacket on the camera made it VERY difficult and VERY tedious.
It almost made me wish we were shooting with the Letus Flip just so we could view everything in camera/viewfinder. I know some people use the magnet on the LCD but our Camera Op was also the owner of the camera and didn't want a magnet anywhere near his camera so that option was out. :cheesy:
Anyway, looking at the footage on a nice computer monitor now I am glad that we went with the M2/HD achromat simply because of image quality. But while we were shooting the image flip thing sometimes makes you want to :kali:
01-19-2007, 12:01 PM
Thanks for the information. We also used a portable DVD player and it was okay for framing but other then that it was useless.
There is also a paper clip method to flip the screen, someone talks about it on a thread some where around here. Basically you can pull off that little cover on the "hinge" and stick a paper clip in a spot that makes the camera think that the LCD is flipper over ("self view"), most people have done it and it doesn't hurt the camera if you are careful.
01-19-2007, 01:16 PM
There clearly appears to be some major talent working here - and if the story backs up the images this short is going to be amazing.
These are the kind of shots that encourage the rest of us to get out and shoot to see if we can come even close. Inspiring stuff.
01-22-2007, 03:53 PM
This will PWN
01-22-2007, 04:26 PM
what was your budget, if i may ask?
02-02-2007, 04:43 PM
Well, didn't make it in time for the Drama Fest...in fact, we are finishing up our principal photography this weekend. :-(
But, on the bright side, I just watched the first few scenes in a rough cut from my editor. With no CC, a temp music track etc. the footage ROCKED!
I have watched films I have done in the past and when I get to the editing phase it just doesn't work. Fortunately, every step of this project has turned out better than I had hoped. Hallelujah! (starts dancing down the aisles)
To answer your question, I'm not sure what the budget was. I just knew what I wanted for the film, tried to get as much as I could for free/cheap/discount/loan and then paid for the rest (food/some gear/makeup etc.).
I would not necessarily reccommend "budgeting" a film this way! :huh:
I plan on going back and adding up what we spent so I can at least get a sense of what the damage was. It was all out of pocket and I'm guessing it would be around $2,000. However, a bulk of that was for a couple of pieces of equipment that I plan on using for future projects. (makes me feel better when I tell myself that!)
Anyway, I will start a thread somewhere on DVXUSER for others to follow along on the progress as this piece comes together.
Best of luck to everyone in the Drama Fest!!!! :thumbup: