Wednesday, February 25, 2009

El Maldito (THE DAMNED)

So lately I've been putting a lot of hours into helping with a film called El Maldito or, in English, the Damned. It is a Vampire Western. Now, before you judge, you have to take a look at some of these photos. It is awesome! It's been a great experience and it isn't over yet. There are probably three more days of production (up from the one day we originally planned for). We are shooting on the Heber Valley Railroad in train cars. Some of the time we are stationary... but we also shoot while riding the train. There are other locations as well- a snowy embankment, a jailhouse... but mostly on the train.

I have been doing lots of things on set... but mostly assisting Tennille who is the DP (Director of photography or cinematographer. So I have worked as 2nd AC and will work as 1st AC. I like being on the camera crew because I get to be right there in front of the action and can see what it looks like on camera. We are in a small space, so not everyone gets to do this.

What I really love about being on set is watching how everything comes together. The best way to describe the experience is a bit of waiting around with periods of insanity and moments of intensity. The waiting time is usually for one department to finish their set up. This could be the communication with the actors, costume, make-up, lighting, set design, special effects, camera, the list goes on. All these departments have to work together to get the job done. Periods of insanity include the times when we are under time constraints and everyone is running around doing their jobs to get a scene ready. There is yelling, people on walkies, orders being shouted- it's wonderful. haha. Moments of intensity are during the actual shots or at the climax of those periods of insanity. One thing that I learned long ago is to not take things personal. If you are on set, chances are you will be yelled at. Not because people hate you, but because everyone is under pressure to get things done fast. Time is money.

One thing I don't like is when people either do your job whether you want them to or not or let their title get to them. I may not have a ton of experience on sets, but I can be just as valuable. Every once and awhile you get someone who treats you like a nobody. They think they are more important than other people. You also get people who complain about being asked to do something because they feel is is "below them" since they have a higher title. I know that I should expect this in the industry, but not as a student. If everyone just pitches in and has a good attitude it is a ton of fun and things get accomplished.

Anyway, I've been kind of out of touch with people because I've spent so much of my time on this so I thought you all might want a little more info on what it is I am doing. That's all.


Maren said...

I am so stoked to see it!!! Especially after those pictures!!!! And everyone knows you're busy, so don't stress. Luvs!

Lindy said...

I really want to see this film since I've heard so much about it from you. These pictures are awesome! The craziness sounds like tons of fun to me too. It reminds me of when the deadline of a magazine is coming close and everyone is everywhere in order to get everything done. I love it!

BoGranger said...

Okay, I'm more excited than I was. I thought it sounded, well, not so great, but the pictures are cool! It is a must see for me! :-)

Brensters said...

I was able to witness the whole power struggles. Especially when it got to the early hours of the morning. When one guy yelled out "I'm the Producer not the sound guy."I did find it annoying when I would offer help and they would call on some else to do it. But I enjoyed the it all together. I can not wait to see it! Let me know if there is another shoot day so I can help out again. The pictures look amazing!