-- CYNICALMAN MOVIE NEWS UPDATES --
June 13 - Gala theatrical premiere at the Main Art Theatre in Royal oak. We had a crowd of 138 people. All the cast and crew members who could make it got a chance to see themselves on the big screen at last! Aaron sold tickets, books and t-shirt while I did the meet 'n greet thing in my tuxedo. A few minutes after 7pm I went to the front of the auditorium to make our introductions and to thank everyone who made the show possible. We showed the movie without a hitch (after Gary and Amanda, in the projection booth, wrangled the laptop cursor off the screen), and everybody seemed to have a good time.
Afterwards some of us gathered under the theater marquee for an historical group photo and everybody went to Cantina Diablo's across the street for the afterparty.
L to R: Steve-o, Matt Feazell, Michael Marcus, Pete Trudgeon, John Pirog, Suzanne Baumann, Natalie Miller, Peyton Miller, Aaron Trudgeon, John Nagridge, Jim Anderson
This would be a good spot to end this blog. Thanks to everyone who made this movie possible! Everybody put in long hours and hard work to make the Amazing Cynicalman a reality. You have my deepest gratitude! (:|)—
June 6 - We showed the Amazing Cynicalman movie to a packed house at the Hamtramck Library. Next week we'll be showing it at the Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak. Details in our FACEBOOK event.
A review by Rick Beal:
"After the Hamtramck showing, I almost had an out of body experience as I drove home. I briefly saw Hamtramck through the eyes of Matt Feazell and Gary Freeman. Everything was brighter: the colors more vivid, Hamtramck's odd contrasts more obvious and lovable. I felt as light as an ordinary person tapped on the shoulder and suddenly asked to be something extraordinary.
"I am not going to give away the plot outline or any details, it is more fun to discover that stuff yourself, but I will say that the overall narrative is good and unique enough to be used in a Hollywood movie. The many jokes and sendoffs are equally creative, and I was still shaking my head hours later when I was washing the dinner dishes, as little bits flashed unbidden in my memory. Wow!
"Wow! I want to return to that place."
A news article in the Detroit Free Press: here
May 22 - Hamtramck Premiere scheduled for June 6, 7pm at the Hamtramck Library. Theater screening in Royal Oak to follow soon.
May 1-17 - Tuned up the movie soundtrack, cut out a few seconds of video here and there, replaced the chase scene soundtrack. Everything's sounding pretty good. Terence Cover started an IMDB entry for us. (here) It's still a work in progress.
May 15, Gary compiled final video, dialog and foley tracks. After a handful of further sound level tweaks and foley fixes on May 17, we slammed the hood down and called it done. Hey! It's done!
May 8 - Gary Freeman recorded one last voiceover with Noah McMullen and Natalie Miller. Fixed the echoy dialog track in the stairwell ("You can see my house from here!")
April 1-17 is devoted to picking music and scoring the soundtrack (with time out for Easter and taxes!). In one of my Facebook updates I say it's like making a 90-minute mix CD with songs that are all 7 seconds long! Todd Luneack, AKA "Supermassive," creates an original song for Edie's Theme and supplies it in six different versions, both instrumental and vocal.
April 6 - Recorded some additional voiceovers by Peyton Miller (the voice of Arnie in "Admiral Asteroid") and Suzanne Baumann ("Is that a rocket in your pocket?" etc...)
April 14 - Showed off some clips with soundtrack music at Flint ComiXcon.
April 15 - Jim Mackey hands off the final "Admiral Asteroid" animation.
April 18-20 - Gary tweaks the levels and prepares a master disk, I design the DVD label and make a poster for the event. We both burn a stack of "Columbus Preview" disks to take to SPACE. Jim loans me his DVD duplicating machine (part of the Superhappy DVD empire) so I can double my output!
Saturday, April 21, 2012 - The official Columbus Preview event at SPACE. We show the movie to a packed house at 7pm in the Panel Room. We finally get to hear a live audience react to the movie!
April 30 - We let the move sit for a week after the Preview, then I combed through it with an critical ear and made notes on the soundtrack. Seeing the show in front of an audience you could see easier what was working and what wasn't. We're going to take the movie back to the shop for one last tune-up before release for distribution and that'll be it!
Most of the changes will be adjusting the volume or where the music starts or ends. The chase scene will need a whole new music track. Scene 12 (receptionist scene) and scene 70 (gathering the troops) will get spiffed up with fresh arrangements from Todd.
Gary Freeman and I transform the director's cut into a final cut, ready for adding music and color correction. Most scenes are shortened, some scenes are left out. Some scenes are put in a new order.
We added more sound effects and I added some more visual effects and polished some of the existing ones. Dr. Pweent's "life force" lightning bolts in scene 82-84 are now bright green. Added some light to Diogenes' face in scene 89. Added a tiny head to one of the dummies tossed out a window in scene 49. Learned more about de-interlacing that I wish I'd known before I started.
The final cut is completed on March 21. Gary backs up all the video, dialog and foley tracks onto hard drives stored at my house and at Aaron's. Compilation tracks are given to Aaron and Mark McEachran for music scoring.
The movie will be shown at a special sneak preview at the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo (SPACE) in Columbus, April 21. Depending on how that goes, there'll be a gala premiere event in Hamtramck soon after.
The rest of the month of February Gary Freeman and I re-edited the director's cut of the movie into an official final cut, based on feedback from the preview audiences and several nit-picky play-backs of my own, sitting in front of the computer screen with a pad of paper writing down everything I wanted to fix.
Feb 9 - Showed the directors cut of The Amazing Cynicalman to 13 people in Aaron Trudgeon's living room.
Not a hoax! Not an imaginary story! Not an alternate universe! There now exists, here on Earth 1, an Amazing Cynicalman movie!
Feb 8 - Gary Freeman added the last of the music and sound effects, exported video, dialog and foley tracks and put it on one timeline to burn it to a dvd. There was a point where I realized, "wow, there's the whole movie... sitting on the timeline in front of me on the computer screen. Wow!"
Feb 4 - Artists, fans and comics scholars attending the MSU Comics Forum got to see some finished clips from the Amazing Cynicalman, including the main titles and Dr Pweent's Powerpoint presentation.
Beginning Year 3 of the Amazing Cynicalman movie project!
Trying to matte in the Pweent Tower on a pan shot of JQC driving past a Hamtramck location, I learn the limits of Final Cut as a compositing tool.
Jim Mackey works on the PweentNet Ad and Key To The City animations.
I make a list of changes, fixes and stuff-left-to-do based on the Dec 5 DVD and Gary and I start in at the beginning and have at it. We cut the interview scene so the movie starts with JQC driving to his new job, starting the movie 6 minutes sooner.
Visual effects for scene 49 (the "Dummy Toss"), scene 48 (window overlap fix), Zombie Newsroom, Hat Color Fix, Mayor scene lens spot removal, scene 81-92 sparks and smoke...
Also a secret, Lizard Girl-related visual effect for scene 20 and 172.
Hand-letter cast and crew names for the Main Title sequence.
Adding sound effects to the movie to create a "foley" track. Discovering infinite uses for one set of footstep sounds sampled from raw footage taken out back of the Hatch building!
Exporting separate video, dialog and foley tracks and delivering them to Gary on a flash drive.
Creating a "collage" of fight sounds for the big fight between ASM and Dr Pweent that takes place mostly off-screen.
Dec 1-4 - Edited the "Pope Park" sequences into one timeline, including a fix to the "Rocket in Your Pocket" sequence. Delivered composite files to Gary to burn to a DVD to show the producers.
Dec 5 - Screened a compilation DVD to the other No Fun Films producers, showing all the editing and visual effects work Gary and I have done since August.
Gary edits the Chase Scene; I edit the "Zombie Hayhem-Key To The City" transition... a simple-looking visual effect that's actually one of the more complicated ones.
Dec 22-23 - Created the visual effect for the Zomb Bomb explosion in scene 170
I showed off a demo reel of some edited scenes and visual effects to my family on a quick visit to Iowa.
Finished up the tricky visual effects in scene 89 where Cynicalman meets the ghost of Diogenes.
Showed some more edited scenes at a Wednesday Night Cartooning "movie night" at John Pirog's house, and later to some thanksgiving dinner guests.
Added lightning effects to scene 82-84 where Dr. Pweent's life force is Brainiatored into his cache of cadavers.
Fixed a distracting white cable in scene 89 with more Photoshop magic. (The "O-Wire Fix.")
Nov 22-29 - While Gary Freeman keeps working on the hard stuff, I tackle some of the easy editing jobs. Started editing the Zombie Mayhem vignettes into one coherent timeline in Final Cut. Used a song by Todd Luneack off an early Badways CD for the Zombie Mayhem Theme. Did some serious re-editing using raw footage for "Zombie Rock Band," "Plasma Rifle," and "Coffeehouse" vignettes. Gary and I trade hats and I submit my files to him for approval insteada the other way around.
Erik Hodson delivered high-res composite video for the "Lizard Girl Trick Shot" in scene 88.
Scenes 77-78 ("Foot twisting, Dangerous Remote") thru 90-91 ("Zombie Escape Door") and 92, the last scene before "Zombie Mayhem."
Jim Mackey and I photographed a short lattice hinge and I used some more Photoshop magic to make it into a boxing-glove-tipped deadly weapon.
Gary polished up a final edit of scene 54, the long scene where CM meets Dr. Pweent for the first time, has to listen to Pweent rant about all the details of his dastardly plan, and witnesses the awesome origin of Antisocialman! It's the scene that's a movie in a movie!
Then on to scenes 55 thru 69, including my all time favorite, scene 61-63, the lunch scene.
I contributed final edit with composite special effects of Pweent's Powerpoint presentation. We mixed the exposition with animation, music and sound effects to make it more entertaining. If you can't follow it, don't worry. There's intercuts of CM going, "Huh?" so you're not alone.
I presented a slide show and demo reel at the Ann Arbor District Library about how we turned The Amazing Cynicalman from a comic strip into a screenplay and then into a movie.
Gary edited scenes 31 ("Tour Group") through 54 ("CM Meets Dr. Pweent"), including everybody's favorite, the Furnace Room scene featuring Kal El as... Furnace Room Guy.
I did some digital effects for shots of some falling bodies, the exterior of PweentCo, an energy level gauge, the Pweent Powerpoint, and a big hole in a wall.
One shot of Noah and Natalie coming up a stairwell and looking out a window, they were supposed to be hundreds of feet in the air... but then a car drove by outside. So I took the car out frame by frame in Photoshop.
We showed the Cynicalman movie trailer and a clip from the movie on Jerzy Drozd's Comics Are Great podcast on Aug. 17.
Jim Anderson turned in some awesome designs for the PweentCo tower. Jim Mackey is putting together artwork I created into animations for Scenes 48 (the PweentNet TV ad), 72 (Boardman napping), and a secret Easter Egg animation we can't tell you about.
John Pirog assembled some guitar feedback, drum beats and sounds of destruction into an incredible noise collage for scene 129 (zombie rock band).
I made digital artwork for scenes 89 (Diogenes' dissolve), 75 (rocket boots), and 171 (blowing newspaper). The blowing newspaper shot is also known as the "Zombie Hayhem" shot due to an infamous typo in the prop newspaper created by yours truly. I spent a day fixing the headline in 44 frames where it blows into the shot and we zoom in on it.
We're all chompin' on the bit waiting for the movie to come out. Aaron even put together his own version of the movie and distributed DVDs of it to people he knows.
While Gary and Aaron finish up the editing, I've been concentrating on music, sound and special effects. Terence Cover (who plays Antisocialman in our movie and Billy in Suburban Heroes) has agreed to help out with compositing a lot of the special effects and the first thing he tackled was the car toss in scene 58.
Jim Anderson has finished the Flash animation for the "Pweent Powerpoint" presentation in scene 54. Erik Hodson crafted a rough edit of the secret Lizard Girl trick shot in scene 88. I made digital artwork for special effects in scenes 46 (furnace interior), 50 (falling bodies, stars & planets), 60 (car in church), 64 (CM flying), 66 (CM landing), 67 (ceiling, birds), and one special effect in scenes 20 and 172 that we're not telling anybody about.
Aaron, Mark and Janet have started working on the press kit with some help from John Pirog. I'll be on hand for artwork and design assistance. The press kit is the package we'll be sending to distributors when the movie is finished.
Sunday, May 15 - We recorded some sound effects and voice-overs at my house with some help from Aaron, Jim, Gary, and John. Sean Bieri stopped in to re-create his "rogues gallery" speech from scene 14 and we got Karen Majewski to dub the babushka lady's "Matka Boska!" from scene 64
May 13 - 15 Terence Cover shows the Cynicalman Movie Trailer at his table at Motor City Con to an astonished crowd!
Sunday, May 8 - A day of pick-up shooting at HATCH, Pope Park and near the Russell with Jim, Gary, John and myself. We got some close-up shots of Cynicalman being lifted by the collar (with John's hand in a black glove standing in for Antisocialman) plus some reaction shots by CM and closeups of the Zomb Bomb timer at Pope Park. Then we all got ice cream at the St. Florian's Strawberry Festival.
Gary and I figured out a way to fix the "squished" image created by a special wide angle lens on one of the cameras we used on the first day of shooting. You can sure do some amazing stuff with digital editing these days.
There's a behind-the-scenes video posted on YouTube. It's from the Zombie Mayhem day of shooting at Pope Park. It was created accidentally by Gary Freeman when he left his camera on between takes and it shows just about everybody in the movie for a split second or two! Click on the picture to see it:
I filed a renewal of the Cynicalman trademark so we will have the Cynicalman brand name nailed down for another ten years.
Jim Mackey and I showed off the Cynicalman movie trailer and movie stills at the Flint ComiXcon
The Cynicalman Movie Trailer played on the big screen at the April 19 Mitten Movie Festival at the Burton Theatre in Detroit.
Aaron finishes the theatrical trailer and we premiere it at the Small Press & Alternative Comics Expo (SPACE) in Columbus, OH, on March 19. I also show a demo reel of some scenes from the movie including the chase scene and the "zombie rock band" scene.
On Sunday, March 13, Gary, John and I shot John's miniature van going off a cliff, then crashing and burning. We used a pile of dirty snow in a parking lot as a cliff and the municipal sledding hill in Madison Heights as the impact site.
Aaron and Gary working on the "editors cut" of the movie. I'm looking for sound effects and soundtrack music. I write a voice-over script for a theatrical trailer. Mark records it and Aaron starts editing together some visuals. John Pirog fixes up a model car to look sorta like his van. We might use it as a miniature for the crash and burn shot at the end of the chase scene.
Aaron tackles scene 92 thru 154, the Zombie Mayhem sequences, while Gary takes on the car chase. I'm listening to CDs by local bands, looking for the right mood music.
Jim Anderson contributes a killer design for the exterior of Dr Pweent's incinerator/smokestack/tower hideout! Holidays interrupt most work on the movie. I do manage to finish watching and indexing all the raw footage copied off Aaron's hard drive.
Gary keeps working on the first half of the movie, Aaron starts putting together a rough edit of the last half. I draw and color some animation artwork, The Spud & Ernie animation requires a "walk cycle" for two characters.
I put together a demo reel of first-draft edits and some of my favorite raw footage from the Zombie Rock Band scene to take along on a Thanksgiving visit to my family in Iowa.
Oct. 14 &15 - Gary finishes up Scene 14 (The Board of Superheros) and starts scene 18/19 (Board Man's scene)
Thursday, Oct 8 - I redrew the Rocket Squad animation storyboards and sent them to Michelangelo Cicerone who's agreed to draw the art.
Saturday, Oct. 2 - We had about 25 to 30 people show up for the Cast and Crew Party at Skipper's. John brought a DVD player and hooked it up to Skipper's flat screen TV. Gary made a DVD sampler of some of the rough edits and Aaron brought along some No Fun Fylms discs. Jim set up his computer and monitor across the room from the DVD player and was able to show raw footage on his hard drive through iMovie.
Gary's finished editing scene 12, the receptionist desk scene, where John Q. Cynicle meets Edie Haskell for the first time. It's about 6 minutes long... or 5 minutes if we step up the speed to one-and-a-quarter.
CAST AND CREW
Saturday Oct 2
8pm 'til ???
9735 Conant (at Evaline)
Hamtramck MI 48212
Come whoop it up with the incredibly talented folks who made the Cynicalman Movie possible! Eat Pizza from Al Qumar's (as featured in scene 5!)! Drink beer (cash bar!). Gawk at real live Cynicalman Movie memorabilia! See for yourself the only public showing of some of the unedited footage we shot from April through August featuring Hamtramck's finest superheroes, zombies and tourists!
Sept 24 - I finished the artwork for the PweentNet TV ad animation sequence. Still going through the raw files on the hard drive. Gary edited together the Board man scenes so we could send them to Scott McCloud along with a script and tech notes on recording the voiceover for us.
Sept 7 - I bought a 1Tb hard drive and copied most of the movie footage onto it from Aaron's computer so I could start going through it all. Gary and Aaron will be editing the movie.
Wednesday, Aug. 18 - My neighbor across the alley on Zinow St. let us use her new kittens for the last bit we needed for scene 26. Kateri and Karianne came back to town so we could get one shot of Karianne holding a kitten, then some footage of kitten closeups we can use in scene 26 and the Pope Park zombie mayhem.
Next, Jim, Gary and I make a quick stop at St Florian's church to get a shot we can use for the end of the CM/ASM fight scene. Then back to my place to re-shoot the windshield closeups of CM driving to the rescue. The first takes we had done of it on August 6 we used my black bed sheet to shade the windshield but when we looked at the footage, we could see the weave pattern in the sheet so we decided to do it over with black plastic to get it right. I am convinced there is an easy way to get a clean shot through a car windshield. Hollywood does it all the time, what's the big deal?
We managed to get what we need and Mary Jo helped out when she dropped by for Wednesday Night Cartooning. Also got some car-shaking assist by the three kids down the block. We finished up with some better-lit takes of CM stepping on the gas and brake pedals.
Today marks the LAST DAY OF SHOOTING on the movie! I've got all the storyboards crossed off that aren't animation or already cut out. Now we are officially in post production.
Monday Aug. 16 - We took a week off working on the movie during some of the hottest, humidest weather of the summer. Then today I went over to Gary's to see some of the progress he's made on editing. We talk about reshooting the interview scene cause of problems with the light and sound. The whole movie has problems with light and sound but this is the first scene so it might be worth it to get it right.
Saturday, Aug. 7 - Aaron, Gary, Jim, John and I pitch in to clean up the Hatch building and put everything back to where we started. All the movie props are taken home or stowed in the prop room in boxes marked "Unclaimed Movie Props - Free to a Good Home." We hang the door back on the Brainiator Room. Aaron cleans the floors with his carpet machine.
Friday, Aug. 6 - Jim, Gary and I met up at my house at 4pm to shoot CM driving to the rescue through some typical obstacles one might encounter in Hamtramck streets. First, he ran over a bunch of chairs in the street, then he got stopped behind a guy unloading a van on a narrow one-way street, then he sat at one of those "No Left Turn 3-6pm" stop lights. Along the way we got a close-up of zombie shoes by the fence at Pope Park and CM driving by the Islamic Center on Campau. Between the van and no left turn shots, we set up in the alley behind my house to get some closeups through the windshield of Jim driving. Then we got our cat, Girlie, to come in the front door on que (the one shot I thought would be next to impossible to get and it was one of the easiest!) The last thing we did was shoot some closeups of CM stepping on the gas pedal and brake. We finished by 7 then went over to John's house for Bad Movie Night.
Thursday, Aug. 5 - Jim, John and I met up at the Hatch building to get a few more pickup shots of the zombie van in action with some help from the zombie dummy in the passenger seat. We shot John driving out of a junk yard and turning onto Mt. Elliot. Then we stopped off at my house to see if we could get that shot of a cat in a tree for scene 26. We used Girlie, our oldest (& slowest) cat. We put her on a low branch of a lilac tree in my back yard and shot it from a low angle to make it look like she was way up high. I had my doubts about whether it would work or not, but she cooperated beautifully. Jim got into position with the camera, I put Girlie on the branch, she sharpened her claws, looked at the camera, then moved down the branch and off screen in the right direction. What a good actress!
With the remaining daylight, we got some shots of the zombie van going around a corner with lots of warning signs (just before it falls off a cliff and explodes).
Sunday, Aug. 1 - We finished up the chase scene with a bare bones movie crew... me and Gary with the two cameras, Jim and Sean in the Sharkmobile, and John in the zombie chase van. Since we didn't have any extras, we put together a dummy out of mannequin parts lying around the movie set and put her in the passenger seat. For the first time, it did not rain on a day we were trying to film Lone Shark. We started out at 10 am with a fairly ambitious list of shots to get for the day and amazingly enough we got them all done!
First, we met at the Hatch building to put the fin and the teeth on the Sharkmobile. Then we went around the corner to shoot a bit where two cars cross the street in front of the camera and it looks like we're going to hit them. Next we went over to a street east of Conant to get a Bullit-style "bounce" as the two cars went through an intersection with a slight bulge on the cross street. From there we went down to the viaduct south of Holbrook on Conant and got a really cool shot of the two cars going down out of sight then up into view again. Then Jim climbed up on the viaduct for the only overhead shot in the movie. Then we went over to another more-or-less empty street somewhere over behind the county jail to get the camera-next-to-the-wheel shots. On the way there we got some good tracking shots of just the Sharkmobile from the driver's side. Then I got in the back seat of the Sharkmobile and shot from there out the front window while we drove back to Gallagher street and stopped at the corner of Norwalk.Gary and I set up cameras and we sent Sean and John around the block so we could film them coming down Gallagher and turning left (screen right) onto Norwalk. We got three takes of that then went back to the Hatch building where we covered some more shots from the back seat and then we were done. 4 o'clock. There was even enough daylight left to go over to the PNA hall parking lot and get some pickup shots for the exterior of the Board of Superheros™. Great work today, everybody!.
Thursday, July 29 - Jim, Gary and I polish off some pickup shots of Jim in front of a makeshift green screen back at the Hatch building. The scenes are CM's reactions to Lizard Girl as he's poking his head out the window (scene 88), a full-length still photo to cut out and use for the flying-thru-the-air shot, and a closeup to use during the scene in Pope Park.
But earlier in the day Jim and I went over to the empty street behind American Axle where we shot the Lizard Girl exit scene to get a quick couple seconds of the paving bricks to use for background in the green screen shots. We ran into another film crew using the same location! This crew was a still photographer, three models, a shiny new Chrysler car, a guy to move stuff around for the photographer, and a girl with a clipboard who said they were doing some product shots for a web site. We watched them work for an hour or so til they moved away from the spot we needed to shoot then we got our pictures and left. That's a pretty busy stretch of road for an empty street!
Sunday, July 25 - I 'd given up on shooting the cheerleader/elevator flashback but Gary still thought we could do it. Today everything fell into place almost by accident and we were able to get it!
It's the second day of "Southeast Michigan Art & Creativity Conference" (SMACC) at the Doubletree Hotel in Dearborn... there's a ballroom full of exhibitors and a room with some performers and movies. Not a lot of walk-in traffic so there's lots of time to get around and meet all the other exhibitors. Gary and the Space Band are scheduled to got on stage Sunday afternoon. Jim and Erik are sharing a table and Jim brought along his movie camera. Three women we know from Green Brain Comics Jam are at a table across from them and to top it off, Terence Cover (Andy Social) is here, too, plugging Suburban Heroes. There's an elevator down the hall that would be perfect!
So Gary asks the women if they'd play the cheerleaders, we grab Terence, Jim gets his camera and we all troop down the hall to commandeer the elevator. We get three takes in about ten minutes and we're done! Sometimes it just all comes together like that.
Thursday, July 22 - We meet at Suzanne's house after work for the Sharkmobile car chase interior shots. Sean brings his car. We don't need the Sharkmobile fin and fender teeth for this scene, but He and Jim will be in the front seats in costume as Lone Shark and Cynicalman. Me, Gary and John are movie crew with help from Suzanne as well.
First we get some shots in daylight of Sean stepping on the gas, the brake, tuning the radio, etc. It starts to rain lightly. What is it with Lone Shark and rain? It rains every time we try to shoot scenes with Lone Shark in them.
Then we move sean's car into the garage. This is our try at using green screen technique so I hope it works. Sean's car goes nose-first into the garage and we close the garage door down to level with the back bumper. Then we tape up some green plastic from a wide roll that Jim brought along. We shine some lights on the front seats and on the green background. We have tpo get the lights at just the right angle so there's no reflections in the windshield. With the exposure settings set right, somehow it looks like it's daytime even though we are shooting in a hot stuffy garage after dark. My main job is to push up and down on the bumper to make the car look like it's moving.
Monday, July 19 - Some nice weather for a change. We film the Diogenes flashback on a sunny afternoon in a park in St. Clair Shores with Harry Schnurr as Diogenes and Jim, Gary and me on crew. The park is landscaped with trees, water, sidewalks, and a patio with some columns around it that kinda suggest Greek architecture so it seems appropriate for an ancient Athenian philosopher. Kudos to Harry who spent an hour walking around a public park wrapped in a bedsheet, carrying a staff and a lantern like it was nothing. After the shooting we went out for lunch at Subway and made plans for shooting the Sharkmobile car chase interiors in Suzanne's garage on Thursday.
Wednesday, July 15 - Late in the afternoon on a very hot day, we meet up at Cafe 1923--me, Jim, Gary, Mark plus actors Joe Stephan, Tony Ludlow, and Harry Schnurr--to reshoot the Athos & Zinos flashback. We're only able to set up the scene, practice it a few times and get three minutes on tape before a thunderstorm rolls in then settles into a long steady rain that puts an end to filming for the rest of the day. We'll have to get Harry in the Diogenes flashback another time. But the three minutes we did get of Joe and Tony as Athos and Zinos were right on target and I was happy with what we did get today.
Saturday July 10 - Hot weather sets in. The rest of the movie will all be shot outdoors but temperatures in the 80s and 90s are going to curtail our activity. Today we meet at the Hatch building in the afternoon to take apart the cubicles on the Board of Superheros set. Jim, John, Gary, Erik Hodson, Aaron and Aaron's brother, Christian, and I all help take 'em apart and move 'em out. We didn't do any other movie work today but I did help man the Hatch booth at the Shadow Art Fair in Ypsi.
Sunday July 4 - Barb invites a bunch of the movie crew over to her house for a cookout and to watch fireworks in the nearby park. We get to see a "Behind The Scenes" DVD shot by Bugsy and Jeremiah during the second Zombie Mayhem day of shooting. I was impressed by all the other stuff that was going on around the Hatch building and on the set while I was focused on just what I had to do. It looked like a beehive of activity! Thanks to everyone who worked to make this movie happen! You are all amazing!
Saturday, July 3 - Jim, John, Gary, Linda and I meet up with Suzanne at the Hatch building late in the day for the last bits of Lizard Girl's scenes. Linda does Suzanne's makeup which is a big job since she has to look like she's all green. The first shot is one of Lizard Girl going to a window and stepping up like she's going to climb out. We use one of the upstairs rooms in the Hatch building for that, then off to our favorite empty street over by the Russell where there's some exposed brick pavement for the trick shot. We get what we need but it's almost too dark to do the last shot with Jim at the same location. We try anyway and hope for the best.
Thursday, July 1 - We meet at the Hatch building after work with Jim Anderson and John Nagridge who will be the paramedics and Bugsy, doing Mr. Know-It-All one last time. We head over to the PNA Hall where we'll get the Human Fence coming out of the door in a wheel chair. Later towards dusk, when the light is just right, we get a shot of CM coming out the side door of the BOS with his bag of comics and mission from Board Man.
Tuesday, June 29 - Rescheduled the "paramedics/Human Fence scene" cause Bugsy couldn't make it.
Sunday, June 27 - First day of filming the CHASE SCENE! John P., Barb, Linda and Jeremiah are in John's van as zombies, Sean and Jim are in Sean's car as the Sharkmobile. We drive thru town with two cameras rolling from Hatch to the empty street between the Russell and American Axle. It starts to sprinkle a little but doesn't actually start raining so we plow on ahead. After filming there, we go over to the alley behind my house and get Sean driving through obstacles... then John knocking them over.
Saturday, June 26 - Jim, Gary, and I meet at Hatch. We take Jim's "hood cam" mount out for a test drive. He figured out a way to mount a video camera on the hood of a car so you can drive around with it like that.
Tuesday, June 22 - Jim and I meet at Hatch to set up a blue-screen demonstration. Jim brings in his video-editing computer and a monitor along with his camera. The goal is to see if we can shoot the Lizard Girl exit scene on a blue screen background. We couldn't quite get it to work like we wanted to but we know more than when we started.
Sunday, june 20 - ZOMBIE MAYHEM III... Today is the day we finish the last of the zombie crowd scenes. We got 12 people show up to play zombies. Sean, Pete and Bugsy were all in costume as Lone Shark, Captain Videotape and Mr. Know-It-All. We dressed up Sean's black Ford Focus as the Sharkmobile with Jim's big yellow shark fin on the roof and a line of white, paper cut-out teeth glued to the fenders. The Sharkmobile made its dramatic entrance coming through the alley by Polonia with Sean at the wheel and Pete & Bugsy in the back seat.
But first we went over to Cafe 1923 with all the zombie extras to shoot the Zombie/Mannequin scene and Gary's walk-on part as Milligan the reporter.
Then, with the rest of the cast and the Sharkmobile, we went over to the parking lot behind Shoppers World and Polonia. We met some interested onlookers among people coming and going from the restaurant. The scene involved Lone Shark with a chain saw and a "plasma rifle" (modified Nerf Gun). We met a photographer from the Netherlands who wanted to take pictures of the extras in Zombie makeup for some project about Detroit she was working on.
Saturday, June 19 - No filming today but after work I stop by Cafe 1923 to let them know we are filming there tomorrow and I take a look at a location in the alley behind Shoppers World and Polonia restaurant for Zombie Mayhem III.
Friday, June 18 - Jim, John and I meet at the Hatch building and we take the Sharkmobile fin for a test drive. We fit it on the roof of my Ford Focus and tie it down but the first trip around the block it flops over. After e adjust the strings holding it on, it works better. Jim makes plans to hold it in place with magnets, too.
Thursday, June 17 - Jim, Gary, John and I get some shots of CM driving his car past a landmark on the south side then driving up to the front gate of PweentCo. Next we park the car and shoot CM walking up to the same gate on his first mission. Then back to the Hatch building where we stuff some clothes with newspaper and trash bags and throw them off the roof for the defenstration scene.
Wednesday, June 16 - Scenes 26 thru 28, CM walks thru town in costume on his first mission, helping people with his cynical powers! Gary, Aaron and John on crew, Suzanne, Ray, Kateri, and Karianne are actors. The "Cat In A Tree" scene. The "Porch Ad Distributor" scene. We film in front of Suzanne's house and Sean's house.
Tuesday, June 15 - Jim, Gary and I get a couple more pick-up shots with just Jim in them... John Q Cynicle leaving the Acme Temp Agency, CM putting on Rocket Boots in the Board of Superheros parking lot, CM leaving a tangle of wires before he arrives at the zombie exit... and a close-up of some Flibity Jibbet.
Sat & Sun June 12-13 - No movie work this weekend since we're all at Kids Read Comics in Dearborn.
Wednesday, June 9 - Gary Freeman directs the Party Store scene during the day with Jim and Terence as CM & ASM... and Yvanne Ham as the little old lady. They used Harry Schnurr's house as a set. While they were there, Gary also shot Harry in the basement as Diogenes. We meet up at Hatch after work and go back to my neighborhood to shoot the lunch scene with CM & ASM.
Sunday, June 6 - Another full crew with zombie extras in full makeup, CM, ASM, Edie Haskell, Capt. Videotape, Mr. Know-It-All, Lone Shark and the Sharkmobile for ZOMBIE MAYHEM 2. First we shoot the Zombie Newsroom and "Zombie Escape" scenes at the Hatch building then it's off to Painted Lady for the long-anticipated Zombie Rock Band scene. It's a complicated scene with lots of characters and lots of stuff happening in a precise sequence but we still managed to make it all happen! Then after we clean up the smashed guitars and drums, we head up to Pope Park for ASM & Edie's final scene. We had to do it without ice cream cones, unfortunately. Then back to HATCH and order pizzas. We had planned to shoot the Sharkmobile entrance but it started to rain just as we got the Shark fin tied on to Sean's car so we called it off. So instead we picked up some green-screen fill in shots of characters saying their lines and let the Kid zombies have a pie fight. This wraps up all the interior scenes we needed to film at the Hatch building. The rest of the movie work will be all the exterior shots we have left.
Saturday June 5 - No movie work today since I'm pulling some overtime at the textbook publishing company where I'm working. I do stop by the Hatch building after work to scope out some sets for the "Zombie Exit" scene and the Sharkmobile entrance scene with Lone Shark, Captain Videotape and Mr. Know-It-All.
Friday, June 5 - Aaron, Gary and Jim shoot the Furnace Room scene during the day at a glass-blowing shop in the Russell with help from Kal-El as the furnace room guy. I was at work so I couldn't help with this scene. Later that evening I stop by the Hatch building and help Jim Mackey measure and trim the shark fin to fit on Sean's car. It just so happens that Sean and I drive the same model Ford Focus except mine is white and his is black. So we can use mine for fitting the shark fin and road testing it before we fix up Sean's car for the actual movie.
Wednesday, June 2 - We shoot scene 58, the big fight scene between CM and ASM in the alley behind HATCH as daylight fades into evening. Props include car parts and broken glass. Barb and Gary are on the crew with help from Michael Marcus. Sean Bieri stops by to drop off a big plank of hard plastic foam to make the Sharkmobile fin out of. Mary Jo Tetowski popped in to say hi and was recruited for a speaking extra role as a little old lady in a babushka.
Tuesday June 1 - Back in the Brainiator Room with Terence Cover as Antisocialman, filming the crucial ASM Origin scene. Sean Bieri's meticulously constructed Brainiator ray gun prop becomes immortalized on film as we smash it to bits. A dummy gets tossed.
Sunday, May 30 - Jim, Gary, John and I meet at the Hatch building then shoot scenes of CM driving thru town in his car.
Saturday May 29 - Another full day of shooting with a skeleton crew of me, Jim, Gary and John; picking up parts with only CM in them without other actors... CM entering the Brainiator room, CM looking for the way out of the Brainiator room through hanging body bags and tangling wires, CM hurrying between rooms at the Board of Superheros... we top off the night with a cheesy special FX shot of the shocking aftermath of the end of Dr Pweent.
Friday, May 28 - We filmed the second scene in Board Man's office where BM gives CM his big mission. Bugsy and his son Jeremia dropped in to help out. Gary Freeman was the man behind the Board... he hid behind the desk and brought Board Man to life by moving him as he talked.
Wednesday, May 26 - Jim, Gary, John and I film the scene where CM returns to the Board of Superheros receptionist area and is given his new assignment by Board Man. Jim gets covered with plaster dust and ceiling tiles. The movie biz is sure glamorous.
Tuesday, May 25 - Another long night with a full cast and crew on an increasingly hot and stuffy movie set for the scene in the Brainiator room where CM, Antisocialman, Edie, Lizard Girl and Dr Pweent all come face to Face. The last of Michael's work as Dr. Pweent. Richard, Peggy, Barb, Janet, Linda and Dave as zombies. Pepper spray; zombie stairway; fire escape/people escape.
Sunday, May 23 - the big crowd scene with the Mayor of Hamtramck, the entire cast, and a full movie crew shooting in Zussman Park out in front of City Hall. Then we all go to Sweet Marlena's for ice cream!
Noah McMullen as Spud, Natalie Miller as Ernie, Megan Laesch as Psycho Woman, Board Man fabricated by Jim Mackey, Karen Majewski as the Mayor, Pete Trudgeon as Captain Videotape, Jim Mackey as Cynicalman, Jim Anderson standing in for Sean Bieri as Lone Shark, Suzanne Baumann as Lizard Girl, and Bugsy Davis as Mr. Know-It-All. Photo by John Pirog.
Saturday, May 22 - Finished the last of the SPUD & ERNIE scenes with Noah McMullen as Spud and Natalie Miller as Ernie. The cadaver room scene; their first meeting with Cynicalman; the scene in the Board of Superheros parking lot; then a visit to Sweet Marlena's for ice cream!
Friday, May 21 - A noisy night on the set as we stage the big FIGHT SCENE between Antisocialman and Dr. Pweent. We manage to shoot Terence kicking in a door with a little help from a handy box of corn starch.
Thursday, May 20 - Jim and Pete as CM and Captain Videotape share the spotlight with BOARD MAN as we shoot the scene where CM meets his new boss for the first time. Gary, John, Linda and Aaron are on hand for crew help. We work late into the night, finishing up the last of Pete's scenes as Captain Videotape.
Sunday, May 16 - ZOMBIE MAYHEM I - a full movie crew, all the heroes in costume and 25 zombie extras stage the big climatic scene in and around Pope Park! The day ends with shooting the Zombie Coffeehouse scene at Skipper's .a full
May 13 - Back at the Brainiator Room set with Terence, Michael and Andrea as Antisocialman, Dr. Pweent and Edie Haskell. The first time we filmed Terrence in costume as Antisocialman.
May 12 - Jim, Suzanne, Megan, Bugsy as CM, Lizard Girl, Psycho Woman and Mister Know-It-All gathered in Pope Park along with some protester and bystander extras for our first outdoor location shooting. We got some of the dialog shots and close ups in preparation for sunday's big Zombie Mayhem shooting.
May 5 - 8 Four straight days of shooting after work at the Hatch building as we start on the Brainiator Room scenes. Wednesday was mostly Michael as Dr Pweent with his amazing co-star, the Brainiator ray gun, designed and built by Sean Bieri. Friday we finished up Terence's parts as Andy Social and Saturday was focused on Andrea as Edie Haskell..
May 4 - Shooting some more scenes of Jim and Terence showing the first meeting between Cynicalman and the soon-to-be Antisocialman!
May 2 - A long day of filming with Noah and Natalie as Spud & Ernie, Michael in full face paint as Dr Pweent, Jim as CM and Terence as Andy Social... Plus a whole bunch of talented extras as a tour group and Jib doing a terrific job as the tour guide!1
April 29 - Filmed the Dr Quidley Lab scene at Hatch Headquarters on a Thursday night after work. Starring Aaron Trudgeon as Professor Quidley!1
April 22 - We shot the scene where John Q. Cynicle meets Lone Shark, played by none other than Sean Bieri. Sean originally suggested the name "Lone Shark" for one of the generic Board of Superheros staffers who had a helmet and goggles plus a dashing fin on his head. We also got Pete Trudgeon as Captain Videotape in his cubicle.
April 20 - Aaron, Jim and Gary did some location shots of John Q. Cynicle driving through town on his way to the first day of work at The Board Of Superheros.
April 17 - "First day of principle photography." Over a very long saturday at Hatch headquarters, we shot all of Edie's scenes in the reception area then John Q. Cynicle's first-day tour of the cubicle area of the Board Of Superheros where he meets Mister Know it all, Lizard Girl and Psycho Woman. With all the set changes and lighting setups, it was like we were made four movies in one day!
April 13 - we shot the Retail Flashback scenes at All Star Books on Mack Ave. with Jim, Dave, Barb, Aaron and Gary plus our set designers Ros and Graziano who did a terrific job transforming one location into three different retail sets in under two hours!
The No Fun Films crew pitched in to help HATCH, The Hamtramck Art Collective with renovation work and clean-up at their headquarters building, the former Hamtramck police station on April 3 and 7. We'll be filming many of the interior scenes there. If you saw Pete Trudgeon's film, "After The Blood Rush," you might recognize some of the same walls!
Jim Mackey and I repainted the "Vampire Grrls" room and now it looks sorta like Board Man's Office. With some more help from Gary and John, we set up some cubicles in the West Gallery, a reception area and a bare bones lab for Professor Quidley.
Worked on costumes and locations for the movie, then worked on different locations.
Our shooting schedule will be posted on the No Fun Films calendar: www.nofunfilms.com/calendar.html
On Feb. 27th, we shot the Mom & Dad's Boarding House flashback scene with Jim as John Q. Cynicle and Matt playing "Dad." Aaron and Gary were on camera and Tim recorded sound.
On Feb 21st, we shot the first flashback scene with Jim, Ed, Shawn and Terence at Dragonmead Microbrewery in Warren. Jim and Terence portrayed college-age versions of Cynicalman and Antisocialman in this scene.
The props list is finished. Thanks to a tip from Kateri, we found some empty office space in Southfield that will be perfect for the Board of Superheros™ set. We had an actors meeting on Feb. 7 of everybody appearing on the Pweent Lab set (Harry's basement in Mexicantown) where I had the actors read their lines and walk through the space to get a better idea of where to stand and where to put the camera. Visited the Russell Industrial Center near Hamtramck with Aaron and Mark to see if we could shoot some scenes there.
The producers, set designers and I met at Harry's basement in Mexicantown on Jan 7and decided the space would work for Pweent's Lab. I had to miss the movie meeting next Sunday cause I was sick. We shot scene 1, the interview scene, in the classroom at Shondhan Enterprises in Hamtramck on Jan 17. Jim Mackey played John Q. Cynicle and Michelangelo Cicerone played Bernie, the interviewer. Gary and Aaron ran the cameras, Tim Suliman recorded sound, Linda was there for make-up and Tom & Albin Burkacki, and John Pirog helped out on crew, too.
We had another actors meeting on Jan 19—with better weather this time—that almost everybody could make it to. Jan 31 was a general clean-up and set design day at Harry's basement, the Pweent Lab set.
Gary Freeman and I scouted out Harry Schnurr's basement at his house in Mexican town as a possible location for Pweent's Lab. We had a cast meeting on Dec. 15 to read through the script for timing but the bad weather kept a lot of people away.
Jim Mackey, Gary Freeman and I spent a long afternoon scanning all 417 pages of the movie storyboards. Now we can print out extra copies. The plan is to cut the pages apart and re-arrange the shots in shooting order. This will also make organizing the lists of props, locations and costumes much easier.
The Character Bio PDF has been updated with pictures of all the actors cast in the speaking roles. Click here to take a look!
Gary Freeman and I went through the script and storyboards and added scene numbers to everything.
CAST AND CREW MEETING
Sunday, Nov. 15, 2pm
At HATCH Headquarters (The Old Police Station)
3456 Evaline, Hamtramck MI 48212
This is one of the possible locations we may be using for interior sets. Bring warm clothes! The heat is not on yet.
I finished drawing the storyboards for the whole movie. It's around 1,260 shots. I never knew making a movie would take so much paper!
Sept 26, 1-5pm at the Hamtramck Public Library
2360 Caniff, Hamtramck MI 48212
There are still some major and minor roles to be filled. Click here to see a PDF of characters in the movie.
I took time off from storyboarding the movie to make some script revisions.. John Q. Cynicle, Edie Haskell, Lizard Girl, Lone Shark and Diogenes all have new scenes. All the zombies' roles have stayed the same. Cast members will get a new PDF of the script as soon as it's done being proofread.
I'm back to storyboarding again and I'm about two thirds of the way through the script. Once this is done it will give us a better idea what we'll need in terms of costumes, props and locations.
The producers and crew have decided to push back the start of shooting til spring to give us more time to work on preproduction. There will be a casting call in September for any of the parts we haven't cast already. x
I've prepared a Character Bio Sheet that lists all the main characters, supporting roles and bit parts in the movie. It also indicates which roles we've cast already and which ones we need actors for still. It's still a work in progress. Email me to get a PDF of the current version.
Gary Freeman and I are making final revisions to the script using feedback from Suzanne Baumann and Jim Mackey. I'm working on storyboarding the entire movie.
Leah Chamblee is creating the list of props for the movie.