e-mail: info@monstertheshortfilm.com

Monday, June 28, 2010

Vancouver Observer

There is a nice interview in the Vancouver Observer this week. Click here to read.

Doug Hutchison, Jodelle Ferland, and director Deborah Burns. photo: Stuart Robinson


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Great Friends Helping Out

The background performers are normally the unsung onscreen heros, but in this case many of them are also my friends and family. You can actually see the same folks peppered though-out my earlier films.

Good friends Stu Robinson and Odessa Bennett flew on a red-eye from Calgary to help us out. This married couple has made the most of cold Calgary days by creating this body of work: http://www.flickr.com/photos/insomniaart/sets/. Stu takes the photos and Odessa styles them. So, when I realized that I needed Odessa's help with costumes, and no one else would do, they flew out (no questions asked) to do costume supervision and to take photos of background and behind the scenes. Below are some of Stu's photos.

Odessa trying to make Lottery Man's hair behave. This is Daniela Agosta. As well as doing background she designed the amazing costume for Hannah, played by Jodelle.
This is local actor BK Singh Rakhra he plays the first villager to draw lots. BK is a great guy to work with and judging by his resume I am not the only one to notice.

This is my good friend Shannon Blakeman. I know that waking up at 5am to stand in a cold windy marsh on a Sunday morning was not her idea of a good time, so we told her John Cusack was going to be there. ;) Seriously, Shannon has been a really amazing support for me with all my films, whether it be doing art, storyboards, background or lending me her apartment...she is always involved and giving her best.

This is my bff Rodrigo Segovia, in real life he designs movie sets and he is my design partner for "Monster". He is the brainchild behind the look of the monster, which was later made a reality on paper by Andy Poon. He also has an uncanny ability to play wind instruments. He often tells people that he is the 'whistling champion of Mexico' ....and I am sure if there was such a title he would hold it. The shofar is crazy hard to play — in fact many on set tried and all failed, making him the natural choice to play The Horn Blower.

This is Diego and Triana Segovia, Rodrigo's nephew and niece. Triana did some acting when she was really young and was in a film I did 7 years ago. Now she is all about horses. Diego is a big fan of Monster and asked if he could add two dead weasels to his costume. See them hanging over his shoulder.

Indra Isita, also one of Rodrigo's nieces, is natural talent on camera.

The is my sister Lisa Marie Whitaker with son Oskar. Lisa has done background in other films for me, but in reality is a holistic nutritionist.

Here is Oskar being cute. When I called action, Oskar would sing...when I called cut, Oskar would stop. Later I learned that he was 'la, la la-ing" Beethoven. I guess having a musician father has its benefits.

In the background is Shannon and Indra. In front, just off camera is Joe Beauchene, then Marian Buechert, Ella Puolitalpale, Daniela Agosta and Dave Abustan. This scene took all day for us to shoot, except for the little ones who were only in the master shots. They did an amazing job.

This my friend Melanie Greenaway and her son Leif. Melanie designs exhibits for a living — this might actually be her first acting gig. http://www.doubledaredesign.ca/
She got wrangled into doing background when she donated cash to monster at http://www.indiegogo.com/Monster-a-short-film and received a day on set. So double thanks to Mel for all her support.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Monster article in the Tricity News!!

Cast and crew of "monster" on day 3 at Golden Ears Park. Photo by Stu Robinson                

Thanks to all the producers!! Everyone has done a great job. 

Thanks to Timo Puolitaipale for shepherding the film through production and for showing off his fund raising skills at indiegogo. http://www.citizen11.com/Blog/Blog.html.

Thanks to producer, Raj Uppal for helping to pitch Monster to the Hotshot judges. The article suggests that Jodelle Ferland found us...but in fact it was Raj who pitched the script to Jodelle and won her over. http://www.theendoftheday.ca.

Thanks to the Hotshot executive producers Paul Armstrong, Aaron Houston and Ed Brando.  Ed (superstar) organized equipment and crew; and drove his ATV to run equipment, cast and crew to set. Looked like he was having fun doing it too. Paul and Kat were on top of all the PR...I even heard rumours of ET Canada somewhere on set.

Thanks to Marilyn Thomas, our hotshot co-producer and champion of Monster from the very first script read. She gave a lot of energy on set — I think I even saw her working as a grip.

While not technically a producer, Jon Joffin really deserves a big producing thanks too. He did more than just cinematography; he secured amazing camera equipment, helped to find top-notch camera crew and turned our Deluxe sponsorship into something a bit more special.

Thanks to my favorite producer (and husband) Rich Johnson. http://www.richjohnsonstudio.com. Rich worked day and night to produce this short film. There was no task he was afraid to tackle or limits to what he would challenged himself to do, which includes producing the post-production and that illusive CGI Monster. I will be blogging about our fantastic animation and CGI team soon. :)


Monday, June 14, 2010

Shooting the Monster

Ed Araquel came out to take still photos www.edaraquel.com. Here is a sample of my favorites!!

From the left Indra Isita, Jodelle Ferland, Doug Hutchison and Dave Abustan. This is taken at Grants Narrows in a wet marsh, where we set up the dolly and got some beautiful footage thanks to the camera crew: d.o.p. Jon Joffin, camera operator Brian Johnson, 1ac Jos Oman, 2nd ac Lunk Barlow, 3rd ac Cristian Cretu,  Gaffer Vince Laxton, Key Grip Reid Cohoon, electrical: Michael Edillor, Ryan Petey, Zach Steele, Dan Holt and the Grips who carried a whole lot of stuff in three days: Dan Holt, James Burke, Derek Lalonde, Jinx Moore and the volunteers from VFS and Capilano. I hope I didn't forget anyone...let me know if I did. The collaboration of everyone's work has resulted in stunning results. Cant wait to show everyone — but first the monster needs to be animated. (more on that soon)

This is the Lottery Man...he decides who will feed the monster. The costume was designed by the talented duo Jayne and Ray at enigma aracna. Inside this scary mask is my amazing husband and partner in 'Monster', Richard Johnson. When he wasn't acting on set, he along with my mother-in-law Ruby did all the catering. It was a 'monsterous' task and they did an amazing job. 

Here is Jodelle Ferland and Turbo at Golden Ears Park — both competing for cuteness in this shot. Jodelle is a true superstar. Not only is her acting superb, but she is simply the coolest girl. I don't think there is much that can shake her — not even a swarm of tiny blood sucking mosquitoes. Cant wait to see her in Twilight.