A Mid-Post Apocalyptic Message

Holy cow.

Nothing can prepare you for the craziness of the production period of filming! We had intended to post some updates in between our shoot dates but we were just too busy. Hopefully, you were following us on Twitter or Facebook so you could see all the behind the scenes shots as they were being posted but if not, let us assure you, we’ve been hard at work!

Ramon de Ocampo, Jocelyn Towne and Etta Devine getting sunburns.
Ramon de Ocampo, Jocelyn Towne and Etta Devine getting sunburns.

SHOOTING RECAP

We shot April 1, 6-8, 15, and 17-18 with the hardest working crew in show business. Directing a film while being in front of the camera most of the time is challenging to say the least and we are lucky to have a camera team we trust implicitly. Our DP Matthias Schubert has kept us on track with over 70 setups on many days moving fast and furious with our camera assistants Austin Harris and Gareth Taylor, our gaffers Joel Layogan and Michael Westby. Producer/2nd Unit Director/Editor Chad Meserve has been doing just about everything on set from handling the camera slate to taking a shower with Gabe (long story) to directing shots and making sure we have all the material we need. Our sound mixer Jason Moran has been sticking mics in weird places and standing at odd angles to make sure the boom isn’t in the shot and that we get the best sound possible. Our DIT/assistant editor Rob Schultz has been uploading, transcoding, and organizing the footage to make Chad’s life and job easier once he gets into the editing room. Our script supervisors Tiffany Tavares and Gabby Gomez have made sure we’ve gotten everything, monitored our continuity, and put together reports for each day we’ve been on set.

KF Photography
KF Photography
Photo by Rob Schultz
Photo by Rob Schultz
Matthias Schubert from above.
Matthias Schubert from above.

We had to reschedule our shoot day on the 16th because of actor availability but we hope to have the pick-up day scheduled for sometime next week.

Spines happen and sometimes you just have to sleep on them.
Spines happen and sometimes you just have to sleep on them.
Mrs. Peel is a method actor. It's annoying but it's worth it.
Mrs. Peel is a method actor. It’s annoying but it’s worth it.

The movie is about 50% shot at this point and after our pick-up day we’ll be on our hiatus as facial hair grows and apocalypse diets start making us miserable.

Just say no to lunch.
Just say no to lunch.

 CASTING ANNOUCEMENTS! 

We were very excited to have gotten the lovely and talented Kirsten Vangsness to agree to play “FAWN,” one of our “super aggressive” hippies opposite the brilliant and hilarious Arye Gross. You may know Kirsten from her work on the hit TV show “Criminal Minds,” her own crowdfunding campaign for her noir comedy “Kill Me, Deadly,” or her very active work in the Los Angeles theater scene. We met her during our campaign and were touched by her generosity and help getting the word out about our project. She’s also REALLY funny.

Arye Gross, Kirstin Vangsness and Etta Devine on the farm.
Arye Gross, Kirstin Vangsness and Etta Devine on the farm.

Speaking of funny, we were also able to convince our friends Chris Williams (Dodgeball), Robert Pine (Frozen, CHiPs), Beth Dover (Burning Love), Anna Mathais (Jack and Jill), Melinda Peterson (As the World Turns), Rob Nagle (American Wedding), and many, many more to join the cast. These folks are all fantastic in demand actors. We were very fortunate they chose to lend their talents to the film.

Marty and his dad Robert Pine.
Marty and his dad Robert Pine.

One of the great things about being an actor is that we know so many fantastic and talented performers to be able to tap for the movie.  Our only regret is having more talented friends than roles!

PRODUCT PLACEMENTS!

Muskrat Lodge Fez!
Muskrat Lodge Fez!

We are so proud and excited to have gotten some fantastic product placements for the film. In addition to the magnificent Fezzes designed by Fez-o-rama, we were also lucky enough to get Lundberg Family Farms to provide us with product and packaging for us to use to feed our crew and dress out sets!

These are delicious.
These are delicious.

We’ve also been lucky enough to get products from Lydia’s Organics. We like to eat healthy and we’re excited to be able to promote such delicious and healthy products. So please, show these generous companies who are helping out a small production like ours that it was worth their while and get some of their products. Maybe even send them an email or a tweet telling them that you heard about it through us!

This is gooood stuff.
This is gooood stuff.

ABOVE AND BEYOND BACKERS!

You guys are really the best. Not only did you support the campaign but many of you have supported in other ways as well. When we put out a call for props, many of you loaned or gave us garden hoses, fake guns, and other assorted weird things when we put out the call for help. These little bits of kindness saved us money that could be put elsewhere in the movie. Also, many of you came and helped us out when we put out a call for audience members for our comedy club scene. Big thanks to Ray Thompson, Bob Abrahams, David Ball, Suzie Henderson, Caroline Sharp, Drew Doyle, Perry Zombalas, Libbie Jo Snyder, Buck Zachary and anyone else who may be slipping our minds at the moment (our minds are a little mushy at the moment). Friend and backer Ian Stark lent his time to help us with grip for a couple days and even let us use his huge yellow truck as our picture vehicle when we couldn’t nail down a product placement for us to use. Our composer and backer Geoff Mann took care of setting up lunch for us on our big grocery store shoot day. Big shout outs to Jaz Garewal and Chris Wolf who not only got on a plane from Arizona to Los Angeles to be in the audience but also brought with them tons of fake gun props, police officer uniforms, and riot gear we were able to use to increase our production design. Strangely, these heroes weren’t the backers who traveled the farthest. That distinction goes to Kenn Edwards who flew in from Virginia to help us out. VIRGINIA, PEOPLE!

KF Photography
KF Photography
Ramon in his helmet.
Ramon in his helmet.
The tortoise and the hare and Kenn!
The tortoise and the hare and Kenn!

NEW CO-PRODUCER AND PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS

These past few weeks wouldn’t have been possible without the help of backer and friend, Melanie Hall, who not only has been helping us with the payroll and permit paperwork that would have buried us without her but also found us some fantastic production assistants who have helped with so many different aspects of production from SAG paperwork, Call Sheets, boom operating, craft services, errands, keeping us on schedule, and much much more. Big thanks to all our ADs Tyler Welch & Kat Korpi and all our on set PAs: Erich Ebner, Danni Steele, Jessica Safran, and Ryan Lagerstrom for all their help keeping the production moving.

Shooting out in the desert.
Shooting out in the desert.

LEE THOMPSON’S PROP DESIGNS!

How lucky are we to know Lee Thompson? Not only did he design our book, first movie poster art, and our DDMTA Kickstarter work because he loves the project but he also put together some fantastic prop designs to enhance our production design. A lot of these will only be seen very briefly in the finished movie but they are so fantastic we had to show off his work here.

First off, we need a garage full of prepper supplies for a scene in the movie. Not being able to afford shelving and tons of canned food and water we had our production helpers Kat and Jessica pick up some blank empty boxes from the local grocery store and Lee made these fantastic product labels to print out on label paper and put on the box.

We also ended up with a flat of beans in the script. Not having a bean company product placement we thought it would be fun to feature these designs more. So Lee made a separate label to fit around a tin can. Now instead of beans, we end up with lab-grown vegan protein product from the Doomsday company!

We also needed a real estate flyer to be used by actor Cole Stratton in a scene. Cole plays the character of “Ed” who actually appears in our first movie THE SELLING (this opens up all sorts of existential questions because we reference THE SELLING in this movie but we’ll leave that to the philosphers) and Lee came up with this gorgeous flyer. It features a couple nice little Easter eggs for those of you who saw THE SELLING from the name of the real estate company (the same as in THE SELLING) to the tag line for the company.

Ed and Gabe.
Ed and Gabe.

But that’s not all Lee did! We needed art that we could put up on our walls in our apartment that could be cleared for use in the movie. Some artists weren’t getting back to us or have passed on and their estates were not easy to find. So Lee took the frontispiece to the public domain book “Philo Gubb Correspondence School Detective” and turned it into a funky, cool piece of art.

Philo Gubb as wall art!
Philo Gubb as wall art!

What’s “Philo Gubb Correspondence School Detective?” It’s a charming and funny series of short stories written between 1913 and 1918 by one of the most prolific (but now sadly forgotten) pulp fiction writers and humorists of the era. It’s about a dim-witted wall-paper hanger who learns how to be a detective through the mail. He always solves a crime…just usually not the one he set out to solve. The character’s kind of a lovely mash-up of Sherlock Holmes and Don Quixote. It’s also possible we have adapted the stories into a screenplay and this production design is also a sneaky form of pre-branding. Shh! You can read or download the stories for free here!

 

MORE TO COME

We are tired but happy with a lot more work to do. We’ll be shooting tiny little vignettes in the next few weeks for a montage sequence in the movie while preparing for our big shoot in Big Bear City at the Jackrabbit Ranch…which you should all consider for your next vacation getaway. Check it out here! It’s beautiful.

Out in the desert.
Out in the desert.
Everything will be fine.
Everything will be fine.
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