Post-production is moving along, albeit slowly. A few health issues have really dragged me down for the past month or so.
Still, progress is being made.
I've found a very talented and inspired musician to score the film. She and I have been working on the four minutes of completed final film. It's a "test run" to nail down the mood of the scoring.
I've also storyboarded two additional sequences to be filmed in the next couple of weeks. I can't give much away about them, except to say that it'll add a lot to the artistry of the final film.
Most of my "down time" from illness was spent in tightening up the clips I've edited and doing some composite work for the opening scene.
It is my hope to see a completed rough cut of the film by the end of December, so, it can be fully-scored and tested at the start of the new year.
That's about all of the "here's what's going on" I have to share for now.
I bet you thought I'd fallen off the face of the Earth, huh? Well, reports of my demise are somewhat exaggerated.
I'm happy to say that I have not fallen off the face of the planet...but did move 3,400 miles across the United States!
The move from Florida to Washington State has been a huge adjustment but we are now settling in a bit.
"Tideline," for obvious reasons, had to take a little bit of a "backseat," while we prepared to move and then drove cross-country in August. I am now ready to begin the editing process for the film.
This means a lot less video clips will be posted but likely a lot more stills (both screen shots and production stills).
The image posted here is from a video grab of the title sequence that I'm currently working on. It's a bit of compositing "magic" and I'm pretty smitten with how it's turning out.
There'll be more updates very soon... I promise!
Crafting anything from tiny shards into a mosaic that tells a story is hard. Sometimes, when you're stuck, looking at a tile and wondering where it'll fit, you just need to step back....breathe....and envision the whole picture. Then you simply let that tiny piece fall into place. You give it direction, but also have enough faith to let gravity and a bit of luck take over.
Truly emotional day today.
The scenes filmed today were gut-wrenching and painful, emotionally draining and brutally honest.
Today's scenes tear scars into a viewers soul.
I don't say that presumptuously or lightly. It's hard to watch a soul being laid bare and not to feel - to empathize - with that character.
And, for us, that meant two actors, in the same scene, being ripped open emotionally. It was powerful to watch on-set. It was equally as powerful to watch the dailies on a monitor.
I can admit easily that I write this now with tears in my eyes. Simply amazing...so visceral, so poignant... so brutally honest.
We ended our filming day in a cemetery. Near the far, back corner of the graveyard were two military monuments, side-by-side.
I read the inscriptions on both, rendered solemn salutes and we filmed there, using the headstones as a backdrop.
I'm not sure what it all meant to the cast and crew. I know they put their hearts and souls into every part of it. It shows...it truly does. But, for me, it was a day of bringing out ghosts of fallen friends and carrying them with me through the takes.
I need to put them to rest again. There's nothing constructive about this kind of pain.
Micah Bolen (L to R), Helen Abell and James Lane, sit in a Humvee during filming.
Two days into filming and I realize now - just now - that these words that have lived on the pages of a 17-page script are coming to life. We filmed a scene today involving two Humvees (via a very kind partnership with the Navy SEAL/UDT Museum in Fort Pierce). Part of what we shot was outside, with the vehicles running and the smell of the exhaust, the sound of the engine growling, the actors in full-military costume, the blazing sun beating down on us...it all served to remind me of why I wrote the script in the first place. All of those sights and sounds were part of my war experiences and, though only for a few days, it's now part of the actors experiences, too.
(photo: Rick Wood, 2011)
He had a “thousand-yard stare.” The 25-year-old sergeant sat across from me, picking at his food but mostly watching over his men. The back of the Stryker vehicle had the ramp down and his squad congregated inside to play an impromptu game of Spades.
I watched the young NCO as I sat in the passenger’s seat of an up-armored Humvee. He was with the “Outlaws” platoon, 1-17TH Infantry and a veteran of two tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. Everything about him screamed “Grunt.” He still looked young but there were the telltale signs. His face had the trace of some scarring, made more visible after a day on patrol when the dust and sweat mixed to spackle the contours. Generally, he was soft-spoken and a bit aloof. Don’t get me wrong, one well-placed, admonishing look from him would stop his troops cold.
I was there because I was a journalist covering the military and had spent two days embedded with the unit. During that time he’d said very little to me…and still, he’s the Soldier I remember the most.
The 25-year-old with the “thousand-yard stare.”
So, I'm just sitting around Friday morning (literally, because the power went out for two hours) and, out of the blue, comes a knock at my front door.
Without hesitation I got up, walked to the front door and opened it up.
Standing in front of me was sheriff's deputy... with an arrest warrant on his clipboard. My mind reeled... did he know about that one-time in Amsterdam in 1998??? Before I could confess any illicit activities I may (or may not) have been involved in, he let me off the hook.
"Do you know a Samantha 'So-and-So'," he asked. Looking down at the warrant I could see her name and an address within the same apartment complex where I live. Before I could answer, I noticed that his gaze was transfixed on my kitchen counter.
On the counter - along with an unwashed coffee mug - was a plain, white box, inscribed with the words, "Landmine, MTR-80, MIL Grade." In much smaller letters it also says that it's a tactical training device that uses compressed air to SIMULATE a landmine. However, he may in fact have been staring at a trio of M-4 assault rifles or the rack of tactical vests and Army uniforms behind me. I'm not sure which, really.
I nervously stammered something about "I bet you see weird stuff all the time, huh?" Then I weakly added, "I'm...I'm filming a movie."
Without uttering a word, he nodded. I also told him that I didn't know the gal he was looking for and promptly thanked him for his service to our community. I may have even saluted...I don't know.
What I do know is that I'm waiting for the "follow-up" visit any day now.
- "outlaw"-Six Out.
I'm proud to say that our crowd-funding campaign has reached its goal! ...not that there was any doubt.
So, a few behind-the-scenes things going on right now. First, we're in talks with an active duty branch of the military who may provide some equipment for the film! I can't say "who" or "what" yet, but you'll know when I hear a final decision on it.
Also, the script has evolved (a little), once again. These are more additions than changes. I think there were a few minor details that needed to be added to enhance the story and help move it along.
I'll leave you with a few more stills from the teaser trailer filming day.
-Rick, aka "Doughnut Six"
Micah (left) and I look at the jib shot on the beach.
Ricardo (far right) pulls a slow slider shot of a "dying Sgt. Riles."
Ada Jackson (left) and I compare a real starfish to our prop one.
There are only 19 days left in our fundraising campaign on Kickstarter. The funding goal is not a huge one... but it is very necessary and greatly anticipated.This campaign is where the money to get all of the finishing touches together will come from. If you can, please help spread the word. Any size pledge (every $5 pledge actually is a big help!
) is welcomed with our deepest gratitude. Plus, you get rewards for each tier of pledges.Check it out here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1994564730/tideline-healing-wars-invisible-wounds
Thank you and cheers!
Our wonderful and talented still photographer, Amber Jackson (who just happens to be Ada's mom), shot some great images of our shenanigans while filming the teaser trailer.
Ada and I talk about what her character is doing in this scene.
Ricardo and I shoot a technically challenging slider shot at ground level. Micah twitches and "bleeds," as his legs go numb.
Well, this is a SHORT film after all.
Ada gives me an extreme close-up of a prop starfish, while we admire a real starfish found on-location.