Episode 1 Teaser Trailer NOW ready!

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Check it out!  I day to the premiere!  Can’t decide if I should dress as a Hogbeast.  Jen won’t lend me the Ninja King costume, so I’m stuck…

Kelowna Premiere!!

Ok friends, it’s finally here, film fans in the Okanagan are being treated to their annual feast of fun and fright: Horrorfest! A fundraiser for OSIF, the local indie film society, it features a full slate of local horror just in time for Halloween. This year’s event takes place on Friday Oct 26 at the Habitat in Kelowna. Tickets at Leo’s Videos. And I feel compelled to mention NINJA KING will have it’s Okanagan Premiere at this year’s fest. So come out and support your local film scene. From what I hear from the organizers it’s shaping up to be the best one yet! Also on the bill is a short film produced by and starring Zyan Panagopoulos (Our very own Hogbeast #3 from Ninja King). I just finished editing this short and it’s a sweet little tale of madness, bullets, and blood.  Details at: http://www.osif.org or check them out on facebook. And now for extra bonus points: here’s a behind the scenes look at the Hogbeasts before makeup artist Denise Barnes got to work. They are modelling the fine latex facial appliances I picked up at Calowna Costumes for the shoot.

Ready to transform into a half human/half feral pig? Well you’ve come to the right place!

What a handsome, distinguished guy! Ha! Not for long! Into the hog mask for you!

And last but not least, well except for alphabetically, actor and film maker Zyan P. Come to Horrorfest and see him struggle with his demons. And then watch his new movie “Ethan”!

A few more pictures

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Jen in the super cool makeup trailer (a rented 70’s vintage camper) getting her ears and makeup applied by the talented Denis Barnes.  Everyone knows vat-grown Ninja Kings have pointy ears!

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Monty proving once again that if you give a guy a toy gun, he’ll making shooting noises every time he pulls the trigger.  In an upcoming blog we’ll talk The Weapons Of Ninja King

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Tori stepping out of said makeup trailer.  Ready to battle a Hogbeast or three.

Ladies and Gentlemen!!

The day is finally here. No, not the day I actually post on this site, well that too. But the day that this little crazy short is DONE! that’s right, after futzing around for several months I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to add all those super cool 3D and compositing effects in this lifetime. So I buckled down and decided that it just had to get out the damn door. I’m uploading a secure screening copy to withoutabox and getting set to enter some festivals. We’ll also see about a cast/crew screening sometime soon. In the next little while I will backtrack and fill in some details about the production process and keep you posted on the progress of getting Ninja King: Episode 1 out to the eager public!

Lighting With Home Depot Lights: Part 2

Lighting With Home Depot Lights: Part 2.

The amazing Shane Hurlbut, ASC

Tech Talk

Now don’t be frightened by that imposing title. If you know me at all you’ll know that I am not dangerously technical – just enough to get things done. Since I’m always keen on learning these things when I see other people’s stuff, i thought I’d talk a bit about the gear we used to shoot NK. First up: The Camera – It’s been an incredibly exciting time for low budget film-makers as new, affordable cameras with amazing image quality are readily available. That same wealth of options however has added so many new possibilities it’s hard to know which way to jump. For me, starting with little money the decision was critical, whatever I bought I was stuck with. I knew I wanted HD, and I am used to using broadcast quality cameras at work, so the entry level hd consumer cameras were just not up to standard. The prosumer cameras cost too much money. I was looking around for a DOP to work with, someone who had his own camera, when I came across the work of Kelowna filmmaker Jan Vozenilek from Copper Sky Productions. I found out he was using a Canon EOS 5d and I was astonished at the cinematic quality of images he was achieving.

The control over depth of field alone was incredible. The colour and contrast! I have worked in video for years, but I started as a still photographer and shot my early stuff on film – Super 8 and 16mm. I have to say that I’ve never been really happy with the ‘look’ of video. It’s come a long way over the years, but even the full size professional HD cameras at the TV station that I work at yield an image that is obviously video. So I read up on the DSLR wave. Oh, that stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex, if you care. Means you can look through the lens that you are shooting with, instead of at a viewfinder. There is a lot of information and discussion online, so I won’t repeat all of it here. What I did learn was that for a relatively low price I could get a camera that was as close to shooting on film as I was ever going to get without dusting off the Bolex.

PLUS you suddenly had the world of incredible lenses available. The other thing about video cameras – they almost always have boring mutli-purpose zoom lenses. With a DSLR you have choice! Frighteningly wide range of choice. Made for the most exacting professional image makers on the planet. Gives me shivers!

Now these are Not Cameras For Everyone. They are, after all, built for still photography. Somebody just thought it would be a neat feature to add video. They are clumsy to hold for video, have way too many buttons to do all kinds of things you don’t want to do in video, and really don’t have many professional options to record sound. But, hey, I started out on that vintage Bolex with a hand held light meter and a spring driven motor you had to wind up for every shot while recording sound seperately on a portable cassette player, so none of the DSLR quirks faze me.

In the end I decided on the Canon 60d – it has a slightly smaller image size than the full frame models, but that meant I could get a better lens, one that would still work if I found I needed to trade up.

I got two lenses – 16-35 f2.8 and 50mm f 1.4 I didn’t think I would need a telephoto as much for my video work. I have been delighted with the stills and the video so far. The more I work with it the more I find myself blown away by the images I’m making.

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Here’s an example: A music video for the amazing Leah West. This was a live performance on a sunny hillside. we shot with 2 Canon 60D’s one locked off and I was operating the other. This is just the way it was shot, nothing altered in post. It’s in SD online, had yet to master the HD for Youtube thing.

Pictures!

Since I am stuck a bit on the subject of locations – here’s two scouting shots of the freezing cold barn we DIDN’T shoot in. Even though it’s Really Cool!

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