Discussion in 'Canada Discussion Boards' started by Achilles_of_Edmonton, Jun 10, 2005.
some concerns I have as of late are.
-your setting deadlines for fight choreography yet I don't have the stunt sabers, Set dimensions, I am a little concerned about the re casting of the main character, as well as how much time I'll get to spend with the, before filming these make it somewhat difficult to kinda nail down what I'm gonna do.
Hopefully these can be addressed and resolved at the meeting
Yeah well I haven't set any deadlines, I was just thinking I should get to doing that. And I was thinking more in terms of overall general pacing and formulation. Similar to what we did before but we haven't choreographed anything in a long time and we need to get on it soon because time grows shorter.
And what set dimensions? The second duel is on the wide open surface of Kessel. There is no set dimensions to be concerned with. If you give me an electric, fight to the death that includes the following, I'll figure out how to film it on a 500 sq foot stage so that it looks awesome.
- Aliska getting tossed to where she has to roll out of the throw and switch saber hands temporarily.
- Aliska losing her saber at some point, going through some saberless struggle and then using the force to get it back.
- Aliska successfully landing a diagonal gash to the chest armor from center bottom to upper left. (That's Vaders left, not screen left)
- Vader grabbing her wrist in the last moments of the infighting and twisting it in on her so that she runs herself through with her own blade.
As long as those elements take place with good spacing (good doesn't neccassirly mean even, some can happen right after another if you choose.) then I'll be happy. I just want it to look like one hell of a fight and that they are really out to hurt each other.
The actress is not going to affect the choreography a great deal. I've always had similar types up for the role. 5'5 to 5'7 medium build, athletic. Whatever you can come up with, the actress will be able to do. Again we're going for Classic trilogy style scrap here. No ridiculously obvious CGI flips and jumps. Just good ol stunts that a human being can pull off normally.
Now in regards to how much time you'll have with her. Barely any. Harsh reality I'm afraid. I can probably buy you one day of prep.
What I'd like to do as a warm up though is film the enitre completed duel with two doubles and then send that to the actress so she can review it and practice it. Between the pre practice and the fact that we're going to shoot it in pieces, we should be in great shape. This way she'll be comfortable with the choreography and you can focus on coaching technique. Ideally the least amount of work you'll need to do will be on set except for worrying about positioning which is more my job so that I see what I need to on camera.
I can see what ya ned to do, but I mean if all you want is a filmed duel to send them why not just do that, I really don't liek that you want this kick ass fight but it takes more then a day of prep and a video of training someone for something, I do it at my other job all day.
I'm not saying it isn't possible but I at least a full vader suited person to do the duel with or it's gonna have to be rehacked and slashed, I still needs stunt sabers
Well the actress is going to be union. I have to pay for her flight and put her up, and pay her the SAG daily rate. Now I don't mind doing that for actual filming days but I'd like to have as much prep work done ahead of time as possible. All of my fund raising efforts and sponsorship partnerships are all about getting more for this film to be better. I have commitments to everyone involved.
For example Kyle went into this thinking it would be a 20 minute film but when he discovered it was feature length he realized he may have underestimated the expense of using musicians to crank out over an hour worth of music.
I will do everything I can to buy you more time with the Aliska of choice but first things first, we should have a fully choreographed duel to work with. Tweaking will happen regardless, all the way to shooting on set. If you need a fully suited Vader to do test runs with I am sure Peter will volunteer in a heartbeat.
As for the stunt sabers. We have two right now in the basement, we can grab more from home depot any time. We choreographed the first duel with flimsy pvc pipe and our parks for hilts. I think we should take it in stages.
Plan the series of movements first, then for the pre vis use an actual stunt saber because by the time you guys (or you and I depending on what's up with Greg) get this duel done I can have the actual saber from random sabers ready.
In the meantime if you have any ideas for further sponsorship chasing or you would like to personally campaign for funds on this, I can buy you prep time with the actress.
When she's here we will be shooting evenings and weekends so if you want to be on set you'll need to arrange it with Sobeys. We'll set up a hellweek of Aliska as it were where we get a 9 day stretch to film duels and nothing but duels.
Outside those nine days will be prep time. I can give you the Friday before shooting so far. That's 8 hours with the actress to go over everything you need to cover. Remember we choreographed all of duel one in 4, 2 hour sessions and we spent the majority of those sessions goofing off with about 2 hours of actual combined work involved. If you need the Thursday and Wednesday before that to work with her you would need to book off with Sobeys and it will cost Xpress Entertainment approximately $200 a day.
The shoot will begin Sat morning at 10:00 am and continue until 8:00 pm. We will then repeat that on Sunday and then shoot from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm each weekday throughout the week and then use the weekend schedule from the previous weekend.
Remember, you're Ky-Wan Zann. Nothing is impossible for a Jedi
i know this is probably a stupid question but wouldn't it be easier to hire a local actress? then you'd save money on flight and accomadations and you'd have more prep time to work with her? Isn't paying for training jsut as important as the money it will cost for the filming, cause if the proper time isn't spent on preparation before hand won't it just end up looking bad in the final product. which is what is most important isn't it. If you want the final product to look the best it can and especially as your putting so much into this project shouldn't as much be done to train the actors before hand as possible. How can someone learn a fight and moves just by watching a video? As much as its costing you for extra days of training to pay the actress isn't it costing Jason money to take time off from work to train them for you?
You're right Liann, on quite a few points.
It would be cheaper to use a local actress. Much cheaper and the logistics of training her would be easier as well. And you are absolutely right that the final product is my main concern. However there is more to that than meets the eye.
A) I have tried looking for a local. Remember Anna Primiani? She was the miss Italia runner up I posted a pic of when it came down to the final three awhile ago before this union stuff got complicated. She lives in Edmonton and that alone was a factor but she pulled out because the rest of her life got way too busy to commit.
It's not for lack of trying. Even after that I tried finding locals through the theatre groups and even student drama programs. I came up dry. I posted casting calls and the only response I got from the Canadian contigent was based out of B.C. or Toronto. Those are the real markets for this stuff in this country so anyone who has made the decision to seriously pursue acting as a career is either based from there or the US.
B) Although the duels are important her acting performance is the most crucial element and it's hard to find someone suitable for this role. Someone that embodies the characteristics of Aliska. Not just the physical look but the style of moving and behaving as well as the ability to portray the complex range of emotions going through her throughout the film.
I told myself I wouldn't let the applicants location affect my decision to cast them and that their acting ability was most important, keeping in mind an athletically inclined background as well.
C) As a professional actress, it is literally in her job description to do everything required to portray this character. That includes putting in the required training. Videos can be a great tool, especially when accompanied by a set of specific instructions regarding footing, pacing, momentum and form.
I wouldn't cast someone unless they had the ability to learn fast and well. For the most part, all the applicants that were considered have a background in dance and sword fighting (stage fencing or otherwise) which is a huge help in that regard. The goal here is to have her practice the movements and then video tape herself with a double performing the fights and send it to us for review. Besides that and running lines with me, there isn't anything else she needs to do for months until we're ready to shoot. I'm not saying the videos do all the work but it will make Jasons life a lot easier if he has someone who's been practicing a lot placed in his tutalige than a total noob. This will allow him to use the prep time available to fine tune and tweak rather than teach from scratch.
D) Most important to consider is that as we film this it's rare that any one shot will stay on them for longer than a few moments at most. There will be several breaks and cuts which means we will really only be filming one to three moves per take. There is plenty of time to coach as we go in the time between shots.
how will you maintain a good flow of movement in a dual by filming only a few movements per take? won't that take a lot of time to coach each move between shots? or is that why you have 9 days set aside for shooting the fight scenes? wouldn't it be easier to film the complete duel many times over from every angle possible so there is more possible sequences to choose from in the editing process?
thats a shame that you couldn't find anyone locally
I have been in and out of this thread, but I wanted to add something here.
I have to totally agree with Liann on this point, when we made the prior film, we did exactly what you are planning on doing for the fight scene. Now ours wasn't nearly as choreographed as you obviously plan yours to be, but I found it was a nightmare to edit together "bits and pieces" of fights, because no matter how hard you try, the actors just aren't in the same spots and their sabers aren't at the same angles when you film move by move, it just isn't possible to maintain the type of continuity that you would require to make it look right.
That's actually really good insight John. that kind of heads up helps us out with what to expect.
Choreography is the key. We'll have everything broken down. Saber positioning, foot placement, these are things that when performed properly never change with any great deal of variance from one filming to the other.
I have to be prepared for the eventuality that we may only have one camera at our disposal. That being the case I have to do my best with what I'm given. What I will actually end up doing is once I have a completed duel worked out I will plan a detailed shot sequence so I know exactly what will be in frame shot by shot and cut by cut. After that my job will simply be to put those pieces in my frames one at a time like a puzzle.
This involves shooting the whole duel from a few angles as you mentioned but only after the bits and pieces are filmed. 9 days is set aside for this for that exact reason. In theory, Jason will have the whole Friday, and then a lot of time throughout the first 6 days during the multitude of breaks to go over everything with the actors. Not only does this give us a chance to set up our shots, lighting, etc but it gives the actors something to do in the meantime to stave the boredom.
Simply relying entirely on the bits and pieces technique would be irresponsible on my part. I plan to use all the avenues neccessary to cover all the angles.
Just like the original trilogy, the duels will have breaks for dialogue anyway so those will be obvious break points as well.
Shooting these duels will be a lot like building a house. You can't throw the roof up without the walls firmly in place first. I just want to make sure I have as many walls, strongly built, with a few walls on stand by just in case since our window for putting the roof on will be extremely short in comparison.
In the end no matter which path we choose we face challenges. The thing is to take those challenges on and problem solve. I don't mind putting in the extra work to bring someone in for the role if I truly believe they are worth it. I'd rather have an excellent actress and train her to fight than a gifted fighter who I have to teach to act. Movie magic and smart scheduling can help us to avoid problems with the duels running smoothly but there's no easy way to get around someone who can't perform at the level we need them to.
My cat's breath smells like cat food.
I'll bring up the other things at the meeting
I was watching ROTS again and it occured to me that Christopher Lee is barely involved in that Anakin duel at all. They use him for the lock up and a few close ups but for the most part it's a double with Lees face painted on him.
They had to synch up the stunt double with Lees positioning somehow and we'll have the luxury of having our actual actors doing all the fighting.
We can talk about all that at the meeting and set up a game plan but I just thought I would share that revelation. Maybe I'll just ask George how he did it since he's on my speed dial now lol.
oh yeah man, Lees was pretty much mr 'line' guy, Kyle Rowling is doing all that, it was less detectable here then AOTC ugggg
Yeah. How'd you like that incredibly two dimensional matte painting of Anakins face on the CGI double that was riding the reek? Why don't we just go all the way and put Cartmans face over him with a piece of double sided sticky tape.
At least Homer looked 3D.
yeah what's up with that? A tiny 2 second long easter egg gets done right but the main character they go half assed on?
Where's the priorities people?
On another note, back on topic that is . . . I've been planning the X-wing TIE battle with Hawthorn and I've come up with a few ideas I'd like to run by everyone.
I'm thinking of using TIE interceptors instead of TIE fighters because their wings slope more toward the front. We've already seen an X-wing vs TIE fighter battle but I think an X-wing vs TIE interceptor battle would be really cool to watch. Also the interceptors reflect the style of starfighters Anakin and Obi Wan use in ROTS a little more. So having those blown away is in a way blowing away the last connection to the old Jedi influence.
I figured that be minorly symbolic but not something many people would need to think about or notice.
Also when an X-wing crashes into a TIE fighter, I was thinking of showing pieces of each ship tear into one another, breaking things off and throwing the crash victims into a tail spin before exploding. Have more debris and shrapnel being thrown around to give the battle a more chaotic feel since that what battle is really. Having the open exposed parts of the ship crackling, sparking and in flames too. And then after the ships do blow up, perhaps if there were actual debris floating around. I mean incineration is one thing but matter doesn't just dissappear. In the aftermath of the battle, broken of bits and pieces would be floating in the area of space before the Tantive got moving again.
Oh and I'd like to involve the Tantive in the battle. It has guns and the x-wings are outnumbered 2 to 1. I think it would be realistic for the Tantive to shoot maybe two out of the sky throughout the battle. With the ships flying in such close proximity to it, around it over it and chasing each other around its contours, this will involve the crew of the Tantive more than just standing by and helplessly waiting for the outcome to be decided.
Just to give everyone a back story to this, Clarissa Begin was the new Aliska Malii-Sin until our being union came into question. This whole thing has been up and down and back and forth a bunch of times and I began recasting as a back up plan just in case.
Well now we are going union with SAG Indie. ACTRA is in tow for those in that union as well but there were other factors at play. The actress who plays Aliska has to be devoted to the project and be able to pull off all the aspects of Aliskas personality. Not just one or a few, all of them.
Some of you expressed your concern to me that based on available information that Clarissa seemed a little too princessy and I have listened. I found a new actress. One that has proven not only to have what it takes to cover the span of the character but who is also truly interested in doing the project for the project and not just the union.
Her MTV presenter reel showed me that she has the fun and sassy edge to play Aliska and dealing with her through the course of auditions has shown me that she has exactly the right attitude in a co star that we're looking for.
I give you Megan Arellanes.
Is she a for sure, or just a maybe?
oh yeah a tape came from her today, alonmg with our shaw bill ;(
This is for sure.
cool, is that all the parts cast now?
Funny you should ask.
I just made an offer to Ray Park through his agent.
I've done all I can do. Now we play the waiting game.
If Ray Park is there, then Erin won't leave
Yeah well if we shoot the air traffic tech scenes when I want to shoot them, then he'd be in town right around the time of Con Version and it would be their best chance at getting him. And if they do in fact get Jeremy Bullock, that would seal it even more being that those two are at a lot of cons at the same time.