Making “Masters of Daring”

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“Masters of Daring” was produced, in association with Inside Creative Minds, for the Almost Famous 72 Hour Heroes & Villains All-Star Challenge (yeah, that’s a mouthful).  The nature of this special invitation only challenge was unique, because in addition to the theme, prop, and line of dialogue we had to integrate into our film, each team was also given a randomly selected character.

More specifically, a hero or villain designed by Kleos Studios.  The character we drew was “Reflex”, who wore a jogging outfit and could see ten seconds into the future.  We were also given the character a full week in advance so that we could cast the role and make costumes.

Craig and I at the kick off event where the characters are randomly chosen.

Me and Darren Ito, of Shutterbright, with our character selections.

We decided to fulfill one of our long standing dreams … to make a black and white 1940’s adventure serial, like the ones that inspired “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”  We changed Reflex’s outfit to reflect the genre, and then went on a mad dash to secure props and locations.

Brian in a costume test for our character.

Craig and I, in Sedona, moments before we leap into the car to drive back to Phoenix

There was one hitch, however.  Craig’s brother, Scott, was getting married in Sedona at the same time as the start of the competition.  What Craig and I had to do then, is covertly write the story DURING the wedding, all while avoiding shame upon our households, and then drive down to Phoenix that night to write the script.

Luckily Cortney McLeod’s set, from her film “A World of Trouble”, was still standing, which we used it for the opening scene.  Costumes were also mined from Adam Rini’s film, “Jerry Gold.”  Because we had the time, we could jam pack each scene with era specific props at a very low production cost (the whole movie only cost $200 to make).  The office scene with Logan and Gabby, there’s at least fifteen era accurate props on the desk alone.

There was some genuine panic and confusion in the first few hours of production, but eventually we found our footing.

Shooting the office scene. Notice our green screen window.

The reality of our Crime Wizard costume.

The production was a whirlwind.  With a production crew of only two, myself and Bracken Batson, along with Art Director Basl McIntyre, we shot at a blistering pace, racking up our all time record of eighty-one camera setups in a single day (previous record was forty-six).  Editing took a full two days, with myself and Bracken taking around-the-clock shifts.  The film tied for First Place, won Best Use of Character, Best Music, Outstanding Individual Performance for Gabrielle Van Buren, and Second Place Audience Award.

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