Logan Must Make Star Wars

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Our new short film, “Logan Must Make Star Wars”, is now on the YouTubes!  (well, actually, it’s been up for a week or so, I’m just a lazy blogger).

It was a hell of an experience, as all these 48 hour movies are.  We were honored to win Best Story, Best Directing, and Best Comedy at the 10th Anniversary Almost Famous Film Challenge.

It’s probably our last 48 hour movie, as we’re moving forward into features (fingers crossed), but as both Sean Connery and Justin Bieber say … Never say never.

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Photo courtesy of Almost Famous Film Festival

Photo courtesy of Almost Famous Film Festival

Know Your Galactic Union Uniforms

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Know your Galactic Union uniforms!

 

There’s method to our madness and here’s your official primer to the Galactic Union uniforms!

CAPTAIN:  Red, with a uniform designed to convey more heroic qualities of a leader.  With Star Trek everyone is more or less presented equally among officers, and I wanted to push that just a bit out of balance giving Suntrike (and consequently all Captains) a bit more of a hero feel.

SCIENCE & MEDICAL:  Light blue.

OFFICERS:  Purple.  The standard outfit for the Galactic Union.

ENGINEERING:  “Hazard” Orange.  Their outfit is also rougher and not as shiny because they’re always getting it dirty.  They also don’t have the arm stripes.

MARINES:  Green.  Like with the Navy, Space Marines are the fighting troops on board a Galactic Union space vessel.

ADMIRAL:  Similar to the Captain’s outfit, they’re a touch more regal and statesman, with gold and black being the main colors.

 

Admiral Grissom (James Hoenscheidt; right) has to put up with Sunstrike’s antics as an Officer (Brian Blackwell; left) takes notes.

 

And lastly, there’s also differences between the male and female versions of the uniforms.  When we (Costumer Designer Arlette Parra and I; her actually making them, me making little decisions that made her life an endless hastle) redesigned the outfits we started with Logan’s Blackwell Commander Powell uniform.

We liked the spacey reflective sheen of the colored taffeta mixed with the firmer, more uniform feel of the other fabric, but it didn’t look very flattering on the girls.

 

Gabby wearing the rejected outfit with the same fabric as Powell’s, which made her look like a medieval squire, while holding up her Season 1 outfit

 

So we made versions for both genders with the female one being a little more, ahem, complimentary to the female form.

 

Yes, there were more flattering pictures of Jenna available, but hey…

That’s a Wrap on “Normally This Weird”!

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Woo hoo!  I’m still feeling the glorious ache and pain from Sunday as I write this …  Yesterday we wrapped production “Normally This Weird” and celebrated with the wrap party that evening.

The last day were the Ivy & Toad scenes

From the bottom of my heart I am so appreciative for everyone’s hard work and sacrifice.

Wrap for James Hoenscheidt, Michael Peterson, and Adam Rini

Holy smokes, I still can’t believe we pulled it off.  It was truly a labor of love … no one got paid … we had less money to do the whole season than what he had for the two pilot episodes … and it all came from the donations of our friends and family.  Everyone did fantastic work.  It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch these stories when they’re all put together.

Ah man, now I’m getting all teary eyed…  Shut up, don’t look at me!!

Expect the new episodes to hit this Fall, after “Voyage Trekkers” has it’s run.  And enjoy my grainy iPod pictures from the last day of shooting and the wrap party.

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Normally This Weird – In Production

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For the last month Squishy Studios has been knee-deep in shooting the long promised first season of “Normally The Weird.” It’s been a long time coming, and while we don’t have the full resources we wished we did, we felt like it was now or never.  It’s truly been a labor of love and I think that’s going to show on screen.  From here through March we’re shooting all the remaining episodes of Season One.  That’s seven episodes, being each about six to eight minutes long, which comes up to about 41 script pages in length).  For practical reasons, like location and actor availability, we’re shooting all seven episodes together and out of continuity.  That means on one day we where shooting Simon in his room from Episode 3, 4, 7, and 8.

We shot the interiors of the Magic Household (aka The “Smiths”) and FBI Special Agent Danford’s place this weekend.  Two weeks from now we film an episode focused on the teen trials of Ivy, and then we go inside the workshop of the evil Professor Archeval, where we get to see some of his inventions and even learn the identity of his unusual wife and son.

Here’s pictures of what we’ve filmed so far.  Next time we’ll meet the Archevals and look at some behind-the-scenes photos.  Plan on seeing more in the coming weeks and months!  Yay!

Adam Rini is once again Swivey Dinkle

Michael Peterson not only reprises his role as Simon but also lends a hand in producing the show

Grace Steinbach is Ivy, the rebellious teenage daughter of the magic family

James Hoenscheidt's FBI Special Agent Danford is a complicated man

Introducing Ivy's overbearing father, Manfred, played by Shane Stevens

Making an Evil Space Lizard Man

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For our new comedy web series, “Voyage Trekkers”, we went all out for our “Space Lizard Man” (aka the Draudis Alien Captain).  We scoured the internet, looking to buy a mask, but just couldn’t find what we were looking for.  Nothing looked right, having both the mix of coolness and camp that we were looking for.  We kept putting the decision off until we finally decided to make it ourselves.  That meants doubling the budget for the mask, however, and effectively making it our single most expensive prop in any of our recent movies (just under two hundred dollars).  But … we’d be making a Space Lizard Man!!!  YES!

We started by making a clay model of the head.  We went with modeling clay instead of wet clay.  That cost more but gave us much more control.  After all, wet clay is basically just wet mud.  We built the head just slightly larger than the size we wanted, since the latex would shrink some.

We built this over a make-shift armature of newspaper with (I know this is lame) three stacked plastic flower pots making the base.  It worked well, since we didn’t want to buy an eighty dollar armature.  The downside, however, was once we were done, the weight of the clay head began to slowly crush the armature.


My brother Brian got swept up into the project and took over crafting the overall look of the head, doing a much better job than what I had come up with.

Can you find the gorn in this picture?

 

Brian worked so hard both of his hands were completely bruised.  I did the detail and texture work.

 

 

Nathan Stipes then created the plaster mold from the head which would then be used to make the latex mask.  We put papers everywhere but we still got plaster EVERYWHERE …  This is going to make a big mess.

 

 

With the latex mask done (well mostly done, it was still a bit squishy), we painted it late into the night … the night before shooting!

 

My mom even pitched in and helped me paint the mask.

Finished, the next morning.

Gabrielle Van Buren’s (our lead actress) mom made the outfit, in addition to building the outfits for our heroes as well.

James Hoenscheidt, a veteran of many a Squishy Studios production, was inside the outfit.  For his hands we went the cheap-o route of just painting them green.

Every time the mask came on or off, the paint on the neck would flake off and would have to be retouched.

When he was in the outfit, James was completely blind (and he could barely breathe!).  He had to be led around everyone.  James was a real sport about it.

Despite all the work we’re really happy with the results.   Yay for making movies!  🙂


Screen capture from "Voyage Trekkers - Episode 1: Rescue From The Lizard Men."

To see the Lizard Man head in action watch the “Voyage Trekkers” Teaser Trailer right here!