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Monday, October 19, 2009

Bodies in the Road

In addition to shooting an army of zombies on that fateful night in August, the Philrose crew had a more modest shot to take care of.

An early scene in the Mind Rip script finds Sheriff Edwards (played by John Cocca) examining some bloody remains left on a country road. It made sense to schedule this scene the same night as the zombie shoot. It would feature some of the same actors, and we could fake the location's parking lot as a road. Also, the fire truck we were using to supply "rain" for the zombies would add production value.

So, while zombies were being made up just off camera, John Vincent directed John Cocca, Chris Nakis, and Matt Ehlers in some stomach-churning action.

Thanks to Tracy Stopa Moran for these production stills!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ice Cream on a Stick

John thought it would be particularly morbid for one of our deputies to be eating ice cream at a gruesome crime scene. Of course, that required some gruesome ice cream. John provided the joke, I provided the packaging.

Click for large view. Note Vlad's impaled victims!

Would the lid show on camera? You never know. I made one just in case.

Here's Deputy Chris Nakis, in a photo by Tracy Stopa Moran.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Quick and dirty zombies

Here's a quick and dirty edit of zombie shots from this week's shoot. Stay tuned for a more complete trailer!

Mind Rip Zombie Test from Mike Boas on Vimeo.

Meanwhile, I've posted a truckload of Frank Kielar's photos over at the Mind Rip Facebook Page. Check 'em out!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Zombies R Us

Thanks to everyone who helped with the Mind Rip zombie shoot Sunday night! My feet and fingers are still pruny, my voice is hoarse, and I've got blood and dirt in places you don't want to know about.

We had more than two dozen eager zombie volunteers. They were made up, slapped with mud, and told to walk through tall weeds in pouring rain. And they kept coming back for more. What's wrong with these people?

I saw the footage today, and it rocks! We got shots that any big budget production would be jealous of. It's really gratifying to see what we can do with a little talent, some elbow grease, and buckets of enthusiasm.

Special thanks go out to our make-up crew, headed by Terry and Mary, who made a little foundation go a long way. Thanks also to the gentlemen of the West Webster Fire Department and the staff of MacGregor's who put up with our shenanigans.

We have a few more scenes to shoot before the promotional trailer will be edited and made public. In the meantime, I plan to post some behind-the-scenes stills and video soon.

To stay up to date with the project, become a fan of Mind Rip here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mind-Rip/147839051857

If you have any snapshots or video from Sunday night, feel free to post them on our wall!

-Mike Boas

Monday, August 17, 2009

Upgrade Your Gray Matter

For one of our Mind Rip trailer scenes, we needed to put together a makeshift science lab. In the scene, the lab's psychokinetic test subject has just killed again, and tensions are running high.

We used an existing warehouse/tech space as a backdrop, then put a few tables and a computer in the foreground. But what about the reverse angle? What should we see on the computer monitor?

We're monitoring psychic energy, so we should be seeing brain scans. Lots of them.

So I went to the internet (you can find anything on the internet) and asked Bing for brain images. I then ran them through Flash and came up with some animation that looked pretty darn funky on camera.

Want to confuse your co-workers?
Click here, then hit F11 to fill your screen with brains.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Vault of the Crypt of Terror

In one particular Mind Rip scene, Sheriff Edwards sits at his desk reading an old horror comic. So it fell to me to make a fake comic prop for the scene.

EC comics like Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror were an influence on writer John Vincent. He worked them into the story, giving one of the characters a comic collection. The film's monsters are spawned from the comics' nightmare images.

For a prop, we wanted to avoid using the trademarked EC Comics, instead giving the impression of those publications. Of course, we couldn't resist having fun with it. (The Vault of the Crypt of Terror? We loved the redundancy of that title.)

The back cover came from an actual ad seen in classic comics:

I cast myself (in various Halloween costumes) as the three ghost hosts:

The comic needed a dingy, used look. Here's a blow-up to show the applied texture.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Waiter, there's a severed head in my soup

The first of our trailer scenes takes place in a restaurant kitchen. Two smart aleck cooks insult each other while chopping vegetables. An unexpected monster-type noise from outside catches their attention... and a severed head smashes through the window, flying into the room. The head flips end over end, landing with a splash in a pot of lentil soup.

We began with storyboards, drawn by John. This gave him a way to demonstrate the proposed shots to the cast and crew. (See the black & white image below.) On the day of the shoot, we had extra time and inspiration, so we added some more shots, which I sketched out on site. (The blue boards below.) Click either image for a larger view.

This was a fun shoot. We spent all Sunday in a local restaurant, shooting the kitchen from every angle imaginable. We built a fake wall with a break-away window (more on that later). Our "Uncle Fester" head was provided by Michael Del Rossa, and it was a thing of beauty. A little goopy blood and a stick rammed in from behind, and that head was ready to smash through the window repeatedly.

Here are some pics from the shoot, courtesy of Johannes Bockwoldt.

John does surgery on the severed head.

Just another day on the job for Mikey.

Having fun? Oh yeah, fun!

A practice run, without the glass. For the final smash, Mikey wore a black mask to remain invisible.

Mikey is NOT a terrorist.

Applying the very important blood.

Getting the candy glass in place.

The wall? Fake. The glass? Fake. The crew? Real.

Installing candy glass, made from actual candy.

Stay tuned for more pics from the shoot!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Stop Motion for Mind Rip

The story of Mind Rip involves comic book monsters that are brought to life through psychic means. One such monster is "Boil Head," a slobbering hot rod driving fiend. Inspired by the legendary Big Daddy Roth's "Rat Fink" designs, the Boil Head will appear on screen as a stop motion puppet.

John began with a ball and socket armature, and now he's applying oil-based clay over the top of it. Eventually, when the sculpt is perfect, he'll make a mold from it.

It barely looks like anything right now, but I insisted we take some pictures for comparison purposes later. Also in these pics, you can see the original sketch and the hot rod model that Boil Head will be driving.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Shooting a grindhouse-style trailer

The overarching plan for Philrose Productions is to have several projects in the queue, ready to go. With the script for Lake Midnight completed, this summer we're turning our attention to shooting an updated promotional trailer for Mind Rip.

We'll be capturing new scenes to supplement our previous cemetery shoot, then cutting something in the style of drive-in/grindhouse trailers of the 70s and 80s.

I've been going through my own collection of trailers, looking for style influences. Below is a smattering of title cards I like for font styles and exploitation language. Yes, if you saw the Rodriguez/Tarantino feature Grindhouse, you saw some parodies of trailers like these.

I'll be posting more behind-the-scenes photos from this trailer project in the coming weeks. Check back soon for updates!