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Maxwell’s 2013 Year-In-Review

Hello everyone! I have decided to do something new and unexpected for the new year:

WRITE A BLOGPOST!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀 😀

2013 was a big year for me.

^^That^^ is a huge understatement.

Things didn’t start out the best. My dad had been fighting cancer for over 5 years, but during the last few months he got steadily worse. On the morning of February 10th he passed away. I will always miss him and his great sense of humor.

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The Polings moved down to Bonney Lake in March. That provided us with the chance to make movies together and we started working on a script called Evasion. During location scouting we shot these:

We got to a point in the script where it looked like we could start shooting soon, but another project came up. The town where I live (Enumclaw) was celebrating it’s 100 year anniversary and the arts council commissioned a short film/documentary to be made about the history of Enumclaw.
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The Polings, Micah, and I joined the project very early in the process (March) and were heavily involved in the whole project. We shot the film over three days in August. Boy! That was a learning experience! When shooting started I got to be in the best place for watching a film set: the slate operator. 🙂 That meant I was around the camera almost the whole shoot. I also got to be an actor/stunt guy and drove a Model-T!

It was awesome watching how all the parts of the movie machine work.

After the Enumclaw film we dove into making our lightsaber choreography contest entry, ‘Loyalty’. It took 17 days to film, spread over about a month. During that time we got to work on another film set. For this one they were shooting a pitch trailer for a TV show called ‘Tainted’. I got to be AC (the guy that helps the cinematographer), slate operator, and PA (Production Assistant). We also went on vacation to Ft. Worden and shot several short films:

– A fight scene between Lizzy and Annie

 

 

– A dance video with our friend Abby Lama

 

 

– A monster horror test

 

 
Also a short horror film soon to be released.

When we got back we went into lightspeed and finished Loyalty just in time for the contest. After entering four years in a row and a week of nail-biting, we won!!!

We also shot Zombie Hunters 2 with our friends, the Lamas. And had a ridiculous amount of fun in the process.

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In November I was able to work on the set of a horror short film; I was a PA and played the villain, ‘Slenderman’. It was really fun, though all I had to do was stand in the shadows and look evil 3:).

After working on professional film sets and making Loyalty, we decided that what we had for Evasion wasn’t going to work; we had started it because it would push us beyond what we had ever done before and though it was good, we had already progressed to a point that Evasion wasn’t going to push us enough anymore.

So that brings us to now.

Currently we are planning out what we’ll be doing this new year. We have some new ideas for Evasion and still want to do it sometime.

We’re starting to meet more people that are in the Seattle/Tacoma film industry and that is opening up more opportunities in the business.

I’m looking forward to what the new year will bring. 😀

And that’s the way the ship is sailed.


Zombie Hunters 2 Character Posters

Hello everyone,

Last week we released Zombie Hunters 2. It’s a wild film and kind of hard to see each character clearly so I decided to bring each of our zany styles to attention in this week’s post.

I present to you:

The Posters

(in order of appearance in the big shot)

Annie 3

peter 2

Phillip

Abby 5

Max 5

Micah

Josiah poster

Rachel

John

Lizzy

I had a lot of fun making these posters (Photoshop CS6). Some of them were a little hard at the beginning because I couldn’t get an idea for what to do, but it all worked out in the end. 🙂

And that’s the way crazy is done.

Micah


Zombie Hunters 2

So here it is everyone, the return of the Great and Awesome Zombie Hunters in:

-ZOMBIE HUNTERS 2- (echo echo echo)

I shall now be quiet and let the film speak for itself.

We had a lot of fun making this and hope we can continue doing sequels. 😀

If you haven’t seen the first one, here it is…the one that started it all.

Next week we will be showing you the posters Micah made for each of our characters.

That’s the way the “Exactly” is said.


Teaser for a little something that starts with Z…..

Hello everyone, Micah here.

I’m here to announce something very “special” we have been working on. We don’t want to give everything (or anything, really) away before the release date, so here is a little something to tease your brains. Mwahahaaa.

Introducing…….

ZH teaser

Get ready to be blown away by the reinforcements (a.k.a. awesomeness) coming to youtube next week. 😀

And that’s the way imagination goes ~ Micah


Loyalty Q&A Video

Hiya everybody!

Here is the full video of the Q&A we did last week. Thank you everyone for submitting so many questions, we had a great time answering them.

This won’t be the last time we do this; we had a lot of fun and would like to do it again sometime in the future. 😀

And that’s the way the YouTube Fu is done.


First Test Footage from ‘EVASION’!

Hello again everyone!

Well here it is, the footage (you probably didn’t know) you were waiting for!

A little while ago Micah and I went with the Polings to a location near their house. We decided to shoot a little test film to see how the location and costumes looked (also for fun 😉 ); the whole thing was planned, choreographed, and shot in a little under 2 hours, it was quite an experience. We had quite an adventure that day because it was very stormy and rained hard several times; by the end we were very wet. Josiah did behind the scenes stuff, Micah did the camera work, and Rachel was Micah’s UH (UH = Umbrella Holder).

Evasion

We love getting feedback so please leave us your thoughts and constructive criticism. We can always use it! 🙂

Sorry the post is a little late, we have been have a busy weekend with friends. 🙂 Go here to see a post that our friend, Abby Lama wrote about what we did.

And that’s the way the carrot crunches.


Quick Update

Hello,

Just a quick update about what is going on:

The script is is just about done, we just have to iron out a few little things and figure out an ending we all like.

We went back to the location that I had shown you guys in this post and found that it won’t work as good as we thought. Since I was there a whole lot of grass/greenery has grown up and it doesn’t look as cool as it did before (the location doesn’t quite fit the story anymore either). 😦  Don’t worry though, there is hope! The Polings found a location that might work; its in an old logged area that looks pretty cool. 🙂 In the next few weeks we’ll be doing more location scouting and we’ll post more on the subject.

Well, that’s all for today folks! We love to hear your comments so please leave one. 🙂 See you next Monday!

Maxwell

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We Plunge into Photoshop – A First Look at ‘Evasion’

I just want to say before all y’all get your socks knocked off that I have been SUPER excited about this post ever since we decided to do it. I think pretty much all of us have. I have just been blown away by the awesomeness that Rachel, Micah, Lizzy, Josiah, and Max have created. Every time I see these, I just get super excited about the movie all over again. I hope that you do too, so without further ado:


By Micah:

Micah_poster1

Micah~ This is the first poster I made in Photoshop. I got the idea for this one from the Unstoppable poster here. It was not turning out right at first so I started over (that happened about 3 times 😛). I finally got something going that I liked and it went pretty smooth from there. I thought it was finished but it looked like something was missing. I stared at it for awhile and added the forest/helicopter at the top and the map on the bottom. That was the finishing touch it needed. 🙂

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Micah~ This is my second and final poster. I first got the idea from this poster, but as you can see, it turned out a lot different than I had in mind 😀. One of the biggest challenges I had was getting the characters’ skin tone to match since half of them were taken at different times of the day. After I put in the people, explosion and helicopter, there was still something missing and then somebody (the Polings, to be exact) suggested I add some clouds and trees. I took the advice and that made it look a lot better. I did some fine tuning, added a faint grunge texture annnnndddddd it’s done! I’m not terribly happy with the look of the title but it works fine. 🙂


By Josiah:

Josiah_poster1

Josiah~ This was just kind of a throw-it-all-together-and-hope-it-turns-out-right kind of thing. I masked out the characters and just kept rearranging them ’til it looked good. I showed it to everybody and they suggested that I change the color grading a bit. Originally, the minion in the background with the gun was facing the other way, but it looked like he was shooting Micah in the head, and everybody preferred him facing the way I have him facing now.


By Lizzy:

Lizzy_poster1

Lizzy~ This is my first attempt at making a poster as well as working with Photoshop. I had already kind of used Photoshop before, but I hadn’t really done anything like this. Rachel had already made a poster, basing it off of some tutorial techniques she had found. Seeing her poster, I was immediately inspired. I could see it all in my head, it was just a matter of getting it out of my head and into Photoshop. Rachel gave me some links to some sites and showed me how to assemble a cool looking background. With some pointers from Rachel and some tips about Photoshop from Josiah and Phillip, I had a poster and I’m pretty pleased with it.

Lizzy_poster2

Lizzy~ I got inspiration from Micah’s first poster, but not wanting to copy him, I looked around for some other idea’s. I assembled my background, which is really cool, and began looking through the photos we had taken. I wanted some more action-looking poses rather than poses staring epic-ly at the camera, so I used pictures from costume idea’s and makeup tests. After jumbling around the photos in Photoshop, nothing was really working and I wasn’t feeling inspired. I decided to go with my original idea and went through the easy, but tedious job of masking people out. I played around and got kind of what I was seeing, but I wasn’t really happy with it and left it unfinished. But then, for this post, I pulled it out and decided it didn’t look all that bad. So, after doing some work on it, I posted it for everyone’s opinion. After getting some feedback, I tweaked it and I’m done! Now that I look at it, it turned out rather nicely and I’m pretty happy with it.


By Max:

Max_poster1

Max~ I based this poster on the one for The Curious Case of Benjamin ButtonIt took me a while to figure out because I hadn’t a clue where to start in Photoshop; I know my way around After Effects but Photoshop was (and still is 🙂) a tough nut to crack for me. I had a hard time getting everything blended in and the colors right. I’m really happy with how it turned out. 🙂


By Rachel:

Rachel_poster1

Rachel~ This is the first poster I’ve ever made. I had no idea where to start, or even what style of poster exactly I wanted to do. My first step was researching how to make posters in Photoshop. I’m kind of a newb with Photoshop and those first few tutorials were a huge learning curve for me. I was so, so, SO pleased with how this one turned out, especially for my first attempt. This was also the first poster any of us had made for our film, so it was interesting hearing everyone else’s initial feedback. I probably did at least 10 different versions of this poster, each a tiny bit different, taking in the advice and feedback from the group.

Rachel_poster2

Rachel~ (Spoiler Alert!) I wanted to make a poster of just the “good guys” using some of the other poses we took. This one was actually harder because I felt like I had too much blank space to fill. Currently, we are going though some major script revisions, and these might not be the good guys at all now! 😉 It still turned out nice, I think.

Rachel_poster3

Rachel~ I took several pictures of Annie during our photo shoot that were just too epic. Even though she is not cast as a main character at this point, her pictures were SO poster-worthy that I had to make her a poster of her own. I also wanted to try a lighter color scheme. Don’t shoot me, Annie!

Rachel_poster4

Rachel~  This is the last one I made, and I think, my favorite. I learned quite a few new Photoshop techniques during the time between making the last one and this one.  I just love the colors and textures!


End of Show and Tell:

Are they amazing or what?! I hope you guys have enjoyed getting your first real peek at what the film will look like. I know I did. Now I’m really motivated to work on the film. Where’d I put that script…

P.S. Coming soon! Rachel is planning on writing an in-depth post about poster-making. 🙂

As always, we love, love, LOVE hearing feedback, so let us know your thoughts in the comments!


About This Blog

Hey everybody!

So…. Here we are. Writing a blog. A backstory is in order.

Our families (the Polings and the Swets) met in mid 2011, and discovered our shared interest in filmmaking. I think we all pretty much knew that one day we would have to make a movie together.

With other projects like shooting at each other with airsoft guns, lightsaber choreography competitions, the Polings getting ready to move, and generally getting to know each other, we never really talked seriously about concentrating our efforts on a film together beyond saying, “Oh, it would be so fun if we could make a movie about _____!”

Finally, the subject was breached and we began tossing around ideas. Now, a couple months later, we have a (mostly) finished script and are plunging head first into the other parts of pre-production.

Since we live two hours apart (hopefully not for long!), the communication between our two families is almost entirely internet-based. We use Facebook to share ideas, pictures, and videos, making sure everybody is on the same page. We also use Google+ Hangouts to chat face-to-face (screen-to screen?).

However, neither of these platforms offer an effective way to document our learning process, or be able to share it with other interested parties who are not directly participating in the project.

Hence the blog.

Here we will share about everything we are doing. From concept pictures, to test footage, to behind-the-scenes, and eventually, the finished film.

We hope this film will be the first of several collaborative film works between us, and perhaps this blog will serve as a product record for that as well. We also hope that what we learn through this process will help, inspire, and interest other young aspiring filmmakers.

Most of the writing will be done by the most verbose among us– Annie Poling, Rachel Poling, Maxwell Swet, and Phillip Poling. The others will be sharing as well, but not as often.

We hope that you will enjoy seeing everything as much as we enjoy creating and sharing it!

~ Max, Rachel, Phillip, Micah, Annie, Josiah, and Lizzy

 

the gang