Special Post: The Anne Beal Edition (pt. 2)

From the journal of Anne Beal (see previous post):

A heated game of scrabble. I guess we played scrabble at some point?

As an animation, film and video student, my summer with Kazoo Films was priceless. Observing Nandan set up his shots gave me insight into cinematography; working with Bruno + Harrison gave me the opportunity to see a beautiful creative and collaborative relationship. I appreciated Forrest as a grounded and wise collaborator…and for introducing me to the project. He generated so much interest in the film – the film couldn’t exist without him.

Some practical things I learned: in the bonfire shoot, Nandan used large squares of foam core spray painted silver to reflect light from the fire and provide more/prettier light for the camera. In indoor shots, like the kitchen in [one of the farms], he hung black fabric around the light bulbs he brought to control the path/distribution of light. Seeing these things applied on a live set has served me well in my education! I’m focusing primarily on animation at RiSD right now. One thing I was worried about was not getting enough experience in live action on a set. I got that this summer, and amidst the lush mountains of WNC at that!

I learned so much about organizing a production. I became really good at talking to strangers and new acquaintances about things we needed for production. In my first week I went around to about a dozen establishments in Hendersonville, Asheville, Flat Rock and Clay County asking proprietors to donate props. I had to be really convincing and professional and assure them that our project was worth while, and that we would take care of their items. I was pleased to learn that people in our community were so willing to help!

As we got into filming, my responsibilities developed into organizing and shopping for and preparing food for the crew and cast at shoots. Also, I had a car, which was really helpful in running errands. We also used it as a dolly in one shot at six in the morning in downtown Marshall….yessssssss.

I got to spruce up the sets, too, which was a lot of fun – like playing house sometimes. Making a living space convincing on camera – that’s another thing I learned.

The Red Rose o' England

Thanks again, Anne. You are the best.
Keep an eye on this blog, folks. Things are getting interesting again in Kazoo-land (hint: rough cut).

Special Post: The Anne Beal Edition (pt. 1)

Greetings Kazooers,

Today’s post is from Anne Beal, the unofficial (not that anything about this film was “official”) fifth member of the Kazoo Crew. There isn’t really a title in the professional film world that captures Anne’s role on the set of “If I Had Wings To Fly” (or whatever). She was the art director, transportation captain, craft services specialist, general production assistant and much, much more.

Anne introduced herself during pre-production and said that she wanted to help in any way she could, which was nice, but we were a little skeptical because a few people had said that and then hadn’t really followed through. Anne, however, proved to be indispensible, invaluable, and great, and the movie would not have happened without her. Period.

So the forthcoming two posts will give us an idea about Anne’s perspective on the silliness of this summer’s fLim-making. The images were scanned from the notebook she kept with her at all times. The reflections themselves were transcribed from the same. Enjoy!

love, Bruno

Magical Adventures

-to a medicine man’s wagon

-to an enchanted farm

-and a still-in-time farmhouse, preserved with grandma’s comb and powder still preserved on the vanity. The calendars in the wall – a smiling Jesus for every year – stop around 1973. That’s how we found it. We filmed another farm in Marble, NC, outside of Murphy – we turned abandoned places into living sets for our story. We gathered old and new friends from across the country to piece together this malleable and rich story, each scene shaped by the collaboration of Bruno and Harrison’s vision and the personal embodiment of the characters involved. The people we cast adopted our story and enriched it with their individual voices.

Bruno

On the crew side of things, we learned as we went – how to organize our shoots and how to communicate with the cast – and how to feed everyone! Our first big shoot, the bonfire scene, challenged us with a remote location (bathroomless, waterless) and extreme heat from a roaring fire! We had about 15 to 20 musicians, plus some friends and family, and we (in the midst of our excitement and other logistics we were working out in preparation) kind of forgot, or didn’t realize, we would need a TON OF WATER to keep everyone hydrated. By the end of the night, after hours of prep and hours of shooting, we had run out of water and were passing around a bag of fruit and drinking the juices. The most delicious fruit salad I have ever eaten.

The Bonfire Scene

Our next big shoot (in between “big” shoots we had moderate shoots with about 5 crew and 2-10 cast) was the sqaure dance scene! Friends and family rallied behind us to house, feed, and dance with us at the [John C. Campbell] Folk School. We were really prepared this time (my mom cooked a whole 30 person batch of pasta!) and even a bag of extra costumes!

To be continued…

That’s a Wrap

Well, we are done filming.

I think we all have a lot of thoughts and feelings running right now, but it’s hard to make sense of it at the moment, so I thought I would share the instantaneous reactions of some of the key Kazoo players.

Harrison: “I’m just a normal guy again!”

Bruno: “I blacked out. What happened?”

Forrest: (over the phone) “I’m not good at instantaneous…uh…how about, wooooo!….?” (He calls back 5 minutes later) “Ok, I have something. Make a trailer!”

Sadie: (over the phone) “Weeeeeeeeeeeoooooooo!!!” (I’m holding the phone away from my ear)

Anne: “Loss.”

Nandan: “Edit it. I want to see a cut.”

Medicine Show Sunday

Sunday August 15th 2010, 2pm, Hayesville Town Square, be there!!!

Dr. Ryan and Felix will be showing the powers of the Miracle Elixir; Dom Flemons will be delighting with musical bravado; members of the Runaway Circus will be astounding with acts of daring; and the Kazoo Films crew will attempt to capture the scene….

Bring the whole family!

Medicine Show — call for extras!


If you want to help us publicize, click and print the full-size version and post around your home, town, school, and place of work.

We need a crowd. Invite your friends and family and Facebook RSVP (or just come out)

What: An old time Medicine Show
Who: Dr. Timothy Melchizadek Leviticus Ryan, Dom Flemons of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and a selection of jugglers from the Asheville Runaway Circus
Where: Hayesville Town Square
When: Sunday, August 15th at 2pm

Goin’ to a Dance on a Saturday Night

Kazoo Films wraps the long-anticipated square dance shoot! Thanks go to the John C. Campbell Folk School for allowing us to shoot at the majestic Festival Barn. Thank you so much to all of our wonderful, talented, and good-looking dancers who came from as close as Harshaw Rd. and as far as Atlanta and Asheville (and one from Colorado). Many folks stayed passed midnight, waltzing, swinging, diving for the oyster, shooting a hole in the old tin can, and (for a select few) smooching on the one they love the best.

Smooch!

...One Wheel Off and the Axle Draggin'

We must recognize Ted Cooley, Fo-Fo Oliphant and the incomparable J.D. Robinson for providing hours of dance music. They played perfectly for a really long time. Another major thank you goes to Anne Beal’s mother, Lou Reeves for preparing and donating the delicious and abundant supper. Thanks to Elienne Tevia-Clark for staying up past bedtime to eat candy and make his film debut! Thanks finally to Charlotte Crittenden for her brilliant and flexible dance calling abilities. Y’all are amazing. To say “we couldn’t have done it without you” would be stupid. You WERE the scene. You did it! Thank you!

People who have worked with me on this or other films know that I am very protective of my dailies (unedited, raw footage). I am very hesitant to do pre-screening, to post screenshots online, and I usually personally struggle with even watching them at home. However, I have seen some of this stuff, and it looks beautiful. This is going to be a great scene!

Gordy and the Candy (Heart) Breakers

But,

the most exciting scene is still to come! And we need a crowd. Invite your friends and family and Facebook RSVP (or just come out)

What: an old time Medicine Show
Who: Dr. Timothy Melchizadek Leviticus Ryan, Dom Flemons of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and a selection of jugglers from the Asheville Runaway Circus
Where: Hayesville Town Square
When: Sunday, August 15th at 2 pm

Where have we been?

As we all sit around Niki’s house – still stuffed and weary from the day’s shoot – Bruno asked me where I’d been and why I hadn’t been blogging.  Well, I’ve been on set, or I’ve been in Zuma coffee trying to figure out the next shoot, or I’ve been trying to be a good boyfriend through the throes of production, or (on rare occasion) I’ve been sleeping.  Life takes on a weird twist when you’re filming… things and people can go a little crazy.  So maybe the truth is I’ve sort of been on the crazy train.

But, crazy or not, the film is happening! It’s happening all around me and it’s picking up speed!  We shot in Texana  today and we’re going to a big location tomorrow morning.  I feel more often than not a sort of surprised looks adorns my face, which is actually just my brain trying fire off thought-bubbles fast enough to keep up with the pace.  It’s hard to believe that we have a less than a month left of shooting.  They say that filmmakers live on average 10 years less than your average construction worker/race car driver/WWE wrestler/astronaut and  I’d believe it too.  But, what can I say, I’m having the time of my life.  I guess for a while I thought this would be my first and last film but I’m coming around to the idea that it’s something that might not fade away after all.

I just need to figure out a way to have a puppy, a stable relationship, maybe a family someday, and god forbid some cash in my pocket.  But as Bruno says… “when the robots take over the planet only the insane, irrational, [and DIY independent filmmakers] will survive.”


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5thJXTj6oI

Goat Day

Working with non-professional actors has been an important part of our process in making this movie. We have been witness to some wonderful performances from untrained actors so far, and yesterday we all felt that excited rush that comes from discovering a new talent, from seeing someone find a creative will inside themselves that they perhaps did not even know existed.

Billy, in the role of Nebuchadnezzer the pack-goat, delivered take after heartbreaking take. He is a bold new voice in the indie-film acting world, and a huge asset to this project. Big thanks to the Bennetts at Doubletree Farm for letting us play with him for the day.