Monday, March 9, 2015

The Hollow Waltz Teaser

A teaser clip/B scene to the upcoming crime genre web series premiering in spring 2015. 

In a city filled with corruption and greed, a small group of outlaws try to survive another few day despite their dwindling luck. Revenge, riches, and guns make for a good time in Frog Hollow. 

Graham's thoughts on life and science. 
(NSFW) Violence

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Hollow Waltz: Sidesteps

The Hollow Waltz: Sidesteps

A prequel short film to the upcoming crime genre web series premiering in spring 2015. 

In a city filled with corruption and greed, a small group of outlaws try to survive another few day despite their dwindling luck. Revenge, riches, and guns make for a good time in Frog Hollow. 

An introduction to the menacing villain of the city, Mayor Grand. 
(NSFW) Language

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What it took to get here. Pt. 2

With a script in hand, desire in my heart, and a dash of naivety it was time to get things moving. I set out and started discussing my ideas with people I knew from art school and fellow fillmmakers. I decided I needed a producer. The person I I asked was a local organizer and had many connections. We then contacted friends who we knew acted. They set us up with mutual friends and the audition process started.

Due to the driving distance of some actors we decided that using Skype was the best option of accomplishing our auditions. Once auditions were completed we set the production into motion. 

A table read was first. Setting the date was second. This I must say is the hardest part of any production for me. Organizing a large group of adults with active lives and on some unfortunate occasions a fraction of the desire you have. 

Locations then became an issue. With most indie filmmakers its a case of using every resource you have your hands on. I knew of an art gallery so we worked that into the story. We then needed a bar. I asked around and finally we were able to find a location. 

The shoot was 1 weekend. Two day shoot. Six hours the first and 3 the second. As much as you prepare you will always have something go wrong. So prepare for that.

The shoot itself was an experiment for sure. This is the first time for me that I was working with so many actors and furthermore something I was trying to present as more professional.

Naturally when you work, all the momentum has a tendency to conflict with your ability to focus. This is why we prep. Consulting your handy shot list/storyboard/etc will always help. So that's what I did. I also trusted a fellow film friend of mine (Ian Lynch Passarelli - Played Seamus in the proof of concept short) to take over camera B.

One mistake I made was not double checking important takes. Or at the very least being behind the camera/setting up back up B cameras.

So do that. There is one ill fated shot in the proof of concept short that I had no option but to use because of these mistakes.

After this intense and awesome experience. I spent roughly the next month editing.

There were tons of double takes and useless footage that were a result of poor planning on my part. One other tip I could bestow, plan everything so your workflow will be smooth. When you watch the same scene from 4 different angles; 5 takes later your editing objectivity seems to get skewed.

After a month of editing, tweaks, and bandaging audio issues. I was happy to release a new short film.

After it's release, constructive critiques filed in. This is quite common and I took note, while I started to write the rest of The Hollow Waltz.

We used this proof of concept short to use as our kickstarter video. In another post I will cover the woes and wins of Kickstarter.

I look back fondly knowing all the things I have learned since this short. All the things I have experienced. I see it as an amazing jumping off point into a world I have always loved and worked in. I suppose the difference, this time, was that I decided to go for broke. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Some BTS shots from our shoot this weekend!!

We are chipping away at the production and it's so fantastic to work with so many talented and enthusiastic people.

Tom Carney and Bryn Berg on set!

Broke the fourth wall!

They are friends in real life! The film, who knows!!

Our new AD Amanda! 

Bryn Berg as Isabelle

Sunday, September 28, 2014

BTS pics from our set building!

With the production for The Hollow Waltz underway. We needed certain locations that we could have ready access to. Here is a set I built over the last week. All scrap stuff I put together. 

This is what the Mayors office looked like. 

1 week later and with some creative love! 

This is a close up! 

See what you can do with some paint, some space, and a little elbow grease. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


I know that Robert Rodriguez is a huge fan of techniques like this. Also, take the time and watch all of his 15 min film schools. He has a number of them on his DVD extras.

When dealing with line of action and more specifically the 180 degree rule. You can run into some trouble in your edits when you are doing guerrilla style shoots. Sometimes you'll grab a various amount of footage from all angle and have no way to properly abide by the 180 degree rule. One method is using neutral shots or cut aways.

For example:
While editing my new short The Hollow Waltz: Sidesteps, I ran into an issue where I had one take that was really good until a camera bump ruined it. I had a second shot that was the same case earlier in the take. I Took the two, chopped them up, and aligned. The problem is, it does not respect the 180 degree rule. What you can do is take shot number one, crop it and center on the fire making it a cutaway shot. Pull the audio and then use the cropped shot as your buffer between the two takes. Ultimately, it breaks up the edit enough giving yourself a chance

Here is what i am talking about. I will actually go back and reshoot this one shot, but for now this is a place marker. If you don't have the benefit of doing so, I suggest trying something like so.

Above is the initial shot. 

Here is the cropped frame that could be used as a cutaway

Then I cut to the the frame with my amazing actor facing me. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Hollow Waltz : What it took to get here! pt.1

Euphio have finally begun the production of The Hollow Waltz web series. This Friday will be day 1 of the official production.  I hope over the next few weeks I can share the process and the experiences I went through to get to this point. Perhaps, bestowing a few tips and tricks to help out any indie filmmakers or people starting out.  

Needless to say, this production has been filled with trials and tribulations. This is to be expected on many micro budget or guerrilla style productions. In return, I did not expect to feel like sisyphus. The size of this production was daunting, I knew that. Organizing personnel, not one of my strongest suits. I chose to carry on. 

The original idea for The Hollow Waltz came to me almost a year and a half ago. This would be my first big production separating myself from 1-2 man skits, art films/installations, and backyard productions. All the while, retaining the DIY guerrilla filmmaking process i've always known. It has been a long journey through the many errors a young filmmaker will inevitably make. 

However, I am glad I made every single one of them. They have taught me the resiliency that every filmmaker needs. The first step I took was to write a script. It should be obvious that this is the first step in any production, no matter how vaguely inferential. I set an idea for a heist film. A crime film that i'd love to see. 

From this point, I spent the next few weeks crafting ideas and watching every one of my favorite crime films. I started with the best. Coppola, Scorsese, Tarantino, the classic noir films, etc. I spent quite some time watching British crime TV shows/films studying the way they tell stories and the way their dialogue seems to push the story forward while simultaneously staying ambiguous.  The next few two weeks were filled with all nighters, solitude, and lots of caffeine. The gauntlet I endured yielded a first draft and a spark of inspiration that gave me the confidence to carry onward. 

That was step one. 

- Steve

Immerse yourself, consume, study and write.