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 Wednesday, 17 August 2005
Wednesday, 17 August 2005 08:53:41 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) ( )

Friends of ours have been producing amateur movies and shorts for a while now under the moniker Stone Soup Films. My wife got involved a couple years ago, and now I’m involved as well. It is a great outlet for creativity, and a wonderful way to interact with a group of exceedingly smart and creative people.

 

I always thought that my work (writing and speaking) was a good creative outlet. And it is, but it turns out to be too limiting. Writing computer books and articles is relatively formulaic after a while. Still very, very fun and satisfying, but every article or chapter tends to follow a very concrete structure. The same is true with building presentations for conferences or user groups. They all tend to follow a very similar structure.

 

Creating a movie though, is quite a refreshing change, and I’m learning more than I ever wanted to know about what goes on behind the scenes. I’m not a “behind the scenes” junky and almost never watch the “making of …” extras that come on the DVD.

 

I think it is kind of like golf. Watching someone make a movie (or play golf) isn’t so interesting. Being part of making a movie (or actually playing golf) is quite a lot of fun.

 

(and no, I’m not a golfer – but I did play quite a bit a few years ago when a bunch of co-worker/friends got into it for a summer)

 

SSF tends to produce vampire movies. I have little interest in vampires personally, as I think they’ve been used to death. But I’m less concerned with the subject matter than the fun of being part of the project, so it doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

 

Last weekend we spent a few hours planning a set for the opening sequence (or a flashback) in the movie. As we were figuring out how it would all look and work I got nominated to play a role. There I was, just acting as extra labor and boom! I’m an actor. Well, of a sort.

 

I am Lugash. A cruel gypsy (Serbian) guard who is part of a cruel test to find a child who was born through a union of human and vampire. Lugash is not a nice person, at all. Nor is he articulate. I have no lines, instead all my work is in body language, facial expressions and so forth. I get to glare, stand in a menacing manner, smile a dark smile and just generally look threatening and mean. I can do that :)

 

Last night was our first attempt at filming. Things didn’t go as planned however, since we were unable to get enough light onto the set (it is really hard to logically light a set when the scene is set in the dead of night). Just when we thought we had a plan to solve the light issue, a massive thunderstorm rolled in, and radar showed another one coming behind it.

 

During a lull in the storm the set (a tent, with cots, a stove and other trappings) was quickly moved into the garage. It turns out to be quite tricky to get a tent to stay up in a garage, as you can’t stake down the corners and the poles just slip on the concrete (this is a “house tent”, not one of those new-fangled dome tents :) ). After one of our group ran out and bought some concrete block we were able to rig something up.

 

So tonight we’ll try again on the filming thing. There’s a 50% chance of thunderstorms tonight as well – but this time we’re in a garage and basically don’t care. This time we’re going to get the scene recorded and it will be a lot of fun!

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