"Polaris"

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by Admiral Buzzkill, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And I say it again. ;)

    Some of the crew folks headed out to the stage to break down and get lighting equipment ready for return this afternoon. Alex, our Director of Photography, showed up with a text message from DS9Sega asking that we get an insert shot of a really cool prop piece that he was concerned that we missed during production. I got excited about lighting up even a tiny bit of the set and shooting it for a minute - just me plugging and unplugging this little panel on the wall, establishing it in its active and unpowered states while Alex shot footage of it. For one more minute, the ship lived.

    And then it was over. I find myself crying suddenly when I try to tell friends what I witnessed this week - a bunch of folks eager to create some really beautiful stuff. I was a bystander a lot of the time, but I was there.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  2. USS Intrepid

    USS Intrepid Commodore Commodore

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    I don't think you're alone there.
     
  3. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Dennis, at the risk of being overblwon I have to say I think you are on the verge of crossing into a new frontier: web-based productions that make money! Hopefully, anyway. Seriously, I remember when Hollywood was wringing it's collective hands over how VCR's (then DVD's) were going to be their ruination. It turns out recorded media are a multi billion dollar part of the industry, with direct to video being a big part of that. Hopefully, there's some sort of movement within the inner circles of the tv/movie industries to tap into the potential of direct to web. It could be a great way for them to cash in on the "niche" markets that they've always said weren't lucrative enough to go after.
     
  4. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The studios don't get the web, and I will say selfishly right now that I hope they never figure it out.

    I enjoy Starbucks, but if I were going to run a coffee shop I'd prefer that it were my own in my own little neighborhood of Silver Spring rather than one of theirs.
     
  5. lennier1

    lennier1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Depends on how you look at it.
    Sanctuary started out as an independent online project as well and today it' s one of the few shows on SyFy that don't suck. But then again the show owes a lot to Amanda Tapping's popularity and her influence as one of the producers.
     
  6. IcecreamLtDan

    IcecreamLtDan Captain Captain

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    :devil: Well, Dennis IS famous, so maybe that will have the desired affect here.:cool:
     
  7. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I assume that's meant in jest.
     
  8. Barbreader

    Barbreader Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Famous is a relative term.
     
  9. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe, but there has to be a threshold. :lol:
     
  10. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I served as the Assistant Director (not technically the 1st A.D. since we had no 2nd A.D.) on the Polaris principle photography last week, and I have to say it was a complete kick to do. It also kicked my ass!

    In most any group of this kind you find the people that you can count on to get things done and those who will slack off. Fortunately, on this crew the balance was more in favor of the go-getters than the other.

    As the A.D. my job was the run the set, which means to get the shooting schedule together and to make sure that everyone gets what they need, preferably before they ask for it. I think I was reasonably successful in this at least some of the time because in many instances when Dennis would say something like "John needs power for the sewing machine" I'd seen to it five minutes before.

    Because I came into the project late, and the set wasn't done when we started, the first few days we tended to assemble the schedule on the day. When we fell way behind on our first two days I came up with a strategy to maximize coverage and knock out most of the closeups of the supporting cast in blocks, meaning there would be time to get the more complex master shots without having to spend a lot of time getting the closeups later. I am proudest of Wednesday, when we knocked out 11 pages of script, when our previous best had been about 5!

    We still went over on several days when I'd hoped not to, but part of that was just the crew was smallish for this scale of production, and some members of the crew, whilst hard-working troopers, were new or newish to film production. At one point I had to chew everyone out because I couldn't get the set quiet. Grrrr! As I say, no one loves the A.D.!

    The biggest problem I had were not having a dedicated script supervisor (Lucy Faria did the job when not on set, but she was often on camera), which meant my lunch and dinner breaks were often spent sitting on the set floor, spreading out the pages, and trying to figure out what we'd covered and what we'd missed.

    The fun stuff was working with my boyfriend to detail and decorate the sets (we planted a nice Star Wars in-joke in the "brig" that I don't think they got in shot), talking some of the actors into doing funny bits during takes to break tension, and directing second unit type stuff, including security camera footage of a "redshirt" death, which looked fast, brutal and fantastic.

    A lot of fun! But now, two days after we wrapped, I'm still exhausted and my feet hurt from being on them 12-14 hours a day for 8 days!

    My heartfelt thanks to Dennis for giving me this opportunity to help make this happen.
     
  11. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^In that job, if you don't make somebody mad, you're probably not doing it right! Even with all the advantages of doing an audio drama, I'm quite certain that I've bruised some feelings over the last couple of months while filling a similar role. Ah well, at least you're aware that you might be stepping on some toes. I always wonder about people who go through life in perpetual "bull in a china shop" mode without giving any consideration to the possibility that they are leaving a mass of angry people and hurt feelings in their wake.
     
  12. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    My heartfelt thanks to you, guy, for saving my ass. And I'm sure happy to have you as a new found friend...peculiar, how different RL remains from interaction on the Web.

    People here may not believe it, but I really like to be liked. DS9Sega did a job that I'm tempermentally incapable of. It's a mild exaggeration, I guess, to pretend that the First A.D. plays a "bad guy," in that I think everyone on our production ultimately admired and liked him for what he did for us and enjoyed his company (in the nanoseconds that he was allowed to just "be there"). Still and all, his work required a thick skin and the day-after-day willingness to redirect and refocus the attention of a crowd who were often tired and hungry and not in a hurry to move.

    We shot about 34 pages of script in six days, holding to twelve-hour days for at least the first half of the shoot, under very limited conditions (and guess what, I don't know the exact page count because it was DS9Sega who kept track of it and I'll have to ask him for the final). He made it all possible.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2009
  13. USS Intrepid

    USS Intrepid Commodore Commodore

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    I don't know how he does it, but DS9Sega managed to be both a hardass and a pussycat all at the same time.

    Hmm, maybe I didn't need that image in my head.
     
  14. IcecreamLtDan

    IcecreamLtDan Captain Captain

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    Indeed it was, I had hoped the little icons would clear that up.
     
  15. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I am soooo using that as my signature!

    Thanks for the kind words, guys!
     
  16. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    This looks like a potential classic here; can't wait to buy the DVD. :bolian:
     
  17. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have to agree that this does, indeed, look awesome. I was a little ambivalent about the early set photos during construction but the in-camera stuff looks incredible. Ditto the costuming and everything else.

    Gonna be a blast to watch this unfold.
     
  18. USS Intrepid

    USS Intrepid Commodore Commodore

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    Glad to be of service!
     
  19. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's always a struggle between trying to show some progress and tipping stuff before it's ready. We had photographs of some of our actors in costume, for example, that they weren't all comfortable with and so we didn't post them online. The actors were probably right. Doing these movies, especially on this kind of budget, is all about illusion and that includes lighting and camera angles and everything else.

    We've got some shots in camera that we probably won't post until effects are applied to them. We've got imagery that won't be seen until we can present it in the context of a trailer...so on, and so forth.

    And we got by with the Burke chairs. :techman:
     
  20. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Here are some photos from the last day of shooting on "Polaris" in Fort Washington. The first couple are of Garrett D. Melich as a character named "Gaitanis," along with our lead Paul R. Sieber as "Sam Fredericks:"

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The last is Fredericks with his ray-gun. :)

    [​IMG]