Elevator shot BTS

Sean, Juan, and I at the Westin getting our elevator shot.

No matter what.

-Choo

Cast: Unknown (The Rider)

by Sean Wells

Here’s a glimpse at our elusive Rider character.  The Rider needed to be an experienced and skilled motorcyclist, so we put an ad out on Craiglist looking for someone interested in filling the role.  This guy was the first to reply.  His only rule was that we cannot know his identity.  All we know is he shows up when we need him and he can ride the living daylights out of this motorcycle.  He is never seen without his blacked out helmet so he has proven quite interesting to work with. Here he is with our custom Honda CB750 built by our D.P. Juan Hernandez:

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photography by Juan Hernandez, post-processing by Sean Wells

Shoot - 03.25.2012 - Club Exterior

by Sean Wells

Our club exterior shoot went off without a hitch!  We are very grateful for our amazing vehicle owners, cast and crew who all came out on a freezing cold Sunday evening to make this thing happen.  We were incredibly fortunate to be able to shoot in the 32TEN lot, a location with a truly rich filmmaking history.  A very special thanks to MUSE Media for letting us use their outstanding light kit. David James for letting us use the all-important fog machine!  After cutting this montage of sillyness together, it’s a wonder we got anything done!

Club Slate

Club Exterior Shoot - Tales From a Frozen Extra

By Megan Richcreek

There was a chill in the air, and the sun was still shining, as we strolled up to the warehouse location of the club exterior shoot. As the sun went down, so did the action on set…

Inside the warehouse, the extras were soon being outfitted in the latest fashions of another era - brightly colored ski jackets, blazers with insane shoulder pads, dresses (the turquoise number was the hit of the evening), shiny belts, sizzling hot shades- at night- because well, you know the song- and, lest I forget, one super awesome Korea jacket.

You may be sensing the theme here. On set, it was beginning to look a lot like… the 80s. As wardrobe was being finalized, hair was being teased and makeup was being applied the extras posed for photos against a green screen backdrop. Male Lead Johnny, perched on the hair/makeup chair started spouting his many accents, causing an eruption of laughter and provided endless entertainment for all. 

Outside, as things were getting started and the extras were ready, none of us inside expected what awaited us in the dark backdrop of the outside set. No, it was not the DeLorean (which was SO cool) or any of the other 80s-esque cars parked right outside,  nor was it the bright lights that clearly signified it was “Lights camera action!” time. Nay, it was the biting cold that caused a chill in all of us as we stepped out ready for our not-so-close-ups. 

Amid a haze of, well, haze (in a can), we assumed our places outside the club, which we would continue to assume for the rest of the evening. Maybe it was the insane amount of pornography fog being pumped from every direction or maybe it was the fact that a Marty McFly look-alike stood next to the DeLorean, but the extras were giddy with excitement, which decreased the initial shock of the cold. As the shoot went on, the freeze was noticeable. Another yell of “background ready?” would cause us all to get into places and stand up straight, as we were huddling together for warmth.

Quite the bonding experience. And yet, we braved it all for the sake of the shoot. It was a great night. Then, “it’s a wrap!” was called out from some guy sporting a double-vest… and we celebrated with, what else, dancing; feet numb and all, it was worth every minute.  

Megan Richcreek

Neon Blogger/Word Nerd

Thank You 944Online.com!

by Sean Wells

The amazing community over at 944Online.com really came through for us on our club exterior shoot.  Dave provided his Black 944 and Fiat Spyder, Dan W. provided that bright white 944 driving by in the foreground and Dan H. and his wife Lisa brought along the silver 944.  Dan H. also provided the most convincing bouncer we could have possibly found! 

Thanks 944Online.com!

Cast: Johnny Turco (Male Lead)

by Sean Wells

People know him for his comedy, but it wasn’t too hard to make our lead actor, Johnny, look pretty damn cool.  He has charisma, but our haze in a can tried to give him a run for the money for the lead role:

 
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photos by Juan Hernandez, post-processing by Sean Wells

Vehicle - 1977 Datsun 280z

by Sean Wells

One of the primary inspirations for doing the short film was when we found out Charles was serious about getting his hands on one of his dream cars, a 1970’s Datsun 280z.  This classic Z oozes so much style, we just had to use it in a project.  What started as a potential music video evolved into an 8-page short film… whoops.  After 4 months of searching, Charles finally found the Z he was looking for: 

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Shoot - 02.11.2012 - Chinatown

by Sean Wells

We were able to fast track the shooting schedule to take advantage of the Chinese New Year celebration.  Quite the run and gun approach… we ended up getting ourselves some press passes:

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The passes granted complete access to Kevin and Carl, our 2nd Unit Camera guys.  They were able to get inside the parade.  Here’s an image Kevin got from below the Dragon finale:

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The shoot ended up a success and we were able to capture quite the atmosphere:

Our First Shoot: The Ladies Party

by Megan Richcreek

Once Crystal passes out the super official Press Passes and the boys scatter to the city, it’s just the girls left ready to get this party started…

Liana arrives at Crystal and Sean’s palace and we immediately get down to business. First order of business: getting our beautiful star camera-ready. Smoke arises from Liana’s tresses as Crystal straight-irons, Megan films (awkwardly on the iPhone) and the girls chat away. The end result is a perfectly formed bun atop Liana’s head and Liana starts on her own makeup as we look on in the bathroom mirror and awe at her crazy long lashes. All the while we each start asking each other, “So are you hungry? What’s for dinner?” After the female lead is dressed, her makeup has been perfected, and her hair is in place we pile into the car and make our way to Whole Foods to grab a bite (or two) for ourselves and the hungry and waiting film crew. We depart for the city stuffing sushi and other snacks in our faces…

Traffic is the name of the game once we hit the Chinatown area. Cars jam together in a haze of red break lights. We finally park (thanks to Liana’s aunt and uncle!) We race down the street noticing a cold bite in the air and hugging our jackets closer to us. The city is bustling with activity and we can almost smell the firecracker smoke as we hurry to meet the crew who have already been shooting footage for hours. Glimpses of firecracker red and gold glimmer in the streets, empty red shells, streamers and ash; remnants of the parade that we just missed. We get closer. All around us, it’s POP POP POP. The littered streets are astir with people almost drunk with the smoke and blinding lights. We race past Washington and on to meet the others on Sacramento. We stand in the intersection looking around aimlessly… then, suddenly… a red beanie appears in the distance and we breathe a sigh of relief…

Director Sean briefs us on the plans sketched out for the evening and explains where other parts of the crew are shooting. Meanwhile others, including male lead Johnny, have joined us on the street corner. It is damn cold tonight. Then we all make our way to the first shooting location (we think). In the distance loud popping and bright lights appear yet again, we hope someone somewhere is getting that footage. Walking through these people already so wrapped up in the Chinese New Year festivities (throwing poppers, lighting sparklers and fireworks right in front of us as we walk down the street), I find, is like being sober in a crowd of really drunk friends; I just don’t get it and I’m a bit annoyed, but I also kind of want to be apart of the excitement. Crystal meanwhile is getting aggro. Moving on…

Juan and Charles start shooting some footage of Liana and across the street, where we are camped out, Crystal and I, as designated wardrobe/makeup crew,  just hope her makeup is staying put. Then we are called to another order of business in a yet to be disclosed location and thus we must leave our encampment to Charles, who seems more than obliged to stake out and “keep an eye” on our Whole Foods snacks and home baked cookies and brownies. After we start walking, we get a call minutes later asking if the contents in the Whole Foods bag are for up for grabs…

Crystal and I meander down the road a few blocks, which seems like takes longer than it should, and I look like I’m backpacking through San Francisco with Charles’ pack on my back. Just outside the Chinatown entrance, we greet Sean and Nic in front of our very high-tech and “low-profile” command center: Starbucks. That location, we are told, is closed (boo 9pm!), thus we embark on a search for an alternative headquarters and just our luck, there’s another one right up the street. And who says there isn’t a Starbucks on every street corner in every major city? (Actually, no one says that, because there really is…) And this one’s open til midnight, what what! We stake our techie spread and take up 3+ seats with our laptop, iPad, hard drives, epically awesome RCA camcorder and other gadgets. “That’s how we do,” in the words of Crystal. Sippin on coffee and tea, we are briefly joined by the awesome hard-working parade footage go-getters Carl and Kevin, who regale us with stories of being in the trenches (aka IN the parade, Kevin-status) and being on the sidelines. Man, what these guys will do to get a good shot. They soon depart and then we were two. I think it may be safe to say that the theme for this evening is as follows:

Oh, don’t worry: we have press passes.

And then, as we sit at our Starbucks command center, a text from Director Sean comes in… Day 1: Just wrapped.

BOOM.

Megan Richcreek
Neon Blogger, Copywriter and Word Nerd 

Location Scouting: Chinatown

by Sean Wells

Our story attempts to keep the viewer suspended in an ambiguous time and place.  In thinking about locations that have a sort of timeless feeling, San Francisco’s Chinatown came to mind.  We also realized the Chinese New Year Parade fell within our production schedule and we might be able to take advantage of the sights and sounds the celebration provides.

SF Chinatown