The Wizard of Lights + Behind the Scenes

Chris came up with a idea featuring a realistic-looking wizard lighting up a town. He had several tricks he wanted to use to achieve an expensive cinematic look using only footage taken in front of the green screen in our basement. One shot I found particularly impressive was a fake crane swoop around our wizard on top of a building. To pull this off, Chris simply had our wizard, Aaron, slowly turn in a circle while the camera was locked off. Chris then built the moving environment around him. Watch the behind-the-scenes portion of the video linked above to see what I mean!

To plan the lighting and angles, we storyboarded, then Chris created a pre-visualized sequence.

When we started putting the pieces together for this video, we couldn't find a pre-made robe we liked, so I sewed one myself using dimly-remembered home ec skills from junior high and Simplicity pattern 9887 (sadly it's discontinued, but you can still find the pattern on ebay).

After building the robe, we started testing makeup.

Beard test on me (because Chris didn't want to  get spirit gum in his actual facial hair), then old age test on Chris, then both techniques combined on our actor, Aaron.

Beard test on me (because Chris didn't want to  get spirit gum in his actual facial hair), then old age test on Chris, then both techniques combined on our actor, Aaron.

A friend of ours, Aaron Fransen, volunteered to be the wizard. We aged him with old man makeup techniques using a Youtube tutorial by Petrilude, and we stuck a crepe hair beard on him. When using crepe hair and spirit gum, spend a few extra bucks for good supplies. We used cheap Halloween shop stuff, and while we we got an acceptable result, it would have been a lot easier with higher quality gum. The crepe hair, at least, was decent: Graftobian, from The Costume Shoppe in Calgary.

This was different from our usual horror stuff, and a lot of work, but still a lot of fun.


Guerilla Rebellion and Element 3D World Position Matte

In July 2013, we made a few ads for a friend, Ryan Chute, out on the East Coast. So far these ads aren't in full circulation yet, but hopefully that's coming soon.

Here's one where Chris took a 3D model car and had it spin around me.

And here's a quick breakdown on how Chris did the effect:

We put a lav mike on my lapel to pick up my voice. We don't have a wireless mic; the lav is plugged into a Zoom H4N, which is safety-pinned to the back of my suit jacket. The Zoom is a bit too big for the average pocket. Following making this video, we picked up a Rode SmartLav, which works with iPhone, so the setup will be lighter and easier next time.


Calgary Horror Con 2013

Calgary Horror Con mentioned on one of their social media platforms that they had to make a choice: they could spend money on advertising, or they could spend money on guests. They chose to spend money on guests.

Chris and I heard about this, and Chris saw a good opportunity. Horror Con is still an intimate affair, not the colossal behemoth that is the Calgary Comic Expo, and so it's a small enough community to get in on the ground floor. He decided to help the con out by making three commercial spots for them. Below are the the ads: Meet the Family, Happy Hill, and It's Here. The first ad, Meet the Family, is near to my heart because I spit a mouthful of digestive acid in Chris's face, but I digress.

We decided to go with three short stories with a feeling of impending doom. The first two have "it's coming" as their theme, and the third ad was released the week of the con, with the theme of "it's here".

Organizers Jim Saito and Dan Doherty generously thanked us for our efforts by inviting us to the Friday night opening gala at the Calgary Tower, where we had a chance to meet the charming Tony Todd, chat up legendary scream queen Linnea Quigley, and have a great talk with actress (and brand-new director) Jessica Cameron. I circled around Bill Moseley but never quite caught him alone. The main event for Horror Con this year was a 1990 Night of the Living Dead reunion: expert makeup artist and director Tom Savini,  principle actors Patricia Tallman, Bill Moseley, and Tony Todd, all attended a Saturday night screening of the film and gave a great Q&A afterward.

This'll wind up being a really long post if I go over everything that happened. Horror Con is a kickass event and it's only going to get bigger and better going forward. If you're considering going in 2014, stop considering and just get your weekend passes already.