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Sun, May 7 2006
That's a wrap!
Topic: Trailer
I would sincerely like to thank everyone on the production who made this trailer a reality. Cogs in the machine, as they say.


The backbone of Starway Pictures.


The backbone of my success.


OUR TALENTED CREW


Rob Sanders, director


Barb Sanders, producer


Mark Ross, director of photography


Tanner Almon, assistant camera


Naomi King, coordinator


Rachel Pritchett, costume designer


Greg McDougall, SFX/key makeup


Christina Rodriguez, makeup assistant


Barbi Baranyai, production assistant


Cindy Cecil, production assistant


Sarah Hartman, production assistant


Scott Cecil, key gaffer / dolly grip


James Martinez, stunt choreographer


OUR AMAZING CAST


Sean Pritchett as Donovan Sloan


Michael Caruso as Drake Dante


Dorien Davies as Jesse Stewart


Alexandra Boylan as Devi Dante


Edwin Craig as Seth Dante


Ian Malcolm as Jack Winston


Terry Reed as Hadrian


Jay Hinton as Darius Dante


John Gorman as Caleb Dante

Posted by blackroosterfilms at 8:15 PM PDT
Updated: Tue, May 9 2006 1:10 AM PDT
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Sat, May 6 2006
Trailer -- day nine
Topic: Trailer
Not since Tigger popped a bottle of uppers on the rarely seen cartoon Winnie's Blustery Daze has there been more bouncing in one given area.

With principal photography now a memory, it's time that we had some fun. Today, that fun came in the form of a trampoline. It did serve a business purpose, the jumping around of Sean (Donovan), Michael (Drake), Jay (Darius), and John (Caleb) against a green screen to give the sense of being ragdolled by telekinetic forces. But before the actors had their turn, the majority of the crew took to the air, landing on a crash mat. Speaking of which, you really don't know how effective a crash mat really is until you experience landing on one. Amazing how it stops you dead yet gives enough to soften the impact.

As usual, everything went off without a hitch. We got a few quick shots of Edwin, then moved to the trampoline stuff, which filled the rest of our day. From there, we packed it up, but not before bouncing around until the trampoline guy showed up to take it away about 30-45 minutes later. At least four or five cameras captured the action and John even put himself in danger, lying on the end of the crash mat, to get the best shots. Rachel almost took him out, and I kinda think that was her goal.

I'm currently in talks with Rob to provide one of those bouncy castle things on the set of each movie. You know ... to relieve stress. I think it would really help morale and keep the blood flowing.

Next step ... an on set Icee machine.

Posted by blackroosterfilms at 12:01 AM PDT
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Day nine photos
Topic: Trailer

Starway's production crew and cast (well, most of them).


My first experience with a green screen.


Edwin (Seth) shows what real power is.


Rob is ready for Edwin's scene.


Michael does a nice dive.


This one's even better.


Sean attempts a John Woo move.


This takes a lot of talent.


Jay perfects his move.


Hey, Warner, if Routh doesn't work out, Tanner's our vote for Superman.


Rachel finally flips out.


Christina is having a ball.


I even got into the act.


Sorry, ladies. He's taken.


So is he.


How?


Apparently, it's some kind of sliding scale.

Posted by blackroosterfilms at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Tue, May 16 2006 10:55 PM PDT
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Day nine video
Topic: Trailer

Sean demonstrates his skills at attacking a crash mat.

Posted by blackroosterfilms at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Tue, May 16 2006 10:52 PM PDT
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Sun, Apr 30 2006
Trailer -- day eight
Topic: Trailer

Location: Michael Caruso's loft, rooftop, Downtown Los Angeles

Here we are. The last day of principal photography. All that's left after this is one day of green screen work. And don't let the date of this post fool you. We went well into the morning of May 1st.

I've never lived in an apartment building where the roof is accessible. You always see those films where an artist is sitting on a rooftop, a sketch pad sitting in front of them, simultaneously soaking up the atmosphere and creating a masterpiece. And lo and behold, there was an artist on one corner of the roof doing exactly that. You see, artists opt to do their work in the presence of breathtaking vistas and gorgeous skylines, whereas screenwriters often choose to be surrounded by latte-laden college students and whipped cream confections.

As you've probably guessed, I've never written -- and never will -- in a coffee shop. And yes, that includes Starbucks. Yes. Never. Never ever. No Starbucks.

Sorry. Back to filming...

The crew did an amazing job setting up the first shot. Scott, Justin, and Tanner climbed on top of two separate structures (which would be used for the big Drake/Donovan fight) and set up a contraption consisting of a ladder, small crane, and the camera. I'm surprised Rob didn't soil himself, watching his new camera being suspended so high.

Three hours for set up. But the time was needed, because the shot is an integral one for the trailer's finale. I won't give away all of the details now, but basically, Donovan will be hanging off a tall roof. Well ... I guess that's all the details, or at least most of them. To pull this off, Rob will employ his special effects skills by adding an intersection below. So it was a good thing that it looked so great. In fact, the crash mat was a perfect fit (within half an inch) between the two structures. Another stroke of good luck.

Sean did a great job tumbling off one of the structures multiple times and even kept his whining to a minimum concerning the previous day's facial injury. Sorry, Sean. ;-)

The rest of the shots were of Donovan and Drake fighting. Michael and Sean worked with James Martinez (who played The Terror in Shadow Falls) to coreograph their moves, and the actors' natural instincts eased what could have been a painful job for James. The fights consisted of several different set ups and a shit load of takes. I didn't get a chance to speak with Sean, but I know that Michael was aching. That was to be expected, because both actors were punching each other, throwing themselves around, and wrestling on top of a roof. And that was just foreplay.

I was under the impression that the budget would not be able to afford everyone's favorite Steadicam operator, Cedric Martin. So when I saw him get out of the elevator just as I was about to go up to the roof, I was pleasantly surprised. For a great example of Cedric's work, watch the Shadow Falls trailer. His camera movement was the core of the trailer, where Ronnie (Neil) is telling the kids about The Terror. If that scene hadn't worked, the trailer may not have had as much impact. When you get a chance, please check out his website, which I've added as a link on the side of this page.

Rob's brother (the exceutive producer) was there and he was highly impressed with everything. I don't think he stop smiling the entire time, and he and his wife are extremely easy to talk to. They showed up before I did, chatted with the cast and crew throughout the initial three hour set up, and even though they had a three hour drive ahead of them, they didn't leave until nearly Midnight.

Everyone took off around 4am and I got home just before 5am. Not the longest shoot we've had, but definitely the latest.

I'm just sad that it's almost over.

Posted by blackroosterfilms at 12:01 AM PDT
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Day eight photos
Topic: Trailer

A beautiful view, day...


...and night.


This crew will do anything for a great shot.


Once again, our crew is hard at work.


Tanner's infamous hat really makes this shot.


I bet this really freaked out the tourists.


John Gorman. Actor. Comedian. Masseuse.


Sean doing what he does best. Acting goofy.


Michael Caruso. Sean Pritchett. Barbi Baranyai.

Posted by blackroosterfilms at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Tue, May 16 2006 10:45 PM PDT
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Sat, Apr 29 2006
Trailer -- day seven
Topic: Trailer

Location #1: city street, Downtown Los Angeles
Location #2: Michael Caruso's loft, basement, Downtown Los Angeles
Location #3: rooftop, Downtown Los Angeles

It's days like these that I believe that Rob and I, had we won Project Greenlight, would have been fired. Because to anyone tuning into today's filming would have been bored to tears ... no drama, no catastrophes, no one bad mouthing someone else. We would have given Miramax or Dimension Films a damn good film, but a very unexciting show for Bravo (by reality show standards). And after last Sunday's fiasco, we needed today.

Taking a nod from Bowfinger, we had Sean (our Eddie Murphy, if you can believe that) running across the streets of L.A. to get a good shot. Rob kept having him wait ... wait ... wait ... "CROSS NOW!" At which point, Sean would book across the street. Half the time, he was smiling when he would do it, knowing how it must look to people watching us. We got some great shots, despite me inadvertently stepping in front of the camera (it wasn't rolling, luckily), and the scenery is absolutely fantastic.

Once we were done on the street, we moved to the basement. Yes, that dusty basement. It didn't seem quite as bad today, probably in part to not spending the entire day down there. We were done there to get some extra dialogue from Winston (Ian) and the torture scene between Winston and Hadrian (played by Terry Reed, his only day on set).

Today was exciting for me because I got to play writer. Ian had a long monologue to get out, so we worked together to trim it down as much as possible while still conveying the same information in a clear manner. We had just figured it out when Ian was called to set, so while he was getting dressed, I dictated everything to Michael Caruso as he typed it out (and he's quite the little typist, by the way). That was my first real writing crunch on a set. It feels good to be needed. And right after that, I pulled some dialogue from the script (sent through e-mail by my lovely wife) for Hadrian. I had to apologize to Terry because I kept trading the dialogue on him.

I missed the entire Winston dialogue scene, but I was there for the best part -- the torture scene. It's hard to describe. I'll have pictures up soon that will show the makeup and what the scene looked like, but what I can't show in pictures is Terry's intensity and Ian's odd ability to really look like he's been tortured. After his first scream, everyone was taken aback and by the end, we were all applauding. I swear, this trailer is going to have so many good scenes.

Everyone's excepting me to mention the injury on set -- our one little problem of the entire day -- and since I apparently have so many fans, who am I to disappoint? Michael and Sean were taking part in a hand to hand fight, which called for Michael to scratch Sean's face ... not really, but to act it out. During one take, Michael scratched Sean very lightly and it made him bleed underneath the skin. Michael must have apologized a dozen times, but I think Sean may have actually liked the look. Hey, stuff like this is bound to happen. Injuries occur on movie sets all the time, even if a project is able to pay for a high priced fight coordinator. Broken bones, scratches, bruises ... it's rather normal. Michael has no reason to feel bad whatsoever. Just remember, Sean, when you're asking about it, the first rule is that you don't talk about it.

That ended the night for me. With a 3:00 call time and an 11:30 wrap, that was my earliest day. A core group was heading to the roof across the street (so I won't have any pictures of that), but the number had to be kept to a minimum. Although I do like to be there as much as possible, the production comes first. Plus, I get to sleep a little longer.

And with that ... good night.

Posted by blackroosterfilms at 12:01 AM PDT
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Day seven videos


Michael Caruso gives us his thoughts on making a clean kill.



This is NOT a snuff film showing where Sean gets hurt.

Posted by blackroosterfilms at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Tue, May 16 2006 10:10 PM PDT
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Day seven photos
Topic: Trailer


We told him not to step out of line on set.


Ian (Winston) looks a bit nervous.


...and Terry (Hadrian) shows him why.


Rob and Mark line up a shot.


If anyone even breathes the name Clark Kent, I'll kill 'em.


Unlike real life, Sean is the one in focus while everything else is not.


Christina makes Sean pretty...


...but look what they're doing to poor Ian.


Of course, while these wounds are fake...


...these are not.

Posted by blackroosterfilms at 12:01 AM PDT
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Sun, Apr 23 2006
Trailer -- day six
Topic: Trailer

Location: Alley outside Michael Caruso's loft, Downtown Los Angeles

So far, our shoot has been primarily shot guerilla-style. But today, we were "official," with all the right permits in place to shoot in the alley. But today, we got a healthy dose of the realities of filmmaking and the fiascos that can be created.

The problem? The alley that we were to shoot in was double permitted by the city. Not only did we have the legal right to be there, but so did Sony Pictures, which was shooting a new Cameron Diaz movie. They weren't shooting on the weekend, so there wasn't any crew around, but they had been nice enough to use the alley as a storage area for something that looked like scaffolding, a big black tarp hanging from the wall, a water truck, and a large generator. As you can imagine, this caused immediate problems with our shoot. We didn't have the option of moving any of their stuff, not only because of liability concerns, but because Sony had hired its own security that would have prevented us from even trying.

Michael Caruso coordinated with Barb to get in contact with the Location Manager for Sony's film. The call didn't go quite as well as we had hoped, but she did give "permission" for us to park Kelly's All-In-One-Truck, which was one of the biggest problems we were having (security wouldn't let him in when he arrived at 9am to set up). Legally, we had every right to be there, but rather than bring the police down to show them that we had the proper permits, Michael was able to smooth over the woman and work out an arrangement. That being said, if this had been reversed, whether Starway was the upstart company it is now or if it was a big ass production company, we would have sent someone down to move the stuff. It wouldn't have been more than an hour of work, if that, although I'm sure Sunday overtime pay was a consideration. But I doubt too many of Sony's personnel know what it's like to be personally invested in an upstart company.

After that fiasco had been handled, the shoot seemed to go really well. We had Kelly and his lighting truck again, which meant that we also had the jib, and of course, we got off some amazing shots. As it turned out, Sony's equipment could pass (especially in the short cuts of a trailer) as construction on one of the buildings.

We had the most actors on set that we've had at any given time. We had probably a dozen or so actors in addition to Sean and Dorien... police officers, a witness giving a statement, rubberneckers, crime scene investigators, and a real undercover car. Everyone was there
as activity for the investigation of a girl's dead body. We shot some very cool action and I even got to boom for the first time. I might as well enjoy it while I can since I won't be able to that kind of stuff once we go union.

Lunch was, once again, from the Pitfire Grill, and there was plenty of food to go around. We took a long lunch break to allow the sun to go down, but even before that, Rob was back in the alley preparing for the next shot. That's when Tanner removed the camera and noticed how cool it looked for the camera to be pointed up with
both sides of the alley framing the darkening sky. Jay (Caleb) was immediately called and Rob picked up a cool attack shot. Kudos to Tanner for coming up with that angle.

Just before lunch, my friend Adam stopped by to watch us film. He showed up just in time to see one of our fantastic jib (camera crane)shots. I wanted him to meet Michael Caruso, but Michael was in "mock-diva" mode (you really have to experience this to know the true meaning) and was too busy taking care of various aspects of the production. I'll have to invite Adam to our premiere so that he can meet the real Michael.

Back to the jib ... as I said, it was fantastic. We couldn't get the camera quite as far into the alley as we had hoped (gracias, Sony), but it still looked great. My favorite shot of the day was an overhead shot that spins while it moves down to Devi's face from above. This is another of those shots that separates this production from others and makes the trailer look like it's cut from a full feature film rather than a tool to finance a feature.

I wonder if I'll ever write a movie where at least one person doesn't get beat to hell. In Shadow Falls, it was Ellie for the girl in the beginning. For this one, it's Donovan's sister, Devi. Devi is played by Alexandra Boylan, who played Jenn in Shadow Falls. Once I have some pictures up from that day, you'll see just how screwed up she looks ... her eye swollen shut, cuts on her face, ripped clothes, and our favorite set dressing ... blood. The look was equally gorgeous and hideous.

Alexandra was a trooper. Sure, she had already been lying on the ground on a plastic trash bag for about an hour while being poked and prodded, not to mention the camera hanging right above her. But this time, she took punches from Caleb, fell onto the hard ground, spit blood. All in a day's work for a Starway actress. Alexis from Shadow Falls can attest to that.

But Alexandra was not completely helpless. She does get to fight back in the form of a (coined by Rob) PK burst (psychokinetic burst). This will prove to be visually stunning once it's gone through all of the effects, although what will appear in the trailer will be the tip of the iceberg of how it will be seen in the feature.

All in all, it was a very good day despite a bumpy start. The location manager even came down at one point, unannounced, to ensure that one of their production equipment wasn't being compromised. She was obviously happy with what was going on, since she didn't even feel the need to make her presence known, though I'm suprised she at least didn't hunt down Rob, Barb, or Michael.

It was hard for us to be too upset. Truth be told, Sony did us a huge favor by washing down that nasty alley so that Alexandra didn't have to lie in homeless people urine or be gnawed by a rat (I saw one of these suckers running across another part of the alley and am now convinced that the chihuahua/rat urban legend might be plausible).

All things considered, Rob was of the opinion that if he had to choose between an empty nasty alley and a power-washed one with limited shooting areas, he would opt for the latter. So everything worked out and I can see Spider-Man 3 in good conscience. I might even see the Cameron Diaz movie ... as long as she grows out her hair again and acts against Jim Carrey.

Posted by blackroosterfilms at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Wed, Apr 26 2006 1:03 AM PDT
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