On the 10th of October, I finally had enough time and money to film the remaining fifteen seconds of the sizzle which had eluded me for months. After my daughter was born and the pandemic swept over the Earth, things slowed to a dangerous crawl. We had to move out of Los Angeles to re-orient our life and it has been a bit of a struggle. For a moment I believed the sizzle – and @thetearsees itself – would never get off the ground.
Despite the depressing pace, a welcome side effect of the delays is that the sizzle is far better than it was when I first began assembling it, a new pilot script for a 13 episode series is in the works and new, AI generated concept art has been created to expand the world. Furthermore, a new DP – Dan Wyland – has agreed to come on board and I’ve built a new workstation capable of handling the entire post production workflow including the visual effects.
My old friend Taylor Jordan – also the composer for The Tear – agreed to come out and be our homeless, Tear cultist for the remaining shots, along with Dan and my sister and makeup artist extraordinaire, Christina.
Our last cinematographer Michael Ojeda has become far too busy to shoot our short film. The Western series he directs and DPs continues and he just got back from South America where he’s filming his next action film. Exciting!
Our objective was to turn Taylor from a humble composer and family man into an in insane and filthy cult member who is so enthralled with The Tear that his life has fallen into destitution and violence. We used Mehron Tooth FX Nicotine to stain Taylor’s teeth and Ben Nye’s F/X Color Wheels CK-9 for Severe Exposure, CK-7 Age Stipple and Wrinkle Stipple WS-2 for his premature aging and sun exposure.
My sister’s kit also included some gel blood FX, but I don’t remember the brand.
THE SCREEN TEST
You’ve always gotta see what things look like on camera before you go and actually shoot. Our eyes and the camera do see differently, so it’s important to give these things a brief test. It only took thirty seconds to realize the makeup wasn’t camera ready.
The makeup wasn’t quite visible enough to have the impact we needed so Christina gave him another pass, accentuating all the blood and deepening the dirt and sun exposure effects on Taylor’s face, neck and arms. She deepened the blood under his nails and on his knuckles to great effect. As you can see in the picture, his bloody cuticles are easily read by the camera.
The last of the makeup – a glycerin and water solution – was applied last minute while on set to give him that gross, sweaty look.
Our location was a dirt field in Redlands, CA – our new home (old for me) – and crew was kept to an absolute minimum. The dirt field sits right in front of The 10 Freeway and it was chosen to better intercut with the footage I originally shot while living in Hollywood.
Our camera package was a new Red Komodo, wireless monitoring and a full set of Rokinon’s Xeen lenses. I thought they performed well and are a dramatic improvement over Rokinon’s first set of cine primes.
Below are some screenshots of the footage with temp color correction applied. I know that there will be a pink hue on all exterior footage, but this is a little rough. The final picture is the shot I’m working on now to composite in The Tear, a new sky and new clouds.
Personally, I think it turned out great. I know we could do better, but I’m willing to accept the tradeoffs that come with a micro budget and a micro crew.
There are other angles, but I gotta save something for the sizzle and crowdfund.
To complete the sizzle, I’ve got to finish the VFX work for these last few shots and recreate a couple of murder scenes for still photographs. In the meantime, I’m fleshing out the Indiegogo campaign page and getting my plan of attack in order to raise what we need to complete The Tear.
To all those who have supported @thetearsees here on Hive (and STEEM), thank you for sticking around. I know it’s been forever, but I am still moving forward and I’m still aiming for this to be the first horror film – at least cosmic horror – produced with the Hive platform first in mind.
The Tear’s will shall be done.
For it sees.