Sunday, August 31, 2014

Ben's first (and probably last) time on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Ben Miles, who was diagnosed with autism at an very young age, is the subject of our documentary that we've been slowly working on over the last three years. He's the boy who fell in love with the now-defunct Snow White ride at Walt Disney World. Two years later, the "replacement attraction"--the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train--has opened. In May, Robert was there to film Ben's first time on the new coaster-style ride. Unfortunately, it was probably also Ben's last time on the ride.

Ben's father, Ron Miles, recently uploaded a blog post describing what occurred. Read it at Stalk This!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Video Shoot for UW Department of Family Medicine

Last February, Tarazod was approached by the University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine to produce a series of videos. The job would involve the shooting and editing of six similar, yet different vignettes to be used in research on mental health and primary care. (The funded project's official title is Engaging Stakeholders and Developing Partners in Mental Health and Primary Care Integration Research.)

With a grant through the University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, the project was finally ready to go, and last Friday we shot the footage. Zaher Karp (who Robert had worked with on the Just God film) would direct the shoot. Another UW employee, Natalie DeCheck, handled the script supervision and clapper.

Several actors were hired including a few that we'd had the pleasure of working with before. Alicia McCanna (Just God, The Weather Report) played the roles of a Nurse and a Behavioral Health Consultant.

In all six of the vignettes, there is an off-camera patient to whom the health care professionals are speaking. Louie Sather (The Weather Report) did the lines for the male patient.

The doctor was played by Justin Riley (Mad City Chickens). The last time we'd filmed with Justin was way back in 2007 when we'd shot the "giant chicken" scenes for our documentary feature.

Additional photo courtesy of Louis Sather.

The all-day shoot was a real success and a whole lot of fun working with everyone again!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Fine-Tune Edit on "Just God" Movie Continues

Nicholas and Robert spent the day working on the edit of Just God. We trimmed about 3 minutes off the total running time, and it's now around 17 minutes in length. Much tighter, better flow. The picture is finally nearing a lock. Soon all that will remain to be done is the color grading and soundtrack.

Actors Doug Reed and Craig Johnson.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Mad City Chickens to Screen in Ontario

Our feature documentary, Mad City Chickens, is returning to Canada for a public screening. Sponsored by the Nourish Project, the outdoor showing will take place on August 12, 2014 in  Peterborough, Ontario. It will be held at the YWCA parking lot, 216 Simcoe Street. "Doors" open at 8:00 pm; film starts at 8:30.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Video Job with the Tenant Resource Center

Shot footage yesterday to be used in several promotional videos for the Tenant Resource Center in Madison. We actually landed this job well over a year ago, but because of changes in the housing laws (and other circumstances, some beyond our control), we're only now getting started on it. The final pieces will incorporate animation, bullet points, and other graphics to fill out the visuals.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

More Pickup Shots Completed for "The Weather Report"

On Monday, in what would be our very last shoot with Veronica Narang before she moves out west, we completed some much needed pickup shots for The Weather Report, the joint short film project between C Side Films and Tarazod Films.

Veronica plays Trudy Webster, an investigative news reporter. The pickup scenes revolved around her having to report the progress of her current news piece to an unreceptive boss--a network executive played by Colin Cameron.

The shoot took place at the Madison downtown library; we ended up staying almost until they closed at 9:00 pm. Got some terrific performances out of both actors, though.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Public Screening of "Beast Bike Beauty"

The High Noon Saloon film screenings tonight in Madison were well received. Five films played in all including our short Beast Bike Beauty. Filmmakers on stage for the Q&A after the screening. L-R: Robert Lughai, Bryan Royston, Jeff Blankenship, Joey Broyles, and Ben Wydeven.

Photo by Karla Siemering Bryant.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Principal Cinematography Completed on "No Sleep for Ronni"

The last full day of shooting on No Sleep for Ronni was concluded outdoors yesterday during the blistering 92 degree swelter. Yet, the summer heat happily wasn't much of an issue for our star, Veronica Narang, or for our crew. Why? Because we shot in and around an abandoned 19th century railroad tunnel with natural spring-cooled "air-conditioning".

The location for this sequence was originally referred to in the script as a long hallway. The plan was to secure a school for the shoot, but after failing on several attempts to do so, the "school" idea began to loose its appeal--not the least of reasons being that we wouldn't be able to run a commercial fog machine inside the building (fire codes).

The school was replaced with the intention of using a bicycle underpass. Yet, issues of lighting, fogging, and biker traffic were all real obstacles to the successful completion of the shoot. Up until this point, all of the previous filming locations for the movie had surpassed our expectations in both functionally and artistic mood. Now with one major sequence to go, it felt as though we were "settling" for less than what the story needed.

At the 11th hour, our cinematographer suggested a little known abandoned railroad tunnel he'd visited once. It would require a drive to get there and then a hike in, but after one look at photos online, we knew we'd found the right place.

As we parked the cars and loaded up the gear, the heat of the day was on the rise. But to our pleasant surprise, the closer we got to the tunnel, the cooler and moister the air became. Natural springs and extremes in temperatures were creating a billowing fog that pretty much poured out of the arched entrance for most of the day. Not only did we find the right look for our shoot, but we also got the fog we wanted! Everything just seemed to go right on this production, and the fog effect was simply another example of how the filmmaking gods were smiling down upon us.

A small, mobile cast and crew (after a long, hard day of work on set), L to R: Robin Witt (assistant to Veronica Narang), Veronica Narang, Colin Cameron (producer/script supervisor/grip), Simon Witt (production assistant), Erik Witt (cinematographer/Steadicam), Robert Lughai (director/sound).

Photos by Colin Cameron, Robin Witt, and Veronica Narang.

A small set of supporting character pickup shots remains before filming is finished on this project.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

"Beast Bike Beauty" part of July 27th Film Screening

Beast Bike Beauty, our collaborative short with Exchange Productions, will be part of a film screening at the High Noon Saloon in Madison on Sunday, July 27th, 7:00 pm. Our showing is just a small part of the event which is being organized by Ben Wydeven of Makeshift Media Group.

The other movies include:
  • Makeshift Media Group's A Hot Summer Chill
  • JC Films' Hostile Possession
  • Living Storm's Killboy and Krash
  • Project Famous' Burn the Money

More details at the facebook event page:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"No Sleep for Ronni" Spy Scene #2

Earlier this evening, actor Veronica Narang uses a chair to "cheat" the shot from below as we finished shooting the rest of the "spy" scene for No Sleep for Ronni. High atop the Madison Senior Center, Ivy Suryana was script supervisor and clapper while producer Colin Cameron ran sound and snapped still images.

Our cinematographer, Erik Witt, shot some fantastic footage with his Steadicam set-up, and Robert directed.

Photos courtesy of Colin Cameron, Ivy Suryana, and Veronica Narang.

Here's a short behind-the-scenes video shot on Veronica's iPhone...