“Pretending” Locations

One of the things I discovered when creating the look of the set (with designer Brian Jainese) was that we had this cool window in the door of the closet, but one needed to be able to look out that window and not see, well, my office equipment. We solved the problem by finding a fairly high resolution photograph of a school hallway (complete with lockers), blew it up to 36″ wide by 24″ high and pasted it onto a piece of foamcore. We mounted the foamcore onto a 40″ C stand using a Cardellini clamp. By lighting the poster to approximate fluorescent lights (using Lee Filter #219 Fluourescent Green over a Lowel DP Pro Spot w/ 500w bulb), we established a pretty good illusion that there was a hallway outside the window. Take a look:

Scott looks out the window into the "hallway."
An uninvited guest appears-- still looks like a hallway.
A different POV shows it's really a poster (with me in the BG.)

Zombies: Marvels of Set Design

Okay, trying to show I haven’t been just sitting on my ass waiting for things to get prepared for this short. I’d like to highlight the efforts of my set designer Brian Jainese, who’s been instrumental in helping to shape the look of my single set. For example, take a look at what my door looked like before Brian got his paws on it. Residential door turns into school janitor’s closet door with some elbow grease and imagination. And a few bucks. Just imagine what you’ll see looking out that window and its criss-cross security wire when the Zombies attack!

Before: Dorky Residential Door

After: Slick Janitor's Closet Door
After: Slick Janitor's Closet Door
UPDATE 4/2/10: Here’s the door DURING the shoot!!

Zombie Sets

Hey everyone,

Okay. I made and mounted some more posters on the walls and I think the backgrounds are looking pretty swell. I have 7 camera set-ups altogether. I may be able to merge setups 2 and 3, but I won’t until the set is dressed.

Camera #1
Camera #2
Camera #3
Camera #4
Camera #5
Camera #6
Camera #7- Crazyass Overhead Dutch

These are the photographs I will import into the storyboarding Software, Storyboard Artist v4. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Zombie Pre-Production: Adding Backgrounds

Hey everybody,

Today it’s all about adding stuff to the walls to suggest a school janitor’s closet. I thought old hygiene posters or other things you’d see relegated to the closet at a school  would be a good start. The pictures will most likely need to be moved so they can be positioned behind the actors–i have enough room to get short depth of field, especially with an adapter. I’ll throw a few more up there, but I think this is good enough to start evaluating some camera angles and determining the minimum number of setups needed. It’s also enough so I can get the lights on and see how things look.

Camera's mounted on the ceiling

Zombie Pre-Production: A Blank Canvas

Here’s where I start—this is a garage-converted-to-office that must be transformed into a high school maintenance closet. The embarassing sheet covers sliding glass doors to the room’s real closet, so I have to cover them up. I have some posters and things and I may need something large to just stack up against the wall. But that comes next.

This room’s about 9×16, so I plan to build the set 9×12 and have 4 foot on opposite end of the room for lights, equipment, etc. (i.e., behind the 180 degree line.) There’s carpeting on the floor; since that’s not appropriate for a janitor closet and I plan to have a trash can slide on a wheel dolly across the floor. I’ll need something harder. Other than that, this room will rock as a fully-controllable set.

Zombies Take The Schoolyard Set #1Zombies Take The Schoolyard Set #2
Zombies Take The Schoolyard Set #2