Thursday, October 14, 2010

Donaldson joins Three Days team

Our movie "Three Days" has picked up the endorsement of Entertainment Attorney Michael Donaldson, whom i have known since first visiting Park City in 1990. A frequent winter visitor, i have skied with him, watched movies and talked shop. I am thrilled that he is representing us, our company TMG and our movie. His link is below.

Monday, July 5, 2010

In the Digital Can

We did it! Filming began Thursday July 1st and ended Saturday July 3rd on Three Days. The Matrix Theatre in West Hollywood turned into Denmark, Tom Badal as the! It was a weekend of atmospheres which culminated in one heck of an event. An audience of over 60 filled the house, which was just about the right number because we rolled 5 cameras. We started the show at 3:40 with live violin music and by 4 pm we were rolling. Did one pickup of the Act break, a couple of extra shots before the interval and again after we were back, which in total took no more that 10 mins including camera reloads--which are fast because now it's a camera card swap out; curtain came down at 8:20. Show ran over 4 hours, which is what i had expected. The audience loved it. It was exciting, perhaps primal in parts because of the nature of the exercise, and the risk of it, to be performing it. I went mad, in a smart way. So did Iva, as Ophelia. She was beautiful. Peter Woodward doubled as Laertes and Player King and was majestic in both. Our man, Michael Allen of UCLA Medieval Studies, was all over it. Bugger it, Mick, we did it. Want to get cracking on finding it under 1.5 gigs of data. Got some ideas. Hope all well with you. Punch

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Three Days prep filming begins.

May 25, 2010:
Filming on our new Hamlet docudrama Three Days has begun. Early interviews and camera test/sfx footage is in the can (actually digital card) on TMG's new Three Days docudrama; video artist and sculptress Tracey Snelling provided the first on camera interview from her Oakland, CA studio upon receiving the prop castle that acts as home, the story's fictional location. And Santa Monica's Moose Lodge provided a great spot for camera testing both the Canon 7D and Panasonic HVX for the green-screen Hamlet's Ghost sequences (see enclosed pictures).

Combining first person interviews and story-telling with modern day digital effects, Three Days revolves around the rehearsal and performance of a staged reading of one of Western civilization's most famous classic tragedies, Hamlet. Logline: A group of actors and others gather to rehearse and perform Hamlet, for radio. Stories ensue as the pressures to pull the show together mount, personalities blossom and crack and, eventually rally (or do they) over the compressed time period of...Three Days. The show shoots June 24-27 in West Hollywood.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Antigone Opens this weekend

I open as Creon in Antigone at Hollywood's Underground Theatre this weekend. See flyer.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

NCIS:"Double Identity" Air date March 9th

This was the No. 1 rated drama for the week. I played Dr. Tallridge. Scenes enclosed.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

SS on filming Tintin "In The Volume"

Hero Complex
For your inner fanboy
Steven Spielberg on 'Tintin': 'It made me more like a painter than ever before'
February 19, 2010
Rachel Abramowitz had a front-page story in the Los Angeles Times this week on the angst among Hollywood actors as they watch more major filmmakers embrace performance-capture techniques and animation approaches. Here's a great follow-up as she talks to Steven Spielberg about the making of "Tintin."
Steven Spielberg says there was only one reason to make his new “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn” with the cutting-edge performance-capture technology that James Cameron used on “Avatar.”
“It was based on my respect for the art of Hergé and wanting to get as close to that art as I could," says the director, referring to Tintin’s author-illustrator, who created the international blockbuster graphic novel series (200 million copies in print) starring intrepid cub reporter Tintin, and his irrepressible canine companion, Snowy, as they venture through the pre-WWII world.
“Hergé wrote about fictional people in a real world, not in a fantasy universe," Spielberg said. "It was the real universe he was working with, and he used National Geographic to research his adventure stories. It just seemed that live action would be too stylized for an audience to relate to. You’d have to have costumes that are a little outrageous when you see actors wearing them. The costumes seem to fit better when the medium chosen is a digital one.”
“Tintin” stars Jamie Bell (“King Kong”) as the title character, Andy Serkis (Gollum in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy) as his buddy Captain Haddock, and Daniel Craig (Bond, James Bond) as the evil Red Rackham. Produced by Peter Jackson, with the animation done by Jackson’s Weta Workshop, the film is due in theaters in 2011.
Like Cameron, Spielberg shot the actors on a special performance-capture stage. The performers donned lycra suits, covered in reflective markers, and their every movement was tracked by more than 100 cameras. They also wore a head-rigging with a camera near their jawline that recorded intensely detailed data of their faces -- enough detail to avoid the "dead eye" faces that had an unsettling lack of movement or emotion in many previous motion-capture films. Ultimately, all the camera data was fed into a computer to create a 3-D replica of the actor. The digital document of the actor and the performance is so all-enveloping that the director, in this case Spielberg, can go back and change the "camera" movement and orientation long after the actor has left the set.
For the director of such films as “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” “Jurassic Park” and “Schindler’s List,” the new experience was transporting.
“I just adored it,“ he says. “It made me more like a painter than ever before. I got a chance to do so many jobs that I don’t often do as a director. You get to paint with this device that puts you into a virtual world, and allows you to make your shots and block all the actors with a small hand-held device only three times as large as an Xbox game controller.”
With that small monitor, Spielberg could look down and watch what the actors were doing -- in real time -- on a screen that showed them in the film universe. Working on the motion-capture stage -- which is called the volume -- Spielberg was routinely dazzled by the liberating artistic value of the new science.
“When Captain Haddock runs across the volume, the cameras capture all the information of his physical and emotional moves," the director said. "So as Andy Serkis runs across the stage, there’s Captain Haddock on the monitor, in full anime, running along the streets of Belgium. Not only are the actors represented in real time, they enter into a three-dimensional world.”
So though Jamie Bell will be digitally made to look exactly like Hergé's classic renderings of Tintin, “it will be Jamie Bell’s complete physical and emotional performance,” Spielberg said. He added: “If Tintin makes you feel something, it’s Jamie Bell’s soul you’re sensing."
-- Rachel Abramowitz

Friday, January 29, 2010

That time of year, again.

Last year, end of January, turning fifty, spent some time with Speilberg, et. al. on Tintin:Legend of the Unicorn (see blogposts). What a peak life and career moment. The thrilling New Mexico summer, along with the European trip in August, made for glorious memories. Fall brought some rewarding personal time, with the boys baseball team of 8 and 9 year olds getting to the final game, and a most friendly holiday season. Career-wise, the fall was slooooow.

Happy New Year!

Sundance was a blast, the whiteout on the mountains made movie-going and meeting up with friends easier. Met a talented and funny Aussie filmmaking duo, and brought them in to a LA meeting while en route back down under. Development of the Three Days docu-drama took on a layer, perhaps, with some production design element provided by visual artists Gina and/or Tracy-- both of whom i ment at the opening of their exhibits on Main St., Park City at Sundance's New Frontier.

Cutting the trip short proved most fortuitous. Glad i drove.
Got back Monday Jan. 25 in good time for a casting meeting at Paramount with NCIS.
The next day, Tuesday, brought me to the Geffen Theatre in Westwood to meet director Randy Arney for an understudy position in the company of Female of the Species, opening next week.

I got both jobs! Wow! Fun. So, here it is that time of year again. Age 51 tomorrow, Jan. 30.

Working two jobs is a must, in this economy--if possible. One is a weeks contract on tv's No. 1 show and the other a seven-week contract with one of the best crews in (West Coast) American theatre. The cast includes Annette Benning and David Arquette. I understudy Julian Sands, whom i have known on and off, thru my friend Neil Dickson, for years.

So God is good, and i am thankful. It's more real now, i feel, as i get older. Awareness of self, awareness of opportunity, letting go to try not to be responsible for the outcome. Good or bad. Just do my part, coherent and well. Naturally, be creative, imaginative and...good. That we owe to ourselves and to our "abundant" futures, to be good. Not the subjective good, but clear and concise, human and real. Don't be phony. Don't make noises. Be the noise. Stuff like that. Anyway, if you are reading this then thank you for being here. Thank you for thinking of me, hasn't been an easy time. Personally yes, most fair and fine. But LA, tv, acting has gone thru a big shift the last few years. If feels good to be an actor. I have renewed a joy for acting, and hope to embrace theatrical opportunities with the Geffen as a start. My Dad is happy, if he is looking down, to see me backstage and in the green room. That's where my sis and i started, in London at the Duke of York's theatre when we were teens. The whirligig of time moves in a circle.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

"Three Days" One-Sheet

Filmed this Spring over three days in Los Angeles, Three Days will be edited by Labor Day, in time for the all-important festival and sales season. This micro-budgeted film combines “reality” entertainment with first-class drama.
Log line:
Actors and other persons gather to rehearse and perform a radio production of Hamlet…in three days. The plot thickens, and stories ensue, as the cast recalls three days in their lives.
Three Days will be shot live, in the European "Dogma" style: improvisation meets scripted word.