Monday, November 30, 2009

Meet the Crew - Volume 2

Meet the First Assistant Director

Derek Oishi is thrilled to be part of the “A Note To Etienne” Crew. Graduate of the University of Arizona (B.F.A. Fine Arts). Derek grew up in Sierra Vista, Arizona, where he discovered his passion for filmmaking and honed his skills in croquet and show-stopping karaoke.

Recent Credits include: Field Coordinator for the History Channel TV Show, That’s Impossible, 2nd 2nd AD for Sport Science for Fox Sports Net, Key 2nd AD for the feature film Yellowbrickroad, premiering at the 2010 Slamdance Film Festival in Park City. Derek was also 1st AD on several short films and commercials including, “Alma” (Best Shorts winner at the Reel Sisters Film Festival), “Junkyard”, “Déjà vu”, “Ruin”, “Solo”.

Film/TV Credits include House, The Office, Pushing Daisies, Hidden Palms, Pros vs. Joes, Beauty and the Geek, Fear Factor, The Big Give, and America’s Got Talent.

To my beautiful circle of friends, thanks for always believing and supporting me no matter what. This one’s for you guys! “One day more, another day, another destiny”

Meet the Script Supervisor

Maura K. Concannon manages the merchandise department of Boondock Saints Productions and also freelances as a Script Supervisor. Prior to joining Boondock Saints Productions in 2009, Concannon worked as a Production Assistant on various television shows and short films. Television credits include VH1’s TOOL ACADEMY, the John Wells episodic drama SOUTHLAND, HGTV’s $250,000 CHALLENGE and MTV’s A DOUBLE SHOT AT LOVE. She has had the privilege to learn from and work alongside talented individuals at Warner Brothers, NBC, VH1 and MTV. Concannon is fluent in American Sign Language and one day hopes to combine her love of film and Deaf Culture.

Meet the Make-Up/Hair Artist

Moira Taylor, a graduate of the University of Miami, is relatively new to the city of Los Angeles. After relocating here from a short stint in Kansas, she decided to follow her passion of all things beautiful and headed to Studio Makeup Academy to specialize in Beauty Makeup and Special Effects. She has spent the last couple of months working on anything she can get her hands on ranging from weddings to feature films and is quite excited to be working with the cast and crew of A Note to Etienne.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Visual Strategy

In this piece we witness Amorette go through a wide range of emotions and we are also peer into her mind as well. Our overall approach to support this visually is to switch between both Hi Def and S16. We will be using S16 to shoot everything but the scenes where Amorette is recording her message to Etienne, this will be shot on Hi Def.

Visually for these sequences we will be creating a very narrow field of view. The framing will enhance and immediately reveal to the audience how the character sees herself in the world she lives in addition to how she sees her relationship to Etienne.

Lighting wise we would like a sense of a catatonic atmosphere, hollow like a cavern in the beginning but towards the end of her interview a sense of rebirth for Amorette. Sometimes when you are in a room the sunlight, when its not directed at window, can have this barren atmosphere but as it peeks in the edge of a window the feeling shifts to a more hopeful atmosphere. This progression definitely parallels through the emotional journey.

For Amorette's memories we will be taking full advantage of S16. Film has this organic feel which parallel's Amorette's experiences which are full of life. Visually we want it to contrast Amorette's interview with vivid color saturation, wide angles with our characters being more prominent in the frame as opposed to withdrawn. The camera will flow and move within the space gracefully which compliments Amorette's analytical sense as she takes us through her thoughts. The light will be diffused with detail in the highlights and shadows. Skin tones will glow. Overall the feeling would be warm which would contrast her feelings of questioning the involvement of Etienne.

The end result will yield a visual experience that will support our central character's plight.

- Jorge Urbina, Cinematographer


Before I begin describing the storyboards, let me preface this post by admitting my lack of artistry. I'm completely aware of how terrible these drawings are and would be first in line at the scribbles and stick-figure conference. So there.

Storyboard 1: The first sequence is probably the longest sequence, because I really want to introduce both Amorette and Etienne in an honest, yet humorous way. Remember, I want to utilize the 16mm film and include the reds, blues, and green hues as much as possible.

Storyboard 2: Sound cues are important in this short film. Since the scenes move along relatively fast, all the components need to interweave seamlessly.

Storyboard 3: Since the short film is primarily voice-over, I wanted to include interesting camera movements to tell the story (along with production design and costume). Therefore, Jorge and I have a very specific blue-print of how we want the cinematography to translate to screen.

Storyboard 4: Lighting will also play a huge part in the film. Many French films tend to have more theatrical lighting that furthers the inner-thoughts of the characters, so I wanted to subtly include that in A Note to Etienne.

Storyboard 5: Probably the most difficult scene is the park scene. We're incorporating a crane in a specific choreographed shot which will depict the isolation she's feeling.

Storyboard 6: The final scenes will sum up the story of love and loss -- or more specifically, Amorette's feelings for Etienne that never really disappeared. Their relationship was real, but the love they used to share is no longer there. Make sense?