Retrospective: Season 1 Episode 3: Shoot

•November 14, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Oh where to start on this one… The film was shot at the same premises as Episode 2 but clearly a different room, it was a loading bay that was very high and had a staircase to an upper floor and just lots of doors that led to corridors that went to other rooms. We had that lovely loading bay shutter we didn’t use and more skylights than I had remembered.

It was mid-late February 2010 and let me tell you IT WAS COLD. Not a bit chilly – F*&%$ING COLD. Unfortunately large loading bays aren’t easy to heat and the whole thing might as well have been shot outside. In the time since making this many people have asked me why ‘The Golden Hornet’ hasn’t been brought back, well I did ask one time and I think she would have genuinely done it if our schedules hadn’t clashed, which is an amazing testament to her character and professionalism because this shoot was brutal, and if I’d been in her shoes I’d have probably planned revenge of some kind.

Close observers will note that our use of stilettos declined after this episode, yes, they do look sexy, BUT on hard floors for the work we ask people to do they are not practical or good or fair. Ankles do not appreciate them and this was the straw that broke the camels back. So far my recollections are not good. Early in the day we spent 45 minutes driving into town to get the ‘woman in white’ something to wear under her see through white catsuit, something I should have probably tested, although it wasn’t my size. Luckily the location provided somewhere to go when not shooting that was warm, had that not been the case I don’t think we’d have finished it.

Good points – The fighting is dead slick. We’ve changed our style somewhat from this episode because it felt much more the kind you see in a martial arts film than a comic book one but it looked really good and was well rehearsed. I doubt we would take so many wide angle takes these days, all the takes plus the costume malfunction resulted in us slashing the script and the shot list rather went out of the window. There were at least two lengthy fight phrases we didn’t have time to shoot. All in all we were there for 12 hours and I spent most of that fretting.

I was delighted with the acting and the way the dialogue was performed. Kanira who played the Golden Hornet was a real trooper on what was likely a horrible shoot for her. The crew and myself are actually nice people, and I would like to think that our friendly approach brings out the best in performers, but everyone has a breaking point. She was still smiling as she left though, amazing.

The episode has been broadly well-received, but I must tell you, any accolades were hard fought this time.

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DeviantArt now features NGC Superheroines!

•November 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

We have decided to get to grips a bit more with DeviantArt and have set up a new page:

CLICK HERE TO SEE IT

There will be lots of things popping up that you may not find elsewhere and we’ll be holding contests for people who love to draw and those who love to look at good drawings, so I really think it will be in your best interests to start ‘watching’ us there.

Retrospective: Season 1 Episode 3: Pre-Production

•November 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Ahh… The Golden Hornet, much loved by many of our customers and friends but so far has proved difficult to bring back. At the time of writing this character I was convinced that I wanted a heroine from the Indian sub-continent. Being the ignorant spoon I am I was unaware of any currently in existence and so set about righting that wrong.

Initially instead of a toxic stinger she was to have toxic blood, a sample of which she would carry around with her, but should that supply dwindle a blood-letting would need to take place. I decided that might be a little gruesome compared to what we had done before so it became a stinger. However I made this a bit of a curse for the character and something that she struggled to control, hence the need for training with Elite Force.

Costume-wise we had a couple of designs before settling. Here are a couple:

As you can see, same design but colours swapped over. This was before she was Golden. I also imagined her a bit ‘thicker set’ at this point, although truly I would love to find an actress who looks like that, I’d give her a job any day. It surprised me how difficult it was to find candidates for the role. Having lived in or around London all my life and knowing the ethnic diversity of the place I expected dozens if not hundreds of applications for this role, as we have had for everything else. In reality I had to actively go looking myself to flesh out the audition, but we were very pleased with who we cast and in fact those we could get to come along. By that stage the mask had become an important story-line factor but we did not yet have the one that appears in the film, instead we had a much larger one that obscured people’s faces immensely. Everyone was far too polite to complain though.

For the brother/sister ‘Gemini’ combo we had a greater dilemma as we saw several really good actors for the roles, but again we found two people who really delivered the lines well and looked conceivably like they could be related, job done!

Before the shoot we went heavily into storyboarding and shot lists as we had felt that Episode 2 had taken us too long to film and been a bit disorganised. We have since shot for much longer and been equally disorganised and grown used to it. The shoot was set for a day in late February 2010 at the same facility where we shot Episode 2. The weather forecast suggested it might be cold… and they got that one right.

Retrospective: Season 1 Episode 2 – Story

•October 29, 2011 • Leave a Comment


TO GET THE WHOLE VIDEO CLICK HERE

In general, I am not a huge fan of Good vs Evil. I don’t really like the idea that a character might be all good or all bad, grey areas are far more interesting. A classic goodie would be Miss Freedom, she is powerful, virtuous and someone people look up to BUT she is also complacent and arrogant at times. Even a character like Rain is not necessarily getting personal pleasure from his deeds, he is merely carrying them out to further the overall plan.

Episode 2 brings us to Angel… [POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD]

Those of you who have seen the complete season will have formed your own opinions about the Russian starlet. But is she all bad? Or a victim in her own right? Angel was brought to Elite Force training by James Roman to be used as his mole among trainees and operatives. While Angel trusted James (perhaps something to do with his own powers of suggestion) she went into the training set out in Episode 2 broadly neutral about the Force. This scenario may just have been designed to be as harsh as possible to instill a feeling of hatred within Angel for the organisation she has pledged to help destroy. Angel hid her true powers from the Force at James’ request, yet instead of receive an easy ride she was put up against drones time after time that she could not manipulate and none more brutally than Episode 2. Is James really her ally? Well it’s an opinion at least. Angel makes choices throughout the series that lead to an ultimate betrayal and it is fair to say that at this starting point she is clearly quite vain, the question is… will she come to regret her decisions?

MAKE ME AN OFFER

•October 25, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Yesterday we shot what will be ‘Season Two: Episode Three’, the cameras were rolling from 10:43am until 10:34pm with 25 minutes for lunch sometime around half past one. This does not include the hours of preparation beforehand and the packing up after. That is a very long day for someone to hold a camera and run around, for someone to hold a boom mic and run around after them, and for actors to fight one another intensely, remember lines, stay warm etc.. Each time we have a long shoot of this nature we think about simplifying the fights for next time, having the bare minimum of characters involved, less dialogue that requires us to worry so much about outside sound trouble we have no control over, and any interesting powers a character might have. We could make life much easier on ourselves but in the end we never do because we are asking you to pay some hard earned money, and in return for that we need to deliver hard-made movies.

I DO NOT want people to buy our stuff and to regret the purchase. I am very thankful that by and large people are pleased with what we do, and there are certainly a lot of people now who know what to expect and I still think our level is rising all the time to hopefully exceed those expectations.

Let me tell you now that with the crew and background staff we have on board with this we are operating at around 20% of our potential, I know we could make fabulous stuff, the only thing stopping us is shooting time, because shooting time costs money, I promise you that I put the vast majority of your spend with us into improving the next film, so if you have never bought from us before I want you to please get in contact with me directly at nextglobalcrisis@gmail.com or via the contact form at: NextGlobalCrisis.com and tell me how much you are prepared to pay for your first episode in our series (can be anyone you want) I’ll only say ‘no’ if I think the offer is too low. Make me an offer.

I want as many people to see our work as possible, but they have to value it in some way, I won’t give it away for free. This offer will run until the 4th of November.

A few more pix…

•October 21, 2011 • Leave a Comment

As requested…

Retrospective: Season 1 Episode 2: Shoot

•October 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The shoot for episode 2 took place as said previously outside London on November 1st 2009. In the time it took the actors to arrive I had to decide on lighting for the room. It was possible to beam lights in from above as the room itself cut through the middle of the building almost to the roof. After much deliberation though we decided to light from windows at ground level and place gels over the glass. It has an interesting effect, pretty odd… but then, so was the whole scenario.

The actors Stuart and Anastasiya arrived about 11ish and we went through how peoples hair needed to look and what they should be wearing. In the early part of the film before Maria gets into her ‘Angel’ costume/battleskin we had to decide what would work, those who bought the video know what we chose. Both Stuart and Anastasiya had done fight rehearsals in their own time and I was really pleased with how well things had been learned. From a shooting perspective our lives were made easy because of this, and we shot a lot of material. In fact there is so much that didn’t make the edit I am going to give a chunk of it away quite soon so you need to keep checking back here for that.

We shot quite a few wide angle takes that we probably wouldn’t go to the trouble of doing today because so much of it ends up on the cutting room floor (or in the trash of a mac). Stuart, who played both Drone and Doctor parts (yes, we don’t actually have a robot, sorry) was not very well with a bad cold, so spending 80% of the day in that head wear was a tall order. We really crammed so much jeopardy, peril, action, punches, and wrestling into this film that I am kind of amazed that we shot it in 10 hours. I’m so pleased with the result. Episode 1 was very worthwhile but this was a different league, and I know we got excellent feedback from buyers. But hey, if you want to find out for yourself then you can see it all by CLICKING HERE