Thong Girl Blog

This is a blog to update all of our loyal Thong Girl fans on the making of the Thong Girl movie and the Thong Girl comic books.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Okay, NOW It's A Wrap!

I'll bet you thought it would never happen, but the moment has arrived - it's a wrap! We started building the first set back in the summer of 2008 and we've just finished shooting the Big Finale scene. That's almost two years... and that's not counting the six months it took me to write the script or the six months it's going to take me to edit and score this thing. Why, you ask has it taken so long? Good question. My only logical answer to this is lack of money. If I'd had a realistic budget I would have shot this like a real movie - cast and crew sequestered for eight weeks of seven-day work weeks with construction crew diligently building sets in anticipation of our relocation. But when you try to do a movie of this magnitude with little or no money you kind of have to spread it out over a long period of time. Another obstacle was having a lead actor who is out of the country on business 75% of the year. This makes for a logistical nightmare when trying to schedule shoots with him in the scenes.
But enough bitching and moaning. IT'S A WRAP!!! Well, I still have a few pick-up shots and I still have to take my much-anticipated trip to new Orleans to shoot some exteriors. And then there's post-production which involves getting some of the actors back for ADR (dialogue re-recording) and editing and special effects and music scoring. Now you see why only about 1% of all indie feature films ever make it to fruition from conception - it ain't easy, folks. But you know that old saying... "If it were easy, everybody would be doing it".
Now, about the finale: What an amazing experience! I won't bore you with all of the details but since it's my blog and if you are reading this then you must care somewhat about the details of my filmmaking experience, I'll tell you what it was like. It also helps me to purge my soul of it's burdens by writing this.
First things first; I had to find a suitable location. If you go to my Facebook page you'll see photos of the Neuhoff site. This is a former livery stable - yeah, where they used to slaughter the cows to make beef for your disgusting hamburgers and steaks (I recently went semi-vegetarian). The stables look like a parking garage with three levels. The lower level looks like something out of Blade Runner - subterranean and spooky - and I knew that if we smoked it up and threw a ton of white and purple lights up and we shot at night it would look cool as hell; I was right (see photos). The problem was we were shooting in the dead of winter and it had open sides and no electricity. Long story short, everyone made frequent trips to the heated make-up trailer and froze their asses off while on the set. The make-up trailer was an expensive proposition but a godsend because it made for a comfy staging area for the thirty-plus cast and crew when not on the set.
Through some fortuitous unexplained phenomenon I came upon a twenty year-old choreographer named Tessa Mendoza. Tessa was recently back from California and was restless to do something different with her time and talents. We both had the same vision and she proceeded to knock out a spectacular dance number using students from her dance school (see pictures) who were more than enthusiastic and rocked the place. We used the music from a band from California called Archer and after three months of preparation and a big-ass grip truck with a plethora of lights provided by my good buddy Jeff Steinborn we staged an elaborate throw-down dance sequence that would rival Michael Jackson's "Thiller" minus the budget.
This was easily the most ambitious project I've ever attempted; even more ambitious than my very first film which included live horses, 1800s period costumes and muskets and Civil War re-enactors. This was like a real music video shoot with crew all over the place and me shouting through a megaphone. Unfortunately, I forgot the walkie-talkies, but in retrospect walkie-talkies are a little self-indulgent, don't you think?
Anyhow, everything went off beautifully and I am going to start by putting out a new teaser-trailer music video using the footage we shot for the finale. I won't be blogging much during post-production, because it's a boring and tedious process, although it is actually my favorite part of the filmmaking experience. I guess that's because you don't have to rely on a huge cast of characters as you do in the production phase. I like to edit and do a lot of my own post stuff, so I get to hole up in my studio and put it all together without having to explain or answer to anyone.
I hope to premiere the film in late Spring/early summer, but I'll be putting out at least two more trailers before the movie is finished.
That's about it for now. This has been an incredible journey and I have a very clear vision for what happens in the next three years that I will tell you about in later posts. Now it's time to edit!
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