MacVampire Production Diary: T minus 6

This is going to be a sickeningly quick series of blog posts as I attempt to make an eight-minute vampire movie in twelve days, using only what I can borrow from the office and bribe my friends into doing. At stake, so to speak, is $1000 in prize money and, now that I’m telling you all that I’m going to do it, my honor. This is the contest; entrants are invited to make their own episode of the vampire web series
The Hunted
. The deadline is next Sunday.

Vampire Macbeth proceeds apace. We’ve had two shoots so far, one practically perfect in every way and one plagued with disaster, so I’m alternately sitting on Cloud 9 because we got some amazing footage or tearing my hair out because we’ve lost another two or three actors. (Hey, anyone in NYC free this Thursday from 7:00 to 9:00?)

Here you see Nathan, our fight director, standing at ease with my hand-and-a-half Paul Chen broadsword while he oversees rehearsal. I think this is where Danny cuts Mendez in half.

Nathan runs a tight ship, but we got a late start and I watch in panic as the light starts to fade. I pull two other actors and quickly shoot something that wasn’t on the schedule, just so we get one scene done.

Watching Gina and Clint work through this little scene is one of the most wonderful moments of the process so far. They take my script and make it funny, they react to each other, they give it life and attitude. Oh, and 100% more leaping.

I wanted to get some fighting filmed tonight, but it becomes clear that we’re only going to have time to rehearse the fight. Usually I’m the one in Nathan’s shoes, pestering directors to leave more time for fight rehearsals and get their actors some decent gloves, and now I’m one of the (heavy sigh) creATive types. I think the push and pull between a director and her fight director ends up being better for everyone, though; you end up somewhere between the two sets of priorities.

We all survive the change of location, the lateness and the impending darkness and I can only hope the sound will be all right. One rehearsal and one scene down; tomorrow we film dead bodies and find the time to do this fight for the camera.

Stay tuned for “What a Fray Was Here,” or, Experiments with Chewing Gum and Stage Blood


All the stills are © the lovely and talented Ellen Wright and are used with her permission. More pictures from the shoot are here!

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