Tag Archives: katie michels

Let the legend begin!!!!

23 May

Last Friday afternoon, a slow warm breeze blew across the grassy meadows of McKay Creek Stables as the production of “Legendary:  A Tale Of Blood And Steel” descended upon it’s grounds.  Canvas tents were erected, swords were unsheathed, and cast and crew dawned their battle faces.  For the weekend, this would serve as base camp!

Base camp at McKay Creek Stables!

When I dived into the new media field of entertainment, I never thought I would ever create something that would draw as much talent and crew as we had this past weekend.  With 28 extras and 12 principle cast members, the final two days of chapter one of  “Legendary” were about to begin.

The camera job was a highlight of the weekend, capturing some amazingly beautiful shots!

For Portland’s indie film scene, the weekend ended up being one of memory with a “who’s who” of talent..both on camera and off.  The crew consisted of over 30 individuals, full of veterans such as director Barry Morgan (creator and director of the web series “Arcana”), Guido Orio (Golden Summit Productions),  and Armeen Monahan (Arm Photo And Media) and also art institute students (that have more skill than most professionals I know!) like the amazingly talented Rowan Spiers-Floyd and the ever so creative eye of Adam Halverson.

Cinematographer Adam Halverson shoots the wonderfully talented Katie Michels.

In terms of talent, anyone who has seen a short or feature made by any Portland filmmaker has seen at least one of the faces on cast.  The awesome talents of Dennis Fitzpatrick, Michelle Damis, Aparna Brielle, Katie Michels, Todd Robinson, Rick Strange, and Brian MacEwan were all on location!  Add into the mix some featured extras (that deserve more screen time) like the vibrant Kevin Martin and Josh Mead and hey…we got a party!

Actor Aris Juson (left) and Brian MacEwan (right). Aris helped as a PA for the day and in this particular moment…was not very happy.

It was one for the record books!  Especially when so many un-egotistical people came to lend a hand.  Edd Blott, Aris Juson, Luis Garcia, and Wes Cornwall all came out to help and just be part of the amazing experience.  Krysta Kelley (the most amazing crafty you could ever ask for!) served food the entire weekend and made everyone’s appetites that much easier to get a long with!  Annie Bardonski (Annie Bardonski Photography) served as the principle “behind the scenes” filmer, capturing some amazing moments behind the cameras!

Actor Dennis Fitzpatrick and actress Michelle Damis.

The production was a serious dream come true and the uniting of several of Portland’s finest!  The weekend also gave way to a life changing experience for me as a creator.  Now, writing fantasy is no easy task.  It’s especially hard to find the right cast that can act out and speak a world that you have created.  On Sunday, I left location for about 30 minutes due to a scene that was acted out with such precision by Brian MacEwan and Joann Campbell that I felt disturbed I had even wrote it!

Actress Joan Campbell.

There were many stories that piled up over the three days.  How about my near death experience where I had a battle pike’s handle shatter just below it’s head and land inches away from my the side of my face as I lay on my back with a camera pointed up at  it?  The plan was to have the actor swing downward and smash the pike into the ground several feet to the right side of my head.  Someone had the brilliant idea of placing a log over me and having the actor use it as a blockade so he couldn’t swing past that point.  Stupid is all I can say.  I suppose I should take the blame and I should never have let the log be put over top of me.  Lesson learned!

Chris Landry (sound) mics up actor Rick Strange.

One thing that makes “Legendary” so awesome is it’s costuming!  The outfits that are portrayed though out chapter one are to die for!  From armor to leather to just plain cloth, it has it all!  A massive thank you to all that helped on that front!

Actor Brian MacEwan stands with one of the stunt team.

Another massive compliment I have to give is to Megan Gamez.  I am not quite sure how no one has taken notice of her talent as an art director and set designer because she straight killed it!  She’s better at making something out of nothing than anyone I know in Portland film!  Actors specifically said they got into character much better due to the sets she decked out.  Meg provided the ambiance and artistic flow needed to push “Legendary” one step beyond what was needed in the fantasy realm.  If you are a Portland creator, director, or producer and you don’t hire her for your next shoot…you’re straight stupid!

A simple corpse made to look as authentic as possible by the talented Megan Gamez!

The weekend wrapped late Sunday night around a campfire setting and the last scenes of “Legendary” were shot!  It was a total wrap on the production…for now.  30 pages in five days with a total production time of just under 100 hours.  It was one hell of an accomplishment for all involved!

I will be writing a second chapter to this when I have some more time..but right now I have a teaser to cut and must get ready to go show it to Mr. George R. R. Martin (creator of Game Of  Thrones)  this weekend in Montana where I will also be sitting on the IRON THRONE!  So stoked!   Take a second and check out some more photos from the past weekend below!  All photos are courtesy of Annie Bardonski.

“Legendary” for the win!

Actor Todd Robinson portraying evil in classic fashion!

J. Lee dressed for a quest!

Gorgeous costuming!

Actor Brian MacEwan and the fantastic Zoe! She was quite a delight this last weekend and Brian fell in love with her!

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The Beast with Two Heads (Or just two faces).

2 May

 

I always find it interesting when dealing with other people in the the same general industry.  By “interesting”, I mean what I like to call the “two headed beast”.  This is also commonly referred to as “two faced”.  You cannot be on a project without catching wind or being told of something that someone’s friend of a Brother’s Mother of your Cousin’s friend said about you.  When in all actuality it’s most likely one of your friends at your side or a colleague that said the damn thing.  This is the nature of human beings.  One of the toughest things in the world is to find someone who is genuine and doesn’t feel threatened by you or your accomplishments.

There comes a time in one’s project or projects where you may do something right and reach a goal or gain a tad bit of notoriety.  This is really when the “beasts” come out!  Over the past week, I personally, have been dealing with individuals within our own little film community of Portland, say things about myself and the projects which I have created.  These people range from close friends to colleagues to people I haven’t even met.  While some have offered up wonderful support, there are still those that feel it necessary to “put down” a project.  This would not be to big of an issue if these same people hadn’t already said, in some way shape or form, to me that they love what I, myself, am doing.  Henceforth, two faced.

The other issue at hand is when, once again, your own friends and colleagues don’t tell you or make you aware of things that are being said or done.  It’s always easy for someone to bitch…let alone when it isn’t directly to you.  They don’t have to deal with confrontation, blow back, etc.  The funny things is…could they ever do what you do?  Now…since we’re speaking of film at the moment, this is what I mention.  Could they be a show runner?  Can they produce?  Can they even write?  Most likely the answer is no.  So..before one opens their mouth…one should think how far their words will travel.  If you truly have issues with something, go to the person directly.  Don’t act as if you are back in junior high school.  I cannot stress this enough about Portland.  I will back up anything I say and will never be afraid to tell someone how I feel if asked.

Another massive issue that I have dealt with and hear about constantly is when people leave or step away from a project.  Now, some people don’t mesh and some see things different, creatively.  But, once again, two faces turn many a time.  Someone will step away from something only to talk insane amounts of “smack” about the project, people, or whatever.  Is this necessary?  Do you feel the need to discredit the others that are working on something that they may carry a ton of passion for?  This isn’t fucking Hollywood.  They’re aren’t five producers and four exec. producers all needing to compromise on input.  This is indie film.  And PORTLAND WILL NEVER BE HOLLYWOOD!  Stop acting like things need to be done so precise!  If you want to go film something, go film it.  If you want to offer your time and do something for someone for free, go do it!  Stop bitching people!  Just because Joe Schmoe got Jane Doe to use their RED for free doesn’t give you any right to sit in your clique at Starbucks and talk crap about that project.  If Wally Mcwallerson got a film location because they knew somebody…awesome!  You don’t need to jabber on about it.

Fact is…too many people here are ridiculously insecure with either their abilities or their projects.  And the size of egos within this town is stupidly…well…stupid!  If you have nothing to show for your work, then don’t go around saying you charge $400 for a day rate.  Don’t piss on emerging talent just because they haven’t been on “Grimm” or “Leverage”.  And we won;t even get started on the individuals who are charging money for “services” in this town!  I will plug Ryan Menard here and say that the free collective acting class you head is awesome, sir!  It’s how every other acting class should be done!  Free and with good company and those wanting to learn and have fun!

Once again, just writing this opens me up to the exact people I have talked about today.  So…I cannot wait to hear “what’s wrong with me”.  It’s cool though….because I have made some amazing new friends that fully support all of my endeavors.  From Portland to LA, some of these individuals will be life long friends.  Already, the kind words and genuine personalities of people like Barry Morgan, Helenna Santos Levy, Leah Cevoli, Drew Garrettson, Luis Garcia, Courtney Zito, Meg Gamez, Cindy Lemas, Katie Michels, Dennis Fitzpatrick, and Aris Juson have helped me get through this last week and I know will be rocks in the coming months ahead.  I thank you all for your kind words, respect, and friendship!

Genuine people for the win!

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