Tag Archives: michelle damis

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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This past week and all its revealed!

18 May

Well…I have been hunkered down in the “Legendary” production office for over a week now getting ready for today!  Last weekend we shot three days.  One within Portland and one out on the Oregon coast and the footage could not have turned out better!  It’s amazing and the caliber of acting and character is top notch!

So here we are getting ready to leave today for Mckay Creek Stables out on highway 26.  Let me elaborate for a moment how everything has come together for this weekends shoot (which is massive by the way).  We had a semi skeleton crew for last weekend’s shoot and were a tad worried how this weekend would end up.  Within three days, those that hold no ties to the possessiveness of the infamous “Portland film cliques” came out of the wood work to help when they heard of our production value!  Tons of stand up people!  All of a sudden we had our hands on a massive jib with remote head,  four Canon Mark II 5 D cameras, a principle BTS filmer, 20ft of dolly track, shoulder rigs, glidecams, one of the most amazing creature FX specialists in the northwest, a full SCA troup of warriors, tons (literally tons) of armor and props, and some of the most talented crew that can be found north of LA!  All this on top of the already amazing locale that’s providing over 2o horses and livestock and 85 acres of forested area!

Now there have been a few people who have come and gone already on this project and it saddens me they could not have been a part of this.  I will be bold enough to say this is one production for the record books for Portland…Most def. on the new media front.  With 30 crew, 10 principle cast, and over 30 extras…it’s massive!  This past week has been full of blocking, rehearsals, and production meetings!  It has been an absolute highlight to see my story come to life!

However, in all my happiness, it still concerns me to see the state of our little film industry in Portland.  I was lucky enough to get to sit down and chat with several individuals about it this week.  It is blatant that when a project comes up that shows great potential in Portland, those “cliques” that we have mentioned before want to come out in droves to try and verbally bring down your project.  Or even those two faced beasts that we’ve touched on as well want a piece of the action.  I find it all rather humorous.  Is our space really that big where you don’t think things will be heard?  Where sound will not travel?  Or how about ego, once again?  What have you made recently?  Or acted in that has given you right to speak like Tom Cruise?  This is where I will give a massive shout out to some specific individuals.  These people in no way needed to help and are coming to lend a hand just out of sheer generosity and in my opinion are standouts in the Portland film community.  The creation of a film or short doesn’t tell anyone what kind of a person you are.  That acts that follow do.  Luis Garcia, Edd Blott, Aris Juson, Rowan Spiers, Sean Parker, Krysta Kelley, Claire Brooksbanks, Forge And Thistle, and Kevin Martin.  You all have a place in my heart for your generosity and giving spirits.  My sincere thanks and friendship!

I have to give my good friend and fellow actor a big shout out here.  Drew Garrettson was here from LA for about a week and a half and I wanted to get him in on this.  I revised a section of the script so he could get in.  I unknowingly wrote him a massive amount of dialogue and suddenly started worrying about him being able to memorize it in such a short time frame.  What I should have been thinking is how much of a professional he is because he was!  In the past four years that I have acted and worked with Drew, to me, this was the role that he rose with!  Drew nailed everything spot on and really shined in front of a lot of people!  His ability to adapt and contort his reactions, expressions, body, and abilities shows that he is a master of his craft!  Running lines with him brought me back to previous projects we’ve done and put a huge smile on my face!  Thanks, Drew!

“Legendary” has been a life changing experience for me.   As we get deeper into it,  I can only see big things happening for all involved!  With LA talent coming on in the near future (Courtney Zito and quite a few others), “Legendary” is going to be one hell of a wild ride full of busty babes, magic, creatures, and enough steel on steel that Stallone and Arnold will even be jealous!

FILM PRODUCTION FOR THE WIN!!!

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