Wrapping Up a Year of Film

The Film Festival was last week and now everything is coming to an official close. There were some obvious winners to go on stage Thursday (Mr. Kamper taking Faculty Performance and Brian Hazerjian with music, as he had a hand in scoring almost everything), but all the other winners deserved to hold the trophy as well. I commend everyone for their work throughout the year even if they weren’t nominated, let alone won. The movies were great this year and set a new standard.

As things are winding down now, things have become a lot more lackadaisical. With this being a mostly senior class, most of the ‘work’ has been thinking of new ideas for screenplays. Brian Hazerjian and I might be having a few ideas bubbling in the brain, but it’ll take a bit before they come to fruition.

— Pat Connell

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Order of the Beanix

Hey Beanix the Phoenix and Mel here..

Rambutan has been stepping it up lately.  We have officially scheduled everything and WILL complete this movie on time.  We are filming every weekend form now until our due date and plan to get a lot done over vacation.  In regards to editing, we are doing the painstaking task of rotoscoping Corey.  It is tedious and time consuming; however, it will all be worth it in the final product.  Also, this past week we have selected our poster.  I, Bean, never saw the poster, but I have faith in my crew’s decision.

We are on a schedule for rotoscoping Corey.  It goes by first letter of the first name backwards alphabetically.  So, Rory, Melanie, Gracie, Danny(me), Cat.  Gracie is on her shift right now, which means that I am rotoscoping either tomorrow or after school today.  As you, the reader, can tell by the title of this blog, I have supposedly risen from rock bottom (like Fight Club but in a Film class setting).  Therefore, like a phoenix, I have risen from being “not so good” to a rising Film student.  Being that crunch time is upon us, time put in after school is essential to the success of this movie.  Rory is after everyday, and every crew member puts in time after when they can.  Everyone is dedicated to this movie and having a good time making it.

On to unrelated stuff, my tennis season started, and although I am 16th on the ladder I am looking to beat Mike Bloom in a challenge match for the first singles position.  Melanie is still eating during class on a regular basis.  Gracie should be starting Velocity soon, but I don’t think she will ever actually do it.  Cat is making art sculptures to decorate our area, and Orca is slowly coming out of her chronic depression.  Having an orca partner to play with has had quite a positive effect on her.  Seeya.

LOST: Loving Our Spot (in) Trivs

Hi, Gracie and Mel here…and sort of Bean…

So, this week we have successfully gotten scene 30 done.  This scene is a part of the breakout and consisted of Julia talking to Brad on the Bluetooth.  We used the steady cam for this shot and this helped the shot look its best.  Other than that, we have not done any other shooting lately, for we have been experiencing scheduling issues.  However, we plan to overcome this obstacle by filming more after school and trying to schedule scenes far in advance.  Instead, we have worked heavily on editing, including fixing audio and working on the green screen shots.  The green screen shots prove difficult since the green screen was wrinkled; however, we can fix this problem in AfterEffects.  In the upcoming week, we plan to film on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.  In addition, we are going to take pictures for the poster on Monday as well.

We have all been contributing a lot lately, whether it be in editing, filming, or acting.  Cat did a great job acting in scene 30, while Bean used the steady cam to film it.  Also, Mel and Bean have been watching Rory edit with green screen in order to learn.  Lastly, Pat has been working diligently on music as always.

Lastly, our music trivs game is fantastic per usual, even though we lost  the Oscar ballot, Bean pulled through during vacation to secure our 1st place spot.  We have also began to order t-shirts and have been deciding on a color; we are thinking possibly a dark pink since Strawberry has stolen red.  THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THIS WHOLE BLOG: We currently have an obsession with Lost, except, sadly, we are all in different places and cannot watch it together.  It all started when Gracie talked to Mel about it, then Danny found out, followed by Cat’s discovery of our obsession with the show.  Lastly, good luck to our directors – Cat and Rory – in their shows this weekend!

Rambutan Rollin’ with Red Firetrucks

Hi… Gracie and Bean here, again.  Last week was February break and we were super busy.  The first Saturday of vacation we had the whole crew come in to shoot the outside scenes of the breakout.  It was freezing but we all pulled through, except Mel who stayed in the cafeteria to open the door for us.  The next day we gathered at RT’s house and put the final touches on our platform (the makeshift roof).  We cut a hole in the middle because the Cleaners suspend from a hole in the cafeteria roof…but obviously we can’t really do that.  Then we spread tar paper on the “roof” and spray painted it black.  Monday was the day to shoot with the platform.  Our biggest obstacle was finding a place where the roof was tall enough and there was a pulley to lower a person.  After many ideas we finally settled on shooting at the Sharon Fire Department (thanks Cat’s dad!).  He’s the deputy chief in Sharon so he pulled some strings for us.  The shots came out very well, but now the new obstacle is rotoscoping the footage and replacing the green screen with the cafeteria.  Tuesday we reshot a hallway scene between Maggie and Kyle and it came out perf!  Later that day, we braved the severe snowstorm and trekked out to Bean’s house for a late lunch with the crew.  The menu of course catered to Bean’s glutenfreeness and everything was delicious (Thanks Mrs. Bean!).

Coming up, we are beginning to film with the administration.  Today, we will be shooting with Mr. Whittenhall and Maggie.  This Saturday, we are borrowing a friend’s van for Brendan to be shot in for the breakout scenes.  We have also scheduled a scene with Mr. Whittenhall, Ms. Farrell and Mr. Szymanski.

On another note, Bean and I have planned a crew dinner to go to the Fiesty Greek in Norwood.  I (Gracie) have never been but I’ve heard wonderful things.  We have yet to tell the crew about this plan but I’m sure they will LOVE it.  Bean has also been trying to convince me to go to Velocity to workout with him… I probably will not go.  Well that is all for now.  Bean and I are going to go share a rice krispy treat, CYA.Photo on 2-27-14 at 10.45 AM

Quest for the Elusive Rambutan

Hi! Gracie, Melanie and Bean here.  Gracie and Melanie are too scared to type so I have to do it.  We just realized Danny is unable to use Chrome, so he will not be partaking in the typing process of this blog.  Anyways, it’s been pretty slow around here… this week we have only shot the office scene with Cat and the secretary and the opening scene.  Things went pretty smooth for these two scenes; we hit few obstacles.  One big problem we encountered was finding a teacher that was able to act in the opening scene.  Luckily, Ms. Mac came to our rescue and agreed to act.  

This upcoming week, we have vacation!  But that doesn’t mean no work…we have a lot to get done!  Most importantly, we need to make sure our platform (bunkbed) is ready.  We need to paint the top black and cut a hole so it looks like the roof.  Also, we have to shoot at least four breakout scenes, so we will be working Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  After that we can finally have a real vacation.  

The most important thing on our minds is finding Rambutans to buy in Boston or if we have to…to buy off amazon (sketchy).  We have even considered buying Rambutan seeds to plant and grow our own trees.  Also, we will be scheduling a crew dinner sometime over vacation at Bean’s house.  The menu will be delicious but also cater to Bean’s Glutenfreeness.  Well, that’s all for now.  Cya!ImageImage 

P.S. Melanie is not in these pictures because she got dismissed.

Rambutan’s R.T. Regally Representing Rigorous Novel Ideas

Hello! R.T. here! As my crew has spoken about pre-production, filming, and music, I’m here to discuss what we are doing differently this year in Rambu than what’s been done before. We are shooting in anamorphic widescreen. Now, let me explain what that is: When you shoot normal HD video on the T3i (our cameras), the video’s pixel aspect is 1,920 pixels by 1,080 pixels. Anamorphic widescreen shoots at 1,920 pixels by 800 pixels. What this does is give the film an extra cinematic feel to it, making it feel a little more epic.

For you people who are visual learners, let me show you what this looks like.

This is our lovely actor Corey in the original, unfixed video:

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That’s 1920×1080 pixels. After our correction in the shot to make it anamorphic widescreen (and some color correction to make it look dramatic), it looks like this:

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See the difference? It makes the film feel a little different than others, and that’s what we like here in Rambutan.

Something you cinemaniacs will notice is that the picture is VERY clear. That is because we are filming most of the movie on a different lens, the 50 mm lens. This just means the picture will be a little clearer and a little more professional.

Another different thing we are attempting here is we are filming a majority of this film on a tripod instead of handheld. We thought it would look a little cooler, and it looks great! Hope y’all like it!

Finally, we are incorporating some green screen in this film. I won’t say where, you people will have to figure it out. But if we do our job right, you will have no idea where it is.

Hope I intrigued you for even 4 minutes. Have a great day!

The Aura of Sound

The soundtrack to all films, including the one for ‘No Country For Old Men’ and the likes, are created purposefully to set the tone or mood or atmosphere or whatever—you get the gist. The films hailing from WHS are no different. I intend to (considering it’s my main role) come of with the music for The Cleaners to suit its … well, its ‘suits’. For the smooth, action-packed movie Rambutan plans on making, it needs a score with the same adjectives to fill the background.

So far, there’s been many ideas composed, but sadly not as many finished to perfection, also with a lot more (hopefully) on the way. Luckily, this week has been mid-years, so ample time filled with hard work and diligence have been put in after school composing. Having been inspired by a wide range of material—Curtis Mayfield and Mission Impossible to Get Shorty and George Baker—I plan to tackle this musical production with the fervor and precision it deserves.

I may not possess as much technical skill in the music making department as my peers, and by that I mean my stuff doesn’t really come to par with Bach’s or Beethoven’s stuff like a classic Hazerjian symphony does, but that’s also not what The Cleaners calls for. The music’s in the works and if it fits, it’s good, plain and simple.

-Pat Connell

Rambutan Rox

Hi, Mel and Danny here. The Rambutan crew has recently revved up and begun production. We have shot 2 scenes, both during school, and made rough edits on both. We think that both scenes went really well and the acting from Kyle, Maggie, and Cat was astounding. Both scenes were short and easy to get done during school; however, these scenes are still essential to the film. Even though all turned out well in the end, we still hit a few obstacles along the way. For instance, on the first day of shooting, Kyle, who plays George, forgot to shave the night before and had to quickly do that before we could shoot. Then, when he came back from shaving, he informed us of a cut he had given himself while shaving; however, when he took off the bandaid, we realized he basically had a hole in his neck, that is how deep of a gash this was. Luckily, in the shot where the cut was visible, the focus was on Maggie and the cut could not be seen. The next obstacle, which is yet to be overcome, occurred while we were filming one of our hallway scenes. Cat, who plays Julia, needs to give a half grin at the end of the scene; unfortunately, Cat couldn’t smile without laughing, so we were unable to get the shot. As a result, we will need to return to that scene another day. Cat also revealed her dramatic side with her extensive monologue.

“What?” – Cat Murphy

For us, Mel and Danny, we have both been contributing to shooting. Rory has been teaching us how to shoot and wants us to get more involved in the process; so we each shot a little bit during the two scenes we have filmed. In addition, during a particularly difficult shot in which we used to slider, we needed 4 people – Rory, Mel, Danny, and Gracie – to hold parts of slider or camera in order to get a clear, steady shot. Per usual, Pat has been working on music and contributing to our second place lead in music trivs.

The rambutan fruit is quite the deceptive fruit; there seems to be no local places or growers that sell them. In result, we have been debating whether or not to order the unique fruit off of amazon. For the page, click We are quite contemplative, though, because we have read that the foreign fruit tastes like plastic. Also, the idea of ordering fruit off amazon from “Tropical Importers” is a little sketchy. Finally, every date we seem to set for the Rambutan Rager always falls through; however, we are still hopeful that it will occurr.

Until next time,
this is Mel & Danny.

Rambutan Rushes Off to Work

Hi, its Gracie! I’m here to write my first blog…ever. Right now, RT, Cat, Mel, Bean and Kyle are down in the cafe digital storyboarding for our big breakout scene. Since last time, the vision has been finished and Mel and Bean have been shot listing. RT and Cat shot listed the big break out scene because it is VERY intense. Mel and Bean have also been drawing our storyboards (I helped with a couple) and they are surprisingly pretty good artists. Pat Connell has been working diligently on music trying to perfect a sound similar to the soundtrack of Ocean’s 11. I have finished the wardrobe descriptions of all the characters and we are beginning to bring in parts of the outfits. We will probably have to go shopping over Christmas vacation to get Cat’s red dress for her first scene and some of the props–wigs for our our young teachers in the 70s scene, clark kent glasses, small butterflies and a harness. The biggest prop we need to get figured out soon is the raised platform so we can “suspend” someone from the ceiling of the cafeteria with the help of the green screen. Cat has an old bunk bed that we will probably use and cut a whole out of so someone can be suspended. We need to get going on that project so we will be starting that over Christmas break. More importantly, the Rambutan Rager is coming up (I’m not too sure of the date) sometime over vacation when we will watch Ocean’s 11 and get the feel for the “cool” factor of The Cleaners. Well that’s all for now!
-Gracie