<p>A Pale Horse
from daniel jusino
This project first began when my brother and I caught wind that a hobby shop near our place was going out of business and was having an insane close-out sale. They had everything you could imagine…costumes, martial arts gear, army gear, knives, swords, axes, mace, and a TON of airsoft guns…. basically everything and anything that dudes love. Without hesitation both my brother and I went to the store along with our housemate Dave with the mission of buying as many guns/swords/knives as our bank accounts could handle. I had recently become a fan of youtube video maker Freddie Wong and soon after watching 50,000 of his videos 50,000 times i was intent on trying my hand at an action based ‘scene’ involving airsoft guns.
This store closing was my golden opportunity to construct mayhem and soon after i was quick to purchase the Action Essentials VFX Pack from video copilot.net which gave me all the muzzle flares/blood splats i needed to accomplish my mission.
After watching a bunch of tutorials on proper ways of implementing this kind of crap i threw together 2 test videos to see if i could pull off the basic effects.
here is the first one —> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12e7KCnFJCQ&feature=share&list=UU5Eo-u…
here is the second one—>
<p>VFX Test 2: House Shoot Out
from daniel jusino
As you can tell I had a LOOONNGG way to go to make this shit look believeable so i decided that the next project, which i didnt really know what was going to be, had to look much better. I just needed to figure out what the hell would be a “cool” story. ..bro.
Then one day, i found the horseheads.. —> http://www.mcphee.com/shop/product_images/k/12027__89949.jpg
They were glorious. In one way they looked absolutely hilarious while in another way they looked insanely disturbing and damnit..i was determined to buy these things to make the most disturbing characters i could think of. I just didnt know how…. After watching a bunch of freddie wong videos i figured all i had to do was make 1 single scene and have an epic shootout between a dude at his house and some people with horse masks on. bam. that was it.
I was going to make a single scene that showed epic horsemen shooting guns. simple. … That was until i went to buy the horseheads… which was around halloween… which led to the masks going from $20 bucks a pop… to being sold out… to $100 bucks a pop wherever they could be found. DAMNIT! So there i sat… going over what i was going to shoot for about a month and a half waiting until i could finally get my hands on the horse masks.
I spoke to a lot of my friends about my idea and most of them said “cool”… but most people weren’t really impressed. In fact, a lot of peeps went on to ask why the horsemen would be going around killing people and what would they look like etc etc….
which led me to rethink what the hell i was trying to do. After a bit of pondering i ended up checking out a research facility farm for my old rutgers entomology job and decided the horsemen would be mutants who came from the farm to simply butcher a select few of the human race for absolutely no reason at all. -_- . which wasnt exactly a full ‘story’ but it gave me enough scenery to set up just 1 scene….. which is what i wanted to do in the first place…
so i thought.
time passed… and i met with a good friend of mine who has a pretty awesome imagination and after asking me what i had been up to with film i was quick to pitch her my idea of the horsemen people and guns and death. she laughed. and then asked me why? again… i was stumped. i didnt know… all i knew is that by this time i wanted a dude chilling in his house doing something…. then the horsemen would show up and shoot everyone in the face. she saw where i was coming from …. or something… and decided to help me draw out/write up the actions to do the ‘scene’.
this is what we came up with—>
Now that may not mean anything to you… but to us it meant that the guy in the house would be putting together a puzzle when the horsemen arrive….. and then when the horsemen arrive… they kill everybody (including extra random folk who are just roaming the area at the wrong time.
Yeah. it was still a rough idea… and it looks like a john madden drawing… but damnit it was progress. In fact both her and I even went to check out the research farm that i was considering using to take photos of the joint to maybe get some more ideas on how this whole thing was eventually going to play out.
here are the photos of that scouting day and some of the spots we checked out–>
So i was getting somewhere… sort of…. after scouting we even managed to write up an action list so i could start visualizing the order of events. you can see a part of that list here —>
However…. even after finishing this list and visualizing all of the mayhem that was beginning to form… i still felt that it wasnt right…. and i still felt that i wanted to develop the story just a tiny bit more.
I figured the perfect time to do that would be during my preplanned trip to Puerto Rico where i would meet up with my whole family including my oldest brother Eric —> who just so happens to write stuff. ….. i figured i could tell him the idea and see what he had to say about the whole shinto.
so after many days of rockclimbing on the beach with both brothers and lots of time spent with the sappy parents —> Eric and i spent time killing LOTS of beer and talking about my project and after a few nights of staying up till the buttcrack of dawn we came up with this —-> the second game plan.
and from there…. i left PR …. and this was born—>
unfortunately since i lost the original pic i yanked this pic from one of my old twitter posts so the quality is a little broke…. but thats the script… the shot list… the schedule.. and the prop list including wardrobe. during this time i was finally able to upgrade my sound gear and get a zoom H4N—–> which would mean the end of having crappy DSLR audio … and the end of using my old DVX100b as a sound recorder. yay. i could also get the horse heads and i found all of the clothing i needed for the horsemen’s outfits at a thrift store near my house. my idea of killer horsemen became this —>
they looked ill. and i had an EPIC back story for these gnarly bastards. so with everything under way my story was something like this.
Alex and Dave are 2 journalists doing an investigation on the bio-genetics company Knight Corporation. While digging deep to find what they need to bring down the corrupt corporation they come face to face with the knight corp’s security detail known as “The Pale Horsemen”.
That was it. quick concise… to the point.. and it justified why there would be mutant horse people looking to slay the dude in the house…. that dude just so happened to be snooping around in the wrong part of the woods and these sick gun weilding horsemen werent having it. especially with their beloved knight corp was on the line.
This was money and I was glad that i finally had something substantial to work off of that made enough sense for me to feel comfortable to move on with the next steps of the flick.
Now, here’s where it gets epic. Not only was i able to iron out the story with substantial plot points… but i was also able to solidify how i wanted to make these horsemen some badass sons of bitches. I figured the only way to make these things believeable as ruthless killers would be to have them kill EVERYONE and EVERYTHING they came across…. and yes…. that meant including women and children. so naturally… when i began the action points i decided that i would have these guys come into the story and do in a woman and a child just to get the ball rolling in the wtf department. The question though… was how? well thanks to my brother eric’s imagination along with the imagination of one of his interns at his job they showed me EXACTLY how it was going to go down: with a spinning slicing of mom’s neck with the spin ending with the pistol pointed in a baby’s stroller…. and boom. head shot. here is the video they sent me showing me the exact choreography that they were practicing all afternoon along with how the scene actually turned out—->
Now as for the effect of homegirl getting her neck chopped open I had to do a lot of homework and figure out the best way to do it without having it look absolutely terrible. After finding an awesome video tutorial on indymogul’s youtube channel I bought all of the necessary crap needed to build my own mold to form latex in order to make a fake “neck”. i also had to put together a blood pump so i could squirt the blood once homegirl’s neck was chopped open.this is the stuff i got
here it is in detail:
garden sprayer for squirting blood–>
lots of tubing:
a bunch of fittings and shrink tubing:
this is the diagram i was working off of:
in simple terms it went like this: pump to tube with fittings to long tube under shirt across back to shrink tube on neck.
here is what i did to build the mold and make the neck skin–>
simple. so i thought….
After fitting everything together i decided that i should do a preshoot neck slice test to see how everything worked and how everything looked. that night i invited a bunch of friends over and we practiced on my housemate Dave.
After watching the footage from my first attempt i admit i was pretty damned disappointed. Not only did it look like shit….. but this was supposed to be one of the more defining events of the short film that would allow the audience to believe that the horsemen were indeed ruthless bastards. As you can probably see from the video… i really didnt know a damned thing about make up so i figured that it would be best for me to find a chick to do it since chicks are … you know… about make up…
In comes jasmine—>
my coworker, who just so happened to be pretty damned good at make up and concealer and all of that chick type stuff. She agreed to give it a shot i had her come over the house with the actress who i was going to use in the film so jasmine could practice sticking the tubing on the chicks neck.
here is how it looked without her make up—->
here is how it looked with make up—>
it was definitely leagues beyond my crappy make up skills so i promised her beer and booked her for the shooting day.
The first shooting day was scheduled for a saturday, March 24th and was going to be the most epic scene first: Dave’s House Exterior. If you are interested in going through the flick by timecode to understand what we shot exactly here is the list of times for Day 1:
00:15 to 00:55
02:13 to 02:16
02:40 to 03:14
03:24 to 03:32
here is a timelapse of that days shoot: http://youtu.be/GQDos57E1LQ?hd=1
(the embed code wont work CMON POSTEROUS!!! DAMNIT!)
Day 1 went great. all the effects worked properly and the shooting stayed on schedule throughout the whole day. We actually were able to finish just before it started raining and everyone had a great time.
here are some random behind the scenes clips of some of the other stuff that went down during that day:
The second shooting day was scheduled for thursday, march 29th, and was the day for shooting all of the interior shots of “Dave’s house” along with the woods scenes and office. the times for these scenes are:
00:58 to 02:05
03:38 to 04:12
This was one of the harder days to prep for since i had to pretty much build a journalist’s office from scratch and the only journalisty kind of thing that i know about and remember strongly is that of the movie ‘all the presidents men’. from that all i knew was that one of the journalists had to have some epic journalist glasses a la robbie red. from there i was pretty much out of ideas.
eventually I decided to do a sort of ‘conspiracy’ wall where i would put articles and random photos of the stuff that Dave and Alex were investigating and then have them all interconnected with weird strings and notes. I had to be sure to do it in a way that would allow me to shoot it to help tell the story since there wasnt going to be too much dialogue about what they were actually investigating.
What i did was write up a bunch of fake news articles, along with my brother eric, took a bunch of pictures and downloaded some that sort of matched each article then laid out everything according to how it would be sequentially. ie: company buys land, sketchy things happen, people talk about it, those people die, wtf. etc.
you can check pics of the big cork board that i put together here–>
you can watch a timelapse of me cutting articles and setting up like a boss here–>
It took me quite a while to finish the thing and putting everything together even caused the shooting to run a little later but even so the scene came out pretty good. The out doors stuff and the office where dave find his pistol was pretty quick and painless. Unfortunately i have no timelapse footage for the set up for those scenes.
After this the next scene up was that of the Farm which was scheduled a few days later for saturday, march 31st. Aside from Dave’s House Exterior this was definitely one of the other biggest scenes of the production that was going to require a heck of a lot of work to get all of the shots that i would need.
I was also really tired and i was starting to feel the production blues that you get when you write, produce, direct, shoot, and still had to edit. Not to mention i was running on only a few hours of sleep per night due to anxiety and the rage that i had developed at my 9 to 5 job. i’ll be sure to dig up a sample video of me in this state in a future edit on this post.
in the meantime..
Shooting took the whole day and due to crappy weather and rain I ended up having to call it quits before i was able to get all of the shots that i had wanted. the second day of shooting at the farm was equally tough but fortunately was a bit shorter. We got to turn Alex into a zombie and throw blood on dave’s face so it turned out to be pretty damn epic. here is a time lapse of both days put together–>
time code for farm 4:17 to 8: 41 (minus lab scene)
Once the farm was out of the way all i had left to do was shoot the “laboratory” scene in which i planned to use the basement of my house. At the time i was working for the Rutgers entomology department which had tons of unused laboratory equipment collecting dust all over our branch’s section of the building. After taking a quick inventory of all the space that i wanted to fill i proceeded to borrow all of the glassware, crazy weird pump things, ancient camera equipment, and huge sheets of plastic that we used to use for experiments.
I brought all this crap home to my place and spent the whole night setting everything up to look somewhat like an actual laboratory where we would then have an eyeless zombie like dude laid out on a table. The neighbors saw me bringing all of this weird chemical related lab equipment into our basement and must have definitely thought that i was building a meth lab. after all… we lived in new brunswick for pete’s sake.
anyway here is a time-lapse of the laboratory scene set-up—>
time code for lab scene is 05:11 to 06:13 … and the last 08:45 to 9:20
After the lab scene i got a few more random shots of dave riding his bike through the woods but all of that was cut out of the final cut. From there I went on to edit for 6 months which included a shitload of sound design, after effects, and a hell of a lot of beer drinking.
In the end I’ve got to say that i’m very proud of this film and everyone who helped me make it. Technically it was my most advanced flick with all of the camera movement and proper lighting/sound/fx gear so it sure turned out to look a hell of a lot better than anything i had ever done previously. I also think that if it wasn’t for all my friends believing in me and having a great sense of humor/patience i wouldn’t have been able to follow through. Especially once it got to the editing…. after a few months of staring at the same crap for days my friends would always roll in and say how awesome everything was looking which brought my spirit back up to continue the job. I did try to submit the film to a few festivals in New York City and Philadelphia but unfortunately a few weeks and 200 bucks later it got rejected. haha. i blame it on the baby. bwahahaha! Anyway… thanks for reading about my project and i sure people will enjoy it as much as i did. even though it wont make it to festivals it’ll still be a great thriller film for those on the internet. im its greatest fan.
here are some left over pics from the shoot—->
Thank you all eric jusino, alex jusino, david golon, chris golon, igor brodsky, michael stolyar, jasmine greene, monique rivera, ed reed, joe bennette, carmo ferreira, and daniel culp. without you guys i wouldn’t have been able to do this.
peace and chicken grease.
Feel free to follow me @danjusino, hit me up on Facebook at Daniel Jusino, or check my other stuff here on my blog at www.danielrjusino.com ..and if you have questions or feedback id love to hear it. i also am available for hire for freelance video work so if you are in need of some type of video service im your dude.