Wednesday, August 15, 2007

don't play dead on the greenway...

so, last night we had our first encounter with the minneapolis police dept.

Q: what's the worst time for this to happen?
A: just as mike hadley is slowly removing his shirt from his body and i am yelling "take that, demon!"

...and that is pretty much how it happened. my character had inadvertently thrown another character over a bridge. as tim h. lay draped in a maroon shrug on the cemented greenway, bikers and rollerbladers passed with confusion and concern. apparently, some of them phoned the po-lice. well, according to said po-lice, a "bunch" of them called.
so here's my question: why didn't any of them freakin' stop then, huh? not concerned enough to interrupt their exercise?! seriously. unless of course it was the one lady who did stop to ask tim if he was ok, to which tim answered "yes, we're just shooting a movie. i'm fine." if that lady called then she's a damn idiot because dead people don't talk.

we have begun our larger rehearsals now with the "starting team" of actors including: dan hetzel, fred beukema, aric mckeown, tim hellendrung and corey anderson as well as us, the core. (if i have spelled any of their names wrong, it was on purpose and to teach them a lesson.) we have all been getting used to improvising with each other, as some of us have never worked together before, as well as the ever-arduous task of getting used to improvising in front of a camera. it's all been going pretty well so far and everyone seems to be gelling quite nicely together. nothing but rainbows and hearts and apocalyptic zombie pox...pretty sweet.

so, to all you greenway goers out there: if you see a dead person in your way, look around for an effing camera before you call the cops!


Monday, August 6, 2007

there's a monster at the end of this book...

...and it's an effing life-sized video camera constructed from cardboard, duct tape, and a dream.

this is how a portion of the core spent their sunday afternoon. the costume is designed to be worn over the torso of a gangly runner for our publicity photo. this camera-man (or lady, although i don't think hannah or i are going to bare our legs for the sake of this photo) will run throughout the streets as our photographer chases after, hoping to catch the perfect shot.

it promises to be delightful, enticing, and logistically difficult.

stay tuned...


Friday, August 3, 2007

"Are you guys shooting a Puffy video?"

Here's a bare bones account of our last rehearsal - things are getting busy. We've planned a rehearsal with all our actors for next Tuesday. We decided that before that rehearsal, we should add in the element of TIME CRUNCH to our approach to this structure.

So earlier this week we met at the Bryant Lake Bowl to rehearse. This time Matt Houchin joined us. Houchin is a film maker and all-around indie media mogul (I just made that up. Matt, if you'd like to be characterized with a different phrase, please let me know...) who performs at Comedy Sportz Twin Cities with all us Core folks.

We figured out a loose timetable for the show -- basically a schedule for each team's runner, mapping out how many minutes are available for each team to shoot and deliver each of their three tapes. Then we hit the street. The challenge: do practice runs pretending to be team A, B, or C, giving ourselves a time limit to see if we could do this Neutrino thing as fast as we'll need to for the show.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that it's actually not impossible to shoot a decent 5 minutes of improved film in under 15 minutes. It's not *easy*, but it's not impossible either.

Mike, Rita and myself were in front of the camera. Matt directed. Eric and Troy did both. We all switched off being the "runner," aka keeping time.

At this rehearsal we discovered: To do this show, you have to be able to do math while running down a dark street, looking for pools of light to shoot in. Multi-tasking...

As an improvisor who doesn't know when to fucking shut up and let the scene move, I was helped a lot by Matt's style of improvisational film directing. When he picks up on something that he thinks needs to be shown instead of talked about, he just CUTS. This led us to add more action to our scenes. Hadley ate some crab grass from somebody's yard, I soaked my bosom in a sprinkler, Boersma got stabbed by a "sword," aka dirty wooden stake from a construction site, and Eric rode on Mike's back and berated him for half a block.

We also incorporated some serious special effects into this rehearsal's films. Matt went all Sam Raimi and did a shot from the POV of a sword flying through the air towards a moving target (Neutrino=athleticism). Troy's segment had teleporting aliens and a UFO (aka cell phone moving through the upper corner of the frame). Shit got cine-MATIC, yo.

For this week's person-on-the-street quote, see the subject line. The guy who asked us this said it in a friendly, gently mocking tone. It was delightful. After this rehearsal, I personally got three reports from friends around town that had either seen us running around the Lyn-Lake area with Eric's camera, or who had heard from others who had seen us. Is this just because I have bright pink hair right now? Will this Neutrino show thing lend all of us an air of local notoriety as "those camera nerds who run around uptown?" WERE we shooting a Puffy video without even realizing it?

So many questions. ..


p.s. The 35W bridge collapsed the day after this rehearsal. I mention it here because, in addition to serving as a reference for other people trying to mount Neutrino Video Projects in the future, this blog is also meant to be a personal historical document for all of us working on the show.