Introducing Josephine Hoy and Alan Douglas as Dr Feyrer and Fr Aloysius Rambo
Season 1, Episode 1 of ‘Mind My Brains, Darling!’ will be released on JUNE 21st 2011!
Holy waiting forever, Batman! Yes, it’s been a long hard haul but we are on the final stretch now. After months of preparation, set building, prop making, rewriting and filming we are getting SO CLOSE to releasing (or unleashing!) our brand new webseries.
As revealed on Indie Intertube this week…
We are huge fans of Indie Intertube, the live weekly podcast devoted to all that’s hot and streaming in world of webseries. I’m usually in the chat room soaking up the vibe as the hosts Destini and Shadhavar give the lowdown on all the news and shows but this week, in a flush of excitement, I rang in to talk with those lovely ladies. They we funny, charming and so disarming that I announced live on air that ‘Mind My Brains, Darling!’ would premiere on June 21st. You can listen to the whole show on their BlogTalk Radio channel or here:
We’d also like to extend our congratulations to Indie Intertube and Mingle Media TV on the announcement that they will be hosting a new LIVE VIDEO show! The first show is June 19th and you will definitely want to tune into that – we certainly will!
Guest stars are also go!
We have been very fortunate to work with some amazingly talented people, including our special guest stars. You can see interviews with Josephine Hoy and Alan Douglas over on MindMyBrains.com, and we will be adding character information very soon. I don’t want to say any more about how or why they appear in the series, but you are going to love it!
It’s been a busy week, getting the set ready and doing admin-y things necessary so we can get the shooting schedule set up. We were creeping towards the Indiegogo Campaign deadline, too, so I tweeted this morning and then went out for the day, prop buying….
A few hours later….
…I came back to some seriously amazing news. I checked out my emails and – we had reached our total!!! It took a little while to sink in…we were there! With two weeks to spare! Words can’t describe how I felt- still feel. It’s amazing…and it’s all down to YOU – the people who donated and everyone who spread the word!
This has been such a wonderful experience so far. Your generosity, support and help has been fantastic. We are the little webseries that could! We’ve recorded a little video for you tonight as a thank you and I’ll post that tomorrow when I’ve edited it. We filmed it on the set of ‘Mind My Brains, Darling!’ – the set that the money you donated helped pay for. It’s full steam ahead – more news soon!
Nine days after launch and “Mind My Brains, Darling!” is now one of the ‘Featured’ projects on the Indiegogo home page, which is great news! We’ve been bowled over by all the support and encouragement we’ve received from so many people – thank you all! As it stands now we’re just a whisker away from 70% of our total (wow – while I was writing this we had another donation that took us over 70%!).
VCON 35 in Vancouver next week
We’re deep into preparations for VCON 35, and more of that soon. We’re looking at flyers and promo materials and thinking about what else we can do on a limited budget. If you have any ideas, please let us know. We’ll be posting a couple of flyer designs tomorrow for you to critique since we know you have good taste – we want to make sure that if we’re printing up X copies they are the best they can be. And how many copies should we make/take, anyway….? Questions, questions….
Today we launch the first teaser for our brand new webseries, Mind My Brains, Darling, the much-hyped Project X that we’ve been preparing for for the last few weeks. It’s been hard to keep it all quiet and a relief to get it all out in the open (TWSS)! We’re also launching a funding campaign on Indiegogo.
Freshen your boots, Gov’nor?
Making webseries is a cost-effective way to tell your story, but it isn’t free. Even for a budget-conscious pair like us there are inevitable costs. We need a little help to build the sets, finish the props and costuming and upgrade our editing machine. We don’t want to get owt for nowt, though, and there are some rather nifty perks available to anyone who donates $1 or more.
Money isn’t everything
We’d still like your help even if it’s not the folding green stuff. Posting links or widgets on Twitter, Facebook, your blog and other social networks is invaluable, too. The more we can spread the word the better. We know not everyone can donate, but we’d still love to have you on board.
We’d love to hear from you about what we’re doing with the webseries and the funding, so please let us know. Ask away and if you have any suggestions, you comment here or email us: higletfilms at gmail.com.
And now….the pitch!
If you want to know more, go to Indiegogo.com/mindmybrains and see what’s in store. And while you’re there, you might want to make a quick donation….
Before you start throwing around words like “hilarious”, “awesome”, “groundbreaking” and “who are HigletFilms?”, let’s cut to the chase. One thing that is immediately noticeable is that no faces are fully shown. Most of the time the only parts visible are from the neck down. Despite what you might think, this is done deliberately and not just because we forgot.
Bodyline is the term we use for this technique, mainly ‘cos it sounds cool (it’s also been used in Cricket, but let’s not bother with that). There are several advantages this method of filming offers to the small, independent filmmaking outfit.
It allows the story to unfold without looking for someone you recognise.
The body language and the dialogue of the actors drives the story.
One actor can play many parts (good for low budget productions!) and prevents miscasting of actors in roles.
Negates the need for make up and hair to be fussed over
Simplifies lighting considerations
Allows for more imagination from the viewer
Dialogue can be recorded at a later date and overdubbed in or recorded during filming
And last, but not least – it makes your film stand out from the crowd. It’s different. Maybe it’ll be baffling for some people, but at least they’ll remember it, and in the end isn’t that what its all about?
Over to you
So, what do you think? Is bodyline a step forward or does it drive you mad? Answers on a postcard please (or a sealed down envelope)…or in the comments if you can’t find a stamp.
The trailers are nearly done and we’re looking to launch on Indiegogo in the next few days – exciting times! Keep up to date with all the news by following us on Twitter and if you could – please like us on Facebook. If we get to 25 ‘likes’ we can get a proper URL on Facebook which will help people to find us. Thanks
Principle shooting for the trailers is DONE! We’ll be doing a couple of reshoots today and then it’s hunkering down in the editing suite (read: desk in bedroom) to Becker* them to perfection. We’ve had an intense couple of days and have some more production tips to pass along. Today: ALWAYS HAVE A SPARE!
In our last production log we referenced pound and dollar stores as a source of dolly accessories. Of course, they are not just for sparkly streamers, you can buy a whole load of awesome and inexpensive props there. We needed some guns for Z Force and Koenig, the charming Inspector. The larger ones, like the one pictured above, are repurposed from items we had in the house already using black spray paint.
For Keonig, though, we needed a smaller kind of weapon. Enter the dollar store. Which we did, and purchased a variety of hand guns to see which would fit in the rather spanky shoulder holster he sports. We found the very piece and duly sprayed it. Job done.
Expect the unexpected
We were shooting a tightly choreographed (ahem) action sequence yesterday where Koenig has to pull his weapon (TWSS). It worked great in rehearsals and looked The Business. It looked great for first four times we shot it, too, while we captured all the angles we wanted for editing. Fifth time out – tragedy struck! The barrel caught in the holster and Keonig pulled out a truncated stump (TWS also S). Hilarious? Yes! Helpful? No!
For the sake of $1
Unfortunately we didn’t have a backup of the gun that fitted the holster and production halted while we worked out how to work around it. Luckily we managed just fine, but it would have been much more helpful to have a backup. So, kids, that’s the tip of the day. If you are using cheap plastic shinies expect them to break and plan accordingly.
The Happy Couple
And now, to reward you for reading this far, here’s a picture of the happy couple, Jeremy and Petunia. Ain’t love grand!
Inspector Koenig lays down the law. And paperwork.
So then, how are you?
We’ve been keeping tremendously busy preparing for our new webseries and working out how everything will, er, work. Who knew there was so much to do?? It’s all good, though, and things are racing along. Which brings us to this Production Log. I know lots of people are interested in webseries production: what goes on behind the scenes, what sort of decisions are made and why, how things are actually filmed.
Webseries production is relatively new and constantly evolving. We have limited personnel, funding and time, but I suspect that many others are in similar positions. This is bare-bones production, and all the more exciting for that. But the main things to know are:
we have an amazing script
a teaser prologue and a teaser trailer are under production at the moment
sets for the main series are under construction
costuming is 95% complete
Funding launch for Indiegogo.com is poised once the trailers are complete.
What’s going to be in this Production Log, then?
We will be using this blog as a Production Log, giving details of how we’re progressing in the production cycle, what challenges come up and how we’ve overcome the inevitable problems. Today we’re going to talk dollies. No, not Barbie and her friends.
“In motion picture terminology, a tracking shot (also known as a dolly shot or trucking shot) is a segment in which the camera is mounted on a wheeled platform that is pushed on rails while the picture is being taken. One may dolly in on a stationary subject for emphasis, or dolly out, or dolly beside a moving subject (an action known as “dollying with”).
So how do you achieve a decent looking tracking shot without a steadicam or a dolly/truck?
If you can’t beg, borrow or steal one of the above, we have another suggestion. Try a cycle, a pushchair, a scooter or anything else with wheels to mount the camera on and take it from there. Here’s our solution from today’s shoot:
The Boy Wonder demonstrates his biking skillz. Yes, it’s his bike.
This gave us the height we needed for a sweet shot. It took a few passes to get it right but the results make it worth it. Don’t worry if your dolly doesn’t have sparkly streamers. You can easily pick them up at the Dollar Store/ Poundland. Customisation FTW.
Even though it’s been weeks since we wrote and uploaded Goodnight Princess, it has often been on my mind. People we’ve never met before contacted us about it and I’m really proud of what we achieved. It intrigued and moved people, and the last scene still makes me tear up. We were looking for a suitable outlet so Goodnight Princess is now submitted to the Vimeo Awards in the ‘Narrative’ category. If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the Vimeo submission:
We’ve submitted, but you can nominate any eligible video
In order to submit a video yourself you need a Vimeo account. But you don’t need a Vimeo account to nominate a video from any video platform – just read the eligibility guidelines and go ahead. Nominating a video doesn’t submit it, but it does bring it to Vimeo’s attention.
So, for example, if you wanted to nominate Goodnight Princess, you would follow this link:
The category is ‘Narrative’, which is the default so you shouldn’t have to change it.
The next steps
It was the success of this video in terms of story telling that convinced us that we needed to look again at the equipment we have. Our camera is 11+ years old, we can’t source a battery for it so it has to be connected to the mains (and it’s from the UK so there is also a plug adaptor on it). We recorded this (and our other recent videos) direct to our little 13″ Macbook for editing in iMovie with audio post-production in GarageBand. It worked, but because we needed to record at night for atmosphere, the light levels meant the finished product is grainy.
Our new webseries is already in pre-production. The scripts are mostly done, the two teaser trailers are being shot in the next couple of weeks and everything is in place. But we need new equipment. We were lucky enough to receive some funding from an anonymous donor (THANK YOU AGAIN!) that went towards a new camera but with that comes a whole new set of problems. The Macbook’s hard drive is nearly full and iMovie can’t do everything we want to do for the new show. We can now record in HD but can’t edit it properly. We only have one Mac so only one of us can work at a time….
Time to take the plunge
So we are going to do something about it. We can’t fund the next series entirely by ourselves so we will be setting up an Indigogo account and will be launching a fundraising campaign very soon. Jeff Koenig has just completed a wildly successful fundraiser there for his new venture “What is a Webseries?”, a brilliant idea for a site and one that I fully support. He secured his required amount in just days and “What is a Webseries?” will benefit the whole community.
We are just waiting for a costume delivery from the UK so we can complete the teaser and then we are all set to launch the campaign. These are exciting times – we hope you’ll come along for the ride!
Felicia Day and The Guild have had an enormous influence on us wanting to make web video. Ever since I started blogging I have been a fan of just how much Felicia has achieved. She really is an inspiration, a role model and all-round nice person. I frequently write about The Guild and people connected to it on my blog, the last geek bus home, because they are very newsworthy – and today the news is – EPISODE 1 OF SEASON 4 IS OUT NOW! Here it is:
Behind The Scenes….
One of the reasons we did the “Behind The Scenes of The Guild Season 4 with Higlet” series was because the idea really really amused us. But there was something else. The Guild is released on MSN/Xbox Live first and only onto YouTube later. That doesn’t stop people searching for The Guild on YouTube, though, and usually it goes to RickRolls (I’m looking at you, “watchtehguild”) or rips from MSN. The Guild is sponsored by Microsoft and the views need to be counted by them because it helps funding.
How does the Higlet stuff help?
When people search for The Guild Season 4 on YouTube now, our videos come up near the top. I’ve updated all the information on the videos with a direct link to Season 4 Episode 1 and an annotation that directs people to watchtheguild.com. Hopefully people will find our videos and then click off to the real Season 4 of The Guild.
The REAL Behind The Scenes
And if you want the real deal in Behind The Scenes of The Guild, you need to be listening to the Knights of The Guild podcast, the Official Fan Podcast for The Guild. Each week they are going to be doing a CompanionCast stuffed full of snippets, info and gossip direct from the set – the actual, real set. The first one is out tomorrow, so look out for that!