Party Tricks - The First Three Days

It's been too long since we've posted here, but we've definitely been busy. Since our last post, a whopping four months ago, we have seen the release of The Turning of Time and the wrapping of Sunday School. (Speaking of, Sunday School releases next week: April 1st.) We have also found ourselves pulled at the Fringe lottery again, so Fringe 2015 will definitely be a thing. The subject of today's blog post is specifically regarding our newest short film: Party Tricks.

Party Tricks is a dark comedy that we've had brewing for some time. Originally written in 2013 it follows two couples at a dinner party. One couple, Nathan and Jennifer, are nervous-- they're new to this sort of thing-- they want nothing more than to impress their new potential friends. Their guests arrive, Johnathon and Allie, and the two seem a little bit off. Nathan and Jennifer hope to steer the night back on track with a little surprise, but each couple have their own idea of what makes their own 'dark secrets' fun.

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We're done our first block of shooting and pick up shooting the second half Friday March 27th. Our last day is March 30th. I have to admit that it's nice to have a full project all shot within two weeks as opposed to the 6 month long affair that was The Turning of Time and Sunday School. 

So far the actors have been absolutely tearing this project up. Sam has been making it look more beautiful than ever and the crew has been on their a-game. Not to mention Laura, our make up artist, has been making sure the actors look particularly bloody and beat up when they need to be. I'm excited to get back on set, as I write this retrospective I get giddy at the idea of being on set again. Four days of shooting left and some of the best stuff left to film, I can't wait-- even though I have to.

Until next time, which will hopefully be a lot sooner than last time, Justin

Overtime - A 24one Retrospective

Overtime, a short film that we shot with Guerrilla Motion Pictures is set for release on Friday. I figured now would be as good of a time as any to talk about it a little bit. A little recap about the whole day of shooting.

On Saturday September 20th, Justin Kueber and I created the aptly named team '201 Guerrillas' and stood eagerly at the downtown Farmer's Market awaiting our prop and theme. What we got was a confetti popper and the selection between three different phrases said by recently deceased celebrities. Him and I travelled down to Press'd in the bowels of City Centre to plan out our short film. Our initial idea was something with an editing style akin to 24, but that idea left pretty quickly as we are much better writers than we are cinematographers or editors. We still kept a bit of our ambition with a phone conversation that would be split screened between the two actors. (This... also didn't end up happening in post, but we could dream, right?)

We had our idea: a man trapped over night in his office. He would slowly become more and more 'crazy' as the night went on and would unleash his inner child. This would all end with his douchebag boss coming in and being a douchebag to him culminating in the confetti popper being brought in somehow. We left Press'd and headed to my place to write the script. After an extremely quick writing session we finished our script and were ready to start shooting.

Shooting started at 2 PM in that day, 3 hours after the start time and we were optimistic. Our shoot had two locations, three actors and was relatively simple. My hubris got the best of me and I lauded on about how we would be eating dinner by 6 and be finished editing by 1. We'd be sleeping well that night. Of course, hubris is usually humbled viciously and we wrapped our shooting nearly by 9. Still quite good, a 7 hour shoot for a 7 page script, but nowhere near my original and outrageous prediction.

The shoot went so well due to the work of our terrific actors Sarah and Patrick, but especially of our lead actor AJ. He was always up for whatever we asked of him and he took the little time we had and threw out an amazing performance with it. He was the glue that held the short together and he rocked it.

We sat down for dinner at 10 PM at a small little bar near my place. Music trivia was happening that night. The waitress asked us if we wanted to play. We had to politely decline, we had work to do. We returned home, the footage had rendered and we were ready to kick its ass. The first cut happened at 11:30 PM and the final rendering of the finished project started at 4:30 AM. The editing went incredibly smoothly with me seated in the editing chair and Justin and AJ sitting behind me providing pointers, energy and support.

Justin took the USB stick with our footage into the jury at 9:30 AM on the 21st and we awaited eagerly for the showcase the following Saturday. At the showcase they said they'd show ten short films of the 36 entries. I was there as the tenth short played and we weren't in it. You can't get too disappointed by something like that, the filming and editing experience itself are what's worth it in the end. These thoughts were cut short as, a surprise to everyone, an 11th film was shown. Overtime by 201 Guerrillas. We got some good laughs at the gags in the short and I survived the showing without sinking too much into my chair. I don't do too well at showcases of our work.

Awards were given out after the showcase and we walked away with three awards. Best Actor, Best Editing and Best Sound Design. It was a huge honour and I wish Justin and AJ were there with me. I didn't do too well at an acceptance speech and I know they would've said something great. Maybe something along the lines of Sam Jackson's monologue in Coach Carter. I've given AJ his trophy for Best Actor and Justin took the Best Sound Design trophy for himself. It was an awesome experience working with two people I've never had the chance to work with before. I hope you like Overtime when you see it and I hope you like whatever 201 Guerrilla's work is in next year's 24one Film Festival even more.

Not So Black and White - Almost There

Here's a picture from the colour correcting process for our newest short film Not So Black and White. The film is nearing its completion and we are pretty excited about it. Today we lined up all of the music from our composer Troy, made a few small changes and then Sam started to work his magic with colour correction.

In the next few weeks we'll likely have an official post about the completion of Not So Black and White as well as a few still images will be released alongside it. 

Til Death Do Us Part Rises From The Grave To DVD At Last!

At long last, 201 Pictures is happy to announce the release of Justin Cauti's Til Death Do Us Part on special edition DVD! Featuring the film in the best quality possible on DVD and hours of extras, this release is the perfect companion to other horror DVDs from 201 Pictures like The Welder (2011) and Decay (2011).

Look for the official release on April Fool's Day 04/01/14.

SPECIAL FEATURES

-High definition digital transfer of the film approved by director Justin Cauti  & cinematographer Sam Reid with uncompressed 2.0 PCM stereo and 2.0 Dolby  stereo   

-Three commentaries by Cauti, Reid & producer Cody Boyd & actor Daniel Stilwell

-Still frame galleries including the complete shooting script & call sheets and emails   

-Six Documentaries: Premeditated: Pre-production   Crime of Passion: Production Overview    Roadside Anxiety:  Production - Sherwood Park     Worms and Dirt: Production - St. Albert   Rick-O-Mortis: Special Make-up Effects   One-Sheet: Creating the Poster   

-Multiple Featurettes Including: Camera Tests   Blood and Bubbles B-Roll   The Look of Til Death    Sliced Footage with optional commentary by Reid

-Eight Internet Webisodes including the unreleased finale and an introduction from Cauti and Reid   

-Scene progression reels examining the difference between the rough cut and final cut of the film with optional commentary by Reid   

-Behind the scenes still gallery featuring over 300 images

The Official Cover Art

The Official Cover Art

Not So Black and White - Editing Begins

Hey everyone, here's a quick update on the Short Film Not So Black and White that we shot back in October 2013. Sam and I sat down today and put together a rough cut. 

Not So Black and White follows the story of a young artist who, in order to combat her loneliness, crafts a friend to keep her company. It was written by Sarah Gibson, shot by Sam Reid and I had the pleasure of directing it. We'll likely release a few more scenes further down the road, but here's a small update on the progress of it!

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Next week we have our next block of Turning of Time, I'll be releasing another update of that as soon as we've wrapped the three days.