Friday, February 27, 2009

Halloween in the Rain

Tonight was a bad night for filming. It was cold and rainy. The shooting took place on Floyd Street. After I walked around for awhile, I was lucky enough to secure a great vantage point with a group of teens on one of the large front porches. Not long after I staked out my spot, a nice Production assistant came over and was giving us the 'rules' for watching the shoot. The first words out of his mouth was "you will need to go inside and watch through the window." Poor guy had no idea we didn't belong to that house. We politely explained that we could not go in. He told us that if we stood on the back corner, very still it should be OK.

He also described the scene that was going to take place. This was, technically, the first scene in the movie. It is after Laurie Strode shot Micheal. It is (supposed to be) around 5am. She is bloody and walking down the street with Loomis's gun. The police car pulls up behind her as she walks. CUT.

I tried framing and taking a few photos but soon realized it was a hopeless case. I was too far away for the flash to work and if I set a low ISO, the rain just blurred the shot. I decided that it wasn't worth waiting in the rain and getting sick. I decided to call it a night.

On my way out, I noticed they had "trashed" the Halloween Festival set on the Square. They had TP'd several of the trees and it was a general mess. I assume this is the aftermath. I asked when they were filming but Security was not sure. Sometime tonight or tomorrow. I think I'll head down tomorrow to see what I can see - rain or not.

But as promised, here are some dark, not so good or clear, video clips of Tyler Mane's Micheal Myers. Just look for the guy that is all hair and hoodie and about a foot and a half taller than every one else.

Mane and Zombie

The rest are miscellaneous walking scenes...

Halloween: Part 3

My car was in the shop today and Darrell could not come pick me up from work until 8pm. That wasn't going to work. I headed out on foot - it's really not a bad walk. I headed toward Floyd Street to get to the Square. While on Floyd, as I approached the East Street intersection, I noticed the houses on three of the four corners dressed in Halloween decorations. I don't know when or how they are going to be used...

As I reached the square, I realized the crowds had only increased since lunch. The film crew had much more of the square blocked off so it was difficult to get a decent shot of any filming. One thing I was able to investigate was the 'Bookstore" they had created. It was in the storefront of RL's restaurant just off the Square. While the bookcase facades were gone (they were serving dinner), the window display was still up.

I decided the Square was not worth it. I had good intel that there was going to be a Micheal Myers shot filmed about 2 blocks off the Square so I headed that way. There was an old house decorated for Halloween. The general rumor was this was the "Myers" House.

It was about a 2 hour wait before they started filming but, for me, it was worth it. It was a sequence of Micheal Myers (without the Mask, but I couldn't tell; all I could see was hoodie and hair) walking up a dark, foggy and leaf covered street while trick-a-treaters were running around. It was so very cool. The bad news was absolutely NO photography allowed. The good news is that a friend did some bootleg videoing. As soon as I can edit it down, I will post.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Halloween: Part 2

At lunch today, a co-worker had to go into downtown Covington for legitimate business and asked me if I would like to tag-a-long. Of course!

It was a mad-house down there. People, cars, cameras and wierd-o's all over the place. Anywho, I snapped a few more photo's.

I just love the Halloween decorations. The Square never has Halloween decorations, even at Halloween. Notice the book(s) in the window of the 1st slide....

At this point, everyone was out in full force. All the support crews were lined down one street while the camera crew was filming some scenes. I assume the shot they were working on was supposed to be from Micheal Myers point of view. Notice the branches, mounted on stands, strategically placed to the side of and in front of the camera.

Here are some stills of the scenes they were filming. Not very good. I had to stand across the street to take these. I like the fact that they added a smoke efect to the large pumpkin. We also saw some set dressing that was going to be used as part of the 'Halloween Warehouse'.

I head back out tonight. Now I'm after a picture of Micheal Myers himself.

It's Halloween in Covington

Some of you may already know but if not, the latest buzz around my hometown of Covington is the filming of Rob Zombie's Halloween 2. They have a short shooting schedule and are currently filming on our town square and nearby locations.

This morning, on the way to work, Darrell and I decided to detour around the Square. I wanted to get some photo's of the store fronts and sets before they were all taken down. We arrived about 8am and all was pretty quiet. I asked security if I could take photos and they gave open rein over all but a 20' X 20' section in the middle of the Square itself.

It was amazing to see downtown transformed into a Halloween Festival Setting in February. The store decorations are simple and old-fashion. They have primarily used flags, wreaths and cut-outs.

They have some great banners and 'old' feeling flyer's plastered all over the place. I really want some of the flyer's....

The sets are very 'old' style and quirky. Think a small town Halloween of the late 60's or early 70's. The main center piece is a huge walk-thru pumpkin...

By this time, it was around 8:20am and some crews were starting to arrive. We saw a film truck, grounds people and more of the quirky set pieces arriving at the Square. I was trying to get one last shot, traffic was in my way, and that's when I saw the man himself, Rob Zombie, walking down one of the side streets. I stood there pointing like a spastic fish trying to get Darrell to turn and see him. He was much more calm about the situation. The only person around was his security guy.

I ran (there was no walking) across the street and approached his security and asked if could stand to the side and take a picture. About that time, Rob turned around and asked "What?". His security guy told him we asked about a picture and he said "Sure.". Rob handed my camera to the security guy, put his arm around me and got Darrell into the picture. He was great about the entire thing.

Below is the preeminent photos. I have posted 2 versions. As you can see, I was just a little bit excited...

I love my husband dearly but I just had to do it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The 127th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade

The next big event for the Georgia 501st is the St. Patrick's Day Parade. It is lining up to be a BIG turn-out. So far there will be troopers from Georgia, Carolina, Alabama and Mid-South.

On Saturday, March 14 the city will gather for the 127th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade through downtown. The route winds through the city and ends at a huge festival at Underground Atlanta. The parade is a spectacle of floats, bands, bagpipes and Irish spirit. Kicking off at noon, the route begins at Ralph McGill Boulevard and Peachtree Street and continues down Peachtree to Underground Atlanta.

The festival in Underground Atlanta will be a full-on Irish party with a vendor market, a full Irish breakfast, family activities, dancing and more. The festival is from noon - 6 p.m.

For more information the Official Parade website is here.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fanboys Movie Opening

The movie opened in two theatres in Atlanta on Friday, Feb 20th. The Plaza on Ponce de Leon (near the Majestic) and at the Regal 8 in Alpharetta. Due to location and space, the GA 501st decided to gather at the Regal 8.

We were privlegded to have several members of the Carolina Garrison, the Rebel Legion and the Atlanta R2 Builders Club participate in this event with us.

While there were not a lot of people there to see Fanboys (what do expect for a geek movie that has received absolutely NO promotion), we made the best of it and had a wonderful time.

I think the employee's at the Regal enjoyed us being there....

We seem to have a lot of 'arrest' requests that night. I mean, who wouldn't want a small army of Stormtroopers holding guns to their head while crouching down on a hard, cold floor?

And then there's the children. I don't care how many times it happens, to see the eyes of a child light up when they see one of the troopers is amazing.

It was a fun night and great camaraderie. Of course, we couldn't leave without making fun of ourselves.



Wanted: One Darth Vader for The Fanboys Movie Opening

That was the call and our friend Zach answered with enthusiasm.

Fanboys was set to open in Atlanta on Friday, Feb. 20th and we didn't have a Vader. Zach had never donned the Darth Vader costume, so our first step was to get him over to Jesse's to try it on. His look was critiqued, adjustments made and lessons on "being Vader" given.

I think he is going to do just fine.....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

11th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards

Just about everyone that knows me, knows I have an unnatural addiction to costuming. What do I mean 'unnatural addiction'? Basically, a movie or show can tank but if the costumes are exceptional, it will get 5 stars from me. Never ask me for my movie opinions. They are a bit skewed.
With that being said, last night was the 11th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards. Below are the nominees and winners. The winners are in bold and in some cases, I have italicized my choice.

Iron Man – Laura Jean Shannon & Rebecca Bentjen
Mamma Mia! – Ann Roth
Sex and the City – Patricia Field
Winner: Slumdog Millionaire – Suttirat Larlarb
The Wrestler – Amy Westcott

Changeling – Deborah Hopper
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Jacqueline West
Winner: The Duchess – Michael O'Connor
Milk – Danny Glicker
Revolutionary Road – Albert Wolsky

Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian – Isis Mussenden
Winner: The Dark Knight – Lindy Hemming
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor – Sanja M. Hays

30 Rock – Tom Broecker
Dancing with the Stars – Randall Christensen
Entourage – Amy Westcott
Gossip Girl – Eric Daman
Winner: Ugly Betty – Eduardo Castro & Patricia Field

Winner: Mad Men – Katherine Jane Bryant
Pushing Daisies – Robert Blackman
The Tudors – Joan Bergin

Bernard and Doris – Joseph Aulisi
Coco Chanel – Stefano De Nardis (costume designer) & Pierre-Yves Gayraud (designer for Coco Chanel)
Cranford (Masterpiece Theatre) – Jenny Beavan
Winner: John Adams – Donna Zakowska
Sense and Sensibility – Michele Clapton

Levi's, "HIS" – Kym Barrett
Winner: Milk, "White Gold" – Casey Storm
Nike, "Fate" – Trish Summerville

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fanboys Trailer

Monday, February 16, 2009

Gasparilla 2009

The Visit - not by me....

A friend of mine (Ok, he's my boss at work) just returned from a visit with his family in Tampa. When he lived in Tampa, he participated in the Gaparilla Festival yearly. Here are a few photo's he snapped while at the Festival this year...

The Legend
José Gaspar, known by his nickname Gasparilla (supposedly lived c. 1756 – 1821), was a purported Spanish pirate, the "last of the Buccaneers," who is claimed to have raided the west coast of Florida during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Though he is a popular figure in Florida folklore, no evidence of his existence appears in writing before the early 20th century. His legend is celebrated every year in Tampa with the Gasparilla Pirate Festival.

The stories of Gaspar are fairly consistent. Most say he was born in Spain in 1756 and served in the Spanish Navy aboard the Floridablanca. Among his early exploits was his kidnapping of a young girl for ransom; some versions give his subsequent capture as the impetus for joining the navy. Simpler versions of the story have him starting a mutiny and becoming a pirate soon after, but more romantic ones say he achieved a high rank and became a councillor to King Charles III. He was popular in the court, but when he spurned one lover for another, the jilted lady levied false charges against him, often said to involve the theft of the crown jewels. To escape arrest he commandeered his ship and vowed to exact revenge on his country through piracy. Renaming himself "Gasparilla", he patrolled the coast of Spanish Florida for the next 38 years (often 1783 – 1821, approximately the dates of the second Spanish rule of Florida), sacking every passing ship and amassing a huge treasure, which was stored in his fabulous den on Gasparilla Island. Most male prisoners would be put to death or recruited as pirates, while women would be taken to a nearby isle, called Captiva Island for this reason, where they would serve as concubines or await ransom payment from their families.

In 1821, the year Spain sold the Florida Territory to the United States, Gasparilla decided to retire. But while the men were going about dividing up the treasure, they spotted a fat British merchant ship, an opportunity too good to pass up. But when they approached, the intended victims lowered the Union Jack and raised an American flag, revealing that this was no merchant vessel, but the pirate hunting schooner USS Enterprise. In the battle that followed, Gasparilla's ship was riddled by cannon balls. Rather than surrender, Gaspar chained the anchor around his waist and leapt from the bow, shouting "Gasparilla dies by his own hand, not the enemy's!" Most of the remaining pirates were killed or captured and subsequently hanged, but a few escaped, one of them being Juan Gómez, who would tell the tale to subsequent generations.

Juan Gómez, or John Gómez, was a real person who lived in southwest Florida in the late 19th and very early 20th century. The old man was well known locally for his tall tales of his supposed life as a pirate, and was said to have been the oldest man in the US at the time he died (though this is very unlikely). Gómez is widely speculated to have been the foremost contributor to the development of the Gasparilla legend, though it should be noted that no pre-20th century account of him specifically associates his piratical exploits with José Gaspar, whose story, real or fictitious, does not appear in writing until about 1900, when it was included in an advertising brochure for the Charlotte Harbor and Northern Railroad company.

The Festival
From The Black Bunny

The Gasparilla Pirate Festival is an annual celebration held in the city of Tampa, Florida. Held each year in late January and hosted by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and the City of Tampa, it celebrates the legend of José Gaspar (Gasparilla), supposedly a Spanish pirate captain who operated in southwest Florida. The theme is an "invasion" by Gasparilla and his men, which begins when the "Krewe" (made up of residents of the city) arrives on a 165' long pirate ship, the Jose Gaspar, in Tampa Bay and land near downtown Tampa. The mayor of Tampa then lends the key of the city to the pirate captain and a parade ensues down Bayshore Boulevard, one of Tampa's major streets. The krewes throw beads, coins and other items while shooting blank pistols from floats during the parade. The average attendance for the event is over 400,000 people. According to the event's official website, Gasparilla parade affected an economic impact of nearly 23 million dollars to Tampa.

Krewe memberships are highly sought after in many social circles in Tampa, and many celebrate ethnic and cultural themes. The Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, the organization which founded and sponsors the parade, is the oldest krewe in Tampa, and among its most prestigious. Members of the many krewes that now participate spend a great deal of money on beads and floats.

Gasparilla was first held in May 1904 in Tampa Bay, but the invasion originated on horseback instead of by boat. In years past, a US Navy ship would be attacked by small boats throwing Cuban bread and black bean soup. The Navy would respond with fire hoses but would succumb to the Ybor City Navy, and then surrender to the Alcalde of Ybor City. The sailors would be treated to an evening on the town. This was discontinued after the September 11, 2001 attacks. However, the invasion itself continues as "Capt. Jose Gaspar" and his crew of "Pirates" "attack" Tampa, surrounded by hundreds of other boaters as they sail the Gasparilla Ship through Tampa Bay, land in Downtown Tampa and "take over the city."

Beginning in January 2008, an old tradition which ended in 1964 was revived. "The Gasparilla March Triumphant: The Return to the Sea" gives the event a sense of closure. During this ceremony, the Krewe's pirates return the key to the mayor and board the Jose Gasparilla to return to sea. This tradition was revived as a way to officially end Gasparilla season.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009