FREE 16 HEADS AND COUNTING POSTERS

Hey, does anyone want a FREE 16 HEADS AND COUNTING POSTER? I know I would, if I didn’t already have about 900 sitting in a box on my couch!

Tell you what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna give you a FREE 16 HEADS AND COUNTING POSTER. All YOU have to do is go to the Lyric Cinema Café at 300 E Mulberry Ave. and grab a poster from the stack on the counter. And while you’re at it, you should get some food, and maybe a bubble tea, and take in one of the other fine films currently showing at the Lyric. You know what’s opening tomorrow that looks good? The Wackness. Hooray for Sir Ben Kingsley trying new and interesting things!

You should also tell the Lyric folks that you’ll be coming to the 16 Heads and Counting screening, August 11th and 12th at 7:00 PM. Because it makes them feel all warm and tingly to think that they won’t be losing business just because they’re being way cool and showing a local film.

Local Film to Show at Lyric

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Andrew Gingerich
Tel: (970) 219-0217
Email: andrew@exgfilms.com

www.EXGfilms.com
www.16heads.com

LOCAL FILM TO SHOW AT LYRIC
16 Heads and Counting, Feature Film Shot in Fort Collins, to Show Publicly for First Time

FORT COLLINS – The burgeoning film community of northern Colorado will be in evidence this August when 16 Heads and Counting, a new feature film shot on location in Colorado and Wyoming with Colorado actors and crew, makes its public debut at the Lyric Cinema Café on Mountain Avenue, with screenings Monday, August 11th and Tuesday, August 12th at 7:00 P.M.

The film, produced last summer under the working title Untitled Search for God, was directed by Poudre High School graduate Andrew Gingerich. Shooting for the two-hour film was completed in only three weeks. “It was a marathon, to be sure,” said Gingerich. “We were all working nonstop.” Post-production on the film will be completed in time for the August screening.

The movie was written and produced by award-winning screenwriter Ethan Holbrook, also a Poudre High School graduate. “It’s very rewarding to see something that’s been such a big part of my life for the past year and a half finally reach an audience,” he said.

16 Heads and Counting stars CSU student Sean Cummings as John Porter, a man who is shocked to discover that his new girlfriend, Fran (Rosalie Robinson, also a CSU student) has been killing people and keeping their heads in the trunk of her car. Also featured are Richard Ney as Antony, a small-time mobster, and Vincent Gagnepain as a mysterious man in a dog suit who considers himself an instrument of God.

Locations featured in the film include the Lyric Cinema Café and Rocky Mountain Shooters’ Supply. “The Fort Collins community has been incredibly accommodating and helpful to us every step of the way,” said Gingerich. “We got to shoot in locations and work with people we never thought possible, and I am thrilled to show this film to all those who helped this project reach its full potential.”

Exploding Goldfish Films was founded in 2003 by Andrew Gingerich and has produced one other feature film, Wholesale Souls, Inc. (2006) and countless short films, including Don’s Impossible Adventure Starring Salad Spinner Haiku, which was honored with the audience award for best student film at the TriMedia International Film Festival in 2007.

# # #

For more information about 16 Heads and Counting or to schedule interviews with cast or crew, call Andrew Gingerich at (970) 219-0217 or e-mail andrew@exgfilms.com. Biographies and an electronic press kit are available online at www.16heads.com.

Chaz Williams, Eyewitness 2 News

When we concluded that we needed a voiceover for a TV news package that appears in the second half of 16 Heads and Counting, I knew we had an opportunity for some really fun casting. Here’s what we wound up with:

Chaz Williams, Eyewitness 2 News

It seemed natural to look for someone with a public persona, someone who is experienced in public speaking and broadcast journalism and knows how to handle a microphone. Kyle Dyas is the music director for KUNC, Fort Collins’ NPR station, and he’s an actor with Openstage Theatre, and now he’s in our movie! It was a lot of fun working with someone whose voice I’ve heard literally thousands of times over the past dozen or so years but whom I had never met. Plus, he did a great job laying on the sensationalism with a trowel, as I think you’ll agree.

Incidentally, it’s really a disorienting experience to have a radio personality call you on the phone. It’s like Guglielmo Marconi and Alexander Graham Bell got into a fistfight and wound up making out with each other (or something like that).

Anyway, today was a sound recording day. We got this, and we finally did the ADR for Sarah Anderson (David’s unlucky date) and we got two scenes done with the Voice.

Who is the Voice? I’m not telling.

One down, five to go!

I am pleased to announce a picture lock on reel R01 of 16 Heads and Counting! What does that mean? It means that all the edits for the first 20 minutes of the movie are now locked into place, and work can commence on the sound mix (thankfully not being done by me) and the visual effects (probably being done by me, for the most part).

Yes, the first twenty minutes of the movie are, in fact, for all intents and purposes, done. Except for the sound. And the picture. But the editing is done, and it looks like this:

1 pixel equals approximately 1 second

Click to enlarge: 1 pixel equals approximately 1 second

Scary, innit?

Only five more reels to go! My goal is to lock at least one a day until they’re all done!

Idle hands are the Devil's tools

So what do you do when you’re scrubbing through the master timeline of your feature film to prepare it for delivery to the sound mixer and you realize that you need some background audio of a TV show?

Apparently, you make something like this.

Enjoy.

Remember: only 17 days to the screening! CAN YOU FEEL THE HEAT?

Save the date: August 11th & 12th, 2008

Start the sirens! 16 Heads and Counting is showing next month!

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Gee, I wonder what 16 Heads and Counting is going to look like when it’s finished?” Why not come and check it out for yourself!

The first-ever public screening of 16 Heads and Counting will take place at the Lyric Cinema Café (300 E. Mountain Avenue, Fort Collins) on Monday, August 11th and Tuesday, August 12th at 7:00 PM. Standard Lyric ticket prices apply (adults $8.00, students $6.50).

Members of the cast and crew will be in attendance for both screenings and eager and willing to chat with you after the showing about the movie, life, and how to get those nasty blood stains out of your carpet.

You can be darn sure you’ll be hearing more about these screenings as the days rush on, so watch this space.

McKnightly days 3/4/5: INT. Tracy's Office

Join me, a director by trade, as I take a strange journey into the heart of low-budget cinematography as DP for Tracy McKnightly and the Case of the Lead Shirt Embezzler, a short film written and directed by Vincent Gagnepain.

No, I’m not being lazy by grouping together these three days, since they were all different setups in the same location: a “studio” (actually an artist’s studio—Vvinni’s mother was kind enough to allow us to paint, dress and shoot in her studio space).

Lighting was a challenge, because we needed to keep light on the walls but off my face, without letting any instruments show in the camera angle (we couldn’t shoot light down from above because we were in a practical location with a ceiling of only about 10 feet, and we couldn’t light up from below because we were showing the floor).

650 Fresnel through the door

The scheme I eventually came up with involved shooting light through the east wall onto the west wall and flagging off any stray light that happened to fall on my face.

The advantage of doing three days in sequence at the same location was that I could devise one lighting scheme that could be modified scene-to-scene and day-to-day as the script demanded. Working in a controlled environment with lots of setup time allowed me to try out some lighting tricks that I always think of when I think of film noir lighting. One of my favorites? Venetian blinds casting groovy, high-contrast shadows on the walls.

The easiest way to accomplish this effect, as it turns out, is to just clamp a spare mini blind to a c-stand and shoot a bare-bulb light through it.

We wound up using this venetian setup for almost every shot in the studio. Varying the distance between the light and the blinds produces differing scales and contrasts.

The only problem with using this rig was that it required our open-faced Altman 650-watt light. 650 is not a lot in the grand scheme of things, but for some reason this was the hottest light I have ever worked with. Any time I tweaked the barndoors, my gloves singed instantly. It literally set itself on fire, burning the heat resistant paint off the top barndoor.

We learned to just smile, ignore it, and never use that particular light indoors.

Another favorite piece of eye candy is the lettering on a window being projected on a wall or floor. Easily accomplished with some vinyl stickers and a spare 650.

This is a gratuitous extra line meant to make the photos space out on the page better, but I will use it to make note of the fact that I have never once considered myself a viable candidate for public office. *FUN FACT!*

On day four, there was a fox in the yard watching me set up the lights. When I was out working on rigging it would stay back and stare at me, but whenever I went into the garage it would come right up to the door and sit down to watch me. Later that night, there were two foxes. They hung around until at least halfway through the shoot, when Vvinni’s dog, a little Tibetan spaniel named Peekaboo with eyes bigger than her stomach, chased them off. (As a side note, Peekaboo despises me for reasons that I’m not sure I understand. But as a plus, she sounds exactly like an ewok when she snarls.)

The foxes were back again last night (the 16th) when we were shooting in the driveway—they walked right past us mere feet away from the camera.

OBSERVATION: It’s more fun to light people when you’re allowed to get light on their faces. That’s why day five was fun: I got to light for three different characters and again play with noir conventions. Lilac, for instance, is the only character who is ever illuminated by soft light, which is always placed above and on-axis with her face.

The studio shoots involved a leisurely setup and then a bunch of fast-paced and grueling shooting each night. It was kind of a relief to get it out of the way over these three days.

COMING UP: Day six—outdoor location shooting ALL FREAKIN’ DAY LONG.

McKnightly day two: INT. Hibachi Steakhouse

Decided I’m going to blog my experiences DPing for Vvinni’s surrealist film noir short. No entry for yesterday, cause I’m tired. This is a long post. At 2 AM, I don’t know whether this is a good or bad thing.

Arrived at the location at 4:30 or so to start setting up. The Hibachi (1051 W. Horsetooth) is a classy place where the chefs come to your table and grill your food right in front of you, and we were allowed into a private room for the entire night, running until two hours past the close of business. How, you ask? Vvinni’s dad plays tennis with the manager, Hai, who is a really cool guy and very interested in the process of filmmaking.

We had to bring in a bunch of equipment (we rented a location lighting kit, plus c-stands and some other odds and ends from Valkyrie Illumination in Denver—sometimes the lights act like they might catch on fire, but they’re cheap), and we tripped the alarm a couple times opening an unauthorized door to bring it in, but other than that the pre-setup was uneventful.

McKnightly cast/crew at HibachiWe had a crew of seven today not counting Vvinni and myself, and I must say that was a very nice number. A little crowded for such a small space, but we were never shorthanded and nobody seemed too bored. Many of those present I have not worked with before: Jimmy Bonner was around as a general grip, Tom Krueger of Bulletproof Productions served as our line producer and also a grip, Tim Bessler was our sound recordist. I should also mention Steve Roberts, who was not around today, but is a demon with a c-stand and built an amazing car rig for us yesterday (more on that in a later post). Greg, who now has a degree in such things *la-de-da* was my gaffer (yes, Greg from Wholesale Souls). Patrick and Jeremy from d4i Production Studio were my camera guys.

Patrick and Jeremy with the EX1You see that hunk of plastic between Patrick and Jeremy? That, my friends, is d4i’s Sony PMW-EX1 CineAlta BEAST. Thassright, we be acquirin’ in 1080p24, bitchessss! This thing has everything: variable frame rate, shutter speed adjustable by angle, manual focus and zoom rings plus—get this—a manual iris ring. I have died and gone to heaven.

Greg rigs an umbrellaWe clamped a big light to the crossbars between the acoustic ceiling tiles. Greg, who has saved my ass on many occasions, brought his own safety cables, which, I am led to believe, were stolen from a college theater in Wyoming. Par for the course, as we were all using work gloves pulled out of a CSU dumpster. He did not seem to believe me that the shine-through umbrella diffuser is actually a special photographic tool. *tsk* Those theatre people have much to learn about the versatility of the large fabric octagon.

Due to a series of tragic mistakes, I wound up acting in the film as the title character. It’s ok, though, because I always appear as an anonymous silhouette and I’m going to be overdubbed by a real actor.

The Beatles’ “Happy Birthday” kept coming on over the speakers. A lot of people have birthdays, I guess.

In some downtime, I learned that apparently the regent for the Northern Colorado IATSE local doesn’t know what a gaffer is. We are all screwed.

We thought one of the lights was smoking, but it turned out my glove was just on fire. Whew.

Part of the deal for shooting there was that all cast and crew members would also order food. When the waiter came in to take our orders, he looked around at the lights and equipment and said, “Are you guys making a movie in here or something?” Not a good start, but we soon had things arranged into a semblance of order and even found a chef who was willing to appear on camera and even deliver a line (“Neil did the embezzling?”) YES, we got a release. Need you even ask?

One cool thing those chefs can do with those grills is to send up a giant geyser of flame, which our chef did every time we entered at the beginning of the take. It was magical.

Actors and crew at HibachiWe also had some Real actors: Gale McGaha Miller (Mme. Taylor), Sean Cummings (Neil) and Teal I Have A Bad Memory For Last Names (Lilac Alexanders) were all present, and all amazing (as usual).

The rest of the restaurant patrons must have thought we were nuts, because we’d keep the door closed most of the time, but every few minutes I’d come running out and “Neil” (Sean Cummings) would shout out the door, “They’re an excellent source of protein, Mr. McKnightly!”

Try the chicken teriyaki. Best teriyaki I’ve ever had. Tell them Tracy McKnightly sent you.

Rachel, fake waitressRachel, our costumer, also played a waitress. Apparently she was actually asked for something by one of the normals. What do you do in that situation? “Oh, I’m not actually a waitress. I just wear this thing because I have a bizarre sense of fashion.”

10:36 PM. We have shot everything that we needed to shoot in the private room, but we need a shot that shows the entrance of two characters through the greater restaurant. They closed at 9:00, so we can now go out into the large dining area, but we have to clear out by 11:00. that leaves me with 20 minutes to light an entire restaurant. Can I do it? Apparently I can, and it looked damn good if I do say so myself. Not exactly the Mount Everest of DPing, but it might be the Kilimanjaro. I could either thank Jesus for this accomplishment, or I could thank my incredibly competent and resourceful crew. I wonder which will make me sound better.

FINAL VERDICT: This shoot surpassed my every expectation. By far the most fun I’ve ever had DPing, and the most fun I’ve ever had in a restaurant. OK, we did have to push a couple shots to next week because we didn’t get them tonight, but we did an impressive job tonight. Tomorrow: studio shoot! Whee! Less stress!

Peace,
Andrew (not A.S.C., but feeling hella cocky)

Wholesale Souls, Inc. on IMDb

Yep, pretty much what the title implies: Wholesale Souls, Inc. now has an entry on IMDb, which means that I finally have an entry on IMDb, and so does everybody else listed in the Wholesale Souls credits. Hooray legitimacy!

Remember that you can purchase this piece of cinema history on DVD from CreateSpace or Amazon.com, and you can also watch the film for free online (if you want all the extras, including several whacked-out commentary tracks and a bunch of making-of footage and behind-the-scenes material, you’ll have to get the DVD).

I apodgelize for not posting anything here for a while, but I’ve been busy. *Great blanket excuse, Andrew. Keep it vague, they’ll never know you’ve actually spent the last month sitting in an armchair and eating crab salad out of a bucket with your bare hands. You’re almost home free!*

Actually, I’ve been working on movies, believe it or not. Shooting pickups for 16 Heads and Counting and trying not to do a half-assed job of co-producing Vvinni’s Tracy McKnightly film, and also DPing it (woooooooo), and I promise to try and do a better job of posting tidbits from these ventures here in the near future. Maybe some pictures. Yeah, that would be nice. I’ll take some pictures.

Peace,
Andrew

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