Monday, October 17, 2016

One more night of shooting

"Son on Tiny" has been edited into a polished "rough cut" and sent to audio for soundtrack! I am really happy with how it is coming along. Tonight, we are shooting a few pick up shots that I will think will help the pacing of the film. The release date of the film is dependent on the completion of the soundtrack. Unfortunately, not having a release date hurts my ability to market the film and give it a little "buzz" but hopefully we will have some information soon!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

That's a wrap!

Principal photography on "Son of Tiny" has wrapped! Below is a brief overview of the two nights of filming.

Wednesday night: This was the night that we shot all of the exteriors for the film. I moved the filming location from Trumbull to Norwalk to give us a longer shooting night. With Trumbull being 30 mins passed Norwalk (during rush hour), we were able to shoot for an entire extra hour. Plus the starring actress needed to take a train back to Brooklyn, so I found this would maximize what little time we had. We couldn't start shoot it until it was dark so I set the crew call for 6:30 so we could have the whole scene lit and ready to go by 8:00. Everything went according to schedule. (Something that rarely happens with filmmaking) While we were breaking for dinner halfway through the shoot, I noticed that it had begun to rain. It was light rain but was noticeable on film. I crossed my fingers and fortunately the rain had stopped by the time dinner was over. It did frighten me a little bit, but what is Halloween without at least a little scare?

We wrapped the lead actress at about 10:30 so we could get her back on the train so she could get a little rest for the next day. Tiny showed up at about 10:30 and we shot him and our titular character and wrapped up filming about 11:15. Our nine year old actor had a hard time staying awake but did a commendable job fighting through exhaustion. 

Something frightening did happen on set. Tiny's mask began to melt! I had received the first Tiny mask back in 2009 for the first movie. It lasted for filming of the first three Tiny movies as well as his wrestling matches in the Horror Wrestling Federation. It had lasted me through a special Halloween back in 2010 when I wore the Tiny costume in Salem, MA and took pictures with at least 100 people. Finally the mask began to wear out. When worn a lot, the condensation on a mask could start to wear down the rubber and they begin to fall apart. I keep these masks well protected during the off-season but, the wear and tear finally did it in. I had purchased a back up mask, but unfortunately I had lent that to the haunted house this year for Tiny's appearance. I could imagine that the mask being worn all night for the entire Halloween season, the back up mask may suffer the same fate. So now I need to try to get a new mask made for any future Tiny movies.

Thursday night: We shot all of the interiors for the movie. We ended up having to eliminate and condense many locations in the house just to make sure we had enough time to film everything we needed. Each time we would have needed to change locations in the house would have cost us at least 45 minutes of time to reset. So by condensing many of the scenes into one room, we were able to make sure we got everything we needed. I found that the film may be strengthened by our decision to change the script. Our changes, based out of necessity, gave us a new theme to build upon, that I think will make for a more effective piece. Filming wrapped up at 1 in the morning. Amazingly, with our tireless crew, we were able to have the car packed with a large amount of gear in 15 minutes!

To ensure we were able to shoot everything that we needed, I decided to drive the actress back home to Brooklyn to avoid bring at the mercy of the last train to New York. It would add three hours of driving, but it would give us an extra hour and a half of filming time. At three in the morning, we were almost at the actresses house when I was pulled over for turning right on a green light. (I never knew that was a thing until then.) An officer told me that a lot of people make that same mistake so they are usually parked right by the light. So if no one likes the movie, at least the Borough of Brooklyn benefitted from production on "Son of Tiny".

Sunday, September 25, 2016

I can almost smell the candy corn!

Three days to go until filming begins and Halloween comes early! I rehearsed with the main star on Friday and received the last of the vintage masks that I will be using. Going to be gathering all of the necessary props today and still need to finalize the costume for the Son of Tiny. A lot of work to do but am excited to return to the world of Tiny. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Countdown: Six Days

Less than a week before filming begins on "Son of Tiny"! All of the actors and crew are in place. We have switched filming locations for one of the nights for logistical reasons.   Tomorrow is rehearsal with the lead actress. A lot to do still, but items on the checklist are being crossed off one by one.

This has been a big week for the show as this week is the eight year anniversary of the release of the first "Scared Stiff" episode. Also, starting tomorrow, Tiny leaps off the screen and into the world of the Halloween Haunt. Here in Connecticut, Fright Haven re-opens their doors after eight years and returns as one of Connecticut's biggest haunted houses. This year, our very own Tiny will be one of the featured characters in the haunt!

Monday, September 19, 2016

DISCLAIMER

I thought that I should comment on the name of the blog. The Horrors of Zero-Budget filmmaking is not a name given so I could yack and complain about how horrible filmmaking is. I don't want to make this a terrifying tale designed to scare upcoming filmmakers away. In over 60 productions that I have been a part of, I have had mostly great experiences. Of course theres always the odd time that productions have came to a halt do to an actor (or three!) dropping out within an hour of filming. Or locations being taken away with almost no warning. Or when the cops are called on you by someone with too much time on their hands. Or when you get a gun pulled on you because of Henry Kissinger. (True Story!)

But for the most part, "Scared Stiff" has been a pretty fun ride. A big part of minimizing problems is making sure that proper time goes into planning and making sure you have people on your team that you are comfortable with. The Horrors of Filmmaking can happen to the best filmmakers. With careful planning and decision making, we hope to minimize those terrifying tales from happening.

Hopefully "Son of Tiny" goes smoothly and we can all enjoy a stress-free, happy blog!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The tour begins here...

Welcome foolish mortals. This is Douglas A. Plomitallo, a filmmaker specializing in all things scary and creepy. In 2008, I launched Scared Stiff, a series of original horror stories available at the touch of your fingertips. Through the next 8 years, me and my team of filmmakers introduced fans to the likes of the Whisperman, Captain Happy and our franchise character, Tiny. We made festival pieces such as "Closet Monster"' and "Predator: The True Horrors of Halloween" and made our own take on the zombie genre with the 4 part "The Zombie Chronicles". We also expanded the show by including fan films with our "Jason Xmas" mini-series which blends two very different tales together into one strange but fun story. We've hit bumps in the road and also enjoyed life on the happy trail of filmmaking. We've experienced a great change in viewership habits due to the ever changing landscape of online video and have needed to adapt to avoid getting lost in the sea of online video.

Over 50 films later, I have learned a lot about the world of filmmaking. Many things that could only have been learned through experience. I could have written a novel based upon our trials and tribulations creating our humble web show. That is why I have decided to resurrect my blog and document the making of our newest film, "Son of Tiny". "Son of Tiny" is our latest Halloween installment in the web series and acts as an expansion of our "Tiny's Halloween" franchise. We our reunited with Tiny, our lovable,  misunderstood, psychopathic, killer clown and are introduced to a new character to add to the Halloween lore. The purpose of this blog is to entertain but more importantly, to help other filmmakers who are trying to put their own stories up on the screen or trying to start their own journey in the world of filmmaking.

Like the challenge of every filmmaker, one of the biggest challenges I face in making a movie on little to no budget is battling with the challenges of real life. I have two small kids, a full-time job, free-lance on the side, a house to upkeep and am in the middle of a move, all while trying to keep the ball rolling on the film. So, I would rather give updates in smaller bit sized morsels rather than bore you by blabbering on and trying to fill out a whole page. Now, these blogs may not be very long, or thought out, or even properly formatted, but if I have educated at least one person by documenting what steps I go through to put out one of my own short films, then I have succeeded with this blog. 

I plan to post to this blog as things develop in production from now until the completion and release of the film. Hang on tight though! With pre-production/production and post-production all happening within about a month and a half, things will happen very quickly here. Stay tuned and enjoy the ride!

If you have any questions you would like to submit, please send them to Doug@scaredstiff.tv and I will try my very best to answer them!