Author Topic: The Last Rescue  (Read 8514 times)

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polkablues

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The Last Rescue
« on: October 18, 2014, 01:34:45 PM »
+7


Trailer

Release Date: TBD

Starring: Brett Cullen, Cody Kasch, Elizabeth Rice, Gilles Marini, Johann Urb, Ryan Merriman

Directed by: Eric Colley

Written by: Me & Hallie Shepherd

Premise: Shortly after D-Day, three American soldiers and two Army Corps nurses are stranded behind enemy lines. They take a high-ranking German officer as their prisoner and try to orchestrate an escape.
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

jenkins

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Re: The Last Rescue
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2014, 01:37:18 PM »
+1
watched the trailer three times and i want to watch the entire movie. that's called a fact. excited for you
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Reelist

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Re: The Last Rescue
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2014, 05:34:24 PM »
+1
That was exhilarating! Although I didn't learn much more about the story, there sure was some cool shit going on! Looking forward to finding out the motivations behind said cool shit! Congrats, proud of you like you were my own son!
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Just Withnail

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Re: The Last Rescue
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2014, 12:57:50 PM »
+1
Yeah, it was hard to grasp the story, but that is some incredible production value you guys have there! Can't wait to see the full thing. How did you get this project going? Did you have the script and then approach someone to direct or did you know each other already? Juicy details, bring 'em on!
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polkablues

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Re: The Last Rescue
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2014, 01:01:58 AM »
+9
So, short story long, Eric Colley and Hallie Shepherd are good friends of mine, whom I've worked on several smaller projects with in the past. Back around April of last year, I got a random text from Hallie asking me to start brainstorming ideas for a World War II film. Apparently they had gotten hooked up with this guy named Tino Struckmann, who's made a handful of low-budget war movies over the past few years.

Tino had a few very useful connections. First, the distribution company, Artist View Entertainment, which we were able to work with right from the ground floor on the understanding that as long as we delivered a quality product and didn't go totally off the rails, they would be our guys at the end of the process, making sure the movie got to where people could see it and our investors could make their money back. Second was a guy in Alabama who is one of the country's largest collectors of World War II military equipment, including multiple tanks, jeeps, transport vehicles, and a variety of artillery, and who also owns a rather large property on which he lets war re-enactors come in and do their thing a few times a year. The third was the re-enactment groups themselves, whom Tino had close relationships with, and whom we ended up using extensively as both background extras and as some of the smaller featured roles.

So with an understanding of what we would have available to us and what our limitations would be, we came up with the basic plot about a handful of soldiers and Army nurses who are captured while trying to evacuate a field hospital, and after an ambush of the truck transporting them to a POW camp, are left stranded behind enemy lines with no communications and a German officer as their hostage. The three of us hammered out an outline over Thai food one evening, I went home and wrote the first draft of the script in a little over two weeks, and then we spent the next five months revising and fundraising. After some frustrating setbacks trying to wrangle investors, we finally hit our target in September, about a week before our deadline to be able to cast and shoot the film that year.

That done, Eric and Hallie went down to LA and started taking meetings with actors and agents. The script was fortunately well-received, and we were able to garner interest from some actors we were really excited about, and many were willing to do the film for very little money, which allowed us to round out the cast with a greater number of recognizable actors than we expected. Some were primarily TV actors looking to add to their film credits, others, Ryan Merriman in particular, just thought it would be fun to do a war movie.

Our most invaluable resource through this stage was Brett Cullen, whom Eric and Hallie have been friends with for several years. He originally came on board just as a producer, with no intention of acting in the movie (though the part he ended up playing was entirely written with him in mind). He's been around for forever and knows everybody, so when it came to filling out the roles, he not only was able to make suggestions and provide input, but he also managed to do a little friendly convincing to push people over the top. And after going through a laundry list of other actors who ultimately would have been our consolation prize, we were finally able to convince him to play the character we always intended for him to play.

The shooting schedule was insanely ambitious: 12 days to shoot a 95 page script with multiple action set-pieces, and quite frankly, no possibility of going back for pickups if we missed something the first time through. The Alabama weather gods were largely favorable to us, as rain only became a real issue on two of the shooting days, and one rainstorm in particular we were able to use in our favor to add some nice atmosphere to an important scene.

Ultimately, shooting constantly with two RED Epics, we got everything we needed in those 12 days. There were certainly concessions that had to be made as a result of the short timeframe (and of course the limited budget), but to the credit of everyone involved, those concessions rarely show up onscreen in the finished film. Amazingly, the scenes we felt we were giving the shortest shrift to onset ended up being my favorite scenes in the movie. An enormous amount of credit goes to our amazing young cinematographer, Bryant Jansen (for a taste of his work, one of my favorite music videos, which he co-directed: Astronautilus - The Wondersmith and His Sons), and to our actors who rarely ever got more than a couple takes of any shot, and sometimes not even that. Everybody came to play, and they put everything they had into it from action to cut, every time.

After that, we spent about nine months in post-production whipping it into shape. I was originally slated to do some supplementary visual effects, muzzle flashes and whatnot, but we quickly realized that with our post-production budget, and my willingness to work for back-end points in lieu of upfront payment, I ended up doing the entirety of the visual effects work, which ended up totaling over 100 shots. Everything from muzzle flashes and bullet hits to explosions, sky replacement, power-line removal, to doing digital matte painting to change a modern, vinyl-sided, aluminum-roofed house to something that could have existed in the north of France in the 1940s. Exhausting work, but fun, and hugely rewarding when you get to see it integrated into the actual movie.

So now the movie is out of our hands, and the distributor is off peddling our wares, trying to get the most money to put it in front of as many people as possible. My understanding is that a theatrical run is unlikely, but hopefully soon it will be all over Redbox and Netflix and Amazon and iTunes and On Demand and on the shelf at Best Buy and probably on some fucking in-flight entertainment if all goes well. In the meantime, we're developing a pair of other projects with Artist View, with the intention of shooting both in 2015, though those are in such early stages that even if I was supposed to tell people about them, I wouldn't be able to. Exciting times!
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

jenkins

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Re: The Last Rescue
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2014, 05:36:52 AM »
+1
would've followed the project every step of the way, but i appreciate so much how nicely you wrote your summary. i can feel it. thanks

making sure the movie got to where people could see it and our investors could make their money back.
So with an understanding of what we would have available to us and what our limitations would be, we came up with the basic plot
sounds roger corman, aka a role model in the film production industry

Second was a guy in Alabama who is one of the country's largest collectors of World War II military equipment, including multiple tanks, jeeps, transport vehicles, and a variety of artillery, and who also owns a rather large property on which he lets war re-enactors come in and do their thing a few times a year. The third was the re-enactment groups themselves, whom Tino had close relationships with, and whom we ended up using extensively as both background extras and as some of the smaller featured roles.
reminds me of tishomingo blues, which right now btw wikipedia told me "It happens to be Leonard's favorite book of the books he has written."

a handful of soldiers and Army nurses who are captured while trying to evacuate a field hospital, and after an ambush of the truck transporting them to a POW camp, are left stranded behind enemy lines with no communications and a German officer as their hostage.
i keep thinking it sounds like a lovely ww2 chamber drama genre piece

The three of us hammered out an outline over Thai food one evening, I went home and wrote the first draft of the script in a little over two weeks, and then we spent the next five months revising and fundraising. After some frustrating setbacks trying to wrangle investors, we finally hit our target in September, about a week before our deadline to be able to cast and shoot the film that year.
reminds me of when brian de palma and paul schrader went to see vertigo together then had dinner while forming the idea that was quickly developed into obsession

Ryan Merriman in particular, just thought it would be fun to do a war movie.
Everybody came to play, and they put everything they had into it from action to cut, every time.
i love it when people love what they do

The shooting schedule was insanely ambitious: 12 days to shoot a 95 page script with multiple action set-pieces, and quite frankly, no possibility of going back for pickups if we missed something the first time through. The Alabama weather gods were largely favorable to us, as rain only became a real issue on two of the shooting days, and one rainstorm in particular we were able to use in our favor to add some nice atmosphere to an important scene.
^i just plain love how short and sweet this description of the production is

Amazingly, the scenes we felt we were giving the shortest shrift to onset ended up being my favorite scenes in the movie.
nice

After that, we spent about nine months in post-production whipping it into shape. I was originally slated to do some supplementary visual effects, muzzle flashes and whatnot, but we quickly realized that with our post-production budget, and my willingness to work for back-end points in lieu of upfront payment, I ended up doing the entirety of the visual effects work, which ended up totaling over 100 shots. Everything from muzzle flashes and bullet hits to explosions, sky replacement, power-line removal, to doing digital matte painting to change a modern, vinyl-sided, aluminum-roofed house to something that could have existed in the north of France in the 1940s. Exhausting work, but fun, and hugely rewarding when you get to see it integrated into the actual movie.
^this is the part when polka casually talked about doing something amazing, in case you missed that

My understanding is that a theatrical run is unlikely, but hopefully soon it will be all over Redbox and Netflix and Amazon and iTunes and On Demand and on the shelf at Best Buy and probably on some fucking in-flight entertainment if all goes well.
umm. i can't believe you're being casual. i'm guessing a blu-ray and i'll take it

In the meantime, we're developing a pair of other projects with Artist View, with the intention of shooting both in 2015, though those are in such early stages that even if I was supposed to tell people about them, I wouldn't be able to. Exciting times!
hang in there buddy, things will get better
Every perspective is an act of creation.

polkablues

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Re: The Last Rescue
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2014, 02:46:30 PM »
+2
The Corman analogy is pretty apt. Obviously we all wanted to make a movie that we were proud of artistically, but ultimately every decision down the line was made on the idea that it would allow our investors to recoup their investment and allow us to make more movies in the future.

i keep thinking it sounds like a lovely ww2 chamber drama genre piece

That's not too off-the-mark, I don't think. Especially the second act, which is fairly deliberately paced, fits this description.

After that, we spent about nine months in post-production whipping it into shape. I was originally slated to do some supplementary visual effects, muzzle flashes and whatnot, but we quickly realized that with our post-production budget, and my willingness to work for back-end points in lieu of upfront payment, I ended up doing the entirety of the visual effects work, which ended up totaling over 100 shots. Everything from muzzle flashes and bullet hits to explosions, sky replacement, power-line removal, to doing digital matte painting to change a modern, vinyl-sided, aluminum-roofed house to something that could have existed in the north of France in the 1940s. Exhausting work, but fun, and hugely rewarding when you get to see it integrated into the actual movie.
^this is the part when polka casually talked about doing something amazing, in case you missed that

For added challenge, I decided early on that After Effects wasn't going to be good enough for a lot of the stuff I needed to do, so I picked up a copy of Nuke, which is a professional-grade compositing software that's been used on Gravity, the new Planet of the Apes movies, Monuments Men, tons of big movies, and taught myself how to use it while doing the effects for this movie. It was the right choice, because the end results turned out far better than I could have achieved with AE, but it sure felt like a risky move every time I had to scour the user manual or the online help forums to try and figure out how to make the program do some simple thing that I couldn't get my head wrapped around.
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

03

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Re: The Last Rescue
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2014, 04:05:20 PM »
+1
i think it is pretty cool that my home state is getting more and more involved with bigger films.

this looks great. as i'm sure you know now, alabama is pretty big on old military shit. have you ever heard of fort morgan? it's an insane place to visit in alabama, it's literally this giant ancient wonderland of horrible warfare that's remarkably preserved.

polkablues

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Re: The Last Rescue
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2014, 04:42:11 PM »
0
I've heard of Fort Morgan, but I don't know much about it. We've got a really similar-looking spot (though not as big as Morgan looks to be) in Washington called Fort Casey, which I visited countless times when I was in school. Really amazing vibe.

The place where we shot was in a town called Florala, right on the southern border. All you need is to look at my avatar to see how beautiful it was there.
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03

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Re: The Last Rescue
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2014, 05:46:42 PM »
0
oh i know, florala is awesome. there are places within range of there that are referred to as florabama, as well. fort casey is very similar, but fort morgan is pretty crazy because it resembles a prison, there are weird little crawlholes that you are not allowed to go through, which i have, and it brings you to a pretty scary place in your head, to imagine people lived like that.

polkablues

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Re: The Last Rescue
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2014, 01:43:51 AM »
+2


Youtube version of the distributor's trailer, in glorious 360p.
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ębrad

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Re: The Last Rescue
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2014, 01:25:05 PM »
+4
I've never been more proud to be an xixaxian. So much awesome.

polkablues

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Re: The Last Rescue
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2014, 02:31:45 AM »
+2
More tidbits: I mentioned our opening credit sequence in jenkins' thread the other day, and I just discovered that the designer who made it for us has it posted on his Youtube channel. The music was composed by Jeffrey Alan Jones, who also did our sound design and mix.

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polkablues

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Re: The Last Rescue
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2014, 12:25:33 AM »
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New version of the trailer, finally in HD! Still a little weirdly-edited and very action-centric, but better than the first one.

http://vimeo.com/110663098
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polkablues

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Re: The Last Rescue
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2014, 02:55:46 AM »
+3
Holy shit, Filmdrunk is making fun of our poster! It suddenly feels real now in a way it never did before.

http://uproxx.com/filmdrunk/2014/11/this-week-in-posters-fifty-shades-of-grey-is-giving-strong-iois/#page/11

EDIT: It looks like clicking the link redirects you to the first page of the slideshow, so you have to manually click through to #11 to get to the goodness.
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