Friday, April 26, 2013

Too Late For Easter?

Hello there, Acting Fans, and welcome to the weekend! Chris here and it's another of those in-between posts. It's not that we haven't been doing anything - it's just what we have been doing, well, we're not gonna tell you because [SPOILERS]. So, rather than another post where we talk around what we can't or won't (tee hee) tell you, I'm going to leave you with a bit of a visual puzzle, when is an egg not an egg?

Un Oeuf...
Or deux?
These Mystery Objects are part of my latest pick ups of material for H&H and are just what I need for some finishing touches - but to what I'm not gonna tell you. I'm afraid that's it for this week but, well, let us have a little mystery between us, eh, keep the romance alive. See you on the other side of the weekend, folks!


Christopher Haigh

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Vern the Hunter

...and Gatherer

Welcome back, Acting Fans and fellow bloggers, yep it’s Wednesday again and time for Blog! Right, let’s get down to it first: the boring bit out of the way, and it's one for all you camera nuts and geeks out there. Technical specifications! After last Tuesdays test shoot to find out which of the ISO’s to use we have settled on using 1600/800 depending on when & where we are shooting so the footage should all match up.

Now on to something hopefully a bit more fun, we (me and Chris of course) once again had one of our weekly meet ups to sort out some things, and the first was to talk about some scheduling for some filming (Yep, you read that right)! We want to start filming again soon, kicking off with some of the scenes with just Harcourt & Haigh in, with the idea that getting something in the can will help give us a bit more impetus to get the ball rolling.

We then once again needed to hunt down and gather a few supplies for some of the props that are going to use, we needed something like some sort of a sponge and some felt. After looking around some shops Chris could not find the type of sponge that he wanted (he can be quite picky, when he knows what he wants - even if the thing he wants might not exist outside of his head. He can be stubborn about his ideas) but while we hunted around in our local Range (Range and Pound Shops have been a godsend for us here at H&H Productions) I spotted something else entirely which I pointed out to him. I'd seen these polystyrene hearts:

It turned out that when cut in half they will work for what Chris wanted the sponge for, even better than the sponge that might not exist that he was thinking about! It turns out I'm so good I can find things I don't even know I'm looking for! And what exactly IS it that he needed them for, and why the hearts? Well I'm afraid I can’t tell you that just now, but you will soon find out. Heh heh.

Well, I think that’s it for now people of the world. So am signing off for now and I’ll see you on the
other side (of the week, that is) well maybe.


Vernon Harcourt

Friday, April 19, 2013

Master of Puppets

Greetings, Acting Fans, and welcome to this brief and belated Blogday post. Not much has changed since Wednesday due to my shift patterns and Vern having a job interview! Yes, Fings crossed, Internet Chums, if all goes well our Low-to-No budget might just end up with a slight, tiny budget. Good Luck, Vern! What have I been up to in the mean time?

Between shifts I've once again had my seamtress, er, I mean seamster hat on and I have finally skinned the main puppet. He now has a lovely pelt of blue fur as you can see here:

And that's the last time you'll see the little fella for a while as to flash his finished features would be [SPOILERS]. I can tell you, however, that getting the fur on his blue bonce was a brainscratcher for sure. In the end I just kept on sewing, even when I thought it wouldn't work, that and the judicious use of a pin or two here and there got me through. Anyway a seamster's work is never done, after his [SPOILER] face is finalised I have his supporting puppets to stitch - so that's your lot for this week...


Christopher Haigh

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I Am The Night!

Welcome back, fellow bloggers and Acting Fans, yep, it’s Wednesday again and it’s time for another blog post update. So let’s get down to it!

As we said in last Fridays blog post, we went out on Sunday night to do some test shots for the light levels at nights effect on the camera, and on our lead character costumes (as they are mainly all black) we did in fact have a very successful shoot. We filmed in a couple of the locations that we are going to use and found a couple more on our travels. We even managed to get some of the shots blocked and storyboarded in stills (Yep, we actually remembered that we can also take photos), we also got in a test for a long tracking shot I have an idea for but that’s definitely going to need a bit more work. There was one thing that we did forget to do though and that was write down the different ISO settings that we used on some of the shots. This indicates the sensitivity of the image sensor to the light let into the camera through the lens.

With this in mind, after we looked over the shots, I once again ventured out into the night last night armed with the camera AND pen and paper to find out what is the best ISO to use and I got it, yay!!! Me, myself and Chris also had a small shopping trip too earlier in the day yesterday to find and pick up a few of the much need things to finish off some of the additional props for this episode - about which I'm sorry that we cannot talk about just yet. Ooh, go on then! Yep, it is to finish off some additional puppets and another of the gangs. So it has been an very eventfully week so far and, well, I think that’s about it for now so I’m guessing I’ll see you Friday then.


Vernon Harcourt

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fear Not The Man Who Practices 1000 Techniques Once...

Helloooo to our Acting Fans and fellow bloggers, yep, it’s the weekend so that means another blog post - let’s get down to this!

First of all Chris has finally remembered to bring me down his DVD of the Sergio Leone film 'Once Upon A Time In The West' for some research. Hmm, you may wonder, what does a Spaghetti Western have to do with H&H? And why that film in particular? Well, that would be [SPOILERS!] We have also been doing some more playing about with our camera, no, wait a moment before you click on that 'X' button just yet! This time it has been very import!

VERY Important!
We are going out this Sunday night for some test shoots in costume to see how they come out in the night, and to see if we may need some other light source. This lead us in to wondering if we could possibly use the flash on the camera itself as a light, we even checked online to see if we could find a setting which would allow us to have the flash stay on during video capture. We did find some tutorial videos but, alas, we cannot use it that way. Oh, well. We even popped in to Janet Greens, the local camera shop,  but they didn’t have any advice or anything in stock that could help us even though they did use to stock video camera lights. So it looks like the test shoot will be a way to find out what we can do with this camera at night by itself and also with a bit of help from a certain everyday item that Chris has had an idea about too.

Block It!
We have also been going over the script with a fine-tooth comb, sorting out some of the finer details of some of the character appearances. Deciding when and/or where certain characters will or will not appear, cutting some of the lines back (so we don't spoil some surprises) and blocking out some the early scenes, so when the other cast member are present we know what we want them to do and where. We even blocked out a dance sequence, yep, we have a DANCE SEQUENCE but that’s all I am going to say on that matter (Yep, you guessed it [SPOILERS] again). Well, that’s all for now folks.

That’s it from me this week, so I'll sign off by saying, "Nan noo nan noo!"


Vernon Harcourt

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

To Do: The To-Do List

Welcome back, Acting Fans and fellow bloggers, to the Wednesday blog post and, wow, it feels like ages since I last wrote one of the these, as Chris has been doing them for a bit. Let me re-introduce myself in case you are wondering, it's ME! The Big Tease himself - Vernon Harcourt!

Let me get straight to the point as we do indeed have something to report. Yesterday I, myself and Chris met up to sort out some of the finer details of the up-and-coming shoots. We have been getting in touch with friends and a getting a definite 'yes' from them willing to get involved (with still a few more to ask) and as the title says hammering out and writing down a 'To-Do' list (as we do sometimes tend to forget some of what we talk about and, as a low-to-no budget production, we can't afford a secretary for note-taking. (Plus I think Chris would lose concentration around a woman dressed for business. Mention 'Secretary' to him and his eyes sort of...glaze over and he gets this, well, I'd have to say 'evil' grin - I have no idea why!))

How to write a TO-DO list by Serge Seidlitz
Yes, we have loads of things to do over the coming weeks; like the making of yet ANOTHER puppet (That Slipped Chris's mind) but this one should be a bit easer as it’s a sock one. We have even got some of the scene storyboarded. Well, sort of, thanks to grabbing a few actual screengrabs from the film we're homage-ing to use for some shots.

We also blocked out the scene for the meeting at the start of the episode, which will help to make the shoot go much more smoothly. With us being a low-to-no budget we have to make sure we can get everything done in the time we have (which normally is never quite enough). We’re even going to sort out something very important to the world of H&H but I'm going to keep that under wraps for now (Tee hee!) - so more later on that little bit and, well, I think that’s all for now, Acting Fans.

So! It’s a goodnight from him and it’s goodnight from me…


Vernon Harcourt

Friday, April 5, 2013

It's pronounced FrankenSTEEN!

Hello, Acting fans, welcome to Friday's belated Blog! Nothing much has changed since midweek, except I have been working on my mastery of puppets. I took the opportunity of my Thursday off work to get on with the construction of the puppet we need for episode 6. Having experimented and mocked up his basic shape using foam and tights, it was time to pull him together a bit and sew his core body together. Yes, yesterday I had my seamstress hat, I mean...seamster? Anyway, whatever the correct terminology I used my rudimentary sewing skills to get the puppet from this:


So now our mystery puppet no longer has his guts spilling out and (though it's hard to tell it's only balanced on there in the prior picture) his head is now properly attached to his body. Next phase is to give him some fur skin and features - he's metaphorically and actually coming together.
In the meantime Vern & I press on with arranging the next shoot (weather permitting). Fings crossed, Internet Chums, see you on the other side of the weekend...


Christopher Haigh

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Dealing The Hand You're Dealt

Hi there, Acting Fans, it's a late one this Wednesday. What with the outdoor conditions not conducive to filming (and me being a social butterfly this Bank Holiday weekend past) not much has changed since last week but Vern & I didn't want to let it lie. We wanted to get something done so we decided to organise a meet up today to do a readthrough of the script by ourselves, just to sound it out loud again and see how it flowed. At first we had a bit of a chat and a catch-up in the course of which we remembered there was something we needed to test on camera for the series involving these:

That's right, an ordinary deck of playing cards. Which is all I can tell you, besides the fact that I was the patsy on-camera and Vern was working the Magic off-camera. Oh, I can also mention that the Ace of Spades is front and centre at a certain point in the episode and, despite having TWO packs of cards, we had to use the one Vern was displaying on his wall as the other had mysteriously VANISHED (Woooooooooooohh!). After a few practices we got the desired effect and we know it should work how we want when it comes to filming the episode. Job done.
Having finished our experiment successfully we then managed to get through the readthrough just in time for Vern to head out for his appointed destination at Half 3. Parting ways, I headed to the Pound Shop and then the 99p Store to see about getting more cards (you can never have too many cards, especially the way we were using them, even moreso as they seems to be disappearing) and managed to snag two additional packs, along with 5 dice and a box of dominoes. Why the dice AND the dominoes? Well, they all came together for the princely sum of 99p (no prizes for guessing from where), BARGAIN! That's all so far this week, Internet Chums, stay tuned for Fridays update, until then...


Christopher Haigh