Kabumei Production Journal

Copyright 2005 Detonation Films

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Online production journals serve a number of purposes. Obviously, it assists in keeping focus. Of more importance, especially in indie productions, it allows team members to see that progress is still being made, though they may not have been contacted recently. Any production requiring special effects or techniques is going to take a good deal of prep time, and the actors especially may feel out of the loop.

This journal does not include standard delays such as the interference of day jobs, etc. These are a given in productions like this. :-)

9-21-05
John and I went to karate and wrapped Andy in duct tape.  This got a huge audience and many laughs, but we got a great body-shape out of it which I hope will hold up well.  Andy is big and goodhumored but has the shaved head and I suspect could look evil if he wanted, so he has been cast for Kabumei. 
 
9-22-05
John and I taped Andy’s “hide” back together and hung it up to retain shape.
 
9-25-05
Called Bryan Becker about Kabumei and he will speak to Travis about being in it.
 
Bryan Becker with kabuchi

9-26-05
Started writing the Kabumei script and even made a preliminary web page for it.
 
9-27-05
Finished the Kabumei script and John approves of it so we move onward.  Tweaked the art a bit more and took it into Printing Safari to have small posters made, just for fun.  Spoke to Sensei Wayne about taping him up for a body cast and he would like to do it this weekend when he is off work.
 
Local brush fires for a few days.


 diagram for arena

9-30-05
I worked on finishing the two spinnable kabuchis.

 

10-3-05
Had Sharon and John tape me up in a paper suit so that I could make a test dummy for Kabumei, and have begun the process of ordering some foam.
 
10-4-05
Made three short kabuchis for the gore scenes, and gave Bryan Becker the script to read.  Also gave him a kabuchi to practice with.  Ben Yee speaks Chinese so he is fixing the terminology in the narration.  Have asked Max to do the storyboard.  Took one of the small posters into the dojo and pinned it up; took a script for Andy but Wayne got to it first and took it home.  Will get Andy another.
 
10-5-05
Got a rough wireframe outline of a kabuchi from David Goodman which looks very nice.  Max called and we are planning to discuss the storyboard tomorrow.
 
modern kabuchi wireframe

Link to David Goodman's site

10-08-05
Max sent the first fight roughs of the Kabumei board and we will go over them tomorrow.  Sensei Wayne was contacted and with luck will be here tomorrow for a body cast.
 
10-09-05
Max and I went over the beginning roughs of the Kabumei board.  Sensei Wayne came by and we taped him up, it went faster this time because we are getting more skilled.  I’m certainly a sweater, though.  Still, one more “hide” for the hangers.  Max had some interesting ideas for the arena, and his sketches were enough to make me think we might try cloth walls made from painter’s tarps.  Carl said that would be okay.   He can also get his Bobcat and move the dirt mound.
  making a duct-tape body cast

10-10-05
Went to Lowe’s to investigate Kabumei arena materials and found some things that look promising.  Also took the banner art in to be printed.  Bought some plastic dismembered limbs from the Halloween store.  It hadn’t occurred to me, but getting a left and right hand is tough.  Most manufacturers only make one or the other.  I finally found two different hands, one left and one right – they do not look the same but I think they will do.
 
10-11-05
Picked up the Kabumei banners.
 
10-12-05
Ran over to Frank’s to hear the first 30 seconds of the Kabumei score.  Very plain Chinese-y music because it will have narration over all of it, but it has quiet and elegant feel, which is desirable.  Sent off a copy to Max.
 
10-14-05
Max came by around 4pm with the storyboard ruffs, which were excellent and had some good ideas that I never would have thought of.  Which was the point of having him do them.
 
10-16-05
we played with the urethane foam, discovering that the pigment does indeed work and that it fills up a dummy amazingly.  It is fun to watch.  You mix it together and stir and when it starts to get warm, pour it fast and stand back.  The dummy of myself is lumpy, but then, so am I.  In any case we were just working out the technique.  Pouring in careful stages is the trick.  That and avoiding leaks.  Now I have a twin, which is very startling to come upon unexpectedly even though he is currently still wearing duct tape.
 
10-18-05
Sawed open the dummy’s chest and it looks like the gap will hold two gallon bottles.  So now to empty the second water jug.
 
10-19-05
Max turned in a Kabumei storyboard and it looks awesome.
Kabumei Storyboard Page

Link to Max Forward's site

 
10-20-05
I painted some pink on the dummy but it is taking forever to dry.
 
Off to a wedding in SF.  Rainy weather anyway.
 
10-26-05
Mixed up a Bucket O’ Blood and got some clothes for the dummy – called Bryan and he said we can test it Saturday around 1:30.  Rigged the charges but have not yet loaded the bottles.  Max sent some artwork that looks fantastic.
 
10-27-05
Ordered some linchpins (to serve as kabuchi pins) from McMaster-Carr this morning – and got them this afternoon!  They messengered them over.  Good lord.  Sometimes people take the Detonation Films address very seriously.  More than we do, certainly.
And Max met me for lunch.  We were to go over notes on his board, but I didn’t have many and I had already sketched them up, so we just got a nice lunch at Groucho Grill instead.  And went to Fry’s afterward and the Scale Model place.  The dummy is in my office where he scares the piss out of anyone who walks in.

10-29-05

Assembled the test dummy today and took it over to Bryan's and blew it up. The head blew off instead of the chest blowing open, but it was still cool. We know now to place the charges lower in the body. Cleaned up the mess and drove home with the bloody headless body dangling from the rear of the van. No one noticed. John has now strapped it to the front gate as a Halloween decoration.

Mixing up a few gallons of blood. We invented our own formula -- water, a spoonful of Xanthan gum (from the health food store) and red iron oxide (concrete coloring powder, available at hardware stores.) The Xanthan gum thickens the water and makes it glutinous. Cheap and not sticky.

Filling a "lung" (a gallon Gatorade bottle, painted with primer) with blood.

Adding a small black powder charge, wrapped in Saran wrap. We used two charges and two igniters for each lung, in case one failed or got wet.

A finished blood charge.

Inserting the blood charges into the chest cavity of the dummy.

Dummy now has "lungs."

Ignition wires are run out the back. For split-second accuracy, we always use igniters from Quickburst.

To ensure containment, more expansion foam is mixed. We used two-part urethane foam with red pigment, which begins expanding in 60 seconds and hardens in an hour. Awesome stuff. We got it from www.mrfiberglass.com.

Filling the remaining spaces with expansion foam.

The foam quickly fills the gaps.

Chest is taped back shut.

And here is the finished test! Click on the image to play the video.

10-31-05

Halloween. The test video has been circulated, getting laffs. More foam has been ordered, along with more igniters. We make our own igniters which are fine for general use but the Quickburst ones are better for split-second accuracy. Also ordered some kung fu uniforms for Bryan. Ordered from two companies, neither of which I had dealt with before, so I ordered one from each to see which gives the best service. The headless dummy on the front gate is so horrifying that passing dogs bark at it.

11-1-05

David sent an arena test, just to show what he could do. It looks like just the ticket for getting an opening aerial shot; we were going to try using an RC helicopter but the mini-cams are not very good and in any case the surrounding scenery is blah. This should open our options.

Arena test in CG (click for clip)

 
11-3-05
Bryan came over to pick up a second kabuchi so he can get proficient at spinning both.  His grey kungfu uniform arrived this evening; I also have sashes.  He thinks he will prefer the white uniform, but it has not yet arrived.  At least we will have one available for the weekend.
  
11-4-05
Max has finished the changes to the Kabumei board and has roughed out the sketches of kabuchis for the opening images.

11-6-05
Max brought over a disk containing all the artwork, including an electronic version of the storyboard. Using these materials I have begun cutting the animatic. I got through the first 90 seconds today, and will probably finish it tomorrow. We are shooting for a total length of approximately 5 minutes. The animatic will be updated as it progresses. I find animatic extremely useful for planning -- you can always change things on the day, but at least you know what shots you need to get as a bare minimum to tell the story. The current version is very rough, and has Frank's 30-second opening test music in it, but we do not have the narration recorded yet.

11-08-09

The white kung fu uniform arrived and I am trying to schedule Bryan for a fitting.

11-09-05

Finished the first pass on the ruff animatic; for purposes of timing I read the narration myself as a "scratch track." I believe I do possibly the worst Pat Morita accent in the known universe, but at least it was something to work with. We are looking for a good Asian voice actor to do the job properly.

(Updated 11-09) The rough animatic (storyboard panels put into video; also called a story reel. Includes temp scratch track.)

11-10-05
Rainy.   Bryan came over to try the kung fu
uniforms on.  The white looks best, as expected.  We agreed to meet
Saturday to do some filming at the green stage.  

11-12-05
Sunnier.  Went over to Mary's to set
up the lights on the greenscreen stage for Bryan.  We were going to
shoot some footage of him; moves, reaction shots, close-ups; general
coverage that is always useful, especially against a keyable
background.  Even picked up the uniform from the dry cleaner's.  But
Angie had forgotten that today was her grandmother's funeral and she
could not do the makeup, and Bryan wisely would rather not do
close-ups without makeup, so we have rescheduled for when I get back
from Mexico.  This sort of thing does remind me why I was always
inclined to cast John as a lead – he was around and I could catch him.

11-13-05 -- Bob off to Mexico for a few days.

11-20-05
Home again! David
Becker called to ask if he could use the greenscreen for an English
project in which he made a speech pretending to be Bob Dole using all
his vocab words – it actually went well and should key nicely. We
shot and captured it today and will edit it tomorrow with a White
House BG.

11-21-05
New igniters arrive from Quickburst. Bryan informs me that the dirt field has been cleared for the arena. Progress resumes.
Chatsworth Karate dojo to do some recruiting for Kabumei (David Becker
informed me that Ryu Dojo has closed down again; no real surprise but
as always I must suddenly scramble for actors. It just seems easier
to recruit them locally, and Ryu Dojo was too far away anyway.) So I
am hopeful of the more local dojo. Began milling some more BP, just to try the Tapioca
Tree charcoal. David Becker came over after school and we edited his
film until 6:30 – it is almost done but I need to tweak some settings,
which I can do tomorrow while he is at school. Tweaking and then
rendering takes forever, but that is why I have two computers.


11-22-05
Coffee this morning. Life is much brighter. Worked a couple of hours
on David's project – not that it was hard but the render times for an
all-greenscreen short are killer. In any case, I think it came out
pretty well and when he got here after school we did a little Magic
Bullet tweaking and sent him off with it. Lot of work for a school
project, but it should earn us some brownie points with his parents
for when we soak their yard with blood. Always important.

Went looking for a heated x-acto knife and found one at the hardware
store – used it to cut up the second plane – may as well blow it up as
well. And CK sent back the Twixtorized version of the first explosion
and it looks great, a much nicer slo-mo. I'm hoping I'lll be able to
use him to slow the blood explosions for Kabumei.


11-23-05
Cool and cloudy. Day before Thanksgiving. Redid the opening sequence of
kabumei with Max's illustrations, making it all very clean and smooth
and giving it some aged texture. End result is that I have almost 30
seconds of what could be considered locked footage; not a bad start.
And I scheduled Bryan to shoot his greenscreen stuff on Friday at 5:30
PM. Tried to go to Chatsworth Dojo and it wasn't open; everyone
taking the holiday off, naturally. I forget these things. John and I
did go by Ryu Dojo and it is definitely gone – stripped to the walls.
But we will recruit from more local dojos instead, which works better.

Reports are that David's little Bob Dole short went over very well in
class and the teacher has demanded a DVD for himself. Glad it worked
out.


11-24-05
Thanksgiving.

11-25-05
At 5PM Bryan and Angie (to handle
makeup) showed up. John was quite on top of helping out, and I found
him a valuable asset – he did great. And Bryan was awesome. He's
been practicing with the kabuchis, and also working on developing more
wushu style to his kata – as a result he makes the whole thing
extremely believable.

We got some generic kata for general use and some specific close-ups
for rack focus shots. However, I just discovered Sensei Wayne will be
gone until mid-January. I want to use him but don't want to wait that
long. We'll see what can be done.


11-26-05
Got up fairly early because I was thinking about
shots and couldn't sleep any more. Got out the Thunderpipes and
tested them – still working fine. Mixed up two gallons of blood.
Drove up to Sage Canyon Park to see if it would work for a location
and it looks like it will if we cheat some things. We'll need to get
there about 90 minutes before the "official" sunset for optimum light.
Contacted Bryan and he was ready to go.

And then the Santa Anas kicked up, which threw a wrench in the works.
You can't do a decent blood explosion if it all blows away in the
wind. So we had to reschedule.

John and I also went over to Sensei Jacov's for a lesson in Krav. We
were supposed to go to House of Champions but it was closed for the
holidays, so we went to Jacov's house instead. Intense. That man can
inflict more pain quickly and with no apparent effort than anyone I've
ever seen. He can also take hard blows, even to the face, without
flinching – it looks like he's had experience. John, who was the
focus of the training, actually passed out – mainly from the fact that
he had snuck up to the deck room and played Warcraft all night, so he
had no sleep, and no food either. But it still scared the hell out of
me when he turned pale with blue lips and collapsed. But raising his
feet brought him around, and he is fine now. I almost fainted myself
– excruciating pain, applied by an expert, will do that. But Jacov
knows his stuff – we are completely uninjured, not even sore, and we
learned a lot. His philosophy is "end the fight before it begins" and
it certainly seems worth adding to the repertoire.

11-29-05

Grabbed Bryan and John and Angie and the Thunderpipe and ran up to Sage Canyon Park to get the "Sunset Zen" shot. Hasty guerilla filmmaking, because we were using a compressed air mortar, but we got the shot.

12-06-05

Bob manages to set his hand on fire. http://www.bobforward.com/magmill.htm

There will be a brief delay for recovery.

12-14-05

Have contacted all the actors and agreed that under the circumstances we will delay for the holidays, though some dummies may be made once my hand is semi-functional. Real production will start again in January.

1-5-06

January. Hand has recovered pretty well and the holidays are over. Have now recruited Carl to be the final opponent and will use either Sensei Jacov or Max as First Opponent, with Jacov being first choice and Max the understudy. Still must wait until Wayne gets back into the US. However, with Carl on board we should be able to rent a cherrypicker to get some good aerial shots. Filmed some blood sprays against the greenscreen and if they are lit right they work surprisingly well. Will have to pick up a few more just for general use. 
 
  
1-10-06
Finally no wind.  Shot a mess of blood spurts.  Picked up some tissue paper and hotglue sticks – I was going to get more wrapping cord for the kabuchis but I was out of money.  Will have to go back.  John stayed late for Stagecraft and I picked him up in the evening.  Cooked up some more pine charcoal – I’m suspecting I need bigger particles (crushed, but not airfloat) to get glowing embers.   
 
1-11-06
Sunny but chilly.  Drove the kids in, did some Real Work, then went off to finalize the lease on Unit K, which will be our New Facility if all goes well.  An unfamiliar process, but it seemed to go okay.  Then went home and crushed up the pine charcoal I made yesterday and sifted it for size.  Added it to the milled mix and a quick test shows it does have wonderful sparks and glowing embers afterward.  So it may work.  Going to try making a new Detonation Films logo. Because why not?

1-12-06
Called Sensei Nick about being in the movie as the First Opponent, since Jacov may be at Sundance during that time.  He actually seems interested and if I can get him over for a dummymaking it will be a good thing.  I just need one more body cast, and Nick would be easy to sub with Max if I had to.  Ordered some applewood charcoal from Steve Baron; it is supposed to have sparks like pine, but different, and charcoal sparks are always of interest to me. 
 
1-13-06
Sensei Nick was going to try to come over today to be dummified, but his work got in the way and he had to reschedule for Sunday.  In preparation I had covered all the chair rails in the living room with strips of duct tape (ready to be popped off and wrapped around him) but they can wait a day or two.  Makes the living room silvery. 

 
1-14-06
Rainy.  John had to go into Santa Su to work stagecraft on a show starting at noon, so Max and I went to the HOC by ourselves.  I took gear and dummifying stuff since I hoped to get Sensei Jacov – but he wasn’t going to be able to stay.  But Vernon Lynch, who helps with the lesson, volunteered and we taped him up on the spot.  Big chest, powerful neck – he should blow up nicely.  And he was real good-natured about the taping up process – helped by the fact that all his kids were there and they assisted – when they were not laughing or taking pictures.  So we have scheduled the shoot for the 28th, if weather cooperates, and Carl has already looked into the possibility of a cherrypicker vs forklift and how to build the arena.  I called Craig to see if I could hire him to be a second camera, since he did so well on RA12, and he has agreed to do this. W00t! 

1-15-06
Chilly and windy.  Spent part of the day trying to clean up the blood
squirt footage and see if it could be exported “pre-keyed” for ease
of use – it can, in TIFF format, but the file is huge and may not
work on all platforms.  I’ve posted it in the fanfilms board for
other to test.  Craig called to confirm he can be a cameraman for us,
which pleases me greatly, he’s got a good cinematic eye.  So I’m
trying to get the cameras together – aside from the main camera, the
VX2100, the small Sony is also functional even though the zoom tends
to start operating on its own and has to be watched, and JVC will
likely be used (the image quality is not quite as good but Craig’s
only camera is High-8 and I’d like to stick with miniDV) but the AC
adapter/charger was lost some time ago and I have had no luck finding
a replacement.  I’ll have to get one of those universal ones and hope
it works.  David Goodman has already inquired about possible 3D Bgs.
Which we will definitely need – the Becker’s dirt field is ideal in
many respects – private property, full control, and we can make a
mess without trouble – but it is not pretty.  We’ll need a better
environment outside the arena.

1-16-06
Cold and windy.  Went over to Mary’s to scrub up any bloodstains left; but the water
had been turned off for some reason.  So I just tidied up a bit and
went home, where I recruited John and Sharon to tape me up once again
in a paper suit – if we suddenly need an understudy I can fill in.
So I’ll be making a second dummy of myself as well.

Posted some blood stock on the Jedi board for testing, but in the
meantime had another idea for how to do it, so placed an order for a
roll of backdrop paper at Hoopers’ and picked up some pipe fittings
for more testing.

1-17-06
Tried to contact the mail-order kungfu uniform (Asiachi.com) place again and got
absolutely nowhere.  Their message said they are “in the process of
moving.”  Sounds like I got ripped.  Fortunately the local martial
arts place has uniforms, I bought a couple of extra-larges which I
would need anyway, even if the others do show up.  They seem like
they will do, although they are poly-cotton blend instead of all
cotton.  And I was finally able to get an insurance agent on the
phone about the new facility.  He said he’d do some shopping around;
our homeowners’ can’t be applied to a rental.  All these things I’m
not used to.  But the white paper arrived, with which I hope to film
more blood effects, and I’m trying to get the JVC camera to work, and
I loaded up some burst charges in plastic tubes with electrical
igniters – I want to have one sitting in a plastic bottle of water
for a week and then see if it will still blow.  It’s important for
them to be watertight.

The doctor checked my hand and said I could come back in three
months; good.  

1-18-06
Chilly and overcast.  John and I taped up the seams on the last two suits and I can
start filling them.  Took the roll of white paper to Mary’s along
with a 10’ length of steel conduit and two screw hooks.  At some
point will try blood against white.  

1-19-06
Chilly and windy.  Spent much of the day filling the Wayne dummy – it
is a step-by-step process.  First the body cavity is stuffed with
newspapers in plastic bags, then the legs are sealed off at the
bottom, and then each leg is filled, then each arm, then finally the
body.  Each time with an hour’s wait between for the expansion foam
to fill and harden.  But it gives the best results – otherwise you
get a misshapen body because things don’t fill quite right.  

1-20-06
Clear but chilly.  Made the Vernon dummy today – a more complicated
process because he has to be kneeling.  So had expansion foam all
over the place.  Drove the kids for Donut Day and picked them up, and
crushed and screened some manzanita charcoal.

The Wayne and Vernon dummies in progress. Vernon's head will be made seperately as an explosive element.

1-21-06
Sunny but windy.  Went out and purchased gear for Vernon and took it over to HOC just in case he showed up – I should have called first but I wasn’t sure I would be able to get the gear.  However, no problem; Max met me there and we had Thai for lunch.  Went home, updated the site, and began filling the third dummy. 
 
1-22-06
Filled the rest of the dummy.  Called both Carl and Angie and left messages, just keeping them informed.
 
1-23-06
Called Carl, who has got the steel poles now and intends to assemble the arena frame in the next day or two; bought his uniform, Wayne’s uniform, and the combat boots for all.
 
1-24-06
went off to Fry’s to stock up on DV tape for the shoot.  Tried striping a couple but it may prove more work than it is worth.  At least we have tape.  I also got the regular spray expansion foam for the Carl dummy’s beard and hair and it is amusing how much it actually resembles Carl. Discovered that the Asiachi place had actually responded to me via e-mail, saying they did not have the dress size I wanted and could the substitute a larger size. It had gotten lost because my spam filter is set to kill anything from "info@wherever.com" So I said the larger size would be fine but asked to cancel the uniforms because I had them already. 

1-25-06

Picked up some spray paint and did painting on the dummies. As the dummies will never be clearly seen (their first frame will be in the process of exploding) these only have to be rough approximations. Called all the actors and the fight choreographer (Jacov) and everyone has confirmed, at least for now. Went over to Carl's and with him, David, and his Bobcat tractor, we pounded in the steel poles for the arena. Manly work. A lot of fun, actually.

Carl and his clone

1-26-06

Prepping like crazy. Building foam kabuchis, mixing blood, painting dummies, loading charges, trying to work out effects -- busy day.

1-27-06

John and I spent pretty much the entire day building the Arena. But it is done, and now he is off at the Winter Formal while I prep the dummies.

The Arena of Death (as Wayne called it.)

1-28-06

The Shoot. Went great. I'm beat to heck. Here's me at the end of the day.

directing is so glamorous

But who wants to look at that? Here is a picture of Bryan and Angie after the shoot. Everyone was fantastic and I was thrilled to have such support and cooperation. More when I can feel my brain again.

Some images from the shoot:

The arena from the crane

Bloody Bryan

Crane operator John and camera operator Craig

Bryan reflective

Carl makes his entrance

Vernon Lynch

Wayne Campbell

 
1-29-06
Barely slept – kept thinking of pickup shots I wanted to get (no actors involved, just some cutaways to the fence, or the blowing curtains of the arena, or the sign, or the bodies) so I ran over there first thing in the morning and got them.  And then, upon capturing Frank’s footage, discovered he had pretty much covered them as well.  After breakfast with boys, I find myself slowly decompressing – captured all the footage and will give myself a slight break before diving into the editing.  At least this time there will not be much in the way of compositing.  John was permitted to order a “Gundam Wing” DVD collection as his reward for helping Max move and me shoot.  He earned it.
 
 
1-30-06
Sun but clouds.  Started sorting footage – always a long process.  Trimming clips, testing ways to perk up some of the shots from my camera (it had been left locked in indoor mode and the bright shots – most of them – are sort of soft-focus.  Not bad, but it has to be dealt with. 

 
 
1-31-06
Sunnier.  Still cool.  Vilma showed up today so I hid, but had more shot-sorting to do.  Also tried those little pull-string snappers (painted black) to do small smoke puffs, and they worked fairly well, tied to black wires.  Need one for the bullet-hitting-fence shot.  Due to the fact that we can see through the reed fencing I had to inform David that our plan to replace the background wouldn’t really be feasible.  I can tell he is bummed – he likes to do that stuff.  But the background in the new location wasn’t bad, with some careful cropping, and I think it will actually be okay.  Was going over Frank’s footage today and as always, being damn glad he was there.  He always gets great stuff.  I’ll be going through Craig’s tomorrow.  .
 
 
2-1-06
Warmer.  Trimmed the rest of the clips.  Had lunch with David Kaye in Hollywood at a place called Toast – goat cheese and sun-dried tomato omelette.  Tasty.  And hired him to do the narration on Kabumei.  We actually had a great time talking – I wasn’t sure what we would have to talk about but he was personable (as most actors are) and very much the family man and we also discussed Transformer conventions and cartoon biz from our various viewpoints.  So it was fun.  He also has the capability of doing the recording himself, and sending the file electronically which makes him ideal. 
 
 
2-2-06
Groundhog’s Day.  No word on the results, but it was pretty here.  Ran some errands in the convertible and started actual editing on Kabumei.  Downloaded the demo of iStabilize and it seemed to work pretty well, so I bought it and have begun using it to smooth out a few shots.  Wayne came by briefly to see how it was going, and I forced myself to stop around five so I would not get too worked up to be good company for Sharon when she got home.  David Kaye sent over a recording of the narration and it is sweet – I asked for a couple of tweaks but what he sent was so good I could run with it as is. 
 
2-3-06
Warm and sunny.  More editing.  It goes slow because I am doing things like adding motion blur to moving stills and other such things that hog render time.   David Kaye sent a second take of the voice record and now there is much to work with.   I also set off two blood explosions on the deck against the clear blue sky, using a couple of gallons of fresh blood I mixed up today. 
 
 
2-4-06
Saturday.  The WPA was having a meeting in downtown LA at Phillipe’s French Dip, so John and I went.  The bunch seem like nice guys (and gals.)  There was no real business, it was just a meet-and-greet and then we all wandered into Chinatown to look for fireworks, cheap lighters and knives.  One of the guys (Chris) was good at finding the illegal stuff – John and I bought some multicolor-flame lighters for two bucks apiece and then I promptly lost them.  But we were not out much money.  And at a store that sold fireworks (under the counter; they would display a card of what they had, and the lady would go out to her car to fetch them) we bought some cool cheap blades of no practical use.  But I cut my thumb on one just touching it, so I had to have it.
 
There were fireworks going off, and we saw a dragon dance, with firecrackers, but the absolute cutest thing was a tiny baby boy, in a red Chinese outfit, being held up on his fathers shoulders watching with that entranced look that tiny baby boys all have when they are watching lots of motion and bright colors, loud noises, and they are on Daddy’s shoulders.
 
Afterward, we went back home, picked up some chips and sodas for Super Bowl Sunday tomorrow, bumped into Max and Deb at the store, and then went home where I did more editing. 
 
 
2-5-06
Super Bowl Sunday.  After Breakfast with Boys (we picked up Max on the way because he was conveniently close now) we dropped him back off (he and John made a bet on the game and the Steelers won, which means Max collects $5) and John and I retired to the deck room, where I did editing on Kabumei during the game and paused only to watch the commercials.  John swore a lot during the actual game, since he had $5 riding on the Seahawks.  But I counted no less than three commercials that used DetFilms stock footage, which means we are Big Time Now.  Not that we get anything for it, but it is nice to see it used.  And I got a pile of editing done.  So the day was well spent. 
 
 
2-6-06
Santa Anas.  Hiked, but a good day to hide indoors and edit.  So I did.  Got all the way through the Carl fight, and even managed to put Carl’s head on the dummy.  But needed a few quick insert shots and as it happened, David Becker was having problems with a video file, so he brought it over to me.  I fixed it, and then drove him home along with the camera, a tripod, and a spudgun loaded with blood, liver, and general grossness which we shot at the reed fence.  Worked great.  Then I had John do some Kabuchi stabs into a bag of peat moss with a black gi over it and blood bags between, and captured and edited all these in as well.  This took me to the evening, and so when Sharon came home I stopped.  The Rules Say. 
 
Frank was by briefly and enjoyed watching the rough cut in progress, and made a helpful suggestion for a trim.  And Sharon was completely grossed out, which I am trying to consider a Good Sign.

 
2-10-06

Locked picture. W00t. Now for SFX and music.

2-18-06

SFX are almost ready. Frank is buried in other gigs, but the music should be done soon. In the meantime:

Bob and John go off to a pyrotechnics convention and got to play with the Thunderpipe, among other things.

You can watch a video of the entire convention here.

Winterblast 2006

3-5-06

Frank delivered the music, and I finished the SFX. After several long nights, Kabumei mixed and uploaded to Google Video. Done!

Watch "Kabumei" now!

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