Production Proceeds with a (Sort of) Completed Script

The holidays are a time to reflect and rejoice with family and friends; to take stock of the proceeding year and make resolutions for a new one to come.  For Guerrilla Filmmakers in need of establishing shots of Christmas decorations for their low budget feature, they’re also a great time to surreptitiously get some great shots of the surrounding neighborhoods, and so we took it to the streets.

The frames below show images that will be played during the credit sequence and perhaps a few other choice locations.  We can see the main character driving around, perhaps with another person in the vehicle, taking in the spirit of the season.

Behind the Wheel
The main character drives around observing holiday decorations on neighboring houses.
Decorated House Seen from Car
A wonderfully decorated house includes both a lighted train and the Santa below.
Santa in his Sleigh
Santa in his sleigh completed with animated reindeer.

As it is the season of miracles, we’re also pleased to announce that the first draft of the script is now officially completed after 6 weeks of writing, or at least it includes the words “THE END” on the final page.   There will be more tweaks and changes to come, but we’re on schedule and plan to start shooting real scenes as early as next week.

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Preproduction Blends Into Production + A Logo in Search of a Script

In the grand tradition of Friday the 13th, we’ve got a working draft of a logo for the new film project, Master Pieces, and starting our own traditions we’ve officially entered production as of December 13, 2016, but we’ve yet to finish the script.  The situation isn’t as dire as it sounds, however, as the script is now on beta version .9 and is expected to be wrapped up soon with full production continuing after the holidays.

In the meantime, the latest version of the logo and some screen grabs of sample production footage or below.

Master Pieces Sample Shot
Horror films generally play with the audiences expectations of movie making in general. For example, by filming establishing shots with a POV feel.
Master Pieces Sample Shot 2
In these two shots, we explore the primary location using a hand-held camera.
Master Pieces Sample Logo
The first draft of the Master Pieces logo. It is sure to change, but should give you a sense of the direction we are taking.

Master Pieces is a retro-horror film inspired by the classic slasher and haunted-house movies of the 1980’s, think thrills and chills on a low budget.  An official website, supporting information, and the making of series will be coming soon, but please check back here for updates until the official announcement.

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Posthaste Preproduction for “Master Pieces”

The new film, Master Pieces, has officially entered preproduction with a series of test shots designed to experiment with lighting, space, and potential placement of actors.

As this is guerrilla filmmaking, we will be moving fast and furious from here:  Official production is scheduled to start next month, and we don’t even have a final script or cast yet, but that’s all part of the charm for this throwback to the classic 80’s horror films.

Stairway Sample Lighting Set Up
Guerrilla filmmaking requires fast set ups that still establish an appropriate atmosphere. In this un-retouched still, we see how directional lighting and straight framing can be used to create the appropriate mood.


Drain Test Shot
Creating a haunted house without spending money on effects will require creative set-ups featuring haywire household items and appliances. What’s more annoying than a drain that won’t stop dripping?


Shaving Test Shot
The overall mood will be further established by framing shots with multiple viewing planes. In this sample, we see a figure close to the camera and a master bedroom while we peek into the bathroom.

More updates will be coming soon, or at least they better be or we’ll be falling way behind schedule.  In an ideal world, there will also be a YouTube Series and a full production log, Making Our Master Pieces, both of which will ultimately serve as ideas for a cursed sequel like Scream 3 and Nightmare on Elm Street: New Nightmare.

Of course, we’d be ahead of them by several films if we make the making of with the original picture, but it pays to be efficient, especially in low-budget slasher and haunted house flicks.

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Logistical Genius in Stuttgart

I make no apologies for being a Porsche fanboy of the highest order, so much so that I even like the tail end on the first generation Panamera.  Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I was blown away by my pilgrimage to the Porsche factory in Stuttgart, but even I wasn’t prepared for the ridiculous level of logistics on display, and how the experience got me thinking about marketing technology.

The computer system plays the role of orchestra conductor, if a musical conductor were playing multiple symphonies around the world at once.

I’d seen “How It’s Made: Dream Cars” and had some idea of the precision and overall extent of the operation employed, but actually absorbing it all at once is a wholly different experience.  For starter’s, Porsche employs a variable assembly line where different cars for different markets are all built back-to-back-to-back.  In Stuttgart, that means all of the almost countless varieties of 911, plus 718 Cayman and Boxster, lined up in no particular order.

However, it’s not fair to say they are lined up — in addition to the main assembly line, there are various branches to pre-build all of the parts.  As the cars are lined up in no particular order, so must the completed dashboards, seat assemblies, powertrains, etc. all be lined up as well so that as the main body passes on the line the right part appears at the right time.

Which brings us to the true heroes of the factory system — the computers and software that manage the supply chain.  I’ve done some supply chain work with SAP and UPS, but that was pretty basic pick and ship stuff.  In the factory case, they’re taking thousands of parts from thousands of suppliers, pre-assembling them into something resembling say a dashboard, and then bringing them all together at a specific place and time on the assembly line.

The computer system plays the role of orchestra conductor, if a musical conductor were playing multiple symphonies around the world at once.  What can that teach us about marketing technology?

First, I think this illustrates that marketers shouldn’t be afraid of distributed systems.  If Porsche can bring a car together by each nut and bolt, we can bring a website together content block by content block.  Control is important, but let the software’s publishing tools and approval chains handle that; allow your contributors to contribute, more is better and can be culled.

Second, the branches are important.  Many of the customers I have worked with tend to see a website or other piece of marketing technology as a single unit, either published or not, but perhaps behind the scenes we should begin to think of the system as composed of different parts; the customer database independent of the online application, the email campaign plugging into the store.  Perhaps, if we separate these concerns, we an allow each branch to grow individually, better, faster, and with a more positive customer experience.

Third, I know what we do as marketers seems complex, and to us it certainly is, but the problems we face are of a different order than those in manufacturing.  I say this not to belittle our market or our talents, but instead to free us to experiment further and take advantage of the technology available.

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Welcome to my Website

This is the official inaugural post of, dedicated to all things Christian, and soon to be filled with musings for which I’m not remotely qualified, but I’ve always liked a challenge.

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