Sollthar, thank you for the review. Rather than give a point by point rebuttal at the major points you brought out, I'll give a little back-story on the making of this film. Mind you, this is in no way an "apology" trying to cover our mistakes, rather an insight as to what might have brought them about.
To start off with, construction of this film was evolutionary. Not story wise, but in a technical sense. We started knowing next to nothing and ended with three years experience. Would we, if possible, do it again knowing what we do know? Absolutely. But, we wouldn't know what we do now had it not been for the experience in the first place.
We started preliminary work on the film in the summer of 2004, which some might recall as our "Operation Room Check"
days. The construction of the initial script was done pretty much without any knowledge of script writing, instead being based off of the style of our last work. (Action Briefing Action Conclusion) In trying to write a script that was doable, we sacrificed imagination for realism. In other words, we wrote for what we COULD do, and not necessarily what we WANTED to do. In retrospect this was a bad idea.
The second bad idea came to being when we started shooting without a complete script. I know I know, what were we thinking, right? But the main drive behind this was it had been a year at this point since the initial film idea, and we still had nothing to show for it. All the actors were heading to college and it was both frustrating and disheartening to see cast and crew melt away. So, with only 25 pages of a 40 page script we shot the first scenes. During final test week no less. The following summer a location shot was done, and then everything halted. 3 of the 4 main actors ended up in 3 different countries the following school year. This brought about the dark age of the SG-2 film shoot. Production was stagnant and left in a corner.
The third bad idea in our succession happened about this time. It was now the second year of college and with nobody within a 1000 miles (literally) of each other, one of the producers sat down and finished the script, unfortunately doing an almost complete rewrite. By now 3 of what would end up being 17 scenes were already filmed. Up till now filming had been flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants style. No storyboards, no directors meetings, just a partial script. It was now that a small ray of light turned on. One of the main director/producers took several film classes this second year. It was during this time our RUN
films were submitted.
The summer of the second year saw a major event that would change the course of the film almost completely. The opportunity to film on location in the desert was presented, and just as quickly jumped on. This provided potential for some really cool stuff...and also a problem. Up till now, the main external thrust of the film had been forest based. Our first
teasers are indicative of this. However, a fiasco regarding our forest location shots (a whole 'NOTHER story) had severely hampered the overall filming progress. The desert opportunity provided a way out of this. You can probably smell what’s about to happen at this point. Yep, a major re-write to the second half (of the already re-written) script. To further complicate matters, 2 of the main actors had to bail at the last minute, meaning replacements/redesigns were necessary.
By now, our filming skills had improved greatly and I think it shows in the desert scenes (e.g., the desert sunset dialog, the action sequences) However, with the reduction in stars and staff, interim people were grabbed to fill the holes. Cameraman were different, sound was different, actors were different. But we were committed to the location shoot, and so we did the best with what we had. At this time budgetary and personnel issues rose their ugly united head and a whole, rather important, scene was given the mutilation of a blunt axe. The whole destroyed dig scene? Ya...that was supposed to be the crux of the story where everything came together and was explained. Instead, we had 4 hours to film, no stars to shoot, and no crew to shoot them. The end result was the destruction montage you see in the film.
This brought us to the end our second year. There is one little detail I have neglected to reveal. Up until now, a full 2 years after the initial script writing, not an inch of film had been shot of the briefing scenes. And for all the re-writing that had happened, those scenes, in and of themselves, had not been altered. Their story hooks and points were still based off the original ideas we had.
So now we're in our third year. Everything is shot save for the briefing scenes and the intro scene. Editing had been happening since the first scene was shot. Now, however, 2 of the producers/directors were at a different university across the county. With the new school, higher classes and extremely tight schedule, shooting again came to a standstill. It wasn't until the last week at uni that all the briefing scenes were filmed in 2 days. And our then the final blow came. The first day we had full filming gear. Lighting kits, flags, reflectors, mic and boom, the whole lot. The second film day (two weeks later) none of that equipment was available to us save for a second hand mic. And, the camera man also had to hold the boom. But the best was yet to come. The final blow came when we were capturing the footage. Every bit of raw audio had a ground loop buzz in it.
It was now this last summer, and our premier date was fast approaching. Re-shoots and dubs were out of the question. Plus, the post-production crew had full time summer jobs.
Wow, I didn't mean to re-tell that whole saga. I hope it was followable. Truthfully, the making of the film could be a whole film in itself. My hope for all this is that it gives reviewers a background of what happened behind the scenes, and ultimately why things in the movie are they way they are.
Last edited Thu, 27th Sep 2007, 4:06am; edited 1 times in total.