So we've been working on this little film called, Arlo: The Assassin - well, it's really not all that little!
With it's shoe-string budget, this film has been a huge undertaking! We've built guns, designed androids, scouted locations and sent out more emails and made more phone calls than any film we've ever created in the past.
It's been a blast though!
Hold on, let me explain what Arlo is exactly. Arlo is an 80's styled, cyberpunk action short and it's exactly the type of film I've been hoping to make for the past few years. Here's the mix: One part Ghost in the Shell, two parts Blade Runner, throw in a splash of Only God Forgives, shake it up and that's our movie.
Yesterday we pulled all the pre-production madness together and got onto Day One of filming. We started in the morning, in the freezing cold mist at a salvage yard that forgot about us. We waited there for a few hours, hoping to get the manager on the phone but that never quite happened. So, the first location of the day and the opening shot of our film was a bust! What could we do? Meghan's managing skills kicked in and before we knew it an executive decision had been made and we were in the car, heading to our second location of the day with an all new game plan!
We arrived at Location Two just a few minutes later and quickly got the car unpacked. From there the gang ran around the building and found a new spot to set our scene: A creepy half destroyed room with a hatch that led to the roof - Perfect. In the blink of an eye, Logan Chitwood was in his Arlo gear, prop gun in hand and I quickly threw some bruising make-up on Jonathan Arguello - Who was playing Arlo's victim and covered him in fake blood. We threw some handcuffs over a pipe, locked Jonathan up, got him in focus and called action.
It was a flurry of water splashing, gun shots, kicking and screaming and then it was done. The opening scene of the film had been rewritten on the spot - Out of necessity and it looked good. Really good actually. Jonathan was un-cuffed and free to go with make-up wipes in hand and that was a wrap on Scene One. I think we all stood there a moment - a little in shock of what we had just accomplished. Sure, with Location One bailing on us we were a little behind schedule but we were really happy with the way we were able to take a negative moment and turn it into something grand.
Fast forward about an hour. We grabbed lunch, took a break and then got back to filming. Crazy colored lights were placed throughout Location Two and our supporting actors began to arrive. These actors - These brave souls, came in on a chilly Sunday evening to get beaten up on screen by Logan and they all nailed it! There were bullets flying under orange and blue highlights, heavy punches being thrown and knuckles being hammered - Each framed wonderfully by Cinematographer Rolando Herrera. It was fantastic. I could see these shots I had in my head for the past few months coming to life and in that moment it felt great.
Before we knew it, Midnight had rolled around and we were done. We even got something extra - A shot in the snow. That's right - Snow. Out of nowhere tiny white flakes started to fall from the sky and it was obvious to all of us that we had to get this impromptu moment on film. Logan leaned against the wall, the snow flakes cascading around him in all his seriousness - It was a very noir moment and a great addition to the film.
We wrapped late that night but honestly, we caught ourselves talking about aspirations and goals, rather than packing up - So for now, we'll blame conversation for the over-time on set. We got back home around 3 AM, put the gear away and Day One of Arlo was completed.