As our March 3rd and 4th shoot dates quickly approach, we shifted focus this week to full on pre-production. On Friday Andy and I traveled to Atlanta to hold auditions for our American pilots. We auditioned 20 actors that ran the gamut with what they brought to the table. Can't say much now as we are still in the process of casting. But we'll have our American pilots locked down in the coming days which is extremely exciting!
Shooting the "Mock Mach"
After auditions, we shot and cut our "Mock Mach" for the American sequence. With a visual effects heavy film like Mach III one of our biggest goals is to take all of the guess work out of our shoot day. So we spent a day shooting rough versions of all the shots on our shot list. This allows us to rehearse camera moves, figure out focal lengths, get a feel for pacing, and ensure that the edit works before we ever set foot on set. Our "Mock Mach III" shoot also acts as a digital storyboard. It allows us to call up specific shots on set for reference.
Cutting the mock shoot
Here you can see how similar the framing from our mock shoot (left) is compared to the on location shoot (right)
We used this same technique before shooting the Swedish segment of the film. Having already rehearsed and cut the film prior to being on location a tremendous amount of stress was removed from the production. This allowed us to focus much more on performance rather than the technical side of the shoot.
An F-18 flies overhead during our shoot
The sound department also took a field trip this week. They headed out to the Savannah Intl. airport in an attempt to record some fighter jet sounds. This past week, large scale dog fighting exercises were being conducted in our local airspace. Naturally this would make for a prime opportunity to grab sounds for the film. However, once the sound team got on location in an adjacent airport parking lot to begin recording, a handful of armed military men approached them and kindly told them to leave before they were detained. Needless to say they complied and the opportunity was rightfully lost. Bummer.
On a high note, our talented modeler Andrew Trout completed modeling the Saab JA 37 for the film. We'll have a full in depth post on the modeling process at a later date. But for now, all I can do is tease this quick turn-table of the model:
Huge thanks to Andrew for his incredible work on the JA 37
Well, back to production! We've got a huge work week ahead as our shoot date edges closer.