Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Buffy: Day One

As you all know from your diligent readings of my blog, work has begun on filming the episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that I wrote. I have reached out and contacted the cast about reprising their roles and am still awaiting replies. I imagine that it may take awhile to go through all of the red tape and make arrangements with agents, publicists, etc., so I have decided to begin the filming myself.

This past Sunday, my crew and I began work on Buffy: "Slays Come Undone." I have decided to document the entire journey of creating this episode.

So here we are: Buffy Day One. Mood? Optimistic.

As Giles would say, every good project must begin with the proper research.

Our Props Master displays some of his finery, while I begin character exercises to get into the mind of Buffy Summers.

We will be requiring extensive stage combat training. Here, my friend Robert (understudy for role of "Spike" for James Marsters) displays the incorrect way to hold a stake. I believe my stake handling could kill any vampire.

I consider myself truly lucky to have a crew willing to go the extra length for a shot. A lot of times people forget the artistry behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and that's really a shame. But it's not the case here.

Here we have a demon's ritual sacrifice of a cat. I like to give my actors a lot of freedom for improv and creativity. It was in this scene that Jordan uttered the line "I OFFER THIS SACRIFICE TO YOU, LORD QUANTUS!" When we asked him who Lord Quantus was, he said that he didn't know. Beautiful shot, beautiful line.

Our Art Director and Cinematographer, working with the elements while Jordan performs his yoga breathing exercises.

Our makeup team worked wonders--Jordan was transformed into a half-buried demon corpse.

For obvious liability issues, the producers wanted me to use a stunt double for most of my work. However, I really prefer doing my own stunts; I find my performance is just that much more authentic and real that way.

Again, my own stunt work.

I really have to give props to the make-up and wardrobe teams. When I asked for Zak to be made into a Cryulean demon, they knew exactly the look I was going for and nailed it. Amazing work.

As you can imagine, this is the beginning of a lot of stake work we'll be doing. This particular shot took at least 6 takes to really get the proper angles and form. When Sarah Michelle Gellar responds to my letter, I can now tell her I can completely relate to the stress she felt as Buffy. It's hard work (but enjoyable).

So Buffy Day One is complete, and Day Two is approaching this Sunday. I'll be sure to keep this blog updated with our progress. STAY TUNED!

*Photo credits and much appreciation go to the talented Heather Trollope.