(L-R) Greg Michael, Director 2nd Unit
and John David Ware, Director 168 Film Project
The event was a mixer to encourage crew to join filmmakers in the 168 Film Project to join a team or start their own team. Greg Michael, 2nd Unit Director was our VIP guest.
Greg told about his experience directing on big pictures like "The Scorpion King," "The Mummy," "The Mummy Returns," "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," and "Van Helsing."
He talked about shooting in Morocco in miserable 139 degree weather. When a sandstorm came up, the gear was quickly packed away and yet they needed that shot, so the gear was quickly unpacked.
He told of the collaborative nature of film, where anyone can be the hero of the day. In the end it's all a product of the collective, so the best advice is to be courteous to everyone all the way down to line.
Greg shared great insights with our short film producers in the area of creating the illusion. If you can imagine it, you can create it. He backed this up with practical experience from a chase sequence he shot in Prague on "Van Helsing" with Hugh Jackman.
Greg is a firm believer in learning from both the mistakes and good fortunes of others, so his example started where he started in getting ready to shoot the "Van Helsing" chase sequence. To prepare, Greg deconstructed the horse and carriage chase from "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," with Johnny Depp.
Greg didn't work on this film, he only studied it.
The logistics of a carriage chase with horses is exponentially difficult if you need horses in every shot.
So, the trick and trade of any good director is to find a way to create the illusion of reality with efficiency. In this case, Greg had to sell the idea that were horses there at all times, even as the carriage is actually being hauled by an 1/2 ton pickup truck.
Because of copyright issues, I can't upload either sequence, but I have a great pinch hitter, the 168 Barnyard Promo from 2004 (our 2nd year).
Snickers the pony was wonderful, but his agent would not allow him to be in every shot. Plus, he had a lot of trouble hitting his marks. Click Here and Enjoy!