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Fool Me Twice

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Fool Me Twice

Postby pennausamike » Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:01 am

I'll post some prop photos soon, but in the meanwhile, here's the old update on this fan film effort.

This is an introduction for those who haven’t seen this before,
and an update for those previously involved in the creative process.
Sorry it’s so long.

The basic story centers around an Alliance sergeant, at the end of his career,
sent to squelch former-Independent businessmen who have turned to smuggling under UAP rule.
This is NOT what the sergeant fought for (and watched his friends die for) in the war to unite the planets,
and that personal conflict is brought to a head in a meeting with the ex-Browncoats.
Our sergeant notes, “Yeah, well, there’s plenty for whom the cost of Unification exceeds the value.”
The story is an introduction of characters who could have many more adventures in the Firefly ‘verse.
My hope is that “Fool Me Twice” will bring together a creative team capable of filming those adventures and
that the successful completion of this film will legitimize a larger project.
For the sequel, the story expands to suggest an insurgent movement within the Alliance,
a look at trust and acceptance, being true to yourself, and finding your niche.
Oh, and a run in with a villain who has a framed art display of tattoo art skinned off his victims.
Cuz, you know, if yer gonna kill people, they gotta be BAD people.

“Fool Me Twice” is essentially a filmed play, able to be filmed for next to no budget.
There is a gunfight, a spaceship, and a large explosion caused by a pair of missles launched from the orbiting spaceship.
In a no-budget situation the gunfight will be a smattering of practical effects and sound effects,
the spaceship will be the I.A.V. Dortmunder lifted from Firefly stock footage, and the explosions will be lighting and a shaking camera.
If the right people are interested in “Fool Me Twice”, the gunfight can be a little “bigger”,
the Dortmunder can be exclusive CGI footage, and the large explosion can be an aerial view of a BIG fireball.

So who all is in it?
Primary Characters:
Alliance Sergeant Aaron Wyatt
Alliance Colonel David Anthony
Local Law Enforcement Lieutenant Amber Fitzpatrick
Smuggler Randell Rourke
Independent Escort Quintan Shang
Ex-Browncoat General-turned rancher Dan Anderson
Independent Buddy Lee Creek

Secondary Characters:
Alliance Corporal
Alliance Heavy MG crew (2 Fed troops)
Alliance Guards (2 Feds in Colonel’s CP)
Local law enforcement officer
Smuggler on radio
Independent guard
IAV Dortmunder Fire Control Tech
Waitress in a NOT-Alliance-friendly bar

Background Characters:
4 Alliance Feds (shootout)
1 Alliance medic (shootout)
5 different Alliance Feds (outside CP)
Background Independents (as many as will supply their own costume!)

Progress to the end of 2008:

The script is done.
Doesn’t sound like much, but beating out 24 pages of reasonably filmable dialog, on a part-time basis, took about nine months.
Also, everything else has to come from a useable script.

Costumes are under way.
The Alliance Feds wore Starship Troopers armor in Firefly, the only ‘verse-specific costuming requirement and the most expensive.
Although incomplete, all the main components are in place for
Four sets of foreground armor
Three sets of background armor
One armed Alliance medic
One Alliance Colonel
One Alliance Fed (like “Skunk”)

Local law enforcement costuming is done for two characters.

For the Browncoats, I’m only making specific costumes for three main characters.
I consider one done.
Two of those are underway.

Locations and sets are three/fifths scouted.
All the woods action sets are scouted and sketched, with a rough shooting plan.
Main shootout
Alliance temporary Command Post
Meeting with Independent Escort Quintan Shang
Walk to Barn
Barn exterior
Barn interior

Props and prop weapons are well underway.
Basically, everything that needs purchased is purchased.
There is just a lot of finish work to do.
(Buddy Lee Creek’s rifle is pretty a pretty good measure of the progress of this one man show.)
I have a ton of ‘verse emblems, patches, posters etc.
(For example I just traded a Simon Alliance baton for two more sets of Alliance rank pins.)
So both Alliance and ex-Independents are pretty well covered.
2009 Spring Goals:
The script needs to be turned into a stick figure storyboard to plan the most efficient shooting schedule possible.
The storyboard will also set the equipment needed for some specific shots.
For example, I’ll need a ten-foot ladder for a “crane” shot of Smuggler Randell Rourke being captured in the woods.

Finish Alliance character costumes.
I’ll make the shipboard fire control tech from an Alliance ground trooper uniform.
Finish the Ex-Browncoat General-turned rancher Dan Anderson’s costume.
Assemble the gear for Independent Escort Quintan Shang’s costume.
(The actual costume will have to be sized to the actress who ends up playing this part.)
Design or have designed a costume for the Waitress in a NOT-Alliance-friendly bar
My expectation is that the background Independent characters can wear normal and western clothes,
with some ‘verse accents and props, to take them out of Earth-That-Was here-and-now.

Locations and sets still need to be found/scouted.
I’ve been offered use of a spacecraft interior set by a local film group.
That needs to be scouted and photographed this spring to plan set decoration necessary to be an Alliance ship.

I need to find a place that can serve as a NOT-Alliance-friendly bar.
I want to decorate with tons of Independent memorabilia and fill the place with beer, cigarette smoke and laughing, happy people.
The minimum I can get away with, if we shoot only into the corner, is a space about 15 feet by 15 feet with a corner table and a few foreground tables.
Use of a real bar/restaurant on a closed day would be ideal.

I want to have the following dummy weaponry done by the end of Spring 2009:
2 Local law enforcement SMG’s
2 Alliance Fed SMG’s
1 foreground Alliance heavy MG
1 background Alliance heavy MG
Alliance Colonel’s handgun
Buddy Lee Creek’s rifle
Quintan Shang’s break-open pistol carbine
Dan Anderson’s revolver rifle
4 background Alliance Fed rifles (buy airsoft L-85’s or build something similar, ?, depends on budget)
As with the costuming, Independent weaponry can be a mixed bag of what’s available.

The other prop category I’d like to have templated is some ‘verse specific paper props.
I want to have some individual papers, Cortex reference stuff, Telefonix cards (an excuse to FINALLY get cracking on those),
an Alliance communiqué, and even a menu for the bar.

And that will be the point where “Fool Me Twice” can no longer be a mostly one-man show!

Goals for Summer 2009 will determine the direction of “Fool Me Twice”.
By summer I’ll have the film equipment, pyrotechnics and people in place to film FMT.
I need the following post-production skills, if FMT is going to look like anything more than a home movie.
Sound and video editing. As an example, I’m relying on being able to insert sound effects to make the gunfight work.
CGI of at least the big explosion. Shots of the Dortmunder and a few enhancements of the gun battle would be nice, but not necessary.
I’m hoping to find folks in the corridor from Harrisburg PA to Baltimore MD to Northern Virginia to Philadelphia.

My original plan was to set up a PA Browncoats table at the Farpoint 2009 Con outside Baltimore this February.
Alan Tudyck is scheduled to appear, so I was hoping to find some Browncoat technical talent.
I may not be able to do that, and I won’t know until mid-January, which is much later than I wanted to be sure of my ability to commit to making Farpoint.

………………………So……………………….

If I find someone interested in doing some cool post-production work; ya know, for free, pretty much;
I’ll look to recruiting some local acting talent willing to trade work for exposure, ya know, for free, pretty much.
(Although there are a BUNCH of background parts for non-acting Browncoats, also, ya know, for free, pretty much.)
A professionally done fan film would be worth submitting to some cons and festivals, and should receive some internet exposure.
Hopefully that would attract some aspiring actors able to inject realism into written dialog.
Although I really appreciate fan films and am often amazed at the on-screen worlds created for little or no money,
it is usually fan-acting that takes me out of the reality of their fictional world.
And I admit, I don’t know what that quality is, but I know it when I see it…

If, on the other hand, I can’t locate someone interested in doing post-production work to a higher level,
I’ll find out if we have folk in the local fan community who want to have fun making a movie in the Fall of 2009;
and we’ll get together on a farm in Gettysburg, a spaceship in Harrisburg and a bar I-don’t-know-where-yet, and shoot a movie.
After that, probably early 2010, I’ll get some movie editing software and see what I can put together.

Either way, it’ll be growing the ‘verse.
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Re: Fool Me Twice

Postby Joatrash » Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:09 pm

Quick question, very long-shot-coincidental-like.
Dan Anderson... he wouldn't perchance be a programmer by trade, working for (or a least used to) a game developer called Pandemic?
//jOe

My prop & costume workshop/gallery:
https://www.facebook.com/joatrashfx/
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Re: Fool Me Twice

Postby pennausamike » Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:03 am

Joatrash wrote:Quick question, very long-shot-coincidental-like.
Dan Anderson... he wouldn't perchance be a programmer by trade, working for (or a least used to) a game developer called Pandemic?


I guess that would depend on acting chops and ability to provide transportation to filming locations.
If I read that right.... :)

Mike
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Re: Fool Me Twice

Postby Joatrash » Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:09 pm

Haha... I read the info as a casting list... with names of actors. The name was familiar is all. :)
//jOe

My prop & costume workshop/gallery:
https://www.facebook.com/joatrashfx/
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Re: Fool Me Twice

Postby pennausamike » Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:36 pm

To all who have contacted me regarding "Fool Me Twice",
I'll get back to folks when my work schedule isn't sucking away most of my free time.
Working on props can be done in little pieces of leftover time.
Gearing up to make a film is going to require healthy chunks of time I don't have right now.

In the meanwhile, I just keep working on costumes and props.
There is still a lot to build
(by myself)
so even tho' the progress is behind the scenes,
it still progress.

Mike
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Re: Fool Me Twice

Postby pennausamike » Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:31 am

Another "Fool Me Twice" project underway.

Quintan Shang's weapon.
Her brother was killed by the Purplebellies in the war.
Makes her a might resentful.
She's also a bit brash.
Carries this break-open Schofield carbine.
Highly polished nickel,SS and AL, 9" silencer, .36 caliber:

Image

I'm changing the ergonomically horrifying grips to a look that ought to seem more comfortable to a Browncoat.

Image

For such a large pistol, the original grip/frame contour is really small and squeezes the middle finger against the frame.
So, the Mal pistol grips, patterned after the old cap-and-ball Colts, should make the Shofield a better handling (non) weapon.

Mike
Last edited by pennausamike on Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fool Me Twice

Postby pennausamike » Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:16 pm

A little progress on the Quintan Shang Carbine.

Image

The barrel extention has a muzzlebrake and threaded section to allow the 9" suppressor to be screwed on.

Image

Oh, and I'll be working on the YoSafBridge pistol, a little this week as well.

Mike
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Re: Fool Me Twice

Postby F-N-S » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:07 pm

Great work Mike! The guns look amazing! :P
"We're gonna get that show back on the air!"
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Re: Fool Me Twice

Postby pennausamike » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:13 pm

About twenty two years ago I pulled a big piece of rolled stainless steel out of the trash at work
(seven jobs and two states ago)
because it sure looked like it had possibilities.
I tinkered with it and had a belt-fed design in mind for years, tho' I didn't do much work on it.
After seeing Firefly, and wanting props for my version, Fool Me Twice,
I modified it around the Bren machinegun magazine to make the Buddy Lee Creek rifle seen on the left:

Image

I decided to make the bi-annual Farpoint Con visit with my sons,
and the youngest wanted to do an Independence soldier.
So, I made finishing the BLC rifle part of the preparation process.
I spent nearly every moment of my free time for a little more than a week to finish it, except it still needs weathered.

Image

The costume combines elements from a few of my FMT costumes,
but I needed a red vest.
My solution was to buy a 3XL T-shirt at Walmart for five bucks,
cut the sleeves off, cut the front and put tan velcro strips (that I removed from the Zoe gun case)
across the front. Viola! A budget Browncoat soldier!

Image

I wore my long sleeveless leather coat, Alliance-Fed-like-Skunk costume with sonic rifle,
and did not receive a single acknowledgement the entire day.
I guess, kinda like the Forums, time is passing Firefly by.
I saw two close-enough Mals, three hat-and-T-shirt Jayne's
and my son got a half dozen or so complements on his Independent soldier.
(I guess no comments is my reward for doing a bad guy!)

I have to take a nice picture of the flip side of my completed rifle, yet.
When I do, I'll add it in this space.

Mike
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Re: Fool Me Twice

Postby Goodwolf » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:35 pm

I really like the design of the BLC rifle.

When I dress up in my 'Verse outfit, only the most avid fans seem to get it. It's a simple brown duster, a 'Verse style shirt (though not always a Jayne one), desert camo-ish pants tucked into some workboots. It's more pulled from different sources than trying to be a specific character, so I rarely get any compliments either. I guess if I put some independent patches on the duster, it'd be a little more obvious, but I usually wear it to different things that aren't necessarily FF related, so I like to keep it "clean."
May have been on the losin' side, still not convinced it was the wrong one.
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