First Prop Made


Click below to see the video.

I soldered, I drilled, I super glued, and I hot glued. What a night and I’m very happy with this piece. It will be my “scanner”. Think tricorder or sonic screwdriver. Something to move the story along and wave around as it makes noises and blinks.

This was made with christmas lights. I wired the switch into the outboard motor switch (the main piece). I drilled holes and added knobs from an old R/C car. I added an R/C car piece to the front.

Green Screen Test1

Green Screen Kit

Guess who has a green screen thanks to a very generous donation from a stranger!  ME!!!! How awesome is that?  Guess who’s cat vomited on the green screen the first time I set it up?  That’s right… my cat.  Luckily, it cleaned out nicely.  But I was told that my vocals and language could be hard on the other side of the apartment complex.  Read on to see the results.

Continue reading Green Screen Test1

Pentax X-5 Camera

When making a film, a camera is a sort-of must.  The wife’s el-cheapo tripos does everything I need.  It’s not very rugged, so I’ll need to play nice with it.  And she also found a camera on Craigslist for me.  After $75 cash + a drive to a local McDonald’s, I’m now the proud owner of a Pentax X-5 camera.

It does

  1. 1080p – one of the critical things I wanted
  2. Slow motion
  3. Fast Motion
  4. Lots of stabilization built in

It’s certainly not what many film-makers think of as a professional camera, but “I don’t care, have camera.”  It does the minimum of what I need and fits nicely on the tripod.  Initial tests have proved fruitful.  I can’t even pull it out of the bag without the 3 year going crazy saying “take picture me.”

camera-front1 camera-on-tripod camera-front2 camera-back

The Rocket Ship Plan

So it’s about time I posted about the actual rocket ship plan.  You’ll see the image of a white rocket ship.  That was me spending some evenings and eyeballing my own rocket.  It’s incomplete.  I’ll finish it, but it won’t be the primary rocket for the series.

That’s because I got a new idea.  The new plan is to find a camper, gut it, and convert the inside into a permanent interior rocket ship set.  Then we can use the camper to store all the props in bins, throw a tarp on top, and have storage.  It’ll be kept at Will’s farm.  We can wheel it on over to the house whenever we want to shoot another episode!

I’ve been in touch with a great couple about the idea after posting a wanted ad on craigslist.  When the snow melts, I’ll drive out to meet them and might be able to get my hands on an old camper (like the on in the photo they sent me).  I’m trying to barter website help… and they want to be in the movie.  Hehe.  No problemo!

Once I know what the camper is, I’m going to make a model of the rocket with windows and door to match.  I plan on using the backend of the busted Incredibles R/C car for the rear ($4 Goodwill find) and model the rest out of styrene.

I debated a lot on how to make a small camper a rocket capable of holding a small crew of 4-6.  Even when you watch the old Flash Gordons with their small rockets, they pulled it off but only had one seat.  I’m doing something similar.  My wife found this great stool on craigslist for $10 and that will allow us to have one cool seat on board!  Maybe there’ll be another, but for now, just the one.

rocket-v1 rocketcar stool camper

Space suits are making progress

So the Rocket Crew are the main characters in the film.  So work has begun on their costumes.

  • Helmet – about $10 each.  I have 3 extras
  • Suit – $3 from Job Lots.  I have about 4 extras
  • Boots – $15 from Job Lots.  I have no extras for these.
  • Gloves are basic leather gloves.  We might pick something later. I happened to have these on hand.
  • Ray Gun – Picked up a whole box of these.  They’re old sand blasters.

Below are the test shots of the suits as is.  Still a lot of work left.  We need to:

  • make big utility belts to hold the ray guns and some tools.
  • Maybe some tools on the arms.
  • Make patches to cover the logo on the yellow suit.
  • Paint the helmets.  They’re too shiny and too white right now.  Maybe add some antenna or something to them.
  • I think we might need to make wrist communicators (no video).

no-helmet no-helmet-bw helmet-side-bw helmet-side helmet-front-bw helmet-front

Fireman Tanks – Yippie

Ben stopped by and gave me 4 fireman tank holders and 2 tanks.  These things are freakin awesome!  I think I know what I’ll be making a jetpack out of!

The tanks weight a ton.  They’re made from steel.  I can’t, and wouldn’t want other actors to wear them around too much.  So I think the original plan of using 2-liter bottles and an old light-weight fire extinguisher is still my plan for the rocketpack.

The cool tanks will likely find a home inside the rocket ship’s interior set.

I’ll say it again… freakin awesome!

fireman-tank fireman-tank-2 fireman-tank-3 fireman-tank-4


This film project is meant to capture some of the adventure of old black and white science fiction.  So it’s time to do some research.  It’s so painful and boring… haha, who am I kidding!?  I just watched the original 30’s King Kong and am working through the 1936 Flash Gordon episodes.  They’ve been great inspirations.  Thanks Hulu Plus!

I also found The Illustrated History of Science Fiction Comics book at a local thrift store for $5.  It’s been a great resource and read over this weekend.

sci-fi-book1 sci-fi-book2

Looking to past is helping to shape my script and special effects ideas.  Of course, I’m not sure I want to wear similar costumes.  They didn’t seem to have any pants.