Death Grip Status PLUS Some More BTS

Hey everyone, writer, director & editor Eric Jacobus here!

We’re in the final stretches of post-production and will have our DVDs and Blu-Rays ready soon, hopefully in time for the Premiere on June 30th.

In the meantime, here’s a status report on where I am with the post-production and packaging process:

Color: 98% – Finish on Friday.
Sound: 95% – Finish next week.
Music: Done!

Behind the scenes featurette: 40%. Finish by June 13th. This is taking the bulk of my time right now.
DVD and BD authoring: 10% (art only). Finish by June 15th.
Director’s Commentary: 0%. But this will only take a total of 4 hours. I’d like to do a more technical track with Rebecca while Drew is in town, as well as a track with my mom (won’t that be fun!) which should be done in 10 days or so. I promise it will be hilarious.
Other Special Features: 90%. We’ve got a lot of great stuff lined up for you. All I have left is to tweak the outtakes reel and export some deleted scenes. We’re also including the original Compound scene, since it’s got a lot of action that’s completely different from the final version. AND we’re even throwing in an extra fight scene with Johnny Yong Bosch that isn’t in the final film!

There’s a chance the Blu-Ray version will have fewer features since it’s going to be single-layer, but of course that comes with the upside of a more gorgeous print of Death Grip. So it’s just a question of whether you favor image quality over special features for that version. If you’re a special features junkie, the dual-layer DVD will be the better option. Or you can buy both!

I’ve been knee-deep in editing the Death Grip making-of video. Like the Tour of Contour video, I’ve opted for talking heads-style interviews with cutaways to behind-the-scenes video and film footage.

While shooting Death Grip, I had at least one extra video camera on hand – one that was much easier to use. We used a Flip Video camera, Flip HD, whoever’s DSLR we had that day, and even crappy cell phone cameras. Some days Alex Ng would do very intense behind-the-scenes shooting, but when he wasn’t there I would just entrust someone with the extra camera to shoot stuff. We’ve done all the talking heads interviews, including one with J.J. Perry, so what I’ve got is something like 40 hours of footage. So I’m basically editing another feature-length film!

The first edit is going to be long, probably on the order of 3 hours in length. But don’t worry. I’ll pare it down to an hour or so for the final DVD version. Then I’ll do some pop-up-video-style titles, overlay tons of behind the scenes and film footage, and package the thing up in time to get the DVD and BD authored, sent to press, and ready to sell by the June 30th premiere. The next month is going to be insane!

Maybe I’ll take an actual vacation after that.

So to keep you hungry, here are a couple BTS videos I exported last night while taking a break from editing. That’s right, I consider exporting and uploading videos a “break”.

Painting the “Lair”, Benny Hill-style.

A stuntman is always a stuntman, even in his sleep.

So stay tuned, we’ll have more updates soon!
Eric

Eric Jacobus Gives a Tour of Contour

As we put the final touches on the Death Grip movie, and prepare to release the DVD with our theatrical premiere, we are also preparing some fun extra features to add to the DVD. Among those will be an extensive behind-the-scenes on the making of Death Grip, including interviews with director Eric Jacobus, producer Rebecca Ahn, star Johnny Yong Bosch, and other key cast & crew, plus exclusive footage taken on the film set!

To whet your appetite for this special bonus tour of Death Grip, Eric wanted to share the similar making-of featurette from his previous feature film Contour (2006). Since the Contour DVD is being re-released as The Agent without any special features, we figured it’d be alright to show you this behind-the-scenes “Tour of Contour” for free!

This should give you a good idea of how much we plan to share with you on the equivalent exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Death Grip. And if you like this video, consider buying the original Contour DVD at the Stunt People online store!

BTS: Week 9/11-9/16

If we showed you complete behind-the-scenes footage from this week’s shoot, it would play in two parts. The first would be of two lonesome people (Rebecca and I) sitting at desks on opposite sides of the room silently typing away at their computers while cursing profanity at wikipedia under our breath.

There’s been an influx of ninja spies as of late on the set. We recovered this picture of myself and Rebecca from a camera we got after fighting one of them off.

In the other, the rest of the crew would be standing in a brilliantly lit and pristine set filled with plenty of destructible objects and obstacles, which they gleefully destroyed with every waking breath and watch as glass shattered into a million shards around them.

Oops

Oops.

Now wait. I make it sound as if the computer workers have been stuck with all the hard work while the filming aspect has been filled with eating lucky charms and indulging in the more primal destructive killjoy.

But that really hasn’t been the case throughout this film.  Given that this is an independent production with a tiny budget and small crew, the creation of this movie has required an abundance of hard work. The various aspects of building sets, lighting, shooting, and producing have created a sleepless schedule where zombie-like cast and crew drink copious amounts of caffeine and scarf down granola bars in an effort to scrounge enough creative units to make the shots amazing, and they HAVE been amazing.

Eric Jacobus (Director, Writer, etc), Drew Daniels (Director of Photography) and Brad Wagner (Production Sound Mixer) checking out a shot after it has been taken

I’m absolutely positive that everyone involved has been proud of the work that has been done so far on the film. We are just over 2/3rds of the way through filming, and only now feel we’ve made enough progress to release behind-the-scenes footage for all of you to see. So in the coming weeks expect to see more journal like commentary and entries, as well as exclusive videos and tidbits of footage.

For now, meet our primary filming location (aka the Warehouse):

This was once a dusty warehouse with walls of a pristine white color, but has now been transformed into a dark grimy base of operations… just like we like it. Also, Drew is actually a phantom that we recruited for this movie, that’s why the lighting is so good- he has supernatural powers (only kidding, do not call the ghostbusters).

Here’s how it looks once we added lighting:

You’ll be able to recognize this in part of the film if you pay attention.

Filming the scene where Eric beats off a tribe of Jawas (No, not really).

And here’s a peak at the most recent location.

Nature calls for all of us.

That’s all for now, keep watching!