Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hofstra Factor

In this video, Hofstra University alumni Kirsten Scoles and Ritchie Filippi talk about the high amount of Hofstra graduates on set.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cheryl, Blue Screen, Revenge

Here, Cheryl Texiera describes the blue screen going up behind her for a very important moment in our new webseries - "My Future Girlfriend."

Because I surprised Cheryl with a very close FlipCam video, she decided she would exact revenge by turning the camera on me. She taught me a very important lesson in FlipCam manners that day...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Return!

Day 2 has begun and look who's back on a Ragtag set...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

shooting day 1!

All I can say is - Incredible first day - Thanks to the hard work and dedication of a dozen cast and crew. They will all be named shortly. But let's start with breakfast.

Brian, Patrick and I went out last night to pick up breakfast and snacks for everyone, as our call time was 7AM. Since this is only our first shoot, and we're still New Yorkers at heart, we figured we'd stick with tradition and pick up bagels and cream cheese. What did we find out?

Finding bagels in Los Angeles is like finding the Covenant of the Ark.

We started at Ralph's, the classiest supermarket in town, and walked straight to their bakery. Lined up on a table were an army of pre-packaged bags of bagels. The problem? They were hard as hockey pucks. Not wanting to damage the teeth of our actors, we decided to move on. So, we drove to nearby Yum Yum Donuts. It was around 10:30 PM at this point. We approached the man at the counter and asked, "Can we have a dozen and a half bagels?" He said, "Sure!" Then he looked two feet to his left and said, "Oh, we don't have bagels." We asked, "When will you have bagels?" He said, "Oh, in the morning." We asked, "You'll have bagels in the morning?" He said, "Yes. Everything." We asked, "So we can come here at 6AM and get bagels?" He said, "Oh no. Not 6AM." This 'Who's on First?' conversation went on for about five minutes. Finally, we settled on playing our chances in the morning. At 6:30AM, I drove to Yum Yum, walked in and said, "Can I have a dozen and a half bagels?" The new person behind the counter asked, "Oh, you ordered already, right?" I said, "Yes." And walked out with a box of bagels. Mission accomplished, even if I sort of maybe stole someone else's order.

But this wasn't the only touch of New York in our morning. See, for the first time in months, it rained heavily in Los Angeles. While we're lucky we didn't schedule exteriors, it couldn't help but feel like a good New York-y omen.

Actors and crew arrived at 7AM, and around 8:30AM we set up our first shot. Brian and I watched on the monitor, while Angel shot this behind-the-scenes video with this HD flipcam, an early Christmas present from my brother. Thank you George! Enjoy the following video...

We had a full crew on this one and some toys we've never really utilized before. Since "My Future Girlfriend" is a very cinematic webseries, inspired by movies like "The Terminator" and "Back to the Future," we all wanted to step up our game. Enter Jeff Billings, legendary young cinematographer from our college, who is bringing that feel in spades.

While our apartment is now much bigger than the "We Need Girlfriends" apartment, we still were occasionally crammed in tight spaces when shooting, due to a larger crew and more equipment. Take, for example, where Brian had to sit to watch the monitor...

Shooting progressed nicely throughout the day. Brian did a fantastic job directing. And later on during the day, we had a special guest. Tom Holland, director of "Child's Play," "Thinner," and, one of my favorite movies of all time, "Fright Night." He came with our pal Rob G, hung out, watched a couple of scenes and threw some words of encouragement our way. Great to have him on set.

Everything seemed to moving along without a hitch! Until, something ALMOST went wrong. From a distance, we all watched in horror as one of the big, heavy lights was headed straight for the head of our old pal Ritchie Filippi, assistant director, and a staple of Ragtag Productions' past shoots. As the heavy light rapidly descended towards his head, we saw a hand leap out and grab the stand, as it was mere centimeters from Ritchie's head.

That hand?

Belonged to Matt Hall - boom mic operator and younger brother of our old friend Chris Hall. Here is video of the aftermath.

Thank you Matt!

All in all, an incredible day. Big thanks to the actors - Evan Gaustad, Cheryl Texiera and Kirsten Scoles. Big thanks to the crew, cinematographer Jeff Billings, Ritchie Filippi, Chris Hall, Matt Hall, Jason Krangel, Mike Barnwell, Natascha Jones, Angel Acevedo - and - of course - fellow producers Brian Amyot and Patrick Cohen. Well done all!

Back to the grind tomorrow morning at 7AM! Expect more posts.

it has begun...

Stay tuned tonight for photos, videos and stories!

"You're like Jon Favreau!" - Chris Hall

Monday, December 7, 2009

Vintage Ragtag

While trolling the internet today, I came upon this little behind-the-scenes promo reel from about 2005 that gives a nice peek into the early days of Ragtag, pre-"We Need Girlfriends." It's produced by our friend J Hanna, and gives you a real look into not only our process, but how Brian and I have changed our looks through the years. Fun stuff!

The Prep Work Begins...

We start shooting "My Future Girlfriend" this Saturday, December 12th, and have been having a bunch of pre-production meetings building up to the big first day. Last night, Patrick and I worked on a prop that may or may not be a big deal in the "My Future Girlfriend" universe...

What does it all mean?

Stay tuned for more posts as we start shooting...