newsletter #11

APRIL 4, 2018

Hello!
Thank you for subscribing to our weekly Juice Production Newsletter! Support for our film on any scale is much appreciated. You being interested in what goes on behind-the-scenes helps us to spread the word about our film and reach all audiences possible.

For new subscribers, welcome!
I’m Zoë Kissel, the director, editor, and writer of the short film, Juice.

Juice is a short neo-noir, science fiction film following a young addict’s growing withdrawal and the fatal decision she makes to get high once more. The film takes place in the futuristic world of CityComInfo (CCI). In response to the government-halted heroin epidemic, the black market manufactures a new drug to satisfy the junkies’ enduring hunger to feel that same high. Juice is a drug that hooks people with a single injection. The high itself is much more deadly than the heroin of the past.

For returning readers, thanks for sticking around! Enjoy Juice Production Newsletter #11.

What’s next for Juice?
This week’s newsletter will be the final production newsletter for Juice. Although our film’s production newsletters have come full circle, Juice’s journey has only just begun. We have been submitting Juice to film festivals taking place from now through 2019. If accepted to these festivals, Juice has the possibility to be screened across the world.

And, good news! We have received our first acceptance to a film festival!
On Saturday, April 14th, Juice will be screened at the Spartan Film Festival in East Lansing, MI! Thank you to the Roial Players for this opportunity. We are very excited to see Juice on the big screen!

Juice  is being screened at the Spartan Film Festival on Saturday, April 14th.

Juice is being screened at the Spartan Film Festival on Saturday, April 14th.

In Conclusion.
Thank you for reading, listening, and supporting us and our film. This journey of production, from writing our screenplay to concluding our newsletters has been an irreplaceable experience. We have thrown our whole hearts and lives into the making of Juice and it has made us stronger as filmmakers and artists. We are ready to create our next project- Venus 1.

A Very Special Thank You To:
Adam Giammarusti
Ann Kissel
Anthony Picciuto
Arianna Kissel
Arnie Feldsher
Christian Kolo
Connie Spencer
Dan Murphy
Denise Murphy
Durk Dunham
Dylan Kissel
Dylan Zywicki
Jennifer Garcia
Jeremiah Kissel
John Garcia
Joyce Hollow
Leila Kissel
Marcia Kissel
R.J. Kissel
Russ Kissel
Scott Smiddy

Although this is the final Juice Production Newsletter, I will begin writing about the production of Venus 1 within the next few months. As newsletter subscribers, I will automatically include you on the subscription list for Venus 1’s production. If you prefer to be removed from the list, please reply to this email with the message “UNSUBSCRIBE”.

Thank you for your support. We cannot wait to share our next film with you.

As always, if you have any distribution, press, production, or screening rights inquiries, please send us an email at thefilmjuice@gmail.com or contact us through www.thefilmjuice.com

Until the very near future,

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NEWSLETTER #10

MARCH 27, 2018

Hello!
Thank you for subscribing to our weekly Juice Production Newsletter! Support for our film on any scale is much appreciated. You being interested in what goes on behind-the-scenes helps us to spread the word about our film and reach all audiences possible.

For new subscribers, welcome!
I’m Zoë Kissel, the director, editor, and writer of the short film, Juice.

Juice is a short neo-noir, science fiction film following a young addict’s growing withdrawal and the fatal decision she makes to get high once more. The film takes place in the futuristic world of CityComInfo (CCI). In response to the government-halted heroin epidemic, the black market manufactures a new drug to satisfy the junkies’ enduring hunger to feel that same high. Juice is a drug that hooks people with a single injection. The high itself is much more deadly than the heroin of the past.

For returning readers, thanks for sticking around! Enjoy Juice Production Newsletter #10.

Watch Juice now!
We announced Juice’s completion and released the screening link and password to the public on Friday, March 23rd. In the short time, we have received great responses from viewers. For those of you who have taken the time to watch Juice, thank you. It means the world to us.

Since Juice is now available for screening, please share the Vimeo link and password with friends and family.

Vimeo Link: www.vimeo.com/zoekissel/juice
Vimeo Password (case-sensitive): Juice31818

In case you missed it, we also released another short teaser for Juice, featuring the ComBox prop. You can watch the teaser here: https://vimeo.com/261317494

A screenshot of  Juice ’s teaser.

A screenshot of Juice’s teaser.

Behind-the-Scenes Interviews
Now that everyone has had a chance to watch Juice, I want to feature Dylan Kissel (sound designer/lead sound editor) and Christian Kolo (composer) talking about their own experiences while working on Juice.

Dylan Kissel on Juice’s Soundscape
How was the experience of working on Juice?
Working on Juice was a big learning experience for me. I had done a lot of the work before, but this time it was on a much larger scale that took more planning and forethought before I could even dive into post-production.

How do you decide to make your own sounds rather than using already existing sounds?
A good example would be the gunshot in the film. In this case, I made my own sound because it needed to be very stylized and special to the world of Juice, yet still recognizable as a gunshot. When I was making the gunshot I used a combination of a handgun sound, a shotgun sound, and a laser noise. I took each sound apart and messed with them through lengthening, shortening, interesting EQ... and then I combined them to create the gunshot that you hear in the film.

Dylan Kissel, the Sound Designer/Lead Sound Editor for  Juice .

Dylan Kissel, the Sound Designer/Lead Sound Editor for Juice.

How does being given a setting within a film influence the way that you create sound?
For Juice, the biggest thing is really making it so that the viewer has the experience that they would expect to have if they were to visit the CCI alley themselves. You need the viewer to hear everything that they should hear, whether it be beeping sounds from the ComBox or the ambient sound of a standard environment. As a sound designer, to make an environment convincing you have to be constantly researching, even if that is just being aware of the sounds happening around your life. Juice is a futuristic film, so technology also comes into play. Electricity in the U.S. generates a 60-cycle hum. 60Hz became a big number for me in Juice because everything was electrical-based. The gun’s energy hum was made from two sine waves that were generated at 60Hz and 120Hz.

What about the atmospheric sounds of Juice?
I tried to keep the ambience more natural. I used recordings from the day of filming combined with the sounds of a coal plant generating electricity to bring an industrial feeling to the atmosphere. My goal was to make an ambience that acknowledged the life of a natural environment, like crickets and wind noise, but also the constant construction, motor sounds, power, technology of a future world. I wanted to make it feel like there was life, but that the life was from machines and electricity. The very natural, and least machine-like, feelings of the ambience only come through when Violet loses consciousness.

How do you balance moments when there is dialogue, music, and sound all at once?
For the most part, people have come to expect dialogue to be the most prevalent sound in a film. In Juice however, I took more of a route where I tried to highlight the dialogue as much as possible but since there is such little dialogue I let the music and sound effects take over and tell the story for certain scenes. During the confrontation between Holder 2371 and Violet’s Brother, the dialogue exists, but because of the rise in the music and commotion that is happening, the viewer does not need to know exactly what is being said. You still get the vibe.

Can you give me an example of how you built a particular sound for Juice?
In Juice, there is a scene where Holder 2371 scans Violet’s ComCard. The holder takes the ComCard, inserts it into his wrist, the card scans with a readout on his goggles, and then is ejected. In the scene, the major sounds are the insertion of the card, the scanning, and ejection of the card, as well as a small 60-cycle electrical hum that is projected from the goggles. The scanning noise was made recording using of an old Super 8mm camera. I recorded the sound of the camera at various frame rates which gave me various speeds of the scanning noise. The ejection of the ComCard was actually the starting and stopping of the Super 8mm camera. There wasn’t any film inside of the camera and it made a really unique sound when trying to load the non-existent film.

Why does sound design matter?
Sound design, or rather all of the audio, is at least 50% of a film. Many directors have said that they would much rather have a film that has good sound and poor picture than have a good looking picture and poor sound. The audio experience is a very large part of a film.

 Christian Kolo on The Music Behind Juice
What was it like working on Juice?
I had not had the opportunity before to score a fully electronic soundtrack, so it was definitely a fun experience. Since the movie had a lot of opportunity for music, it was very cool to also write such a large score for a relatively short film. I think almost 75% of the film has music.

Is writing an electronic film score different than writing for orchestra?
The music itself is not different at all, to me at least. Even though the opening scene to Juice is all synthesizers and pads sustaining the main melody, it is still relatively orchestral. Of course, the logistics are different because you do have to take into account for all of the sound effects, dialogue, mood, tone… whereas in an orchestral setting you don’t have to worry about matching an already existing picture. In a film, you have to stick with what the film is trying to emote.

Christian Kolo,  Juice ’s soundtrack composer.

Christian Kolo, Juice’s soundtrack composer.

What is the key to telling a good story through music?
Development. Obviously there are a lot of important things, like mood, the right instrument... but with any film, a good melody needs to be transformed and developed with the character. You look for a character arc in stories and try to find a way to tell that through music. While you choose to stay within a certain “sound world” for the film, you find different ways to express it in order to match how the characters and their stories evolve over time. As a film composer, I try to take the story as my own. I need to be able to understand the film’s story from my own perspective before I even begin to figure out the musical sound, idea, or melody. I have to understand the story as if I have lived it. Once you understand it, you can then try to impose your own creativity through the music.

What kind of writing approach did you take for the score to Juice?
After watching the film with the sound effects, I knew that the score was going to be electronic so a lot of the work was finding the right sounds. The entire first day was spent finding the sounds that I wanted to use and then deciding how I could manipulate them and make them fit, depending on their color. I had to decide what the best sound for the melody was and which synth lead would be the strongest for the opening. A lot of the film was deciding what would be “best”. Especially with an electronic score, you have more at your fingertips in terms of exploiting foreign sounds whereas in an orchestral setting you have the same set of instruments every time, generally. I wanted to make Juice sound alien and futuristic through synthesizers.

Talk me through how you wrote for a certain moment in Juice.
The most difficult and detailed scenes are right before Violet shoots the gun and while she is crying over her dead brother. It’s the last track of the film and the most difficult because the sounds for these moments were weird morph-voice grunts and groans. They weren’t necessarily pitched and it wasn’t clear that a C was a C and a B was a B. To try and find the pitches for the chords that I was looking for was slightly difficult, but in the end it was cool because some of the atonality of the non-pitch notes worked well. The key to the morph-voice sound was the sustainability. Originally, when I would press a key without the sustain it would be a short grunt. I held the sustain pedal of the synth to give the note a tail and applied a reverse reverb effect so that that tail would be crescendo-ed to. The reverb would still ring, but for not as long. I ended up getting a very unnatural sucking in- like a grunt coming back into your mouth sound.

Why does film scoring matter?
It’s the moment when the film comes to life. So much of a movie is about emotion and music and I think, more than anything, music is the purest form of emotion. When a sad scene is sad and you add music to it, it truly becomes sad. When a scene is exciting and you add music to it, it truly becomes exciting. There is something about music that adds a level of fantasy to film that we don’t experience in our own lives, but would want to.

 IMDb Credits
Juice has officially gained an IMDb credit!
Check it out here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt8160726/
For those of you who do not know, IMDb stands for Internet Movie Database. It’s an online database of film, television, and video information, ranging from the huge blockbusters to low-budget independent films.

Having an IMDb credit is a big deal – not everyone gets one. Your production has to be reviewed in order to gain its IMDb status. For our cast and crew, congratulations. You now have an IMDb credit for Juice!

Find your name below and click on the corresponding link to view your personal IMDb page with Juice credit.

Adam Giammarusti - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm9708742/
Ann Kissel - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm9708734/
Anthony Picciuto - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm9708735/
Arianna Kissel - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm9708744/
Arnie Feldsher - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm9708737/
Christian Kolo - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm8945005/
Durk Dunham - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm9708740/
Dylan Kissel - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm9308488/
Jennifer Garcia - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm9708741/
Jeremiah Kissel - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm9708733/
John Garcia - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm9708736/
Leila Kissel - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm9708739/
Marcia Kissel - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm9708738/
R.J. Kissel - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm9708745/
Russ Kissel - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm9708743/
Zoe Kissel - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm9421808/

A screenshot of  Juice ’s IMDb credit.

A screenshot of Juice’s IMDb credit.

Film Patrons
We want to give another huge thank you to everyone who has supported Juice!
With film patrons like you, we were able to bring the world of Juice to life. We will always appreciate your support and interest in our work. It is what keeps us motivated and creating!

A Very Special Thank You To:
Mom and Dad
Durk Dunham
Arnie Feldsher
John and Jennifer Garcia
Joyce Hollow
Russ and Marcia Kissel
Dan and Denise Murphy
Scott Smiddy
Connie Spencer
Dylan Zywicki

If you have any questions about Juice or the film’s production, please feel free to send them in an email to thefilmjuice@gmail.com with the subject “QUESTION SUBMISSION”. Unless requested otherwise, I will answer the questions publicly within the next newsletter.

If you have any distribution, press, production, or screening rights inquiries, please send us an email at thefilmjuice@gmail.com or contact us through www.thefilmjuice.com

Until next time,

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Newsletter #9

MARCH 18, 2018

Hello!
Thank you for subscribing to our weekly Juice Production Newsletter! Support for our film on any scale is much appreciated. You being interested in what goes on behind-the-scenes helps us to spread the word about our film and reach all audiences possible.

For new subscribers, welcome!
I’m Zoë Kissel, the director, editor, and writer of the upcoming short film, Juice.

Juice is a short neo-noir, science fiction film following a young addict’s growing withdrawal and the fatal decision she makes to get high once more. The film takes place in the futuristic world of CityComInfo (CCI). In response to the government-halted heroin epidemic, the black market manufactures a new drug to satisfy the junkies’ enduring hunger to feel that same high. Juice is a drug that hooks people with a single injection. The high itself is much more deadly than the heroin of the past.

For returning readers, thanks for sticking around! Enjoy Juice Production Newsletter #9.

IT’S HERE!
We are beyond excited to announce that Juice is complete and available for your viewing pleasure! It is a surreal and bittersweet feeling to finally have the film finished. After working on Juice for the past eight months, it has become a major part of our lives. Releasing our art into the world is both a scary and magnificent feeling. We are so proud of all we have learned and accomplished through Juice and are even more inspired to make our next film. Thank you for your support, we could not have done this without you.

The final edited timeline of  Juice .

The final edited timeline of Juice.

As newsletter subscribers and Juice patrons, you get an exclusive pre-screening of Juice via Vimeo!

Enjoy your pre-screening here:
Vimeo Link: www.vimeo.com/zoekissel/juice
Vimeo Password (case-sensitive): Juice31818

The film will officially be released and made available to the public on Friday, March 23, 2018 so be sure to take advantage of your pre-screening!

We have also released a trailer for Juice. It’s a quick teaser into the world of CCI. You can view the trailer here: https://vimeo.com/260606581

Credits at the end of the  Juice  trailer.

Credits at the end of the Juice trailer.

Check out Juice and let us know what you think! We would love to hear from you and your reactions as some of the very first people to ever experience our film.

Cast & Crew
Thank you to everyone who has made Juice possible! I have included the official credits for the movie below. Give them a read - these are the people who helped bring Juice to life.

Written, Directed, and Edited by Zoe Kissel
Sound Design by Dylan Kissel
Music Composed by Christian Kolo

Violet      Zoe Kissel
Aunt Marcy      Leila Kissel
Holder 2371      Anthony Picciuto
Violet’s Brother      Dylan Kissel

First Assistant Director      Russ Kissel
Script Supervisor      Ann Kissel
Production Assistant      Leila Kissel
Stand-In for Violet      Arianna Kissel

Director of Photography      Russ Kissel
Second Assistant Camera      Arianna Kissel
Best Boy Electric      Adam Giammarusti
Best Boy Grip      Jeremiah Kissel

Production Designer      Russ Kissel
Property Master      Dylan Kissel
Set Dresser      Ann Kissel
Continuity      Marcia Kissel
Production Stills      Leila Kissel

Music Composed and Produced by Christian Kolo

Sound Designer/Lead Sound Editor      Dylan Kissel
Boom Operators      Adam Giammarusti
                              Jeremiah Kissel

Special Effects Supervisor      Dylan Kissel
Special Effects Technicians     Anthony Picciuto
                                           Jeremiah Kissel
                                           R.J. Kissel

     Juice Technical Advisor      Arianna Kissel

Rigging      Adam Giammarusti
                R.J. Kissel

Craft Services      Leila Kissel

Associate Producers      Durk Dunham
                                  Arnie Feldsher
                                  John and Jennifer Garcia
                                  Russ and Marcia Kissel

With Special Thanks To
Mom and Dad
Durk Dunham
Arnie Feldsher
John and Jennifer Garcia
Russ and Marcia Kissel
Dan and Denise Murphy

Filmed on Location      Wyandotte, Michigan
                                 Detroit, Michigan

A production of Broken Jaw Studios
In association with Silver Saucer Productions

The story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this film are entirely fictitious.
Any resemblance to a real person or circumstance is purely coincidental.

Juice Copyright 2018 Broken Jaw Studios

Film Patrons, check your inboxes!
Qualifying patrons, check your email inboxes. Today you will receive the final patron reward, your own personal copy of Juice, as a Google Drive link available for personal download.

Thank you again to our film patrons for your contribution to Juice! If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check out www.thefilmjuice.com for your Patron Credit. And, for our Associate Producers, look for your name on the official Juice poster, in the end credits of the film, and at the end of the Juicetrailer.

With film patrons like you we are able to bring the world of Juice to life. Thank you for continuing to be supportive of and interested in our creative work.

If you have any questions about Juice or the film’s production, please feel free to send them in an email to thefilmjuice@gmail.com with the subject “QUESTION SUBMISSION”. Unless requested otherwise, I will answer the questions publicly within the next newsletter.

Until next time,

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Newsletter #8

MARCH 13, 2018

Hello!
Thank you for subscribing to our weekly Juice Production Newsletter! Support for our film on any scale is much appreciated. You being interested in what goes on behind-the-scenes helps us to spread the word about our film and reach all audiences possible.

For new subscribers, welcome!
I’m Zoë Kissel, the director, editor, and writer of the upcoming short film, Juice.

Juice is a short neo-noir, science fiction film following a young addict’s growing withdrawal and the fatal decision she makes to get high once more. The film takes place in the futuristic world of CityComInfo (CCI). In response to the government-halted heroin epidemic, the black market manufactures a new drug to satisfy the junkies’ enduring hunger to feel that same high. Juice is a drug that hooks people with a single injection. The high itself is much more deadly than the heroin of the past.

For returning readers, thanks for sticking around! Enjoy Juice Production Newsletter #8.

The visual…
This past week, all departments of Juice have been working very hard to complete the film in time for its upcoming release.

Zoë in the edit bay, working on Juice’s visual effects.

I finished creating all of the visual effects for the film, including the charge in Holder 2371’s gun, muzzle flash, glowing goggles, a glitching Tattle Tale mouse, and trippy drug-induced double exposure/pushing the highlights effects. All of the work I did for Juice was done frame by frame to ensure proper integration between the visual effects and already existing environment.

Added visual effects: Holder 2371’s charged gun.

Added visual effects: Holder 2371’s goggles.

For Violet’s high scenes, I was inspired by the television series Dexter. The main character, Dexter, often talks to his deceased father, reliving the past. During these scenes, the highlights become extremely bright, giving a surreal and dreamy effect. I felt this would be perfect when combined with multiple “exposures” to create Violet’s “high effect”.

Violet’s “high effect” in Juice.

Next on my to-do list is color grading. In Juice Production Newsletter #3, we talked about orange and teal color grading and the power of complimentary colors. I will now apply the orange and teal theme throughout Juice to give it a beautiful, rich, and cohesive color scheme, while still embracing the natural colors of the film.

…and the audio
Dylan has been working on the film’s sound design and is now in the stage of adjusting the levels and panning, which are important in making the sound fit with the movie. It’s a balancing act- when Violet is close to the camera she should be louder than when she is further away from the camera, yet she still needs to be a reasonably audible level. The dialog levels also have to fit with breathing, crinkling wrappers, footsteps, etc., all while still leaving room for the soundtrack to swell.

In the past week, Juice’s soundtrack has also been completed! Christian has written four beautiful tracks for us that flow perfectly with the movie. It was a very powerful moment when Christian sent the soundtrack and we listened for the very first time. Juice as a film became all the more real, which speaks not only to the power of music in films, but also this particular soundtrack.

Juice (Original Soundtrack by Christian Kolo) Track Listing
1. Main Titles
2. A Sigh
3. The Confrontation and Ending
4. End Credits

A screenshot of Christian’s individually recorded instrument tracks.

Coming Soon!
As we near the end of Juice’s post-production, I want to remind all newsletter subscribers to keep an eye on their email inbox. Sunday, March 18th, you will receive an exclusive link and password for your very own pre-screening of Juice!

The following week, Friday, March 23rd, we will be releasing Juice to the public via Vimeo, so take advantage of your early screenings while you can. We will also be releasing promotional trailers for the film between now and March 23rd through our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/thefilmjuice. If you haven’t already, be sure to give our Facebook page a like to stay instantly updated on all things Juice.

Attention Film Patrons:
Your patron packages have shipped!
If you have met the reward level of $25 or above, you will be receiving your patron package via FedEx very soon. Included in rewards $25 and above is a hand-signed, official Juice poster. We printed them last week and they look fantastic.

Official Juice posters in the process of being printed.

Thank you again to our film patrons for your contribution to Juice! If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check out www.thefilmjuice.com for your Patron Credit. And, for our Associate Producers, look for your name on both the official Juice poster and in the end credits of the film when it is released. With film patrons like you we are able to bring the world of Juice to life. Thank you for continuing to be supportive of and interested in our creative work.

If you have any questions about Juice or the film’s production, please feel free to send them in an email to thefilmjuice@gmail.com with the subject “QUESTION SUBMISSION”. Unless requested otherwise, I will answer the questions publicly within the next newsletter.

Until next time,

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NEWSLETTER #7

FEBRUARY 26, 2018

Hello!
Thank you for subscribing to our weekly Juice Production Newsletter! Support for our film on any scale is much appreciated. You being interested in what goes on behind-the-scenes helps us to spread the word about our film and reach all audiences possible.

For new subscribers, welcome!
I’m Zoë Kissel, the director, editor, and writer of the upcoming short film, Juice.

Juice is a short neo-noir, science fiction film following a young addict’s growing withdrawal and the fatal decision she makes to get high once more. The film takes place in the futuristic world of CityComInfo (CCI). In response to the government-halted heroin epidemic, the black market manufactures a new drug to satisfy the junkies’ enduring hunger to feel that same high. Juice is a drug that hooks people with a single injection. The high itself is much more deadly than the heroin of the past.

For returning readers, thanks for sticking around! Enjoy Juice Production Newsletter #7.

00:01:16:05 – 00:02:11:10
In post-production, I have been working on Juice’s special effects. This past weekend, I have focused primarily on the ComBox’s lights. As Violet interacts with the ComBox, the lights change colors. I am also working on increasing the intensity of the lights, particularly the ComCard slot’s light, to give it a more dramatic effect.

To make these edits, I am using Adobe After Effects CC 2018’s rotoscope tool. Rotoscoping is tracing/masking part of an image, frame by frame, so that you can manipulate just that part of the image. For example, since I want to edit the Combox’s lights, I am rotoscoping only the lights.

Generally, rotoscoping works great because the program does a lot of the work for you. After Effects will predict what I want to be traced in the next frame depending on the contrast and tolerance in the previous frames. It learns as it goes. Rotoscoping works best if there is high contrast in the image to determine what you want “cut” out.

In Juice’s case, since we made the aesthetic decision of having a lot of moving fog in our film, the rotoscoping tool is getting confused due to the lack of raw contrast. Rotoscoping also requires a linear workflow. Often, I will make it to the end of an edit just to realize that the rotoscoping tool “freak outs” for the last 10 frames.

When After Effects can’t rotoscope properly, you have to do it by hand. This is called masking. It takes hours, but masking is still extremely successful. To make the special effects look as best as possible, I have to re-mask some of the work that I have already rotoscoped. Although it can get a bit frustrating at times, re-doing edits is a part of the post-production process. Each error brings me closer to a faster and better solution for next time. It’s all a part of the journey.

Capture2.JPG
Variations of light intensity manipulated in post-production for the ComBox’s ComCard slot. The first image is the unedited frame.

Variations of light intensity manipulated in post-production for the ComBox’s ComCard slot. The first image is the unedited frame.

Our Characters
As we quickly approach the release of Juice, I want to give a behind-the-scenes introduction to each of the film’s characters (in order of appearance).

z.jpg

Meet Violet.
Violet is a young junkie in the world of CCI. She did juice once and is now hooked. Lost in both her addiction and immaturity, Violet is on her way to a drug deal as the film begins.

Leila.jpg

Meet Aunt Marcy.
Aunt Marcy is Violet’s aunt and go-to call for more credits whenever Violet is low. Recently, Aunt Marcy has caught on to Violet’s habit and now refuses to pay for her addiction. Though, according to Violet, she’s easily persuaded.

AJ.jpg

Meet Holder 2371.
Holder 2371 is a designated holder of juice. As a cyborg, he works as a middle man in the drug market in exchange for his mechanically prolonged life. All holders are marked with a holder desig on their left arm. A holder desig is an implanted scanner that reads buyers’ ComCards, as well as the quality and amount of traded juice. The scanned information from the holder desig is transmitted through inner-body circuitry and projected through the holder’s eyes, onto their uniform goggle lenses.

Meet Violet’s Brother.
Before she became a junkie, Violet and her brother were very close. Now all Violet cares about is getting high. Violet’s Brother still worries for Violet’s safety and just wants to bring her home.

Film Patrons Thank You!
I want to give a huge thank you to our film patrons! Thank you so much for your contribution to Juice. With film patrons like you we are able to bring the world of Juice to life. Thank you for continuing to be supportive of and interested in our creative work.

If you are interested in becoming a Juice Film Patron, visit www.thefilmjuice.com/donate for more information.

If you have any questions about Juice or the film’s production, please feel free to send them in an email to thefilmjuice@gmail.com with the subject “QUESTION SUBMISSION”. Unless requested otherwise, I will answer the questions publicly within the next newsletter.

Until next time,

 
 

NEWSLETTER #6

FEBRUARY 6, 2018

Hello!
Thank you for subscribing to our weekly Juice Production Newsletter! Support for our film on any scale is much appreciated. You being interested in what goes on behind-the-scenes helps us to spread the word about our film and reach all audiences possible.

For new subscribers, welcome!
I’m Zoë Kissel, the director, editor, and writer of the upcoming short film, Juice.

Juice is a short neo-noir, science fiction film following a young addict’s growing withdrawal and the fatal decision she makes to get high once more. The film takes place in the futuristic world of CityComInfo (CCI). In response to the government-halted heroin epidemic, the black market manufactures a new drug to satisfy the junkies’ enduring hunger to feel that same high. Juice is a drug that hooks people with a single injection. The high itself is much more deadly than the heroin of the past.

For returning readers, thanks for sticking around! Enjoy Juice Production Newsletter #6.

Workflow
This week’s newsletter is going to be a quick update on our progress in Juice’s post-production and how we stay organized with approximately 15,120 frames of footage to keep track of.

Our primary in-house goal for Juice’s remaining post-production is to complete the audio/soundscape and visual effects. Before beginning the tasks of creating the audio and visual elements, we first made maps of what needed to be accomplished. We broke down the film into shot-by-shot segments and recorded the shots’ SMPTE timecode to allow for easy navigation. SMPTE is the standard for labeling film frames with a timecode, created by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. SMPTE timecodes are written in the order of hours, minutes, seconds, and frames.

Once the segments were timecoded and labeled, we went through the film one shot at a time. While watching each shot, I wrote down exactly what needed to be created. This works as a type of checklist for me. I can make sure that each shot of Juice is cohesive and complete visually. For example, in the opening shot that we discussed in the last newsletter, I planned for a glitch-in and fire plumes before starting editing. While I map out each shot, I also jot down any visual ideas that come to mind. I always like to try each idea that I think of, even if I am unsure of it. Sometimes they end up working out much better than expected.

To risk losing all of my work, I always save a new file for each effect in each shot. Right now I have about twenty-five separately saved files of Juice. This way, if a file becomes corrupted I only lose a day of work, not six months’ worth. Safety first.

Zoë’s visual effects map.

While I prefer handwriting my visual maps in a notebook, Dylan works on his computer. He uses Microsoft OneNote for his organization and planning processes. Dylan says, “OneNote is especially helpful when collaborating with others and needing to have all of my information at a moment’s notice because it syncs across all of my devices. Inside of OneNote I am able to import everything from scripts to hand drawn sketches. When making my sound map and cue sheet it’s helpful to have everything available at my fingertips.”

Dylan’s sound map and cue sheets for Juice.

Editing Playlist
When I don’t have to focus on audio during editing, I love listening to other films’ soundtracks. Music always adds more inspiration to my edits, both because of the additional emotion and coincidental/magical queues. As Juice’s own soundtrack is still being written, it’s always motivational to hear other people’s music fit with your own work. It’s a bit of a reaffirmation in the post-production stages that things are flowing in the right direction.

What I’ve Been Listening To
Blade Runner Trilogy – Vangelis
OK Computer – Radiohead (not a soundtrack, but works perfectly as one)
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – Ennio Morricone
Westworld: Season 1 – Ramin Djawadi

I have also been reading Robert Rodriguez’s Rebel Without A Crew and I highly recommend it. If you’ve enjoyed reading the Juice newsletters so far, you will absolutely love following Rodriguez’s journey with his film, El Mariachi.

Film Patrons Thank You!
I want to give a huge thank you to our film patrons! Thank you so much for your contribution to Juice. With film patrons like you we are able to bring the world of Juice to life. Thank you for continuing to be supportive of and interested in our creative work.

If you are interested in becoming a Juice Film Patron, visit www.thefilmjuice.com/donate for more information.

If you have any questions about Juice or the film’s production, please feel free to send them in an email to thefilmjuice@gmail.com with the subject “QUESTION SUBMISSION”. Unless requested otherwise, I will answer the questions publicly within the next newsletter.

Until next time,

 
 

Newsletter #5

JANUARY 28, 2018

Hello!
Thank you for subscribing to our weekly Juice Production Newsletter! Support for our film on any scale is much appreciated. You being interested in what goes on behind-the-scenes helps us to spread the word about our film and reach all audiences possible.

For new subscribers, welcome!
I’m Zoë Kissel, the director, editor, and writer of the upcoming short film, Juice.

Juice is a short neo-noir, science fiction film following a young addict’s growing withdrawal and the fatal decision she makes to get high once more. The film takes place in the futuristic world of CityComInfo (CCI). In response to the government-halted heroin epidemic, the black market manufactures a new drug to satisfy the junkies’ enduring hunger to feel that same high. Juice is a drug that hooks people with a single injection. The high itself is much more deadly than the heroin of the past.

For returning readers, thanks for sticking around! Enjoy Juice Production Newsletter #5.

We’re alive, we promise!
Although the Juice Production Newsletter has been quiet for a few months, we are very happy to announce that Juice is in the homestretch of post-production! The film is scheduled to be released March 2018 and we are counting down the days. As a thank you for being a newsletter subscriber, you will get access to the film a week earlier than the general public.

Film patron rewards will be shipped early March. Also, if you are a qualifying patron, remember to check your email inbox for your own digital copy of Juice. As soon as the film is finished, we will send it your way!

One of the patron rewards is a 27” x 40” Juice poster. With this week’s newsletter, we are excited to reveal the film’s official poster design, featuring our main character Violet. The photograph used for the poster is actually a frame from the film. I added orange and teal color grading, as well as a slight vignette, in order to emulate the grungy and dark vibe of the film. Underneath Juice’s title, you can see the billing block for the film. A billing block is a list of names, generally in a heavily condensed font, that is featured on the bottom portion of an official poster, also known as a “one sheet”. In traditional Hollywood, the order and size of billing block credits are negotiated with contracts between the producers/distributors and creative talent. In our case, the names are organized in a somewhat traditional order, with the studio first and director last. Associate producers, look closely. Your names also appear within the billing block.

(Juice’s associate producers are Durk Dunham, Arnie Feldsher, John & Jennifer Garcia, and Russ & Marcia Kissel.)

Sound and Music
While we initially planned for our day-of recorded audio to be used in the film, we decided to recreate the soundscape and dialogue through foley, ADR, and synthesized sound effects for complete control and manipulation.

As introduced in Juice Production Newsletter #4, foley is the reproduction of sounds that would be found in a film’s environment and the synchronizing of them with the film’s visuals. At the simplest level, the hoof steps of a horse can be reproduced through the sound of coconut shells striking each other or another surface. For Juice, our foley consisted footsteps, the dropping of metal, breaking of glass, crinkling of wrappers, and more. In the second shot of the film, Violet walks along the cement, stumbling and shuffling in her boots. To re-create Violet’s footsteps, we brought two blocks of cement into our studio, each with different textures. Since I still had the actual high heel boots that Violet wore in the film, I tested the sound of those on the cement. They were missing a heel and sounded a bit too plastic-y. Instead, we used a heavier pair of tennis shoes. I put the shoes on my hands and “walked”, matching Violet’s footsteps while watching a playback monitor. If needed, Dylan adjusted and realigned any missteps after the fact.

Juice ’s foley set up.

Juice’s foley set up.

Our ADR, or Automated Dialogue Replacement, was carried out in pretty much the same way as our foley work. We brought each actor into the studio, including Violet, Violet’s Brother, Aunt Marcy, and Holder 2371, and had them re-record their lines against the visuals of their character. Acting while speaking helped to keep the vocal emotion strong and prevent rubbery lips. Rubbery lips occur when the dubbed dialogue does not match the pre-recorded visuals closely enough.

Anthony Picciuto performing his character Holder 2371’s lines, while Dylan records the ADR

Anthony Picciuto performing his character Holder 2371’s lines, while Dylan records the ADR

We have secured a composer for the film’s music! We will be working with Christian Kolo, an orchestral composer also at Michigan State University. Much of the film will be brought to life with the soundtrack he creates for Juice.

Visit his website and listen to Christian’s other film soundtracks, as well as his orchestral/band works: www.christiankolo.com

Christian Kolo,  Juice ’s soundtrack composer.

Christian Kolo, Juice’s soundtrack composer.

00:00:00:00 – 00:00:49:17
In order for Dylan to begin any work on the sound, I first had to complete the picture lock. The picture lock is essentially an edit of the film with all of the shots and cuts in place. Once you have picture lock, you cannot move shots around. If the shots end up being moved, this can cause a great headache when the sound designer is editing to one version of the film, while the composer is writing to another, and visual effects are being created to yet another.

Most recently, I have been working on the post-production visual effects for Juice. In order to complete the film, I will first have to create/place the effects, color correct the effects to match the existing scene, and then color grade the overall film. Yesterday, I completed approximately fifty seconds of post work. I adjusted the fade in/fade out lengths for the opening credits. I recently saw a short film that inspired me and instead of using a typical “fade in from black”, Juice is going to have a “glitch in”. To create the glitch effect I used Red Giant’s Universe 2.2 plug-in within Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2018.

Juice ’s “glitch in” effect.

Juice’s “glitch in” effect.

I also added fire plumes to Juice’s establishing shot. The first twenty-five seconds of the film will show a futuristic, industrial cityscape while featuring the music of the film. In this shot, I used Adobe After Effects CC 2018 to implement fire plumes. I adjusted their size, duration, direction of wind, and more to fit the scene. For example, clouds of smoke/steam often pass in front of the furthest fire plume. It would be nearly impossible to separate the smoke from the footage and place it in front of the artificial fire, so instead I simply adjusted the opacity of the fire plume layer. As the clouds pass in front, the fire plume has less opacity. When there are less clouds, the fire is seen clearer and stronger through an increase in opacity. These manual adjustments of opacity are controlled through keyframes. While I still have to match their color with the preexisting footage, I am happy with the results so far.

Fire plumes in the establishing shot of  Juice .

Fire plumes in the establishing shot of Juice.

Film Patrons Shout Out!
I want to give a huge thank you to this week’s featured film patrons! Thank you so much for your contribution to Juice. With film patrons like you we are able to bring the world of Juice to life. Thank you for continuing to be supportive of and interested in our creative work.

Thank You
Russ & Leila Kissel
John & Jennifer Garcia
Durk Dunham
Arnie Feldsher
Russ & Marcia Kissel
Dan & Denise Murphy
Scott Smiddy
Dylan Zywicki
Joyce Hollow
Connie Spencer

If you are interested in becoming a Juice Film Patron, visit www.thefilmjuice.com/donate for more information.

If you have any questions about Juice or the film’s production, please feel free to send them in an email to thefilmjuice@gmail.com with the subject “QUESTION SUBMISSION”. Unless requested otherwise, I will answer them publicly within the next newsletter.

Until next time,

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nEWSLETTER #4

OCTOBER 1, 2017

Excerpt #4 from the Juice screenplay.

Excerpt #4 from the Juice screenplay.

Hello!
Thank you for subscribing to our weekly Juice Production Newsletter! Support for our films on any scale is much appreciated. You being interested in what goes on behind-the-scenes helps us to spread the word about our film and reach all audiences possible.

For new subscribers, welcome! I’m Zoë Kissel, the director, editor, and writer of the upcoming short film, Juice. Juice is a sci-fi, neo-noir, futuristic, short film taking place in the world of CityComInfo (CCI). City is the people, Com is the closely watched communication between the people, and Info is the information that “they” choose the public to receive. In response to the government-halted heroin epidemic of the future, a new drug is being manufactured to satisfy the junkies’ enduring want to feel that same high. Juice is a drug that hooks people with a single injection. The high itself is much more potent than the heroin of the past. The film Juice follows a young addict’s growing withdrawal and the fatal decision that she makes to get high once more.

And for returning readers, thanks for sticking around! Enjoy this week’s Juice Production Newsletter #4.

Meet Our Cast & Crew!
I would like to spend the majority of this week’s newsletter giving recognition to the fantastic cast and crew of Juice. The film would not be possible without their commitment and hard work. I have found that sometimes it can get a bit confusing reading the credits after a film with official titles such as “best boy”, “rigger”, or even “property master”. As I introduce you to each member of our cast and crew, I will explain what their credits mean to alleviate some of the confusion of who-does-what on a movie set.

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Zoe Kissel
Violet/Director/Writer/Editor

As the director, writer, and editor of Juice, my job is to guide the film through all creative stages of production. I visualize the story and determine how the actors and crew will bring the plot to life. In post-production, I edit the footage to make a cohesive film through choices of cuts and other editing techniques, including color grading and visual effects.

“Working on Juice thus far has been both an irreplaceable and unforgettable experience. Seeing the progress and growth of an initial concept transforming into a screenplay that transforms into an even more gratifying production with actors, props, sets, and a crew that is determined to succeed is an absolutely unbelievable feeling. It is such a great opportunity to be able to share the ideas within our minds on the screen before you. As Juice reaches completion, I know that the spirit of determination and focus established on set will continue to thrive in post-production. As thrilling as the filming of Juice was, the proud breath of relief that the cast and crew gave following "That's a wrap!" was even better.”

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Dylan Kissel
Violet’s Brother/Supervising Sound Designer/Property Master/Special Effects Supervisor

Meet Dylan –
Dylan is a musician, producer, recording engineer, and sound designer. He began recording and producing music in 2012, as a way to further the creation of his own sound. Currently living in East Lansing, Michigan, Dylan attends Michigan State University where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Media & Information. He is a co-creator of Broken Jaw Studios, a true multi-media production company located in the Detroit area, as well as a co-creator of Silver Saucer Productions and DIYphonic Sound. Dylan records, mixes, masters, and produces at Broken Jaw Studios. He also functions as the supervising sound designer, prop master, gaffer, and key grip for Silver Saucer Productions.

In Juice, Dylan plays the role of Violet’s protective brother. He is also the supervising sound designer for the film, meaning that he supervises the process of acquiring and manipulating the sound of the production, as well as creating additional audio elements through foley art. Foley is the reproduction of sounds that would be found in a film’s environment and the synchronizing of them with the film’s visuals. At the simplest level, the hoof steps of a horse can be reproduced through the sound of coconut shells striking each other or another surface. As the property master of Juice, Dylan is also responsible for designing and producing the props needed for the film. On set, Dylan also acted as the special effects supervisor, overseeing all of the physical effects, as well as ensuring that they were executed safely.

“It was wonderful to be able to work with the entire cast and crew during the making of Juice. I am excited to design Juice’s soundscape as post-production continues.”

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Anthony Picciuto
Holder 2371/Special Effects Technician

Meet Anthony “AJ” –
AJ is currently a junior at University of Michigan Dearborn studying Digital Forensics. In Juice, AJ plays the role of Holder 2371, a cyborg drug dealer of the future. AJ was also a special effects technician for the film. Special effects technicians work with the special effects supervisor to produce visual and physical effects for a film. In AJ’s case, he operated the fog machines to provide Juice with the neo-noir mood that was introduced on set.

Leila.jpg

Leila Kissel
Aunt Marcy/Production Assistant/Production Stills/Craft Services

Meet Leila –
In Juice, Leila plays the role of Violet’s Aunt Marcy. She is also Juice’s production assistant and was in charge of craft services and production stills during the shoots. A production assistant’s job is to help with anything that is needed on set. Leila did everything from operating the CCI ComBox backstage to taking behind-the-scenes photos, many of which are featured in the Juice Production Newsletters. Leila also provided craft services throughout production, taking on the important task of guaranteeing that the cast and crew were never without pizza.

“I am so glad that I was able to help with the production and craft services, as well as act in Juice. The all-night shoot was a lot of fun!”

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Russ Kissel
Director of Photography/Production Designer/1st Assistant Director
Meet Russ –

Russ is the director of photography, production designer, and 1st assistant director for Juice. The director of photography is a cinematographer who works very closely with the film’s director. As the director of photography (DP), Russ was responsible for capturing the desired scenes, as well as choosing the camera lenses and shot composition for each take. DPs often design the lighting for films too. Russ also worked as Juice’s production designer, meaning that he was in charge of designing the overall look and atmosphere of the world of CityComInfo through aesthetically pleasing visual choices and the designing and manufacturing of a multitude of props.

“I have always been interested in the building of props for the film industry. The film Juice challenged me to build both static and dynamic props. Dylan and I were able to design and build our props using state of the art technologies including Rhino design software, 3D printers, CNC machines, EL Wire, and the Arduino platform. For me, prop building is art with a purpose.”

Adam.JPG

Adam Giammarusti
Best Boy Electric/Boom Operator/Rigger

Meet Adam –
During the filming of Juice, Adam worked as the best boy electric, boom operator, and rigger. Best boys are generally the chief assistant to the head of their department, whether it be Grip or Electric. There are no “best girls” in the film industry; female chief assistants are also credited as “best boys”. Boom operators are a part of the sound crew and work under the direction of the supervising sound designer. As a boom operator, Adam operated the boom mic to record the actors’ dialogue during filming. Adam also worked as a rigger for Juice. Riggers are responsible for the setting up and tearing down of sets before and after each scene/location change.

Ann.JPG

Ann Kissel
Script Supervisor/Set Dresser

Meet Ann –
Ann is a mother of three college students and a third grade teacher. Ann worked as the script supervisor and set dresser for Juice. Throughout the shoot, Ann tracked what had been filmed and what was still left to be filmed. She also took notes on continuity and any changes to the shot list, as well as keeping track of the number of takes per scene. As the set dresser, Ann maintained the set to ensure that there was continuity with the visuals and storytelling. One of Ann’s main jobs was to re-wet the pavement with a hose in between each take.

“Working behind the scenes on the set of Juice made me truly appreciate the details that go into the production of a film!”

Arianna.JPG

Arianna Kissel
Stand-In for Violet/2nd Assistant Camera/Juice Technical Advisor

Meet Arianna –
Arianna is currently in her last year of nursing school. During the production of Juice, Arianna was the stand-in for Violet. As a stand-in, Arianna helped with blocking where Violet would stand and move during the scene. Blocking helps with camera placement and the focusing of shots. Arianna was also the 2nd assistant camera. This means that she used the clapboard/slate to record the scene and take numbers. As the juice technical advisor, Arianna was responsible for researching and acquiring the proper and convincing “juice” paraphernalia, along with helping the actors and the believability of their methods.

“I had a great time helping with the production of Juice. It was an experience that I will never forget. I am so happy that I got to be part of such an awesome cast and crew- the whole process was a blast!”

Jeremiah.JPG

Jeremiah Kissel
Best Boy Grip/Boom Operator/Special Effects Technician

Meet Jeremiah –
Jeremiah is a freshman at Eastern Michigan University. He was the best boy grip, boom operator, and special effects technician during the filming of Juice. As the best boy grip, Jeremiah worked with the director of photography to help achieve proper lighting for the shots. He also rotated shifts as a boom operator, recording the actors’ dialogue. Jeremiah’s job as a special effects technician was manipulating dry ice in order to create rising fog off of the wet pavement.

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Marcia Kissel
Continuity

Meet Marcia –
Marcia was in charge of making sure that Juice’s continuity made sense. For example, if in a certain scene a light was turned on, it would not make sense if in the next scene the light was off. A continuity checker’s job is to ensure that visuals, events, and contexts make sense from shot to shot, to avoid confusing the viewer and provide believability to the story.

“Working on Juice was truly educational, fun, and a very rewarding experience. The cast, crew, and set were amazing and very professional.”

R.J. Kissel
Special Effects Technician/Rigger

Meet R.J. –
R.J. was a special effects technician and rigger for Juice. As a special effects technician, he operated the fog machines. R.J. also helped with the set up and tear down for the film.

“Working on the film Juice was a phenomenal experience! Just a ton of fun!”

Tattle Tale.jpg

Tattle Tale
As Itself

Meet Tattle Tale –
Tattle Tale is a decommissioned monitoring robot. Working tattletale mice will report to CCI on specific keywords heard that violate the CCI protocol. Tattle Tale somehow managed to get off of the grid and now spends its days driving from charging port to charging port, feeding on the free energy. When people recognize that a tattletale mouse is decommissioned, they will spray-paint a red “X” on the robot to signal that it is retired.

我喜欢电.”

Next time you watch a movie, take a moment to sit through the credits and appreciate all of the different jobs and people that go into the making of a film. While we had eleven people on the cast and crew for Juice, many productions require hundreds of people, not including extras.

Film Patrons Shout Out!
I want to give a huge thank you to this week’s featured film patrons! Thank you so much for your contribution to Juice. With film patrons like you we are able to bring the world of Juice to life. Thank you for continuing to be supportive of and interested in our creative work.

Thank You:
John & Jennifer Garcia
Durk Dunham
Connie Spencer

Want to help support Juice? Become a film patron!
We want to share this film with as many people as possible. Your involvement, whether it be through donations or social media support, can help us to reach new audiences and continue to create as independent filmmakers and artists.

Why We Need Your Support
·       Not only are we independent filmmakers, we are students. This means that while we are writing, shooting, and editing our films, we are also attending school.

·       We want to send Juice to film festivals to help extend our reach to new audiences around the globe. With each festival, a submission fee is required.

·       We want to make each project better than the last. Your support can help us invest in the proper cinematic equipment to make the best film possible.

·       And of course, we want to continue to make films. We have found our passion and a way to wake up and love what we do every day. With the support to do so, endless worlds can be created and infinite ideas can be achieved.

Donor Rewards
When you contribute to Juice, you automatically get access to exclusive donor rewards!

$5 – Personal Thank You & Newsletter Subscription!
We want to thank you so much for your contribution to Juice!
We will email you a personal thank you note expressing our gratitude for your support in our independent filmmaking and sign you up for our weekly Juice Production Newsletter.

Items Included:

-          Personal Thank You

-          Juice Production Newsletter Subscription

A behind-the-scenes photo on set of Juice

A behind-the-scenes photo on set of Juice

$10 – Social Media Shout Out!
We will give you a shout out on all our social media platforms!
This includes a shout out on Juice’s Facebook, Twitter, and Juice Production Newsletter, along with the director’s social media platforms.

Items Included:

-          Personal Thank You

-          Juice Production Newsletter Subscription

-          Social Media Shout Out


$25 – Juice Poster!
This donation tier gets you an official Juice Poster!
The posters will be shipped within 5 to 7 days of donation unless otherwise noted. Shipping begins October 2, 2017.

Items Included:

-          Personal Thank You

-          Juice Production Newsletter Subscription

-          Social Media Shout Out

-          Juice Poster


$50 – The Film & Patron Credit!
This tier includes a pre-order digital copy of Juice as well as a Patron Credit on the homepage of our website and a Special Thanks Credit in the end credits of our film!
We will send the film via email as soon as it is completed!

Items Included:

-          Personal Thank You

-          Juice Production Newsletter Subscription

-          Social Media Shout Out

-          Juice Poster (Hand-Signed by the director, Zoë Kissel)

-          The Film & Patron Credit


$100 – Associate Producer Credit & Holder 2371 Goggles!
At our top donation tier, you will receive an Associate Producer Credit in the end credits of our film, showing your support for Juice and independent artists alike. Also included is a pair of CCI Holder Desig Goggles, like the ones worn by Holder 2371 in the film!
(Goggle color may vary.)

You will also receive all previous rewards. Thank you so much!

Items Included:

-          Personal Thank You

-          Juice Production Newsletter Subscription

-          Social Media Shout Out

-          Juice Poster (Hand-Signed by the director, Zoë Kissel)

-          The Film & Patron Credit

-          Associate Producer Credit & Holder 2371 Goggles


If you are interested in becoming a Juice Film Patron, visit www.thefilmjuice.com/donate for more information.

Other Ways To Support Juice
Share Juice on social media and spread the word about our film!
Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thefilmjuice
Follow our Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/thefilmjuice
Visit our website: https://www.thefilmjuice.com

If you have any questions about Juice and the production, feel free to send them in an email to thefilmjuice@gmail.com with the subject “QUESTION SUBMISSION”. I will answer them publicly in the next newsletter!

Anthony Piccuito in the makeup chair, as he prepares for his role as Holder 2371.)

Anthony Piccuito in the makeup chair, as he prepares for his role as Holder 2371.)

The official poster for Composing Our Stories with the awarded Accolade Global Film Competition laurels.

The official poster for Composing Our Stories with the awarded Accolade Global Film Competition laurels.

Composing Our Stories – Award of Recognition!
In other news, I am so happy to announce that I have won an Accolade Global Film Competition Award of Recognition for my Documentary Short (Student) Composing Our Stories.

This documentary began as a project for MI 311 Introduction to Documentary Production at Michigan State University. As I filmed Composing Our Stories, I found that the documentary deserved much more than the 12 minute class requirement. I continued to work on Composing Our Stories well past the semester’s end and completed the 35 minute and 19 second film on July 7, 2017.

As an artist, I embrace the spirit of never slowing down. Thank you to all who have supported me in my creative efforts so far. Thank you to Christian for telling wonderful stories, and to Dylan for being a fantastic sound editor and re-recording mixer. A very special thank you to my MI 311 professor, Swarnavel Eswaran, for your guidance and encouragement in this film. My film exists because of you and your teaching.

Declaring Documentary Production as my minor at MSU has been one of my best decisions.

For film-oriented students: Declare Documentary Production as your minor and take MI 311. I have gained so much from MI 311 and the other Documentary Production classes in regard to both film theory and technical experience.

Filming Composing Our Stories was a thrill. Having the opportunity to share such an imaginative and successful person's mind with the world is an eye-opening experience. After watching the film and hearing Christian's stories, I hope that the audience is inspired to dream, create, and love a little bit more.

Until next time,

 

NEWSLETTER #3

SEPTEMBER 10, 2017

Excerpt #3 from the Juice screenplay.

Excerpt #3 from the Juice screenplay.

Hello!
Thank you for subscribing to our weekly Juice Production Newsletter! Support for our films on any scale is much appreciated. You being interested in what goes on behind-the-scenes helps us to spread the word about our film and reach all audiences possible.

For new subscribers, welcome! I’m Zoë Kissel, the director, editor, and writer of the upcoming short film, Juice. Juice is a sci-fi, neo-noir, futuristic, short film taking place in the world of CityComInfo (CCI). City is the people, Com is the closely watched communication between the people, and Info is the information that “they” choose the public to receive. In response to the government-halted heroin epidemic of the future, a new drug is being manufactured to satisfy the junkies’ enduring want to feel that same high. Juice is a drug that hooks people with a single injection. The high itself is much more potent than the heroin of the past. The film Juice follows a young addict’s growing withdrawal and the fatal decision that she makes to get high once more.

And for returning readers, thanks for sticking around! Enjoy this week’s Juice Production Newsletter #3.

We have a website!
As mentioned in the last newsletter, I have been working on building the official website for Juice. Finally, it is published and ready for visitors. The website features our 2017 Film Patrons, as well as cast and crew photos, facts about the production, and behind-the-scenes images. Also, as we complete our teaser/trailer videos they will be released for viewing on the website. Visit www.thefilmjuice.com, explore our official website, and learn more about the film.

A screenshot of the homepage for www.thefilmjuice.com.

A screenshot of the homepage for www.thefilmjuice.com.

I have also created Juice Facebook and Twitter pages to help build our audience. As an independent artist, I have found that marketing your creations is vital to building reach. Reach means more audiences viewing and, if successful, taking an interest in the “stuff” that you create. This is how you continue to build a following for your future art. Social media is one of the easiest ways to market your projects, whether through a stricter tactic of media generated specifically for your already interested supporters or the simple approach of sharing a quick behind-the-scenes production photo while on set to attract new followers. I recently came across an article written by Jason Brewer with a quote that I loved regarding film success, “You need to think like a blockbuster and grind like an indie.” A conscious effort should be made to share your work via the platform that was created to do just that, social media. After all, if you don’t even share your own projects, how can you expect them to be seen?

Like our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/thefilmjuice) and follow our Twitter (www.twitter.com/thefilmjuice) for instant updates on the film’s production and any relevant Juice news.

A screenshot of the Juice Twitter page.

A screenshot of the Juice Twitter page.

Teaser #1 coming soon…
Good news! I have started editing the first teaser video for Juice. It will involve the very important CCI ComBox prop and a lot of fog. The ComBox is introduced on page one of the Juice screenplay. Our main character Violet uses this “video telephone” of the future to call her Aunt Marcy and beg for more drug money. In Teaser #1, the camera will slowly track towards the ComBox and through thick fog. The ComBox screen will display the rotating CCI Logo. The video will begin to “glitch” and cut to Violet stumbling down the street… etc.

A frame of the glitching CCI Logo.

A frame of the glitching CCI Logo.

Once I make the cuts for Teaser #1, the video will be sent to Dylan, our Supervising Sound Designer. From there, Dylan will begin to create the soundscape for the world of CCI through foley, sampling, and analog synthesizers. Dylan will make audio decisions in Teaser #1 that will remain for the rest of production. Without giving too much away, the sounds that he creates for the CCI alarms, sirens, and gunshots will be the same sounds that are used in the final film. The initial audio work that Dylan does for Teaser #1 builds the foundation for the entire Juice world.

A raw and untouched frame from Juice's Teaser #1.

A raw and untouched frame from Juice's Teaser #1.

Orange & Teal.
In Juice Production Newsletter #1 I introduced the idea of releasing the film in color. Originally, we had planned on releasing Juice in black and white, but after seeing the richness of the film’s raw footage I fell in love with the color grading possibilities. Color grading is a process done in post-production including both color correction and color effects. Color correction is meant to correct filmed colors so that they look accurate to real life colors. For example, due to a room’s lighting, skin can sometimes take on a heavy orange hue when filmed. The person’s skin isn’t really that orange in real life, so color correction brings down the orange and balances it with the lightest bit of blue. Color effects are artistic choices made for the colors of the film. Certain films color grade to match their genre. For example, dystopian films like District 9 (2009), with the obvious exception of Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), tend to have very washed out and dusty colors. The combination of color correction and color effects produces these recognizable color grading themes.

With Juice, we have decided to use orange and teal color grading. Our raw footage naturally has the orange and teal theme and by pushing the contrast a little bit, I believe that this choice in color grading will make for a beautiful film. Films with the “orange and teal look” have surged in numbers recently, but the idea is not new. While some filmmakers reject this look because it is a “trend”, I embrace orange and teal color grading for fundamental reasons. Remember how we said that orange is corrected with blue? This is because orange and blue are complimentary colors. They are across from each other on the color wheel, meaning that these two colors contrast well. Skin tones tend to always be on the orange spectrum and teal is added to the shadows and blacks of our images to make our characters pop and create depth.

Naturally occurring orange & teal colors in Juice's raw footage.

Naturally occurring orange & teal colors in Juice's raw footage.

Film Patrons Shout Out!
I want to give a huge thank you to this week’s featured film patrons! Thank you so much for your contribution to Juice. With film patrons like you we are able to bring the world of Juice to life. Thank you for continuing to be supportive of and interested in our creative work.

Thank You:
Russ & Leila Kissel
Dan & Denise Murphy
Russ & Marcia Kissel
Dylan Zywicki
Joyce Hollow
Scott Smiddy

If you are interested in becoming a Juice Film Patron, visit www.thefilmjuice.com/donate for more information.

If you have any questions about Juice and the production, feel free to send them in an email to thefilmjuice@gmail.com with the subject “QUESTION SUBMISSION”. I will answer them publicly in the next newsletter!

Until next time,

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NEWSLETTER #2

AUGUST 23, 2017

Excerpt #2 from the Juice screenplay.

Excerpt #2 from the Juice screenplay.

Hello!
Thank you for subscribing to our weekly Juice Production Newsletter! Support for our films on any scale is much appreciated. You being interested in what goes on behind-the-scenes helps us to spread the word about our film and reach all audiences possible.

For new subscribers, welcome! I’m Zoë Kissel, the director, editor, and writer of the upcoming short film, Juice. Juice is a sci-fi, neo-noir, futuristic, short film taking place in the world of CityComInfo (CCI). City is the people, Com is the closely watched communication between the people, and Info is the information that “they” choose the public to receive. In response to the government-halted heroin epidemic of the future, a new drug is being manufactured to satisfy the junkies’ enduring want to feel that same high. Juice is a drug that hooks people with a single injection. The high itself is much more potent than the heroin of the past. The film Juice follows a young addict’s growing withdrawal and the fatal decision that she makes to get high once more.

And for returning readers, thanks for sticking around! Enjoy this week’s Juice Production Newsletter #2.

That’s a wrap!
I am very happy and excited to announce that we have completed all the necessary filming for Juice! Our longest shoot took place the night of Saturday, August 12th on our full alley set. Going into the shoot was a bit hectic, although much anticipated, with last minute prop touch-ups, costume finalizations, and shot list rewrites. Initially, I was anxious for the cooperation on set and the fluidity of our filming process but those doubts quickly settled. Within the first few shots we developed a system for setting up, filming, tearing down, and moving on to the next shot. The entire cast and crew did a fantastic job efficiently working together.

Some very happy Juice cast and crew reviewing a difficult shot.

Some very happy Juice cast and crew reviewing a difficult shot.

We began set up with our riggers at approximately 6:00PM. Our talent arrived at 8:30PM for hair and makeup and we began shooting at about 9:30PM. We worked through the night and twelve hours later, at 6:00AM, filming and tear down was complete.

During filming, we had many successes. Russ, our production designer, and Dylan, our property master, along with our riggers and set dressers transformed the set from a drawn layout to a fully operational dystopian alley. One of the coolest props on set was a Rotating Industrial Fan Projector. The Rotating Industrial Fan Projector Prop involves a projector, geared fan slide, a motor, and motor controller assembly. The sketch below was used to determine how big the slide could be made to fit in the projector and how much usable light could be projected through the slide itself. Once the measurements were decided, the gears were able to be sized appropriately. Although the gears in the digital sketch below were slightly modified in a later draft, the photo still helps to explain how the prop works. Not pictured is a gear attached to the mounted motor, which drives the entire fan slide. The motor gear is attached to a smaller six-tooth gear (pictured) which rotates the gear with the fan cutout. As the fan cutout rotates, the shadow is projected onto the side of a building to mimic the shadow of an industrial fan.

A sketch of the Rotating Industrial Fan Projector Prop for Juice.

A sketch of the Rotating Industrial Fan Projector Prop for Juice.

A digital sketch of the Rotating Industrial Fan Projector Prop Gears for Juice.

A digital sketch of the Rotating Industrial Fan Projector Prop Gears for Juice.

Some of the Juice cast and crew on set. The Rotating Industrial Fan Projector Prop for Juice can be seen in the background.

Some of the Juice cast and crew on set. The Rotating Industrial Fan Projector Prop for Juice can be seen in the background.

Working on Juice thus far has been both an irreplaceable and unforgettable experience. Seeing the progress and growth of an initial concept transforming into a screenplay that transforms into an even more gratifying production with actors, props, sets, and a crew that is determined to succeed is an absolutely unbelievable feeling. It is such a great opportunity to be able to share the ideas within our minds on the screen before you. As Juice reaches completion, I know that the spirit of determination and focus established on set will continue to thrive in post-production. As thrilling as the filming of Juice was, the proud breath of relief that the cast and crew gave following "That's a wrap!" was even better.

Wet Pavement & Heavy Fog.
Have you ever noticed while watching your favorite film noir, neo-noir, or non-noir-genre movie that the ground is wet even if it hasn’t rained in the scene? Wet pavement is a classic element of film noir movies and does wonders for exaggerating the contrasted lighting and distinctive drama/crime theme of the story. Particularly in low-light or nighttime scenes, like our CCI alley set in Juice, wet pavement is used to reflect light and bounce it back to help illuminate the subjects of the scene. Sparkling wet pavement can also be aesthetically pleasing to the eye. In Ridley Scott’s 1982 neo-noir classic Blade Runner, neon signs are reflected in the water on the city street, becoming a major part of the mise-en-scène for the film. As the original 1940s to 1950s period of film noir past, techniques established in the film noir genre, like wet pavement, were adopted in many other styles of films.

Juice's own version of neon reflected on wet pavement.

Juice's own version of neon reflected on wet pavement.

In between each shot of Juice, and often in between each take, our set dresser would wet the ground with a hose and our special effects technicians would operate the fog machines until we had the right mix of lingering ominiousity.

One of my favorite shots in Juice is when Violet’s Brother physically enters the story for the first time. A vehicle is heard pulling up as headlights splash across the alley. The combination of bright light and fog blinds the audience from seeing who the figure in the vehicle is. The vehicle’s door is slammed and footsteps begin to walk down the alley. Through the blend of headlights and fog, a flashlight’s beam can be seen swinging back and forth across the wet ground. The figure strides forward, emerges through the fog, and is revealed. Look closely and you can see Violet’s Brother’s reflection in the pavement.

A black and white still from Juice.

A black and white still from Juice.

Filming with wet pavement provides fairly simple, yet stunning effects. In a fantasy world, I don’t know if I would ever shoot a film with dry pavement again.

Coming Soon…
In other news, I am currently building the official website for Juice. Once completed, the website will host teasers/trailers, patron information, cast and crew photos, facts about the production, and more. I will be providing the link to the completed Juice website in the next newsletter, so be sure to keep an eye out.

If you have any questions about Juice and the production, feel free to send them in an email to thefilmjuice@gmail.com with the subject “QUESTION SUBMISSION”. I will answer them publicly in the next newsletter!

I also received a few inquiries about my short documentary student film, Composing Our Stories. Composing Our Stories follows an orchestral composer and his approach to connecting human sentiment with music through a unique form of storytelling.

The official Composing Our Stories film poster.

The official Composing Our Stories film poster.

Since Composing Our Stories is in the process of being submitted to festivals with exclusivity contracts, meaning that certain festivals require that if your film is chosen to be screened the festival itself will be the first public screening, I can only share a private Vimeo link and password for private viewings of Composing Our Stories. I normally only give the link upon direct request, but since this is a private newsletter I have included the viewing information below.

Composing Our Stories Vimeo Link: https://vimeo.com/224678681
Composing Our Stories Password (case-sensitive): Composingourstories7717

Until next time,

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NEWSLETTER #1

AUGUST 10, 2017

The opening lines of the Juice screenplay.

The opening lines of the Juice screenplay.

Hello!
I am Zoë Kissel, the director/editor of the upcoming short film, Juice.
I am an East Lansing-based filmmaker, artist, and musician. I have always been a creator and film continues to be a platform of which I can share new worlds and stories. Originally from a small town south of Detroit, I now live in East Lansing, Michigan where I am pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media & Information with a concentration in TV, Cinema, & Radio and a minor in Documentary Production at Michigan State University. I completed my first documentary film, Composing Our Stories, in July 2017. Through the evolution of Composing Our Stories, I have discovered my love for directing and editing. The honor of giving a voice to those who deserve to be heard and the opportunity to tell a story that post-production presents is my passion in filmmaking. As an artist, I embrace the spirit of never slowing down.

Which brings me to Juice
I want to begin by saying thank you for subscribing to our weekly Juice Production Newsletter! Support for our films on any scale is much appreciated. You being interested in what goes on behind-the-scenes helps us to spread the word about our film and reach all audiences possible.

So, what is Juice?
Juice is a sci-fi, film noir, futuristic, short film taking place in the world of CityComInfo (CCI). City is the people, Com is the closely watched communication between the people, and Info is the information that “they” choose the public to receive. In response to the government-halted heroin epidemic of the future, a new drug is being manufactured to satisfy the junkies’ enduring want to feel that same high. Juice is a drug that hooks people with a single injection. The high itself is much more potent than the heroin of the past. The film Juice follows a young addict in a growing withdrawal and the fatal decisions that she makes to get high once more.

We have scheduled Juice to be filmed entirely in two nights. Our longest shoot will take place the night of Saturday, August 12th on our full alley set. We plan to begin staging at approximately 6PM and work until we have all the shots… or until the sun comes up.

Lighting the scene.
Juice has become a dream opportunity for experimentation with many aspects of filming for us, in particular the lighting and prop design.
The first shoot for the “ComBox Call” was filmed last Sunday. In the film, our main character Violet calls her Aunt Marcy begging for more money. This requires an interaction between Violet and the ComBox, or the video telephone of the future. We needed to film Violet’s aunt talking on the video call ahead of time so that our actress can practice against the video for when the second night of filming comes. The ComBox Call is a tightly framed closeup of Aunt Marcy’s face. Aunt Marcy answers the call, scolds Violet, and then hangs up on Violet with a threat to call her brother. The mise-en-scène includes floating cigarette smoke, simulated by burning incense, and venetian blinds casting shadows across her face, giving the impression of a city outside of Aunt Marcy’s apartment.

A frame from the raw and untouched footage of Aunt Marcy’s ComBox Call for Juice.

A frame from the raw and untouched footage of Aunt Marcy’s ComBox Call for Juice.

After seeing what the raw footage looks like, I am thrilled with the effect. Juice was originally planned to be released in black and white but after seeing the possibility for rich and beautiful color, I am beginning to lean more towards releasing the film in color. We’ll have to see how the footage from the next shoot turns out. Who knows, we might even do a special release of a color version and a black and white version.

A behind-the-scenes look at the filming of Aunt Marcy’s ComBox Call for Juice.

A behind-the-scenes look at the filming of Aunt Marcy’s ComBox Call for Juice.

Let’s talk about props.
The photo below is a sketch of the Search Light Prop for Juice. On screen, the prop will produce the effect of a scanning search light, moving from the ground to the sky and back again. The prop will be built with a 12V power source, powering an 80W PWM speed controller. The speed controller will be controlling the 12V 7 RPM motor. On the shaft of the motor, there will be a 3D printed clamp for holding a super bright LED flashlight. As the motor turns the shaft, the flashlight will rotate in a circle. The angle of the flashlight’s beam can be manipulated by adjusted the motor mount bracket, as seen in the sketch.

A sketch of the Search Light Prop for Juice.

A sketch of the Search Light Prop for Juice.

Pretty cool, right? Our property masters, Dylan and Russ, are crucial parts to the creation of the world of CCI and its elements. They are responsible for turning something like this…

A sketch of the ComBox Prop for Juice.

A sketch of the ComBox Prop for Juice.

Into this…

The finished ComBox Prop for Juice.

The finished ComBox Prop for Juice.

As you can tell, we are extremely excited about the film and cannot wait to see how it turns out. If you have any questions about Juice and the production, feel free to send them to thefilmjuice@gmail.com with the subject “QUESTION SUBMISSION” and I will answer them publicly in the next newsletter!

Until next time,

 

If you are interested in viewing the full film or have any distribution, press, production, or screening rights inquiries please send us an email at thefilmjuice@gmail.com or contact us through thefilmjuice.com.