Archive for 2010

Iron Sky Shoot, Day 16: All Aboard The Failboat

December 9th, 2010 by Timo Vuorensola

There’s one thing we’ve been risking ever since we came to Frankfurt, and that’s the weather. Everything else is shootable for us, but not snow – it just won’t fit very well into the story. So far, we’ve been extremely lucky to not to have snow on the days we’ve shot, but our luck ran out yesterday, when we had the second to last shooting day of our Frankfurt leg of Iron Sky shoot, and we were shooting on location by the Main river, in an extremely great location.

We set up our cameras and started to get ready to shoot. When I arrived the set, it was raining, and the rain slowly turned into an icy slush, but it was still very much more rain than snow. We were able to shoot the first wide master shot of the scene, when the slush turned into snow. And then the snowfall turned into a blizzard. So we thought we put up some flags and blockers to block out the snow from falling into the frame of our shot, and while they were working on that, I went into our cast bus and started to work on the scene.

Then, when I popped out for a quick cig some 10 minutes later, it was like stepping into a winter wonderland.

Winter Wonderland (Photo by Tarja Jakunaho)

Heavy snow had covered everything. Every smallest corner of the set we were shooting in, every piece of equipment that wasn’t heavily covered… just everything. And there was more of that stuff coming down constantly, in the form of big, palm-sized wet snow flakes that kept on slapping into everyone’s face. So getting rid of the snow was not an option, since more of it kept on falling all the time. There was nothing else to do than admit that we had lost the battle against the mother nature, and we had to come up with an alternate plan.

After few hours of waiting around, we finally got into a big car park, where we brought our gear – already 7 hours late from the beginning of the shoot. We started to re-build the scene, lit it up and started shooting. We now had a roof over our head, but it still was damn cold.

There was no way going around it. It just looked like shit. Every corner of the shot was not good at all. Instead of shooting Iron Sky, I felt I was working on a student film. The scene didn’t work, the actors were cold as hell and focused mostly on trying to get their lines out without clattering their teeth too violently, and everyone was damn tired, frustrated and not feeling good at all. So after about an hour of giving it a go, I decided to call it a day. It was a hard decision, but there was absolutely nothing we could do about the snowstorm, and I felt that Iron Sky is too good a movie that I would let one of its key scenes would be ruined by a snowstorm.

We decided to re-schedule that scene – and today’s exterior scene, as well – to Australian shoot – find a great location from there for the scene shouldn’t be impossible at all – and do it properly with right amount of time and options available. It’ll be a bit more work over there, but at least it’s warm.

Today is the last shooting day of Iron Sky’s Frankfurt leg. We cleaned one exterior scene from the shoot, and are right now getting ready to do a bunch of poorman processes, which means we shoot interior of the car with lights and/or greenscreen around the vehicle, adding the plate of the location later. And in the evening, there’s a big wrap party coming up. I certainly hope everything goes by the book today.

Iron Sky Shoot, Day 15: One Thousand Frames Per Second

December 9th, 2010 by Timo Vuorensola

We finished shooting on Sunday at Main Tower in Frankfurt – the second day in the same set. There, we had a big scene with bunch of actors and extras fighting, and enjoyed our time a lot. It was also my first day of shooting with a Weisscam, which is able to film 1000 frames per second to create extreme slow motion shots. To make it happen, one needs a lot of light, and the camera only shoots 12 seconds / take, and the interesting thing is that it’s constantly filming when it’s on – the only thing is you decide when you push CUT, and it records the last 12 seconds that’s been going on in front of it’s lense. Then you’re able to view it in super slow motion speed, which is an extremely stylish way to shoot say a fist fight or other action pieces. You see all the small details very clearly and it looks awesome.

The actors and the extras were great fun and really sport. After the long day was over, we wrapped two of our main actors – Stephanie Paul and Michael Cullen (The President and Secretary of Defence) – which was strange and a bit sad. We had great days with them, and suddenly – their stuff was shot and they went on. As Tero said, it feels almost like the filming hasn’t even started yet, although we’ve shot already 3 weeks, and we’re already wrapping our main cast members. I feel honored being able to work with such a great actors, and definitely am looking forward to work with them in the coming films I (hopefully) get to make!

It was a good day, great set and the material was pure awesome.

Iron Sky Shoot, Day 14: At Main Tower

December 5th, 2010 by Timo Vuorensola

Yesterday we started our two-day shoot in a location in the middle of Frankfurt, Main Tower. The location is a posh meeting room, and we hijacked it for us to represent a meeting room for all of the world’s leaders. We had a very nice bunch of people turning up as representatives, and did some great shots. We’ll be continuing in the same location today, so the story of the world leaders is not yet completely over. But I think our 1st assistant director Peter McLennan describes where we are and for what the best way:

We’ve had a bit of sickness and accidents in our crew along the way. We’ve had at least 2 stomach flus, 2 ear infections, one broken leg and a bunch of other little things, so when I started to feel extremely nauseous yesterday, I wasn’t sure what was going on. Because just before that, I had been holding a hand-held monitor and following Steadicam, which made me car-sick – an image moving differently in front of you than around you seems to do it for me very quickly.

We ended the evening with Janos and Susi and Essi up in my room drinking few glasses of rhum and talking about the shoot.

Iron Sky Shoot, Day 13: Blinded By Snow

December 4th, 2010 by Timo Vuorensola

Yesterday we had a bit of delay in the beginning of the day because we had to get rid of hundred square meters of snow. There’s a lot of ways to do it, but given that we were on the rooftop on seventh floor, we were limited to only few good options. The good old salt and warm water did the trick, but took the its time.

The reason we had picked the Frankfurt rooftop was because we wanted to see the “New York skyline”, which is not a very European phenomenon. When the sun set and the lights of the buildings were turned on (or left on, however…), the view became really nice. Although we had to rush through the shoot on the rooftop, we filmed an awesome and heartbreakingly beautiful material there.

Frankfurt skyline and the Iron Sky team (Photo by Tarja Jakunaho)

After the shoot, I said farewell to Udo Kier (he will join us in Australia later on, but his shootings here in Frankfurt are done for now), who – I must say – is an extremely charming and friendly gentleman.

Guess who's behind the door? (Photo by Tarja Jakunaho)

Then we had a big company move to Opel, where we did one nice scene and after that we finished our shoot at Opel (we had 3 locations there). We were told that the place will be completely renovated in the next two years, so we were lucky to be able to use it for the film before it was turned into a shopping mall. If somebody would come up the way to monetize old factories without destroying them so that they would be financially as productive as shopping malls, the world would be quite a bit more interesting and beautiful place.

Today is another day, and we’ll be shooting in the downtown Frankfurt, but luckily inside.