Excerpt #2 from the Juice screenplay.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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,