How To Make A Basic EVA Foam Blaster

In this tutorial, I walk you through my sci-fi gun prop build process step by step by using simple tools, glue, and EVA Foam. I show you how to make a unique screen ready prop sci-fi gun inexpensively and easily.

Be sure to watch my video channel for more Sci-Fi filmmaking giddy-up.

How To Make Sci-Fi Trooper Armor: Easy Step By Step Tutorial

In this tutorial, I take you through my easy sci-fi trooper armor costume/prop build process step by step using simple techniques and tools. I show you how to make a unique screen ready sci-fi trooper armor inexpensively.

Be sure to watch my video channel for more Sci-Fi filmmaking giddy-up

How To Make A Sci-Fi Trooper Helmet: Easy Prop Making Tutorial

In this tutorial, I take you through my easy sci-fi trooper helmet costume/prop build process step by step using simple techniques and tools. I show you how to make a unique screen ready sci-fi trooper helmet inexpensively.

Be sure to watch my video channel for more Sci-Fi filmmaking giddy-up.

How To Make A Sci-Fi Staff Weapon For Under $10: DIY Dollar Store Mash Up

In this tutorial, I take you through the build process step by step. With a few items from a dollar store, I show you how to make a screen ready sci-fi prop staff weapon for under $10.

Be sure to watch my video channel for more Sci-Fi filmmaking giddy-up.

“Aeranger” Principle Photography, BTS Production Diary

In this segment on Create Sci-Fi, I take your behind the scenes as we shoot ‘Aeranger” the sci-fi short that is at the center of the How To Make A Sci-Fi Short Film tutorials. Be sure to subscribe to follow along.

Be sure to watch my video channel for more Sci-Fi filmmaking giddy-up.

How To Build A Custom Sci-Fi Gun: EVA Foam / Dollar Store Mash Up

In this tutorial, I take you through my sci-fi gun prop build process step by step by using dollar store items and EVA Foam. I show you how to make a unique screen ready prop sci-fi gun inexpensively.

Be sure to watch my video channel for more Sci-Fi filmmaking giddy-up.

Creativity & Collaboration

Creativity is a powerful life force mojo accelerator. Collaboration is a powerful and satisfying brain enhancer.

Crew8x10

The cast & crew of “Aeranger” on location in Topanga Canyon, CA. Left to right, Kristen Pickrell-Makeup Artist, Bobbie Breckenridge-lead Actress, Nick Kretz-BTS Photographer, Jon Schweigart-Cinematographer and Sage Bova-Sound Recording/taking this picture.

How To Rehearse & Work With Actors, The Rehearsal: Step 8 How To Make A Sci-Fi Short Film

In this tutorial on Create Sci-Fi,  I go over how to run a rehearsal before shooting your project. I take you through the process of working with the actors and how to encourage camaraderie quickly.

Be sure to watch my video channel for more Sci-Fi filmmaking giddy-up.

The Re-Write: The Galactic Galaxy Production Diaries

In my first version of Galactic Galaxy, I closely followed the Hero’s Journey structure as laid out by the late great Joseph Campbell. I was 100%  committed to following that narrative structure. It was an exercise for me, my own hero’s journey in a way. I was so motivated that I wrote a twelve episode arc. That original script was 12 episodes and they were 20 to 30 minutes long. I can’t even Imagine what that budget would have been, but it would have been unrealistic. The value of that process was I was world-building, creating my characters and the foundation of the show.

Hero

It was important for me with this project to collaborate with as many people as possible. In all my projects prior, I was a one-man show and although I got good at that, I wanted to break the habit. The first draft of Galactic Galaxy was too spread out. I enlisted the help of another writer, John Plunkett to take my first draft and wrench it into a tighter script format. It was imperative to get perspective and focus.

Early on when I was floating the script out to friends and colleagues to read and give first impressions I could tell right away people were not reading past the first episode. It was too exhausting for them. This was a problem, a major problem. I knew the story was interesting and there was lots of humor but clearly, something was not working. It was just too dense.

The decision to scrap that script and start over was a big move for me as a creator and as a human. I scrapped that whole script, almost a year’s worth of work and went back to the drawing board. The positives have I had my characters, locations, and a basic storyline. I just needed to rework it. Also, it’s much easier to take away content then to add it.

I’ve always been curious about the mythical “writers room” that just sounded to me like an amazing thing to be part of. It occurred to me I could… create one? So I did that. I rented a big production office for a week and put an ad on craigslist, I should mention I’m in Los Angeles so the talent is around. I simply said upfront, I have a limited budget for five full days and we will write six 5min scripts. I got a lot of great responses to the add,  some from crazy town but that’s part of the process. I was able to narrow the people interested down to ones that seemed like a good fit and after a few very brief phone interviews I had a writers room.

WriterRoom3

Through that straightforward process, I was able to get three very talented writers. Among them was Charles Horn who was a writer on the Robot Chicken Star Wars Show. That was one great aspect of being in Los Angeles. He simply was not working that week on anything else and agreed to work within my limited budget. Myself and the other two writers dove right in. Day one I introduced the world and characters and my basic plot outline to them and we roughed out the outline for the season. We then proceed as a group to write 2 episodes a day and on the final day did a few rounds or rewrites. The writer’s room did not disappoint, not only was it very effective but it was an experience I hope to one-day repeat.

titlepage

We came away with a very strong script that I was proud of and excited to make. The reactions from friends and colleagues to this version were a stark contrast to their original response. The reactions were all positive and I know they were sincere because it was as a weight was lifted and they could tell me how much they were confused and uninterested in the first draft, its a process. One that not only works but is essential.

Be sure to subscribe and follow my video channel for more Sci-Fi filmmaking How To.

Concept Art: The Galactic Galaxy Production Diaries

From the very first moment I had the idea for my Sci-Fi web series Galactic Galaxy, I was more passionate and driven to make it a reality than any other project I’d conceived. I’d talk to anyone who would listen to keep the momentum going. The thing you learn quickly with sci-fi is it’s hard to explain it to someone. They really need to see it. To convince people to work with me on my idea and to generate any real interest, I realized I needed some concept art.

GGGroup

Initially, I would say to potential collaborators, “There are These Snail Warriors and a Wizard” every time they would smile uncomfortably and nod.  But, once I had the concept art, they would get visibly excited. For me, armed with the concept art, one: the ball was rolling two: in a very basic way, I was beginning the process of creating the show. I teamed up with a great local artist in LA named Farron Kerzner and he started bringing my imagination to life.

Farton.Still003
We started with the Space Wizard and the Dar Kuzar who was simply called the Dark Lord then. Some of the early designs changed and some stayed the same.

Kuzarvolve

The IF3 or Interplanetary Federation Female Force,  went through several stages of development before the final look was achieved.

IF3Evolve
The Queen originally in my mind was Cher from the 1986 Oscars and Faron drew these beautiful Costumes. In the end, she went another direction but the art was key to set things in motion.  

QueenEvo

My beloved Snail Warriors (sigh) My original Idea was for snail warriors as the Dar Kuzars army. But that was another practical use of the concept art. Once I shopped around the drawing of the costume I soon learned I would never ever on a low budget be able to afford the costume build. Which lead me to rethink the characters and I came up with the skull warriors. However, creating those Skull Warriors was vital in getting me to the next step. It was my first of many creative solutions.

snail skull

The concept art was key in starting my journey to realizing my show. When you have an idea for a show no one can stop you from writing it, that costs your time. Before you have the budget to make your project if you are passionate enough about the idea you can spend a few hundred dollars out of your own pocket to tease it into the world. In my experience when you’re emailing or having lunch with potential collaborators or investors they begin to take you seriously when you start showing them concept art.

Be sure to subscribe and follow my video channel for more Sci-Fi filmmaking How To.