Post-Production for Season 1 of Antidote 15 [News]

web series post production antidote 15 thriller how toEditing Cave. Also yes, that’s a James Bond poster in the background.

Post Production is upon us! I edit on dual monitors with Avid, and I usually edit in 4-7 hour marathons with a late night snack nearby. (Usually scrambled eggs because I believe breakfast time is a myth. Every time is breakfast time.)

Here’s a breakdown of how we’re doing post for those who are interested: [Read more…]

**Exclusive Teaser Trailer [Video]

If you’ve been paying attention lately, you’ve been noticing a gratuitous amount of stars and caps and our social media producer heralding our very first TEASER TRAILER to provide a glimpse into what’s up for season one. Thanks to everyone who has helped us so far!

Check it out!

Day 4: Behind the Scenes Or That Time We Finished Season One?!

portia juliette as sara episode 2 and 5 antidote 15 web series thrillerPortia Juliette as Sara in episode five

Uh… so guys… we finished season one.

I remember so long ago in December of 2013 beginning to piece together the madness that was the early drafts of all five episodes, trying to realize the scope of this production and how it could possibly fit into my (and everyone else’s) insanely busy schedules. I remember staying up until 3am pouring over headshots and reels during the dredges of sifting through those wonderful people who wanted to come in audition and trying to visualize who would fit what roles, or those days leading up to the first shoot where I was scrambling to get props and set design and extras in order for the critical pilot episode, and desperately calling Bill or Ashley or any number of the supportive teammates who helped me keep my head on straight throughout this process.

There were so many times during pre-production where everything seemed so fragile like the whole project could just fall apart with one misstep. Only when the team came together did everything work out and surpass the expectations we had at the beginning of the season.

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Avery, Ashley, Conner, Amy, Jen, Takenori

 And then, hundreds of shots and takes and Subway sandwiches later…

…we wrap principal photography on season one.

It’s amazing how well everything fell into place. Conner, Ashley, and the rest of our talented cast went above and beyond, digging into their roles and characters despite constricting time crunches and last minute changes.

day4.1I can’t talk too much about what we just shot because spoilers are a thing, but I think you ought to know that these people (and I do mean ALL these people) are terrific and talented and anyone would be lucky to work with them.

Remember, our first episode airs MAY 1st, 2014, so mark your calendars and be sure to follow us on Facebook for updates and giveaways!

Thanks. To all of you.

-Amy

Day 3: Behind the Scenes Or That Time It Didn’t Rain

antidote15dramaticwebseriesDay three of shooting wrapped today! We shot around five scenes today and did a bunch of walk-and-talks and almost tripped and died several times while walking backwards. It also stopped raining juuuuuust long enough for us to get all of those really important exterior night shots we needed to get done.

My cast and crew were the best (as usual) not only because of their talent and work ethic, but also because they graciously missed the Oscars to shoot for five hours today.

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We also spent like twenty minutes sketchily wandering around the bushes with flashlights looking for the green vial prop which went missing in the middle of the shoot. In a plot twist in real life, it was all of us looking for the “antidote” during a time crunch instead of just creating a show about it.

Dillon Bonnee did a fantastic job with special makeup for one scene, and I can’t give it away now because it contains major spoilers. But if you’re ever looking for someone to do natural or special effects makeup, she should be your go-to!

Ashley survived the cold in several layers of sweaters in-between takes, and Conner managed to memorize a lengthy, difficult monologue for the walk-and-talk scene where Jen and I nearly tripped over everything.

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Ashley studying her lines on set

Oh, and when we’re not shooting Antidote 15, we’re getting into festivals with our other projects. Conner Sorensen (who plays Benji) and Jen (our sound designer) and I all made a film in 24 hours for the Ed Wood 24 hour film festival and our film got shown in front of a panel of industry judges. We also got to take snazzy photos like this one:

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Left to right: Conner Sorensen, Jen Enfield-Kane, Rahne Avant, Amy Suto.

You can read more about our 24 hour film festival adventures here.

All these awesome people make set a wonderful place to be. Next week is our last day of shooting– then we’re wrapped with season one! I hope all of you stick with us for the season premiere on May 1st. We can’t wait to show you what we’ve been so hard at work on all these months!

-Amy

Day 2: Behind the Scenes and Holding for Sound

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 12.24.32 AMDay two of filming is always the best. Nicknames, anecdotes, and health tips have all been exchanged (Conner came to set drinking water with Chia seeds and shared his super-healthy smoothie recipes with us), I cha-cha’d real smooth in between takes, and we all got a little crazy in the best way during in the final few takes before our end time at 11pm. We held for sound about a dozen times when we were filming the exterior scene (*shakes fist at planes*) and we did not get locked into Doheny Library so that was a plus. Our awesome makeup artist Dillon Bonnee showed us her cool special effects makeup during breaks, and we consumed all the subway and apple turnovers the world had to offer.

The reason shooting is going well is because of our dedicated, hardworking cast and crew. Avery’s shots are always gorgeous (see above if you need proof), Takenori is always thinking three steps ahead even as I wildly veer from my shot lists, Jen is being a pro with the sound design and working the microphone and knows how to get the clearest sound in some of the noisier shooting locations, Emma can turn unassuming study rooms into professor’s offices at the drop of a hat, and Gus is taking great behind-the-scenes photos and videos along with DSLR selfies. Sarah also stopped by to do Ashley’s makeup for continuity, a much appreciated task.

Ashley, Conner, Courtney and Portia all did an amazing job, even as I gave them secrets and unwritten given circumstances to shake up scenes and try something new. If you’re looking for actors who are not only great people but also talented and hardworking, these people should be at the top of your list.

We have about three more days of shooting before our first season comes to a close! We’ve been at this web series thing for three months now, and during the next few months we’re going to be finishing up shooting, cutting the episodes, creating some trailers and behind the scenes videos, and organizing some giveaways and other cool things on our Facebook page.

So like our page, share the word, and stay tuned for more stories from the set!

-Amy

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Day 1: Behind The Scenes Or That Time Sprinklers Ruined Everything

Antidote15Benji (Conner Sorensen) and Anita (Ashley Maimes)

So our majestic cast and crew ventured forth with production yesterday, and aside from some sprinklers that caused us to move one of our scenes, everything went smoothly. If you’ve been on set you know that this is a rarity, but my producer and AD Takenori Oue is basically a magician when it comes to problem-solving and thinking ahead. When I wonder what we should put in our empty prop alcohol bottles, he’s already going to grab apple juice. When I’m trying to coordinate feeding everyone with varying dietary preferences, he’s already ordering a catering plate that will feed everyone affordably. Basically every set should come with someone as organized and prepared as Takenori. All of our jobs become so much easier when he’s around!

Conner Sorensen and Ashley Maimes are playing our leads in the show, and not only are they great people in real life with so many cool projects to work on, but they shine on screen. The take pictured at the top of this post was our final take for that scene, and after I yelled “cut!” I knew it was the take we’d end up using. Conner and Ashley are professionals in a business where not everyone is A) on time B) prepared, and C) has a passion for their craft.

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Avery Xie is our brilliant cinematographer, and as you can tell from the stills I posted on the Facebook page, this guy knows how to make a shot jump off the screen. When you need someone to shoot your project well, Avery is your go-to guy. The images speak for themselves!

Alex Diehl and Daniel Rashid not only are great, hardworking actors, but really bring up the energy on set.

Emma Peterson is our production designer, and not only are her props the most beautiful thing ever, but she also had the foresight to create a color scheme for our show. Our cast and crew will be dressed in muted colors, and the important props (the playback device, the poison) will be bright red. The subtleties and attention to detail she works into each shot really make the look of the show.

Jen Enfield-Kane did sound, a sorely-needed area of our production that is usually overlooked in independent student projects. Thanks to her sound checks and audio monitoring, we have clear, gorgeous sound.

Thanks to Sarah Fanella for doing makeup and playing the Sorority Girl, and Jacky, Molly, and Bryn for being extras. You guys are the best!

Our next step is episode two!

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 The cast and crew have a challenge for you: share this page to your friends using the handy links below. You have 15 hours and your time starts now!

Antidote 15 Auditions [News]

antidote15 auditionsWe just finished day two of auditions, and we’ve seen a lot of fantastic talent! Thanks to all of you wonderful actors who made the trip out to USC to audition for our project– I have an enormous amount of respect for your work ethic and ability to impress us in such a short amount of time. We’ve got two more days of auditions on Tuesday and Wednesday, callbacks on Friday, and then we’ll reveal our cast and start shooting next weekend.

Essentially, watching audition tapes, finding props, making shot lists and storyboarding will be replacing sleep this week for me. (Coffee is a substantial part of our budget.)

What We’re Looking for in Auditions

We’re casting for the roles of Benji, Clark, and Tim. All three are critical to the story in different ways, but for the most part we’re looking for specific qualities.

  • Benji. This character appears to be one thing (a quick-witted womanizer who is anything but genuine) but actually is another (someone who uses wit and women as a coping mechanism to erase his past). He helps Anita not only because he still cares for her, but because he’s also drawn to the underlying mystery of who is pulling the strings.
  • Clark. We want someone who can carry on a light conversation with someone, but also show an undercurrent of malice.
  • Tim. We’re looking for someone who can play two sides of a coin: a friendly, supportive nice-guy who has always supported Anita, but who can also play the dark twist in the final moments of season one.

Thanks again to everyone who has auditioned so far! Episode one is on the horizon!

-Amy

Ashley Maimes to play Anita Lawrence [Casting Announcement]

ashleymaimestoplayanitalawrenceuscshortwebseriesantidote15Ashley Maimes just signed on to play Anita Lawrence for season one of Antidote 15.

The character Anita is a wild child with a theatrical soul, and is one of the two leads of the series.

I’ve worked with Ashley in the past for a few of my short films, and I’m glad to have her bring her talent to this project! She’s hardworking and motivated, and she’s constantly working on new projects.

Here’s what she has to say about the project, her interests, and, most importantly, what kind of sandwich she’d bring with her to a deserted island.

1. Give us a quick summary of your acting background and why you decided to major in theater here at USC.

ASHLEY: I have always loved to act, sing, and dance and have been performing since I was very young. My first part in a show was the role of Molly in the musical Annie. I absolutely love being able to entertain people! Being able to bring the audience on the journey with all the performers is an amazing opportunity. What a wonderful feeling to be able to help people escape their reality and sit back and enjoy the show. I have a real deep passion for the arts… always have and always will!

I decided to study drama and musical theatre at USC to further my training and education in the arts. I believe one never stops learning, and am very excited about the education and opportunities I am getting through USC’s program. I am able to take an amazing variety of classes, not just in my major field of study, but also in a wide range of subject areas too. Additionally, I take lessons and classes in acting, singing, and dancing as well as other courses that interest me. The professors are extremely knowledgeable and approachable, and USC’s reputation speaks for itself in every way! I am truly honored to be a part of this amazing university and wonderful program, and am excited to keep learning and see what the future will bring!

2. What drew you to the role of Anita and the story of Antidote 15?

ASHLEY: What drew me to Anita is that there is so much more to her than meets the eye. There is so much given by the writer to work with and there is still a lot open to create. Being able to help develop and grow a character from the beginning stages, working with the writers, producers, directors, and entire team is a wonderful opportunity. As an actress, I find this extremely challenging and exciting!

3. Since your character and you share an interest in the theater, I have to ask– what’s your favorite play? Favorite musical?

ASHLEY: Oh goodness! There are so many that I absolutely adore for so many reasons. For my favorite play, I would have to say Romeo and Juliet. And for my favorite musical, I absolutely love Wicked.

4. Favorite kind of  candy on set?

ASHLEY: Red gummy bears, skittles, or jelly beans.

5. If you could live in any TV show, which one would it be?

ASHLEY: One television show I would enjoy living in would be the ABC show called “Once Upon A Time”. I absolutely love the show, and adore the different time periods and fairy tales that the show incorporates!

6. What time period(s) are your favorite to study other than today?

ASHLEY: The Renaissance Era, Victorian Era, and the 1920s!

7. You’re stranded on a deserted island. What kind of sandwich do you bring with you?

ASHLEY: Corned beef or turkey on honey oat bread or egg bread. Do I get chips and water or tea also?

 

Bill Fitzgibbons: Composer/Producer [Interview]

Bill FitzgibbonsBill Fitzgibbons is a composer and producer of Antidote 15. He’s created scores for many of my other short films, and I’m lucky to have him on board! Today I interrogated interviewed him about his musical past and why he decided to be a part of Antidote 15.

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What are your favorite composers, film scores?

I quite like John Williams and Howard Shore’s music (best known for his work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy), with Hans Zimmer coming in at a close third.

How did you get into composing? What drew you to music?

Well, I was drawn to music originally because of my family history. My mom played both flute and piano, my uncle the trumpet, my grandfather the drums, and my late grandmother piano and organ (she knew Terri Gibbs, a famous country singer). I started piano at the age of four, but I stopped after a few years.  I then switched to trumpet in the summer of the fourth grade. I still play trumpet, but a jaw issue has put that on hold, at least in the short-term.

As far as composing is concerned, I started getting interested in writing music after watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in theaters. I was impressed by the melodies I heard, and being young and impressionable, I wanted to try and mimic what I heard.  This eventually led to me wanting to write some of my own tunes. I still have a copy of my very first “composition”, by the way, which is absolutely horrid.  In fact, I don’t know if it’s even music…

You’re a novelist as well– do you think that composing has any parallels to fiction writing?

Absolutely! I could go on an on about how alike the two really are, but if I did, we’d be here for a while.   As such, I’ll give you the short version.  Music is the universal language — everyone can understand it! A song is, in essence, a story. It has a beginning and an end, and each note is significant, much like every word in a novel.  Notes combine to form phrases, much like words create sentences, etcetera. In the generic sense, both stories and music involve a lot of creativity and organization, as well…you need to know where you’ve been as well as where you’re going.

Why did you sign on to Antidote 15? What aspect of the project caught your attention?

Well, for Antidote 15, it was perhaps morbid curiosity.  I was intrigued, I admit.

That’s kinda a lame answer, but it’s the truth.  I already had a good deal of experience composing for film prior to this project, but I’d never done a web series before.  And seeing as I’m all about broadening one’s horizons, I thought it was time I practice what I preach.

Usually, the process of composing for something begins with the composer taking a look at the script (or at least a sample of it), checking to see if it is a project that he/she would be interested in pursuing.  When I saw the script, I thought it was a brilliant concept.  I thought, “This is a project I really want to work on…where do I sign up?”  I was hooked and wanted to be involved, simple as that.