TARA: A Collection of Production Stills & Behind The Scenes Photos From Days 1, 2, & 3

Hey everyone! Long time, no see!

This is the first posting for Our Movie Year!

We've been working very hard on our new film "TARA" pre-production began in September 2008 and ended in April 2009. We know, we know. We haven't been very good friends. We haven't made ourselves available. Haven't been there for you. Well sorry. Seven months of pre-production is A LOT for us.

We started shooting in late April and are now roughly halfway through production.

We would like to share some photos with y'all but they're sparse on variety. We have a lot to hide with this one.

What we can tell you is that we're working with our friends Jen Page, Ray Medved, and Dennis James Hardin again! A great cast already and we still have a part up for grabs! This is our second project with Jen and Ray and I believe it's their third together. And this is our third project with Dennis.

As for crew, we have some regulars and some n00bz. Brandon and Alex run the show and fill over half the crew positions a regular set would have, thanks to our perfect training courtesy of the Seattle Film Institute (I'm not being sarcastic). Mami and Andy assisted on Day 1, Chase took over for Andy and Mami on Days 2 and 3, and Vaughn joined us on Day 3 as Gaffer. We have also received help from Dennis, Ray, and Jen on slate, and Ray shot behind the scenes footage on Days 1 and 3.

We'll leave you to it.

From Can't Beat The Rock, here are our stills from the first 3 days of filming TARA:

Mami Shimada on slate. Day 1

Dennis James Hardin as The Waiter, enjoys the taste of blood. Day 1

Dennis behind the scenes. He's really happy about how tasty we made the blood for "TARA", and grateful it wasn't like the blood on "Smear.". Day 1

Jen's "cuticle tear" makeup. Day 1

Jen Page behind the scenes. Day 2

Dennis hamming it up for the camera between takes. Day 2

Calm before the storm: Ray Medved, Dennis, and Alex chillin' out before beginning the 4 hour shoot; 10PM-2AM. Day 2

Jen Page as TARA, flags down a car. Day 2

Jen Page as TARA, flags down a car. Day 2

Jen Page as TARA, flags down a car. Day 2

Jen Page as TARA, flags down a car. Day 2

Jen Page as TARA, approaches with caution. Day 2

Ray Medved as The Driver, picks himself up a midnight snack. Day 2

Behind the scenes peek at setting up a key shot; Alex explains the scene and shot to Jen and Ray. Day 2 Jen and Ray perform the scene perfectly! Day 2

Ray on slate for the "Reveal" scene: A very important scene in the film that we all enjoyed blocking. Many times. It was "classic". Day 2

Ray Medved as The Driver, finds himself in a moment of self-reflection. Day 2

Behind the scenes: Jen prepares to peal out. Day 2

Jen Page as TARA, finds a window of opportunity. Day 2

Alex, Dennis, Ray, and Jen head back to the base a little after 2AM. Day 2

Alex, Dennis, Ray, and Jen stop for a posed photo-op from Brandon. We don't look tired at all . . . Day 2

Jen is such a good sport!! Alex's applied prosthetic. Day 3

Dennis and Jen look on as Alex works on something. What could it be? You'll have to wait for the film's release. Day 3

Our new crew members!! We are very grateful for for all of Chase and Vaughn's help! Chase is in lieu of Andy Heye. Vaughn dressed for the job and brought his own reflectors . . . on his jacket. We finally have interns! It feels like The Life Aquatic. Day 3

Another teaser. And whatever you may be thinking it is --IT'S NOT WHAT YOU'RE THINKING!! So there. & this too was "classic". Day 3

As usual, thank you participating in our mind control experi-- uh blog. Thank you for visiting our blog.

<3 Ace


For Nuutti: "Paisley Goes To Hell" auditions at SFI from Sat. 06.21.08

Here they are!

Hopefully stuff clicks together and you won't have to stress about some stuff anymore starting with the watching of these.

:) :)

We made the monologues kinda fun . . . Also, Jon and Ray wrote their own stuff. Enjoy Jon's. It's fun stuff . . . :) I'm so excited to do the project and I am really looking forward to seeing you. I think 3 years is a ridiculous amount of time, especially since we have had to endure people from the class that we totally never wanted to spend time but we love being around you and you're so far away. Hopefully the future holds a job in Vancouver for you within the next couple of years or so. That would be perfect ;)

Enjoy how we spent our Saturday:

(and -- THANK YOU, KYLE!!!!!)

The Stills:

Jon Hendrickson

Lana Maseda

Jen Page

Alexandra Monteer

Bradley Harrington

Ray Medved

Mick Gamache

Sasha Stuber

The Videos:

The Script Readings

The Guys' Monologues

The Gal's Monologues

As usual, thank you to any and all people out there who take the time to view our page. We appreciate you spending moments enjoying, disapproving, and/or making fun of the things we love to do. We thank you for any appreciation you have for our projects, and feel sorry for you if you don't understand us; even though we don't understand us, we find it sad that you feel the same way we do. Now I take a curtsy and exit stage left. Thank you for your visit.

<3 Ace


Busy little Bees . . . & A's: We're finally ready to send our latest baby, our pride and joy, into the world.

Today is a very big, important day for us, and this month is going to be huge!

In a couple of days we find out if we were selected to be put on the www.FilmRacing.com page. On May 9th and 10th we took part in a 24 hour film contest. At 10pm on Friday the 9th we received a theme and action that we had to include in our film; Sharing & Washing A Window. From then until 10pm on Saturday the 10th we had to write, cast, find locations, gather costumes and props, shoot, edit, and deliver the project. We shot mostly in and around Woodinville and edited in North Seattle. Once the film was completed, or in our case, if we had under 20 minutes to deliver it, we then had to rush to the Diesel store in the heart of Downtown on Pike. We made it with one minute to spare, and that's no joke. As we drove Downtown we counted away precious seconds, hoping our hard work would not be in vain.

On Wednesday, May the 14th at approx. 9:30pm, we premiered our film at The Egyptian on Broadway; our favorite theater in all the land. We all had the big glory moment: saw our names on the screen. Brandon and I got to go up on stage at the theater to speak about the film. Afterwards we listened for buzz from the audience and we were definitely mentioned among several groups. That not only is good for us in a word-of-mouth way, but everyone got to vote for 3 0f 18 films and anywhere from a few to 7 or so will be posted online in the next couple of days. If we make an appearance we would greatly appreciate your vote to help us grab up the Online Audience Award.

Before we get to the film I would like to mention those involved:

Ace Cox . . . . . . . Writer/Director/Supporting Actress/Make-up/Story By

Brandon Cox . . . . . . . Director Of Photography/Editor

Andy Heye . . . . . . . Sound Design & Editing/Supporting Actor/Story By

(Dennis) James Hardin . . . . . . . Lead Actor/Story By

Seth McGinnis . . . . . . . Original Score By

Mami Shimada . . . . . . . Very Special, Important Thank You & A Big Hug

So, here are the films:

The first one is a DIRECTOR'S CUT. We spiffed it up in the weeks since the screening adding some fun things we'd discussed as a group but did not have licensing for. So please excuse our bad licensing manners . . .

"SMEAR": The Director's Cut

Here is the real McCoy; the one we put it all on the line for and we will be judged for numerous awards based on the impression this film makes on the judges and audiences (fro the screening and online).

Please enjoy greatly. Thank you.

"SMEAR": Theatrical Release

Here is Brandon's latest wonderful art piece that I am very proud of. He pieced this together in barely a few hours from footage taken about one year ago in the back alleys of he Belltown area. I'm deeply in love with French New Wave cinema and he made this to me that side of his filmmaking and editing abilities. I think it's so great! It's a little video love letter.

Please excuse us again for our bad licensing manners. As part of the love letter he included some of my favorite music; some of it fits and some of it makes itself fit because it is charming. Very much like some of my favorite people. The first piece of music is 'La Vie En Rose' by the late Edith Piaf and the second piece of music is a Daniel Johnston song called 'Devil Town' covered by Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes -my personal favorite musician/band.

So, here is what we lovingly named it:

"Back Alley Journey To La Nouvelle Vague of Cinema" Back Alley Journey To The French Wave of Cinema)

Finally, here is a clip that only exists for Nuutti. It is nothing special or of particular interest to anyone else because it simply will not make sense.

Nuutti, My Darling,

The kitchen is very open and overlooks major parts of the downstairs. As you can see, the downstairs bathroom is rather dark. The first upstairs one has two sinks; I don't know if that was ever part of anything you'd envisioned or thought about, but . . . then obviously I would straighten that up and make it a blank slate for you. It sounded like that's the general direction you wanted the bathroom to go in. Blank and empty so the audience can focus on Paisley and reflect on the inner emptiness that exists in the character. Is that about right? Then the last bathroom is very bright, like I'd said, and it's not so much white either. So there are those. I'm also assuming that the bathroom location be congruent with the kitchen in that they be the same general age. So if the kitchen is newer and modern, the bathroom wouldn't make sense being something like the one in our apartment where we are shooting the water divider stuff. Is that also something along the lines of what you were thinking?

On another note: It seems Vaughn really wants to meet you. (I'm so sorry; like I'd said, I'm getting pretty tired and I still feel terrible.)

"Vaughn's House Tour: Presented by Ace"

That one makes me laugh. How stupid.

Well Nuutti, that's that for this afternoon. I need to sleep a little; next up I'll send you fun audition posting layouts & examples; let me know if you put something else onto YouTube; I'll be looking forward to it. :)

Thank you all for visiting. As usual, your business is very much appreciated.

Take care!

<3 Ace


There Will Be Blood if "...my baby can't do her 'Booty Back And Forths'!!

Alright, so here is a video about some of the most important and enjoyable parts of our day. It was made between 7:15pm and 7:30pm while we waited for a 522 to take us home. Yes, I talk fast and I lisp. I also am very excitable. I'm not stupid, I know when trucks were around; I just refer to certain points in a certain film that I obsess over at certain times. Like in this video.(Yesterday, Tuesday, was when this was based and is when I began writing this post.) (Andrew, stay tuned. The end of the video concerns you, buddy. Just wait for it. ::thumbs up::)
Other than that, we went to the big Starbucks 'Venti Sized Celebration' at their first store today. We stood next to Mayor Greg Nickels and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz ran into my husband. Not only did Brandon not notice someone had just run into him, but of course he didn't notice who it was either. Shortly after that Brandon made some jokes about spotting Komo 4's Akiko Fujita at the press stand. The comparison was sad and not at all similar. We got bored and decided to head to Borders to make 'There Will Be Blood' ours. On our way out of the Starbucks street celebration Akiko Fujita almost plowed right into us with her giant entourage. How's that for sad. Not only does she suck and is obviously picked on by getting stuck with some really lame stories in some really lame places, but right after a couple of unknown-wannabe kids like us make fun of her, BOOM!, there she is almost ramming into us while being a real diva bitch. Great. Moving on. Today, more than other day since Ellen Page hosted SNL on 03.01.08, I have had, absolutely HAD to quote Kenan Thompson's character from this skit religiously; check out 'Shopping With Virginiaca' :

That video was mildly hilarious the first time, but gets even better. 2 1/2 weeks ago they ran Ellen Page's episode again and I just crack up at this skit every time it crosses my mind. Which is often.

In other news, we may have almost been run down today by the crazy chick who lives accross the street. Andrew and Seth knows what that one means. ;)

By the way, have I ever mentioned how much I love and adore Wikipedia? I do. It' my favorite. And DON'T EVEN get me started on LostPedia.com. OH MY GOD!!!!!!!

Alright, we must continue in our adventure that is Freaks And Geeks. How, with my history of favorites like My So Called Life and obscure choices like Flash Forward, did I wait this long to take the advice I have been given for years to see this damn show? We're about to embark on disk 3 0f 6 in the complete collection of the long running program. I predict there will be laughs, there will be snickers, there will be adoration, and last but not least, now everyday of our lives There Will Be Blood. Watch out future movie nights! Here we come!

Night folks!

<3 Ace


I've just been handed this breaking news: There will NOT be pickles or mayonnaise. We are out of both. This sucks because we just bought a whole bunch of sandwich stuff and now we need more. It really does suck. Also, I am thinking about having some of that free Pike Place brew I got today. I really want some, or just coffee in general.

That is all. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.


Some Of Our Favorite Collaborations. -And A Brandon Cox Classic

March 2008
*Let it be known that the peoples in this film are not in fact confirmed gay. Though they are possible homosexuals. This film is entirely the result of a group of us going out for a play date, intending on shooting a short and not having a script. We just dinked around and this is what we got from it: "HUStIFIXION"
Summer 2007
Brandon's take on what would happen if the greatest star in the world were to take on the role of the greatest man who ever lived. Himself. Danny Huston, that is. (NOTE: If you are unaware of who Danny Huston is, you have no place on this blog and are never welcome to come back.)
"oh shit"
Spring 2006
The result of excess footage from our preparation and creative process for The Stranger's 2006 28 second Film Contest. See video "The Stranger" (located below this one) for more information.
"The Stranger"
Spring 2006
The result of our 2006 entry for The Stranger's (Seattle's Only Newspaper) 28 Second film contest. The goal is to create an ad for the paper the doesn't exceed 28 seconds. The winning entry is shown before Stranger sponsored films at The Seattle International Film Festival and aside from amazing exposure, the winners also receive 2 full passes to the festival. We did not win. Obviously. Otherwise, why would we be wasting our time with this blog trying to get people who don't really care to watch our shit.
April 2005
Brandon's ad for an assignment at SFI in which we had to create either a realistic or mock Calvin Klein 'Eternity' ad. His fragrance is ingeniously titled "FUCK".
That's all for now. Stay tuned.


Ace's back stock of shorts and other SFI projects:

My first project at SFI, shot on one role of Super 8. The incredible part is that the video is JUST shy of 3 minutes, which is as long as one role of Super 8. Even more incredible: I must have cut at least a good 10 seconds off from the final copy. Amazing.
(October 2004)
My second project was a music video. I chose The Shins song "Young Pilgrims". I approached the process with virgin ears, listening to endless amounts of music I had never heard before, trying to create an impression from a blank slate. I also had a goal to mix my usual quirk and difference with a more difficult task: I wanted to try and adapt the lyrics literally. I wanted the dialogue to be reflected in the image. I also wanted to try my hand at working with children, since it's apparently incredibly difficult and something that should never be done. Luckily, I showed the two kids my treatment and they did the rest. It's hard to ask a 10 and 11 year old to create violent imagery and make it whimsical, light, and approachable, so I didn't. They just took their interpretation and they seemed to understand the story, which helped make it workable for me not only as a director, but an editor, too.
Here's how it all went down:
(March 2005)
My last (4th) individual project that I had time to complete while still attending Seattle Film Institute was my Demo Reel. It turns out that even though I shot a considerable amount of the footage and directed everything on the reel, this ended up not being a cinematography OR directing reel. This is more geared toward my editing. It is about 3 years old now and I have since improved drastically. There are some slight impovements to the old model, so sit tight for the durataion.
(July 2005)