Tag Archives: crew

Lucky Number Three!!

19 Oct

Aidan CheeatowIt’s getting exciting.  Only six more sleeps until launch.  But around here, the fun never stops.  So we have something new for you to look at today: a brand new teaser entitled Life on the Set.

One of the things that makes this teaser especially awesome is that the director is Aidan Cheeatow.  Aidan is 14 and a film major at Claude Watson School for the Arts.  He is also the brother of Madison Cheeatow, who plays Ruby Skye.

When we heard that Madison’s brother was a young filmmaker, we invited him to set, gave him a camera and full access to cast and crew and forced him to make a little film.

Here it is.  We think it’s great.

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Teaser Credits

8 Sep

Ruby Skye P.I. and The Case of the Missing Brownies

Marlee teaserHailey Skye: Marlee Maslove

Written by: Jill Golick

Directed by: Kelly Harms

Director of Photography: Alex Decav

Sound: Sean Van Delft

Assistant Director: Kerry Young

Editor: Jennifer Essex-Chew

Assistant Editor: Ben Manthorpe
Alex and Kelly Shooting the Teaser
Music by: StudioCat

Production Assistant: Illia Svirsky

Produced by: Kerry Young

Executive Producers: Karen Walton, Steven Golick, Jill Golick

Read My Sister’s Report Card

Ruby's Report Card page 1Written by Scott Albert and Julie Strassman-Cohn & Jill Golick

Report Card provided by The Dragon Academy

Teaser Launch

7 Sep

Shooting the trailerI had really wanted to release the teaser before we got into production.  Then I wanted to release it on Day 1 of production.  Karen Walton kept encouraging me to cool my jets.  She didn’t see the point in rushing it out and she was right.

We probably could have taken even more time to lay the social media groundwork before releasing the trailer, which is not to say it wasn’t a great launch.  It really was.

By the time we were ready to roll out the teaser, we had one week of production under our belt and people were beginning to follow the production blog.  Dorice Tepley was tweeting regularly from @rubyskyepi as was I, albeit infrequently.  Karen and Kerry were also working Twitter from their own accounts and several members of the cast and crew were supplementing the script with their own ad hoc tweets.

We were close to launching a Facebook page as well.  The only thing stopping us was the lack of an image to represent the project.  We hadn’t settled on a logo and we didn’t have exactly the right photo to represent the production.  But nonetheless, our online presence was growing.

Karen’s plan was a clever one.  Raise awareness and excitement about the teaser by talking about it online and offering a small number of previews by invitation only.  That meant that in addition to the team, there would be about 20 people who had had an advance look at the trailer and could talk/blog/tweet about it along with us at the moment of release.

And release was scheduled to the minute: 12 noon Eastern on Friday August 27, 2010.

Crew and some cast of Ruby Skye P.I.The day before we released the trailer, we had a screening for the crew.  That’s when we took our crew picture.  We immediately put the picture up on the web and used it as the profile picture when we launched our Facebook page that day.  The crew got in the fun, joining the fan page, spreading it and tagging themselves in the picture.  That was a great boost for us on Facebook, because each crew member was helping by promoting the page to their communities.

That carried through into the launch of the teaser.  Many crew members mentioned it or liked it on Facebook helping spread the word as did the 20 or so people who had had a sneak preview.  Karen, Dorice, Kerry, production manager Peter Harvey and I were all active through out launch day on Facebook, Twitter and the show blog, talking about the teaser and the upcoming launch.

At precisely noon, we saw a very significant spike in our traffic.  We had our best numbers so far on that day.  And our traffic has not yet fallen back to pre-launch numbers.

Next Phase

7 Sep

Ruby Skye P.I. SlateIt’s wrap out day for just a few last members of the crew; things are getting returned and restored. But while one phase of the project is gearing down, the next is gearing up.
On the one hand, we have the moving pictures (video? film? what do you call it now?) part of the project to finish up; editing and post. On the other, there is a website to build and a launch to plan.
The technical and design aspects of the website are in the very competent hands of Lucia Mancuso, Jessica Law and the team at The Blog Studio. We have fantastic wire frames and now it’s time to put a little flesh on those bones.
Getting Ready to Shoot at The Big ChillWe are also building a ton of content for the site and that is in-house work. Lots of blog posts, character sketches, log lines and more have to be written. It’s a pretty huge job and we are starting right now.
Our teaser launch went extremely well. We learned a lot from the experience and will draw on those lessons in the lead up to the roll out of the episodes. Look for lots of activity on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and several other platforms. Your support in the form of posts, reTweets, links and forwards is very much appreciated and helps a Lot.
Relaxing outside The Big Chill between takesWe’re still riding the high of production, so expect to see lots more photos and discussions of the experience in this space and wherever else in the social web we can cram some content.
Don’t expect quiet from Ruby Skye P.I. any time soon.

Shooting the Teaser

5 Sep

Marlee in the closetWe shot the teaser with a small crew.  Kelly Harms directing, Marlee Maslove playing Hailey Skye, Alex Dacev as DoP, Sean Van Delft doing sound, Kerry Young playing first AD, Illia Svirsky was swing and I watched and took stills.

We shot it at night.  Call time was 7:30 p.m.

Marlee had been at ExITE Camp at IBM that day and wasn’t available until after 5:30.  Alex and Sean both had been working day time shoots I think.  Plus Kelly wanted to get all the mysterious mood that night would bring.

I had no idea what he was up to when Kelly asked me if I had a closet with a pull string light.  But I soon found out when Marlee was sitting on a chair in a storage closet for our first shot of the night.  I think that opening moment looks great when we go for darkness and Hailey pulls the string to turn on the light and begins to tell the story of how she got grounded.

We shot on the Canon 5D Mark II and in part, the teaser was a camera test.  It turned out to be a wonderful camera for our purposes and the images coming out of it are gorgeous.

We had a lot of setups: the basement storage closet, the hallway outside the bedroom, looking into the bedroom from the balcony, the kitchen, the computer room.

DoP and director conferIllia did the work of 10 men that night, lifting, carrying and running to and fro.

We wrapped around 12:30 a.m.  Despite having gotten up at dawn and having had a full day of camp before shooting, Marlee was the freshest and least exhausted of all of us.

We downloaded the cards from camera and the sound into my computer and called it a night.

Not the End

3 Sep

Crew and some cast of Ruby Skye P.I.It’s day last. Shoot day 15 of 15. Cameras are rolling. We’ve already done a picture wrap on Kevin and Ali this morning.  And we’re rushing to get one last exterior scene shot before the rain.

The busy-ness of it all keeps our minds off the fact that this is an end.  Not the end. But an end to what has been a wonderful shoot.  This team is a dream team; literally the best crew on the planet.  Everyone works hard, is good at their job and is simply a great person.

Turning your home into a production office and studio isn’t for everyone.  I won’t be sooo bad to recover a little space.  And it would be nice if there were one or two outlets that weren’t being used to recharge something or other. But I will be terribly sad to see everyone leave.

Big Day at the Big Chill

1 Sep

Crew and some cast of Ruby Skye P.I.To quote Sean Van Delft, “we have a big day”. It’s big in so many ways. We’ve been really looking forward to shooting at The Big Chill, the ice cream parlour at the corner of College and Manning. It is a beautiful location. The scenes are very important ones in the story (aren’t they all?) and very funny. We’re going to have lots of extras and many guests… not to mention ice cream from the Big Chill which everyone on the crew is looking forward to.

There are other things that make this day special. It is really our last big day of shooting. We have three days left including today, but by Thursday and Friday we’ll be shooting just smaller scenes. We won’t be working with such a big crew, we won’t have as many cast around.  So in some ways, today is the beginning of the end.

That is really sad.  It’s safe to say that everyone is having a great time.  Several members of the crew have mentioned to me how much they’ve enjoyed being on the project.  We’ve been a great team.  We get along, we work well together and we have been pretty low on the stress scale even on heat wave days like the last two.  All in all it has been a very happy set and when I call this the best crew on the planet, it is not an exaggeration at all.

Brownie Wars

1 Sep

Brownies by Ruby Skye P.I.Many people have checked out the recipe for Ruby’s Roasted Marshmallow Brownies — the brownies featured in our trailer. I baked those brownies myself using a variation on my sister-in-law Andrea Goldman‘s amazing brownie recipe, the variation being the marshmallows on top.

For the teaser shoot, I baked doubles (two batches, just in case) and so we had a lot of left overs. Everyone on the very small crew that shot the teaser went home that night with a care package. Everyone raved.

Karen Read thruSomehow, my fellow executive producer, Karen Walton, imagines that she can bake a better brownie. She’s been mouthing off about it for weeks, but despite the fact that she’s dating a fabulous chef and former pastry chef and has access to a restaurant kitchen, we have seen nary a brownie crumb. Oh yeah, she brought the much appreciated special delivery package to set, but there was no home baking in it, I assure you.

And when she waxes poetic about the brownie recipe she claims to possess, she keeps mentioning raspberries.

Raspberries? In brownies? Really?

I hate to tell you, Karen, raspberries might be a delicious and wonderful fruit, but no one wants fruit in their brownies. The only thing anyone wants added to the chocolate-y goodness of brownies is more sugar (and possibly nuts).

Am I right?

While we’re waiting for Walton to put her money where her mouth is and show up with some brownies, we invite you to send us your best brownie recipes. Ruby’s always up for trying a new brownie recipe, especially when she needs to persuade Hailey to help her with something. We’ll showcase the recipes on our new Ruby Skye P.I. site when it’s built. We’d also love to see your photos of homemade brownies (especially if you bake Ruby’s Roasted Marshmallow Brownies). We’ll add your pictures to our photostream.

And Karen, if you ever get it together, the crew is standing by ready to act as judges. Your brownies against mine, any day.

Diary of a Director: Lights, Camera, Confusion

31 Aug

Kelly Harm's StoryboardsLet me preface this entry by explaining how lucky Ruby Skye P.I. is with an amazing camera, lighting and grip crew!  They are spectacularly talented at their respective jobs and I often watch them in awe – Alex D. (DOP), Alex L. (1st Assistant Camera), Jack (2nd AC), Igor (Gaffer) and TJ (Key Grip) are a literal dream team of technicians and artists.  Alex Dacev and I have worked together on many productions and he’s, truly, an extraordinary talent.

The tools of my trade are very few.  I imagine what the scene looks like, draw storyboards (pictures) of where the characters should be and, finally, do a shot list with a simple diagram of the location and camera positions.  It’s then Alex’s job, with his crew, to make it look very beautiful (or, at least, how I imagined it to be) and to capture those images while I focus on the performance of actors.  Usually, the director hands over the shot list at the beginning of the day so the DOP knows what is to be shot.  With Alex, I often skip that step because I believe he can read my mind – and he’s proved my theory correct many times before.

So imagine my surprise, confusion and disappointment when Alex approached me and said that he couldn’t make a certain shot happen.  He insisted that it wasKelly's Shot List for Scene 17 impossible (I’d never heard the words out of his mouth!), claiming that I’d miscalculated.  Miscalculated?  I scoffed at the mere suggestion.  When I came to set, I consulted my shot list and realized that I’d miscalculated.  Massively.  I ‘imagined’ the camera miraculously moving through a very large, concrete beam.

My producer (and 1st Assistant Director), Kerry Young, reminds me often that just because it’s in my head (and possibly on paper) that it might be intelligent to ‘share’ that vision before hand.

I now hand my shot list over to Alex every morning.  Still, I wonder why he, and his miracle-making crew, couldn’t make the beam disappear.

Kelly

And It’s Educational Too!

30 Aug

The fictional Ms. Springer

As everyone gears up to head back to school, I figured that this would be a good time to talk about the educational components of Ruby Skye P.I. My name is Lindsay Springer (not to be confused with my namesake, Ms. Springer, in the series) and I am working on creating educational resources and a teachers’ guide to accompany Ruby Skye P.I.

Tweens and Teens of today are certainly more technologically savvy than ever and conventional ‘pencil to paper’ methods have long since gone the way of the mix tape. In the post post-modern classroom, my students use IMovie to construct and edit book talks and create interactive SMARTboard presentations when visual components are required. Teaching Media Literacy has quickly become both a logical and essential part of any Language Arts curriculum. This is where my work with Ruby Skye P.I. comes in.

The educational approaches to using Ruby Skye P.I. are numerous and multi-faceted; in addition to providing an interesting way to teach plot structure and genre, including literary terms and conventions specific to the development of mystery stories, Ruby Skye P.I. opens the door to creative and interactive ways to teach students about writing, creating and producing television. With behind the scenes interviews, photos, videos, storyboards and interactive media available on the website, students will be privy to the process of creating film. Through the model of Ruby Skye P.I., students will learn how to read a screenplay, pitch an idea, develop characters, use plot devices, and select camera angles. These are only a few of the many skills that students will acquire through this unit of study, which will culminate in the creation of original media projects.

Stay posted for a list of great mystery reads for kids and teens!

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