MAKING OF A KING - WebSeries

The film is based on a poetry piece called A Cycle for 8 Voices, which relays the events leading up to Arthur's drawing of Excalibur from the stone. Although this version takes its own unique spin on the legend. The story is told by eight people: Merlin, Uther, Gorlois, Hector, Arthur, Ygraine, Morgana and Guinevere.

We aimed for a production that was stylized in its presentation, including some material of a more graphic and mature nature. While the sonnets are the backbone of the script, there was also improv and interactions initiated by the cast.

SUMMARY

Work began on this project in February 2010. There are still a few last minute filler shots needed, but principle photography is complete.

Fixed to an extremely low budget, we could not fly our cast and crew to foreign locations so we had to find a way to bring those locations to us. We wanted to replace the makeshift look of the interior scenes we used in Shimea with something more professional. So with that said, this has been a very ambitious project due to the large amount of green screen work that was done.

We have been able to acquire the talents of Kristina from Retrospect Film Group to help with all of the green screen work. While we have been able to do a portion of it ourselves, thanks to our acquiring a better editing suite, the problem scenes are all being handled by Kristina. We suspect there is some cursing and hair ripping going on, but we would be doomed to failure without her clever input and skills. Be sure to scroll down and check out a couple of videos on this. One showing the parts needed to assemble a green screen shot. The second is a finished clip. Just a little something to whet your appetite.

Of course, in all of this there is a lesson to be learned; lighting is key to excellent green screen as well as video quality [High Def or the highest DPI possible]. Otherwise, there is a blur around the subjects which makes it very hard to green screen. The blur makes various shades of green which bleeds into the subjects and objects you want to keep. Anyway, lesson learned. We now have a better camera which should eliminate that problem.

The first of the three parts is complete with just a little tweaking and clean up needed. We expect to be able to upload it to Blip TV within the next month or so. This is quite exciting for us as the venture into the world of Internet TV is like walking into unknown territory. That first step is a little scary. But after much discussion we felt that this is the best venue for this project, since the green screen problems would be greatly exaggerated in a Film format.

BUDGET

We only started physically tracking expenses with this film. The projected budget will end up somewhere between $500 to $1,000 dollars. As this project is funded out of pocket, once completed we will post a better breakdown. This way other independent filmmakers can see what they can accomplish an a very tight budget.

We continue to be fortunate to have a network of talented people who are willing to lend their art to us at no cost, whether as cast or crew. For this project our expenditures have been on craft services, because you don't want hungry people working on an all day shoot, costuming, location rental for green screen work, the addition of two sets of lights, the green screen, a tool kit that travels to each shoot, the beginnings of a makeup kit and a homemade steady-cam.

KUDOS

As always, we have been lucky to get a core of faithful support for this project, including several familiar faces from Shimea. We were once again able to finagle Blackthorn Productions into coming onboard to help with our fight choreography. [You can check out a short video on this further down on the page.] And we would not have been able to have had a successful battle shoot without Emily Schooley stepping in to do a quick coaching session for those faithful stalwarts who braved the cold.

We wish to acknowledge our thanks to Fantastic Creations for their willingness to work a deal whereby we were able to get the use of a number helmets and swords, bows and axes.

Also, thanks to Carolyn and Francois van Heerden for letting us borrow Excalibur for an undisclosed period of time. You will get it back, I promise.

STATUS

March 1, 2013 - We were 75% of the way to completing the 4th and final episode when we encountered a major computer problem. As we were backing up the project the computer failed, trapping the film in limbo. The computer was brought to shop we often used to see if the data was retrievable. It was. And then the shop closed up, the owner disappeared and the computer was locked inside. After months of dogged effort we were finally able to track down the landlord. He was able to return the computer to us. We then took it to another store to complete the data retrieval only to discover that the hard drive was never restored to the computer. The landlord informed us that there had been a number of loose hard drives on a shelf, and he had tossed them. So, we will not be able to complete the intended story line. For those who had been looking forward to is, our sincerest apologies.

February 16, 2012 - Originally planned for 3 parts, we have come to the decision that it will be better served as a 4 parter. Parts 1 and 2 are complete and are up on YouTube, or you can view them below. Part 3 has one final scene to edit and we hope to have it up within the next two weeks. Part 4 is half-way to being fully edited, and we are looking to have it up on YouTube in about 4 to 6 weeks. We were lucky to get permission from Heather Dale to use her song, "Mordred's Lullabye" to close the series.

July 17, 2011 - The Making of a King will be shown in three parts. Part One is now complete. Initial editing on Part Two is complete and CGI is well underway. We are just finishing off the last little bits of filler shots to complete Part Three. We are looking for a musician to score the film. Once we get the music track laid down we will be able to start uploading the web series.

CAST & CREW

CAST [alphabetically]
- John Cormier [ King Gorlois ]
- James "Jimmy" Diamond [ Sir Kai ]
- Brian Dorion [ Merlin ]
- Hannah Foulger [ Meadwyn ]
- Bryan O'Toole [ High King Uther ]
- Lindsey Quinn [ Queen Ygraine ]
- Emily Schooley [ Vivian / Lady of the Lake ]
- John Sherritt [ King Lot ]
- Rachel Steinberg [ Young Morgana ]
- Malakai St. Merrick [ Arthur ]
- Alexena Whiting [ Morgana ]

CREW
- Danute Dorion [ writer/producer/director/camera/editor]
- Kristina Kamarauskas [ Green Screen SFX ]
- Graham Yeates [ Production Assistant ]
- Ali DeBoer [ Production Assistant ]
- Shane DeBoer [ Production Assistant ]
- Teri DeBoer [ Craft Services ]
- Blackthorn Productions [ Fight Choreography ]
- Emily Schooley [ Additional Fight Choreography ]
- Fantastic Creations [ Weapons ]
- John Prno [ Waterloo Regional EMS ]

Part One - Sword

Part Two - Betrayal

Part Three - Child

BEHIND-THE-SCENES

Audition Video shot by Paul Gitschner.

Meet the cast in Still Shots.

Sword Fighting Rehearsal Video.

GREEN SCREEN SAMPLES

Rough shot of Gorlois and Ygraine, played by John Cormier and Lindsey Quinn, on the castle parapet. This will be intercut with Uther spying on them from the castle window.

Rough shot showing The Lady of the Lake rising, played by Emily Schooley, out of the lake to give Merlin the sword. This scene will be intercut with Merlin watching on.

DONATION

If you liked what you saw on our website, and would like to make a donation towards our future projects, just click on this handy PayPal link. Thank you much.

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Donations

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- Equipment

Friends of SWE

- Thespian Net

Production Companies

- Retrospect Film Group
- FBN Multimedia

Technical Services

- Kyle Worrall
[Composer & Musician]
- Blackthorn Productions
[Stage Combat]
- Fantastic Creations
[ props ]
- Niclin McNiece
[ Graphic Artist ]
- Heather Dale
[Singer & Songwriter]

Resources

- JewelBeat
- Talent Trove
- Find Things on TV
- Indiegogo
- Kickstarter

Associates

- John Sherritt
- Emily Schooley
- James Diamond

Mercantilers

- Geek2Chic