Day 3 of Depleted Week: Shooting in Gas Stations and Abandoned Roads…

Shot In Abandoned Service Station

In perhaps the most laid back shoot day of the week, a skeleton crew from the Depleted feature made their way around Kentucky, from small forested trails (in which director Jeremy Hanke participated in a small cameo scene) to abandoned gas stations. Hanke had this to say, “Many of the shots we’re acquiring today will help tell some of the things that Jenna Whitmore survived after the Fall, before she reached Maysbridge [the main location in Day 419].” The images I was able to see looked very cool and we’re excited to see how it all looks when the film comes out, currently slated for either Q4 2012 or Q1 2013. (Clearly if it’s the latter they hold no truck with the Mayans predicting the Fall!)

Location scouting for the Depleted feature…

Location Scouting Is Hard Work
Location Scouting Is Hard Work
World of Depleted Contributor, Josh Lloyd, takes a break on a recent excursion to scout locations for the Depleted feature and spec trailer.

This past week, we caught up with Jeremy Hanke and Contributor Josh Lloyd as they were location scouting for the Depleted feature. In the midst of a crazy week of post audion Day 419, Hanke and his team will be shooting effects scenes for the Depleted feature with lead actress Kat Carney. For these shoots, it was necessary to match up locations properly a year in advance (almost to the day), as the feature will commence shooting in May of 2012. While a spec trailer could be made regardless of how well things tie in, the director stated that his goal is that every shot acquired this week will be able to be part of the final feature!

Lofty goals, but we look forward to seeing what comes up through it!

The Second Depleted Day 419 Trailer Is Now Up

Depleted Day 419 Teaser 2

Hey folks,

We’ve kept you waiting longer than we wanted to release a new teaser trailer, but now we have one for you to watch and think about! This one has final visual effects, actual sound design from the film, and official music from the sound track collection in it by David Todd Singleton.

We hope that you enjoy it as we continue to prepare Day 419 for final release!

Mid-February Updates…

Kari Ann Morgan Recording Voices for Day 419
Well, for your post Valentine’s Day update on Depleted, it seems like the team at Depleted is really grinding into high gear!  This is the Depleted news I’ve been able to uncover so far!

Kari Ann Morgan Recording Voices for Day 419
Kari Ann Morgan Recording Voices for Day 419

 Perfect Pitch: Bringing The Perils of the Fall to Day 419 – Yesterday, voice artist, Kari Ann Morgan, was brought in to record a variety of voices for the new Day 419 at Oakwood Sound Design.  Morgan is a talented vocal mimic that can recreate pitch perfect recreations of acccents, inflections, and voice types.  As such, she was tapped to help supply some of the wide range of different voices that would be heard in Jenna Whitmore’s chaotic return from the Middle East to the U.S. after the Fall.  Additionally, for a pivotal flashback set in Dublin, director Jeremy Hanke has tapped Dublin-based filmmakers, John and Martin Moylan, to help gain needed dialogue.  Finally, to help these radio broadcasts have the most authenticity in association with real world conditions, Ham Radio Specialist and Engineer, Victor Annas, will be going into the studio with D419’s sound designer, John Howard, to make sure the audio effects are as authentic as possible!

Canonizing History: Forsaken Receives The Very First EC Code – Ben Nash & James de Hanika will be the first filmmakers to receive the coveted Depleted Canon badge for their short film, Forsaken, and be able to begin the rewarding relationship of helping to further flesh out the World of Depleted and be involved in commercial profit associated with the film.  The current badge (featured below) includes the EC Code “#001. ” WoD Founder, Jeremy Hanke, did clarify that the badge is undergoing a final redesign by graphic designer, Craig McDaniel(Although, he was quick to state the current Badge is officially recognized and will likely become a valuable status symbol in the future, as so few people will ever receive one of these early ones.  Sort of like collector’s coins…or, more appropriately, stamps!) 

Current Depleted Canon Badge
Current Depleted Canon Badge

  Contributing To The Future: Sneak Peak Into The Upcoming Evolution of WoD – I had a chance to chat a bit with WoD Founder, Jeremy Hanke, who’s personally overseeing the new Contributor site.  He stated that since everyone who creates content is a Contributor, the official Contributor site is where all approved content (both Canon and Apocrypha) will go.  While anyone will be able to view the content on the site (and make comments), only those who register as Contributors will be able to submit new content.  Additionally, Hanke went on to say that one of the newest features that he was extremely excited about was a specialized challenge event board.  The new Contributor Challenge Board will allow specific challenges to be issued, which will really jog the creative juices.  I asked Mr. Hanke what exactly he meant, to which he replied: “Well, if you ask everyone to make a film or send in a cool story or take video of stuff, most people won’t know where to start because you have now overloaded your contributors  In directing terms, we refer to general concepts like these as “unactionable”–things that people can’t actually act upon directly.  However, if you have a short challenge like, write a 500 word short story that deals with three people trying to escape a plague zone…or record a 3 minute audio message from the day the Grid goes down of a family member leaving a goodbye message to his kids–these are now actionable.  Now, our contributors can glance quickly at these challenges each week and either they will immediately get hooked by the current challenge or they won’t–very little gray aread.  However, for those who aren’t hooked by a current challenge, they’re more likely to contribute something else that they are passionate about, because now they see how simple a contribution really can be.”   Hanke also went on to tell me that there will be cool things that filmmakers can unlock by contributing to these challenges, including special sneak previews of future content, the right to be a part of an extremely restricted vote on official Viking Productions Depleted content, inclusion in targeted specialty collections marketed by Viking Productions, and even the ability to win high value prizes for certain challenges.  Plus, while he wouldn’t go into any specifics, he did explain that Contributors that submit more Officially Recognized content during these  Challenges will have a chance to win cool cumulative prizes.  

 Picture Yourself The Way You Like: Harnessing The Desires Of The Fans – Fans like Fred Koskin (and myself) have wondered when World of Depleted would allow us to control our avatars!  Well, the good folks at Depleted have announced that this is now a new feature in both the official World of Depleted website and  the new Contributor site.  (Apparently, Contributors will in fact have a separate login, which will also give them access to Contributor exclusive areas.  No word yet on what all will be in these special Contributor areas.) 

Broken Hearts: Gavin Explores New Secrets On Valentine’s Day – Fans who’ve been missing the updates from the enigmatic Gavin Hesterdale will be happy to see that a brand new entry has appeared out of the ether, and may be one of the longest entries to date!  Rumors have been circulating that one of the elements from this new entry will show up in the official Depleted feature film.  To no one’s surprise, I can get no official confirmation on that!  

Well, more on all of these things when I know more!

Depleted News: Mid-January…

With the snow-falls across the midwest, things haven’t been snowed under at Viking Productions and their work on the World of Depleted!  Here’s the exciting news I was able to glean from some of the folks in the various production and marketing teams:

Foley Magic
Much of Hollywood's magic doesn't come from what you see, but what you hear! From Top Left, clockwise: 1) Two of the mics used for Foley; 2) John Howard, Day 419's Audio Designer; 3) Marinated pork loin provided good realism for slow stabs; 4) Lining up the sounds with the cut in the Nuendo DAW.
  • Foley Magic: When the sound effects libraries and wild sound recorded on set can’t measure up to the needs of a film, the audio designer takes his team to the Foley stage to create super-intense sound effects!  Having garnered the advice of pro sound designer, Kelley Baker, who has done the audio on many Hollywood films, including 1998’s Psycho, Day 419’s audio designer, John Howard, had a good idea of where to start for some intense stabbing effects needed for the film.  Director Jeremy Hanke was on set to capture the footage of the events with his pocket video camera.  Folks wishing to check out the cool video can go to: Cutting to the Quick: Foley Work on Depleted: Day 419
  • Official World of Depleted Contributor FAQ Channel on Vimeo: As the folks at Depleted come close to releasing the official Contributor agreements (which have previously been in a private beta), they have now launched the World of Depleted Contributor FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) channel, which provides video explanations of different questions about how distribution works!  Three videos kick it off and two more are slated to appear next week.  Director Jeremy Hanke states, “this is a way to boil down the main concepts present in the contributor agreements into easy to understand videos.  I believe these will help eliminate confusion and reassure fans who may be a bit nervous that this has been well thought out ahead of time!”  He went on to say that future videos would feature more pictures and step-by-step examples!  (Additionally, there will be a printed version of these questions and answers at the World of Depleted website in the future, for folks who prefer reading them.) To check it out, go to: the Contributor FAQ channel.
  • New Changes for Contributors: Jeremy Hanke will be meeting with entertainment lawyer, Paul Battista, this week to add a new feature to the contributor contract.  After an in-depth exploration of the current rules during the beta process with Brain Candy LLC’s founder, Scott Walker, it was decided that the previous rules had been a little restrictive in regards to Apocrypha.  For those unfamiliar, two forms of submissions would be recognized at World of Depleted: Apocrypha and Canon.  Apocrypha is designed to be much like Fan Fiction is today, but would have the advantage of being officially displayed at the World of Depleted website, giving publicity to the creator.  Canon, on the other hand, would be accepted as official information and/or mythology, helping to sculpt the world of Depleted, and permit both the creator and Viking productions to profit from this arrangement.  It has now been decided that both Canon AND Apocrypha will allow their creators to profit (a first for things that would be accorded fan fiction)!  According to Jeremy Hanke, “We wanted to really encourage people to shoot for Canon, because that helps grow the official world and mythology, which is why, originally, Apocrypha didn’t have revenue share with it.  However, we realized that this de-encentivized (if that’s a word!) people who wanted to create well-told stories in the Apocrypha section.  As such, both will now be able to profit using the same revenue share model.”  To make sure confusion doesn’t arise with fans, once submissions have been reviewed and official certified as either Canon or Apocrypha, Creators will be given an official Badge which they will be required to use in the marketing of any of their Depleted products.
  • New Footage for the Depleted Feature: The striking Kat Carney will be filmed in Kentucky’s snowy tableau for some of the flashback scenes in the Depleted feature this weekend.  2nd Second Unit (no, not an alliterative typo!) DP Eric Henninger (who played the role of Nash Fitch in Depleted: Day 419) will be filming.
  • New Crowdfunding Updates: As fans recall, director Jeremy Hanke has chosen to use crowdfunding to raise the majority of the funds needed for shooting the Depleted feature film.  While he has not yet released the date that crowdfunding will commence, he has stated that he will be borrowing a page from successful microbudget filmmaker, Mike Flanagan.  Flanagan recently created an award-winning feature film (Absentia) on a micro-budget utilizing a crowdfunding campaign so successful that he actually made nearly double his intended budget with it!  One of the large elements was creating targeted, humorous videos for each of the members of the main cast and crew, that explored information about the film, but which were funny enough that people would pass them on to friends because they were welll-done and genuinely amusing.
  • RPG News: Twilight 2013 Rumors put to rest. While there had been rumors that Viking Productions (the production company behind Depleted) was going to be able to arrange something with the now-defunct 93 Games Studios for their core fules behind Twilight 2013, according to co-founder Jeremy Hanke, the terms required were currently untenable and Viking has to pass.  While Viking continues to explore other alternatives for an RPG backbone, folks who want a good ad hoc way of getting into the game will be pleased to know that the rights for Twilight 2013 appear to have reverted to the original Twilight 2000 creator, GDW.  While there is no word on whether they will be creating new bound versions of the set, they are now selling .PDF versions of the Twilight 2013 set at .
  • World of Depleted: Rumors of New Films – While unable to be verified, there has been a rumor that Viking Productions may be officially producing another short film in the World of Depleted.  My sources say that it has a working title of “WoD: Dark Day Tomorrow” and tells some of the backstory of the enigmatic sniper, James Fallhery, one of the protagonists of the Depleted feature.

More information as we know it on the World of Depleted!

Depleted News: Beginning of January

New updates on the horizon from the Depleted team:

  • Score composer daVid Singleton completed the entire first draft of the score for Depleted: Day 419.   General excitement seems to be high as this crucial stage has been passed.  Still no word on the final release of Day 419, but Jeremy Hanke did say this…

“While some of the setbacks on the post-production end of things for Day 419 have been very difficult for us all, it has permitted us to further improve other elements of the film, including the effects sequences, and to refine our production and post-production workflow.  Readers of Viking’s imprint, MicroFilmmaker Magazine, can look forward to in-depth articles and tutorials about the workflow we’ve been developing.”

  • Rumors abound that new crowd participation is going to directly impact the story world of Gavin Hesterdale, and the world of Depleted itself.  So far, no one will give any specific details to this, so we look forward to hearing more in the near future!
  • Fight choreography for the Depleted feature film has now begun.  Day 419′s fight choreographer, Jay Kerr, seems to be playing an important role, although no word has come through whether he will be helming this division in the future.
  • Casting for the Depleted feature film has now been cheduled for February 19th in Lexington, Kentucky.  Actual locations haven’t been finalized yet, nor has the official call for submissions from other parts of the country.
  • Continued rumors about an official Depleted role playing game circulate, especially after the grievous news that 93 Games Studios, publishers of the amazing Twilight 2013 role playing game, were closing their doors.  Fans of this game had noticed that, while much of the backstory was very different, a lot of the real world play mechanics fit very well with Depleted.   Because of this, there has been speculation that some sort of an agreement might be able to be arranged with the Twilight 2013 creators, so that their mechanics and gameplay might not be lost.  No official word has surfaced, however.
  • Finally, fans of the increasingly popular Gavin Hesterdale journals will likely find more new secrets and information, as the journal seems primed for explosive new revelations in the very near future.  How this will connect with the ARG elements still in discussion remains to be seen!

More on this as we know it!

Depleted’s Head of Marketing, Sheri Candler, Nationally Recognized…

Sheri Candler

It’s always exciting when one of your creative team is nationally recognized for excellence in their craft!  Sheri Candler, the head of Depleted’s marketing team, was placed in the Top Ten Brave Thinkers in Indie Film by innovator Ted Hope of the nationally regarded Huffington Post!

Sheri Candler
Sheri Candler

Hope had this to say of Candler:

“When you believe in something you want to share it, right?  Sheri embodies this statement like few others.  Her commitment and faith in audience and community building is contagious.  An avid user of social media, it is hard to miss Sheri in the virtual world, as she lends her voice, heart, and hand to filmmakers trying to sort out a way to connect and build the necessary bridges. Added bonus for following Sheri?  Her ideas are good and well thought out!   Last year’s Brave Thinker, Jon Reiss attests: “I met Sheri just over a year ago after I had just finished Think Outside the Box Office — where else — but on Twitter. She reached out to me, as she does with countless others, and since our first meeting has been an invaluable partner – passionate, incisive and always on the hunt for new ideas and new people that can help filmmakers (myself included) connect with their tribe and help solve the problems facing us all in this challenging time. Her tireless engagement and generosity sharing her wisdom and discoveries is a constant inspiration to me and should be to all in our community.”

To read the complete article, click here.

Our congratulations go out to Sheri for this public recognition of her outstanding mind and talent.  It is a wonderful boon to the World of Depleted to have someone of Sheri’s skills and creative outlook involved so dynamically in helping spread the word and grow this audience!

Early Canonization Map Released and more Depleted Information

Wold of Depleted Submission Workflow

New updates for the beginning of December surround the World of Depleted, include:

*The first map of the overall structure of the submission process for World of Depleted content, as well as the breakdown to Canon and Apocrypha has now been released.  (See below) Director Jeremy Hanke has clearly stated that there will be a more polished map that will be used in the official release and that subsections will be more clearly broken down at that point.  ( Additionally, he’s gone on to say that videos will be created to more clearly explain each step in the process for folks who prefer this to text and images.)

Wold of Depleted Submission Workflow
Wold of Depleted Submission Workflow

* Finalized contracts to open up the World of Depleted to creatives around the world are being beta tested by filmmakers currently. So far, with the exceptions of a few clarifications of the processes, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

*Day 419’s Jeremy Hanke and Sound Designer, John Howard, are slated to announce a new score composer for Depleted: Day 419 on December 3rd.  (While his name has not yet been released, aparently the new composer has a lot of professional film and television scoring experience.)

*Ben Nash, of the upcoming short film “Forsaken,” is in the process of approving his contracts for submission for Official Canon Consideration.  Once completed, the Forsaken trailer will be posted to the World of Depleted website.  The film’s release is still TBD, but it appears to be closing in on its completion.  Once done, the core Depleted team will review the film for inclusion as Canon.

*Editor Jeremy Hanke’s work on an advanced special effects sequence for Day 419 seems to be drawing close to conclusion as he’s now enlisted the aid of 3D artist Mark Bremmer to help him polish the look of the effects sequence!

*A large amount of work has now been done on the Depleted feature script, according to writer/director Jeremy Hanke, who is connecting even more elements of the ARG experience and the mythology of the world to the film.  (Early rumors suggest that more than one feature film is currently being planned in the series.)

*In addition to vocalist Trista Mabry, it has been revealed that another band is in the process of coming on board for the Depleted soundtrack.  While the production team is closed mouthed on who it will be until contracts have been officially received, they did reveal that this particular band has a cult following for an album that major studios tried to block from being released.  If everything goes according to plan, most of the songs from this album will now be included in the official Depleted soundtrack!

Blowing Up: A Glimpse of some of the Effects from the World of Depleted Sizzle Reel

We’ve been working hard on the effects both for Depleted: Day 419, but also for effects which will be used in the feature film and on a sizzle reel for the World of Depleted franchise, to give folks a feel for the wide reach it has and to get the creative juices flowing of fans and contributors.

The following video showcases a scene from the sizzle reel where Jenna deploys a remote control bomb as she and Andre Flanagan walk away from the site.  Composited in After Effects, this explosion utilizes multiple elements found in Action Essentials 2 (created by Video Copilot and marketed by Toolfarm).

Color Grading Completed on Depleted: Day 419…

Color Grading Session
After weeks of hard work, the color grading for Depleted: Day 419 is now complete.  Normally, color grading is performed after final special effects have been laid in.  However, with DP Nate Eckelbarger about to move to Austin, TX, we proceeded on to the color grading as soon as picture was locked.  (Despite the relocation, we are happy to report that Eckelbarger is slated to return as the DP for the Depleted feature in 2011.) 
As I really like to give my visual department the reins in the final look of the film and only get in the way if things are diverging from my overall vision, I was happy to let Nate’s keen eye take lead on this journey.  (Interestingly, despite  our access to a number of different plugins, we ended up using Magic Bullet Looks almost exclusively, as we continued to discover more and more ways to tweak our image in the most organic and believable way possible.)  The final look is gritty, stylized, and tight, bringing up memories of films like The Terminator and The Thing.   From here, we move hard into final audio, score composing, and effects!

Color Grading Session
Director Jeremy Hanke and DP Nate Eckelbarger Figure Out Final Coloration on Depleted: Day 419.