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!)

Secret ARG Elements and More News About Depleted

The folks at Depleted have been burning the midnight oil on new updates for our viewing excitement:

  • While we’re still waiting to see how many fans snapped pictures of Sheri’s secret QR code today and are going to share them, we have gotten a new update from Depleted’s creators about the new ARG video.  According to them, the new video content will introduce a new character from the overarching world (which will tie into a unique pre-planned storyline).  This information comes after earlier information that the video will give insight into some of the more recent Gavin Hesterdale journals.
  • Additionally, the producers have now confirmed that the ARG video will feature the debut of the first of the songs from the album: “Songs From The Fall: Inspirations for Depleted, Vol. 1″  Creators tell us they will announce the band and song title after fans have gotten a chance to view the video itself.  (As a special bonus, the first 10 fans who see the video and email the producers about it at their special contact page, will receive an MP3 of the song.)
  • While folks are waiting to get a chance to see the new Gavin video, the most recent Gavin Hesterdale Journal gives massive insight into some of the pressing questions about the past of Gavin Hesterdale, his pupil Jenna, and the mysterious Ryan! 
  • Finally, there is more news about the Depleted Gear section.  Creators had originally considered the idea of having two different vendors for products, with a more basic line of products and a more deluxe line of products.  However, they’ve abandoned that plan after finding that their preferred merchandise company had far more competitive prices than the more basic company they’d originally considered.  As such, fans will be able to go to one location and have numerous options for apparel, merchandise, and gear at almost any price point they desire.  (Plus, there will routinely be new coupons and discounts for fans who sign up on the mailing list!) Additionally, the new Depleted Gear section has now been installed into the World of Depleted website, so that fans can shop while they’re at the website!

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).

The Gavin Hesterdale Journal…

The Broken Cars

The Broken CarsThe brilliant Gavin Hesterdale was the investigative journalist who trained Jenna Whitmore.   A year before the Fall, Gavin had a religious experience and started having prophetic visions of the future.  He spoke of a “lawless apocalypse” and a future cataclysm that would rend man to his very foundations.  Unfortunately, no one would listen to him.  Cut off from the rest of humanity, he became a hermit who lives in the wilderness, attempting to master the ways to survive.

His journal gives insight into the things he knew were coming and the information that can help you survive the reality of the Fall.  The ink and chalk drawings from his dreams, give a chilling look at what is to come!

Read it all in the new:

Entry to Depleted’s World!

Who is Gavin Hesterdale?

The secret of Jenna’s enigmatic mentor, Gavin Hesterdale, and his amazing predictions of the Fall will begin to be revealed starting on Monday, July 19th. Only by knowing how it all began, can you hope to survive the way it will end!

New Posters for Depleted: Day 419…

Depleted: Day 419 Poster Rough Mockup #1

Our extremely talented graphic designer, Craig McDaniel, has created some new rough poster designs for Depleted: Day 419!  As such, we wanted to let you take a look at them here!

Photos are from our last photoshoot and were taken by photographer Nate Eckelbarger.  Featured in them are Kat Carney (as Jenna Whitmore), Tim Smith (as Andre Flanagan), Eric Henninger (as Nash Fitch), and Dave Haney (as James Rockland).

Final Pickup Photography Finished for Depleted: Day 419…

Jenna and Andre Departing Jenna's Shack

Jenna and Andre Departing Jenna's Shack
The following scene was from the final day of shooting Depleted: Day 419. (DP Nate Eckelbarger.)

We concluded the Depleted: Day 419 pickup shoot on Sunday with a truly hellish shoot day.  The day was set to begin at Noon and go until Sunday, with a fairly reasonable driving related shoot.  However, rain pushed back the shooting until after 1 PM.  We then pushed into the dialogue sequences that we needed to record between Jenna (Kat Carney) and Andre (Tim Smith).  DP Nate Eckelbarger managed to come up with an extremely creative way to capture the shot which also permitted us to set up our “video village” (laptop and GV ADVC 110 video converter) on the truck’s inverter.  However, the shot took longer than expected and the inverter failed to shut down before the battery on the truck was drained!  As such, the truck refused to start and had to be jumped in order for us to get the next shot!

Problems with Truck
Unable to get enough traction to reverse out of its parking place, members of the crew attempted to assist the traction with added weight.

Unfortunately, the next shot proved to be an absolute bear.  The truck couldn’t back out of the parking spot it was in, so most of the entire crew ran down to try to push the truck out of its parking place.  (As I was trapped with the video village, I managed to snag some footage of this amusing scene, as did de facto videographer and co-star Eric Henninger!  The footage will likely find its way into easter eggs and DVD extras later on!  To see a sneak peak of this footage with Kat Carney’s thoughts on low-budget filmmaking, check out this YouTube video.)   Eventually we managed to get the truck finagled so we could capture the next shot and we moved on to our next location: a nearly abandoned intersection in the college town of Wilmore, KY (which is all but empty in the summer).  Despite all of the work we had put into finding a location that had nobody around it, the intersection was busier than Time’s Square.  Fortunately, the adroit fingers of Eckelbarger managed to snag a golden shot in the midst of the chaos.  (At that point, I finally stopped asking people to help me commit sepuku on the hot street corner!)

By the time we managed to work on our actual driving shots, we only had an hour and a half to get all of them.  Undeterred, the Director and DP jumped in the back of the picture truck with the camera rig and recorded driving shots that way.  From time to time, at a particularly picturesque location, the two would have the actors stop the truck so they could exit, setup the camera, and grab a tracking shot from the roadside.  In the end, the shoot day was made!  However, everyone was badly sunburned, especially yours truly, as I had neglected to reapply any sunblock on my head or even apply any to my arms!

The Progression of Depleted

Depleted Poster, Mockup 2

As we’ve progressed forward with Depleted, we’ve begun to flesh out the elements of a Depleted feature which we plan to shoot in May, 2011. Jeremy Hanke will be writing and directing it, as well. The film will follow Jenna Whitmore and her five companions as they make their way through the destroyed remnants of the United States of America to board the last ship. The feature will be packed with action and is currently slated to be shot with the RED Scarlet fixed lens and the Redrock Micro M2Encore system, provided the camera is available for use at that point. The Depleted: Day 419 film is slated to be shot in May, 2010 on the HVX200 with Redrock Micro M2Encore lens adapter setup. Casting will be done in April with a general casting call. Web designer Joel Robertson is kindly coming on to help with the website for the World of Depleted. Marketing specialist, Sheri Candler, is offering her expert help as we look forward to marketing both the feature and the World of Depleted itself.

The beautiful and talented Kat Carney is coming on board to portray Jenna Whitmore, both in the short and in the feature. Director Jeremy Hanke had directed her on Eric Henninger’s film, Collide, and had been extremely impressed with her presence and passion on that film. She also starred in Tom Stern’s film, Lives Left. (Tom Stern’s brilliant technical reviews have been frequent contributions to MFM throughout the years.)