Something with tentacles…

June 29, 2011

Wedding season is in full swing, which means I have tons to talk about. But I need to get some editing done before I blog about this year’s experiences. I will say I’ve done 4 weddings so far, and I already have a lot of fun stories to share.

So, until I get those posts up, I figured I’d throw out a teaser for an upcoming project. Here is a poorly white-balanced storyboard frame from an action-romance featuring some wicked tentacles.

Allison Petty helps out by standing in as the victim

The cast and most of the crew are set, we just need to finish some prop-making and then find time to shoot it! If you are interested in helping out, please contact me! My email address is


D-Day anecdotes

June 6, 2011

Quick, what comes to mind when you think of D-Day? I immediately think of the terrifying opening scene from “Saving Private Ryan,” and the violence on Omaha Beach. The last thing I imagine is a funny story coming from that day. That’s when my interesting job comes in.

Last week I had the honor of filming an interview with WWII veteran William McGaughey.

Huey Freeman interviewing while I film

90 year old William McGaughey sure didn’t have any trouble recalling the details of his time spent overseas during World War 2. He told several stories, recalling his time as skipper of LCT 621 during the invasion of Normandy. I was amazed at how he regarded air raids as nothing to get worked up over, since there was nothing you could do but sit around and hope they didn’t hit you. I was even more surprised when he started laughing while he told a story from his landing at Utah beach.

He didn’t downplay the seriousness of war, and told other stories that weren’t as light-hearted. But I would bet enjoying the little things made it easier to deal with what was going on around you at a time like that.

Listening to Mr. McGaughey talk really made me wonder what stories my grandfather would have told if he was still around. My aunt said he didn’t talk about it much, but I wish I had been old enough to pick his brain before he died. It makes me even more grateful to be able to hear someone else’s story, and preserve it for future generations.

For the complete story in the Herald & Review, written by Huey Freeman, along with 4 more videos, follow this link: “Years don’t dim memory of D-Day for William McGaughey”

Enhance it! – Part 1

May 28, 2011

Another short comedy is starting to come to life!

My alma mater, Millikin University, was nice enough to let me set up lights in a computer lab for “Enhance It!”

Doug made a great Santa. He makes an even better CIA chief...

Tuesday night Alida and I met with Mitch Morrison to set up lights, and set them up we did. Mitch has a great talent when it comes to lighting. Combined with Alida’s eye for composition we were able to get everything ready and blocked out for our shoot on Wednesday night.

When Wednesday rolled around, I was worried the huge storm system that had been hovering over us for 24 hours was going to cancel my shoot. Tornado watches and flash flood warnings didn’t help.

ADM-Scovill Hall in front of a nice angry storm...

Luckily for me, the rain didn’t stop my cast and crew from showing up, ready to go.

Hit the jump for a gallery of behind the scenes photos!

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Lots of photos

May 15, 2011

This was going to be just another “Hey, here’s more animals I ran into this week” post, but I realized as I went into my mobile photos that there are still a lot of things you are missing if you aren’t connected to me on Facebook or Twitter.

And even if you are connected, this is a place where I can put some of these shots together, share a little about them, and even post links to the work that came from them.

This was the inspiration for the post:

Spring-loaded garter

On our way out to lunch a friend pointed out a garter snake slithering up the hill outside the office. I wasted no time in following it up the hill with the camera, but halfway up I turned just in time to see a larger garter snake coiled up. I’ve been bitten by snakes that I went out of my way to touch, but I’ve never had a snake go out of its way to strike at me. Check out this slow motion shot and see how far this guy went to try and hit me.

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Casting Call!

April 22, 2011

Are you the greatest actor of our time? How about the greatest actress of our time? Somebody who is kind of thinking about acting but doesn’t know where to start? Aspiring to be an extra that crosses the street in the background?

Are you in Central Illinois? (Or willing to travel here…)

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, I want you to act in one or more of my 3 short comedies! And I really mean short, each project should only require one day of shooting.

Follow the link for more information!

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Oh, What a Laugh

April 18, 2011

It’s finally finished!

In December I filmed this short Christmas comedy. It was too late to have it ready by Christmas, but releasing it the week before Easter actually makes sense once you watch it.

I’ve got a few more projects in pre-production mode, so hopefully this is the first of many short comedies to be gracing my site.

Now here comes the fair warning for family, friends, and clients: this is a fictitious piece of work, and it contains naughty language and situations. Especially if you stay past the credits…

I’ll leave it at that and trust that if you hit play, you are cool with some good ol’ sophomoric humor. Enjoy!

UPDATE: I don’t know how I missed this, but I completely left out a “Thank You” to Madison’s parents, Steve and Angel Gentry! They took time out to have Madison rehearse the music, and then bring her out to a few different shoots. I don’t know how I overlooked that, but I’ll say it here: Thank you!

Hardwood floors

March 27, 2011

When can you claim new hardwood floors as a business expense? When you’re only buying 30 square feet to use as a prop for a photo shoot.

Just enough floor space for Keller to shuffle around

Keller is our biggest baby client, coming in every month for the first year of his life. We’ve purchased and fabricated several props, but Alida really wanted the look of a hardwood floor for this shoot. Hit the jump to see our setup!

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Potter brownies

March 21, 2011

I’ve never read the books, but I’ve always been a fan of the Harry Potter movies. I also love satire, so things like Harry Potter Puppet Pals really make me laugh.

I’ll warn you now, most of the links I am going to share in this post will contain foul language. Hit the jump for more.

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Full plate of pre-production

March 4, 2011

Instead of working on excuses for not blogging, I’ll just share some things that I’ve been working on.

  • The Christmas movie that I previewed in the last post is just about finished. The audio is being tweaked at the moment and will be ready for viewing very soon.
  • After getting a taste for shooting that movie, I’m moving forward on a few more projects. I’m in the process of casting two projects and securing shooting locations. If you are in the Central Illinois area and are interested in acting in a short film or working on a crew, email me! I will be using this blog as a platform for casting calls in the very near future.
  • And the most exciting part: Alida and I have been booking weddings like crazy! Meeting with the new couples and parents has been really fun, and I can’t wait to get back to shooting. We also just ordered new business cards, which I’m really pumped about. Check out Alida’s blog for more info and a great promotional deal!

Speaking of weddings, I’ve had this one done for a while now and haven’t shared it! Kristin and Brian were married on October 30th, so at midnight they surprised the guests with costumes. Combine that with an awesome live band (Green 13 – seriously, check them out) and you have a pretty awesome wedding reception.

Two of Kristin’s bridesmaids also had me shoot their weddings, and I am so happy I have been able to work so closely with this group. It’s nice to recognize so many guests and family members, and feels less like work and more like I’m just hanging out with my friends.

Here’s the montage video for Brian and Kristin, shot with the XH-A1 and the 5D MKII (I told you I’d be using this more in the future).

Oh, one more thing: Alida and I have been working on a new website for Hulida Productions. I’ll be giving my blog a face-lift when we launch the new site!

A Christmas movie

January 28, 2011

I’ve been sitting on several half-written scripts for a long time, whining around that I don’t have enough free time to work on them.

After talking to some friends I realized that if I don’t just dive right in I’ll never get anything done. So over the holiday I shot a short Christmas comedy based on the song “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.”

It’s a very short satire, so I can’t say much without telling the entire story. While I’m editing, I’ll leave you with some photos from the shoot, taken by Alida Sullivan (my wonderful wife), Adam Casner, and Mitch Morrison.

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