Friday, August 10, 2018

It's a Wrap on the Final Arizona Scenes!

This past Wednesday (8-8-2018), our Phoenix unit completed all of their remaining pickup shots for No Sleep for Ronni. Robert directed via FaceTime, Veronica Narang and Nadine Jackson went through a couple of different wardrobe changes, Terry Hogan ran camera, and Steve Fellheimer fulfilled both grip and sound duties, plus he shot some behind-the-scenes pics as well.

Feels great to have this portion of the movie finished. Now we can turn our attention on the remaining Wisconsin scenes to be completed over the next month.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Check Off Another Arizona Scene!

Today we continued our drive to complete No Sleep for Ronni. Producer Veronica Narang oversaw another shoot in Phoenix. The scene featured Nadine Jackson as nurse Nia in a turning point in the story. T'nia Harris ran camera and captured some dynamic shots.

L-R: Nadine, Veronica, T'nia.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

All-Important "Boardroom Scene" Completed Yesterday

Boom! Another scene is now in the can for No Sleep For Ronni! Yesterday, we shot the Boardroom Scene, part of the movie's climactic sequence. Ms. Slovak, played by Portia Adney, overseas a presentation to six upper crust international investors. The roles of these well-healed characters were performed by Casem AbuLughod, Doug Reed, Louis Sather, Ricky Hunjan, Neelam Kerkela, and Andy Glaysher.

Group photo supplied by Janet Kjelland. 

Our location was the conference room at the Sun Prairie Library. Jeff Buss brought his expertise and gear to the set as the DP. Jeff Blankenship split duties between AC and key grip. Ryan Meunier was the sound technician. Janet Kjelland wore several hats as script supervisor, grip, and craft service, while Robert was director.

Set photos courtesy of Portia Adney.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Prepping for More "No Sleep For Ronni" Shoots

Robert met yesterday with a couple members of the Wisconsin cast of No Sleep For Ronni--Portia Adney and Ricky Hunjan. We're getting ready for a big shoot this Saturday. Portia plays a villain, Ms. Slovak, who's looking to procure increased funding from a group of wealthy investors. Ricky plays one of the six investors.

Deciding on which wig to go with.

Copyright Portia Adney.

Young wealth.

Copyright Ricky Hunjan.

We also did a couple test shots with Portia for a later scene that involves her character driving a BMW through the streets of Paris.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Successful "Ronni" Shoot in Phoenix

This past Wednesday, we had another successful shoot for No Sleep For Ronni. The Phoenix, Arizona location was generously provided by the Director of Photography, Terry Hogan. He also happened to provided the video gear to shoot it with including his Canon C200. Also on crew was Steve Fellhiemer who ran second camera as well as taking on grip and photographer duties. Micha Jackson was invaluable as the production assistant who carried around the iPhone so director, Robert Lughai, could be present from his Madison, WI location.


The shoot was broken up into two parts. First we filmed Nadine Jackson who plays Nurse Nia, the hero's ally. We knocked off four different scenes throughout the house, plus a couple on green screen. None of these required audio recording so our shoot times were expedited greatly.


The second half of the shoot featured Veronica Narang and Ernest Didde Esteban in an Egyptian sequence. The scenes reoccur throughout the film, so we needed numerous different takes, all on green screen and again without the need for sound recording. Got them all in before the wardrobe started to fall apart, just barely.


We're starting to get the hang of this long distance production. And of course working with an experienced cast and crew like this truly makes everything flow much smoother.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Prepping for "Ronni" Shoot

Today was spent prepping for tomorrow's No Sleep For Ronni shoot. We're hoping to knock off two different sequences at our location in Phoenix. The first features Nadine Jackson as Nia, an ally of the hero. The second is the Egyptian setting with the film's lead, Veronica Narang, along with Ernest Didde Esteban.

Steamed and pressed costumes ready to go! Thanks Veronica!

Photos courtesy of Veronica Narang.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Gear Storage Ch'i

We've spent some time recently uncluttering our gear and work spaces. Going through everything to create good feng shui, rearranging how things are stored, and moving things out that are no longer being used. Feels lighter, feels good.

New tripod storage gets them off the ground and out of the way.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Filming Resumes on "Ronni"

Veronica Narang, the lead in No Sleep For Ronni, resumed her role today as we filmed several shots for the opening sequence of the movie. In addition, we recorded voice over dialogue to be inserted in this same sequence.

Fun fact: Veronica is currently in Phoenix and Robert in Madison. The power of modern technology!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Wardrobe for No Sleep For Ronni

Veronica Narang plays several different characters in our film, No Sleep For Ronni, including a queen in ancient Egypt. We've been gathering wardrobe to see what might work best. Shooting should begin in Arizona sometime in the next few weeks.

We're digging this Egyptian collar necklace.

On the Wisconsin front, Tim Towne and Portia Adney have come onboard to play roles in scenes to be shot here in the Madison area. They met with Robert today to talk over their characters and read through some lines. Very exciting to see things moving forward on this project!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Mad City Chickens - Full Movie

It was ten years ago today that our feature-length documentary, Mad City Chickens, made its world premiere at the Wisconsin Film Festival in Madison. Now for the first time, you can see the full movie online.

Friday, March 2, 2018

"Ronni" Breaks a Leg

Veronica Narang is the lead in our movie, No Sleep For Ronni. However, it'd been years since we actually shot anything with her. We filmed a ton of sequences back in 2014, before she moved to Phoenix. Unfortunately, the Ronni script we were going with then was rushed together, and as a result, it had real problems. We made numerous attempts in post-production to create a flow, but eventually the project stalled out.

Fast forward to mid January 2018. A breakthrough story idea materializes that could fix the issues we were having. I contacted Veronica on January 25th. She was excited about the new direction. We began sharing thoughts on potential locations, wardrobe, etc. In the blink of an eye, it was feeling like a brand new project again, except with the added bonus of having many of the scenes already shot!

On the 26th, I sent her a quickly-sketched outline of the new story. Things were moving in the right direction. Then a mere few hours later, I received a text. Veronica had fallen down some stairs while carrying her dog. She was in the hospital and had fractured her leg in three places! Of course any talk of making a movie came to a halt. All that mattered was Veronica's health.

On the 27th, I checked in via text to see how she was doing. I saw photos of her and the leg. It was bad! Most of the day had passed when a truly awful, yet marvelous thought popped into my head. The new story called for a scene where the Ronni character looks like she's at death's door. From the pics I saw of Veronica, we would need no makeup. She simply had to deliver a few lines and find someone to shoot it on an iPhone.

I was hesitant to share this with her. She'd just broken her leg! Yet, the Veronica I knew here in Madison was the most dedicated actor I'd ever seen. Never tiring. Never giving up. Always working to the end to get the right take. So I texted her my idea. And of course she said yes!

Over the next several days, some of our texts were slightly odd. This was to be expected. Veronica was in extreme pain at times, and at others, the drugs were really kicking in.

On the 30th, I heard back from her and we made plans to shoot the scene, and a bunch more, once she returned home. I would direct the Phoenix actors from my office in Madison, Wisconsin via FaceTime. A long-distance first for me. Filmmaking is the best! --Robert

Thursday, February 1, 2018

“No Sleep For Ronni” Awakens From Hibernation

We have three films we’re working on this year. It’s the same three we’ve been working on for several years. Strindberg's Assistant, Benjamin's Ride, and No Sleep For Ronni. All are in various stages of completion, each inching forward clip by clip.

The most recent advancement has been with No Sleep For Ronni, a project that sat on the shelf for over a year. The reasons for the delay were many, but probably the most significant was good story--or rather a lack of it.

The tale we were telling just wasn't satisfying. We had good acting from the lead, Veronica Narang. And good footage and production values. Yet something was missing. Until now.

In late January, inspiration struck! A new idea came, one that connects our characters to ancient Egypt. Without giving away too much just yet, we can say it was a simple solution with a monumental impact on the story.

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

The climatic scene that we filmed back in 2014 will now been moved near the beginning of the movie. Instead, we have a totally new ending. Some roles will be expanded, including Veronica’s. And additional characters will be introduced too. Stayed tuned for more updates.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Additional Recording for Shiatsu Video

In November 2017, we shot footage for a Shiatsu instructional video for practitioner Donna Boucher. Over the last month, we have been working closely with her on the project edit. Today, we filmed an introduction which featured Donna, and we also recorded her voice-over narration. The edit is nearing completion.