Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sometimes I get to have fun!

Sometimes I get to have some fun. That's my camera mount and gear strapped onto that brand new Hummer. It only had 12 miles on it. I think it had 200 by the time we finished running it up and down that old durt country road. Oh thats my old 1990 Dodge Truck in the back ground. Not much left of it I'm afriad. We got over 1,000,000 miles out of it before I parked it. I am thinking about put a new big block Dodge engien in it one day, but that takes cash I don't have at the moment.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Greatest Joke Ever Soundtrack


So Matthew Rappolt form my movie Emmett also had a band called the Unbreakable Clocks and he was in my recording studio back in 2008 recording his demo CD. The guys made lots of money off their demo and I got to use the music in my films as film soundtracks. So when I wrote the Greatest Joke Ever back in July 2010 I planed on using the music as the sound track. I will be making a music video soon and post it on YouTube.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A quick Note:

I did a quick online study and found that Swim Zack Swim is being pirated at an alarming rate. There has to be over 1,000,000 copies floating around out there now and I lost a huge amount of money on this production. It cots just under $15,000 to make and I only made $1,000 back. I only sold 106 copies so you can see what the problem is.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Filming Doritos Contest Video

Almost 2 years ago I wanted to enter the Doritos name the new product contest and hopefully win the top prize. It would have been so great to win because of all the films we could have made and how many more kids I would have been able to help. But we didn’t win and I really didn’t like the ones the judges picked.
In my option they should have set the contest up differently.  It was really hard to find someone’s entry.
Anyways, I rented a bear costume for Jacob Caldwell and the tent set was already set up for the Scout Adventure film re-shoot It’s hard to believe it was – 30 c outside the studio and we were filming summer evening stuff in the studio. Those  are real trees behind the tent. The sky was just blue light shining on a white backdrop.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Actors on the set of Clear Cut.

I thought this photo was fitting today because of all the snow outside. This was the group of young actors that offered to help Evan Phillips out. It’s part of the Clear Cut production we filmed in January February 2003. That was a long time ago. Way back before YouTube was around. It was about – 20 C that day. Yep all of those kids are now six feet tall, driving cars and off to University.

That’s my front yard and a quick sign I made with some old plywood I had hanging around.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Swim Zack Swim on location

My homemade jib arm with the Sony Betacam SP camera mounted on it. This was used for the crane camera shot of Zack arriving at the Trophy Shop to try and get a job so he can make the money he needs to take swimming lessons.

This scene I wrote back in 2001 inspired the Jump Start Hockey commercial were a kid goes into a dinner looking for work so he can play hockey. Rick Mercer made a spoof of the commercial for his show The Rick Mercer Report. Rick worked with Evan Phillips six years after we made the original scene and then Henry Quinn and I got to work with Rick Mercer last summer making it a complete circler.
Funny how that works out.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Had Surgery this week.

Hi, I had emergency surgery this week and now I'm home recovering. I will post something new later tonight or tomorrow. Thanks for stopping in. -Sterling

Monday, December 6, 2010

Music the sound of money disappearing.

Unlike anything else music makes or breaks a film. It’s a very big part of how it all works. In the independent world of film making you don’t have the option or luxury of just purchasing what ever you want to make your film work. You simply don’t have the money. What you have to do is create music from scratch and that’s no easy task. You have to find a band that’s good at what they do. In my case we got lucky Camera Menzies has a really good band. You require a recording studio to record in. Can’t afford one at $85 an hour so we built one in my studio.
Well that’s all fin and dandy but we require some gear and that’s where things started to add up quick. A few microphones, headphones, mixing boards, sound systems, cables and a program / G5 tower to record and mix the music. $3,500 to $4,500 spent there.
Then all the band members are 14 to 15 years old at the time so someone needs to drive them back and forth to the studio. Most days the parents drove them out and I would drive them back.
Now we had five bands on the go at the time. All of them making new original music, some good, some not so good.
You can buy the film soundtartcks we recorded on my website www.sterlingproductions.ca

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Working with Dylan Eshbuagh on Echo Beach

Dylan Eshbuagh of YouTube’s Dylan Couch on his first day of filming on Echo Beach the Movie. Dylan and his mother drove up from New York New York to work on the film. I had two other YouTubers at the time wanting to do some work with at the time as well but I turned them down because I was working on Echo Beach. Justin and Locus didn’t have any trouble moving forward with their careers. May be if Dylan didn’t work with me his career may have taken off like the others.  I can’t help but feel that I ginst his career.
Dyaln was supper easy to work with, a real pro. I really want to work with him again in the future and I have the feeling he feels the same way. I wish he would make a new YouTube video even if it’s only a vlog update on what he is doing now.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The fry stand wasn’t real. I put this set together with some stuff I had lying around the studio. The green wall at the back was from the Swim Zack Swim film. It’s Zacks Kitchen wall.

I got back from filming at the beach at 2 am and went to sleep. At 5am I was back up assembling the Fire stand set with what ever I could find. By 10am the cast was there and we went to work shooting all the fry stand interior scenes to match all the exterior scenes we shot 30 days before
Edwin was kind emough to do some sound work and that's me with all the messy gray hair giving the women directions as to how the scene will go.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Echo Beach Stage Set

Here we have the stage I built in my back yard for all the concert scenes in the film. 2x4 frame about 24” off the ground and it’s 16’ x 12’ . The floor joist was 2x6 16' long @ 16" on center. I built the backdrop wall behind the stage 12’ high and 16’ wide the same as the stage. Then there were 3 sections of scaffolding on each side for the lights to hang on. A two week rental item.

I built a lighting system with ten light switches and dimmers and I had my friend Dale flip them on and off. It was the best we could at the time. We had a big barbecue to try and get some people to be extras. It didn’t work.  Dylan was suppose to be at the concert but he wasn’t available at the time we filmed it so I did his part 2 years later just of the road in the bushes at Sauble Beach. The beach is a two-hour drive from my back yard.

Cameron’s band played well into the night, 4 am I think we rapped. I believe we got lucky and most of my neighbors had gone away for the weekend.

Take a guess at what it cost to make the stage set? Post your guess in the comments box below.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The only picture I have when the set was up.

So this would be why there was never a camera shot looking out the bathroom door at the cabin. There was lots of set panels and places to set lights.

Lighting was challenging at times but we did seem to make do. We only had 3 Mole Richard lamps and one big 2k out side for the fake sun. Yep we film daytime in the middle of the night. Yes all that sun coming in the widows was fake. Well not all I guess some days we did film when the sun was up.

The nights we filmed the party scenes and when guys were playing it was really loud and I was surprised no one complained. Lindsay’s base amp really kicked the sound out.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Echo Beach the Movie was very expencive to make.

So this is the cabin set in the other direction. This photo was taken after we finished filming so most everything was taken apart. We rapped about 3 am on the last day trying to squeeze all the missing camera shots with Zeffer. He was heading off to University on the other side of Canada the next day.

You may recognize the set panel and the studio space. I reusable everything for the You Can’t Do That On YouTube YouTube shows / children’s acting for television workshops. So yes Shaggy72 you are correct everything is reusable. And if we do get a chance to film the sequel or prequel of Echo Each this summer we will use the set again.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Casey's Cabin Set


Casey Cabin may be a set I may use next summer. I have plans for Quinn and I to make another Echo Beach film, that’s if I can make the money to make it. Shagy72 is always asking about the behind the scenes stuff so the pic on the left is the set for Casey’s Cabin.

It does cost a few dollars to put something like this together. One screen door $200.  One widow $350. some 8 - 2x4s $24 dry wall $18. white latex cocking $5 and white paint $36. and $633 later the garage door is now a cabin wall.  The other walls are set panels at $81. each, x 23 so $1863 oh and then there is the 10 foot panel on the ceiling that was used to help with the acoustics.

Then we need furniture, curtains, bathtub practical sink, toilet, bunk beds and other stuff to make it look like some one lives there.   It just adds up so fast and then you need to take care of the actors. Pick them up and drive them home and it’s a 2hour round trip each time. Food yad yad yad.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Henry Daemen's RBC Avion Commercial on CTV

Henry Daemen’s  RBC Avion commercial is on CTV now. I just spent the whole evening, last 5 hours taping all the commercials that came on. Just my luck they didn’t show it again. I’m hoping they put it on tomorrow at 5:35 like they did today so I can finally tape it and post it on online for people to see.

The picture on the left is Henry standing at the ticket booth on the set of the commercial when they filmed it about 8 weeks ago.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


The Christmas Holiday is coming up in about 28 days. May I suggest Swim Zack Swim or Clear Cut starring Evan Phillips as a gift for your child under the age of 10. Over the years kids that watch the film watch it over and over and over again. It has that Barney or Disney effect on them. The love to sing along to the songs in the film and they memorize ever word of the film. I believe it would make the perfect Gift for them.

My cousin lent her copy to her neighbour’s child. The child loved the film so much she wouldn’t give it back. My cousin ended up buying a new copy.

My brother showed the film to his kids and his daughter age 5 wanted to swim just like Zack. She was walking around the house singing the songs from the films and she too watched the film over and over again.
Two of my old actors have copies of the films and the films had the same effect on their kids.  Not bad for the little films I have made.
If your child has seen the films and have fallen in love with them, Please leave your story in the comment box. You can also purchase them on my website www.sterlingcanada.ca/spstore.html

Thursday, November 25, 2010

You May Ask

You may ask yourself, how did he do those car-driving shots. Why are they so steady and professional looking or maybe not? Well I made a door mount for my camera. It was really built for a much bigger camera than this but I only have a PD170 at this point that works. The Batecam SP croaked on the first day of filming Emmett way back when.

It looks a little beat up there but you need to remember it has a lot of miles on it and has been used in many low budget film productions.

This photo is when we were filming Echo Beach is September 2007. That’s Edwin Mason in the driver’s seat there and Caitlin Alexander in the passenger seat. We were shooting the remaining scenes after we had wrap most of the filming.
The car is a 1974 Dodge Dart that took me 15 years to restore in my spear time. Spear Time? Well I know I was building the car to use in Echo Beach so I guess I was really just building a film prop.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

YouTube?

Yep I was turned down for  YouTube Partner Deal. I need a huge amount of sunscribers and video views to get one. So I'm way down this evening. If it wasn't for helping Quinn work on his film earlyer today I would give up film making all to gether. You know life would be so much easyer if I did nothing.
I need to keep going. Quinn is counting on me to help him make his film.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Marketing

Making the films is way easier than trying to sell them. It costs just as much if not more to market the film once it's completed. To the left  is a booth that I had at a local market. It was $1,500 plus all the extras like gas to drive there and back. I may have sold 10 DVDs in 4 months that I had the booth for.

I tried YouTube as well. I think I did better there but you always need to be making new films and videos to keep peoples interest. If you stop all sales stop. I may have sold 50 that way. Ebay worked for a while. 12 copies a week for a few weeks then it just stopped. I looked around the web and found free copies all over the place. Video pirates had put me out of business. I was kind of mad about that for while but what are you going to do. Just keep trying to sell them. My website works best I think if I can get people there to buy stuff but that's not easy. A director flogging his stuff can flog all day and get nothing. It's not until some one else say hey do you see the cool film from Sterling Productions do you get a sale.

Oops I gave away a big marketing secret there. Please tell me if it works for you and maybe do me a small favor and tell people about my great films so I get some sales.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lighting

We have thunder and lighting outside tonight. The house rumbles and everything shakes in the house. When I was working on Gone Tubing, in the final stages of editing I was struck by the thought that we hadn't scared the audience at any point. Humm what I need is a thunderstorm and I know just the place to put it. I phoned Cameron up and his dad drove him right over. I set up the tent in the studio and we used a flash from a still camera for our lighting. It was a rather quick to shoot and with an outdoor shot of the tent in Daylight I had everything I needed to make the sequence. I took three frames of video, gave them a blue tint, cranked the brightness, synced in some thunder and we had a scene that made everyone jump right out of their seats. Adam said after the show that the storm was his favorit part of the film. Sometimes the simplest set ups work so well.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wow time is Flying!

Adam and Sam from RR1 Alma film that was never finished.
Wow it's almost the end of November already. Time is really flying by. So I had a few new ideas for films today. I have one good idea for next summer. It should be rather cheep to film but it's going to need really good cinematography to keep the audience watching. It would be 12 weeks of filming and star only one 12 year old boy. Well the opening and ending scenes would have 40 actors plus or minus but the main story only fallows one kid. The actor needs to be a really good swimmer and no it's not Swim Zack 2. I can't make that film yet, but I can make this one. I should put out a casting call for a new male actor age 10 to 12 that has the summer free to work on a film. But were to get the money to make the film? That's always the problem with making plans. The money gets in the way every time. Don't you agree?
Speaking of Money the RR1 Alma film is a true story and it's a huge film project that would take over a year to film. I tried making this one a few year ago but sadly it was way to big of a project. It's hundreds of extras and lots of props and locations. To houses that need to be recreated in a studio and a 70's shool with farm feilds beside it. 70's cars and school busses. I really want to get it made before I land in a pinewood box. Oh what to do?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wish List


I wish I could find more good local actors and I wish I could make 12 films a year for them to star in. I wishI had a crew to work with and everything ran like clock work. I wish I had ideas for 12 films a year and I could write them as fast as I can think. I wish I wish I wish. All the wishes in the world wont get anyone anywhere. Thats just the way its. But surely there is 2,000 people out there that would buy each DVD as they were made. It doesn't takes millions of dollar to make kids dream come true just a few.

Anyways I'm looking for ideas? Maybe some kind of a film fan cub where people could sign up and pledge to buy in support of the young talent. Kids today have far less opportunities today to get professional acting experience in front of the camera and that's where I came in. It's sad to see it sink below the waves. I'm tired, beaten down by stress and frustration. I really should have taken a year off liked I had planed but I had so many actors wanting to do something that I couldn't say no.
Please feel free to post comments or ideas.

What's New Today?

Well today I updated my old website a bit. I'm not sure why because on January 5th 2011 it will be closed because I don't have the cash to renew the hosting. Good thing Google is a giver and I can have a blog for free. That is one day things will turn around and they will want money and become a taker. On the left is a pic of my Emmett DVD. I really liked making that film. It took four a temps and 10 years to get it made. The hard part was the car crash footage. You just can't go out and roll a car with out the police and everyone showing up so we did it on a private drive.

We shot the crash scenes first because if we couldn't get them then there was no use filming the rest of the film. The fallowing Wednesday Matthew Rappolt's dad phoned and said Mathew broke his leg playing soccer for the local rep-team. He was so upset about not being able to finish the film that he had his dad phone me before phoning his grandparents. I said not to worry, he still has the lead part and we would put the film on hold until his leg healed in 12 weeks.

Twelve weeks rolled by and Matt was back on his feet. He has a limp but that's okay he is walking. The day before filming Evan Green showed up at the studio asking about a part as an extra for the base ball scene. I thought to myself too bad I don't have a lead part for this kid because he has that potential lead look. The phone rang and it was David ( the part of Mike) and he said he could no longer be in the film his parents are getting a divorce. I hung up the phone, turned to Evan and said " How would you like a lead part in the film?" He took to steps back with a huge smile on his face "Sure, what's the part?"

Sterling, "Well you're playing that kid that hates the artsy, farty kid and you get to make fun of him, but then there is a car crash, he saves the guys life and then you guys are friends at the end."

Evan, "Okay I can do that!"

"Okay take this script home, ask your mom if you can do it and you start first thing tomorrow at ten am." Sterling

Evan" Okay thanks!" and he ran out the door. The next day he was on set and he had all his lines memorized. I have no idea how he did that but he did.

Friday, November 19, 2010

All New Start

So I am an independent filmmaker that helps local youth build their professional acting careers. As you may or may not know I live 100 miles form Toronto and it's really hard for kids here to drive in to the city for auditions on a daily bases so I started working with them to build their resumes and accumulate the very important task of on the job training by producing film productions locally. I donate about 4,000 of my time a year and over the past 25 years about $450,000 of my income. Wow I must be crazy when I look at all that cash I have lost.