Only six days till Defiant is out!
I am so excited to share Connor’s story with you — and I’ve been busy with Benjamin and Jenn LeBlanc of Illustrated Romance finishing the live-action trailer.
We met Monday after Benjy got off work to shoot pickups for the trailer — little scenes we hadn’t shot before. After looking at the footage we had, we decided to add some voice-over and some very brief scenes with Lord William Wentworth and Connor.
Of course, we’re working on a non-existent budget and with models, not actors, so we couldn’t have Karl, who plays Connor, and Derek Hutchins, who plays Wentworth’s backside, reading lines from the book. So here’s how we did it...
We got Karl, Jenn, Benjamin, Derek and myself together at Jenn’s studio — #StudioSmexy on Twitter — and we put the guys into some creative costumes. Connor wore what he wore in the forest scenes plus a period accurate-ish shirt. Derek was self-sacrificing and wore a heavy British redcoat officer’s jacket, tight pants and boots despite the humid heat of the studio.
Then Benjamin took over from there, directing the filming of three shots — one of Wentworth reading a letter from his niece, the heroine, Lady Sarah; one of Connor and Wentworth face to face; and one of Connor praying with his wooden rosary.
Bit o’ trivia: The wooden rosary Karl/Connor holds is the very same wooden rosary I wore wrapped many times around my wrist like a bracelet while writing Untamed.
Now, back to our narrative...
We had a bit of extra help this time, with Kati and Jamie from Romancing Rakes working as Jenn’s assistants — moving lights, moving furniture, um... helping the guys with costumes. It was hard work, but someone had to do it, right?
For these scenes, we’d hoped to have the guys act out the physical aspects, while using the voices of people with very posh British accents for Lady Sarah and Lord William. Of course, I had no idea who would do the voices. It’s not like I keep a Rolodex listing actors by accent. But we’ll get to that in a minute.
Benjy directed the first scene — a thorough filming of Lord Wentworth’s ass. This involved getting a candle set up, adjusting lighting so that it looked like the scene was lit only by the candle and so on. Then Derek gamely proffered his well-dressed and very firm backside.
Cut. Done. Next shot.
This involved adjusting lighting a bit and positioning the camera and the guys so that we could see past Wentworth’s hip and arm across the desk to Connor’s abdomen. And because they’re having a bit of a heated exchange in this scene in the book, there needed to be physical motion.
And I have to say this was the highlight, because Derek really got into it. We weren’t using sound from the shoot, so he could say whatever he wanted. So to make his gesticulations feel real, he started lambasting Karl/Connor.
“Hey, you know what? Fuck you! I hate you! And you hate me! And so there’s this feud between us.”
“You know I hate you, but I need you to find my niece. Go on! Go! You’re such a jerk!”
And my fave:
“I fucking hate you but I need you to save my niece. What? You’re just going to stand there?”
Trouble was, what Derek was saying was so funny that everyone was laughing, and you could tell from the footage that the men were laughing. So we had to do several takes.
Then we shot the scene of Karl/Connor alone praying with the wooden rosary.
It took about an hour altogether to get the footage we need, and then we had to break everything down, pack stuff up, and close down the studio.
By the way, I’ve really never seen anyone carry as much at once as Jenn. I think the few times in her life that she’s not carrying something must be really special for her.
|Photo stolen shamelessly from Jamie|
I showed Kati and Jamie how to load fire a real 18th-century musket — sans ball and powder mind you — and showered poor Kati in the face with sparks from the flint.
When we got home, I had a surprise waiting for me. Kate McDermott and Mike Gamache, two Shakespearean actors I’d gotten in contact with via Twitter (thanks to author Carolyn Jewel, who saw my Twitter plea for British accents), had emailed me sound files of them speaking Sarah and Lord William’s lines. They don’t say much — there isn’t time for much — but the voices were key. I got so excited listening to them that I had to keep pausing just to squeal. They each did several takes with different inflections and rhythms — very beautifully done.
So now tonight, Benjy and I are meeting Jenn and Cora in some stretch of forest that isn’t on fire to tape three brief shots involving Lady Sarah.
And then we’ll have everything we need ready for Benjamin to edit together in time for the trailer’s July 3 debut. I can’t wait!
But there is other important news!
I will be doing a live video chat through Shindig Events on July 2 from 6-7 p.m. Eastern Time to talk about Defiant and answer your questions. Shindig Events contacted me and invited me to utilize their very special technology for conducting video chats. So this should be fun and exciting. You will be able to communicate directly with me, and I will be reading a scene from Defiant. I will also be giving away five copies of the book.
The event is FREE! To register, just click here. It takes about 30 seconds to reserve your free spot.
I will also be holding an After the Epilogue Spoiler Chat through Shindig events on Thursday, July 12, at 9 p.m. Eastern Time for those who have read the book and want to talk about it with me and other readers without worrying about spoilers. This even is also free, but it SOLELY for people who’ve already read the book. I’ll be giving away some Amazon.com gift cards and chatting with you about the story.
Sign up will be available for it soon!
Mark your calendar, because the beginning of July is going to be fun around here.
Isn’t it weird to think that the book is coming out on the anniversary of the first battle of the French & Indian War? July 4 marks the anniversary of the Battle of Fort Necessity. Gives me goosebumps!