Time lapse of the full moon rising over Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree National Park is a surreal landscape in the high desert called Mojave that is scattered with the foreboding, tree-like cacti from which it is named. It’s unique beauty is also reflected in the myriad of other hearty plants that dot the landscape and is oddly interspersed with other-worldly piles of gigantic rocks.

Toward the end of June the full moon came out and I shot some time lapse of it as it rose slowly over one such gathering of rocks appropriately named Jumbo Rocks.

Full Contact Scrabble

Stories of what a film crew can do when left unsupervised, with several days off, on a distant location are legendary. This is not one of those stories. Recently I was working on a film in Shreveport, La., and with 4 days off due to circumstances beyond my control, got together with some of the other crew members and made a short film of our own.

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FULL CONTACT SCRABBLE from Jeff Gatesman on Vimeo.

I shot this film entirely with a canon 5D Mark II and grip and lighting equipment purchased from Home Depot. Our one prop was purchased at a swap meet for $7. Of course the film could not have been made without the great talents of our cast and crew, and a ready-made set.

The film was conceived and written by Nancy Breaux and myself, and we borrowed the strengths of our stunt coordinator, Gregory Brazzel, electric best boy, Ken Ballantine, key grip, Scott “Scooter” Hillman, set decorator, Mary Beth O’Connor, and location manager Kendrick Hudson. Our three actors were the stunt crew from the feature: Jennifer H. Cobb, Gregory Brazzel (stunt coordinator) and Tracy Thomas, who also wrote and recorded all the music for Full Contact Scrabble.

Sound for the film was recorded on the 5D using the built-in mic, which is less than desirable. Fortunately during post, 2-time Emmy-award winning sound designer Adam Johnston stepped in and trashed all of the location sound and replaced it with a mighty soundtrack complete with cicada’s, buzzing flies and the snapping gum that helps define Jennifer’s character.

If you liked the film, leave a comment for us. If you didn’t like it: what the heck is wrong with you?

Nancy Breaux: writer/producer
Gregory Brazzel: stunt coordinator
Ken Ballantine: gaffer
Scott, “Scooter” Hillman: Key Grip
Mary Beth O’Connor: set decorator
Kendrick Hudson: location coordinator
Ron King: location re-recording

Tracy Thomas: original music
Adam Johnston: sound design

cast: Jennifer H. Cobb, Gregory Brazzel and Tracy Thomas.
co-written, directed, shot and edited by Jeff Gatesman.
Watch it again in High Def: