Merica Adams

This seems to be embedded in a bunch of cool places. Time I made room for her here too:


I’m having a slow day coming back to life. 48 hour shoot really does mean no sleep til Brooklyn.

Feel free to leave comments and ask questions here.

Thanks for watching.

All your support means the world to us.

24 thoughts on “Merica Adams

  1. Hi, I’ve heard all you started with was a title, a line of dialogue and a prop – who came up with the title? what was the line and what was the prop?

    how much was written before you started shooting?

    did you only shoot what you wrote or did you have to revise script and discard shots?

    how much video did you actually shoot?

    did you intend to appear or was that just convenient?

    Thanks!

  2. Hey Eric!

    The three ‘restrictions’ were provided by the Sci Fi London Film Festival organisers. PRECISION was our stab at their 48 hour film competition. They gave us the one word title, asked us to include a transparent bottle half filled with a red liquid and then have a character drink from it. The line was “It’s just a glitch in the time continuum. It’ll sort itself out in a minute. I just hope it won’t wipe you out in the meantime”.

    I started writing as soon as we were given those three things. That was Saturday morning around 11am. I guess we started shooting at 1pm.

    Revised the script as we went along. We discarded at least one huge subplot and one stupid scene that would have derailed the whole thing. We did a very brutal first edit and we discarded some beautiful shots simply for timing purposes.

    I’ll check with Andrew how much we actually shot. Good question! I have no idea to be honest.

    Convenience over ego. I’m no actor. I wanted a headshot scene but didn’t want to force anyone else in front of the camera. The piece was written for Haruka and we didn’t have any other actors on hand. Plus with a tiny crew once the shooting begins the writer has less to do so it was just a way of wearing another hat. And then having it shot off.

  3. Thanks for your reply!

    Also, in your death scene, I love how there’s no sound in the shot where you hit the floor…

  4. Worth saying again – fantastic accomplishment you guys managed. Loved the little key things you got in there, like her powerful gun shot with the sound of the cartridge ejecting. But where is the tank you made use of?

  5. Delpatic – Yep, that’s the same tank that Eric found. Someone has already kindly added us to the tank’s Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandela_Way_T-34_Tank

    Very cool to have used the same ‘prop’ as in Richard III.

    And the tunnel scene shootout was something we discussed in detail. At first we figured if the guns shooting at her were huge and powerful it would increase the intensity of the scene. What we decided on was that the enemy guns should just be ‘normal’ and then we could show that Merica’s pistol is a little special…

    I’ve always been fond of BOOM.

    Plus she only needs one shot. Girl is a fucking professional. Hence the title…

  6. A hint of Leia from Star Wars there, where her gun is made to sound more powerful than the others! But that scene is one of the standouts. Also, how did you achieve the costume (eh. headphones). Happenstance or a picture in your head?

    I do really think that being restricted in some way, helps creativity massively. The fact that you have created basically an icon over the weekend is an amazing achievement. Must feel bizarre to have another character added to your roster?

    I’m off on half-term this week, and will be heading up to London one day, so will be paying a visit to the tank. Had no idea that existed in London.

    Put Merica in a cross-over with Junior – there’s your geekasm!

  7. Costume came about by talking with Haruka and half using what she had in her case in Hungary. She flew in very early Saturday morning from the set of 47 RONIN and then straight back 24 hours later after working solid with not even a nap. I am in awe.

    Our artist, Dave, stayed up north, but had some reference images of Haruka He came up with the very first sketch and nailed it. There’s no mention of headphones in the first draft – he just drew them because he figured she’d look cooler with a set on. Cue quick scramble to find the right pair and then Haruka vanished and we were looking at Merica. Very cool experience.

    My roster of characters that remain unseen is huge, but that’s cool. Every time I see one come to life I get the biggest thrill. Hard to explain the emotion. But I’ve been damn lucky so far in working with the correct people to lift them off the page.

    I’m sure the tank will be happy to see you. Not much else around there, but it’s worth a few snaps of the camera. Can’t guarantee time travelers I’m afraid.

    With Marti being so protective of Junior I doubt she’d appreciate Merica’s interest… and no one would want to see those two in a fight, right?

  8. I am in awe of how you do that in 48hrs.
    you and your team have a gift.
    And thanks for sharing it with us.

  9. James – Desperate times call for desperate measures.

    Teymur – Glad it stands up to repeated viewing. Hardy little film done good.

    Scoob – Too too kind. You are more than welcome. It’s be worthless with no audience.

  10. I keep watching it & it rocks every time. Love the soundtrack. Can I get a copy ;)

    Great work & thanks for answering all my questions earlier. Looking forward to the story evolving :)

  11. Crackingly good stuff, Mike. Loving the Tank Girl vibe in the final frames.

    Saw the photo of Headshot’s lair you put up on Twitter earlier. Hell’s teeth! What had this fella been up to?

  12. Have watched it a few times now, I hope it continues to do well for you. Loved watching your view of the process play out on twitter – especially the early morning Ryman’s run :)

    I’m always fascinated by names. Where does “Merica Adams” come from?

  13. Tookie – we’re leaning on the composer to release Merica’s Theme, but he’s a perfectionist so it may take a little while. I want a goddamn ringtone!

    Jeff – Tank Girl similarities were something I wanted to avoid and the final scripted scene was very different. Then Haruka climbed on the tank and refused to come down so we part improvised a new one. She was right. I was wrong. As usual.

    Lloyd – welcome back!

    Good question. To quote the first episode of Joss Whedon’s ANGEL, “It started with a girl.”

    Years and years ago I met a girl in a bar who was called Merica. I was enthralled by the name and the fact that she had a tattoo in an interesting place. Never came across the name since and I’ve been looking for a character to christen Merica from then until now.

    Adams was just a good strong name like Flash GORDON or Buck ROGERS, but also a nod to Adam Strange. Perfect combination I think. Her name is never said aloud in the short, but we did have some tank crew voices talking to her in Hungarian that never made the final cut.

    Maybe we’ll do a director’s cut and get them back in…

  14. As others have already said, ‘Precision’ was a very enjoyable short. it’s amazing that it was put together so quickly and professionally. Following the conception and delivery on Twitter was awesome. At the start of the ‘movie’ I particurly loved that we are thrown right into the middle of something (like a James Bond movie). There ate so many things hinted at, that you just want to know more. Great job.

  15. My brain is fried, so no intelligent questions. Just more cheering for something so awesome so quickly, especially watching on twitter where your production tweets amped up the excitement. The pay off of finally getting to hit play was brilliant. :D

    Also… I love that Merica’s name is in part an Adam Strange nod. Very fitting, I think… I’m always having a hard time naming characters because, well, I suck at doing it. At least, in any kind of a timely manner.

    Well done all around, man. :D :D :D

  16. Wow! Suddenly any excuses I have for not getting things done has been well and truly blown apart.

    Knackers.

    But seriously brilliant short, and really nice style and characterisation in such a concise way.

  17. Sean – well we’re all huge BOND fans as you’d expect, but it’s nice to have a girl kicking ass for a change. One of the things we wanted to do was hint at a wilder world. We had to drop a subplot because I was already getting stupidly ambitious with the first draft, but there’s plenty here to revisit. I guess if nothing else it works as an introduction to something bigger, but I’m glad people seem to like it on its own merits too.

    Haven – That’s exactly why we uploaded it on Monday morning. We’d been teasing thousands of people on Twitter throughout the process so when we were asked to sit on it for 2 weeks we just couldn’t do it. Merica wanted out. The Adam Strange thing is something I wasn’t sure anyone would care about. Glad it ticked a box :)

    Dan – Cheers, man. If its any consolation all I did was a bit of scribbling and pizza herding. I was exhausted just watching everyone else. Especially Haruka. The girl was NON STOP.

  18. I’d be interested to know how you set about getting the story set in such a limited amount of time. Did you use a quick and dirty version of your usual process (Getting the cards out, Snyder style) or use a completely different approach?

  19. Alex – Biggest mistake I made was not forcing myself to use the cards properly. I had a few, but just for key scenes or ideas I wanted to get in there. I honestly don’t know if it would have made the short better by following something more structured, but there are a couple of whims I followed that I think a little more thought would have prevented.

    For example, the tank was a prop. A huge big tempting prop. If the story lead to its use, fine, but I think what happened is that I forced the story there because I felt it was too cool not to use and the result is we don’t really have an ending.

    You live and learn.

    Already writing the next Merica Adams adventure and – boy – does is have an ending.

    I’m also gonna do a post (this weekend I think) about the writing process.

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