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Archive for November, 2008

Building up Her Own Entourage

Check out this flattering blog post about our producer Erica Harrell.

It sounds like the kind of leap a sideline client being managed by Eric Murphy (a.k.a. E) in the shadows of Vincent Chase’s travails might suddenly make on an episode of the acclaimed HBO series Entourage. But in this case, the ascendant individual is Erica Harrell, a real-life production secretary on the show.

Read the full article here.


Meet the Documentary Team

Danny Daneau

Documentary directors Chris Walker (left) and Roman Safiullin I wanted to take a moment and thank Roman Safiullin and Chris Walker for all their hard work creating the behind the scenes video podcast series, BEHIND THE ATTIC DOOR. It was such a pleasure having them on set in Utah. When they weren’t working on the documentary they leant a hand to whatever department needed it most (usually art). Their dedication and talents show in the seven part series they created about the creation of THE ATTIC DOOR and I am very proud to have been able to showcase their work on the blog.

Documentary director Roman Safiullin hypnotizes chicken to sleep (no joke). Documentary director Chris Walker on set.

If you haven’t watched all seven episodes, you can do so by clicking the video links below. Enjoy:


Behind the Attic Door – Episode 7 – End in Sight

In this final installment of BEHIND THE ATTIC DOOR, the filmmakers reflect their personal journeys as production comes to an end.

Behind the Attic Door – Episode 7 – End in Sight from The Attic Door on Vimeo.



How the West was Shot

Erica Harrell

from THE SEARCHERS (1956). courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures from THE ATTIC DOOR. Darrell (Actor Jake Johnson) hesitates before stepping into hot Western sun.

In THE ATTIC DOOR, we use the desolate and epic Western landscape, iconic John Ford country, to echo the terrifying loneliness of our two young characters. Though the landscape was at times harsh for our crew with high temperatures, dust storms, and the occasional flooding (seen in Episode 5 of “Behind the Attic Door), we were certainly not the first filmmakers to face these conditions in Utah.

I found this great excerpt from John A. Murray’s Cinema Southwest: An Illustrated Guide to the Movies and their Locations.

“As early as 1925 director John Ford traveled to Promontory, Utah, to film part of his twelve-reel epic film The Iron Horse, shooting at the very place where the historic golden spike was driven, connecting the East Coast with the West Coast for the first time by rail line (which, in a larger sense, signaled the birth of modern America). During the 1930s the area around Kanab in southwestern Utah became known as “Little Hollywood” for the many pictures made there. Later, in the 1950s, the center of gravity shifted to the east, as Moab became the state’s major center for filmmaking. Virtually every American director and actor of note has worked in Utah, from Cecil B. DeMille (Union Pacific, 1939) to John Ford (Rio Grande, 1950) to Steven Spielberg (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, 1989); from Henry Fonda (My Darling Clementine, 1946) to Clint Eastwood (The Outlaw Josey Wales, 1976) to Jodie Foster (One Little Indian, 1973). If a film has red slickrock and prickly pear cactus desert, cloudless blue skies, and distant mountain ranges, there’s a good chance it was shot in Utah.”

This article talks about shooting in Paria(h) as well as Kanab, Zion and the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. Theres also a mention of Jackie Hamblin-Rife, our ultimate production supporter, and mentor for shooting in the west.
Check out the entire article here.
Behind the Scenes - Camera crew prepares on the exterior set.
Imagine giant film cameras and huge lighting trucks trying to maneuver down into Paria where it was difficult for us to go with our lightweight equipment, smaller vehicles and sparse crew. The advances in film technology really allow for modern indie filmakers to go to places where previously only huge Hollywood productions could afford to go. It is so humbling to think back on our shooting and all of the famous films that came to that area before us and the many more that will come after.


Behind the Attic Door – Episode 6 – Something Amazing Happens

As production nears an end, the filmmakers discover the magic in between the takes.

Behind the Attic Door – Episode 6 – Something Amazing Happens from The Attic Door on Vimeo.



Behind the Attic Door – Episode 5 – Monsoon Season

A sudden flood destroys the roads leading to the exterior shooting location. In this episode of BEHIND THE ATTIC DOOR production is at it’s darkest and the filmmakers must rely on faith alone.

Behind the Attic Door – Episode 5 – Monsoon Season from The Attic Door on Vimeo.




Kristin Øhrn Dyrud

Second Part in a Series. Read Part 1.

Kristin Øhrn Dyrud, Composer Danny was very clear early in the process that he felt it was important to make this a silent score. We kept removing elements and stripping down the cues until only what was needed remained. There are cues in this movie that have 15 seconds of rests in them. There is something very uneasy with music not coming in when you expect it to. The Sheet Music We also had extreme dynamic ranges so that when the loud and scary moments happen in the film they seem even more powerful because of the contrasts to all the silence. Danny talked about having the music reflect the terrifying loneliness the characters are faced with. Scott Uhlfelder’s cinematography especially in the landscape scenes already reflects this and I tried to underline this by playing with open intervals, long rests, sliding strings and so on.

Play an Exclusive Track from the Film

All the preparations that I did on beforehand allowed me to do the actual scoring very quickly. From the time I received the final cut until we had recorded the score, there had only been 4 weeks. But this would have been much harder if I hadn’t had the chance to let the movie and the ideas mature gradually over time. The fact that I had a fantastic team, including violist Hillary Thomas who recorded string effects for demo purposes, copyist Matt Novack, conductor Susie Bench, engineers Alex Levin and Paul Apelgren, and of course the fantastic musicians (Nancy Roth, viola, Armen Ksajikian, cello and Karl Vincent, contrabass) made this not only much smoother, but also possible. I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Danny, who is an incredibly talented filmmaker, and his wonderful team. I hope to get a chance to do it again very soon!
Cello - Armen Ksajikian Contrabass - Karl Vincent Viola - Nancy Roth Erica Harrell (Producer) and Eric Ernst (Writer) drop by the Session Alex Levy - Scoring Mixer Kristin Dyrud and Paul Apelgren prepare for the Scoring Session Mixing at Stewart Levin Productions Kristin Øhrn Dyrud, Composer

Learn more about Kristin by visiting her website: www.kristindyrud.com