I put together this timeline to track the progress of the AVGN Movie.
The short version of the story is the script was written by me and my old friend Kevin Finn, during our leisure time, between 2007 and 2010. 2011 was spent trying to get the project started and this is when we had the fundraiser. In January 2012, Pre-production began in Los Angeles. Shooting (principle photography) with the main cast, began on April 2012, and ended May 2012. It was a disaster. I moved back to the east coast and began picking up the missing pieces of all the stuff we weren’t able to shoot in Los Angeles. This began a long tiresome process of “pickup scenes”, and time-consuming practical special effects shots, many which models and miniatures had to be built. Meanwhile, we were also editing the footage we already had. This helped us to know exactly what we needed. In april 2013, we finished our biggest effects shoot, tackling major key scenes of the movie. Shortly after, my daughter was born, and life changed a lot. On top of dealing with medical issues with both my wife and daughter, I still had a film to complete. By December 2013, in time for Christmas, we finally wrapped shooting! The final stages of editing, and Visual Effects (effects in-computer) were done in an intensive winter/spring stretch, from January 2014 until June 2014. Music and sound design began in May 2014. The film is planned to be done, by July 21, 2014, in time for its grand premiere at the historic Grauman’s Egyptian Theater, in Hollywood.
Late 2006 – After the Nerd enjoyed a year of success on YouTube, High school friend Kevin Finn and I started discussing the idea of how fun it would be to make a movie based on the AVGN character.
2007 – A rough outline for the story was finished.
2008 – Script completed. Several re-writes followed.
2009 – The project went into limbo, because I was too busy working on the web series. Whenever Kevin and I got spare time, we’d work on re-writes. We wanted the script to be as awesome as possible.
April 2010 – I suffered burnout from continuously making two AVGN episodes a month. Realizing that the AVGN Movie could never be made, unless I stop filling my time, I made the hard decision to cut down to one episode a month.
September 2010 – I made an announcement to the world that the reason I’m slowing down with making AVGN Episodes is because I’ve been in the preliminary stages of making a feature length film based on the AVGN character.
December 2010 – Kevin and I do a full reading of the final script, recording ourselves speaking in all of the characters’ roles.
April 2011 – I fly to Los Angeles to meet with co-writer/co-director Kevin Finn and producer Sean Keegan. We speak to investors, trying to secure funding for the movie. No luck.
Rest of 2011 – Most of the year is spent working on storyboards and planning out the shots in detail.
October 2011 – Sean Keegan launches the Indiegogo campaign, accepting voluntary donations from fans, and giving things back in return like exclusive videos and autographs. Originally, expecting to get a portion of the film’s budget, the fans showed true generosity and gave us the full budget, ensuring us freedom from outside investors and keeping our own creative control. All so we could pursue our dreams!
December 2011 – The storyboards are complete and pre-production is underway. Bible Games 3 is the final AVGN Episode before production on the movie starts. Because of the unpredictable weather on the East Coast and the specific locations needed, the filming is decided to take place in the Los Angeles area.
January 2012 – Moved to Los Angeles. I pack my things and take a road trip across the country with my wife and cats. (We needed our car, and we didn’t want to leave our pets behind.) The filming date of April 1st is decided. Pre-production heats up. Location scouting begins. Mike Matei took care of the website while I was away, and began making his own videos to fill the void. Also, an article by Howard Scott Warshaw, programmer of the E.T. game speaks about the movie in a magazine article!
March 2012 – Cast is signed on. Crew is on board. Locations locked down. Several endless production meetings follow, draining every waking hour, until the first production day. Final shooting schedules are made. Shots are trimmed. Logistical problems are discussed.
April 1, 2012 – SHOOTING BEGINS! Residential location. Electrical problems. Almost didn’t get all the shots.
April 2, 2012 – Game store location.
April 3, 2012 – Amusement park location. Park shut down early. Barely made our shots.
April 4, 2012 – Final scout at ranch to choreograph car chase.
April 5-6, 2012 – Residential location.
April 7, 2012 – Shack scene and Car chase at ranch.
April 8-9, 2012 – Prep days.
April 10, 2012 – Arcade scene.
April 11, 2012 – Prep and set dressings for next location.
April 12, 2012 – Two locations in one day. Conference room and house.
April 13, 14, 15, 2012 – Nature strikes! Our most daunting shoot of all at a desert location got rained on. The location at an abandoned mining property was flooded, so the shoot had to be postponed to the very end of the schedule. Hundreds of background actors had to be rescheduled and certain flights needed to be rebooked.
April 16, 2012 – Vasquez rocks!
April 17, 2012 – Filmed on studio sets. Hospital and prison locations.
April 18, 2012 – Another studio set. One that J.J. Abrams used on Super 8.
April 19-21 – 3 days in a creepy old abandoned sewage plant. Amazing location!
April 22, 2012 – Prep day.
April 23, 2012 – Plane cockpit.
April 24 – May 2, 2012 – Long days inside studio filming on sets we constructed, vehicle interiors and green screen shots. Due to time constraints, many elaborate effects shots were postponed for a future date on the East Coast.
May 3, 2012 – Moving props and set pieces out of studio and into storage units and trucks for transport to East Coast later. Preparing for desert shoot.
May 4, 5, 6, 7, 2012 – Four days in the desert, filming big scenes, including a crowd of fans. By the final night, the whole crew was pushed to the limits of exhaustion. We went overtime and still didn’t make all our shots. Fortunately, the pickup shots could be done on the East Coast.
May 8, 2012 – Recovery day.
May 9, 2012 – Filming in electrical plant. Rushed all day, but ran out of time. Many shots missing that will have to pickup on East Coast.
May 10, 2012 – Filmed street scene.
May 11, 2012 – Packing belongings.
May 12, 2012 – Game store autograph signing in Los Angeles and wrap party at night for cast and crew.
May 13, 2012 – Dialogue recording with an awesome voice actor!
May 15, 2012 – Leaving for home. Road trip begins.
May 18, 2012 – Stopped in Chicago to film a cameo with a certain guy. Arrived home in Philadelphia later that night.
May 19 – June 1, 2012 – Spent nearly two weeks unpacking and moving props/ set pieces into storage.
June 2012 – Production on the movie slowed down so I could return to making videos on Cinemassacre such as AVGN, YKWBS, Movie reviews, Board James, and many other videos. Not to mention, to enjoy some summer personal time. Also went to some summer game conventions like TooManyGames in Oaks, PA and Con Bravo in Burlington, ON, Canada.
July 23, 2012 – The AVGN web series returned with “Schwarzenegger Games.” Others eventually followed, “Ghosts N Goblins”, “Atari Sports”, and “Ikari Warriors.”
August 2012 – Began editing AVGN Movie TRAILER.
September 2012 – Began sending VFX shots to artists to begin working for Trailer. Took the rest of the month off to work on Monster Madness.
September 15, 2012 – Filmed background plates for East Coast driving scenes.
October 2012 – Editing on Trailer finished. VFX artists working on visual effects shots. Sound designer finishing soundtrack and Bear McCreary finalizing music track.
November 5, 2012 – Kevin Finn and Sean Keegan show a sneak peak at the trailer to a live audience at a GameTrailers hosted event in Hollywood, CA.
November 9, 2012 – The AVGN Movie TRAILER premieres to a live audience at the historic Colonial Theater where The Blob was filmed with exclusive Behind-The-Scenes slideshow and a Q&A by me, and autograph signing. The event was organized by my wife.
November 10, 2012 – The AVGN Movie TRAILER is unleashed on the web for all the world to see!
November 23-25, 2012 – Several pickup shots over Thanksgiving weekend with friends and family helping.
Early December 2012 – Several pickup shots taking place in the Nerd’s basement.
Mid December 2012 – Editing begins.
December 30, 2012 – Filmed flashback scene with a young actor.
January 19, 2013 – Organized a small crew to shoot at a warehouse, where we set up a large green screen.
Early February 2013 – Speaking with model builders to create large-scale props for epic destruction scenes.
February 16, 2013 – Additional driving scenes shot on West Coast.
Late February 2013 – A 2 hour rough edit is complete, except for the missing shots.
March 2013 – Model builders and artists began working around the clock. I began making repairs to props and certain things originally used in Los Angeles. Secured new warehouse location to use as filming studio.
March 7, 2013 – Finished building something for a minor effects shot. Filmed it.
March 8, 2013 – Teaser poster revealed.
March 15, 2013 – Tackled another shot, involving stenciled Atari boxes on a forklift. Another shot you’ll see for two seconds.
March 16, 2013 – Began hanging giant green screen in studio, large enough to film props and actors in front of. Flights for West Coast crew are organized, mainly Kevin Finn and DP Jason Brewer.
March 25, 2013 – The crew is back together! We begin discussing shots, final details, and renting equipment/ lights.
March 27, 2013 – Filming our most epic scenes begins, plus pickup shots for the desert scenes to be shot in front of a black night backdrop. Six long days, but the results are undeniably awesome!
April 2, 2013 – Major special effects shooting week ends! There still remain smaller scale effects scenes to be shot, but the most difficult parts are now behind us!
April 3-10, 2013 – Spent the next week filming additional shots in the warehouse space, and cleaning up.
Mid April 2013 – Approved several edited sequences and sent several shots to the VFX department to work on.
Late April / early May 2013 – DAUGHTER BORN! Hospital complications. Medical problems with both my wife and newborn child. No time to even think about movie anymore.
Late May 2013 – Recovering from the craziest and most emotionally stressful month of my life. Slowly got back to work editing.
June 1, 2013 – Finished editing the new scenes we shot in April. Updated rough cut. More fine cutting.
June 2013 – This month was extremely busy. Had two gaming conventions in a row and lots of personal trouble to deal with. Worked on a few videos for the site, got started working on writing scripts for Monster Madness 2013. Also took a week out to make a new AVGN episode: Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Also this month, the AVGN Movie was mentioned in Entertainment Weekly and New York Times.
July 2013 – Getting VFX artists working on approved shots. Lots of people to manage, many of them we lost touch with. Lots of tedious organizing that would make your head spin. Also trying to finish scripts for Monster Madness this month.
August 2013 – Seen some VFX shots coming in! Exciting. Re-shot Nerd basement scenes because I hated the lighting and audio. Just one of my nitpicky moments. Monster Madness scripts done, beginning to shoot. Very exhausting. Aside from VFX shots being worked on, the AVGN Movie is taking a month break, so I can finish Monster Madness. Trying to get it done as early as possible, so I can focus on the movie.
September 2013 – Getting Monster Madness under control. Preparing small miniature vehicles/props for effects shots. Spent another week finishing up another AVGN episode: Tiger Games.
September 19, 2013 – OFFICIAL POSTER REVEALED and video update.
October 2013 – Monster Madness videos done and being released. (most epic time consuming year ever!) Finished lots of effects shots in my basement and backyard. Also managing the VFX side of things. Very busy month, hardly any chance to enjoy Halloween. Almost considered not doing an AVGN Halloween episode this year, but that would break tradition, so I caved in and sacrificed another week to do it. AVGN: Alien 3. I tried my best to keep it as simple as possible, but of course I had to add a green screen part at the end which took days. Creativity always overrides reason. Also had a convention this month, Chiller. My first horror con as an official guest.
Early November 2013 – Movie on hiatus again. Had to get started on the AVGN DVD, and not only that, but I’ve been perpetually delaying the Board James DVD. I wanted to get it done, so I figured it’s now or never. So that’s TWO DVD’s. The Nerd one was 3 discs, and the Board James one was 2 discs, so that’s 5 discs total. Usually, I get the DVD’s done by October, because they take a month to print. So I was very late this year. I had a November 15 deadline to finish them, and didn’t have a chance to start until after Halloween. Only TWO WEEKS to make 5 discs! That includes creating the bonus features, designing the menus, everything! Had a lot of technical trouble on top of that. Had to learn an entirely new DVD program. Also, a lot of personal trouble came up inside those two weeks, so really, I only had 5 solid days to work on it all. My mom was moving out of her house all of a sudden, so I had to go help her move and say goodbye to my childhood home.
Late November 2013 – By the time the DVD’s were done Mid-November, I had to start on another AVGN episode: AVGN GAMES, because the new AVGN Adventures game was out. It came out in September, and everyone was wondering why I hadn’t reviewed it yet. But I knew I also had the traditional Christmas episode coming up. So I considered postponing the AVGN Games episode til January or February, but that would have seemed very belated, so I buckled down and did it. Also, I’ve never recorded PC games before. Mike specifically bought a PC so that we could make the episode. We ended up having to film a lot of the games off the screen. It was a technical nightmare! It was probably the hardest, most time consuming AVGN episode I had made in a long time! Then there was Thanksgiving and family stuff. The point of the story is, the month of November entirely disappeared. There was no time to work on the movie AT ALL.
December 2013 – Caught in the holiday clusterfuck, I managed to squeeze out another AVGN episode: WISH LIST Part 1 and Part 2. So fucking long, I had to split it into two parts. Also, there was a lot of personal obligations this month. Free time to work on the movie was very hard to find, especially now that my daughter doesn’t sleep at night anymore. Finally, the light at the end of the tunnel comes. I got a few free days in to sh0ot the final effects shots. They were very complicated, but I got ’em. PRODUCTION ENDS!!!! See update.
January 2014 – Very productive month! Taking a break from web videos, and everything else finally settled down. Got the chance to sit down and focus on the movie full-time and direct the VFX team. By the end of January, the VFX are halfway done! See update.
March 2014 – DETAILED VFX PROCESS EXPLAINED. See video here.
March 2014 – New AVGN episode: Big Rigs
May 2014 – AVGN 10th Anniversary episode: Desert Bus hints that the movie is finally coming soon!
June 9, 2014 – The BIG ANNOUNCEMENT finally comes, that the movie will premiere July 21, 2014 in Hollywood at the historic Grauman’s Egyptian Theater. Further screenings are announced.
Still working on managing all this, planning, and possibly adding additional dates. LOTS of work! Much thanks to my wife and Kyle for helping so much.
Also, whenever I get free time, which is hardly ever, I’ve been working on DVD bonus features. I’m trying to get everything ready by the end of the year. I want this fucking movie done!