After placing their online comedy hit on hiatus over the last couple of months, the crew at Blame Society Productions are diving back into the Chad Vader saga. Having completed the script, creators Matt Sloan and Aaron Yonda started a two-day shoot early Friday morning. Their plans are to subsequently complete the special effects, editing and other post-production work in anticipation of a pre-Christmas release, perhaps as early as late next week.
The first day back for Vader started at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 8, when Sloan, Yonda were joined by director of photography Tona Williams, assistant director John Urban, boom operator Kathy Fischer and a small gang of extras, crewpersons, and Christmas decorations at Café Montmartre just off Capitol Square. For the next six-and-a-hours, they shot multiple scenes featuring Chad (portrayed by Yonda), his nemesis Clint (Sloan), and their mutual infatuation, Clarissa (Christina LaVicka). The setting was a garland-trimmed tavern, busy with patrons grabbing a drink or three while escaping the winter chill.
"Chad faces his personal ghosts of Christmas past and contemplates his future in this episode," explains producer Courtney Collins, as the timid Sith takes his next steps in the saga.
As the first day of shooting approaches its end Friday afternoon, Collins discusses the atmosphere on set. "It's relaxed and an extra fun episode because of the Christmas theme, she says, pointing to the extra decorations they brought into Montmartre. "Things are pretty fast-paced," nevertheless she continues, as they need to be packed up and out shortly due to a private holiday party scheduled for the evening. "There's a sense of urgency," she says.
One of the final shots of the afternoon features a collision between a tipsy Chad and an adjacent Christmas tree. In one take of the scene, Sloan directs Yonda and an extra in appropriate placement and reactions as Chad loses control. A brief video clip of the action follows below.
The day's work is by no means complete after things wrap up at the café. The rest of the evening is dedicated to a green screen shoot at another location. This will be followed on Saturday by an outdoor shoot at Tenney Park on the near east side of town. Once that's done, though, the production returns to the computer for effects, sound, and editing so that Sloan and Yonda can release the final episode within the next two weeks.
For those persons wanting their hit of Vader before then, though, there's always the pre-episode update released by Blame Society about six weeks ago, complete with dramatic readings of some of their "amazingly violent" fan mail. Up next is a quick video holiday greeting card from Chad that they're creating as part of a YouTube promotion.
Fans can also expect more episodes of the show beyond this fifth episode, says Collins. "It's definitely not the last one."