I had a really long behind-the-scenes blog post written out for this video, and Tumblr decided to not post it. So fuck that. Click the pretty image to watch Time Warp, our new video!
The fact that Lucas wrote, directed and starred in the most serious short film we’ve done to date just concludes with my mind being blown. We were hurriedly trying to come up with something good to post on Friday. He came out of the bathroom after a couple minutes with this whole thing planned out and ready to go, so we met up with Ryan Schwarz from Stark Darken Studios and shot it in three hours.
Color correction was minimal due to the low-light location - we only added some minor contrast and brightness to amplify the colors. We used, again, our two camera “Eyes” and “Ears” camera set-up using the Canon Rebel T2i and Sony HVR-A1U, respectively. Ryan actually turned out to be an incredible dramatic actor and I hope to work with him on more serious stuff again soon.
This video was a pain in the ass. But everyone liked it, so I supposed it was worth the effort. The problems we had making it were as follows:
What’s the best shoot you’ve ever had? For us, this is it.
In Fall 2010, Lucas and I dressed up as a ninja and a pirate and met up with a stranger we had met online named Kou Xiong and shot this video at a public bus stop. Absolutely nothing went wrong. This shoot had a 100% success rate.
Kou Xiong, who worked the camera, used a tripod during shooting. He knew exactly what he was doing despite never having met us or used my camera before. He is the best camera operator I’ve ever worked with despite the fact that I’ve been training Baker and Lucas with my camera for years and they have only recently gotten it down.
Cool-J, as we like to call him, had a different camera style than we usually shoot our videos with, which was cool, because I like working with people who do things differently. It keeps things fresh.
I was originally planning to update this production blog daily. But there’s only so much pretentious rhetoric I can come up with - especially since we’re not releasing videos bi-weekly at the moment.
I was dying to release something, so I dug up something old and re-posted it like a jackass. Fight Legendary, our greatest video ever (as of February 03, 2011). Check it out on our YouTube channel.
I, personally, had very little to do with Fight Legendary from a production point of view. The only hands-on stuff I did was wave a bloody pine leaf off-camera (more like on-camera!) to splash blood droplets onto Reid’s face. I acted as more of a producer on set, literally lying around doing jack shit and criticizing other peoples’ creative decisions. I did, however, do all of the post-production.
Allen Black, who was set to play lead Jake Boris in the now-defunct webseries, Tainted, did an amazing job with the camera. I brought him together with Lucas and Reid and frankly told them, “You’re in character as Jake Boris. Make a movie he would make.” I am very impressed with the end-product they came up with and am still not bored of watching it.
But boy, do we have some amazing stuff planned for you guys in the future. And by ‘you guys’ I mean whoever is watching our videos. As in nobody. Wah.
When I finally stopped flip-flopping between continuing The Tech Files and flat-out remaking it as Void, I realized that the universe it takes place in needed to be far better constructed than the slapstick dimension Joe Slayer and his sometimes-friends, sometimes-enemies existed in.
That task involved laying out hard ground rules and sticking to them, reworking a world I had been creating with my writing partner, Jason Alderman, since 2002. The element that took the longest to overcome was the ratio between fantastical and science fiction elements. Neither could be allowed to overpower the other.
In most of the popular fiction I can think of taking place in similar hybrid universes, the fantastical elements - magic, ghosts, demons - take precedent over the science fiction, which is backwards in my book as the latter is the more realistically explained. Jason is far more interested in the magic, however, so it had to be equal. The solution to this is having solutions for every element that tailor to both genres. And, of course, I insisted on having more realistic themes to balance both of them out.
Checks and balances.
The Tech Files, in its incomplete entirety, can be viewed as a playlist here.
We’re attempting to build up a release schedule before we start posting videos again (what will that be, our fifth comeback?). And without the camera, that’s more than a little difficult. I guess what I’m trying to say is that you might be seeing a few cartoons and machinimas in our release schedule when we come back.
Ideally we would like to have enough videos that we’re posting one every weekday for as long as we can. With most of the videos we’re planning in the near future being franchise- or series-material, that’s not an unattainable goal in my opinion.
(Source: youtube.com)Played 0 times.
We don’t have a video this Tuesday.
Yeah, our bad. But that’s what happens when your camera’s touchscreen capabilities become…well, less than capable. Thanks Sony. I had to ship it in under warranty and we won’t get it back until the end of January.
So here’s something that’s just as good: a work-in-progress shot of the spaceship in our upcoming feature, Sharks in Space.
I downloaded Blender and have begun the strenuous process of learning how to animate. This really isn’t for me. I feel more at home in the non-confusing menu system of After Effects and I really wish that there was someone at our “company” who did post besides me. Any takers?
Before you ask, no, I did not make that model. Found it online, but it suits the film’s purpose well as an industrial cargo spacecraft.