What I'm Working On Now

Three short films are in Post-Production, soon to be submitting to film festivals.
Producing/editing a pilot for a new web-series inspired by the Alice in Wonderland tales.
Producing/editing a documentary on Gene Roddenberry and the genesis of Star Trek The Original Series.
There are a number of other projects in development, just waiting their turn to be produced.

Monday, August 11, 2014

A New Short Film I Worked On

   Months ago, the Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE) asked if I'd help them and their students shoot some background plates for an animated short they were working on. Now, for those who don't know, a background plate is the background image used in an effects shot. These crop up most often when people are shooting on green/blue screens, but can be used in a number of other situations. Anyway, the students at AIE needed to film their backgrounds over which they would then place their animation.
   We went over some storyboards, talked about lighting, camera direction, and basic action, and then set up the shoot date. the first thing the faculty and students said when they saw the gear I brought was, "That's more than I expected." I had a camera, tripod, light kit (5 lights of various brightness), flag kit (silk screens, mesh screens, black screens, all for controlling light), and a kino-flo (large florescent light with color balance control and dimming...nice for general fill light and mimicking indoor/outdoor light), as well as some C-Stands (heavy duty metal stands for holding lights and flags and anything else we may need) and a grip bag (clamps, gells, tape, gloves, etc.).
   We set to work, meticulously going through our shot list and double checking against our storyboards to make sure we got every background plate we needed. It was a long day, making sure our light was just right so that the animated characters would look right in the setting, but in the end we got great shots and the students learned a lot.
   For me, it was a reaffirmation on the importance of planning and not cutting corners. When we got to the location and got to work, things were great and running smoothly. Then, as the day wore on and people got tired, there was the definite desire to cut corners and just get the shots done quickly. Had we done that, the lighting would have become uneven, the shadows would have become too harsh, or gone the wrong way, and who knows what else.
   This is true for anything we set ourselves to do, and if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right. So go check out "Tiny Vikings" and let me know what you think of their hard work.

And as an addendum, here's a little behind the scenes video with interviews of the students as well as myself at the end.

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