Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Library

First off, a bit of background on this scene. I think this was always one of the scenes I had in mind when I first started messing around with the idea of turning the original script into a more supernatural then sci-fi kind of movie.

I knew The Library would have to be mostly computer generated, there was never any doubt it was ever going to be otherwise - just how big of a chore was the only up in the air part.

Basically it was meant to be shot like this. I wanted a doorway, something simple, fairly non-descript that would fit with the intended environment. That was the hard part, we nearly shot this scene several times already, first time was over a year ago actually. I was never thrilled with the doorways I found, there was always something that made shooting around it a pain in the ass.

I kept putting it off, and each time I put it off I was able to gather together more props to make it more what I had in mind when I wrote it, until a year later I had everything perfect. Even my location. One of the huge ballrooms at the Delta hotel - a nice massive open space and a huge door, nothing too flashy or too plain. So finally everything was in place.

Now the main idea behind the scene is that there is this library that's so old and an ancient it pretty much houses nearly every old book known to human and demonkind alike. So this is where Malice ends up in her search to identify the thing that's been wandering about murdering hundreds of people.

The "live" set will just consist of the doorway and the area around it. There's a bookstand - what better to stand books on? And a hanging lantern that will pretty much light the scene for the most part. And of course "The Book" itself, which is a prop I purchase off eBay from an individual down in Florida, I believe, who makes these crazy HP Lovecraft inspired statues, books and props. If I'd had more money and time I'd probably found a way to work all those pieces into the movie.

So Malice walks in, the lantern lights up and reveals the computer generated set beyond. The area she's in will appear to be just floating in space pretty much - I think, I'm working on various visuals that may change this. And the area surrounding will be a massive, several story library where all the books are pretty much alive. So the air will be filled with books in certain places.

And then there's The Librarian character, a little floating fellow (still going through several designs of him as well) that helps Malice find what she's looking for...sort of.

So that's the scene, more or less. Without a doubt the biggest special effects undertaking I've ever done and probably ever will do for some time. I hope it doesn't kill my poor computers just rendering it.

That's out of the way. Now onto the shoot itself. It went great, the location was so easy to film in without any worries whatso ever. No one bothered us once.

Firstly, thanks to Scott Parsons for giving us a drive down with all the props and equipment, that would've sucked to walk. And thanks to Heather as usual for putting up with the now even more dreaded eyepatch, and of course, thanks to Moe for taking more pictures - you'll see them later, be patient.

So everything went as planned, a little hard to focus in such low light, but that's fixable in post so I'm not really worried. I think the hardest part was for Heather to have a conversation with something that wasn't there. This, as I mentioned before, is a very heavy FX scene. Otherwise it went very quickly and painless. Onto the pictures.

Malice enters The Library.
The background behind the door will be removed
in post, as well as any extra reflections or lights
you might be seeing.
I really like the way the lighting turned out in
this scene for the most part.
This is one of the shots of Heather acting with no one.
Once finished there'll be a little floating guy with her onscreen.
Well, not really, I think it's called The Book of the Skull
or something like that. Don't know where the guy who made
it got that name from though.
And some of the pages. These were made by me,
the above book is actually just filled with empty pages.
And more pages. I like the brain picture.
You can see there's no book on the stand at this point, this is
another "it'll be added in post" shot. Malice rips out a page
and the book will fly away in the final version.
And finally the whole reason for coming to The Library.
This is where Malice discovers who the evil dude slicing up people is.

So that's pretty much it, it's mainly a dialog scene with some cool FX, so there's really not much to show you right now. As I said before, this was always one of my favorite scenes and at first glance I think it'll be pretty closed to what I'd imagined.

I'll update again with some behind the scenes stuff in the next couple days.

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