Thursday, November 01, 2007

Another decent night of shooting

It was a pretty fast and simple shoot. I was just dealing with two actors, Will Beckett and Jordan Berzins, getting some shots I needed to fill in some gaps in the lead up to the ending of the movie.

The only really stressful part of it was hoping it wouldn't rain. It was supposed to, but it seemed to be holding off and around 7:00 pm I was thinking "Just hold off for 2 hours, that's all I need." And as soon as Will showed up to pick me up, the rain started. We drove to get Jordan, it started a small downpour, and hen once we got to UPEI (where we were filming) it had stopped and we had a clear night from there on out.

Not too much to say about it really, it was only 8, maybe 10 shots. It was one of those really nice, not rushed kind of shoots though. You almost don't feel like your filming and worrying about will it work or not - because I was able to check it before we left.

So here you go:

Will in his car, out in Stratford
The best parking lot for lighting and being empty.

And I decided as I was shooting this that it'd be part of a
digital matte painting since he's being sent out to investigate
something going on in an abandoned building, I thought it'd
be nice to see a big wide shot of a mass of buildings.

Will entering "Building 51" - where unbeknowst to him,
evil awaits to do evil things to him.

And it's right behind that door!

But don't worry, here's come Malice.
And that was it. It was nice to finally have these shots taken care of. I was even able to take a few cutaways that I wasn't planning on being able to take that night, nice to have those over and done with too.

I've been working like crazy trying to plan out the shoot for this Sunday. I kinda can't wait for this shoot. There's been a few little bugger ups, I'm not sure how I'm going to get around them, but I've got a few ideas that I'm sure will work out well enough.

One thing about this next scene that is a first, I'll actually have the centerpiece of the whole scene, the CG character of Pyre, completely done before the shoot. This gives the actors a chance to actually see what they'll be acting with in the scene for the first time ever on any project I've worked on.

Normally it's not a big deal, I'll just tell them, "you're looking at a this big, massive thing in the sky over there" or "there's all these things on the ground your looking at" and give them a bit of a description. Which I think it good enough for this level of production.

When we did the opening with Derek and the Titan, he had no idea what he was supposed to be looking at. Hell, I had no idea what the thing looked like. I still don't really. Same with the Wyrm Demon - which went from a multi-legged creature with several arms to a big freaking worm with teeth. When Heather was having a conversation with the Librarian, she was just looking at "some weird little floating thing" and the fight scene in the end was with "A giant 20 foot demon." This time though, I'll actually have some still shots and maybe a rough animation of Pyre for every to see before we even start shooting.

I think I've gone on about this before, I'm really happy with the way Pyre has turned out. He was the first breakthrough moment in the CG characters of this movie - when I was relieved to realize, "okay, this might actually look exactly like I want it to and look really good too at that". He's not ultra realistic looking by any means, how many giant, fat orange horned demons do you know to compare it to anyway? But he definitely has a personality without seeing him move or even speak - which is, without a doubt, the hardest part of creating a computer generated actor.

I've got a couple days to run through things again, solid up my ideas and shots. We're going to shoot the hell out of this scene too. I want as much coverage as possible. I've got a pile of really good actors, I've got Graham Putnam playing a thug demon with a flintlock pistol, I've got four beautiful women playing a harem of weird demon wives and a CG demon whose basically a cross between Homer Simpson and The Godfather - and poor Derek has to work through this pretending this is just an everyday thing that doesn't phase him at all.

I'm hoping to have a pile of images to slap up here shortly after the shoot and, if possible, within the following week I'd like to be able to post to near final animations of Pyre composited into the scene. Maybe stills of him in shots if I'm busy at the least. Who knows.

That's it for now. I'm going to play video games and drink beer, it's been another long day. Thanks again to Will and Jordan, it was a great little shoot tonight.

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