I recently saw a staggering short teaser for a sci-fi epic called KIDDO and made on a shoestring with tons of love. I asked the filmmaker Tito Fernandes more about why and how he went about it. Q – Why did you choose to make this epic sci-fi short? Tito – First of all I […]
Archive | SFX
Dick Smith, legendary makeup artist has died, his legacy for me, cannot be underaterd
Dick Smith, legendary makeup artist, has died. He was one of the pioneers of special makeup, his work on films like ‘Little Big Man’, ‘The Exorcist’ and ‘Scanners’ being unforgettable. As a kid I didn’t ever consider being a filmmaker, it was simply not available as a choice in my world. It never even occurred […]
The ONE thing I needed to get right for Urban Ghost Story… BTS on the stunts
Following on from the post by Richard Holmes the other day, about the one thing you need to get right in your film, I thought I would share an archive post from behind the scenes on Urban Ghost Story – about how we did the car crash / high tower fall – a scene that […]
Do you love old school practical visual effects and their artists? Rick Baker, Rob Bottin, Tom Savini…
I was just pondering on how really extraordinary Rob Bottin’s work was in the John Carpenter remake of The Thing when I came across the fantastic one hour documentary… If like me you love visual effects, the practical ones… if you loved those movies, especially from the 70’s and 80’s (The Thing, American Werewolf, Dawn […]
Back when visual effects were created by magicians and not programmers…
Following the tragic news over the weekend, about the passing of Ralph McQuarrie, I thought I would repost this documentary about the genesis of ILM (Horizon – How To Film The Impossible) – I posted this a year or so ago but at the time I didn’t have a YouTube account that could upload clips […]
Final DVD – death and resurrection!
I had just about mastered the final DVD’s for Gone Fishing, in both PAL and NTSC, with both Dolby Digital and DTS sound, with perfect picture (even the NTSC thanks to a great system trascoder called Canopus Procoder 3)… And then I got the dreaded email. We had missed a person off the credits. And […]
Grading – The First Day…
I spent today at Midnight Transfer, with senior colourist John Claude, and ‘Gone Fishing’ DP, Vernon Layton, conforming the movie and colour grading it. During the day we had a few visitors, other director and producer friends of mine, and some of the GF contributors – and everyone commented ‘Wow! It looks amazing!’ The first […]
Bringing it all together…
I have been frantically dashing around, making sure everything is ready for the final picture conform / picture grade tomorrow at Midnight Transfer. Thankfully I have been pretty organised through the whole process, so while it’s a long haul, so far there have been very few unforeseen hitches. Let’s hope it stays that way. (pictured […]
Matte Painting Complete!
Blimey! I really mean it. Blimey! How amazing is that!? Top right is the original image, shot by second unit director Simon Cox, and the image below is the final matte painting, Audrius Urbonavicius did for us, and comped into place. Above the new mountains are some whispy clouds which will be animated to enhance […]
Worm Shot Completed by Russ Wharton
Russ Wharton, VFX whizz in Wales, has just completed three shots for Gone Fishing. Two were kind of image fixes, removing small cosmetic problems from the shot, but the third was a full blow VFX shot with a worm enlargement. In the story, Old Bill recounts the tale of how he needed the biggest worms […]
Making A Bigger Worm…
I asked Russ Wharton to detail exactly how he has gone about increasing the size of the worm in one shot from Gone Fishing. Here’s what he has said… Interesting if you are into digital VFX…Anyway, here are his words… If you know you need a bigger worm before you film, then film the actor […]
How big is your worm?
Sometimes, I reflect on what I do, and I really have to pinch myself. Most people have real jobs! Sure, what I do means I live in a famine and hope for a feast, but every day is different. And today, I was presented with the very serious question of ‘how big should the worm […]
The waiting game…
Now that the picture edit has been locked, we have entered a waiting game for the final picture mastering, sound edit & mix, and the visual effects. We have got top people and companies working on all three aspects, but as they are all at the top of their game, and as we are not […]
Gone Fishing Locks Picture Edit at 1.45am!
So we locked the picture edit at 1.45am last night. Editor Eddie Hamilton and I made a huge number of tweaks that at first glance, are fairly minimal in impact, but we both know that they made a big difference holistically. At one point Eddie stopped and looked at me grinning and commenting that ‘it’s […]
Compiling Clips for the Gone Fishing Course
I have been working on the one day course for the contributors of Gone Fishing today, and building the DVD with the clips. I have lots of video goodies, including this one here, which illustrates different slow motion frame rates. For some scenes we used an electronic High Speed camera which came in a van […]
We have begun the visual effects stage for Gone Fishing! Hoorah! Yesterday, Midnight Transfer took the 35mm film and scanned selected shots on their Northlight scanner. The shots were outlined in a EDL supplied by Eddie Hamilton (Editor) and are just the shots that need visual effects work. We shot both 3perf and 4perf 35mm […]
So the plot thickens…
We have been editing, testing, editing, testing… and getting great results and feedback in these screenings. In some ways we are now slipping into analysis paralysis on some points, but on others, we are really having to fine tune the edit. For me, great movies stretch the credible right to the very edge. You take […]
Test Screening 3 and final roller
Last night, after a small re-edit, we held another test screening. Results were as usual very interesting. No revelations this time, just amplifications on what we already knew, and a few more ideas to integrate into final picture grading. At some point, screenings like these start slipping into opinion – which isn’t much use. Analysis […]
Pickup shoot is 100% success!
Saturday morning, the day after the pickup shoot, and I am looking out of my window in amazement at the weather. According to the BBC it should be bright sun, and it’s grey and miserable. Yesterday on the other hand, the day we shot, WAS AMAZING SUNSHINE! We could not have been luckier with the […]
Killer Pike Arrives
Today I collected our three and a half foot animatronic – well actually, hand puppet – monster pike. It was made by effects guru Jenny Cochrane and it weighs A TON! This fish is never going to be seen out of water, only in the murky shallows as it battles with Young Bill. We will […]
Digital Effects Work Begins
We are now prepping for the Digital Effects that we need in Gone Fishing. This is a bit of a technical process. It starts with a chat with the FX guys, in this case, the amazing wizards from Men From Mars. We isolated the shots we need, in this case a shot of a worm […]
Jaws for Kids!
Still working on music for Gone Fishing. We have entered that dreaded stage where we have fallen in love with the temporary music we used, and anything else, just does not do the same job. This is a typical problem and I am trying hard to stay focussed on a solution and not on what […]
Sound Recordist, Killer Pike and Killer Bunnies!
Great news today. Experienced sound recordist Adrian Bell has agreed to record sound on ‘Gone Fishing’. This is particularly good news for me as Adrian recorded sound on my first feature film, ‘The Runner’, the movie that inspired ‘The Guerilla Film Makers Handbook’! So terrific! Adrians website is here. He will be using hard drive […]
Killer Pike Effects
I have been working out how do some of the visual effects for ‘Gone Fishing’. Of course having no money, it’s a sellotape and string affair. But, I now have recieved tremendous support from a special effects company called Men From Mars. These digital effects guys are real wizards and usually work on $50m movies, […]