Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Doing Some EFX Tests

Going off a few tutorials from the amazing website VideoCopilot.net I did some playing around in After Effects. I'm doing tests for my new film 'Dark Light' (that I wrote about here). These are not effects related to the film itself. Just testing out various methods. These effects are just for fun. They aren't polished as they were each done in a little over an hour.

Using the above still picture I animated it to look like it was live footage from a helicopter. Plus a little added surprise.

This next one I used the same photograph but did a missile test. Plus a slight camera shake and zoom as the explosion happens. There is a lot at work in this one. I couldn't even begin to explain all of the different elements and layers at work here. But look at the above photo and then see everything added.

Elements used include Action Essentials 2 and Optical Flares from VideoCopilot.net, and Particular from Trapcode.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat

'Jaws' is easily one of my favorite films. It has so much that it is literally something special. It has action, adventure, horror, humor, drama, and even a little emotion. A film that still holds up to this day. What was feared to be an astonishing disaster during its making turned into something that changed the film industry forever. It marked the birth of the summer blockbuster.

A young Steven Spielberg stopped at nothing to make sure his film was not shut down despite an escalating budget and constant technical problems with the film's star - the mechanical shark. Resorting to the Val Lewton technique of not showing the creature but implying its presence led to a stroke of creative genius which went on to terrify audiences who were too afraid to go swimming at their local beach but were more than happy to line up at the movie theatre for the carnage.

Starring the late Roy Scheider and featuring Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw the film is basically the ultimate man versus nature story. A modern day Moby Dick. The last half of the film being the three main characters setting out to sea to track down and kill the monster that has been attacking the local shores. Where this film could have been just a fun film and nothing more instead underneath has a line of drama which is ever so present in the real reactions people have of what is happening. Plus the utter genius of what is perhaps one of, if not my all time, favorite scene where the Robert Shaw character Quint breaks out of the rusty seaman cliche and creates a fully rounded character with the telling of his experience on the Indianapolis. What I affectionately call the "Quint Speech". A moment in a film where something about a character makes them fully realized. Never has this been better done than with this scene. 

So on June 20, 1975 audiences were treated to a film which would both terrify them and yet have them line up around the block for more. A young filmmaker went from being a guy holding a sinking ship afloat (literally) to being one of the biggest directors in film history. Generation after generation discovers this incredible film and it continues to live on. The oft quoted line,"We're gonna need a bigger boat," could be changed to,"We're gonna need a bigger movie theatre."

Congratulations to everyone involved in this masterpiece and I salute the film which is one of my personal favorites that continues to entertain and inspire me to this very day.

*Images taken from JawsMovieArchives.com.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dark Light - My New Film

Sorry for the lack of posts lately but I've been a little busy. As some of you know I'm a filmmaker. My first film 'Distortion' is starting to make the festival rounds. Right now I'm prepping for my second feature. It's an action thriller called 'Dark Light'. Needless to say this is going to consume most of my time so posts may in fact be a little on the light side over the next few months. I'll try and squeeze in a few here and there. I am still here just a little on the busy side.

Here are a few links for anyone interested in following the film:

The Official Website (which is coming soon) is HERE

The official Facebook page is HERE

The official Twitter is HERE

The official MySpace page is HERE

There is also a blog covering the production HERE

It is a very low budget film and I'll be making it (much like the last film) with no crew. So any and all support is greatly appreciated.