FINALLY, I got to do the pickup shots for the next short. It’s only been 3 months. All because of a stupid mistake I made during the shoot itself in that I forgot to shoot these elements. So with a skeleton crew, minimal lighting and one actor named Amanda, we got ‘er done in about an hour, mostly in setting up the lighting to match as best as possible. I had my handy laptop with an HD copy of the movie in Quicktime up on screen to match everything as close as possible. I had one minor change in performance on the delivery of one of the lines from the original, and the rest was repeating as close as possible what we did before in February. Today, I already digitized the footage, yet again using the PAL 25 Cineframe mode from Sony, and converting it to true 24P with my handy Cineform codec. Then I edited it into the show timeline proper pretty much right away. I have been seeing this in my head properly for months, but now I can show it to people properly. I never used to be a perfectionist the way I feel now. I want things to be far better than I have let them be in the past. Scott matched the lighting fairly well and Amanda had the exact outfit and worked her hair into the same look. I was amazed at how flawlessly the new footage cut into the old shots. More importantly, the flow and edit of the first 1 minute of the new piece isn’t nearly as awkward and bumpy. I had some audio trickery to do, but that only took a few minutes.

This week I have made major headway in the graphics animation, but even then I’m seriously way behind. I doubled the amount of completed FX shots, but that’s just an illusions I tell myself that means I have 4 done instead of 2. That’s 4 out of over 100 shots that need extensive graphics and animation. The hardest part was deciding HOW to animate and the basic scheme for the rest. When you have limitless options, the choices get harder to make. I’m somewhat happy with the choices I’m making but I might consider some revisions at the end of the basic animation to see if someone with more talent than me can swoop in and make some tweaks and improvements.

I haven’t even started to think about the sound design and music, although I think music will be sparse, the sound design will be as intense as the graphics. One of the tricks I’ve learned in my few short years doing this – never let a visual go without some kind of sound. It adds weight and gravity to the animation. Would the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park or the robots in Transformers be believable in all their CGI madness without the incredible sounds that ground them to a form of believable reality? Of course not, but it’s amazing how few people take that into account. Even something as simple as moving titles has a more tangible “oomph” if they make a sound as they go round.

Life is a journey with endless possibilities. I love where things are headed. There’s a lot to be proud of in the near future, if only the clock would slow down a little for me…
You know what? Van Halen III was not as bad as it seemed 11 years ago. No, it’s nowhere near the magic of David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar, but it wasn’t the complete suckage I was lead to believe it would be.

“V” and Coussette are well. “V”has trouble adjusting to schedule changes and so he rebels by biting my arm when I sleep to ensure a timely awakening and getting some form attention, even if it’s negative. Coussette just gets louder as she gets older.

Categories: blog

Peter John Ross

A filmmaker, a dreamer, and the world's only Dan Akroyd Cosplayer


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