The Orange II

I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but progress is still moving along! Albeit slowly, as once again I have hit a rut in this film’s ever prolonged production. This time it’s related to the difficulty in procuring a key necessary location for a certain scene that simply cannot be changed due to its overall importance and impact on the deeper themes found in the story. And yes, although the movie may seem like a loud and insane action flick on the surface, there is actually a much more sophisticated deeper meaning. At least, those are my intentions for the viewer. Whether they see otherwise is a different story.

As with the nature of how little and late I update this blog, I don’t exactly have an accurate time frame to reference when I decide to talk about things I have already completed. Today I will share my experiences creating the hardest prop I ever built. A non-functioning, transforming bastard sword with a 4ft blade akin to those found in many video games. It was definitely the most complicated prop I’ve made due to the physics of the design. The largest problem was figuring out how to make a strong enough handle to support the heft of the large blade. Well I’m not going to give any secrets that will spoil the illusion, but the end result came out nicer than I had hoped. I can credit that with the nice paint job it received.

Seems like in the end, I’m still a “do it in post!” kind of guy. As I had a much easier time animating the transformation than I did with actually building the physical sword. Like all videos and pictures I post here, everything is still a work in progress and the final version may look different from the test video I posted. Everything will hopefully look more realistic once this transformation is mixed in with the live-action footage and correctly motion tracked and lit.

Click for the HD version


The Introduction

It has been quite sometime since my last post and a lot has happened since then. First and foremost: Don’t worry! This film is still being made and there has been quite a lot of progress. Essentially the first introduction sequence has been completed with most of the effects included. I have spent upwards to 35 hours doing the laborious rotoscoping that was required to add in the other 2d/3d elements. I’ve come to realize that working on an effects heavy film is a lot more daunting than I first believed. On average it took me roughly 2 hours to implement the multiple layers of 2d elements for a simple 5 second cut.

I’m quite pleased with the end result but I do have one major fear: people skipping around when I finally upload the completed movie. I’m not going to lie and say that the first whole minute can be a tad tedious. That was completely intentional and I think that viewers will understand the reason once they watch the movie in its entirety. This movie is supposed to make a statement and I think it does it in quite a creative fashion. My greatest concern is that the people that do skip around will jump to something more exciting and decide to rewind to the beginning and watch it in its entirety, thus spoiling the “transition” scene I have in-store for them. One full minute may not seem like much, but for an estimated total running time of 15 minutes, that is quite a chunk. It’s not to say that the first minute is completely boring, but everyone has a different tolerance and appreciation for what I would deem as “artsy”.

The actual meat of the movie has yet to be filmed. During my latest break, I ran into location problems and could not find the right backdrop that would do the movie justice. I am really wary about doing these shots in front of a greenscreen because it would be a nightmare to edit due to the fast moving nature of the movie. Regardless, all is not lost as I built all the essential props that are needed and completed the choreography for what’s in store. Now I just have to wait until summer rolls around so I can actually finish filming.

I was really on the fence about posting stills from the film but have since decided I should upload a few as proof this movie actually has progressed. To avoid spoilers I have selected specific portions from the intro that do not really give anything away. You won’t find any of the special effects in the included pictures as most of the effects would spoil the story. Here are select screens from the movie completely untouched: