4.25.2008

Unearthed - Testing the Spirits

Here's a little test I did tonight, my plan for the ghosts...I shot them in front of a greenscreen then put a chain of effects on them, contrast/chromakey/glow/cookie cutter...also shifted the hue towards the blue in the mid-tones and highlights of the set footage....I love the result, but I forsee a problem.......Herbie.......might be easier to shoot his walk in front of the greenscreen too, maybe even waist-up....if he walks across the actual set, the spirits will layer on top of him unless I string together a complicated series of cookie cutters to remove the ghosts from the 'Herbie' part of the footage....eek...or possibly have the ghosts appear after he's walked by...(either way, he won't see them...blind to many things, Herbie is :)

Back to work on the set.....



Unearthed - Ghost test from Ubatuber on Vimeo.

4.24.2008

Unearthed - The Ghosts


The cemetery set will be populated with ghosts, watching Herbie as he makes his way to a particular grave...they won't do much, and so, are very simplistic puppet-wise....no legs or hands, just stumpy little armatured arms and necks with Sculpey heads, attached to tie-downs with a single strand of armature wire....I haven't completely decided on the technique I'll use to make them transparent, but right now the plan is to shoot them in front of a greenscreen and plug them into the footage...tests coming soon.....

4.21.2008

Unearthed - Dressing the Graves


I finished dressing the left half of the cemetery set and started working on the entrance gate, which will connect the two outer walls together....


This gate and outer wall will be set up in front of a greenscreen, which I'll suck out using Sony Vegas' chromakey feature....then I'll layer in a photo backdrop, slightly blurred, of the real Lafayette Cemetery entranceway....I spent a couple of hours photoshopping out the actual gate on the photo I plan to use for the backdrop....here's a little gif...

4.19.2008

Unearthed - Cemetery Bits


...painted up another tomb and added some smaller touches....the vases, I bought pre-fab, wooden, and dabbed them with plaster on a small brush to give them a rough hewn concrete texture like the rest of the set....I'd say another week or two on this set, and then........I...must...animate.....no more excuses or procrastination (see what happens to me with no StopMoShorts deadline breathing down my neck?) :)

4.15.2008

Unearthed - Cemetery Plot

I'm going to experiment with using cutouts for depth during the cemetery shoot...I photoshopped one of my Lafayette Cemetery photos, removing a piece of concrete tomb sculpture which will be positioned close to the lens when filming, blurred, to give the impression that the camera is peeking from behind another mausoleum...I want it to feel cramped without having to build a dozen set pieces.....I also plan a pan-across shot as Herbie walks through the cemetery, looking for a plot....for the pan I'll create a silhouette cutout of crosses and tombstones to pass by in the foreground.....haven't acually tried any of this yet, but we'll see....

I'm about to start sculpting the guardian statue, she'll stand in the clearing you see below, behind the second wrought iron gate...the brick walls won't be there, just shadows and moss....she marks the start of the path to the cave....gotta paint up the rest of the crypts, add some finishing touches (dead flowers), then I'm done with this set...

4.08.2008

Something in the Mist

I don't usually movie-review here on the blog but I'm so taken with a particular film right now that I had to give it a shout-out. After a freak storm, a group of folks are trapped in a grocery store as a strange mist descends, bringing a host of beasties with it. Frank Darabont's "The Mist" is like an old monster movie, and though Ive only seen the color version, apparently the B&W version is even moreso. There are a couple of scenes that were so Harryhausenesque that my face hurt from smiling (even as someone is being eaten by a giant featherless cgi buzzard). The acting is superb, the camera work brilliant. I am generally not a fan of handheld work, especially the emphasized variety, but here, with a cast of dozens, its almost imperative to have the camera constantly in motion, finding moments in each scene to zoom in or focus on. Its said on the commentary that the actors found it to be like theatre, in that they always had to be "on", never knowing when they might run into a camera or suddenly have a close-up. The effects are mostly digital and superb, from the folks who gave us the digi fx in "Pans Labyrinth", Cafe FX. And it had a gloriously dark ending, like classic Steven King should. If you haven't seen it yet, go rent it now. Me, I'll be buying the special edition set to get my hands on that B&W version....



And hey, while I'm at it......go check out the new trailer for Hellboy 2 from Guillermo Del Toro....all I could think about while watching it was that ole cantina scene, more creatures than you can shake a stick at....