Friday, 8 February 2013

'The Escapist' Project

Last semester I had a discussion with cinematographer and TBA student Michal Zagorski. We discussed the fact that I needed a cinematographer for my masters project and that he needed an animator for his third year TBA music video 'The Escapist' which he was working with classmate Jeppe Nielsen on.

The deal was made, and I had a long discussion with him about what he and Jeppe had imagined for this piece in one particular scene. I started to put down what he said and then made progress trying to get support in some technical areas to produce the work - as I could not manage it by myself.

In the masters studio as I discussed the project, Thomas Hogben showed a keen interest in doing particles for the film - something in which he is passionate about. That got the project rolling, and as the new year came there were more frequent meetings about both projects. Mainly director Jeppe bagan chairing meetings and we got 3D modeller, rigger and animator Sang (Sean) Hun Yu involved to make the bats.

Thomas had used one of the plates for a test for his masters project based on light particles travelling in ultra slow motion. I showed his work of light travelling from the headlights of the car in one of the plate and Michal and Jeppe loved it, so we encorporated it into the film. Tom then found time to develop the look of the particles.

Another thought came to mind during one meeting - animation of ants underground was needed. So, I got my friend Brian Lindsay involved. Later to find out that Jeppe and Michal wanted the ants so small you would hardly see them. In the same meeting, I realised that we may need to reconstruct the background when the headlights brighten up the darkness. So, I asked Brian to help painting up a tree for us. Communication and meetings really are important. The input in them and me Thomas and Sean working in the studio have been really important, even for such a small project. This point does need to be stressed to some people.

Primarily I was compositing everything and doing a lot of basic animation and key framing shifting in After Effects. However, by the end of the project, recently, the 'proper' compositing and 'VFX' were involved - rendering and lighting the bats and compositing them, the headlights and trees.

It has been a good team. And these are the type of people I like to work with. And, I am satisfied with the quality of the small project on a short timescale. So, I look forward to the rest of the production of my masters film project with Michal and Jeppe, and others involved.

Now, let's win some awards!

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