Joe riding the bike through simulated carnage shot with 2+ days remain to launch an entry to Spectrum Fantastic Art, just for a lark.

I can finish the shot, I could just go ahead and try and make it as complete as possible with the elements I have, but this is the opening sequence of the movie, so why not work through the entire idea, because the approach to the tunnel, the view from within and Joe’s bike ride are all linked. VFX elements have to be synced to tie it all together.

Grabbing all the elements now and then a decision about 2 tunnel approach shots or more. Prefer three, far mid and then close. I wonder if there are variants in FCP already built. I don’t remember whether I slashed the approach shots to just two to cut the running time down or not. Also, only one side of the tunnel had windows, I am using the non window side. Is the window side useful?

boat hum.aif

In the tunnel
Drone Mystical 01.caf :04
Out of the Tunnel
Explosion 5.caf 0:00
Bike Ride
Bicycle Ride.caf 01:03 (Joe’s back wheel still touching)
Night Frogs and Crickets. caf 0:17

Reinsert original tunnel sequence, current movie had speed correction baked in?

blast doors for tunnel
strobe light and sign
a vehicle

sequence for preparing carnage

  • small skeleton primed, flat white
  • overalls test with mylar
  • weapons primed, neutral gray, test with media graphics. boxes seemed to work well as brown, my theory is there will be more shadow detail if they start as a mid tone color
  • other pavement props – gas mask, boots, a sword? 🙂 eventually, yes

Next day

I woke up with a plan. Do big skeletons to match the one’s I laid down for Joe’s swervy ride, then blast doors out of clay. I have both soft and hard chavant to try this with and powdered charcoal to both burn them and keep the oil down. They could be blasted and deformed, which clay can represent well.

When I get further along, I could also paint them quickly, if they are the harder version of clay. Wouldn’t last forever.

So then I’ve got the looking down scene and the looking up scene, which should feel like a match. Is there an even closer shot fo the tunnel, (just curious) so we could do more with detail on the machine gun placements, even having joe moving around in there? Too much.

The tunnel definitely needs signs out going.

I want to hang the greenscreen, what else will I need besides a 10 foot narrow pipe? threaded so caps and then fittings so it spins easy, or if nothing else just extend the caps with bolts so they can rest on the crossbars of the tent. Viola!

Prepping big skeleton – fix foot. tape on skull, perhaps on the more obvious nuts and bolts.

We just go for skeletons for now. Uniforms later, scraps of uniforms maybe. Get the basic line up shot, then assemble

need white gaffer tape for skull
aluminum foil for light diffusion
pipe and caps
more lights

Got all that set up, it’s now 11:23 on Sunday night. The eve before the deadline. I haven’t got the shots set up 🙂 but I might be ready, depends on how the green is going to work out. I could def traditionally just trim the objects with masks, but this exploration is about long term expertise, knowing how to do this. Getting bright light on the green without hot spots. I’ve got smooth aluminum foil which I am pretty sure isn’t really ideal, the foil should be crinkled to scatter the light uniformly. As is is right now, I expect hot spots from the smooth bends in the foil, but we’ll see.

The dinosaur is getting clean, bit by bit. I learned how to take him completely apart today. I also had another insight, and that was along with incorporating open source software in my project, I can also credit all the companies that contributed to the project, every dang ebay vendor, 3B skeleton company, the mini-skeleton company, Revell, Dragon, Iwata, Tamaya. As this is an open source project I discussing the process is what I do. Then there could be an email blast to all of them, a letter of thanks prolly would be best. Hi, just wanted to complement you on your product. I recently completed a short film, ( and used your product for visual effects support and the results were great. I’ve included your company in the credits. Thanks very much for a great product. MORE and MORE and MORE stakeholders checking out the website, the facebook page, posting in their email blasts. I could even code the urls and emails to see who visits, landing pages. This is Dan Kelly building the reputation economy. Ha, look this here is totally self referential, mirrors within mirrors, infinitely in.

It’s the 26 today, and I got my entry in around 4-5 pm yesterday. Was having quandry with the Soma mug, so left it out for the time being. Later found a better spot. The M2 .50 caliber could be sticking out and only the part in the rain is rusty. As the movie progresses, there’s even more epic signs of multiple apocalypses,  The toy universe approach, that the VFX has a sort of toy feel to it, that there’s a wink and a nod toward the audience, you can see that this is real but what about that, could that be real too or not? If not this, then what is real? What do we decide is real?


The toy universe, there’s many levels. First, there’s the kid playing with army men. On the external world there’s just the kid and his plastic little guys. Then there’s the level in his head, what he is seeing, what is happening for him. In that universe much is alive but there are significant details that are missing because the kid just doesn’t have experience with those things, so he either makes it up or just leaves it kinda blankish. Then there’s the experience of the character he’s giving life too, because they have to be alive and engaged for the adventure to be worth enacting. What do they see? Their experience must be even more lavish, because let’s say he see’s a dangerous tank that he’s gotta take out, you can’t be really scared of a plastic tank or even a CG tank, that tank has to assume an almost super natural power if he is going  scared of it, he has to project reality and intensity into the tank. So there’s that level of the toy universe, the level humans experience.

Oh my god, and that’s the Dick reference again. Out in the universe all these bits of paper being blown about – demonic forces, flying saucer invasion, tank, .50 caliber M2, return of the dinosaurs and that’s all that people need. The threats manifest in rich technicolor and sensurround or shlocky wires and clay depending on the person’s beliefs. On the darkness they themselves carry. Now this is an old trope, but we’re exploring Dick’s tropes specifically and that’s because Phil left behind some fascinating clues about being human. The toy universe is an approach to the VFX or perhaps some future VFX that sounds fun.

Plus I love the find whatever is lying around the house to make that shot work approach. Bits and pieces, kit bashing the cosmos.

Fire could jet out of the demon holes, when Joe rides by. Theme park-y. Theme park VFX. He’s on a track weaving out of the skeletons, breaks the arm of that one, maybe that’s a trigger to deactivate the landmines or masers or whatever. But the ride he takes might as well be on rails, like a rollercoaster, so that sets up the idea. Other hints too, like the sign board inside. Stop the fucker and read. This is taking the technology into consideration. Any movie can be paused, so why not pause and get more information, it’s like the hilarious opposite of games. Making a movie into a game, let me pause that and really see what the fuck that says. Real life isn’t composed, it’s messy. There are clues everywhere for those that have eyes to see.

OMG, this is brilliant. Seeing movies in a theater is one experience, watching with a crowd where it’s on rails and if you get up to go to the bathroom you’re going to miss something. Then there’s watching with a group of friends a movie you’ve already seen. Hold up, pause that. The fucking picture freezes perfectly. What is that? I remember that porn movie Blind Spot where I captured still frames from the lovely spanking scene of the two girls and lined them up, being able to appreciate the scene sequenced like that, the repetition of those fine asses. People watch movies over and over and see more, now with Youtube, DVDs and Blueray the freeze is perfect, so why not pack that freeze with detail and clues? What’s brilliant is my flashing on the perfect still image, this reimagines established technology into another media, the only thing I need to do is hint to the audience.

And of course it will fly gloriously as a theatrical experience. One can never discover the delight of opening the book like nature of the movie and still get a huge boon. Yet there’s the other deeper dive always available.

Alright, that’s pretty epic and Dan Kelly-ish. Yet another breakthrough and genius move from the walking divine here on the excellent Earth.


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