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#1 Ger Leonard

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 08:42 AM

i am directing my first feature this autumn/winter. One potential problem arises in the opening sequence, which includes key locations: the shore/beach, an empty outdoor swimming pool/house which overlooks the sea, a nearby city, whilst the sun rises..

As this film will be shot in ireland (and possibly some in belgium) finding the above locations could present difficulties. I am confident we can find a house with an outdoor swimming pool BUT one which overlooks the sea and is near a city will prove difficult maybe impossible.

So, given the above scene, which will be roughly 6 minutes screen time, with a moving camera, and a rising sun, is it viable to consider some DIGITAL COMPOSITING or another alternative?

Here is the scene, any suggestions greatly appreciated...

EXT. SHORE ? NIGHT

Night stars reflect on the rolling waves of the sea.

The dawn is breaking, shedding light, filtering shades of blue up through the night sky, like a bruise.

MOVE BACK with the dawn TO REVEAL an empty swimming pool, covered in leaves, with a low diving board belonging to an empty house for sale overlooking the sea.

MOVE around over the shore to the sky above a city.

The city?s yellow/orange streetlights hum out their electric riposte to this now fading night.


Our budget is approx 1.5m euro.

Plan B is to break the sequence down into its components.

Although clearly different, i had envisaged the opening sequence to have similar quality to:
carlos reygadas' silent light

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#2 John Holland

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 12:27 PM

Stars reflecting on the sea ?? . Well apart from a lot digital effects , i think that your opening shot should be shot with a set on a sound stage .Yes i know you have a small budget but with a good Production Designer he/she could get the set pool sea backing with stars and a great city backing .
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#3 Ger Leonard

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 01:15 PM

Stars reflecting on the sea ?? . Well apart from a lot digital effects , i think that your opening shot should be shot with a set on a sound stage .Yes i know you have a small budget but with a good Production Designer he/she could get the set pool sea backing with stars and a great city backing .


Thanks for reply. "The stars reflecting on the sea", aspect is the least important really. The sequence begins on the night stars, then down to the sea, dawn breaking over the horizon, shedding light, moving back with the dawn to reveal the outdoor swimming pool overlooking the sea, moving round to see the city, its orange/yellow streetlight humming out their electric riposte to the fading night.

What i'm looking for here is natures light v man's artificial city lights.
The light of the city "shrinking back" as the dawn rises. (The next scene sees the street lights turn off in dawns early light)

Although in the opening sequence there are no characters, later in the film and near film's close there is a character on the diving board over the empty pool.

I'm a little dubious as to whether this can be production designed effectively on a sound stage( with moving elements). I would be delighted if it could of course. Would not some digital compositing, green screen, or even matte painting be options?

I have no experience of any of these techniques, so again thoughts and suggestions welcome.
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#4 Paul Bruening

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 11:31 AM

Ger,

I wouldn't try to tell you to cut the artistic value of your work. At the same time, there's no need to be a slave to the script. Script writers are following the universe of infinite possibilities in their head. Producers are following the universe of infinite pains-in-the-butt. Make the project "doable".
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#5 Ger Leonard

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 12:15 PM

Ger,

I wouldn't try to tell you to cut the artistic value of your work. At the same time, there's no need to be a slave to the script. Script writers are following the universe of infinite possibilities in their head. Producers are following the universe of infinite pains-in-the-butt. Make the project "doable".


I agree Paul, but I wrote the script with the intention of directing! This is a highly visual film (the first draft contained no dialogue) I now have my director's hat on but nonetheless as a director I agree that this opening sequence is crucial and somehow will be "doable", it's a question of how.

In script terms the scene is 3rd of page (works better for readers), but always intention that this scene would be roughly 6 mins and set the tone of the film.

We will be searching for the right location but as said previously we would be very fortunate to find it. I have a Plan B (breaking it down into elements), but I am also considering other options: compositing, green screen, matte painting etc... cheers.
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