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Hello all, new here, humble, could use some feedback =)


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#1 Elvis Chirinos Jr

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 05:45 PM

Hi all,

im newly registered to this community, but i did do some lurking here and at couple other forums. This one seems like its full of proffessionals and students (such as myself) and everyone seems very helpful, and most importantly, willing to help to boot!

So im a film student at my local JC, and am trying to get ahead of the curb. I knew a lot going in, but im learning a lot more as i go. I made my first two minute film which ill post a link to later on (its very, very ameature. Would love to get contructive criticism on it).

My next film is due sometime in july and im already revving up production, even as this semester is not over. Its an ambitious little sci-fi project.

A quick pitch would be, "astronaut gets sucked into space, and cannot be saved nor killed and spacesuit will keep her alive for weeks. Her life flashes before her eyes, but she is lucid for so long that her(potential) life after the shuttle mission begins to flash before her eyes, and eventually lives a fullfilling life and even experiences what she imagined heaven would be, in the 3 1/2 weeks she is dying"

So i saw the chroma key kit at imagewest.tv (https://02c4947.nets...ATS&Category=10)

I was going to shoot at a higher frame-rate and play it back in slow mo to simulate weightlessness (its unrealistic, but most audience members do not know this and actually expect people to move like this in outer space. I beleive they used this technique in 2001:A Space Odysee, and more recently in Danny Boyles "Sunshine"), and also suspend my actress with cables.

I was then going to photoshop a high resolution "starry" background to replace with a chroma key, and light her with blue gels (to simulate darkness).

thing is, this is all theory right now, and i do not have the experience to know if this will work, or how it will look. Its months before i start shooting, but something like this can really put me on top of the class, and i can get a good reccomendation for film school, so i want to stop making films where it appears as if im learning as i shoot, and start making films that look proffessional, and achieve the artistic expression im gunning for.

so, Can anyone give me any pointers, to get a nice effect? Also, does anyone know how to erase the suspension cables?

I will be shooting with a canon XL-2, on 24p and 16:9 aspect ratio, and editing on AVID on a mac. I have two key lights and a soft box. Im building myslef the now-famous "$14 steadicam", and am getting and modifying this spacesuit (http://www.nightmare...t&search=action)

also thinking about getting a kessler crane (8 footer), but not sure i need it just yet. (key word is "need". i already wrote a crane shot into the script, but i dont absolutely "need" it).

Thanks for all your time fellas!

-E
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#2 Steve McBride

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 10:10 PM

As someone who is still in film school, in my opinion I wouldn't do a project like this right now. The story sounds great, very imaginative, definitely has the 2001 mojo in it, but with your experience (no offense) and equipment along with budget, you will most likely not be able to get a final product that seems realistic enough to be believable.

Definitely keep this idea in your back pocket and continue to develop it as you work on other projects and meet people who are more experienced and can help you in the future with this project. This would be a perfect kind of project for your thesis as it would be very technical and would have to be pre-produced amazingly as well as have amazing camera, lighting, and grip crew to make it work, all of these things you will get as you continue through with school.

If I were you, take what you know now, and try to do a smaller drama that is more dialogue based instead of visual effects based and put all you can into that. Use it as a learning experience (this is what school is for!) and continue to do projects that are increasingly more difficult to produce until you have enough experience as well as resources to be able to pull off this dream project.

This is just coming from another student. I've never attempted something so visual effects based, I'm more drawn to drama and emotion, so take what you will from what I've said.

Good luck!
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#3 Paul Bruening

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 11:03 PM

I agree with Steve. Learn how to hack before you learn how to carve.
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#4 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 03:11 PM

Don't suspend ANYONE without an experienced and knowledgeable key grip and/or stunt coordinator. (yes, they can still get hurt without being dropped).

-DW
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#5 Elvis Chirinos Jr

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 05:42 PM

wow, so the basic consensus is basically that its impossible right now. Well, i guess i will keep it in my back pocket, but i still want to try something elaborate for my final project in june. My two minute project was amongst the best in the class, but i really wanna stand out and get that glowing rec. for a good film school, and an internship.

Where would i meet other student grips who are pro enough to pull off anything that isnt basic?
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#6 Mark Williams

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 06:01 PM

wow, so the basic consensus is basically that its impossible right now. Well, i guess i will keep it in my back pocket, but i still want to try something elaborate for my final project in june. My two minute project was amongst the best in the class, but i really wanna stand out and get that glowing rec. for a good film school, and an internship.

Where would i meet other student grips who are pro enough to pull off anything that isnt basic?


Elvis why not try it? How do you learn unless you try these things.. Personally I think you could do it anyway thats just me.. No one else seems to agree so its your call.
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#7 Joseph Nesbitt

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 07:59 PM

safety is key, but the theme is excellent, why not apply that story to something else more feasible, maybe someone lost at sea, or on a deserted island with no food ( is you are near water of coarse ) if you were imaginative enough to create that idea, just apply that story to something else, I don't want to destroy your very original idea but I think that you could create something very convincing in a more workable theme. At this point even if you did find someone to safely harness the actors and bought the expansive software to remove the cables ( Red has that ability ) you will be so focused on pulling off an effect that is over your head that you will loose sight of what you really want to do which is sell a story. I wouldn't recommend putting this in your back pocket, but rather applying it to something else, the people here will help you find out how to light it and direct it, pursue it, and if you do decide to put it in your back pocket, write the script, save it, with a printed and hardrive copy and then look back at it when you are more experienced, but if it were me, I'd find a way to make it differently.
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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 08:02 PM

Just hire someone with the experience, pay them a bit, explaining it's a student project, and learn from them.
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#9 Elvis Chirinos Jr

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 08:39 PM

how much would "a bit" be for a proffesional?

Im on the fence about it now. Everyone has really good input, but im thinking with this much prep time, couple with it being a passion project, i think i might be able to pull it off. Im doing a lot of research and budgeting right now.

I think im going to go for it. Even if i dont succeed or it doesnt come off looking perfect, the research and experimenting would put me months ahead of the competition, and i think the teacher would give me lots of kudos for trying something i wasn't sure of, and following through with it.

I think theres a lot to learn, but i think i can learn a lot of it as i go, or now, doing research and buying the books, and taking the notes.

so i hope im not being rude, but can anyone point me in the direction of some guides, tutorials, books, or videos that would help me out? Or can someone just give me a few tips, with the assumption that this project will most definitely get made? I appreciate all your time fellas!
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#10 Joseph Nesbitt

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 02:24 AM

for that why not look at seminars people in that field may give (VFX) and even if you don't learn enough from them, maybe you might meet someone who would work with you just for the experience, or look around school, your talking about getting ahead of the competition, why not look talk some kids you think are talented, some of them may have a good VFX knowledge, or go to other schools try to figure out a safe way to pull this thing on before you waste a lot of time trying to learn to do it when you could be coming up with another idea for a different project.
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#11 Joe Giambrone

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 02:39 PM

Sounds like an interesting project. Hopefully the flashbacks are exciting so it doesn't get bogged down with someone floating there -- endlessly.

I read your link to the cheap lights:
"So i saw the chroma key kit at imagewest.tv"

The price is unbeatable. The quality however, might have an issue with the 85 CRI bulbs that come with the fixtures. You might get a color cast that isn't great, but possibly fixed in post. A CRI above 90 is recommended for these kinds of lights. That costs more.
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Visual Products

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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Metropolis Post

Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera

Paralinx LLC

CineTape

Technodolly

Aerial Filmworks