Saturday, January 13, 2007

...and we were talking about the stars of REPERKUSSIONZ. They are MADMAN PONDO and DESIREE FERRARI. Click the names to go to their MySpace pages and become their total BFFs. There is another actor in REPERKUSSIONZ named RAW TALENT, a wrestler who plays the non-speaking TOOL. All his scenes were shot in a couple of hours because he had to get to work the one day he was available. Almost all his screen time is composited over other stuff filmed on other days. Although all three actors have been very nice about it, I am confident that, out of my earshot, they are of the belief REPERKUSSIONZ will never be finished. At least they were nice about it last time I spoke to any of them, which was, like, forever ago. Maybe they read this blog, I dunno.

About the "filming" of REPERKUSSIONZ. I don't think I've said much here about the live-action shoot. The camera was a Panasonic DVX100, and shots were captured at 24PA. That stands for 24 frames per second, Progressive, Advanced. It's a technical thing! The DVX100 is great. Editing is done in Sony's VEGAS, which is simply the best NLE for the PC. It kicks PREMIERE to the curb. Creatures and sets are made in LIGHTWAVE. For character animation, it doesn't quite offer the power of XSI and MAYA, but for the speed with which good-looking scenes can be completed, LIGHTWAVE beats everything else. 3D tracking and compositing is done with a huge boring pile of programs. AFTER EFFECTS is the post-processing workhorse. AE is unpleasant to use, but it's the only affordable option. The shoot was done in two- to four-hour sessions scattered over a period of three weeks. Added up, it came to about 30 hours of work each for Pondo and Desiree, both of whom were patient and gracious as I regularly fell backwards over cords and tables while shooting in the converted garage.

This is the last time I ever shoot greenscreen in standard definition DV. For some shots, the required matte tweaking is so extensive it may as well be 100% hand-roto. I want to grab the DV footage and manually kill it. Ah well, I knew about that going in. There weren't any hi-def cameras sitting around when I grabbed the DVX100 and ran out the back door. On the plus side, I got the original box and intruction manual and everything.

Sound was captured with two Sony UWPS1 UHF wireless lavs, feeding a very cantankerous minidisc recorder, which I will never use again in production. Next time I do something like this I'll lug a PC to the set and record audio straight to hard drive. The majestic REPERKUSSIONZ soundtrack score is being composed with SONAR 2.2. That's a very old version of SONAR. I hated what Cakewalk did to the interface with SONAR 3 and beyond, so I stick with 2.2, which works very well.

Lighting was done with halogen utility lights, safety screen removed to get rid of that nasty shadow. I found a very effective chroma key paint at LOWE'S. It bears the brand. It's called REPTAR GREEN. It's a slimy day-glo green that keys out better than any other paint I tried.

When I decided to do REPERKUSSIONZ way back when, I sought out other projects created similarly on a small budget. I wanted to see how well a cheap epic could be done. The only low-rent virtual set movie I found at the time was DESPISER, which most likely had a much larger budget than REPERKUSSIONZ. It was the proof I needed. Shooting a microbudget greenscreen project was possible, and lots of people were gearing up for that very thing. Since then, many more small-time Lucas/Rodriguezes have appeared, such as the makers of the STAR WARS fan film REVELATIONS. Oddly, that fan project, which is prohibited from turning a profit and is distributed free on the web, had a much higher budget than most profit-seeking microbudget features.

About the aforementioned DESPISER: I won't do a film review here, but the soul-eating Troll Doll is very entertaining.

Why the odd spelling of REPERKUSSIONZ? I honestly have no idea.

The distribution of REPERKUSSIONZ is a big question mark at the moment. I've spoken with a few distributors. I'm told, to be considered for distribution, I need to have lots of titzengore in the movie. That's not quite what this project is about. The advances offered are insulting. That may change when I have more to show.

The first teezer-trailer from REPERKUSSIONZ will detonate in your midst before you know it!

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