Ian Failes details the work put in to create the slightly disturbing marionettes puppets for DirecTV.
DirecTV’s new ‘marionette’ spots, aimed at showcasing the company’s wire-free boxes, feature CG animation from The Mill. The VFX studio created characters with puppeteered-like performances based on actual stand-in actors and real marionettes. We talked to some key members of The Mill’s team about the commercials from agency Grey and production company Hungry Man.
“The most important decision was choosing to shoot real actors in full wardrobe in place of the marionettes,” says The Mill’s shoot supervisor and 3d lead Chris Bayol. “This gave us a live set in which director Bryan Buckley could direct and the actors could engage with real characters in their performances.”
“We studied the animation language of how marionettes move in great depth, even shooting puppeteers at Legacy Effects who are incredibly skilled and just amazing to watch!,” adds Bayol. “There were times where we heightened the clumsiness to add to the comedy value and other moments where we toned down the exaggeration to convey the emotional connection between the characters.”
FX Guide | Read the Full Article
Director Elliot Weaver talks about the importance of location scouting, what to consider with some great examples of Hollywood location scouting behind the scenes footage.
Picture some of the greatest films in cinema history and y0u’ll be blinded by a vast canvas of filming locations… we’re not talking constructed film sets here, we’re talking places out in the real world that the crew have travelled to.
Obviously some of those locations were specifically built film sets but the vast majority were real world places. Just like his brother, Ridley Scott, it’s breathtaking how Tony Scott used these locations as another ‘character’ within his films; embedding a sense of tone and belonging into his stories.
With this in mind, there’s a hell of a lot the independent filmmaker can learn from the Scott brothers about visual storytelling – you don’t need a Hollywood budget to shoot sunsets and thunderstorms.
The world is all around you. Wherever you live on the planet you’ll have a unique setting just outside your window that other filmmakers would love to shoot in. It may be ‘the norm’ to you, but to others it’s unfamiliar, foreign or even exotic — so use it to your advantage.
Reel Deal Film school | Read the Full Article
Host Jeff Goldsmith tunes in as L.A. Times film writer Rebecca Keegan interviews writer-director James Cameron about The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day
“Bodyscapes” is a body art series by artist John Poppleton that uses fluorescent pigment to paint landscapes on female models. He then photographs the models under UV light for the final fluorescent effect.
A sample of some of his behind the scenes painting timelapse:
When we caught up with Poppleton over email, we were curious about the how behind these photographs. What gear did he use, what settings did he use, what was his inspiration and so forth. He was kind enough to answer a few of those questions for us:
John Poppleton: The gear I use most is a Canon EOS 6D with 24-105 f/4L IS lens on a Manfrotto tripod. The black lights I use most are the basic 48? 40 watt tubes from Wal-Mart in two 2-tube fixtures. I rim light the subject with my own invention I call UV light Panels.
My equipment plans for the near future will be the new Sony A7s. It will mainly be used for video but it could turn out to be the perfect camera for shooting BL. My first pro DSLR camera was the Canon EOS 1Ds at 11MP and it did a beautiful job, so Sony’s 12MP with more light sensitivity may turn out to be more important than resolution for the black light, but remains to be seen.
PetaPixel | Read the Full Article
John Lopez dissects some of Paul Haggis’ techniques from his body of work including Third Person, and Crash.
If you want to start a knife fight with a film nerd, casually suggest that Crash 100 percent deserved its Best Picture Oscar for its profound examination of contemporary race relations. (Personally, I think Avenue Q did a better job in a fraction of the time with “Everybody’s a Little Bit Racist.”) But the fact remains that Crash won, earning an oddly eternal notoriety and giving us the strange, frustrating filmography of Paul Haggis. As much as the word auteur means anything these days, like it or not, it applies to Haggis: Only Paul Haggis could make a Paul Haggis film.
You can tell them by the relentless heaviness of the hand tweaking your expectations: In the words of Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel, Paul Haggis’s drama goes “to eleven.” It’s not that Haggis’s films are incompetent; it takes genuine skill to be that consistently blatant. He knows all the buttons and pushes them with reckless abandon, apparently guided by the belief that in excess veritas. Haggis briefly flirted with the thriller genre in The Next Three Days. But he’s back to his old tricks in Third Person, a meta-film that L.A. Weekly’s Amy Nicholson likened to “walking in on Laurence Olivier in the bathroom.” But what are those tricks? As a public service, we watched Third Person to deconstruct the multiple-Oscar-winning formula and discover what gives a Paul Haggis film that special Crash-y feel of firm, gleeful manipulation.
Some people hear this ubiquitous writer’s maxim and try to interpret it so as to justify their script about time-traveling vampires. Paul Haggis doesn’t get hung up on such technicalities; he embraces it viscerally and literally. Crash famously came about because Haggis was carjacked, which caused his white-guilt circuits to overload. Third Person, which is centrally concerned with a prize-winning writer having an affair, came about (as Haggis candidly admits) because he is a prize-winning filmmaker who had an affair. See how easy it is? Stop fretting about making your heist movie as accurate as possible and go rob a bank. Or maybe you still believe that Paul Thomas Anderson didn’t beat someone to death with a bowling pin for There Will Be Blood.
Grantland | Read the Full Article
Scott Myers analyses the character of Mr. White as played by Harvey Keitel in Quentin Tarantino’s Resevoir Dogs.
It was back in 1992 when the heist thriller underwent a clever genre dissection with the application of a crime novel-style nonlinear narrative by screenwriter and director Quentin Tarantino with his debut feature film, Reservoir Dogs. Aside from his dynamic puzzle-pieced storytelling, other future Tarantino trademarks were also established with this crime caper: gritty violent scenes that are still talked about, snappy harsh dialogue, characters that kill for a living and beefy roles for movie stars of the 1970s. The soul sonic, disco dancing, karate kicking, mean street 70s cinema that Tarantino came-of-age in inspired his casting of Pam Grier in Jackie Brown, John Travolta in Pulp Fiction, David Carradine in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 & 2 and Harvey Keitel as thief-for-hire Mr. White in Reservoir Dogs.
From the very first breakfast scene at that diner, Mr. White stands out as the only diamond heist conspirator of the rented six that has some seniority. Mr. White immediately has the guts and mutual respect to be an assertive ball-breaker while chatting up Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney) with the audacity that comes from being a trusted, long-time confidant. He not only snatches that repetitively reminiscing boss’s address book out of his scruffy palms, with the whole pack of hired hooligans watching on, but Mr. White also defends his unapologetic disposition against Joe Cabot’s hired guns that he is just getting to know.
Go Into The Story | Read the Full Article