Saturday, May 28, 2011

"Ten": The Storyboard

Storyboarding is a lot of fun. While creating them, I think back to watching "Making of" specials when I was kid showing Spielberg and Lucas doing the same for their films.

Instead of the random-sheets-of-loose-paper method I've used in the past, I got a mini notebook earlier this year for the sole purpose of the storyboard.

And here, dear reader, is a sneak peak at the first several pages:

Some explanations are needed here. The first page of the book (not shown) is a key that shows the layout of the first scene location (The Office) and creates a notation system in regards to the camera. There are letters for the four walls that indicate which wall will need to be removed for this particular shot (thus the minus sign in front of the letter). The first shot has the office enclosed, but the remaining either involve the Front wall removed or the Back wall removed. I also have notations as to if the camera is still (Full stop) or moving (In motion), and the further notations if the shot will be Stop motion or Video. Finally, I have the beginnings of lines from the script to indicate where the shot is in terms of the dialogue.

Sorry, folks. That's all the movie magic I have time for tonight. It's time to turn in and get some sleep before we start toilet training little C.C. tomorrow morning (Ah, the joys of parenthood). G'night!

Next Week: The Gamechanger

Saturday, May 21, 2011

"Ten": The... aw, who am I kiddin'?

No post this week as I'm on the road (And yet, I'm publishing a post. SCIENCE!).

Besides, the world is going to end sometime today, so who has time for LEGO?

See you next Saturday.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

"Ten": The Camera Equipment

The camera I'm using for this project is the same one I used for the other three: A Canon Powershot A570. It has a video option, which will come in handy. Though, as I have already implied, I'm going to try and rely less on video this time out.

When I did the first short, I knew I was going to need a rig to keep the camera steady. It seemed natural to create one out of LEGO that could, if need be, actually attach to the LEGO floor for some shots. Though the rig went through several redesigns in the four years I created it, it's more or less the same basic design:

Nothing fancy here. The key part to the rig is the Technic Engine Cylinder, and the reason it is key is the hole in the middle where a Technic piston would normally go. In this case, it proved the perfect size for the screw I found that matched the threads in the tripod mount at the bottom of the camera. The Technic Engine Cylinder on the other side simply serves to balance the rig out. Matched with some pins and blocks, the rig worked perfectly.

It was a fine build, but it didn't solve problems I needed with higher angle shots. Fortunately, Mrs. Mosley purchased a new digital camera several years ago and it came with a mini tripod, which I will be borrowing for the project.

There is one more piece of equipment to show (and one of which I am quite proud of), but I am going to save that for the post on the first shot two weeks from now. Until then...

In Two Weeks: The Storyboard

Saturday, May 07, 2011

"Ten": The Lesson Plan

Though I came up with most of the film making techniques and tricks on my own the first three times out, I realized with this new one I would need help. Fortunately, as with every other endeavor, there is support to be found on the Internet.

I started by studying those YouTube stop motion films I had come across over the years that I admired. Fancy Pants Productions produces some quality work, including their most famous short, The Force Unleashed. Although I don't plan of having any light sabers in my film, the fight choreography is of great interest to me for my own big fight scene. They also have some lovely tutorials on lighting, camera movement, recording voices and other animation techniques.

Custard Productions is another one of the YouTube LEGO powerhouses. They reached fame very early on when they recreated the Dark Knight trailer in LEGO mere days after the trailer debuted (That's some fast work there, boys). That video went viral and they've been at it ever since showcasing their adherence to violence through a prodigious use of Brickarms.

Then there are the websites devoted to LEGO stop motion. Brickfilms is one I've consulted now and again since I started doing these years ago. Bricks in Motion is another that I discovered only recently and looks very promising. And a special note should be made for LegoMatrix, which is an entire site devoted to one short film that recreates a scene from The Matrix in LEGO. The creators have the entire process broken down by shot-by-shot, which makes for a fascinating study in the stop-motion art.

The lessons don't stop with LEGO, either, as I endeavored to learn the ins and outs of Power Director through their own YouTube channel. Then there are lessons to be learned in regards to Audacity and ZynAddSubFX, which are the excellent (and free) audio editing and production softwares (respectively). Unfortunately, they do not have their own YouTube channels, but plenty of users have posted their own tutorials so I won't have any problems there. (Correction: Someone in the comments corrected me and pointed out there is, indeed a YouTube channel for ZynAddSubFX. Thank you, Paul! I don't know how I missed that.)

The time is now approaching for me to study all this because I will be shooting actual footage very soon.

Next Week: The Camera Equipment

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Chiwetel Ejiofor Quote of the Month: May 2011

I'm going to be quick this month and choose a movie that I haven't seen and never want to see: 2012. And given that I haven't seen it, I'm just pulling one of Ejiofor's lines completely out of context from the IMDb entry and you can have at it:
Adrian Helmsley: "The Director of the Louvre was an enemy of humanity?"