Production Diary 1 – EWIST

Exactly Where I Saw Them – Production Diary 1

I thought that as I keep working on the film, I might start a production diary on here to document what I’m doing. Just to catch you up on what’s been going on lately, I’ll run through a couple things quickly.

First, there were the two VFX tests that I uploaded to my social media, as well as to the EWIST page on the website.

This was the gun test. I wanted to be sure that I could make a pistol look realistic going off, so pretended to shoot my brother while he sat on the couch, totally uncaring.

For all of you who want to know how I did it, it was rather simple. In camera, all I’m doing is pretending to pull the trigger and faking a kickback from the pistol. Then, I add in a muzzle flash for a single frame, some smoke coming from the back and the front, and a light effect to go along with the flash image.

Next was the composite. I tracked an image of a mansion onto a shot from a short film I did a couple years ago called Wall. This was a little more difficult, but the result was rather perfect.

I also added some smoke coming out of the chimneys of the mansion image to add some more realism to it. If I wanted to go further, I could add some birds, as well as some green-screened assets of people walking around. I’m planning to use this to set Lucio’s mansion into the shot once I begin filming.

Something to remember when doing this is to keep scale in mind. You have to understand how far your camera is from where you want the object to be, or the final product will look distorted. It was hard to find a proper mansion image, as some of the ones I used were completely out of scale with the shot (the doors were huge when they shouldn’t have been, etc.). That’s why I’ve decided to build a scale version of a mansion out of balsa wood, so I can take shots of it from any angle and any distance I want; this will ensure it always fits into the scene.

This is a more recent test. In the beginning of the film, a little distortion sequence is going to play out with some words spoken in an inhuman voice.

My idea for this was to give the impression that the film is actually playing out on a VHS, almost like some detective found it for evidence, or something along those lines. The beginning of it would be corrupted, in that case, with this bit of static and text. The film isn’t found-footage style, but it’s cool nonetheless. Anyway, you can see what I’m going for in the clip above, though the words will obviously be changed later.

For this one, I just took some distortion assets I had and stuck them together, then I added the text on top. The voices are from a text-to-speech program that I distorted slightly, making the tone sound muffled and almost robotic.

In regards to casting, all but two characters now have actors. Once the full cast is found and headshots are taken, all of that will be released and promoted, etc. I can say that the characters I have now are all perfectly casted, especially since a couple of the actors were the ones I had in mind when writing the characters initially. From what I’ve been working on already, I can tell this film is going to be incredible, so I hope you’re just as excited as I am to see it completed.

Also subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss out on future production diaries. These will be the most in-depth looks at the film so far, until I start moving into video diaries once shooting begins.

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