All Posts in Øystein Moe
Still image from film credits (Design by Knut Erik Øverjord)
Just before re-visiting New York for the summer I've finally managed to "finish" (apart from minor details with color) my short film "Return to Sender". On that note, I would like to share a post-it note that has been sticking around during the long period of making this film and it has proved to be a very useful one too. Unfortunately, I can't remember where I discovered these wise words:
Set yourself a goal.
Set yourself a deadline.
Define success at the start.
Make a plan to make it happen.
Build a team to help you.
Get the team to sign up, head and heart, to the plan.
Understand there will be hurdles, barriers. Accept them. But defeat them.
Work each day toward getting things done. A little can do a lot.
Keep the end goal in your mind at all times.
Understand the importance of your energy. Your stubbornness. Your persistence.
Half way through a project is always the lowest point. You are neither at the start, nor at the end. Energy dips, morale is low. Have a day off.
The next day remind yourself why you started it in the first place.
Focus. Focus. Focus. But focus on the most important thing.
Tell the world what you are doing.
Tell the world your deadline.
Celebrate progress. Any progress.
Never give up.
Look back at how far you have traveled. It will surprise you.
It will also tell you that you are closer to your goal than ever before.
Then one day, after many, many days, you will complete your goal.
You got there in the end.
Your words and your deeds are one. Most people in life are just talkers. But you are a doer. Well done.
A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has helped making this film!
Still images and a clip from the film will be up on my website soon.
In between adding the final touches like snow and fog to the exterior shots in my film I am working on adding some "last minute" details to certain scenes. I've made a fetus collection (mini sculptures) that show the different stages of human development before birth.
These fetus creatures will grow out from a seed via umbilical cord. Each time the test tube glows a new development stage of the fetus will be revealed.
The mini sculptures are made of "Fimo" some sort of plasticine that hardens when you leave it in the oven for 30min. Just before shooting I sprayed them with water to give them a shine and to make them look more realistic.
Camera setup for shoot
Øystein Moe and I shot them yesterday with the RED camera using lighting techniques to reveal them from the darkness.
Screen shot of test tubes scene with fetus missing.
I am currently editing and comping the shots into the scene with the test tubes. Creepy!
Regents Park, London
Whilst in places like Zurich and London summer isn't far away, we "Norwegians" have to deal with late March snow storms blowing around the studio corners whilst we're shooting the details of my film. Summer couldn't feel further away.
Still image from Sky shoot.
We have spent some time shooting the remaining sky backgrounds. Some of the things we've managed to re-create: star sky, thunderclouds with lightening, overcast sky, snowy night sky, bright sky and a sun-rise. To achieve this, we used several canvas pieces that I painted, cotton clouds and the superb lighting techniques of Øystein and Stian (considering the by now extremely limited budget). What we haven't managed to re-create yet is the Aurora Borealis. Strangely enough, I haven't yet even seen the real Northern Lights even though I've been living in Norway for a while now.
For the star sky shoot I painted a wooden plate black and drilled different sized holes into it.
Øystein and myself then shot the black plate with the RED camera and a light from the back so that we got some lens flares and other pretty light effects.
Fixing the lights for the cloud shots.
The cloud doctors testing LED lights.
Stian Eriksen playing god with some LED lights.
The final picture for the thundercloud shot.
The shoot is now almost complete and my plan is to update the film edit until the end of next week. In April, I'll be able to focus on finishing the detail work and coloring whilst my collaborators in London can properly start working with sound design and music. Exciting times!
The action included heart balloons being poked, throwing glitter and confetti, dressing up balloons wit hats and making clouds with cotton wool.
I recently got inspired by the wonderful miniature work of Matthew Albanese and decided to try using some of his technical tips to make my own backgrounds. Painting canvas and making cotton clouds fits in better with the rest of the miniature shots than using stock footage or painting the backgrounds in Photoshop.
It looks awesome. More to come in a few weeks time. Thank you again to all of you amazing people who have been helping me so much to make this film!
We've managed to shoot the last missing detail for my short film before I'm taking off to New York. Stian Eriksen was so kind and offered to build the miniature plane. I've painted it in bright colors to set a contrast to the landscape.
Today, Stian, Øystein and I shot the plane in front of a green screen.
At first we tried hanging the plane on some silk threads but we soon switched to using the green wooden sticks that I had painted beforehand.
The shot of the plane will soon be combined with the miniature landscape.
I'm very excited since we've finally completed the shoot! First and foremost, a BIG THANK YOU to Øystein and Stian for their amazing help with cinematography and camera. 12.5 days of shoot spread over June to September for a short film of 10 - 15 min. CRAZY!
We had to re-create a lot of difficult scenes with fake walls, props and miniatures instead of just shooting real rooms and landscapes. Nevertheless, I think the time we've all invested will pay off in the end. The final short film will have a unique visual language.
We're at a point in production where we have at least temporarily exhausted all the budget. We've been feeling this fact during the last two and a half days when shooting the remaining miniatures.
We came up with some interesting set-ups in order to create the desired framing of miniatures and background objects.
A floating mountain.
At first, we considered renting a video mixer to have live view for lining up the miniature shots with the life action shots. For budget reasons, we came up with a different (not necessarily easier) solution. We captured the miniature footage with the RED camera and overlaid/keyed the previously shot footage with the miniature shots in final cut until we got the angles to match up.
No, the film is NOT about zombies.
Stian and Øystein adjusting the focus.
It's amazing to see that miniatures built in a scale of 1:6 look pretty realistic in the final picture.
The final image on the monitor. Angle and position are adjusted according to where the actor is going to be placed in post production.
The miniature seen from the other side. I removed some of the walls and attached others.
Of course there were some pretty tricky bits that had to be figured out. Such as the animation of the door opening and the shadow man sliding into the door frame.
Behind the scene.
The coming weeks will be all about post production. Walls need to be extended, miniature shots need to be combined with life action shots, sky needs to be animated, effects like snow, smoke, or ice need to be added, and and and. The list seems endless.
The place we've been shooting at as seen from the outside, an old petrol station that's been converted into a studio.
Due to budget limitations we spent the first day finding a solution for how to do the camera movement from the house on the island out into the sea past the icebergs. Øystein and Stian set up the dolly with the Red camera hanging on it. At the end of the day we all had to admit that it was impossible to get a steady movement with the 15 kg heavy RED camera dangling forth and back.
The following morning they arrived with a good solution. We used a dolly with a crane on which we fixed the RED camera upside down.
This proofed to be a great solution since at last we were able to do a smooth tilt movement from the house on the hill down into the sea past the icebergs.
Øystein and Stian created lighting that ranged from bright morning light to overcast sky to snowstorm to moonlit night to stormy night. Also, we had one shot in which we captured a time-lapse from night to day.
Me placing the moon.
Sometimes we had to cheat a little in order to achieve my vision. In the shot below, for example, we had to place the island lower than the sea in order to get the right angle for making the icebergs appear more epic.
In post production, I'll be digitally painting and animating snowflakes and textures as well as adding footage of sky, mist and clouds. Also, I'll be blurring parts of the footage according to weather conditions in each shot. In mid September we'll finally be shooting the last part, the remaining exterior shots and the interior miniatures. In the meantime, I'll be continuing with editing and post production.