We at Fighting Badgers are pretty new to this film-making malarkey, but being inexperienced is no excuse for not getting stuck in!
Since finishing principal photography just over a month ago, we certainly haven’t been sitting on our hands – our editor is based outside London, so we’ve been sending hard-drives full of precious footage through the post (so much quicker than sending over the internet given the massive amount of footage!) and waiting with baited breath for every rough cut that comes back. It’s been fascinating and exciting to see what he comes up with, especially as he was not present during the shoot, so is working purely from the script and the very detailed logs we took during filming. We wait and anticipate the first full rough cut!
Daniel, the director has some editing experience himself, and has been cracking on with getting the trailer ready, and I’ve been privileged enough to get to see some of the inside workings. It’s a tough process! He not only directed The Ipanema File, but also wrote it – this is his baby, and selecting 2-3min worth of shots which both tell enough of the story to interest an audience and convey the complex tone of the film is a bloody tricky task!
He is taking on the vfx and grading load, which in this age of digital film-making is a serious business. I’ve seen myself how important it is to have someone who really understands what you need from a shot for effects such as sky replacement, day-night conversion, and especially green-screen/insertion of digital elements. It’s not as simple as just sticking up a green screen, lighting it well and hoping for the best – he recently was working on another project involving a green-screen replacement, and discovered that tracking markers are all very well and nice, but if you use a shallow depth of field to shoot whatever is happening in the foreground, these markers can be out of focus and next to useless. the crew who shot the footage no doubt thought they had it under control, but only by having someone who has been through the process of replacement and understands what is needed will you get the most out of the shot.
So what sorts of things has he been getting upto so far? Well for starters, a little bit of object removal! Sometimes getting things in shot that really shouldn’t be there is unavoidable, especially when it comes down to losing sound quality, of having a mic in shot, so here’s a wee tutorial Daniel made on how to quickly and easily get rid of this sort of thing:
Another important thing for us is the day for night transition – working under very tight time constraints with over 50% of the scenes taking place at night, we had no choice but to go down the day for night route, which meant firstly shooting with this in mind, using filters and adjusting the colour temperature etc., and then running it through a whole bunch of manipulations to get it to look just right. Raw day-for-night footage can look a bit weird, but once you know what to expect and what you will be doing with it afterwards, it all makes sense, as this wee video shows!
One of the major jobs will be transforming the beach at Walton-on-the-Naze into somewhere a little more tropical, but we took some test footage during a pre-shoot recce to check it was a realistic plan, and lucky, it definitely seems to be!
Part of the fun with vfx is experimenting – the possibilities are endless, and it just takes an idea and some playing around to realise a vision – here are some tests Daniel has been playing around with, obviously not actual scenes from The Ipanema File… or perhaps we will be seeing an ocean liner cruising through the London Underground… Joseph Day does inhabit an unusual world after all!
Anyway, it’s all go here – when I left for work this morning, Daniel had already been busily removing noise, balancing the whites, and makes the trailer shots look as awesome as they deserve to, so hopefully you’ll soon be able to see the product of all this hard work!
Til the next time…