Film

Day One

I don’t care who you voted for in the presidential election, or who you support now. I don’t want this post to turn into a political flame fest. The video below from Cyprien Clément-Delmas while political in nature is also a reflection of really solid editing, cinematography, and pacing. Shot in black and white on 16mm film, Day One is a reflection of the scene in Washington DC on January 20th, 2017. One of the things I really love about this is how the short film descends from calm to anarchy over the course of four and half minutes. It doesn’t choose sides or make a statement about who’s right and who’s wrong, it simply documents what is happening and edits it together in a way that builds tension and discord. This is a great visual lesson in how to edit and pace a film in order to create atmosphere, mood, and tension.

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This Panda is Dancing

Remember life before your smartphone, tablet, and social media? Yeah I know, it’s kind of hard to imagine not being constantly connected anymore. The video below from Max Stossel & Sander van Dijk is a poetic send up about how we have all become addicted to that piece of tech sitting in your hand right now, or waiting to be retrieved from your pocket as soon as you put down whatever tech you are looking at now.

The video itself is great. A nice live action short with really well thought out graphics that have been motion tracked to specific source points in the frame. Solid editing and post work really help to polish this, but the real meat is in the message. A message with a direct call to action at the timewellspent.io website. The blurb before the video pretty much sums up what they are about.

Today apps and media compete in a race to grab our attention. Join a movement to:

  • Live better with more empowering settings for our media and devices.
  • Change incentives so media competes to improve our lives, not get eyeballs.
  • Invent new interfaces that help us to make room for what matters.

A poetic short film by Max Stossel & Sander van Dijk:

In the Attention Economy, technology and media are designed to maximize our screen-time. But what if they were designed to help us live by our values? timewellspent.io

What if news & media companies were creating content that enriched our lives, vs. catering to our most base instincts for clicks?
What if social platforms were designed to help us create our ideal social lives, instead of to maximize time-on site and “likes”?
What if dating apps measured their success in how well they helped us find what we’re looking for instead of in # of swipes?

As technology gets more and more engaging, and as AI and VR become more and more prevalent in our day-to-day lives we need to take a look at how we’re structuring our future.

Time Well Spent is a movement to align technology with our humanity: timewellspent.io

Director, Co-producer, & Visual Effects: Sander van Dijk: sandervandijk.tv

Writer, Co-producer & Lead Actor: Max Stossel: maxstossel.com

Production Company: Yacht Club Films

Director of Photography: Conor Murphy

Color: RCO

Music & Sound Design: Wesley Slover –

Steadicam Operator: Kyle Fasanella

Graphic Artist: Aaron Kemnitzer

CG Artist: Joseph Pistono

Visual Effects Assistant: Chelsea Galen

Roto Assistant: Regina Morgan-Munoz

Lead Actress: Crystal Lee

“DREAM” for the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival

This morning while drinking my coffee I read interesting article on the Huffington Post site about how humans are close to killing off two-thirds of the wildlife on the planet within the next fifty years.  Kind of a depressing way to start my morning, but still an interesting read.  Then this afternoon while cruising around on Vimeo I came across the video below, which is kind of a depressing way to end the afternoon. None the less it is a beautiful animated short for the WWF and it ties directly to what I read this morning. Produced by Zombie Studio “Dream” was featured in the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, showing four animals that are facing extinction. They tell their stories through the words of “I Dreamed a Dream” a song you might recognize from the musical Les Misérables. The animation and styling of the short has a great look and feel to it, and while at times it can get a little heavy-handed, the message is still very powerful. If you have a large monitor and a powerful enough system, run it full screen or watch it on your large TV.

Tony Zhou on How an Editor Thinks and Feels?

The weekend is here and in my neck of the woods its going to be unseasonably cool and rainy. That means I’ll be spending plenty of time inside reading and watching videos. One that I’ll be spending ten minutes with is the video below. Tony Zhou How does an Editor Think and Feel?. Zhou has been a professional editor for ten years, and in this ten minute video he discusses things like, How do you know when to cut?” Is it instinctual? Is it experience? Is it training? So how does an editor think and feel? I’m going to find out.

A VFX Breakdown of “Deadpool”

First a disclaimer. I have not seen the movie Deadpool and probably won’t. That doesn’t mean that I can’t be impressed with the VFX in the film. Take a look at the VFX breakdown below and you’ll understand why. There is so much computer graphics, and post work going on that it makes you ask, is this a live action movie, or an animation featuring some live characters in the scenes? The movie might have been bad (this is what my friends have told me so don’t get mad at me), but the VFX are pretty damn spectacular.

“Deadpool” marks the beginning of a new era for superhero films, and one sequence in particular was key to setting the tone. This is an in-depth VFX breakdown reel showcasing the behind-the-scenes efforts by the Atomic Fiction team. The work involved creating computer generated characters, vehicles, and an entire urban environment, for the thrilling car chase that kicks off this new franchise!

Special thanks to Tim Miller, Jonathan Rothbart, our friends at Blur, and 20th Century Fox for the opportunity to contribute to these sequences.

Music Credit: Deadpool (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

© 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.
X-Men Characters and Likenesses TM & © 2016 Marvel Characters, Inc. All rights reserved.

Loss of Control.

I used to own a motorcycle and ride on a regular basis. It’s been years though since I have. As a former owner and rider I am keenly aware of motorcycles when I am out driving in my car, and do my best to keep a safe distance and take added road safety measures. Unfortunately not everyone does though. The PSA below doesn’t involve a motorcycle and a car, but it does show the dangers that motorcyclist encounter, and does an epic job of driving home the potential outcome of an accident. Produced by QUAD productions for La Chose, director Bruno Aveillan, QUAD, and post production house FIX Studio have created a powerful spot. The voice over anchors the message and drives it home as the 60 second spot draws to a close. And as heavy as the message is, this has a fabulous visual look to it. The post production work is so solid, and all of it helps pull this together. 

Unity Gaming Engine’s “Adam”.

Modern film making is less than 100 years old. Think about this, the first movie with synced sound is 89 years old. The first feature length color motion picture dates to 1914. In 102 years the industry has seen massive changes in technology and the way film making is created. Looking to the future you have to think about how gaming works, realistic images get rendered on screen in real-time with real world dynamics.

Recently Unity showed a demo of what the future might hold for the film industry. Not all of it, but definitely some of it. Using just $3000.00 of hardware, running Unity’s gaming engine, they rendered out the video below to a live audience in real-time. The quality is pretty damn amazing especially when you think back to what gaming was like just ten years ago.

Unity’s film The is ADAM, and it’s a multi-part series to be released over the course of the next few months. Each segment is being developed to test each beta release of the Unity gaming engine and additional features, quality, and improved render capabilities. It is all part of a way to demo the new Unity 5.4 and the cinematic sequencer currently being developed, along with an experiments in implementing of real-time believable volumetric area lighting. The Unity demo shows off the physics simulation tool CaronteFX and the quality of the natural physics it produces.

Pretty impressive stuff. The full length short will be shown at Unite Europe 2016 in Amsterdam.