Thursday, September 22, 2011


So I have ideas for a couple of ideas for the Sixty Second Film Festival which closes around the middle of next month. Don't get excited, we all know what can happen to my original ideas.

The first idea is just a little humorous idea where I get play around with a few video concepts in which I've dabbled before, but I want to take it a bit further. The idea is perfectly me ... I mean, really me. As in there will be five characters in the video and I will be all of them. At the same time. You've all seen this, it's a very old idea in both film and TV. The basic idea is to have me on the left side of the screen and me on the right side of the screen at the same time.

It's not a very complex technique to pull off. Basically what you need to do is set your shot of whatever set you intend to use, take a long shot of the set as its empty, then film the two shots; me on the right side then me on the left. In Final Cut I will lay the shot of the empty set on my bottom, or base layer. Then stack the two shots of me, so that I have three shots on top of each other. With just a two shot I can use the Crop tool, wiping away half the empty shot, to reveal both aspects of me. With five me's, it becomes a bit trickier, I will have to use the Crop in accordance with a garbage matte. basically drawing an invisible frame around each character so that all the backgrounds blend in seamlessly.

The post aspect is rather simple. But for this to work, it's the shooting that is the key. If you don't shoot it properly, you can't "fix it in post"

There are a few keys to properly shooting this:

1) Tripod. You have to shoot this on a tripod. Your camera cannot move at all, in any of the shots or the illusion will be shattered. That background is like your canvas, it cannot move or change a bit.

2) Framing. This goes very much with the first point. You have to frame the shot working out where all the instances of you are going to be then lock that shot down. Once it's framed you can't changed it so you really need to be sure you have it right.

3) Blocking. This follows the point number two. You have to think what your characters ... all of the "you's" are going to be doing. You need to be careful that one shot of you doesn't overlap the other. I am no matting wizard and I am no After Affects pro and that's the kind of digital firepower you would need to get as complex as having me shake hands with me .. that ain't happening for this project. But I do want to be able to have conversations with me so I have to know where each instance of me will be in the shot so I can turn as if I'm talking to Victor ..... damn, I could never do this drunk

4) Location. This is important as well. Firstly I need a set large enough to be able to accomadate 4 or 5 of me moving around without overlapping too much. I also need something that I can evenly light, you want to avoid flickering shadows etc. I won't be doing this outside. Besides moving light situations there is too much that can move in the frame, interior is easier.

So I'm seeing if I can shoot in one of Collette's schools, like a corridor , that will give me space and allow me to enter and exit the shot off screen. Stay tuned.

The second concept is still very much nascent. It hinges on Pirandello, a theatrical conceipt of which I am extremely fond. It's a kind of illusion; I am about to fool you, what you are about to see is dramatic, it's not real, but by the time I'm finished, you'll forget that.

The concept involves memory, images, and our attempt to capture the former in the latter. It's becoming what, for me, is a pretty typical production; I will need an actress but she won't really have a character and she really won't be doing anything. Gosh, they line up at my door for these parts.

Anyway, those are the plans. Let's see if any of it pans out

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