Saturday, 27 February 2010

Take One Painting

Today marks the end of the first 5 weeks of the course here at NFTS and the work is beginning to pick up pace. I have been given the painting for our 'Set Extension' task and had my first production meeting - very low key but I still got to Meet my production designer, who I'll be working with over the course of this module. There is lots to do for this and will be a huge learning experience which is great and I am thoroughly looking forward to jumping in at the deep end.

The Painting is 'Scene In a Courtyard' by the Dutch artist 'Ludolf de Jongh' and is painted using oil on canvas. The painting itself is a traditional scene from Europe and exhibits an everyday occurrence which is perfect for our task. Below is the original, which is a fantastic piece of work and the second image has the 'green screen' areas indicated to show which are the sections which I will be responsible for.

Original Painting

Original with Green Screen Mask

Basically from looking at both of the images, I have been charged with the virtual creation of the background elements, the trees and the hand full of structures that can be seen poking out from behind the wall. I have a few ideas for the look of the buildings and this will be reinforced by another meeting with my Production Designer - Laura sometime next week and see the scale model they have made before the full scale set will be constructed.

I have also given myself a side project, the first thing I noticed when I looked at the painting was that there was a dog. To be honest that was the only thing that I thought about and I have decided to make him. I have begun the modelling stage, although it is proving very tricky, I am making progress and have only realistically spent about 12 hours on it. I plan on finishing him by next week so I can begin the long process of Rigging and animating him. I have been researching rigging and texturing techniques and hopefully will be ready and not let this distract me from the main goal of the set extension. Below is two screen grabs of the Greyhound/Whippet/Lurcher and I have given him the nickname of 'The Duke' - he will be beautiful.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Mr Benson

This week has been dedicated to learning about all aspects of the film industry and I have had the pleasure of being guided through this by a very talented and incredibly warm and honest practitioner - Roy Benson.

Through the week I have been subjected to clips from some of the most famous films ever made to experimental films that only Roy knew about - which was fantastic. He had such a great and refreshing approach to teaching us and I took in so much information that at the end of each session I was exhausted!

Roy Benson told us that he always wanted to get into films and he got his first chance by knocking on doors in Soho and someone gave him that chance. He has worked with many great talents and he had some many stories about the Beatles because he had worked as an editor on the film.

A Hard Day's Night

Roy also worked as a Post Production Supervisor on Rambo 4, although I hadn't seen the film, Roy showed us some of the Rushes from a few scenes and then the completed edited version to show us how much film stock is wasted and how many shots must be covered to give the editor as much choice as possible. Also treated us to a version of the final battle - I was amazed with the technical aspect of the scene and even though the piece lasts for about 5 minutes it took weeks to finish.

Rambo 4

I am so pleased that Roy gave up his time to come and talk to us for the entire week and his stories will be something that I always remember from this and if you ever read this, all I can say is...

Thank you Mr Benson

Terry Gilliam

My first week at NFTS and I was treated to an amazing master class - Terry Gilliam. As soon as he walked into the room everybody went quiet and sat in awe for about an hour. Terry talked about lots of films and picked on a few of his favourites from 'Time Bandits to 12 monkeys'. He discussed his views and opinions on Special effects in films and how he as a director approaches the use of these as visuals.

Terry gave a incredibly honest story of Hollywood and how he likes to do things his way and the pressure that directors get from the money men and studios. The whole talk was a great experience even though I didn't manage to get any questions across I learned a lot from listening to him.