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Simon K Jones
Force: 27955 | Joined: 1st Jan 2002 | Posts: 11683
There’s a new movie being made in New Zealand and we’ve had the good fortune of being involved right from the start. It’s a slapstick comedy in the grand tradition of Airplane and The Naked Gun and goes by the title of Captain Amazingly Incredible and the Space Vampires from Mars and is written and directed by one Karl Burnett, whom some of you may know as an actor from the long-running Middle-Earth show Shortland Street.
Karl got in touch with us last year as he’s shooting the entire movie against greenscreen, Sin City style, and will be using VisionLab Studio for the bulk of the compositing duties. “The backgrounds will all be drawn in a 2D comic book style,” says Karl, “as will the lighting effects and foregrounds. Think Roger Rabbit, but reversed.”
The right stuff
While Karl Burnett may have been a household name to many during his time on Shortland Street, he’s since moved behind the camera to pursue lifelong passions of writing, directing and sound editing. A decade starring in a major soap opera has its benefits, though, such as generating a wealth of industry contacts that you can draw upon when it comes to personal projects.
This proved to be the case with Boyband, a comedy mini-series about the formation of – you guessed it – a boyband. Originally conceived during downtime on Shortland Street, six years later Karl decided to re-shoot it properly, taking on writer-director duties. The first episode can be downloaded from their website, with the rest of the series available for a small fee. It’s funny stuff and well worth a watch.
Sounds like an idea
While working as boom operator on Shortland Street (having moved from cast to crew) Karl found himself in frequent discussions with Greg Moon, head of the sound department. After working successfully together on Boyband they turned their thoughts to future projects, with the character of Captain Amazingly Incredible emerging from “the deep, dark depths of our twisted minds.”
Once the idea was born, Karl called in a few favours and the project was soon moving forwards with some considerable industry backing. Cameras and other equipment is being provided by South Pacific Pictures (known internationally for the multi-award winning Whale Rider) while a major NZ costume manufacturer is onboard to help create and design the wardrobe.
The movie is set to be a mix of homage and spoof, referencing everything from Flash Gordon to film noir in a hybrid of the detective and superhero genres. “The first goal is national release in theatres,” says Karl. “After that we intend to release the film internationally, although obviously things aren’t always that easy. Of course, the ultimate goal is taking out Golden Globes in every category. Gotta aim high!”
VisionLab Studio is set to be a major part of production, taking on compositing duties as well as creating atmospherics, virtual sets and helping to integrate the required 3D and model work. Karl is something of a veteran of FXhome software, having used one of our earlier products: “I actually made a short feature film using Chromanator, so I’m quite comfortable with the GUI and I just love using the program.” We’ll be sending your cheque in the post at the end of the month, Karl.
A release is a long way off for now, as shooting only just started. We’ll be keeping an eye on the movie throughout production, with a drip-feed of photos, stills and other information as it becomes available.
Next time we’ll hopefully have some concrete details on the cast but, for now, you can enjoy some early costume tests for Captain Amazingly Incredible himself (in a pre-shrink-wrapped outfit), private dick Jack Spartan and their arch enemy, The Evil Doctor.
Stay tuned, folks.