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DROP ZONE-Copernicus

Posted: Wed, 9th May 2007, 10:41pm

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Soonis

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Greetings all!

This is my first posting on this forum, but I've owned FXLab Pro for over a year now.

I have been working on a Student/FanFilm set in the ALIENS universe for the past 6 years.
We finished principle photography at the beginning of April, and post-production truely began several weeks ago (I had to buy an HDV deck...ouch).
The entire movie has been shot on Blue Screen (not by choice, mind you, but by necessity of budget constraints).

The Premise?

LV-214, a WY Mining Colony has sent a distress call. With reports of corporate sabotage and news that surviving minors have taken refuge in one of the colony's many maintenance tunnels. A small contingent of US Colonial Marines are sent to LV-214 to rescue the company miners, but when they arrive nothing is what it seems...

Early Promo Artwork


Early Set Design


Raw Storyboard (Sample)


'Rough' Background Render
Textures were thrown together in roughly an hour + 1 hour for building the set in 3D with LW. Final textures will be photo-realistic.


Some Production Stills






So, please... sound off if you would like to know more.

I could definately use some help with specially made "presets" for FX Lab, but any other kinds of comments and questions are, of course, welcome.

I'm looking forward to finishing this beast (short-film) and if anyone is interested in helping... I can use any and all help I can get. smile

This film is STRICTLY NOT for profit. Everyone has volunteered their time, talents, and recources to seeing this film through. It is by no means, for financial gain to anyone among its cast or crew. Once completed, it will be distributed at no cost to any who wish to view it.

Sorry... I just had to put that out there.

Best Regards,

--Mike
Little Ferret Films
Posted: Wed, 9th May 2007, 11:20pm

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Arktic

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eek

Man, that looks amazing! More info! More info!

I'm a sucker for Aliens, and if this is anywhere near as good as these previews look, then... wow.

Cheers,
Arktic.
Posted: Thu, 10th May 2007, 12:20am

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Soonis

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Arktic wrote:


Man, that looks amazing! More info! More info!

Cheers,
Arktic.
Well thank you... every bit of encouragement gives me the will to press on. It can start to take it's toll on a non-profit sci-fi venture that took 6 years of pre-production.

Ok, that said, more info... Do you prefer pictures or words?

Well, being that this has been in the works for over 6 years now, we had quite a number of fun things take place before actual production.

First Teaser Poster


Early Costume Test (before Concept Art was complete)


Our CREW Patch


T-shirt Logo for our March 17th Shoot Day


Still taken 2nd Shoot Day, March 2007


Picture taken August 2006


All of the Armor & several Rifles were built by myself. The smartgun prop used in the film was built by my director of photography. I don't say this to toot my own horn, but to point out that we didn't just go and find this stuff on the internet and buy it. The majority of what you'll see on screen is made by fans of the series who worked on this short. We're very excited to be so close to some sort of closure. lol.

Format:
- 16.9 Widescreen
- 1080i/60 HDV (current form)
- Shot using a Sony Z1U and Sony MiniHDV Master Tape.
- It is being edited using Final Cut Pro.

The following is a Teaser we put together - 2 1/2 years ago. So please not that we did not have the current cast at the time, so several non-actors are in this.

Feel free to view it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCl1U1l6Srk

Or download it to your own computer here in .mpg format.
http://visionforgestudios.com/dzc/index.htm

Additional notes about the Teaser - it was shot against a green screen and compositing was done using Vegas 6 so it's not so great, and the green against green doesn't help any either. The backgrounds were created by our director of photography using LW at a total work time of about 2-3 hours. So it was fast and dirty. It gets the point across though. smile

A more up to date and "true" Teaser will be available soon. smile

Cheers

Posted: Thu, 10th May 2007, 12:04pm

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Redhawksrymmer

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That looks really cool! I love Aliens as well, and this looks very, very nice indeed. biggrin
Posted: Thu, 10th May 2007, 12:29pm

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Simon K Jones

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This looks like an exciting production - love that alien suit. Did you make that as well? Costumes and props all look fantastic.

What's on the screen in the alien pic?

Keep us posted, this definitely sounds like a very promising production. When do you expect to release the movie?
Posted: Thu, 10th May 2007, 3:38pm

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mercianfilm

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Crikey! 6 years?! You must be crazy! biggrin But crazy is gooood. It looks absolutely amazing! Cannot wait for it's release!
Posted: Thu, 10th May 2007, 4:36pm

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Merrick

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What kind of presets do you want? I'd love to help with this, It looks so cool!
Posted: Thu, 10th May 2007, 5:06pm

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The Siege

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It looks pretty amazing! 6 years of work, hats off to you. Hope to see the final result and maybe some more pics of behind the scenes stuff:)
Posted: Thu, 10th May 2007, 5:22pm

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Garrison

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Man, I can dig it! Keep us posted!
Posted: Thu, 10th May 2007, 5:49pm

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Soonis

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First off... Thanks for all the positive energy guys. I look forward to releasing this for the very fact that its by Aliens fans for the fans.

This looks like an exciting production - love that alien suit. Did you make that as well?
Yes and no. The Alien suit is from molds that were made off of one of the stunt suits from Aliens.

These parts were then trimmed, repaired, some rebuilt, placed and secured as appropriate (irronically) by the person who eventually ended up playing the alien. So we bought the laytex pieces from someone else, but it was built and made 'practical' for use, by us.

What's on the screen in the alien pic?
I'm not sure exactly what you mean, actually. I'll be glad to answer though if I understood the question better.

Behind the Alien is an actor playing the Smartgunner, if that's what you mean? smile
Keep us posted, this definitely sounds like a very promising production.
Most definately! biggrin
When do you expect to release the movie?
Too dangerous for me to answer that question right now. Our producer wants it in the can and ready for distribution (free of course) by early July.
The reality, however, is that I am still 'capturing' 17+ hours of footage to make a 13-15 minute short.
After my final selection of which takes I have to hand copies in 1080i format over to two people - the Compositor and my DP (who's also building the 3D backgrounds) to do the 'motion capture' for each take, so that any real camera movement can be mimicked and matched to the 3D backgrounds.
After the two of them have completed their work (compositing, motion capture and adding of backgrounds), it comes back to myself for the final edit.
I'm scrambling to get these takes captured in order to hand them off asap, so I can begin to work on sound while their doing their parts.
Never an idle moment... but so short to long... wink I really can't say, but we have a deadline of July.
Any prayers and help are always welcome. smile
What kind of presets do you want? I'd love to help with this, It looks so cool!
There's no telling if my "Maya guy" is going to bail on me or leave me hanging at the last minute, so some custom Presets would be awesome (I could just bypass him entirely):
- Acid Blood Spray
- Smoke to accompany the acid spray
- Sparks from a busted power conduit
- Rolling dust from the APC arrives (PM me for more details)

Also any volunteers to assist with needed Sound FX, would ROCK! It would be a great help. smile


I don't expect anything though, but any help is GREATLY appreciated and just makes this project better... not to mention closer to completion. lol. wink

--Mike

~Little Ferret Films~
Posted: Thu, 10th May 2007, 5:54pm

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Garrison

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I'll take a crack at the sound fx.
Posted: Thu, 10th May 2007, 5:59pm

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Soonis

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Garrison wrote:

I'll take a crack at the sound fx.
Hi Garrison, please - drop me a PM of what kind of FX you're interested in.

I have a list, I left at home of all the foley and Sound FX we need... but if you tell me what you're interested in, I can let you know what I remember (without the master list). smile

Thanks!

--Mike

P.S. - OH... Tarn, did you mean this set up we had?

It's a PC laptop with a program called DV Rack, next to our standard Sony Monitor. DV Rack provided us with a Live Capture capability as we were taping. So we had options of "reviewing tape" very quickly or "showing" an actor why something wasn't working the way he was currently doing it. smile
Posted: Thu, 10th May 2007, 6:36pm

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DavidLittlefield

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This looks great! Hope to see a newer trailer soon. I'm sure you'll find a lot of help here. Best of luck to you and your crew!
Posted: Thu, 10th May 2007, 7:32pm

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mercianfilm

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Please, more screenshots!
Posted: Thu, 10th May 2007, 7:57pm

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jmax

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This is a very nice production you've got here. You've obviously paid a lot of attention to detail on the props, props for that. (Ha.... ha....) I also love the tagline: "Underground everyone can here you scream." Classy. How long did it take you to come up with that?
Posted: Thu, 10th May 2007, 8:04pm

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Soonis

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jmax wrote:

This is a very nice production you've got here. You've obviously paid a lot of attention to detail on the props, props for that. (Ha.... ha....) I also love the tagline: "Underground everyone can here you scream." Classy. How long did it take you to come up with that?
Three seconds probably... but the story has remained mostly the same since its inception, because it was originally going to be called - "The Bare Ditch Project", a Parody of Aliens/Blair Witch and was silly and no low budget. Since we were originally going to shoot in the large storm drains near where I live, changing "In Space No One Can Hear You Scream"... just seemed to become "Underground..."

You get the idea. smile We try not to take ourselves too seriously. wink

As for more pictures... here's some of "The Set"

In the beginning (Day 1 & 2)...


Saint Patrick's Day weekend (Day 3 & 4)...


By Day 5, we had finally been able to expand the blue-screen as wide as it was gonna get.


Posted: Fri, 11th May 2007, 4:36pm

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Merrick

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Soonis wrote:


What kind of presets do you want? I'd love to help with this, It looks so cool!
There's no telling if my "Maya guy" is going to bail on me or leave me hanging at the last minute, so some custom Presets would be awesome (I could just bypass him entirely):
[b]- Acid Blood Spray
- Smoke to accompany the acid spray
- Sparks from a busted power conduit
- Rolling dust from the APC arrives (PM me for more details)
It sounds like what you want is stock footage. Try http://www.detonationfilms.com/UnitK.htm. Also' you could film your own against black and composite it in Elab.
Posted: Fri, 11th May 2007, 4:41pm

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Soonis

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It sounds like what you want is stock footage. Try http://www.detonationfilms.com/UnitK.htm. Also' you could film your own against black and composite it in Elab.
The link doesn't seem to work, but you're right... I probably need some stock footage.

Edit: Nvm... I just went to the home page... Thanks!
WOW... that stuff is awesome!


By the way... is there a Preset out there that will change greens to blues? :o

Cheers
Posted: Sat, 12th May 2007, 2:01am

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Merrick

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You could use the "hue shift" grading filter. Of course this would shift all of your other hues too, though.
Posted: Sat, 12th May 2007, 3:18pm

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Soonis

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Merrick World wrote:

You could use the "hue shift" grading filter. Of course this would shift all of your other hues too, though.
Thanks MW. I had wanted to keep the reds but change the greens to blues... since we shot in front of a blue-screen we couldn't use blue gels... for obvious reasons.

Looks like I'll just have to stick with Greens and Reds for the third Act's lighting. Maybe some other technique will come to our attention. smile It was just a side-thought I've had... never hurts to ask around, right?

Gracias Amigo,
Posted: Tue, 15th May 2007, 7:43pm

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Merrick

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It's worth playing around with anyway. Green and blue are very close on the color wheel so I bet you could pull it off.
Posted: Tue, 15th May 2007, 9:13pm

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Soonis

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Merrick World wrote:

It's worth playing around with anyway. Green and blue are very close on the color wheel so I bet you could pull it off.
Thanks Merrick. smile I'll give that a try. I guess my still brain isn't altogether functioning as I work on this. crazy

Some more pics from the shoot...

Actors adapting well to "Hurry up and Wait," wink



Figuring out blocking...


Our synthetic's head... twisted
Posted: Wed, 16th May 2007, 8:00am

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Simon K Jones

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Soonis wrote:

Thanks MW. I had wanted to keep the reds but change the greens to blues... since we shot in front of a blue-screen we couldn't use blue gels... for obvious reasons.
In CompositeLab or VisionLab You could try putting two layers of the clip on the timeline, then keying out everything except the greens from the top one and then hue shifting it. The lower clip would retain the normal colours.

I've no idea how well that would work, but it might be worth a try.
Posted: Wed, 16th May 2007, 7:51pm

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mercianfilm

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Those shots look absolutely amazing! sooo cannot wait! The studio- is it yours or ..well someone elses?
Posted: Wed, 16th May 2007, 9:04pm

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Soonis

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Scribble07 wrote:

Those shots look absolutely amazing! sooo cannot wait!
Neither can I. wink Thanks, though. smile

The studio- is it yours or ..well someone elses?
The studio was ours for a month. We leased a property that was an industial warehouse with offices up front for a single month. We used the warehouse area to set up shop and used the offices as storage, changing room, wardrom & makeup, etc, etc.

Almost all of the signage was gone, so I made some up, using many of those seen in Aliens inside the colony. It's just something silly we did that actually helped a lot during the shoot.

The Ladies and Mens rooms did not have signs so I did these up.
(Men's room is a modification off of signage in Aliens- had green background)



Breakroom signage (directly seen in Aliens)


Wardrobe/Makeup Room


Prop Storage...


There's a bunch more, but I won't bore you with them... lol.

Thanks for the encouragement gents!

Tarn wrote:

...I've no idea how well that would work, but it might be worth a try.
Thanks Tarn, I'll give that a try once I get the footage back - composited with backgrounds. smile Woohoo!
Posted: Thu, 17th May 2007, 5:38am

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Wizard

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Hello Soonis, welcome to the forums. So far the promotional artwork and production stills you have posted look very promising. Like the others have said, they look great, and have certainly done their job arousing curiosity about this project.

I look forward to seeing the final product and any other glimpses at pre/post production you may have. Be sure to keep us informed with this project, and I wish you luck with its completion.

Looks good.
Wizard.
Posted: Thu, 17th May 2007, 5:53am

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ben3308

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You may have already mentioned this, but how much was your total production, excluding the Z1 and tapes.

I can't believe this is all out of pocket or out of love of the genre. Jeez! What devotion!
Posted: Thu, 17th May 2007, 6:53am

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B3N

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This looks amazing, I am also a fan of Alien so I guess you've entered a Alien lover community smile.

Props look amazing and it sounds like an intresting set up/storyline and 6 years of work on it should be enough to make it utterly outstanding hopefully.
The trailer was great as well although the 3D spaceship didn't look to good as it was a bit dark and needs work but that was the old trailer no doubt you've changed it now biggrin.

Can't wait for this and the most important question for us all...Will it be avalible on DVD or will it be realesed in the cinema?

Good luck Soonis and good luck to Garrison on his ADR, i have heard some of the sounds and they are pretty good, keep it up wink

B3N
Posted: Thu, 17th May 2007, 5:43pm

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Soonis

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Wizard wrote:

Hello Soonis, welcome to the forums.

Be sure to keep us informed with this project, and I wish you luck with its completion.
Thanks Wizard, its nice to be involved with the community finally.

Had my head burried in this project for so long... thank you all for the warm, kind reception. That doesn't usually happen on most forums. smile

B3N wrote:

Can't wait for this and the most important question for us all...Will it be avalible on DVD or will it be realesed in the cinema?
We will be making a limited run of DVDs for friends, family and fans, yes. The DVDs will be free, but there will be a charge for shipping/mail...but that's it.

If you mean, in FXHome's cinema? Yes, most definately. If you mean the cinema as in theater play, no it won't be going anywhere except for free on the net.

Ben3308 wrote:

You may have already mentioned this, but how much was your total production, excluding the Z1 and tapes.


Um, I do not remember if I have answered this, but I'd rather not give out full numbers.
1) I don't think its appropriate/polite.
2) I do NOT want to sound like I'm bragging.
3) It's taken 6 1/2 years of preproduction... it was expensive getting this ready. It was expensive getting this shot.

Thats really all I should say, other than we "borrowed" the Z1U, which helped with the cost of production.

Ben3308 wrote:

I can't believe this is all out of pocket or out of love of the genre. Jeez! What devotion!
Or... insanity or stupidity... depending on how you look at it. wink

Either way... it was a tremendous learning experience - that's for sure.
Posted: Thu, 17th May 2007, 8:11pm

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Merrick

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Soonis wrote:

Or... insanity or stupidity... depending on how you look at it.
“A person needs a little madness, or else they never dare cut the rope and be free.” - Nikos Kazantzakis
Posted: Thu, 17th May 2007, 9:29pm

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Soonis

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Thanks Merrick. smile

Wizard wrote:

...any other glimpses at pre/post production you may have
Well, something I can share from preproduction is all the work we did on the environment and setting. We had some WY black patches made, like the one on Aaron's cap in ALIEN 3.

Then going off of the Furry 161 patch in ALIEN 3, I came up with a variation for our Company Miners, for their coveralls and shirts.

Unfortunately for me, the person who I entrusted getting these first patches done, was more interested in profit and did not tell the maker that these were to just be a limited run, and so they are available easily if you look on the net. Disappointing for me, good for any who wish to get some.

After the Colony Patch was settled on and in the works, we went to work on the details of the Marines. First, was their ship patch, similar to that of the Sulaco.

Then Dropship Nose-Art... smile

While we were at it, we did up the Dropship-02 nose art, despite it not being seen in the film... (we're strange...)

When the above artwork is used on a 3D or physical model, the dropship silhouette in the background will not be present. smile

All these designs were made into fully embroidered patches including our own revised version of the Screaming Eagle patch, with more accurate colors and stars.

Partly as a morale booster, I had the dropship artwork made into patches, as well. smile


Well... that's all I got at the moment. Everything else would either spoil the best suprises or be more of the same. The real work takes place at home, once I'm off of work. All my posts here are pretty much to keep the fires burning so I stay excited to work on it after work ends.

Six (almost Seven now) years is a long time to keep your enthusism up... or at least... actually, it's really hard to keep going when none of your crew are participating as they agreed. Ya know?
I don't know... razz I'm just babeling now..

Cheers all.
Posted: Thu, 17th May 2007, 9:47pm

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Garrison

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Nice props....

I hope the reaction here has renewed your passion for making/finishing this.

Everything is so promising, and I'll definitely root for this one.

"Hey Vasquez, you ever been mistaken for a man?"

"No, have you?"
Posted: Tue, 6th Nov 2007, 5:54pm

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Soonis

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Hi everyone,

Well to my complete frustration and shame, this project has surpassed it's 7 Year mark. sad

I did think it was time for some updates. Here are some quick glimpses into the 3D backgrounds. (Please note other than the shape of the corridors, the textures and lighting is all very ROUGH still.)





Also, as many have you noticed I still have not posted the new Teaser for this film. This is due to the fact that my compositor has walked from the project after sitting on the 8 shots I gave him for 5 months.

Anyways... this update is not encouraging. However, I will be picking up Composite Lab Pro or just upgrade to Vision Lab Studio and start in on compositing the 1080i HD footage myself.

Thanks for letting me babble for a bit. wink

Cheers
Posted: Tue, 6th Nov 2007, 6:25pm

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mercianfilm

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Wow! still- they are amazing! The update IS encouraging! I love to see anything that people do- however small or dull (Not saying yours is dull of course! Just using it as an example) i really do hope you manage to get this completed- all the devotion and time spent on it- would be a shame if it got dropped in post-prod!

Good luck with everything!

Sam
Posted: Tue, 6th Nov 2007, 7:02pm

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Simon K Jones

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Sorry to hear about the production problems you've been having! Nevertheless, it sounds like things are still progressing. You might want to hunt around a bit, you might find another good compositor to help you out around here, depending on what you need.
Posted: Tue, 6th Nov 2007, 11:35pm

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Soonis

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Sam, Tarn,

Thank you both. smile Your responses were very encouraging.

Yes, always making progess on some level on this... and it will be done. I'd rather commit suicide than quit this after 7 year... LOL!
Gosh that number makes me sick...

Well, at this point I am open to assistance from anyone in the community with compositing experience. Before I was hesitant and didn't want to share much, because I wanted it all to be a suprise for everyone once it was posted here.

However, the idea of help and participation from within the community is really sounding like what I want right now. Too many people have lost interest or flaked on me and I could really use some help.

You guys have always been so warm and welcoming to me. I would be happy to Out-Source composite work to several of you for certain scenes.

Also, I don't know (yet) if this makes it easier or harder, but I don't necessarily need a composite... I really need clean "plate"/Alpha of the actors pulled from the blue-screens. As Alphas we can then manipulate the background to match the Alpha or the Alphas to match the foreground. smile
Someone stop me if I'm smoking Jelly Beans...on this...

The backgrounds are incomplete at the moment. So all true compositing will be done at a later date. Am I making sense or just babbling? wink

Again... thank you all for your kind words of encouragement and your experience.

As you were!
Posted: Wed, 7th Nov 2007, 1:47pm

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SketchWork

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You have some nice material there. I am happy to help out by doing some compositing work for you. My company is quite busy at the moment, but I'm sure we can help you with some shorter sequences.

Let me know.
Posted: Wed, 7th Nov 2007, 7:19pm

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Soonis

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Thank you all, who have offered your assistance.

This might actually get done! biggrin (With your help, that is.)

I am curious... I have the New Teaser up and ready to go, however there are no backgrounds. Would you guys like me to post it anyways without the backgrounds, as a "work in progress," or just wait till the Teaser is truely completed? smile

Your thoughts, opinions? haha
Posted: Wed, 7th Nov 2007, 8:35pm

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tyguy2021

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I may also be able to do some sequences. PM me.
Posted: Wed, 7th Nov 2007, 10:19pm

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Garrison

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C'mon, let's help and get this thing done man!!!
Posted: Thu, 8th Nov 2007, 12:12am

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Dead Iris

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Holy flying crap! The weapons look amazing!

I'm sorry to hear about your compositor. If I was more experienced in filmmaking I would totally help you out but I'm.. just a... noob... *breaks down and cries*

If you can (when you get time that is) you absolutely must Must MUST post how you made those weapons! They are freakin' awsome!

Good luck with the film. And I vote to put the trailer up anyway.
Posted: Thu, 8th Nov 2007, 12:51pm

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mercianfilm

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I would prefer to be blown away by the full teaser rather tha have a work in progress- i'm certain it's very good without the compositing- i'd just like to see it completed biggrin That's my opinion anywya biggrin

Good luck with the final stages!

Sam
Posted: Thu, 8th Nov 2007, 5:30pm

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Soonis

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PM Sent smile

Garrison wrote:

C'mon, let's help and get this thing done man!!!
"Alright people, let's move like we've got a purpose!"

Mequellios wrote:

Holy flying crap! The weapons look amazing!

Good luck with the film.
Well, that's what ya get for spending 4-6 years on preparation before actual production. Sadly, that time spent was not by choice, but a bit of it paid off in the long run. We were able to make more accurate modifications to some of the armor and the little detail bits that the Marines wear because of all that extra time.

If you want the secret to making cool props (weapons) - RESEARCH. smile Then a bit of resin casting and vacuum-forming thrown in to make it real and in your hands.

Scribble07 wrote:

I would prefer to be blown away by the full teaser rather tha have a work in progress- i'm certain it's very good without the compositing- i'd just like to see it completed biggrin That's my opinion anywya biggrin
I don't know if it's good without the composites... haha, but it might excite some folks more if they could see more than stills. But I think I will hold off till the composites are completed before posting the New Teaser.

Thanks for your kind words Sam. smile


Director and DP having a disagreement. razz
Posted: Thu, 8th Nov 2007, 11:27pm

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Snook360

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Hey Soonis! I would love to help you out on the film. I've had quite a bit of experience with CompositeLab. If you're intersested just PM me.

-Snook360
Posted: Fri, 9th Nov 2007, 1:48am

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Thrawn

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Hey Soonis,

This is a great project you have going here. Looks very professional and it seems like it's going to turn out great! I would be more then happy to help you out, so if you need the help, send me a PM. Good Luck with your project!

-Thrawn
Posted: Fri, 9th Nov 2007, 2:41am

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Dead Iris

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If you want the secret to making cool props (weapons) - RESEARCH. Then a bit of resin casting and vacuum-forming thrown in to make it real and in your hands.
Ah yes, I'm not too lazy to do my own research. What I meant was how you did it in a basic overlook. Like, did you put resin casts over exsisting weapons? Or did you find a site that showed you many of the orginal pieces and you copied them into molds? Just a small idea. I might have made it sound like I wanted a 80 page tutorial, for which I apologize. Just merely saying "resin casting" and "vaccum-forming" gave me a MUCH better idea. If you don't want to go into anymore detail than that, its cool. smile

Thanks for your reply.
Posted: Fri, 9th Nov 2007, 3:38am

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FreshMentos

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This is the first time I've seen this topic. That's quite an amazing fanfilm you got going there!

I currently wouldn't be able to help with any compositing until I get Visionlab, which will probably be around Christmas time. But I'd be more than happy to then if you still need the help!
Posted: Fri, 9th Nov 2007, 3:43am

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rogolo

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An alternative to mailing DVDs would be to take the route that Star Wars: Revelations took: offer free downloads of the .ISO DVD files along with full-quality DVD inserts and labels so people could make their own copy of the DVD. You could offer a torrent of it or host it if it is not too big.

On a related note, I sent you a PM about ways to help on your film.
Posted: Fri, 9th Nov 2007, 10:17am

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mercianfilm

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Well- i must retract my previous post- those pics are amazing! I thought i wouldprefer to see it completed but just seeing some WIP is still amazing! I grow to love your project each time i see a new post! really well done!

Sam
Posted: Sat, 10th Nov 2007, 12:54am

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Soonis

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Ok... wow. Again, guys... thank you for the kind reception of this project and for all of you who have expressed an interest in assisting. I will be in touch.

As it currently stands, I will need to prep some footage onto DVDs to be farmed out by those who've offered.

So the ETA on those DVDs is probably the 12th, Monday. I won't be able to put them in the mail/post till said Monday.

Mequellios wrote:

What I meant was how you did it in a basic overlook. Like, did you put resin casts over exsisting weapons?
Well... the M41A Pulse Rifle has been an obsession of mine for nearly 15 years. So long before there were sites on the net on what the components were we had to search and reverse engineer it all.
Boy that sounds cocky, doesn't it. I don't mean to.
I just want you "kids" to know how lucky you that this information is so available now. wink
Back in the day we collected every piece of literature, freeze-framed the laser discs and disected every photo available. biggrin

Barrel vent is inserted backwards in this picture. Also barrel's tip is too long and the magazine is missing.

Or did you find a site that showed you many of the orginal pieces and you copied them into molds?
No site. biggrin

...for which I apologize.


No need to apologize. smile

If you don't want to go into anymore detail than that, its cool. smile
WARNING: Costume/Prop-Geek Reply follows...

Hmm... well, the Pulse Rifle is made from an M1A1 Thompson Submachinegun, Frachi Spas-12 shotgun and a Remington 870 shotgun (.12g).

You also need to realize we made two versions... STUNT (which wasn't very simple and is almost a Hero) and HERO versions.

All Versions:
- We took a real Thompson M1A1 and made molds for resin castings. So the rifles are resin copies of the real Thompson as are the magazines with attached PR butt plate.
- Because the resin Thompsons are directly off of real thompsons... we were sick and put real thompson triggers, selectors, charging handles, springs, mag-release, etc on them. You'll never see the detail of course but the actors appreciated it.
- The barrel vents and stocks were farmed out to a machine shop and a big run of them was done some time ago. (Black Anodized Aluminum)
- The rifle and grenade launcher barrels are aluminum tubing. wink

Stunt:
- Resin spas cage with aluminum barrel in place when cast.
- Resin Spas pump that worked but I made them inmovable for the film. hee hee.
- Vacuum-formed shrouds to cover the fact that it's a Thompson.
- Static Ammo Counter display

Hero:
- Real steel Spas cage
- Working/Racking resin spas cage
- Aluminum piping configured cleverly to resemble a Remington 870 inside the spas cage.
- All 3 Hero props had working LED Ammo Counters which counted down when the trigger was pulled.
- 2 had Resin PR shrouds, while the heavy airsoft Hero had a vacuum-formed shroad, similar but bulkier than the Stunt rifles. wink
Note- one of the Hero props had an Airsoft Remington 870 in the spas cage and a working airsoft Thompson M1A1.

Thanks for your reply.
Your welcome. I hope I didn't sound like an arse or worse. I also hope you liked the answer, though I did blather on a bit.

Did I mention I'm a recovering Prop-Geek? razz

FreshMentos- keep in touch. wink Us local guys gotta stick together.

Rogolo - Wow. I had no idea that was an option. I will definately look into making that happen for the DVD release. biggrin Sweet! smile

Scribble07- Thank you for the kind words.
And here's a taste of another raw Storyboard for you. wink


Keeping the Crew in line on Set.

There's just not enough red lights...


P.S.- Please note... all these cool pictures and effort is wasted if there is no finished product or if the finished product does not live up to the sum of all it's parts. The cat is not in the bag yet... got lots more to do, so if I ever sound like I'm patting myself on the back.. please disregard it. Because I'm sure afterward I crawl into a fetal position and cry for hours. LOL...but so true. razz
Posted: Sat, 10th Nov 2007, 12:45pm

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mercianfilm

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The dummy on the floor (I hope it's a dummy! surprised ) is in such a camp pose! Maybe that's why the bloke on the right's kicking him? I like also how you have huge rolls of blue screen! It's seems fairly hard to get hold of where i live (Accept via the internet of course)

Stay motivated!

Sam
Posted: Mon, 12th Nov 2007, 11:50pm

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Soonis

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Scribble07 wrote:

The dummy on the floor (I hope it's a dummy! surprised ) is in such a camp pose!
Camp pose?

It better be a dummy... our Special FX Make-up guy was sawing his leg off as I was kicking the face for the picture. He's actually cutting the dummy to make it more posable. wink
Truth be told, I was less than thrilled with the dummies for the bodies, but we used them where they worked on camera.

Maybe that's why the bloke on the right's kicking him?
I would be that bloke. wink

I like also how you have huge rolls of blue screen! It's seems fairly hard to get hold of where i live (Accept via the internet of course)
Hmmm, well if you need some... let me see if I have any left. wink I might have one roll still.
It was a cheap and mostly effective method for setting up a blue screen. I believe the muslin would have lit better and made keying easier, but we didn't have that kind of money AND we needed the big long rolls.
Next time I spend that kind of money on an FX film... I'll use paint and build a set like Lucasfilm did for the prequels. Wait... did I say I will make another one? Somebody shoot me please - I think I'm losing it again.

Stay motivated!
Oorah!! (and thanks again.)
Posted: Sun, 9th Dec 2007, 8:12pm

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Bucees

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hey soonis where did you order the costume parts kit from, i cant find it anywhere.
Posted: Sun, 9th Dec 2007, 11:50pm

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Dead Iris

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Soonis, Thanks for the reply! I'm very appreciative. And you don't sound like an arse at all. wink

I wish you the best on your production. I can't wait to see the final cut.
Posted: Mon, 10th Dec 2007, 5:55pm

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Soonis

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ChristianFilmer 100001 wrote:

hey soonis where did you order the costume parts kit from, i cant find it anywhere.
Parts kit? I didn't order parts kit(s). We built these props and costumes ourselves. I belonged to a prop-group called Hi-Impact. The armor you see on the actors... I built, painted and assembled. (I didn't pull parts for all of them, though.) The smartgun and it's Steadycam III rig... all built by my Director of Photography, also a member of Hi-Impact. The helmets were all built by another friend of mine in Hi-Impact. The Alien was cleaned up, assembled and painted by another member of the same group. Two Hero rifles were from our private collections.

The 'Stunt' rifles, if you can even call them that with the extreme amount of detail on them, were built by a friend of ours, Matt Worsdell. They were made in a desire to help us out, and payed for in trade for other goodies. No money was exchanged between us. wink

The BDUs (uniforms) came from a fan-produced source. The patches are all custom embroidered through a source of mine based out of NAS Oceana.

Everything you see is basically from fans' (our) personal collections. We didn't buy pre-made kits, or parts kits. We made everything ourselves. Partly the reason it's taken SEVEN years to get to this point. *groan* - I can't believe it's been that long.

Mequellios wrote:

Soonis, Thanks for the reply! I'm very appreciative. And you don't sound like an arse at all.
Whew! biggrin

I wish you the best on your production. I can't wait to see the final cut.
Thank you very, very much.

I'm hoping to have the teaser (with backgrounds) completed very soon. smile

Cheers!
Posted: Tue, 11th Dec 2007, 1:53am

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Bucees

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Wow! you made the aliens costume...from scratch!?!?
Posted: Wed, 2nd Jan 2008, 7:22pm

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Soonis

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ChristianFilmer 100001 wrote:

Wow! you made the aliens costume...from scratch!?!?
Are you refering to the actual Alien costume, or the Colonial Marine costumes?
Posted: Wed, 9th Jan 2008, 3:23am

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Bucees

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Alien costumes...
Posted: Wed, 9th Jan 2008, 9:44pm

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clarky104

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Soonis wrote:

I'm hoping to have the teaser (with backgrounds) completed very soon. smile

Cheers!
Any closer to the teaser???
Looks cool
Posted: Fri, 11th Jan 2008, 11:16pm

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Soonis

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ChristianFilmer 100001 wrote:

Alien costumes...
Well there's only one Alien costume in our inventory, if you mean the latex and spanxex suit covered in slim.
We put the suit together but we actually did not sculpt it or build the molds. We er... I purchased a kit of parts from someone who had made their molds off of a Stan Winston "stunt" suit from ALIENS.
The actor who ended up wearing the suit in front of the camera was the same artisan who cleaned up all the bubbles, painted and assembled the suit. So... there you have it.

clarky104 wrote:

Any closer to the teaser???
Looks cool
Well, technically yes, but I have nothing ready yet. Still waiting on backgrounds for the teaser's 9-shots. grrr...
Hense why I haven't posted much here lately. Talk is cheap..time to show something.

If you guys would like a sneak peak, I could post the "Unfinished" teaser with all the blue screens, but it might be better to just wait till it is good to go.

You know the old military adage... "Hurry up and wait?" That has been the entire experience of working on this film.

Cheers!
Posted: Thu, 31st Jan 2008, 7:15pm

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Soonis

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ATTENTION ON DECK!!!

DZC finally has some semblance of a website.

Check it out! smile

http://www.dzcfilm.org
Posted: Sun, 3rd Feb 2008, 11:20pm

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SketchWork

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Looking good - we should have the rest of the alpha matte for you by the end of the week.

Take care buddy,

Justin
Posted: Thu, 19th Feb 2009, 4:27am

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FXhomer45688

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Hello, Soonis.

Forgive me for interrupting, but your film Drop Zone - Copernicus has drawn some interest to some colleges of mine that I represent. You see, they themselves are producing a film of their own. To be brief, it’s a short film that’s an homage to the Aliens series. They’ll be shooting the film during the month of April and with your help, they are eager to know if you would offer some small assistance.

The assistance would be, if it were possible, an actual alien suit. The rest of the production is taken care of, but the task of tracking down at least one person to supply a Xenomorph suit, and someone to operate inside of it, has yet to produce itself. There are no stunts involved with the suit. The scene with the suit is very similar to the scene originating from the film Alien—with Dallas in the ventilation system.

The shooting schedule, for the Alien suit, would be the weekend of the 18th and 19th of April in the Long Beach area of California. This is a professional film crew, shooting on 16mm film, and would appreciate any cooperation you could lend to the filming process. All they need is the monster and someone to professionally operate it, for two days.

Contact me at Guy_Wearing_Black@yahoo.com for further information. Any help is appreciated.

Thank you, and good luck with your own film.
Posted: Thu, 19th Feb 2009, 10:22am

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pscamm

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Teaser looks great - Cant wait to see the whole thing

Well done guy's & gals

biggrin