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Shortfilm "The Wild", by NCC

Posted: Wed, 8th Jul 2009, 4:17pm

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Sollthar

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While the screenplay and production for "Motive" are still in developmentand will remain that way for quite a while, I have finally managed to get a plan together for a little shortfilm. This thread will keep you up to date with the production.

Title: The Wild
Genre: Drama / Thriller
language: Probably Swiss German dialect
Length: approx 15 to 20 minutes
Shooting: 2 days on location, 1 day studio shots
production: Shooting planned early august, estimated release about end of october


synopsis:
Young couple Mark and Sara take a survival trip into the wild, large swiss mountainside to go camping. They take along Laura, a friend of Mark - much to the dissatisfaction of Sara of course. While the three go deeper into no mans land, their small differences start to grow larger and larger up to the point where they begin to suspect that maybe, not of all of them will return safely.


Status:

06.07.09 - locationscouting
25.06.09 - Script finished
28.09.09 - Casting finished
02.08.09 - Storyboarding finished
06.08.09 - Shooting is a wrap
07.08.09 - Rough cut done

Last edited Fri, 7th Aug 2009, 10:35pm; edited 5 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 8th Jul 2009, 4:43pm

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Sollthar

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Locationscouting results 1

I went into the Bündnerland in the swiss montainside this week to the Vialama-Canyon in order to see wheter this is a suitable location for the film or not. What I'm generally looking for is to have the stunning swiss nature scenery as a vital background character of the film that will support the feeling of being small, insignificant and alone - but also being simply a beautyful sight to look at. So I need to find spots with little to no signs of civilization that support different types of locations for different scenes. And I have to say, Viamala is indeed absolutely stunning.

1. The scenery



The general feel of the area is exactly what I was looking for. Vivid green colors, large areas of grass and fields and all is surrounded by a typical swiss mountain scenery with mountains large enough to get deep into the coulds. I love the look of mountains which go right into clouds because it gives them the appropriate sense of scale.
Another great thing is, that you actually see how alone you are in the area. There's almost no visible signs of human presence except for a phew telephone poles and a few huts which can be removed for the film to enhance that sense of being on your own. The daylight will be a vital part of it all though so I have to hope for good weather on day 1.


1. The scale



Once we started to reach higher levels the sheer scale of the mountains around the Viamala becomes apparent. Wherever you look there's vast cliffs, solid rocks and territory that doesn't only look stunning and slightly dangerous, it actually is... a bit... smile
There are ways you can walk along but the really good shots are mostly outside those defined paths.
What's a bit difficult though is getting the scale on camera. It looks much smaller on camera then it actually is, so the shots will have to be planned out very carefully so we pick spots that really look as big as they are. But just standing there makes you feel tiny.
Posted: Wed, 8th Jul 2009, 4:48pm

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Rockfilmers

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Wow, the alps look amazing. I would love to visit one day. You story sound interesting, Sollthar. Knowing your other films, I'm sure it'll deliver. Will it be English or German?
Posted: Wed, 8th Jul 2009, 5:04pm

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Sollthar

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Locationscouting results 2

The film obviously features a few specific scenes on varying locations which I have to track down in the area. I actually did manage to find a few brilliant ones not too far apart from each other - about a couple of hours walk - Which brings me to another potential problem. Equipment will have to be reduced to a minimum since it's entirely impossible to reach these areas with anything else then by foot. So everything will have to be carried manually.

3. the forest



Finding a forest in switzerland - or anywhere else for that matter - is probably not the hardest task. But I wanted a forest location that has all the close ups and downs and hills and rocks so, once you entered it, it's almost impossible to tell where to go or where you came from. We found such a place close to the Viamala Canyon entry with a really nice, bright glowing green/yellowish forest site that would make an ideal part of the characters journey at the beginning of the film when things are still cheerful and everyone's enjoying themselves.


4. camping





For a first place they'd make camp I was specifically looking for a memorable place in the midst of these forests. Forests have the habit of looking slightly alike once you're inside. Fortunately, I ran into a place that had the perfect feel. Walking through the forest we reached this site with large chunks of rocks right in the middle of everything. They looked almost artistically placed and give the whole area this surreal and beautiful look. It's a great place to rest and something that definately looks like a memorable location and pleasently different from the above forrest while still similar enough in colors and stile.


5. the other forest





Obviously then, I need another forest that fits the later mood of the film better when interpersonal things don't look as bright anymore and the characters start to fall apart and get lost. Ideal for us, only an hour further, the forest drastically changes it's appearance and changes from a happy nature green into this slightly bizarre looking, brown, slightly dead smelling collection of thin and long treetrunks for quite a while. There's almost no leaf on the ground, there's zero grass and everything just starts to make you feel lost (ironically, we actually got lost in this part of the forest while scouting smile )
Posted: Wed, 8th Jul 2009, 5:17pm

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Sollthar

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Locationscouting results 3

I found more places I was looking for to tell the story. To get a different sight from mountains, fields and forests I needed to find something that again changes the face to of the film and clearly sets itself apart visually while still clearly belonging to the same general scenery.

6. The river





Right through the Viamala runs a sidearm of the Rhein, a large river. It was exactly what i was looking for. The water itself has this brilliant blue look and the path of the river flows naturally right through the mountains so offers large chunks of rocks and cliff on each side, as well as these immense trees that throne on it's sides.
Rivers like that are always a welcome sight in films that deal with the wild nature because they have such a visual power to them. The Rhein is no different. It actually runs with such a power that you can hardly hold your own weight when in it and most parts of the river are uncrossable and probably the most dangerous part out there. The combination of power, beauty and danger is perfectly welcome for the film.


7. The lake






Perfectly enough, we also spotted a place where the water forms a (very tiny) lake where the stunning colors of the water and the blank rocks next to it are a brilliant sight. Depending on the weather and river conditions, you might actually be allowed to eg "able to" enter the water there, which would of course be very, very nice. It's obviously a perfect place for our characters to set up camp and experience a few things there.
Posted: Wed, 8th Jul 2009, 5:25pm

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Jrad

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Sounds interesting! I need to go to Switzerland! It's just absolutely beautiful there!
Posted: Wed, 8th Jul 2009, 5:35pm

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Sollthar

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Locationscouting results 4

Last but not least, I was looking for some more ways to portray the change of mood within the film and scouted for more locations with a different feel.

8. Rocks



Again I was able to nail down what I needed... The higher up the mountain we went, the less vivid the green got and the less grass and trees you could find in general. What we spotted was a sight of rocks and stone. Perfect for later scenes in the film since the sight convey a certain emptyness as well as an increasing sense of danger and death - colors disappear and get replaced by green as well as the fact that everything starts to get higher, pointier and unfriendlier (unfortunately, even for us as the crew)

9. the final morning



As the mood decreases and the danger sneaks up, the travellers spend more then a day in the wild. More by accident then anything else I was able to see what the scenery looks like in the morning mist with bad weather (we had no rain then, but clouds were all over) and I loved what I saw. The thick, heavy dust crawling along the mountains and cliffs is what I hope to be able to be shooting towards the end of the film (again, depending on the weater... Oh boy) because in my opinion, it conveys the perfect sense of beauty and "somethings about to happen".


10. The bridge

The Viamala features the largest and highest wooden bridge in switzerland and I was looking forward to have that in my film. Big dangling rope bridges are always a good thing to have in any film. Unfortunately, the bridge was high alright, but didn't look anything near as cool or dangerous as I had hoped. So I'm currently thinking of having play that part of the film as a visual effects sequence with a digital bridge that actually does look like it would fall apart any minute.

But I also might be scratching it from the story entirely, seeing I don't have a complete script yet. Be that as it may, I was able to locate extremely great locations and I'm looking forward a lot to spending 2 entire days up there and shoot the scenes with my actors and actresses.

Last edited Wed, 8th Jul 2009, 8:26pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 8th Jul 2009, 7:04pm

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Koradin

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Those locations look absolutly amazing. Being able to find locations that fit with the mood of the script is quite impressive, how long did you spend scouting? I also have to say when I first looked at the the pictures for '5. the other forest' my first thought was shouldn't there be a few Uruk-hai chasing down some hobbits there.

Koradin
Posted: Wed, 8th Jul 2009, 8:17pm

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Atom

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Great locales, I hope you're able to utilize them and put 'em to good use!

The pics just scream LOTR or Indy to me, though. wink
Posted: Wed, 8th Jul 2009, 10:20pm

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RodyPolis

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these shots do look pretty sweet. Specially the water ones. Hope you can use them well and good luck on the film.
Posted: Thu, 9th Jul 2009, 8:36am

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Simon K Jones

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Amazing. I want to go on holiday.

How far out of the city do you have to go to get to these locations? Are you going to camp while shooting the film, or travel their each day for the shooting?
Posted: Thu, 9th Jul 2009, 11:10am

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Sollthar

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I spent two days scouting. One day was at another place in the south of switzerland which didn't look as good as this. My whole day in Viamala was absolutely stunning though - despite the fact I'm still sore and we got ourselves into a big, nasty and wet rain at the end. smile

The location is roughly 90 minutes by car outside of Zuerich, 2 hours by train. We plan on going camping for those 2 days actually and bring a tent with us to stay there over night. So we'll not only shoot the adventure of going through the wild, we'll live it too. biggrin

I'm looking forward a lot to simply going back there since it's such a lovely landscape. Hopefully it'll look good on film too.
Posted: Thu, 9th Jul 2009, 11:41am

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Simon K Jones

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Hope you've got a good stock of batteries, then. biggrin
Posted: Thu, 9th Jul 2009, 4:47pm

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Limey

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Those locations look sick man. Good luck with the film.
Posted: Thu, 9th Jul 2009, 4:47pm

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pscamm

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Sollthar,
Spent 2 week's last year in the Interlaken, Grindelwald region of Swiss....We had the Eiger, monch and jungfrou facing us from our 'honeymoon' suite window. Some of the bond film 'On her magesty's secret service' was done just down the road.....Killer views in that area too if your still scouting for locations

biggrin
Posted: Thu, 9th Jul 2009, 6:12pm

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JustinL

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Wow! Just wow! Those pics are beautiful!
Posted: Thu, 9th Jul 2009, 10:25pm

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Garrison

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With locales like this, I'm looking forward to this production!!
Posted: Mon, 13th Jul 2009, 4:37pm

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Terminal Velocity

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Atom wrote:

The pics just scream LOTR or Indy to me, though. wink
Less Indy than SW, methinks. 3. the forest seemed to me like Endor, and 5. the other forest looked like the forest Frodo, Sam, and Gollum were walking through at the end of TTT.
Posted: Tue, 14th Jul 2009, 8:15am

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Simon K Jones

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Rating: +2

That's right, folks, forests in some films look like real forests!
Posted: Mon, 27th Jul 2009, 8:27pm

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Sollthar

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Update 27.07.09

Script and Actors

A 14 page screenplay has been written by me and my girlfriend Patricia and we found 3 actors for our little film. We'll meet up with them on wednesday eve to discuss the script, characters and the shoot that will take place in a week.

Looking forward a lot to this shoot! My main concern with this shoot is the weather. We only have 2 days to shoot 12 scenes, so it'll be tough.

Storyboard

To save time Patricia and me will storyboard the entire film and plan out every shot and detail in advance in order to save time on the shoot itself. This process will probably take about a day or 2 I expect but should be worth it. I've only storyboarded single effectsheavy scenes in Turicon and NightCast so far and had great experience with doing them.

I'll probably post some pics from the meeting, the storyboard and the next you'll see will be actuall production stills I guess.

Last edited Sun, 2nd Aug 2009, 7:15pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 27th Jul 2009, 8:31pm

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Terminal Velocity

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Good luck with the storyboards. I hate storyboards. Drew one for a film I'm working on and crimany, it was BORING.

Sounds exciting.
Posted: Tue, 28th Jul 2009, 8:30am

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Atom

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Sounds awesome!

We usually have a lot of fun doing storyboards, even the rougher ones just because it gives everyone a better idea of what to do. Even if you know your own shots, I've found some actors aren't as trusting and often don't have enough faith in one person's ability to frame a composition, they need proof of the flow in framing; and storyboards do just that.

EDIT:
Also, it shouldn't be boring. It should be fun to get to put your thoughts into action before shooting. Give yourself an even better idea of what you want it to look like. I found another example on my old server.

Last edited Tue, 28th Jul 2009, 8:36am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 28th Jul 2009, 8:30am

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Simon K Jones

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I love storyboards. smile Absolute lifesavers. (and timesavers)

Also important to remember that you don't have to put tons of time and artistic skill into them, as long as they convey the required information. The storyboards I did for the Superheroes sequence were essential given the effects requirements, but were still very basic:

Last edited Tue, 28th Jul 2009, 8:49am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 28th Jul 2009, 8:46am

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Sollthar

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I totally agree with Atom. Storyboarding is good fun, forces you to think before you're on set and gives everyone a pretty good idea what to do and what you need.
Besides, having all the shots planned out right before you makes you realize certain things that work or won't work before you shoot it all.

Though my sketches are even rougher then Atoms. smile
Posted: Tue, 28th Jul 2009, 4:15pm

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Serpent

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Atom wrote:

I found another example on my old server.
"B" looks like Peter Griffin.
Posted: Tue, 28th Jul 2009, 6:58pm

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Terminal Velocity

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So how do you format storyboards? Do you split a piece of paper into sections or draw on the back of index cards?
Posted: Tue, 28th Jul 2009, 7:14pm

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Sollthar

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Whatever floats your boat works. You just draw images of your shots into frames. So the one thing you should probably look at is that the format of your frames is roughly the same you shoot in.
Posted: Wed, 29th Jul 2009, 8:00am

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Simon K Jones

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If you google for 'storyboard template' you'll find a bunch of different ones you can download to try out.
Posted: Sun, 2nd Aug 2009, 5:01pm

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Sollthar

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Update 02.08.09

We finished the storyboard for the film drawing a total of 12 scenes and 185 individual shots, 9 featuring some sort of visual effect. Took us about 10 hours to go through the scenes and discuss the best way for us to shoot it. We quickly sketched every shot, perspective and composition to make sure the scene works. This is what the storyboard roughly looks like.



Doing storyboards is brilliant. I feel very prepared for the shot, know exactly what to do and we've cleared most questions before the shoot. Improvising shots on location will still be possible of course, but just doing so has been way too stressful in the past and also simply doesn't deliver as much as when you think about your shots way before you do it.

I'll also take the storyboard script version with me and cancel out every single shot I have in order not to loose the overview while shooting. Looking forward to it all.


Now all that remains is the shoot itself, starting this tuesday. 2 days. The weather forecast is good, cast is ready, gear is gathered, preparation is done... Now on to shooting it all...
Posted: Mon, 3rd Aug 2009, 8:47am

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Simon K Jones

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Good luck with the shoot! Hope the weather does what you need it to do. smile

The best thing about having a detailed storyboard is that you know the 'essentials'. You know, with absolute certainty, that if you get every single one of those shots that's in the storyboard, you've got your film. There's no risk of getting to the editing suite and realising you don't have a crucial shot.

But as Sollthar says, it doesn't mean that the storyboard is the only stuff you shoot. If there's time you can improvise and come up with stuff on the day as well, but always with that comforting fallback option of the storyboard.
Posted: Tue, 4th Aug 2009, 10:32pm

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swintonmaximilian

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Hi, looks good so far, really quite envious of those locations. I agree that storyboarding is very good fun, and very helpfull, I always have my storyboard book with me when shooting something even though I usually don't follow it that stringently. I really like looking at storyboards, always fun. I have some on my website, still in development, if anyones interested.
Anyway, good luck with the shoot, hope all goes well and the weather is on your side. Really looking forward to seeing the film.
All the best,
Max

http://maximilianswinton.squarespace.com/storyboards/
Posted: Thu, 6th Aug 2009, 9:20am

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Sollthar

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Update 06.08.09

Aaaaaaaand it´s a wrap. Two days of really extensive shooting in the midst of nowhere are over and done.

This was a very intense shooting time since the plan was very tight and we had to march through the wilderness to get from one location to the other all the time. Sleeping in a tent over night also proved as a difficult thing since it got so cold no one really got much sleep. smile Everyone was really tired and exhausted yesterday evening when we reached the civilization back in zuerich.

I´m currently capturing the footage and so far, we got some really really nice shots. But we also had to face a lot of problems - mainly with the sound. It´s never quiet out there. There´s either highway, airplanes, rivers or waterfall noise so loud that you can hardly use the original audio. Patricia did her best to capture a good sound and I hope we´ll be able to use most of it.

We got 3 tapes of original footage to edit, so up to 3 hours. Which is a lto considering we´re aiming for a 15 to 20 minute running time. But I always shoot rather too much then too little footage so I hope for the best.

Will post some first stills as soon as I got some.
Posted: Thu, 6th Aug 2009, 9:27am

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Simon K Jones

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Glad to hear nobody got eaten by bears. smile

Can't wait to see some stills!
Posted: Fri, 7th Aug 2009, 10:46pm

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Sollthar

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Update 07.08.09

Working like a madman (which I'm famous for when it comes to film) I've already managed to lock a rough cut of the film with a running time of about 18 minutes. I'm very, very, very happy with how the cinematography turned out. The shots are really good looking and the flow of the film is very nice.

Sound was a tough one but it's far more usable then I originally anticipated, but needs a hell of a lot of work done until it's anywhere near final. But it should work!

Here's a couple of stills from the actual film just for you:













Posted: Sat, 8th Aug 2009, 5:49am

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ben3308

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Some good looking shots and a great use of locations, I'm just a little mystified as to why some of the images are so soft - is that part of the grading?

That being said, congrats on taking this from an idea to fruition, it looks like it came through well in the shoot! I'm just not a fan of soft edges on people for grading, it makes me think the cinematographer set the focus incorrectly. I could be absolutely wrong about this, though, as these are just stills and not real footage! Hint, hint. biggrin
Posted: Sat, 8th Aug 2009, 7:59am

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Sollthar

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Thanks ben, much appreciated!

The softness is probably a result from a mix of grading and jpeg compression. I rather like softer edges myself, but the grading isn't final yet anyways. I did pull the focus correctly however, well, except of one or two shots I wasn't able to use. Heh. smile
Posted: Mon, 10th Aug 2009, 11:27am

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Sollthar

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Update 10.08.09

Patricia and myself are working hard on getting the film finished. So far, the cut has been locked down, colorgrading is done and we're now working on the one thing just as hard, but often forgot by lowbudget filmmakers: Sound.

While Patricia is mixing voicework with ambience and soundeffects to a proper level, I'm working fully on the musical score of the film. About half has been completed now.
To keep you guys up to date, here's three tracks from the film for you:

The film's main theme, opening credits version:
http://www.nightcast.net/permanent/wild/Wild-Thema.mp3

One of the short softer harmony cues:
http://www.nightcast.net/permanent/wild/Wild-Softie.mp3

And the more epic adventureous version of the main theme:
http://www.nightcast.net/permanent/wild/Wild-Gruppe.mp3
Posted: Mon, 10th Aug 2009, 2:37pm

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The Chosen One

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Great looking stills, love the lighting and rich colors. Looking forward to the finished film.

Last edited Mon, 10th Aug 2009, 3:25pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 10th Aug 2009, 3:19pm

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swintonmaximilian

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looking good, like the look of the stills, especially the higher angle shots. What camera did you use?
Max
Posted: Tue, 11th Aug 2009, 4:26am

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Rockfilmers

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Wow, some good looking shots. I'm with you, Sollthar, on the soft edges. But not to soft.

To bad your sound didn't come out as well as you hoped. I know how that feels. How much do you have to re-dub?

The music sounds great. I'm really impressed. You say you are working on the musical score, do you mean composing a whole orchestra? I think I'm really going to enjoy this film. I'm going to be a selfish American and say that I wish this was in English. Do you have plans for an English subtitled version yet?
Posted: Tue, 11th Aug 2009, 8:22am

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Sollthar

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Thanks Rockfilmers. The edges look softer on the stills then on film. I suspect it's the jpeg compression plus the lower resolution. The film looks sharp on my screen.

Yeah, I'm composing the music myself from scratch each instrument at a time. Glad you like it! It's been challenging but great fun. Just finished the last track this morning.

And sorry about the language, but the film will definately have subtitles when it'll be released. Though I don't plan to do a dub. Original sound is too painstaking for that. crazy
Posted: Tue, 11th Aug 2009, 8:26am

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Simon K Jones

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Sollthar wrote:

Though I don't plan to do a dub.
What? After my amazing voice work on the Nightcast dub? razz

I'm pretty stunned by how quickly you're moving this project through post. Very impressive!
Posted: Tue, 11th Aug 2009, 8:58am

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rogolo

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Tarn wrote:

I'm pretty stunned by how quickly you're moving this project through post. Very impressive!
Aye, it's been quite the opposite of the monstrous NightCast production cycle.

Your scoring sounds excellent Solly...especially your opening/main theme. You better have equally great visuals for the opening to match the excellence of the song. smile I had a few of your compositions in my iTunes for a while (can't seem to find them anymore, something with 'battle' in the title perhaps? I forgot the other) and this score seems to be a bit more polished and pleasant to listen to.

Can we expect a trailer in the near future? I wanna see those screenshots in motion...!
Posted: Tue, 11th Aug 2009, 9:01am

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Sollthar

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Thanks rogolo! Much appreciated!

Yeah, I've been getting slightly better at mixing then I used to be. And I don't use my 20 year old keyboard anymore. biggrin

I won't do a trailer for the film, but I expect the actual film to be finished by the end of the week. So I'll upload the whole thing. smile
Posted: Wed, 12th Aug 2009, 10:18am

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Sollthar

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Update 12.08.09

Aaaaaaaand finished!

Phew. After exactly a week in postproduction, Patricia and myself have finished the film and it's been submitted to the cinema to wait for Mr. Tarn's approval. Was great fun to do. Tomorrow night we'll celebrate a little premiere here with all the actors, watching the final film on the big screen. Looking forward to see their reactions.
Posted: Wed, 12th Aug 2009, 3:05pm

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goddard996

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Congratulations on the completion of the film, I can’t wait to see it!
Posted: Wed, 12th Aug 2009, 3:08pm

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Simon K Jones

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The film is now online:

http://fxhome.com/cinema/view/3856/the-wild