Monday, 23 January 2012

Empire/ Jameson Done in 60 Seconds: War Horse Production Blog

So, on a whim I decided to enter the Jameson/ Empire Done in 60 Second competition.

My entry can be viewed at:

And I would sincerely appreciate any and all support! And especially any 'Likes' or votes that can be thrown my way.

When I say that I decided to make it on a whim I really do mean that I have limited/ minimal/ practically zero experience at this sort of thing and I made the whole thing in less than 24 hours.
I got the idea of making a movie for this competition into my head after seeing a friend's effort.
I got home that evening and wrote 3 or 4 scripts for possible movies (discarded was a version of The Social Network dedicated solely to LOLCats pictures, and a version of Daredevil based on the idea that Daredevil wins every fight because people feel guilty about beating up a blind man). Then I discovered that the deadline for entries was the 20th January.
I was writing these scripts in bed on 18th January.
So, I figured that "Hey, it's not like I had time to prepare, I'm not really missing out on anything by not entering." and went to sleep.
At some point during work the next day I figured "Screw it!", even though the deadline was the next day, I could still use that evening to try make a movie with the limited resources/ time/ ability at my disposal- if I made an entry, great! If not, well, it was only a day I had to make it, how disappointed could I really be?

All in all, making sets, set up, shooting, and editing took from about 7pm - 1:30am; with several toilet breaks, dinner, and the occasional "Ah, you know what? I might just call it quits now..." thrown in.

As for how it went, it was a great experience. I won't put it all down here, because that seems like a lot of detail for what looks like a small project.

I write. I like to write. But, as you can see from how long it took to get to here, I'm not the best at keeping things short. Writing something to stay within 60 seconds was a challenge in itself, let alone making the d*mn thing.

The cast was comprised entirely of toys and figurines. Time constraints meant that 'people' and 'real live horses' were not an option.
All voice parts were played by me. Everything was too last minute to rope people into it. Plus, I was a little self conscious about in a project which may ultimately have been doomed, so I decided to limit the number of people involved.

Set Design:
I drew them in a large sketch books with pastels. There was no time for re-drafts or do-overs.
My favourite sets are my 'Devon/ Hobbiton' one:

And my 'War Hospital'.

Though this is mostly because it looks creepy and like the sort of picture that might be drawn by a child and entered into evidence in a court.

I used a small Casio camera for the stills, and a Creative Vado for video.
Most of this was lit with a desk lamp or a MagLite torch. The torch came in useful lighting things from odd angles. It also came in handy if I needed to use a filter to get a certain shade of light. I should also point out that I bought the 'cast' in a toy shop, and used the plastic bag off of that to shine the torch through to get white, yellow or red light.

Editing. My laptop has, after 3 years, started to crack. When I press play on any sound file, music file, video file, there is a 5 - 10 second delay until it actually plays, and during that time the audio might start playing video won't. Trying to edit a movie in Windows Live Movie Maker and deal with this problem caused a lot of frustration.
This also contributes to my one hefty problem with the finished product above. Because of the sound/ audio sycning problem towards the end of the film, the sound goes off by a second to 2 seconds- around about the cue for the character to turn from frowning to smiling.

Biggest Regret:
This short project would have benefited immensely from an accompanying rendition of  the 'Father Ted' classic, 'My Lovely Horse'.
I regret not having enough time to fit this song in.
Oh, also I forgot to put in a lot of/ any sound effects, which is why it sounds so bare. But, I'm still ranking the opportunity to use 'My Lovely Horse' as a soundtrack songs as a bigger regret.

But, as I said, I did pretty much all of this in one evening and got it submitted, so I'm not gonna be too hard on myself with any problems.

Anyway, there's a lot of good entries into the competition, so I doubt I'll win- but I'm quite proud of what I managed to put together so I'd like to see it get a little attention...

That's about it.
I've had a great amount of support already.

I've no idea when the competition ends, and when winners get announced- Not that I have any high expectations, I just want to know when I can stop thinking about it.

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