Thursday, 2 August 2012

Film4 Scene Stealers competition - Behind the scenes!

After finally deciding to do a recreation of the scene in '127 Hours' over a Saturday afternoon coffee, we went about sourcing materials and props. The cakes you see in the video are actually all fake. We spotted them in Livs Stil Cookshop and although they weren't for sale, the lady very kindly let us borrow them. The rest of the day was spent trying to model the perfect gingerbread man. No easy task! Initially the over ambitious plan was to use clay and coat it crushed gingernuts. This failed miserably as the PVA created a sticky gum like texture that would slip off along with numerous crumbs. (He also looked a bit like a fish finger!) We had the same problem when it came to icing facial features onto our gingerbread man so in the end we stuck with just the modelling clay, some white tack for eyes and a bit of pen and nail varnish!
We filmed all day Sunday round a friend's house, blacking out the windows on one of the nicest days of the year so that we could have consistent lighting. :( Being amateur filmmakers, you have to do your best to make do with a small budget. Rog made a very good DIY softbox using cardboard and paper and I have to say I was very impressed it didn't catch on fire! We used a Canon 5D and a demo of iStopmotion to capture photographs. Unfortunately we didn't realise until after that it only allowed us to capture SD images. But hey ho, it didn't look toooo bad.

Filming took around 8 HOURS for roughly 25 seconds of stopmotion. Countless gingerbread changes and touch ups as well as lens changes and camera angles. (Clay dries out very quickly under hot lights.) Editing was done in Final Cut Pro and music was made by Steven Beeston on his iphone! Rog and Ste also recorded some extra sound effects into a mic by breaking sticks (arm break) and munching biscuits (gingerbread man death). I had clay stuck in my teeth for ages when I ate him at the end!

There are definitely a few bits I'd like to improve on but for a week effort, from conception to final edit, I think we did a pretty good job!

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