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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Creative freedom in developing technologies Atimoyoo, Ryan Scott 2016

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 CREATIVE FREEDOM IN DEVELOPING TECHNOLOGIES  by RYAN SCOTT ATIMOYOO     A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT  OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF FINE ARTS  (Film Production and Creative Writing) in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)   April 2016 © Ryan Scott Atimoyoo, 2016  ii  Abstract  This paper and the web series, “Paradox” explores the research question “In what capacity do higher end tools affect innovation and creative freedom within low to no-budget filmmaking?”   Initially, I had high hopes of producing a feature film I wrote previously titled “Blood Brothers” for the requirements of writing and directing a project for my Masters of Fine Art in Film Production and Creative Writing. I set out with a clear and direct path and felt fortunate to have learned so much through the writing portion of this program, which in turn, enabled me to further develop my storytelling skills. Repeated funding rejections forced me to evaluate backup options and so, during my first year in the program, I shot the first episode of “Paradox.”   My whole time at UBC was a creative journey unlike anything I had encountered previously. Winning a chance to direct a Crazy 8, a separately funded Canada Council Short film entitled “Mahcimanitonahk- The Devil Dwelling” which was developed throughout Peggy Thompson’s screenwriting class, employment as a VFX Editor at FuseFX and 7 days of shooting Blood Brothers brought together a host of questions and answers of which I had no previous knowledge.   As such, I would say that higher end tools greatly affect creative freedom and innovation within low to no-budget filmmaking with stipulations. In my experience, initial ideas evolve through testing both high-end gear and software allowing deviations to create a more efficient filmmaker.         iii  Preface This thesis is original, unpublished, independent work by the author, Ryan Atimoyoo.                        iv  Table of Contents Abstract……………………………………………………………………………………………ii Preface……………………………………………………………………………………………iii Table of Contents…….……………………………………………………………..…………     iv Acknowledgements……………………………………………………………………………….v Introduction…………………….………………………………………………………………….1 Previous Works.…………………………………………………………………………………...1 Genesis…………………………………………………………………………………………….4 Webseries………………………………………………………………………………………….7 Research Chapters…………………………………………………………………….…………...9  Finishing the Script……………...……………………………………………..….………9  Synopsis………………………………………………………………………….………15  Production………………………………………………………………………………..16  Post-Production……………………………………………………………………..……20 Sound……………………………...……………………………………………………..27  Picture……………………………………………………………………………………28 Festivals and Marketing………………………………………………………………….30 Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………….31 Bibliography……………………………………………………………………………………..32 Appendices……………………………………………………………………………………….36  Appendix A: Episode Scripts…………...………………………… …………………….36  Appendix B: Floor Plans………………………………………………………...……….82  Appendix C: Complete Credits…………………………………………………………..84  Appendix D: Schedule……………………………………………………………….......86  Appendix E: Budget……………………………………………………………………...89 v  Acknowledgements I would like to express my thanks for the many people who supported my paper, this film and my academic journey throughout my studies during these last four years.  I would first like to thank my instructors Rachel Talalay, Peggy Thompson and Tom Sholte. Their valued input in academia and career advice was thoughtful and much appreciated. I would also like to thank Zanna Downes, Sarah Crauder and Stuart McFarlane for being available and open to questions whenever I needed help. Thanks also go out to my team. Ranging from professional hands, recent graduates to current students, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without their hard work and effort. Special thanks goes to Chris Fisher (Director of Photography), Cameron Watts (Camera Operator), Shaun Lang (Boom Operator), Eric Mouawad (Post Audio), Michael Bryant, Ben Hanson and Tara Pratt (actors), as well as Chris Wolfinger (student/PA) Thanks also to my good friend Rob Hunt. His advice, tenacity and cheer offered a hand when spirits were low.  Lastly, I would like to thank my family, Heejoeng Kang and Hannah Atimoyoo who have supported me throughout this endeavor. Every moment away was a moment apart and I thank them for their patience and grace.   1 Introduction Previous Works  I’ve come to view filmmaking as a dance between the artistic nature of the human spirit and the technician’s practical know-how to achieve that vision. I’ve had a long history of analyzing story and dramatic structure during my undergraduate degree in Drama and time spent at Circle In The Square but however bringing that form into a film medium required me to unlearn and reshape my experiences to capture what I intended.   I had always enjoyed writing and my first film out of school “Dreamcatcher” (2010) had the fortunate opportunity to receive some funding through the Canada Council for the Arts. It was a story about a young woman who was undergoing a change that came along with dream walking powers much like her Grandmother. She used these powers to save her ailing sister only to understand the high price that came along with such responsibility.    While it enjoyed some excellent reviews and festival praise, it never truly achieved my vision. I came to understand that I lacked the technical fluency to achieve what I was seeking. My practical effects were incapable of matching the dream world vision I had first envisioned.   For the next year following Dreamcatcher, I delved into research and understood that computer graphics and visual effects held the answers to some of my questions. From there, I immersed myself in the basics of compositing utilizing Photoshop, After Effects and Avid Media composer.   I would say my first forays into technical arts began there. I was an artist with a vision but no real technical skills. I envisioned key frames of what I wanted to see and experience but was unable to achieve it. Armed with, at the very least, a basic fluency in visual effects and the technical lexicon that came with it, I could at least begin a self-tutorial period. And with that came my web series “Chord”   Chord was expansive in every respect to what I knew about film and how I could achieve it. Early attempts at directing actors with no vfx experience was humorous to say the least (A big drone is shooting at you- run!) and a raw, inexperienced crew with little vfx experience trusting in my vision was at times daunting but also quite exciting and challenging.    2  The time spent in post-production was both lonely and exhausting however I came to understand framing and limitation and how to build on those limitations as a writer and a director. It gave me knowledge of the very basics of post-production and how it related to cinematography in a way I hadn’t quite grasped before.   I had sought to continue the series, but with the lead actress announcing a pregnancy, all the action and stunt work combined with long hours of filmmaking made for an unrealistic objective and we concluded the series.   However, I was left with a highly successful web series, which surpassed my expectations on the festival circuit such as nominations for a Leo Award, a Golden Ace award for best TV pilot or a best webseries win for The New Media Film Festival and laid the foundations for a technician’s journey.   With graduate school, I knew I had to surpass this and more. The initial idea was a feature film script I had written titled “Blood Brothers” which had performed well winning numerous writing awards and even recognition from the Sundance Institute.   It was raw, however. Clever but having never been taught in the long form of screenwriting nor having the peers to bounce work off, my work existed in a vacuum so to speak. I think that first year of screenwriting classes opened my eyes once more as a veil seemed to lift from my eyes to what truly made for a great story. I felt truly grateful to my teacher, Peggy Thompson, and my peers of that class for their insight and analysis. I had never seen what a true writing room was like nor had I taken part in any kind of writing workshop so understanding how screenwriters built their craft made for some breakthroughs in the development of my script but also to my approaching the craft as a whole.  Technical evaluations used throughout the green screen approach weren’t coinciding with one another and the plates weren’t photorealistic enough to “fool” the viewer. Clearly, I had more to learn and was while I had the vision as an artist; I was missing something in my technical knowledge that had impeded me from executing what I needed.  I was motivated at the time and my team was humming. I used my weekends and spare time to craft a spin off idea of “Chord”. Something I could fashion in the same universe but from   3 a different point of view. A weekend here and there of writing and filming over the first year saw the first episode of “Paradox” shot on my dslr, a Canon 7D with VFX done in After Effects and Avid.  I had also won a grant with a short film crafted in creative writing class. The Canada Council stipulates that you cannot use the monies towards any Master’s Degree but once more, I ventured into an arena with which I was unfamiliar. In three days, I did the shooting myself on my first 4K camera and quickly finished post-production with a team of two individuals as crew.  The extra latitude in resolution made for the bulk of my camera movements (pan and scan) and knowledge of VFX (plate stitching) allowed for the rest.   Crazy 8’s had also selected me to direct a short film. Having not written the script- I could not enter this as a Master’s Project also, but again, the knowledge that came with the project was more fortuitous than imagined. Working with children once more, VFX of burning a house down, the accelerated time frame to complete a project and thus, an efficient shot list and team to manage the execution provided a growth experience.    I began to shoot Blood Brothers but after three months of finding the talent and cast, locations, and crew, my budget was beginning to run thin. I managed seven days of shooting before I was forced to concede I would run out of time. The last few years had not been in vain however. I had come far in studying my new camera, LOG space and had launched myself into NUKE, a professional compositing piece of software.   Building upon my position as a Capilano Instructor and VFX editor at FUSEFX, I embarked upon a new approach to filmmaking and began the next installment episodes of Paradox armed with screenwriting craft and new technical VFX and cinematography knowledge.          4 Genesis  I’ve been fortunate to develop and find some small success to two approaches in filmmaking. In one sense, I am very passionate about telling First Nations Stories and would like to build a reputation and career as such. However, my knowledge of visual effects has greatly helped me find success in the sci-fi and web series genre.   It could be argued the development of one indirectly influenced the other.   The genesis of “Paradox” was of course, rooted in the development of “Chord” but its inception grew out of a greater appreciation of works. I was always one to enjoy puzzle films or films that made me an active participant rather than a casual observer. Films such as “Memento”, and “Pi” teased at my creative centers while TV shows such as “Lost” gave me the impetus to hold the answers back as a storyteller.   More so, my time at UBC also grew my appreciation of strong female characters thanks to my teachers, Rachel and Peggy. Something I hadn’t knowingly taken into consideration when writing Chord, which featured a strong female lead.   As a writer and filmmaker, I knowingly separate the two approaches whenever I embark on a new project. I trust the writer in me to consider thematic elements, story considerations and to make the utmost compelling, well-crafted script I can manage, however the filmmaker approach in me compels me to “see’ and “hear” the script in a more visceral fashion in ways I might gloss over in writing.   The sci-fi genre allowed me to ask many “what-if?” questions and in this instance, I enjoyed the idea: what if sound became unstable? What if we as people could not depend upon it to communicate as we once had? What if research into this area led to some doomsday weapon or a weapon of mass destruction in terms of sound? The universes of Chord and Paradox allowed me to explore that.   I’ve also enjoyed the idea of time travel. I was a big fan of the film 12 Monkeys where a man undergoes the Cassandra complex whereupon Cassandra was left with the knowledge of   5 future events, but could neither alter these events nor convince others of the validity of her predictions.  During my time as a student at The Vancouver Film School, I was given gear, crew and locations and spoon fed the ingredients to make a film. During the time after school, I was forced to innovate and manage together what I could for a film.  This kind of bare-bones approach to storytelling forced me to innovate on a number of different issues and make me think outside the box. Trained as a purist in terms of gear and equipment to use, I found myself resorting to creative fixes and wearing different hats throughout production. The phrase “shoot for the editor” never rang true more than on “Paradox” as I came to understand how I would fix or solve issues in post-production in my own time.   Paradox was built upon the idea of Chord’s Universe and in that Universe, the future had experienced an event that had made sound unpredictable and dangerous. Chord’s father had excelled in this sound wave research before the event and had passed on abilities to Chord. She awoke to find herself devoid of memories and covered in tattoos. She is handed a device by an unseen person and collapses. She awakes and recalls a past where a man chased and killed her father. She also remembers she is not of this time and finds a guide of sorts. A hologram embedded within the device.   We learn the man who is hunting her is named Gideon. He is sent back to hunt down Chord and believes she killed his wife. On a mission of vengeance, he hunts her relentlessly guided by a man and woman only he can see.  Time passes and Chord recalls some memories and is horrified to discover Gideon, the man who killed her father has also travelled back and is hunting her. She fights him off and disappears into the night leaving the man dazed and confused. The series ends with a defeated and confused Gideon scanning the night for any sign of Chord.  To counter what had occurred with Chord (main actress leaving due to pregnancy) and to continue with the story, which I was still passionate about, I sought to tell the same story from Gideon’s point of view.    6 In the initial pilot episode, I had first approached a physically large actor to take on the part and purchased a military style outfit for him.  A week before filming he withdrew from the project and so, hesitant to delay principal photography, I stepped into the role as I could fit the clothes and had sufficient stage and film experience to quickly call upon for the role.  With Paradox as a concept idea, I was quick to pull the trigger as I knew I would always have my lead (me!) ready and could quickly capitalize on any needed pickups, wild lines, ADR as long as I maintained enough sense to distance myself the actor from the director and stayed true to the story.   That was only the beginning however. Gideon’s story was a true twist on the universe I had created and I had to reinterpret story points and balance with those with practical considerations. The first main consideration was Gideon’s arc.   His through-line while promising had never been developed. Nothing in Chord had. It wasn’t a major consideration until Peggy’s and Rachel’s classes. The problem with being the one-man band on a show is a tendency to have the story all in your head and leave details out when dealing with newcomers or people who wish to aid on the project. Hitherto, I had always helmed the lead on a project and carried it as far as I could, picking up slack along the way or utilizing support on an as needed basis. The problem with this model is that it limits collaboration and creativity as a group.   The thoughtful input of the screenwriting class made me more appreciative of others feedback and as such and I began to actively consult those who I thought would give thoughtful, insightful input rather than feedback for feedback’s sake. While I had a general overarching goal for Chord, no real analysis had been done on the peripheral characters.  Gideon became a story of redemption. In the beginning, I had originally intended to use him as a foil character and one who was about to die in the fourth episode of Chord. Now, with the given circumstances and new developments I had to understand a man who had lost his wife.   I knew after careful analysis that Gideon’s super-objective was to redeem himself. He “wants” revenge for his wife but he “needs” redemption for committing terrible atrocities in the past and bringing the terrible future to bear. It became clear to me that he had to die, and in   7 keeping with the title of the show, he had to kill himself before the terrible act, thus creating a paradox.   Webseries The next consideration was the medium or format I would deliver the story. Would it be a TV show, a short, a feature or in my case- a web series? This would determine how I would approach the material and how I would approach framing and the appropriate tools for the job.   In the case of Canadian Film festivals, after having done research on what plays and what doesn’t, I understood well enough that I didn’t have any social issues, nor was I issuing a call to arms with my story. It wasn’t a doc, which Canada is well known for, and in the case of the sci-fi genre, I did not have a big budget behind it, which was the case for many successful short films. In a sense, I knew the market was saturated with dramatic short films and sci-fi work but a new frontier was still being developed in the case for web series.   Web series had the benefit of a series approach like TV, where I could tell a longer form story but also small enough in length to not overextend myself. It would give me the playground I needed to hone my skills and develop my craft. I had yet to understand my own preferences in framing, working with actors, dramatic beats and so forth, so I quickly embraced the web series genre once more for Paradox, armed with the new knowledge I had gleaned since Chord.  Chord had yielded me several awards and festival recognition and after some careful research, I had learned that others had taken to developing their craft in this medium and the competition was going to be much stiffer. While I knew that I could build upon some of the recognition previously earned by Chord, I also knew that more and more festivals were recognizing the web series value and in fact had embraced it into the mainstream. The Austin Film Festival will actually fly you over and put you up should you place as a finalist in the Digital Series category, and the same goes for The Marseilles Film Festival in France. So, I decided once more to forge ahead as a web series content creator.   8  As previously mentioned, the approach for web series is dramatically different than that for, say, a short film. There have been previous successes where web series have in fact been picked up and developed as television pilots. It’s a case of trying to tell an episodic story in a very succinct amount of time.  The content creator has to be very much aware that their audience will consist mainly of tech-savvy people who will in fact come across it over the web. This also means that the most likely screen it will be played upon will be a 720*486 monitor utilizing an srgb Color space. This is such a factor because it means as a director, I am very much aware that unlike a feature film, which has many eyes upon it and covers a large theatrical screen of real estate, I can forge ahead with my content knowing that I have some wiggle room in terms of VFX. Industry experience has shown me how feature films are scrutinized pixel by pixel in terms of CG over as many as 70 versions for one shot unlike TV, where typically ten to fifteen versions exist. Web series, designed for even smaller screens have the luxury of not being scrutinized as closely.  Framing is also a consideration. As the content medium grows smaller and smaller to play on mobile devices and tablets, the content creator must also adjust his or her thinking in approaching the medium. Do close ups play as substantive when presented on a mobile phone? In an age of showing everything and presenting a visual smorgasbord, does the opposite hold true to hold back and consider presenting the absence of something? Would Internet linking or interactive storytelling be an advantage in this case and, if so, - how? How could I play out an additive digital component? My time at Arctic Air had shown how CBC was adding digital web content in an attempt to reinforce their online presence and had new directors working on the content. Again, a frontier was being trekked by a larger studio. Finally, in an age of YouTube and instant click gratification, the struggle seems to be with finding the right audience. There are studies that indicate how the average shot length has declined from 12 seconds in 1920 to about 2.5 seconds today. That combined with a chaos cinema approach found in such films as The Bourne Identity where handheld shaky camera attempts to bring the viewer in via confusion, makes for a mainstream audience hungry for quick successive action that captures their attention for a few brief moments before clicking on to the next eye-catching event.    9 There is still quality work however. More and more talent is emerging through the web series medium and I felt I had enough of a base to try the format once more.       Research Chapters Finishing the Script Paradox presented me problems on many different fronts. While it allowed me to dream big in terms of story, I always had to look at the story in a practical sense. The writer in me was positively gleeful about the boundless possibilities I could take while the VFX artist in me cringed at some of the more detail oriented work.  It was fortuitous in the sense that I had a beginning to start with and a solid base. From there, it was really the question of could the vfx artist, cinematographer and producer in me get to the point that the writer and director in me wanted to reach with quality work?  I set out first to run some tests before I attempted anything in terms of an actual shoot. At this point, armed with my Canon 7D and a deep bench of filmmaking collaborators, it was a continuous series of tests and software analysis. I knew I could reuse and even build upon some of the techniques I learned for Chord such as wave pushing and holograms but for a thesis project, I wanted to stretch my production and vfx muscles, so to speak. The first test was a jumper effect first seen on the film “Jumper” and while a static frame or “locked camera” as is known in vfx terminology, would have been sufficient, it’s always best to push the boundaries and so we used a stitched frame approach for a panning camera effect. The first test was a resounding success.  The next test was a test in slit-scanning or time displacement. In essence you are warping the temporal displacement of your characters creating a folding like effect. Again, our attempts were a resounding success.     10 Finally, the last test was what I decided I would incorporate into a plot element - Actual 3D characters or objects.  Chord was accomplished with Photoshop and a vfx technique known as compositing. Compositing is the creative process of assembling and combining filmed or rendered elements from multiple sources, to create a final lifelike illusion or fantastical visual effect, delivered as a set of still or moving pictures. There are two different types of compositing: node-based and layer-based. In the case of Chord and Paradox Ep.1, the software tool utilized was Adobe After-Effects . It involves a layer-based approach to compositing. I wanted to graduate to nodal based compositing software called Nuke.  3D objects, dynamics, rigging and integration were the real challenges and things I had only heard about. It was during my first year of my Masters before I could claim any knowledge of 3D applications. Between my film and writing classes, I took to watching various digital-tutors courses and teaching myself on trial versions of software to understand the basics of 3D and how it could be used in filmmaking.  My research carried me into two software packages, Maya and 3DS max. It helped me understand a scene in terms of coordinates and polygons. My knowledge of lighting and cinematography also carried over as I was forced to relight within the software package and even framing in keeping with the rule of thirds.  My first few tests were abysmal. My renders seemed “video-gamey” at best and the time spent for one render took a full six days to complete before I realized it was done incorrectly. Clearly, I had much to learn but moreover, the story I had in mind was in serious jeopardy. I hadn’t come across many VFX artists in general during my film career at that point and I had never met one attempting to do what I was embarking on.  During this time, I almost gave up on the idea and the project as a whole. The writer dreamed too big and the technician could not keep up. I had no mentor to ask questions of in this arena, nor did I have a basis upon which to test my theories.   It was during this time however that a side project in Crazy 8’s came up and proved a fortuitous distraction. The time spent away was a much needed break but also served to arm me   11 with new knowledge. Crazy 8’s is a competition where you enter and if your team is selected, you have a total of eight days to come up with a finished project that will in turn be viewed by local industry in a gala event screening. I would say the event sharpened me. I hadn’t ever tried to make a film in that much of a crunch time but neither had my team or any of the fellows I knew.  In the end, I was happy with what my team had achieved. The scenes look great and I was happy with the acting, but disappointed with how I misjudged the pacing of my camera. (especially towards the climax), but vfx concerns and time constraints had me locked to a stationary camera, thus restricting how I could play out the scene. I sometimes come back to this and still haven’t reached a conclusion as to how I should approach the climax, but I digress. When the event had passed, I was once more confident to take a stab at Paradox and as luck turned out, I was able to purchase a professional level graphics card- one much more up to the task I was demanding of my processor and the high-end graphics I was pushing. Numerous weeks and tests later, I had the first photorealistic simulation I needed for my story and the so the story editing continued. I was finally up to par in terms of technical skills to add my Robotic Drone into Episode 1. It was a milestone of sorts but only one of many in terms of research. I was lucky in the sense that I had actually shot the scene but had to achieve the 3D drone I needed to insert into the first episode. My success in Crazy 8’s was then followed by an additional grant for my film “Machimanitonahk- The Devil Dwelling” which would go on to screen at the LA Skins festival. While stipulations of the grant state that I would not be eligible to use it as a thesis film, the work directly affected my research and career as a whole, as I was able to purchase a Blackmagic 4K Camera, lenses, drone and lighting gear; a significant upgrade to my simple dslr, a Canon 7D.  The Canon dslr series had been a game changer for Indy, low budget filmmakers such as myself and allowed for new storytellers to hone their craft using relatively inexpensive gear. The trade-off however was in technical quality. The canon series utilized H264 compression and a 4:2:0 color space, which made for a less than ideal approach to Chroma keying and color grading.    12 My first episode of Paradox had all been shot on the dslr’s including my green screen section where Gideon accesses a Hologram. The result of that footage was a thoroughly taxing time in two weeks of rotoscope, in what theoretically should have been an easy keying situation. At the time however, I had not understood the color science nor compression technology that was being utilized by the software. Again, the writer overreaching what the technician could effectively deliver.  The introduction of the new camera was a revelation. Suddenly, I rediscovered color and its advantages in film but more effectively, it illuminated research in the areas of color science and specifically Chroma-subsampling. Where a dslr records at 4:2:0 effectively throwing away information to fit on the small compact flash card, my Blackmagic could record at a full 4:4:4 Raw format throwing away no information and effectively giving me one click keys when lit correctly.   Technical notes aside, I was able to finally deliver a professional quality film along with high end footage to supplement the vfx I had in mind for my story. This had a huge impact on the story and where I would take it ultimately.  I was also coming into my own as a DOP/ Director. I had utilized others to be my cinematographers while I focused on the directing, but would find less than reliable people and as a result, have to step up and light and shoot the scene myself. With the new gear, I was in a much more independent realm of filmmaking.  One of the benefits of knowing the production and post-production ends is that it allows a certain amount of slack. I knew for example, that with a 4K camera, I didn’t require the experienced stable hand that I might once have needed as I could stabilize and add camera movements in post-production. The settings had to be right, but as long as I knew the focal length and that a certain amount of contrast of tracking markers were present, I could greatly enhance the footage in post.  And so, I began to contact the old cast and crew of Chord. As luck would have it, many were still around and wanted to participate but a script and show bible would be required.    13 I knew I wanted drones and mechanical robots present in Paradox. I also wanted a dreamlike machine world much like the one presented in the all-white room of the Matrix. Finally, I wanted to explore the idea of nanotechnology in terms of audio and optics. These were the story points that only I as a technician could provide. The contacts I knew were unable to provide these on my scant budget and in fact, there were very few I knew who even had the expertise to carry out some of the more difficult tasks. Once I knew I could secure those in post-production, I had to take inventory of what I could afford and produce in terms of props and locations. As luck would have it, my recent appointment as an instructor at Capilano University granted me access to professional studios consisting of a 100 foot green screen, standing bar and standing apartment. Each room, in it’s own right, a low budget filmmaker’s dream. That, and the forest nearby and campus itself would lend themselves to my imagination.  The second episode was intended to be an adventure within Gideon’s mind as he tracks down a signal he believes to be the key he has been looking for.  I had originally intended for Gideon to be attacked and captured, only to wake up in a cyber-dream world where nothing made sense to him and be led throughout these various situations by a woman he thinks is his wife. In the end, he would realize he was being hacked and was unconscious the entire time.  He would kill the imposter playing his wife and awake in the real world. The original filming was actually quite easy. I experimented with two different approaches I had researched and developed. The first approach was a dual 4K camera approach.  An associate of mine, Rob Hunt, was coming off of his own web series titled “Standard Action”. He was my B camera operator armed with another Blackmagic 4K camera and multitasked in many roles.  The footage amount was staggering. I had to purchase additional drives to the point of 21 TB of storage capacity at the time of writing just to store the amount of data I was recording.    14 Shooting with two cameras can be a double-edged sword. They can be highly useful during a crunch time situation but the extra time in processing and storage is a drain on resources. Something I hadn’t anticipated and so after the first two days of shooting, I scrapped that approach.  The second approach was a literal hack job. During my research through various forums, I came across a hack for Canon dslr cameras from a team calling themselves Magic Lantern. What they did in effect was to take the small camera, hack the sensor to record raw quality footage, which was uncompressed, and store it. The process was new, revolutionary and in no way sanctioned by Canon.  I jumped all over it. The process called for software hacks, which I ran on my own Canon 7D, and a process of taking those Raw files to convert in Davinci Resolve. It also called for a faster speed Compact Flash card that I ordered off of E-bay. I shot color charts for both cameras and took the footage to colorist specialist, Scott Mackenzie, for analysis. He assured me the quality was up to par but the Blackmagic camera footage would be sharper. It would make for an ideal B camera.  Typically for a two camera shoot, I shoot my B camera wide and my A camera on a longer lens. This allows me some flexibility in post. I also can shoot the B on a long lens on a ninety degree angle from the subject for a profile shot if the subject is stationary. In any case, the two-camera test worked and didn’t work. The hack was too new and frames would drop. I couldn’t trust the footage to not drop frames on a quality take, so this in itself was enough to detract from its implementation. Another reason was the added two processes in post-production hindered my ability to move forward in a timely fashion. The hack approach was discontinued after day three.  I shot one camera for the rest of the shoot. I captured the rest of the show and was off to post production. It was here that I found more technical problems. There were four to eight shots where I spent an entire week on a single shot and still was unsatisfied with the results  Finally, I had lost two of my actresses. One had moved to New Zealand unexpectedly and another was unavailable.    15 I reshot the ending and reworked the script. What was a 40-minute rough assembly on my timeline whittled down to an eight-minute episode.      Synopsis The web series “Paradox” will revolve around a primary protagonist, Gideon, a time traveller from the future seeking redemption to right his past crimes. He knows he has been sent back in time but remembers very little.    Guided by a hologram called Face, Gideon seeks to remember his past.  His nemesis, Sebastian Oldershaw, has travelled back in time in part to thwart Gideon and ensure the future past comes to be. Sebastian and Gideon battle for control of the future.                  16 Production The first episode of Paradox was complicated, difficult and taxing. While I had run tests and had a script for the first episode, I wasn’t quite convinced of my technical ability.  Throughout casting, I wanted two villains. One I could carry as a mastermind or puppet master of sorts. Much like a chess game, I wanted Gideon and the character of Sebastian to be diametrically opposite in mannerisms but similar in abilities. With that said, it was always my intention to reveal Gideon as the mastermind original villain and architect of the terrible future, more insidious than even Sebastian.  The decision to cast myself as Gideon was twofold.  The first was for simple practical reasons. I knew I never wanted to run into the situation of actors departing due to unforeseen reasons. Without a proper budget, I would always be in jeopardy of losing actors.    The second reason was continuity. I could continue the Chord story and universe using a character we had seen before. The next choice in casting was a co-villain. I’ve always enjoyed the idea of strong women challenging the status quo or the dark heroine. In this case, I came across Christen Traversy as a student at The Vancouver Film School and her work in The Compendium Series where she played a dark Tinkerbell and a dark Snow White. Her presence as a villain was strong and moody and she was a perfect fit for the role.  To round out Gideon’s allies I turned to a friend, Ben Hanson, who I had worked with in my student film “Simon” for VFS. He has a roguish quality to him that I quite liked. I knew his presence would serve as a foil to Gideon’s more brooding nature. Finally, for the role of Alicia, I held auditions over three weekends before I came across Tara Pratt. Her presence rounded out the three of us nicely.  It also occurred to me that since she held the lead role in another web series “Standard Action” as Wendy, she had a small but appreciative following. Her presence could help increase the brand awareness in the long term.  A good location needs to fit the story and has to have many things that a filmmaker requires. It needs to have nearby parking, facilities for washrooms, a separate station for hair and   17 makeup, a green room, power outlets or a station for a generator and a gear staging area where lights and grip gear can be placed on standby.  As a filmmaker, I’ve not given serious consideration to my work as a producer. During the first episode, I had gone about collecting the wrong individuals for the task of shooting “Paradox”. This is in no part to diminish the scope of the hard work and talent of the people involved but I now understand how I overshot and wrongly delegated tasks.  One of the strengths of low budget filmmaking is the ability to have a small team, which makes for effective communication.  The bar was much higher for the work I was aiming for in Episode 2. I wanted an eye-catching opening to make up for the weakness of episode one and sought to pull out my big guns of 3d models and integrate them into the scenes.  The first few were easy city shots on my canon 7D but I had to remember to take to snapshots of the environment for reflection purposes. This is called environment mapping in vfx terminology. I also shot an associate of mine for some green screen to simulate a particle disintegration shot that occurs. I wanted to investigate the cyberspace that Gideon enters and have a guide present for him to interact with. For that role I cast Sinead O’Flynn. The final role was given to Jennifer Morden, for the role of Face once more.  For the shoot, I built upon previous experience and had a small crew. I would use two camera people for the first two days and rely on one single camera afterwards. I would employ a makeup and hair artist once more, along with one sound operator and two grips. For the shots that required no or minimal sound, I wouldn’t use a sound person.  For this and future episodes, I would take on the role of cinematographer as well as director and actor.  My shot lists and beat breakdowns had evolved. A major problem I had discovered with previous shot lists was that they were highly technical. My actors suffered from aiming to hit technical marks and performances suffered. With that in mind, I built my shot list keeping   18 mindful of three key frames I wanted for each shot- The opening frame, the middle frame and the last frame. While this may seem simplistic in conception, it freed my thinking to focus more on performance.  Experience from “Devil Dwelling” had also taught me that should the camera operator frame wider than needed, I could crop in post and manipulate the camera movement as needed since I was shooting over scan, a term which means shooting 4K but delivering in HD resolution.  For each day that I prep, I always prepare a shot list. The more complicated the shoot, the more detailed the list. When it involves a larger crew and bigger shots, I typically arrange for a first AD to help me go over the shots ahead of time. I’ve found that the more prepared I am going into a scene, the faster I move and more flexible I become. I also typically scout out my locations two to three days in advance ensuring power, sound and weather conditions are optimal.  Having my own gear has made me independent as a low budget filmmaker. The low budget nature of my shoots has caused me to create do it yourself solutions that I encourage when teaching classes. Some of these novel approaches involve using bristle board to create snoots, negative fill devices, cookies, splitters, bounce boards as well as shower curtains to diffuse lighting or harsh daylight conditions.  Green screen shoots have the deceiving appearance of being relatively simple. You can do the main task of lighting of the green screen and then afterwards tweak the lighting to match the talent and what the shot entails, so the lighting setups are very fast.  The real task is designing the background, tracking and the keying process. For a standard scene with no creative camera movements, you have a wide, and two coverage shots. This means you have to design three backgrounds and integrate them with the talent.  The first two days of shooting were executed and seemed to flow along seamlessly in the Capilano green screen studio. The amount of footage was enormous -and would be hard on my system without proper data management.    19 I was dismayed to learn I was going to lose Sinead after the first week as she had decided to move to Australia for a few months, so I shot numerous plates as well as stills I could manipulate in post. The same was done for Laura. These were assets I could manipulate in postproduction. The technique is known as grid warping and it involves taking still or moving images and applying a digital “mesh” to the area as needed. From there, you can twist or alter the mesh, taking care not to warp it past the point of believability. This technique has been widely applied to footage to simulate eye blinks, heads nods, facial tics, and so on.  In a sense, I was made more aware that I was applying a unique creative force based upon years of experience from a low budget filmmaker’s perspective. I was no longer vying for higher end tools where they were no longer needed and in some cases rejecting them for the low budget version to acquire flexibility and mobility. Camera settings and post-production knowledge also allowed me to reverse engineer scenes to fit my low budget circumstances. That, combined with my crew had made me a very different and changed filmmaker from the first episode of Paradox.  Sadly, towards the end of the shoot, Laura Mitchell also had to cancel a day of shooting. It was an unforeseen difficulty but not one I hadn’t considered. After the Chord situation with losing my lead, I knew I could be more fluid in storytelling using myself as the lead. I quickly wrote off the loss of days as collateral damage and set about to remedying the situation.  I was able to still use the first half of the footage and so, I set about altering the script and devising the present script where Gideon is jumped, awakens in a strange environment and recalls his past. He then reawakens to the real world and comes across the hologram face before passing out once more. Previous experience had taught me to focus my creativity on elements I could manage such as locations and props.  Once more I called upon my crew and we captured the footage in less than three days. It would only be a matter of post-production from then on.       20 Post-Production The post-production stage of filmmaking is the area where I experienced the most growth as a low-budget filmmaker.  The post-production phase of episode one was grueling. It was the experience of realizing I’d hit one roadblock after another.  This is not to say that the task was insurmountable or that the film was ruined but the experience was such that I could have easily rectified the situation with better planning or being more knowledgeable about vfx or cinematography.  The first scene of paradox involving Gideon getting hit by a car was not tested and even though we had captured the correct plates with a locked camera, the lighting was insufficient and much to my dismay, my camera was one of the worst to shoot green screen. The compression of the camera resulted in data being thrown away that would make keying all the more difficult.  This two-second shot was minuscule compared to the interior of Gideon’s house when he activates the hologram. The locked camera green screen shot and the shot preceding it took to a full week in rotoscope and keying work. Time at a vfx facility could cost a professional well over $9000.00 in billable hours.  The head that Gideon holds in his hand was also an experiment in tracking and working with 3D objects and particle systems utilizing Red giant’s plugin for Adobe After-Effects called “Form.” This was a particle system that recognized 3D vertices and could be wielded to work with the models. This plugin would be a big part of my climactic battle near the end with Alicia, Christen Traversy’s character.  This was the first project that forced me to develop a proper workflow. During my time at Arctic Air as a vfx coordinator, I came to understand editorial and a vfx workflow and how to properly manage an EDL between the two working in Avid Media Composer. Chord saw me using compressed footage over and over and as a result, the end quality was deteriorated. Episode one of Paradox didn’t suffer as much from my inexperience.    21 My title sequence was the result of a week’s search of video hive’s title sequences for sale. It required some finessing to get a polished result but the majority of work was already done.  Another frustration was Alicia checking her phone’s text message. The hours I spent in tracking were in itself a hurdle. I could not seem to manage a track that looked believable. After giving up, I took to researching outside tracking software programs and came across a planar tracking program called Mocha. Where Adobe After Effects could track one or two points at a time to resolve translation and rotation, Mocha was a planar tracking system that was built for situations such as Alicia’s phone. I took to watching the Digital Tutors series on Mocha and within two days, I had nailed a track that could resolve the shot.  The electric whip shot was a lesson in shutter speed more so than post-production. I bring it up here because at a certain point, I find the two to be completely tied together. It’s my experience that you can’t do great postproduction without excellent camera technical knowledge. The two are inexplicably linked and now, with camera costs and software rapidly declining, there is no excuse for the ambitious low budget filmmaker not to take advantage of both.  In the case of the electric whip, the shutter speed should have been increased to resolve motion blur. And to create a stroboscopic effect whereby I could effectively track the whip, add the effect in post and place motion blur in post-production to sell the effect.  I was proud of the blood shot and Nano-machines in Gideon’s’ blood at the five minute mark. I had never used 3D in this way and to model a blood cell, texture it and bring it into After Effects- This created a blood stream with machines inside. Adding a camera push in as well as a rack focus gave it that added measure of polish.  I was also happy with the effect of the Nano machines reacting to Gideon’s wound. It was an extra hard track that mocha helped me through. I was fortunate that no 3D was added but rather a simple distortion field that I had to copy and paste to give the effect of three Nano machines closing in to seal his wound. The series of shots where the two villains are discussing Gideon were a complex task in post-production. I had mistakenly shot Michael Bryant’s character Sebastian gesturing in the air   22 when I should have placed a green screen behind him and then another as a clean plate. The result was a week of rotoscope work. That and a 180-shutter speed made the motion blur of his hand a nightmare to work with.  It was also a task to come up with the holograms. I was running short of time and I could not design enough material in Photoshop at a fast enough rate. As a result, I had to purchase Digital Juice’s Motion Designer’s package, which consisted of premade animated backgrounds. From there, I invested in some After Effects scripts online, which would “curve” the holograms around Sebastian giving the image more depth in the scene. The last step was an investment in Red Giant’s Holomatrix plugin that allowed me to quickly apply a hologram feel to the animated curved background.  The first shot of the drone was my pride and joy for about a week, I had never worked with 3D and the initial test renders were video gamey and unrealistic. I was happy to have interactive reflections, motion blur, and grain placed within the scene to achieve a realistic composite. The following scene of the drones flying overhead and shooting at Gideon’s team took another week. Despite my best efforts I was unable to effectively time the group turning as they watched the flying drones, I had to track and stitch together two separate takes into one take and then place the drones overhead. For this shot, I had never tried to stitch two moving plates together and found it to be a task of manually hand stitching frame-by-frame and retiming in some key frames. After numerous attempts to hand place the drone falling to the ground, I had hit another obstacle. After consulting the blogs about collisions of 3D objects, I came across a plugin for 3DS max called Rayfire. It would calculate algorithms to correctly assess the fall and apply it to the scene for me. Numerous tutorials and multiple render passes later, I had a final result. By this point, I was halfway through my second year of my Master’s and the project seemed stuck in post-production. I had captured the plates and footage but numerous roadblocks in my knowledge seemed to make the project insurmountable.    23 The final showdown between Christen’s character and Gideon involved two cyber like character’s battling each other in a way only they could see. Christen’s character seemed to appear from air as a golden feminine warrior and called forth smoke tendrils to battle Gideon. Gideon in turn was a blue electric warrior figure who defended himself with an electric shield.  This was a culmination of months of research and development that I wasn’t sure would even pay off. I started off oblivious as to how to make a 3D character move. A drone was one thing that had no intricate moving parts but my research indicated rigging, a process where the animator takes the 3D model and associates mesh pieces to bones that the animator can link together for a chain to work off of.  I was stumped for about two months. After reading numerous blogs and watching tutorial sites online, I came across a lesser-known animatic program called “Poser”. This was a program that rigged the model for you and allowed you to “pose” the figures for scenes or digital artwork.  I took to bringing in a human male and female and understand the posing process. After a week of immersing myself in the program, I also had to decipher the workflow or if it was even feasible to bring what I needed across software packages.  It’s quite often misunderstood by students and newcomers to post production that while a software may work fine by itself, the real test comes when one tries to move in-between two or more packages and how to resolve issues through troubleshooting. Such was the case of Poser and After Effects and the previously mentioned plugin “Form”. I knew how to animate figures but I didn’t want a bare-naked male or female in the scene. Rather, I needed the “Form” plugin to recognize the 3d vertices of Poser’s 3d model and in 2013, the plugin “Form” updated their software to recognize 3d .OBJ file sequences. This was exactly what I needed and it had occurred at just the right time in my case. After that, I simply built upon the same effect of having my Gideon hit by a car and added a shot to help sell it. We started the car in front of Christen, and drove in reverse timing her actions as such that we would reverse the flow in time. The effect is such that it seems we are racing towards her before we hit her.    24 The title sequence was again an easy find on VideoHive and tweaked for the team credits. From there I set about to getting a copy out to my post Audio technician Eric Mouawaba, and set about spot checking what we needed for ADR and effects.  Looking back, the effort that was put into the first episode of Paradox impresses me to this day. I had given up at one point, undertaken a new project (for Rachel’s class), came back and hit a wall, did the crazy 8’s film “Sacrifice” and returned to finish the project. While the quality of the work is quite painful for me to view now as a seasoned post-production professional, it still holds sentimental value as a project I did not abandon and serves to remind me as a milestone of learning.  Episode two and post production was nowhere near as difficult, though not without it’s own challenges. I had finished episode one and completed my film for the Canada Council “Devil Dwelling” and had begun to learn the technicalities of my camera. This and the fact of having shot numerous practices and examples at Capilano had made me an effective and knowledgeable cinematographer.  It should also be mentioned that 2014 and my fourth year of my Masters saw my wife diagnosed with Leukemia and as such, a pause on scholastic activities over the course of the summer during her treatment and recovery. The time was well spent on family, reflections and life assessments with which we happily emerged with a remission of her Cancer, which carry through to the present time of writing.   The result was a keenly felt sense of mortality and ambition to proceed quickly with my work. As such, I set out to film my feature and that saw me spend time on casting, rewrites, location scouting and rehearsal.  I was fortunate to find some great talent and even managed to film six days of footage but as a result of policies at Capilano and the timeframe in proportion to my Master’s duration, I proceeded on to Episode two knowing I would complete Blood Brothers on the heels of my thesis and graduation. With that, I set out to film. The postproduction phase of Episode 2 saw me years ahead in knowledge of compositing. I had a more efficient camera, a more efficient method keying in After effects and   25 was beginning to build a solid foundation of keying methodology in Nuke, a node based compositing program and industry standard for vfx.  The results were completely night and day to episode one and my previous work. My entire workflow had evolved and with it, my knowledge of how to approach a scene. It has made me a better writer, director, producer and editor. I can only describe it as seeing a mathematical problem where you understand how all the principles and rules converge to elegantly solve a problem.  My excitement had reached new heights and saw me overshoot once more. I was simply running out of time and had a rough assembly of 40 minutes for a Webisode episode, which should be 10 minutes maximum. I was overextending on my format as a result of my work on my feature. The sensibilities of time restrictions had eluded me and as such, I had spent two months on keying, tracking and designing backgrounds, I simply didn’t need.  I had to rethink my entire episode and bible as a result. I redesigned my script and shot some reshoots. My first shot of Episode two saw me open with Drones attacking the city. This shot alone was a six-day render in 3ds max in 2012 when I first attempted it. In 2015, it became a 6 minute render with the upgrades that had evolved in After effects and in particular, a plugin called Element 3D by Video Copilot.  I would like to take a minute and address the staggering speed of technology advances. Effects used in Jurassic park 12 years ago were done on computers no better than what my home system now has. The same could be said for the Abyss and water simulations, or terminator 2 and the moving T-1000. It’s my opinion that with proper time, research and software, a sole motivated filmmaker could achieve a simplistic but believable version of such effects today. It is another direct way in which creativity is affected by technology.  The shot of the drone blowing up a building was a shot- that might have confounded me earlier. It contains a combination of the After effects plugin Element 3D, 3ds max for the torus ring that blasts out of the drone and a different simulation from Rayfire which I had used in the first episode. I was simply better at integrating the software packages and able to bring together assets in a quicker manner for a more integrated shot.   26 The walking Titan Mech as I call it, was altogether a new set of challenges. The model was an acquired asset I had purchased and while I was quite happy with the design, I was thoroughly unhappy with the texture mapping and especially the inverted design of the mech’s legs. It was a nightmare in terms of rigging and bringing it through Poser’s software called for a delicate approach and attention to detail, especially concerning walking scenarios.  I had to first animate the mech in poser, which was not hard by itself except for walking. Then I would bring the model through to After effects where I would retexture the model, giving it chrome alloy and glow. The chrome alloy would need to reflect something but by this point, I was aware of environment maps and had shot stills on the day.                 27 Sound The soundscape was an interesting learning experience as well. Many of the effects I had created obviously needed some designing and took a considerable amount of time searching through various sound libraries for assets, which I could use to build the sounds.  Production sound was always a challenge to capture. Through repeated production sound issues with Chord, and after an especially difficult process of capturing production sound for Rachel’s exercise, thorough location sound scouting has always been a prep issue for me. For Rachel’s exercise, the entire project was filmed in an underground parkade, which echoed and reverberated throughout the entire production. As a result, the entire show had to involve ADR or automated dialogue Replacement. This was impossible since two of the actresses had moved away since filming.  This exercise was a valuable learning exercise as I make it a central tenant to schedule wild lines on set from all my actors on the day of filming. This practice came especially in handy for Paradox Episode two as Sinead has moved away but as a result of getting her wild lines, we were able to grab what we needed from the takes.             28 Picture The entire conceptual look and texture of Paradox has grown considerably since its inception. What originally was thought to be a dark, sleek and harshly lit feel for the show has grown with my skillset over time and evolved in scope. I enjoyed filming in the cover of night and using the lighting to direct the viewer to what I intended. I would converse with Chris Fisher, my Episode one cinematographer about the feel I was looking for and was happy to see him quite receptive to the look I was going for.  I was sure to communicate ahead of our shoot dates about different asset acquisition for vfx and have a thoroughly prepped shot list. Chris in return would suggest ways to heighten my vision though beautifying shots and lighting. It would be safe to say I learned a great deal of cinematography from watching him assess a scene and shot.  By the time we shot Episode two, I was quite confident of my cinematography skills and felt largely confident to take risks and push myself in terms of framing quality.  Moreover, I was in a better position to correctly shoot the vfx and set the camera information I needed.  Episode two was an experiment to push my green screen skills. I had never attempted this many green screen shots before and as such, creating an entirely different environment for Gideon to wake up to was a daunting and entirely challenging task. The software was entirely new to me, and yet, knowing that it was within my reach allowed my imagination to aim high. I had collected and stitched together enough photographs and images off the net to create a scene I was happy with but it became evident to me during the process that I was no longer bound the way I was before during Episode one. Even simple shots managed on location could benefit from postproduction set extension and augmentation.  Another unexpected side effect that came with using such a high-end camera and shooting at 4K was the added time in rendering. While I could quickly go back and forth between programs with a highly compressed, lower size file, the added time to render out in 4K and with little to no compression made for especially long render times and almost doubled my previous time spent in post production.    29 I would also have to add that with the higher end sensor, I had to compensate for grain and noise and learn to correctly de-noise plates and add grain after the shot was finished.  As such, the overall picture and world of Paradox has evolved. The knowledge of vfx set extension and green screen work will allow me to dream big, while previous follies of overreaching my abilities will temper my ambitions moving forward.                     30 Festivals and Marketing  The approach for Festivals and marketing has evolved since I first attempted a web series. Web series have grown in popularity and as a medium in general, there is a much stronger presence online and in the film festival circuit.   I have also met various, successful, web content creators that have helped me grow and enlightened me as to what works, and what doesn’t. One individual of note, Rob Hunt, a good friend of mine and creator of Standard Action, informed me how his series went the Convention route to build their fan base instead of the Festival route. He detailed how they reached out to their fans and ran a successful kick-starter campaign for each season in the range of $30000 per campaign. That and a strong outreach to their fan base, blog mentions and Con appearances made their series highly successful.  The film festival circuit has also evolved in the last few years. My intention is to submit to Austin Film Festival, The Marseilles Web Festival and the Leo Awards with Paradox and market it first as a web series. Second tier festival and awards shows would include Holly Webfeet, La Webfeet and ITV Fest. There are many additional 3rd tier festivals that are too numerous to list here. The benefit of having one or more episodes at a length of 20 minutes and above allows me to enter the series into certain Television Film Festivals also for consideration.   There is also added pressure as competitions such as the Telus Storyhive competition now accepts pitches and funds successful web series based on their pitch ideas. These and the government funded Independent Production Fund have made the web series landscape much more competitive and as a result, content value has increased significantly.   It can also be noted that several professional filmmakers have made use of these funds such as Gary Harvey the former showrunner of Arctic Air, who directed “Coded” a 2014 recipient of the Telus Storyhive fund.  The goal is to first craft a number of episodes and build up word of mouth through various film festivals, awards and recognition prior to launching a website where content can be accessed. Through proper crowd building on reputable sites, blogs and social media sites, any awards and recognition will build our brand for a proper launch.   31 Conclusion The entire process of filming Episode one of Paradox to finishing Episode two has been an enormous learning curve in all avenues of production and screenwriting.  There was no singular moment that the work gelled or that I achieved a moment of clarity. It could be said that it was a constant battle of running into obstacle after obstacle and despite my best efforts, on some days my vision simply overreached my abilities. This was the best experience I could have asked for however as it pushed me well beyond my comfort levels. Without having someone there to tell me the proper way to do things, I had to creatively ascertain what was possible and use what tools were at my disposable.  If the first episode of Paradox was a full on production complete with a full crew and gear compliment, locations that were properly scouted and assessed with the energy of a full television production, than episode two was the little engine that could. It was well thought out, skeleton crewed, prepped, efficient and flexible. Experience from relying on large amounts of gear and crew personnel had taught me to think outside the box. The same could be said of post-production and higher end software packages. Trying to solve a 3D scene using high-end programs that may be unfamiliar does not guarantee a high production value or successful outcome where a lower end solution will fit the situation and circumstances to a better outcome. In conclusion, in my experience, initial ideas evolve through testing both high-end gear and software allowing deviations to create a more efficient filmmaker. As an experienced filmmaker, I regularly employ low budget solutions to technical problems where I once mistakenly may have overthought the situation. There is no substitute for experience and skill, and while higher end tools may allow for greater creative freedom, it is the storyteller who is the one responsible for their implementation.       32 BIBLIOGRAPHY Books Weston, Judith. Directing Actors: Creating Memorable Performing for Film and Television. Studio City, CA: M. Wiese Productions, 1999. Print.  Malkiewicz, J. Kris, and M. David Mullen. 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Strikes Back: More Trouble for Screenwriter's [sic] to Get Into-- and out of. Saline, Michigan?: Save the Cat!, 2009. Print.  Trottier, David. The Screenwriter's Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script. 6th ed. Print.  McKee, Robert. Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting. New York: Regan, 1997. Print.    33 Field, Syd. Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting. Rev. ed. New York, N.Y.: Delta Trade Paperbacks, 2005. Print.  Vogler, Christopher, and Michele Montez. The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers. 3rd ed. Studio City, CA: Michael Wiese Productions, 2007. Print.  Lancaster, Kurt. DSLR Cinema: Crafting the Film Look with Large Sensor Video Cameras. 2nd ed. Burlington, MA: Focal, 2013. Print.  Brown, Blain. Motion Picture and Video Lighting. 2nd Ed., New ed. Burlington, Mass: Elsevier/Focal, 2008. Print.  Campbell, Joseph, and Bill D. Moyers. The Power of Myth. New York: Anchor, 1991. Print.  Cowgill, Linda J. Writing Short Films: Structure and Content for Screenwriters. 2nd ed. Los Angeles, CA: Lone Eagle Pub., 2005. Print.  Proferes, Nicholas T. Film Directing Fundamentals: See Your Film before Shooting. 3rd ed. Amsterdam: Focal, 2008. Print.  Gulino, Paul Joseph. Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach. New York: Continuum, 2004. Print. Howard, David, and Edward Mabley. The Tools of Screenwriting: A Writer's Guide to the Craft and Elements of a Screenplay. New York: St. Martin's, 1993. Print.  Kauffmann, Sam, and Ashley Kennedy. Avid Editing: A Guide for Beginning and Intermediate Users. 5th ed. Amsterdam: Focal, 2012. Print.   Websites Kendricken, Dave. "The Best Thing About 4K & UHD Isn't More Resolution: Sayonara Interlacing, Hello Wider Color Gamut." NoFilmSchool. Web. 22 Nov. 2015. <http://nofilmschool.com/2013/07/4k-uhd-color-space-gamut-frame-rate>.     34 "5 ELEMENTS OF A GREAT CHROMA KEY." FilmmakerIQ. Web. 15 Nov. 2015. <http://filmmakeriq.com/lessons/5-elements-of-a-great-chromakey/>.    Reid, Andrew. "4K Is Here! Blackmagic Production Camera Review." EOSHD. Web. 8 Apr. 2013. <www.eoshd.com>.   Starnes, Don. "KEYING AND COMPOSITING IN NUKEX." Provideocoalition. Web. 16 Feb. 2016. <www.provideocoalition.com>.    Kramer, Andrew. Video Copilot. Web. 13 Nov. 2014. <http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials/>.   "Creative COW Video Tutorials." Creative Cow. Web. 06 Sept. 2013. <https://library.creativecow.net/video-tutorials>.   Seitz, Matt Zoller, Kevin B. Lee, and Ken Cancelosi. "VIDEO ESSAY ARCHIVE." Press Play. Web. 13 Nov. 2015. <http://blogs.indiewire.com/pressplay/>.    Films Lost. Dir. Abrams J.J. Perf. Matthew Fox Evangeline Lilly Jorge Garcia Josh Holloway Terry O'Quinn Naveen Andrews. Buena Vista Home Entertainment, 2005. DVD.  12 Monkeys [DVD]. Universal Studios Home Entertainment, 1995. DVD.  Continuum. Dir. Rachel Nichols. Perf. Rachel Nichols, Victor Webster. Universal Studios Home Entertainment, 2013. Film.  The Terminator. Perf. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, Paul Winfield. Artisan, 1984. DVD.  The Time Traveller's Wife. Dir. Robert Schwentke. Perf. Eric Bana Rachel McAdams Ron Livingston. Roadshow Entertainment [distributor], 2010. Film.  Back to the Future. Dir. Robert Zemeckis. Perf. Michael J. Fox Christopher Lloyd Lea Thompson Crispin Glover. Universal Pictures, 1985. Film.    35 The Butterfly Effect. Dir. Chris Bender. Perf. Ashton Kutcher John Patrick Amedori Amy Smart Elden Henson William Lee Scott Eric Stoltz Ethan Suplee Logan Lerman Melora Walters. New Line Cinema, 2004. Film.  Requiem for a Dream. Dir. Darren Aronofsky. Perf. Ellen Burstyn Jared Leto Jennifer Connelly Marlon Wayans. Artisan Home Entertainment, 2001. Film.  Pi. Dir. Darren Aronofsky. Perf. Sean Gullette Mark Margolis Ben Shenkman Samia Shoaib. Artisan Entertainment, 2001. DVD.  Memento. Dir. Christopher Nolan. Perf. Guy Pearce Carrie-Anne Moss Joe Pantoliano. Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, 2001. DVD.  Primer. Dir. Shane Carruth. Perf. Shane Carruth David Sullivan. New Line Home Entertainment, 2005. DVD.                36 Appendix A Episode Scripts    37      38      39      40      41       42     43     44      45      46      47      48    49      50      51      52      53      54      55      56      57      58      59      60      61      62      63       64      65      66      67      68      69      70      71      72      73        74      75      76      77      78       79      80      81      82  Appendix B Floor Plans    83     84  Appendix C Complete Credits     85                  86 Appendix D Schedule Production Episode 1 Sept 1-Dec 15 Pre-production - Location scouting (Sept 1-Oct 15) - Casting (Oct. 15- Nov. 15)  - Crew hires/Production meetings (Nov 1 – Dec15) - Equipment consolidation (Dec1 – Jan 15)  Jan. 16-30 Principal Photography  Feb. 1-March 25 Post Production phase 1 - Transcoding and rough assembly (Feb. 1- Feb. 20) - VFX shot output (March. 1-15th) - VFX Asset consolidation (plates, environment maps, etc)(March 16-20) - Stock Footage purchasing (March 20- 25)  April  5-15 Post Production phase 2 - Director notes, producer notes - Rough Cut - VFX R & D 1/3 - VFX shot delivery 1/3   August 16-30 Post Production phase 3 - Fine cut - Final Notes  - VFX R & D 2/3 - VFX shot delivery 2/3  October 4  Post Production phase 4   - VFX R & D 3/3   - VFX shot delivery 3/3 - Titles    87 November 5 Post Production phase 5 - Locked Cut due - Credits - Delivery for post audio and finishing  Dec 6-20 Post Production phase 6 - SFX and dialogue audio work - ADR session 1 of 2  - Mixing  Dec. 20- Jan 15 Post Production phase 7 - ADR session 2 of 2 Mixing - Colour Correction and finishing  Feb 15- Post Production - Final Audio deliverables due  March 15 – Final Deliverables due   Production Episode 2  June 1-August 16 Pre-production - Location scouting (June 1-20) - Casting (June 21- July 1)  - Crew hires/Production meetings (June 1 – July 25) - Equipment consolidation (Aug 1 – Aug 15)  August. 16-30 Principal Photography  Sept. 1-Sept 5 Post Production phase 1 - Transcoding and rough assembly (Feb. 1- Feb. 20) - VFX shot output (March. 1-15th) - VFX Asset consolidation (plates, environment maps, etc)(March 16-20)  Sept 5-15 Post Production phase 2   88 - Rough Cut (Sept.10) - VFX R & D 1/2  Sept 16-30 Post Production phase 3 - Fine cut - VFX R & D 2/2 - VFX shot delivery 1/2  October 4  Post Production pha2e 4   - VFX shot delivery 2/2 - Titles  Oct 5 Post Production phase 5 - Locked Cut due - Credits - Delivery for post audio and finishing  Oct 6-20 Post Production phase 6 - SFX and dialogue audio work - ADR session 1 of 2  - Mixing  Oct. 20- Nov 15 Post Production phase 7 - ADR session 2 of 2 Mixing - Colour Correction and finishing  Nov 30- Post Production - Final Audio deliverables due  Dec 15 – Final Deliverables due       89 Appendix E Budget       90       91       92      93     94   

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