The Ian Report #481 – Exciting Beyond All Comprehension!
Jan 2010 28

Staring at the Excel spreadsheet of all remaining tasks, I’m noticing that over half of them are labeled as “IN PROGRESS”—meaning that if I can complete all ‘IN PROGRESS’ shots this week, I’ll have done over half the work remaining on the VFX list.

Meaning it might only take a week from this Saturday to finish the sheet.

This is exciting beyond all comprehension. After 2 and a half years, the VFX could finally be done!

However; it’s not as simple as all that! For there are other things to be done afterward!

1.) Complete animated intro and ending. We’re starting and ending the movie with little animated bits that should help bookend the thing in a fun context. I’ve got Benjamin Bailey and Nate Taylor ready to help me on that as soon as we’re ready to go—it should be fantastic.

2.) Finish tasks on the ‘polish list’. We’ve made a list of things that are passable, but that we’d love to spend a bit more time on—as we work our way through sound design, the hope is that I’ll have the time to work my way through this list and get everything up to par.

3.) Fix Interlacing Problems. This one is basically the same as #2. We filmed in a crazy interlacing pulldown, and… let’s just say the first 2/3 of the effects were done somewhat incorrectly in regards to compositing the VFX into the live-action footage. For the most part it will work out fine (although we’re hoping we don’t run into trouble converting into the PAL format)—but there are a few shots where the artifacts are evident (basically only when the live-action shot is panning or moving like that). Hoping to get a chance to clean that up.

4.) Remove Grading. In order to judge what I could get away with in the VFX arena, at the start of the film I was adding grading to all the VFX shots I did… but about half way through the VFX process we nailed down that we were going to do it as a post-post process, after they were all done—so I’ve gotta go through and re-render a hundred shots to remove the grading (a process I’ve already slowly begun)

Fortunately, none of these are as hard as “MAKE A GIANT ROBOT BATTLE A GIANT MONSTER GUY FROM SPACE WHILE A GIANT FLEET OF HOVERING BUILDINGS WATCHES ON, AND MAKE IT REAL, OK?”—and should be more like chewing on candy, as opposed to chewing on… large bricks.

[VFX SUPERVISORS TIP: You know what hasn’t been done a lot in movies? Invisible aliens! It adds mystery. It’s great. I promise.]

Ian Hubert
Writer Director

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