Close Encounters (Part Two)

I continued with the close up shots of the machine today. I’ve not been happy with a previous sequence shot so I decided to shoot it again in this new setup. The scene in question is one of the last ones in the film and has the red leader tape passing through the play heads and collecting on the full spool. The first one I shot last week was a jerky animation and the continuity was flawed because the machine was still hooked up to all the wired and tubes, which it shouldn’t be at this stage. It’s a shame because I spent a whole day on this the last time around and it broke my heart to shoot it again. But I knew I would never be happy with that bit so I wanted to do it again while I had the camera in position.


Like some sort of alien autopsy

In addition to shooting I started to export all the scenes and their respective takes as low resolution video files. I wanted to assemble them into the roughest cut of the animation so I could see if I had every shot I needed so far and what was left to be done. Exporting them as video files uncovered quite a few flaws in the scenes so far. I had been previewing them mostly by just playing back the frames in Dragon and so had no need to export them as video files at that point. I don’t know how I missed it but quite a few of the scenes exhibit some ‘jumps’, where the camera must have moved fractionally. This is quite disheartening also but I’m going to have to notch it up to experience and try and attend to the mistakes in post production. I was in correspondence with Darragh O’Connell from Brown Bag recently who warned me of the tendency of ‘fixing it in post’ but in this instance I cannot reshoot so it’s my only option.

I assembled them in After Effects. It came in at 4mins approx. This gave me a fairly good idea of what I have, what I have left to shoot, and what I’ve messed up so far.  Some glaring continuity errors in props and lights are showing and also I’ve missed some opportunities to take some good still frames for the end when the machine is ‘lifeless’. I hope to wrap up in the next two days so starting tomorrow I’m going to try and shoot the priority pictures that will hopefully leave the story without holes.

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