There is no question that crowd sourcing has become a viable way to get funding for a multitude of projects these days. Kickstarter and Indiegogo are the major sites for this and they’ve helped bring life to many products. Within the realm of filmmaking alone there are dozens of different projects that have received the entirety of their fundraising target and, in many cases, surpassed it. It didn’t take long for filmmakers to figure this out and apply the format to producing their film projects. I recently read about filmmakers’ Derek Van Gorder and Otto Stockmeier and their Kickstarter funded film, C (299,792 km/s). The film was prominently featured on the Vimeo Staff Pick page and shortly afterwards on Wired.com. Derek and Otto raised just over $37,000 for the film (and only aimed for a little over $18,000) – needless to say, it was a successful campaign.
Personally, I love physical/in-camera effects and have huge respect for these guys. The use of miniatures for the ship exteriors rang nostalgic, especially in an industry filled with green screen and CGI. On top of that, upon flipping through the behind-the-scenes photos I noticed a DitoGear OmniController used to perform motion control shots for the multiple passes on the the ship. The same Controller and motor system is used on our Moco Motion Control units which, as you may know, are a result of our recent partnership with DitoGear to bring motion control and timelapse to all our of sliders.
Otto Stockmeier (Producer and Co-Writer) chatted with Wired on some of the techniques they used to pull off the old school sci-fi look;
Wired: What are some of your favorite low tech lighting or set design hacks that the digital cameras enabled?
Stockmeier: Here are a few (and not to sound like a broken record, but almost all of these are thanks to low light, these lights would all normally be too dim to use and keep things cheap).
We picked up some cheap party police lights (which we dubbed “spinners”), that we used for alarm lights. We taped them onto c-stands for flexibility and used them to break up the space and keep everything moving. Our sets were OK, but you need a lot of distractions going on or viewers might start noticing the cardboard and staples.
Likewise, aside from our small kitchen fluorescents (“c-lights”) that we used everywhere, we got some longer ceiling lights (“gate lights”) that we combined with wax paper and gels and put behind the cut outs next to the gates.
My personal favorite had to have been this little round LED under-counter kitchen light we found (“flare light”). For some reason the reflective housing surrounding the LED source on that fixture made the coolest flares and we used it for all of the gun effects as well as all of the spaceship firing effects. In fact for the ship effects we used a lot of long exposures and wiggling lights around to get beams of lights, or flickering blasts (I would tilt the flare light in a different direction between each frame).