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The making of 225 - by Christopher David

Introduction: The Gears | From Ideas to Footages | Post-production: Tricks revealed |

225 is a five minute sci-fi, fantasy short.

A small boy endures a long and uneventful family outing. When his mum and sister leave for a few minutes he glances out of the window to see a trio of space interceptors ‘buzzing’ the train- looping, weaving and diving. One craft miscalculates a near pass, lopping the top from a church spire. Now, catastrophically damaged, the disabled interceptor plummets toward the train. Only the boy has seen the impending tragedy. The craft crashes onto the track alongside, and as the train hurtles into a tunnel and safety, the boy looks around and examines his sci-fi colouring book and then his own imagination. But nothing is as it seems….

Was the boy dreaming or not? (OK, it’s not art!)

Such an idea would, until recently, have been impossible for the home movie-maker to achieve convincingly. But circumstances have changed. The playing field has been levelled! We amateurs now have access to a selection of software very similar to that used in Hollywood.

The Software

Unfortunately, there is no “Silver Bullet” software. No program (not even in Hollywood) can achieve all the results all the time. Consequently we need a ‘palette’ of software – preferably software that can talk to each other aboard the same computer. I use:

The Hardware

Dad can become very unpopular, hogging the PC (not MAC) for weeks of production when everyone else wants to read e-mails or do homework! Consequently, a dedicated computer is a real bonus.

It’s possible to run most of the above software on a ‘conventional’ computer, but after much unpleasant experience I’ve learned not to. A regular off-the-shelf computer from a major PC department store is OK for domestic applications, but not for the demands of most heavy duty graphics software!

I use a dual head running two 19” CRT screens. (A single screen becomes too cramped. LCD screens are OK for word-processing but not for graphics applications – they don’t yet have the colour, contrast or viewing angle of CRTs.) My film production PC doesn’t have word processing or games or ‘Office’ and – most important – NO internet access.

The quality of the Video Capture Card seriously affects the capability of the system. The Canopus DV Storm II PRO card is excellent – but because of conflicting architecture it’s sometimes choosy about its Motherboard. (See their website).

Introduction: The Gears | From Ideas to Footages | Post-production: Tricks revealed

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Page updated on 08 October 2011
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