Sep 29 2009

“Gothland Elysium”

Yes, that’s the name of the game. Our film finally has a name. The Boom Brothers describe the name/title in the following way:

“The title is a reference to where the actual story takes place, the original Gothland in Southern Sweden, as well as an allusion to the mythological resting place of the souls mentioned in numerous books. The events that unfold in Gothland create the “underworld” in a purely metaphysical sense.”

Below you can find my 4th movie poster concept/variation for this project. Please note: This version is a bit too much “fairy tale” and quite a big leap from the original poster design, but it was created just for the fun of it. I imagine that we will have 4-6 different poster variations, for this film, and that excludes the original poster in english/japanese/french/italian versions! ^^

This one was +2 hours of fun in Photoshop and I hope that you like it.

(In Firefox, right-click the image and click the top row to view the image in 100% scale).

by intelligentlight

Sep 29 2009

Locus desperatus

Ladies, gentlemen and everybody else – We finally have a title for the movie and it feels like we have exited the “hopeless passage” now. Some blood, sweat and tears were shed (Tears, mostly.) by the litre before the frustration lead on to the trusted, classic and well-overused “exclusion method”. (Which blows sometimes.) The title is of course different from the working one that we’ve been using for way too long now. It may not be the world’s most original or unique one, but the key point is that it’s refered to in the dialogue as well as it’s linked to the place where the story takes place. (And it doesn’t generate any search results on Google, so hey…)

The name of the film will be revealed when the first concept poster(s) and artwork have been done. (The script has also been finished for real now.)

by Markus

Sep 28 2009

Next stop… No, seriously, what’s this place called?

Yesterday, around midday, we looked through the filmed material again and rendered a few clips to see what the movie could look like in Cinemascope and with a classic Technicolor-look. The excitement was already quite badly concealed. (At least no accidents happened. And nobody got injured.)

The rest of the evening was wasted getting seriously riled up over still not having a great title – Easily around 120 suggestions, and not one that at least didn’t generate a four-digit number of search results on Google. Some of them could have worked well had there not been one or even several movies with those exact titles. But we formally settled for using the ficticious name for the location as the title – Granted under the circumstance that it doesn’t exist already. I have exactly one suggestion left before I run out of ideas. And we desperately need a title before the second shooting day since one of the lead characters will “explain” the title of the film.

by Markus

Sep 27 2009

A few postcards from the Edge

As Markus stated below: we didn’t miss the off-ramp and I wasn’t the one who said “Shit, I have absolutely no fucking idea where we are anymore!”. ^^

Except for the longer trip to the location (which didn’t happen), yesterday was a real success. It was basically just like a long stroll through the forest, only I usually don’t bring this much heavy equipment to the hiking trails. Anyhoo, we got all the shots which we wanted to film and we also found some new exciting and scary locations for day three!

When we got back to the HQ we checked all the shots and also the ones from day one. Everything is OK and we don’t have to recreate any of those shots again. Stellar! And now everything is backed up on at least four different locations, so the data is quite safe.

Day three will be a lot of work and that date is not official yet. It will be after we have done it. That day will hopefully be the last day “on location” and the intro + outro could  – if necessary – be filmed someplace completely different.

And yes…we still don’t have a name for the film, but we are getting there now…after eleven months…and I believe that we are now on the right track! The film “LDE” will have a proper name soon™.

by intelligentlight

Sep 26 2009

The road back, sort of…

Well, it’s another Saturday, which means – Back to work on the… Project! (This week could not have gone fast enough. And we still haven’t been able to name the film.)

Just like we anticipated, today’s excursion was a fairly easy ride without too much teethgrinding or other heartaches. And the weather was exceptional for the season. We set out to do the “postcard”-shots that link the episodes together in the film itself. Yes. Smooth sailing all the way. No obstacles anywhere. But on the other hand, it just wasn’t the same without the rest of the crew and the actors present. (Just like “day” isn’t the same as “night”.) But on the other (Third?) hand, we only filmed the static establishing shots and wouldn’t have wanted to bore anybody to tears with us just walking around the locations and going through the script for the umpteenth time.

And everything went like clockwork and just as planned. On our way to the filming location, we didn’t miss the one and only intersection on the freeway. We didn’t miss to turn right there at all. Neither did we drive 15 kilometers in the opposite (I.e. wrong.) direction. And on top of that, we had no use for the GPS whatsoever since we knew exactly where we were going. We also have to be very clear about the fact that nobody uttered the words: “Shit, I have absolutely no fucking idea where we are anymore!” either… The GPS? Oh, we were just checking if it still worked after all these… Days… I mean – If any of this had happened, we’d have felt really stupid considering we were there just six days ago…! But for some no doubt Twilight Zone-related reason, it did take around 45 minutes to get to the location instead of 25 like last time.

But the establishing shots, we did – In glorious Cinemascope. And we also recorded some ambient soundscapes as well in the forest.

Back at someone else’s place, we looked through the footage and came to the conclusion that this already is the most rewarding and most enjoyable project we’ve been a part of since… The Bronze Age. (And even if something happened to be more enjoyable back then, it’s definitely not worth remembering anyway.)

Tomorrow, we’ll go through the script once more and see if we “accidentally” haven’t forgotten something on the way… But hopefully (And I mean that very sincerely this time.), we can pick up the filming next Sunday where we left it last Sunday. (Fingers crossed so hard, I think I have fractured them.)

by Markus

Sep 24 2009

“A stumble may prevent a fall.”

Eventhough everything didn’t go 100% “as planned” last weekend, it was indeed a success. I have already said this before to both cast and crew but once again: THANK YOU. Without you we would only have a script and a camera (and loads of other gear and props obviously). Both me and and Markus are very greatful for your fantastic efforts last weekend. Day TWO will be filled with Establishing-, SteadiCam-, FX- and POV-shots and we shouldn’t encounter any problems with those. I am smiling while I write this, because we – and you – know that “Murphy’s Law” once again will accompany us. But in the end I still feel quite confident that this too will be a success, because day TWO (on paper) is EASY compared to day ONE.

Our camera have something in common with my favourite 3D-renderer Maxwell Render. I first imagine the shot looking BEAUTIFUL and then when I render it with Maxwell – or in this case film it with the Mark II – the result is far more beautiful and awesome than I earlier had wished for.

I like that.

by intelligentlight

Sep 22 2009

Antecedent anxiety generator

After some healthy sleep (Three hours per night, or something – Which is sufficient if your goal is to during a bike-ride discover that cobblestoned streets have the hypnotizing similarities to a bloody Magic Eye 3D picture!) the fact remains and has started to claw away inside the chest – The undeniably long, cold and rainy fall is getting closer and closer… (Well, imagine that!)

So the grand plan is to next weekend hit the exact same location we filmed on last Sunday and get the establishing shots done with nice green surroundings before we film the dialogue-driven scenes in another and far more approachable location with coniferous, evergreen forest.

And once there, it’s hopefully another cold sweat anxiety-inducing problem less.

by Markus

Sep 21 2009

…and a smooth landing!

Hey again!

It’s great to work with Markus because we think and feel in a very similar way. He pretty much summarized all my thoughts (below in his post) about this fantastic day. This makes my thread rather short (sorry). All in all it was all good and with very nice results. As with most film productions, it had its ups and downs, but eventually we got the hang of it and we worked well as a team!

All the shots are now copied to three different locations for safety. So we can all  sleep tonight! I will write more about this later next week, because I really need some sleep now. But before I go, here’s a present to the cast and crew (and the visitors of this blog): I have uploaded five stills (which are all taken from a few of the many scenes we filmed today). These have no colour filters or FX added (yet), so they are pretty much straight out of the camera. We may not show anymore stills than these – until the film is finished – so enjoy!

(It is now 12:15 a.m on Monday, so when I say “today” I mean yesterday.)

by intelligentlight

Sep 20 2009

Take Off

Back home and… It was a good day… That’s one thing that immediately can be established. This was the first day when we shot footage for the still “officially” unnamed film-project. I tend to get nervous and concerned about everything and nothing, and this day was not really an exception. Why? 1) We only had about six or seven hours to get as many scenes done as possible with the minutes counting down what felt like about ten at the time – I.e. Too. Bloody. Fast! 2) I hadn’t met any of the actors or the crew earlier and didn’t know what to expect at all. But it has to be said – I trust my co-pilot at Intelligent Light Films’ judgment more than my own sometimes, so that part of me who doesn’t live in a fantasy world 24/7 knew that he had found the right crew. The initial meeting with the three lead actors of the film along with the director of photography and the sound guy was an immediate sign that this probably would work out better than we had dared to dream of.

And it did. Much better in fact. And the most amazing thing is that the actors looked more or less identical to what we had had in mind back when we started forming the story last winter. And another significantly great thing was that the actors made little subtle changes to their lines which fit their characters way, way better than what’s written in the script. Because you can’t really know how the character’s will come alive before you see them in front of the camera. Unless you write thousands and thousands of lines of dialogue and the go back and “know” the character and think: “Hey. That’s not how he or she talks.” But. We had to put something in there as a guideline, and our actors fixed that little problem. All expectations were met several times over. I can only hope that they all had a good time and that they want to follow us to the end of this one.

Of course, there were a few setbacks. No disasters. Just one or two delays. One caused by the human factor and the second one caused by the geographical factor. We live in the Western Gothland in Sweden, so you can pretty much guess what kind of “surprise”-weather we got at one point. Here’s a hint: NOT CLEAR BLUE SKIES AND SUNSHINE. But the rain kind of added to atmosphere. And the lake we filmed a few scenes by looked haunting in the background. Not that I saw each and every one of them, but the compositions and camera angles were breathtakingly beautiful in all the scenes that we filmed.

What wasn’t a setback, but what can be a bit tricky is to get the workflow going in the right direction. However, I don’t think we even got through the first scene with the actors before we found that right direction. It just clicked. That’s rare, I’d say. (It’s too early to reveal what the film’s story arc is, but it was heart-warming, to say the very least, to realize that the actors had got the general idea of the concept and already understood where we were going with the actions and… Reactions.)

Thanks a million to everyone involved. Now, I’m gonna pass out on the floor here. I don’t know if it’s due to loss of blood or something else. (The mosquitos hate me, but they apparently love my blood. Go figure.)

by Markus

Sep 19 2009

It’s time

Tomorrow is, if everything goes as planned, the first of maybe two or three shooting days. (Yes, it’s a short film we’re making.)

The script was finalized two days ago, and we’re now getting all the props together and making some minimal changes to the proceedings. Time and abysmal weather conditions combined with no real schedule have all been enemies up to now. I’ve had my doubts about shooting this thing in September, but thanks to the fair and sometimes excellent weather conditions, the fall has been “postponed” and things are looking well.

The script has come alive, sort of, during the last re-writes. Most plotholes and continuity errors have been ironed out, but it still isn’t overly clear. We leave at least some the thinking and “puzzling the pieces together” up to the potential viewer, which subsequently leaves the window open for personal interpretations. The first synopsis (Which would have ended up as a feature-length film had it been transfered to a screenplay.) had the entire backstory explained. But it didn’t work with the central theme focused around the three characters. So we had to abandon the idea pretty early on and try to depict the culminating event in just under 30 minutes. I think it works all right even without the profound characterization. A 90-100 minute film would probably have been more intriguing and challenging on all levels to make, but it was not really possible to realize right now. Plus that we wanted to get this done this year and not in ten.

by Markus

Sep 12 2009

No sins of omission

Even if scheduling this project proved to be a not very inspiring situation with one foot in a logistic nightmare and the other one in a creative bottleneck, it’s at least safe to say that we have thoroughly managed to form the concept on which the entire movie’s plot rests. It needed some changes, of course. But they were for the better, and that’s the way you get from one point to the next. The point is that we have found something to focus on.

The story of the film is based on a very symbolic and highly classic work of literature, and somehow our ideas drifted towards that particular book’s ideas of the inner struggles and the pangs of consciousness (Or the lack thereof.) of one individual – The idea that we all create our own hells and that it’s quite easy to get stuck in those. But we also included a supernatural element to the script and the conclusion that you shouldn’t be careful what you wish for if it means that it could come true…

It’s still a bit too early to say if the idea itself survives the journey to the moving images, but at least it feels like it’s approachable now.

by Markus

Sep 12 2009

“The board is set, the pieces are moving.”

Yes, why not a Gandalf quote? We are very close to filming now and this quote describes our current situation.

Now it’s getting really interesting, and fun! A date is set and most of the pre-production is complete:

  • Script is finalized « check
  • Locations « check
  • Casting « check
  • Crew « check
  • All equipment « check:ish

The last missing equipment will be acquired by next week, so we should be OK in a matter of days. This is good news!

I think that I prefer to create short films, at least right now in my life. I really like the idea that within a year a thought can become a script and a script can become a finished film. The process is usually at least three times longer when creating a feature film… We have done 11 months of pre-production now, but this could of course been completed a lot faster. It has taken this long because we have all been focusing on our main jobs + University studies. This project always comes second. Nevertheless, we made it and project LDE is soon created!

Unless I have any more news to share, the next update you will see from me here will be production diaries from the days of filming! See you!

by intelligentlight