My name is Mikel J. Wisler. I’m an indie filmmaker who has produced and/or directed several short films, many of which have distribution, film festival play, and have won awards. Most recently, the film I co-wrote, produced, and shot, titled “Evaluating Kaitly,” won Best Short Film at the 2011 Vegas Media Xpo Film Festival and the sci-fi short I wrote and directed, titled “Stop,” won the Boston Science Fiction Film Festival award for Best New England Short Film, among other awards and nominations. You can see “Stop” for free by going to: www.stop.mikelwisler.com
I’m currently working on a new short called “A Silent Universe,” that has just wrapped shooting at the end of February. This new short film is a sci-fi drama about two brothers, who when faced with an alien invasion, find shelter in their old garage. But their real battle is against the loss of hope as the world around them crumbles. You can learn more about “A Silent Universe” by going to www.silentuniverse.mikelwisler.com.
I have heard many good things about Blender and have been impressed with the quality of VFX work generated with the program. So I wanted to reach out to the Blender community to see if there were any artists seeking opportunities to collaborate on a film project like this one. I am looking to have two VFX shots to be created for this ambitious little short film. This is a passion project of mine. It is almost entirely self-funded, and all of the crew and cast are volunteers. This is a new venture by Stories by the River (something I’m helping launch), which is interested in helping create new films that explore important themes and ideas and give new artists opportunities to grow in their crafts (everything from writing and directing to sound editing and VFX). As such, I am unable to offer pay up front. Instead, this would be work in exchange for a few key things: Experience working on a film project destined for film festivals and distribution, credit for your work in the film’s end credits, and IMDb credit (all of my films get listed on IMDb as they all play at some rather large festivals). I completely understand if this is not a good fit for everyone, but it might be a good fit for a talented Blender artists seeking more experience and exposure and who enjoys being part of a passion project like this. And finally, anything the Blender artist creates for “A Silent Universe” will be available for use in demo reels of the artist’s work with Blender.
So, what exactly am I looking for? Like I said, there are two shots I need. I have the footage already, now the VFX work needs to be done.
First shot is a locked down view of the sky. Suddenly, a burning object (an alien ship entering the atmosphere) streaks through the sky, leaving a dark trail of smoke as it travels quite quickly through the frame. Immediately, a second object follows it, leaving another trail of smoke. This is a quick shot, the objects are moving quite fast, and the shot should last no more than three or four seconds. The context of the shot is that the main character is collapsed on the ground looking up at the sky. At first all seems peaceful, but then these things streak through the sky.
Second shot is a locked down wide shot of the garage in which the characters seek shelter. The characters enter the garage, and then one of them closes the garage door. Meanwhile, I would like to see in the background beyond the garage, lots of smoke rising from burning houses, more objects streaking through the sky, and possibly the quick blur of a fighter jet or two streaking through the sky (a possible point of reference for this would be the movie Monsters where there were several shots of fighter jets flying by which were strictly created in post). The shot is locked down, so there is no need to motion track any of the action as the camera never moves. It’s just a matter of good set extension FX and compositing. I would present the VFX artist with the full 16x9 1080p frame to work with. The final film will be cropped down to 2.35:1 cinescope, so my plan is to animate a “pan and scan” subtle “tilt up” to reveal more of the sky and the destruction beyond the garage. But that will happen on my end. All I’m looking for is to have a talented VFX artist use Blender to create the effects on the locked down 16x9 frame and deliver that to me. This shot will be no longer than 16 seconds.
Other potentially relevant technical information:
Camera the film was shot with: Sony NEX FS100
Lenses: PL mount adaptor and Carl Zeiss Superspeed Pro Cinema Prime Lenses
Shooting Codec: AVCHD
Shooting Resolution: 1920x1080
Shooting Frame Rate: 23.98 fps with a 48th of a sec. shutter speed (180 degree shutter)
Editing Platform: Final Cut Pro 7
Editing Codec: Apple ProRes 422 HQ at 1080p resolution.
If you are interested or have any questions about the project and the VFX work that needs to be done for it, please feel free e-mail me at [email protected]. I would be happy to send you a copy of the shooting script for you to check out and to discuss any questions or ideas you might have about how to best create these two visual effects shots. If you happen to have any samples of previous work, that would be much appreciated. I look forward to working with the Blender community!
Thank you all so much,
Mikel J. Wisler
Runaway Pen Productions