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Next meeting: April 3rd – Shot #4 and planning next project

27 Mar

Our next meeting is booked in and ready for YOU! That’s right, we’re meeting at Madlab on April 4th and you’re invited!

What’s happening at this month’s meeting:

We’ve been doing some experiments and tests to learn more about forced perspective, and we’ll be putting these into proper practice before the meeting; we’ll be filming a short sequence which we’re planning on screening at the meeting, along with some documentary/behind-the-scenes stuff showing how we did the shots. This will be a work in progress as the final edit will take a couple of weeks, but it’s a chance to see what we’ve learned and hopefully learn something! Here’s a little taster from some tests done a couple of weeks ago:

As well as this, we’ll be throwing around some ideas for the next project. If you’re the new to the group, here’s how it works:

  • We get people together who’re interested in learning about special effects
  • We discuss any techniques people want to try out, or specific shots they want to recreate
  • If enough people get on board with an idea, we do it!
A project generally sticks with one technique or ‘shot’ and explores different ways of doing it, but all input and ideas are welcome! The group is all about learning through collaboration and experimentation: bring your ideas, skills and enthusiasm and share them with the group, and we can all make cool stuff!

Things to check out:
Our Facebook group

SSC’s Youtube Channel

Our Vimeo Channel

and our WordPress blog

For more information, email, leave a comment here, or get in touch with Madlab through the usual channels.




Shot #4 Strategy Meeting – December 6th 2011

7 Dec

Yesterday marked the official start of our next project, number 4 in our series of ‘Spectacular Shots’.

As usual, we met up in the wonderful Madlab, creative hub and purveyor of the finest ales from Manchester Marble Brewery. Alcohol seems to be a prime ingredient in all of our projects, so it’s the perfect venue for a production meeting.

We had a decent turnout, almost in double figures, and it was great to meet a couple of new people who were interested in finding out exactly what we do. As always, it was very useful to get people from different backgrounds with different outlooks involved, and we hope they’ll be sticking around to get their hands dirty and bringing something new to the group.

First up was the screening of Shot #3 (I’ll write up the workshop soon, I promise!) as well as recapping the other projects. The first subject for debate was the group’s visions and goals, and how we feel we should pitch the next project. In the past we have had a tendency to work somewhat chaotically without defined roles and no realĀ end-goal besides making something cool, so it was good to cast a critical eye over the whole concept of The Spectacular Shots Club and figure out exactly what it is we’re trying to achieve.
The general consensus seemed to be that, with some proper planning and an eye on the long-term, this group could develop into something really valuable, both to the people involved in the projects and the people who’re watching us. Realising that what we’re doing could grow into something special that people actually crave has definitely given us the drive to do something really great with this project. As well as making something ‘spectacular’, it’s clear that a greater emphasis on the documentary and making-of elements will draw in a larger audience and start getting our work noticed, which is a very exciting prospect! In a world where lots of people are making films on very small budgets, a completely open and transparent approach can only be helpful to the community, so there will be a lot more blogging, discussion and gems of knowledge attached to our projects from now on.

So what IS the next project going to be? Well, we’re barely into pre-pre-production yet, but one of the main components is going to be forced perspective. It’s something we’ve discussed before and after a few people sharing some great examples from big films we decided it’s something we should have a go at. There are already some initial ideas being kicked about but we’ve decided to do some serious homework and meet up again in January with some fresh ideas and see what we can put together.
Everyone agreed that the focus should be mainly on in-camera work as opposed to something CG-heavy so we can appeal to a wider audience and save ourselves a collective mental breakdown (Shot 3 was a living hell, read all about it soon!) so expect some physical trickery, cheap ways to recreate big shots from big films, and hopefully something that no-one has seen before!

This is the start of what should be a great project, we’re already very excited about the prospect of reinventing some classic techniques, and we invite you all to get involved and help make it a success!

Until next time, stay Spectacular!



The Spectacular Shots Club