Tag Archives: visual effects

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 thespectacularshotsclub@gmail.com, leave a comment here, or get in touch with Madlab through the usual channels.

—–

David

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Shot #3 – ‘Budge’ – is finally online!

22 Mar

After much pontificating and neglect – and some final tweaks and other work – our 3rd project is finally online! This was our attempt at – among other things – recreating some of the ‘bullet time’ effects made famous by The Matrix films. Specifically, we were trying to recreate the iconic camera moving around frozen action shots, with quite a few less cameras and a lot less money.

We’ll be posting some in-depth write-ups on the effects shots for all of the geeks out there, but in the meantime here’s the short we came up to make the thing more interesting to watch. It’s not perfect and we could have worked forever on it, but this is it. It’s called Budge and we hope you like it!

Credits:

Dirty Honky (clown) – Alexis Milne
HarleyQuin X (clown) – Sue Fox
Serpaclown (clown) – Richard Shields
Jenny – Jenny Longworth
Joe – Joseph Stacey

Camera Operators:
Pete Smith
Luca Rudlin
Adele Myers
Brant Adam
Aatif Ati Zafar
Kati Jägel
Ben Edmundson
Rich Adams

Visual Effects
David Plant
Ben Edmundson

Music
Paul Plowman

Production Assistants
Raj B’jee
Philip Whiteley
Angel Delgado

Written, edited, and directed by Ben Edmundson

Special thanks to everyone else who popped in and kept us company, your presence was valuable! And to all of the people who came to various meetings throughout the process who I’ve forgotten, give me a kick and I’ll add you!

More to come, as well as information on our current project. It’ll be on here soon, I promise!

—–

David

Come and see the Shot #3 workshop on November 12th!

5 Nov

Good afternoon dear reader!

There’s only one week to go until we’re presenting Shot #3 to the world and running a workshop on the whole production process. There’s going to be some serious midnight oil burned in the next few days to get it finished, and it would be really great if you could join us at ‘Bring The Noise’ – A Future Artists Live Creative Co-op day long event on Saturday 12th November at The Black Lion in Salford.

It’s going be a day long media feast with something for everyone, including:

  • workshops on crowdfunding, direct action and creativity
  • live music
  • networking sessions
  • tea and biscuits
  • open mic session to finish the night off
And it’s in a pub so we can all get drunk! For full details and to buy tickets, check out the Eventbrite page, and while you’re surfing, get yourself over to the Future Artists website for more information on what they’re up to. Come along, chat to people, and be inspired.
—–
David
The Spectacular Shots Club

Shot #3: The Shoot!

16 Oct

Last Saturday marked the day when our 3rd and most ambitious project yet finally started to come to life. It was the day of the bullet time shoot, the culmination of weeks of planning, arguing, and calling in favours. At around 9:15am the team started arriving at our amazing location: Hotspur House in Manchester, home to various studio spaces and creative types. I realised when I got there that I’d passed it several times and assumed it was abandoned, but it turns out there’s some really cool stuff happening there and we were about to add to its legacy!

Hotspur House, Manchester

Hotspur House, Manchester. Home of the greatest basement in the world.

We had full run of an incredible basement space full of lots of interesting and odd items: pieces of art (one of which may have inspired a new title for the finished product); old printing equipment and books; thousands of blueprints for buildings all over Manchester; and most pleasingly, what appeared to be an old dentist’s chair, which give the place a creepy and surreal feel which would hang around the place for the whole day, especially once the clowns arrived.

Dirty Honky prepares for theatre

Yes, the clowns! I don’t want to give away too much about the plot but we got ourselves 3 very creepy clowns to act in the piece. They put on an incredible performance and kept everyone entertained as the day wore on and people started to get tired. It was a pleasure to work with them and they put up with a lot of standing around and multiple takes as we realised the challenge we’d set ourselves. We’re eternally grateful to them and hope that we’ll be seeing more of them!

The set-up started at 10am and everyone started getting excited as more cameras arrived and were put into place. It became apparent that we were woefully under-prepared for what turned out to be a huge task, but after a lot of maths and geometry, and the usual bickering between Ben and myself over where we should setting our goals, we ended up with this incredibly professional looking set-up:

8 cameras! Aren't we clever?

It was a really great moment when we finally had everything in place. We’d been hoping for more cameras but it was amazing to see our hard work and planning finally come together. I don’t think anyone really believed it was going to happen until we were ready to shoot, but our optimism was rewarded in a pretty incredible way. Unfortunately the footage we shot is strictly confidential for now, but I can tell you that it looks great and we can’t wait to start what’s going to be a very stressful few weeks in post-production!

Now, this shot is going to be the truly spectacular one, but we did attempt some more pretty ambitious shots which we’re going to keep under wraps for now. You can see plenty more photos from the shoot on our Facebook group and join in our discussions on there, but if you want to see the final product you’ll have to get yourself along to the November 12th Future Artists event at The Black Lion, where we’ll be unveiling it and talking people through the techniques and what we learned from the project. Full details of this event will be released soon, keep an eye on the Future Artists website for news.

We finally finished at around 6:30pm, tired but ready for our traditional trip to the pub. It was an incredible day and we’re truly grateful to everyone who gave up their Saturday to help us realise our insane dreams! This project started with a few people sitting around a table and wondering if it could be done and now has a crew of at least 20 people! We’ll find a place for all of you in the credits, I promise!

Watch this space for production updates and confused ramblings as we become gradually more sleep-deprived and frustrated, it’s not going to be easy but in true co-operative spirit we’re going to work as a team and make this happen!

– – –

David

The Spectacular Shots Club

Hello World!

4 Aug

Greetings, and welcome to The Spectacular Shots Club’s 100% Official Licensed Not Fake Fully Endorsed blog!

Chances are that if you found your way here you know us and what we’re about, but if you’re new, here’s a bit about what we do. We’re a group formed under the Future Artists Live Creative Co-op, a North-West based co-operative that’s all about encouraging and creating new media through networks and social groups. It’s a resource for anyone that wants to use it and has resulted in some pretty cool projects over the past few months. Our group is part of this co-operative and acts as a sort of open forum for people to share and develop techniques for creative killer shots and film sequences with limited or no resources. Harnessing the co-operative power of the group, the group has grown to incorporate people from lots of different backgrounds who lend whatever knowledge and skills they have, the results of which you’ll be able to see here very soon!

For now, you can see what we’re getting up through the following mediums:

Facebook

Youtube

Vimeo

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Have a look, check out our videos, join a discussion, whatever you like, we’d love to hear from you!

Love and kisses,

David

The Spectacular Shots Club