Archive for the Millions Long Category

The Storyboard

Posted in Millions Long on 20 June 2009 by Ed Saperia

We divided the planned 1200 frames into 18 “ages”, and the talented Kirsten Fletcher made this awesome storyboard:

Undulations & Ripples

Undulations & Ripples

Mountains

Craters

Mountains

Mountains

Water

Water

Vegetation

Vegetation

Forest

Forest

Tribal Huts

Tribal Huts

Tribal Villages

Tribal Villages

Tribal Settlements

Tribal Settlements

Agriculture

Agriculture

More Agriculture

More Agriculture

Even More Agriculture

Even More Agriculture

First Medieval Buildings

First Medieval Buildings

Medieval Towns

Medieval Towns

Medieval Cities

Medieval Cities

First Modern Buildings

First Modern Buildings

Modern Cities

Modern Cities

Futuristic Cities

Futuristic Cities

The film is currently being edited by Bryan Crotaz… some teaser stills in a future post! I’ll be doing a few more posts on the day itself as well, and perhaps we’ll all eventually get to see the movie as well!

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Millions coming

Posted in Millions Long on 5 May 2009 by jschermoly

So the filmshoot is this weekend and we seem to be on track to have everything ready to get in and setup the shoot during the day friday so that we can start shooting either friday night or early saturday.  We have 1200 shots to get through before sunday night so there’s a a lot to do this weekend.

But ahead of that, the arch and track for the camera is now built.  We ordered some cstom lengths of roller chain and sprockets and stepper motors to control the movement of the camera cart and the lights.  The stepper motor moves on a cylindrical series of electromagnets and through the fine adjustment of the percentages of power on the four opposing magnets, you can get the axle to step around in tiny steps, down to I think something like 2400 steps per revolution (so just a fraction of a degree).  We don’t need that kind of minuteness of scale but we are looking for a steady accurate movement of the camera along the arch and so the stepper motor will be able to do that by moving exactly 1/1200th of the circumference of the arch for each shot.  Luckily Bryan is handling all the electronics and programming, because i can only sit here and explain it to you, I can’t actually do it.

I’m also ordering materials for the landscape of our film.  We are making a homemade playdough recipe with flour, salt, oil, water and cream of tartar.  But we need to make about a cubic metre of playdough so may shopping list includes 80kg of flour, 50kg of salt and 20L of oil, and lots of food colouring.  Pretty fantastic.

We’re nearly there though and this weekend should be a blast!

Millions of things to build!

Posted in Millions Long on 29 April 2009 by jschermoly

Work on the movie “Millions long” is far in the works and I’ve yet to post so here’s a slightly abbreviated of our progress.

Kirsten Fletcher, Bryan Crotaz, Eugenio Triana, Ash, Ed and myself have been doing the physical planning for the filmshoot.  The result of meetings is that we’re going to make this in as large scale as we can handle in our limited time and with our equipment.  To start with, our equipment being our bodies, there is only so far over a table that we can stretch to play with the landscape and so the table is 6ft wide.  And at six feet wide the camera can be as far as 8ft from the table and still capture the width and nothing but the width of the table.  So 8ft up means an 8ft radius, which is a 16ft  diameter, and so to give us some room to get the camera past the edge of the table on each end, the table is going to be 15ft long.  A 15ft long, 6ft wide table with a 8ft radius arc spanning the length of it!

The most difficult part is making the camera move in 4mm increments to give us 1200  shots around the circumference of the arch.  So Bryan is procuring a stepper motor which can be set to move in very precise increments and the motor will be axled out to cogs on either side and the cogs will fit into roller chain (bike chain) fitted over plastic pipe fixed into a constant arch of 8ft radius.  And the cart has a wheel system that rolls on the plastic pipe and keeps it moving steadily. Whew!  A lot and technical and a lot less room for error than it would be good to have when working on these tight time frames.  But the materials are on their way and the arch is in the process of construction.  I’ve also built the spidery looking cart to run over the pipes.

I won’t go on with too many other details tonight.  But I’ll write more later and as more of the construction gets completed.

Millions Long

Posted in Millions Long on 4 April 2009 by Ed Saperia

For my birthday this year, instead of a having a party, I’m going to shoot a film. 

The film is called “Millions long for immortality who don’t know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon”.

It begins with a white plane, stretching off to infinity.

Over 2 or 3 minutes, the camera rises from this plane and arcs above, as if it were in orbit. As it ascends, the white formlessness becomes pitted with craters.

Slowly, the craters turn into hills, and rivers begin to appear, and then grass, and trees.

Clearings appear in the forests, then tiny groups of huts…

Soon there are villages, and roads, and fields…

Cities…

Finally a futuristic metropolis, as the camera sets over the horizon…

We’ll do this using stop motion. The white plane will be an area about 3 or 4m square, divided up into probably 20-25 small territories. I have 50+ people helping out with this, and we’ll assign each territory to a couple of people. Between each shot, those people will add something to their territory. The surface will start out plain white. At first, they’ll have nothing but grey putty to slowly make craters. As time goes on, they’ll gradually get access to stuff to make hills, plants, huts, buildings etc. There’ll be an art director (the stupendously talented Kirsten Fletcher who makes costumes for Angels) who will give advice on the correct scale and how best to use the materials, as well as set designer Joe Schermoly, who will also be constructing the crane for the camera. Eugenio Triana is director of photography.

I hope to take about 1200 pictures over the weekend. That’s one a minute for 20 hours. It’s going to be quite gruelling, but once we get into the swing of it, I think it’ll be a quite a pleasant, zen-like activity.

We’re going to be shooting it in a large marquee in the garden of a mansion in Kew. People are to arrive on the night of the 8th, when we’ll brief and prepare everyone and hang out, and then start taking pictures early Saturday morning, and not stop until Sunday, possibly working in shifts through the night, depending on how fast we go… hopefully we’ll be finished by 6 on Sunday. If you come and help out, that’s a great birthday present :)

Movie based on a concept that I developed with Ash Gardner (of House of Strange fame) and Pete Rossiter (of ArchStanton fame) while playing frisbee in Langdon Park…

Here is the event on facebook, if you’d like to get involved: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=73422233728