Friday, November 27, 2009

Chapter One is Done (Sort of)!

We completed photography for chapter one several days ago now (applause). The Duke has just made his first speaking appearance, and you'll be seeing Lev shortly. There's plenty of post-processing to go before everything's in the bag, but it proceeds apace (and it all looks really really good!).

This was an interesting shoot for a number of reasons. Not only were we introducing new characters, but we were also introducing new elements into the creative process: we began the day* with what I'll call our first Little Worlds conference. In our previous shoots, we would begin with the script and/or storyboard already in place. This conference was the first time that the whole crew participated in more or less the whole planning process. We discussed locations, character motivations, composition...heck, even (low budget) special effects. I think a part of this is that we were dealing with a Player Character this time - Lev. As was briefly alluded to in the past, Little Worlds grew out of a Role-Playing Game (RPG) which has run on-and-off both this year and last. Then as now, Lev was played by Dani, sole inhabitant of the nebulous region between actor and creator in our opus. The conference was in part to ensure that the characters would stay in-character in word and action, and it was not just Dani who had a say in this matter. As the other actors begin to inhabit the skin of those they portray, so are they given voices in council.

Finding a location was another chief challenge. It wasn't awful that day, but it was chilly enough and also a lazy Saturday to boot. We wanted to find somewhere that was close at hand, but which possessed enough in the way of grungy urban decay as to resemble the sort of alleyway in which the eldritch Duke would chose to waylay hapless Derby without drawing undue attention. We settled on the back end of some shop or other not too many streets away. There was a nearby parking structure we considered, but there is such a thing as 'too dark'. Also, having already used a car park in the past, I think it was the correct move to chose a different space than we had before. That matter being settled, we came to the usual difficulties of photography; climbing trees, trying not to drop your hundreds of dollars of camera to be dashed into so many hundreds of pieces upon the pavement, going prone on rusty metal stairways, lying in a patch of cracked asphalt and fallen leaves to get a shot from the injured Derby's point of view...the usual, really. And despite the myriad hardships, there is that terribly addictive quality to the satisfaction of a job well done that keeps a guy coming back for more.

*Actually, the day started with late breakfast at a certain local tea house that we hope to include in Little Worlds canon. The meeting actually happened around 3:30 in the afternoon. Incidentally, speaking of this tea house, if anyone knows where we might acquire furniture resembling in some way the inside of a diner on a student (read: no) budget, we would be very much obliged (please email Peter or myself should you be inclined to volunteer such information).

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