John and I had a progress meeting with Aidan and Joe about the VFX yesterday. They’ve made excellent progress. One particular shot looking down on the Swordsman and Isabelle, which used to be crammed full of puppeteers, has been completely transformed by their removal. You really buy that the ropes are controlling the puppet…. as, of course, I always knew you would. Ahem.
Tomorrow is the Borderlines preview showing, 4:15pm in the studio theatre at The Courtyard, Hereford. Many times have I stood before an expectant audience in that room and screened my wares.
And tickets are now available for the proper screening at Sci Fi London. They’re free but you still need to book them. It’s at the Apollo West End on Lower Regent Street at 10:30am on Saturday May 2nd.
This afternoon I met with Lao, Lou and Beth to try out their two pieces of the miniature together. The mini Swordsman is almost complete and, like his full size counterpart, gained a new dimension when he was tied to the ceiling mechanism. Since the model is going to be shot upside-down, we had to make sure it was all going to hang correctly and not give the game away, but it looked great.
The UK Film Council rejected Dark Side for development funding. Again.
That’s the bad news out of the way. The good news is that Chiok’s model ceiling mechanism looks great. Combined with Jonathan’s mini girders and wall panels you can immediately see the missing part of the live action set come to life. Of course there’s plenty more work to do on it before it’s ready to shoot, and the sands of time are running out.
Lau and Lou’s mini Swordsman is at an early stage, but a strong steel framework is in place and Lou has painstakingly carved a remarkably detailed scale replica of the head. Beth has made a spot-on miniature of the gramophone and skill indicator piece. When this and the mini Swordsman are positioned beneath the ceiling mechanism (or in fact above, since it’s all been built upside down) it’s great to see how the mechanism dwarves the robot.
Progress on the visual FX has been good too. Aidan and Joe from SAE have really got stuck in, while Ricardo Fearon, Andrea Caserini and Allison Moore have been contributing some great work too. Some of the puppeteer removals are extremely tricky, but everyone is rising to the challenge.
The featurette for Borderlines is almost done. It focuses on the unique challenges of the shoot, namely the puppet and the inflatable bio-suit. Watching it back, it’s not hard for me to see why people doubt my sanity.