Stage direction provided by our Art Director, who also created the robot suit. He won’t thank me for posting this, but I just had to :)
We wanted to simulate a gas planet, so we used actual gas - the glass bottles in the background are full of smoke. Professional flashlight action completes the effect. Our handy mirror surface makes another appearance, as does compressed air.
Note the careful coreography of three experts at work, carefully plotting out the path of the spacecraft (squishy rubber brain inside an transparent ball with string attached). Don’t try to emulate at home kids.
Best part of having a practical model of your evil villains lair is that you can demolish it at the end with real blowtorch. A fairly small blowtorch, but with some compressed air the effect is impressive enough.
Surprisingly, a lot of people turned out to witness this event. And the smell of it lingered for quite a bit. And we had to turn off the fire alarm.
Here’s a shot of how it turned out in the final scene.
As meteors really are just rocks in space, we opted to use rocks as well. This one is really simple, just a starry matte background, a spotlight, a highspeed camera and some artfully dropped rocks. The hand in the beginning is there to get the focus to the right plane.
and here is the pullback :)
This is the straight-out-of-camera shot of our saucer crashing - well, one of many such shots. We used a fairly inexpensive, consumer level highspeed camera - since we were going to post process the videos to look 1950’s anyway, high resolution was not something we needed.
In the shot everything is real - rocks in the background and corn starch for moon dust. There’s another blog post on the creation of the saucer itself :)
While we at Futuremark ride the forefront of 3D graphics, even our wizards would be hard pressed to produce the particle effect shown here.
Once we finished building the suit for Radiant Beem we got the amazingly smart notion of taking it out for a spin at the local strip mall. As luck would have it, the local department store had a huge sale going on and had their own mascot walking around, who quite apparently was a bit puzzled by our appearance. :)
On the downside, the appearance of our new robotic overlord did not instill the abject fear in the puny humans we were hoping for.
All of our ‘principal photography’ was done in a single day, though admittedly that day was fairly long. While we had done a lot of work beforehand, we had no real experience is shooting actors. And of course, most of our actors had no experience either, as they were just drafted management.
Our goal for the shoots themselves was to maintain the 50s scifi feel - while it might be cheesy, it should appear that we were trying our best rather than to make it intentionally camp.
Some of the outfits assembled for real for the first time at the studio. The Gorg outfit is basically the mask, a thermal underwear set, a cape from a Vampire costume and an Afgrhan tribal wedding necklace - the last two pilfered from our photographer Ajaton Joki’s stockpiles. Ariel’s second costume - a real 50s vintage dress - was too small for her, and had to be left completely open in the back which you (un?)fortunately cannot see in the final shot.
LouLou D’vil came with her own outfit, which was probably for the best. :)
We did three or four shots of each scene and moved on. There was little time to check the footage, so mostly we just hoped we got what we needed. Fortunately as all audio would be added in post we did not have to worry about that at all.
It took us some 12 hours all in all, and while exhausting lots of fun was had by all. Judging by the general reaction we’ve seen in game reviews, the heart we put into the cutscenes shows through :)