So, with May hurtling towards us and the daunting prospect of yet another UK election looming, it occurred to me that Kaleidoscope Man has now officially been in Post Production for nearly 6 months.
SIX MONTHS!!!! What the hell have we been up to…?
Well actually, the term ‘Post Production’ is a bit of a generalisation, considering we haven’t really started work on the sound or music yet or even “locked picture”. However, we are now a significant way through the CGI and FX’s work and thankfully, it’s looking quite spectacular.
But take it from me, creating high quality special effects with a small, yet talented and passionate team is taking a lot of time and patience. I also don’t want to lock the picture until all the FXs are in place and we can experience the movie exactly as the audience will experience it. That way we can tweak it accordingly.
FX’s aside though, I really do believe that people will be very moved and inspired by this film; the characters draw you in, the story twists and turns and I’m confident you will feel moved and inspired by the end of it. A close-up on a character’s face can hold huge power, as behind a pair of eyes you find a lifetime full of stories.
If the actor gets this right, the audience will just feel it and no special effect, however good, can move you in the same way. Even now, without the FX’s and music in place you can already feel the emotion throughout the movie.
Our composer is waiting in the wings and is very excited about getting started on the music. I think it will be quite a few months yet though before he can properly get to work but I can’t wait to see the film with a proper orchestral music score.
Ian Whiston (our 3d animator) has been working hard on the mothership and it is looking tremendous.
The brief for Ian was to imagine that the mothership is the size of America and it sits between the Earth and the Moon (so it’s fairly big!). The 3d model has been built in Maya and Ian has spent weeks working with Z-Brush, carefully sculpting it and adding tiny details so it looks like it is covered in cities and alien landscapes.
Now the model is complete we are creating the actual shots required. Ian is currently lighting them and I am just so excited about this - it’s going to look amazing!!
Our CGI Compositor, Lukas Remis, has been working on the alien planet scenes making them look.... well, more alien! These are the sequences we filmed in Lanzarote back in Jan 2016.
To start with, Lukas has created a 3d shattered planet which stretches through the sky and is surrounded by giant fragments of rock and planet debris which is lit by a nearby sun.
As the alien planet scenes are set in daylight hours, the shattered moon hangs in the sky, very much like our own moon. Lukas has tracked the shattered moon with the volcanic surface so that it appears to be in one place, even when the camera moves. It looks really good!!
Finally, I have spent months blending in the CGI spaceships which swarm over the Earth and attack our cities. (Ships designed by Henry Strong and built and animated by Ian Whiston).
These really are looking great and after nearly four years, finally seeing the combination of the crowds, tanks and soldiers all locked in a ferocious battle with the alien Harvesters is pretty fulfilling!
So, we still have a lot of mountains to climb but if all goes to plan we hope to have the picture locked by July (2017). Then it’s the sound effects, music score and picture grade left to finish…
Thank you for all the moral support over the last few years on Facebook, Twitter and via the website. I really want this to be a movie that leaves folk feeling like I felt when I first saw the original Star Wars, The Shawshank Redemption, it’s a wonderful life and Back to the Future – in a British movie kind of way. I know that’s ambitious, but if I can achieve something even close to this – I will live out my twilight years as a happy man!!
All the best.
Simon Cox – Writer & director – Kaleidoscope Man