Tag Archives: filmmaking

SHOT 607

This is another highly technical shot that will last 304 frames (12.67 seconds), animated on twos. The action is timed to sync with the bass line in the music, at either 38 or 76 frames per phase.

It’s a MOCO shot where the camera starts off normal but then corkscrews, swings, bounces and defocuses with increasing intensity each time Amanda Münschon uses her Taser on Donald Trump — whose reputation precedes him.

With each zap, Donald’s colostomy bag will inflate bigger and bigger, filled with digested food waste while he yells nonsense. Just like at Mar-a-Lago, I would guess.

SHOT 606

This is a long tracking shot, 760 frames — 380 of which is animated. It’s an example of an establishing shot that isn’t the first shot of the scene.

Here, Leo is grappling with Donald while Amanda deals with some considerable baggage and a robotic film crew works their magic.

SHOT 604

This is a low stationary shot with the camera set directly on the floor. Donald appears clutching his paper towels, causing some concern for Leo and Amanda. Leo helps Donald with his overcoat, causing the Bounty to fall and bounce toward Amanda. That happens a little too quickly so I think I’ll work the paper towels into a future scene so we know they’re there.

SHOT 603

We see a pantless man enter the scene, dragging a stretch of toilet paper stuck to his dress show. There is only a slight focus pull here.

I originally planned to have Donald’s pants down around his ankles, but I figured I wouldn’t be able to animate him stepping up that step. Turns out that was a mistake. I could have just put the pants around one ankle. Oh well — it’s too late now because I had already animated the next two shots when I remembered this. So now I’m trying to come up with a place to show his pants coming off his feet in an earlier shot. Hard to do when there is timed music involved. We’ll see…

SHOT 602

This is a tracking shot that swoops in, under the theater marquee. Right on cue, Amanda emerges from the airlock, assisted by Leonardo DiCaprio in a tux. She is suddenly wearing a business suit and high heels.

Here I go full frame versus 16:9 with a vignette, to sell the idea that this is a film noir production inside POSERS.

The heels are extremely difficult to animate her on, since I’m not using traditional rigging. I’m relying solely on my ability to pose the puppets using their own weight and balance. So there are occasional falls that take a lot of time to reset.

SHOT 601

This is a 592-frame tracking shot with a deep focus pull on both ends, starting from The Joker slurping a soda, to our sexy Assistant Director holding a movie clapboard. It took two or three weeks to set this up, running through over a dozen test shots.

This is one of the few live video shots in POSERS, since it was important to catch those animated LED lights in their natural sequence. There are significant technical challenges when mixing live video and stop motion animation. I know what the solutions are, but they require new feature requests from Dragonframe and some custom Arduino programming on my side to create pausable/steppable sequence controllers for the lights. The Dragonframe team also stepped up to fix a few overspeed warning bugs for their new Digital Focus feature.

The music is based on Neal Hefti’s classic Batman Theme, lending this shot a surreal retro feel along with the natural bokah effect. POSERS is probably the shortest film ever with an intermission.

SHOT 417

Kirk orders Sulu to fire on the Louvre.

I’ll be replacing this shot with puppetry, but I don’t have a Chekhov to rightly take the navigator seat.

However, I did just acquire this set of 3D printed Star Trek chairs in 1:6 scale from a fellow Trekkie in Glasgow. (The cast isn’t yet posed to replace this shot, but you get the idea.)

ACT 10

This is the epilogue for POSERS, but it’s pretty much done. Except that if I have the energy later, I’d like to replace some of live action with stop motion. I do have the flags, Kim, Trump, Dennis — and Kim’s sister is coming soon from China, I hope.

Donald Trump’s infamous meeting with Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12, 2018 was a big inspiration for one of the subplots in POSERS, because it represented the normalization of two mafia-level, sadistic dictators.

I had long referred to Dennis Rodman as Trump’s Ambassador to North Korea, but CNN’s Chris Cuomo really sealed the deal by interviewing Rodman in Prime Time.

So to a part of that interview, I added layer upon layer of music and dialogue — including Kim’s character voice from POSERS and Trump’s actual voice as a public figure saying the most absurd things to Kim, caught on a hot mic.

In the background we hear the Summit’s venue playing a tinny, sappy song I recorded directly from the same Barbie Princess record player we saw earlier in the Bunker of Evil.

And in a headset surround sound effect, we hear a News Director (played by my sister-in-law) try to call shots amidst the chaos and technical difficulties — including a network Chyron operator who goes rogue for comedic effect.

In the end, Rodman essentially concludes the North Koreans are good people, and that his friend Kim Jong-un is perpetually misunderstood.

The scene fast-forwards to the infamous 2020 presidential debate in which Joe Biden tells an out-of-control Donald Trump, “Will you shut up, man?”

And then we end our show with our News Director aghast. “TV doesn’t get any better than this,” she sighs as she pops a beer. “And that’s a wrap.”