Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rough Edit WIP- Scene 8

Here's a work-in-progress clip from the chase scene. A few things to note- the jar over Baby's head is missing in a few scenes and a narrower version of the jar was originally considered. The initial shape didn't give her head enough room to move around, so a wider shape was used instead. Bubble particles were also considered to more clearly indicate liquid, but was later dropped.


Bricks and Rigs

Brickmaster-Brad-Pattullo tackled every shot that involved complex items to track. Here are some production stills of how pins, wires, and hot glue held everything in place from frame to frame.

The final shot:


Since I was new to the amazing Dragon Stop-Motion software, I watched Brad work through this shot. Here's a time-lapse video:


And here's the resulting footage:


The Boys

There would be no "(Baby) It's You" video without "(Baby) It's You" the song, recorded by the power pop band The Boys and released in 1979. Formed in 1972 by former members of the bar band Grundy Gilpin (Danny Shonerd, Allen Havelicek, and Steve Koontz) in Lincoln, Nebraska, The Boys carved a mid-western pop niche for themselves with songs like "Please Change Your Mind", "Bad Little Girl" and "On a Night Like This" before breaking up in 1980. The band line up for "(Baby) It's You" was Danny Shonerd, Allen Havlicek, Terry Pieper and Phil Shoemaker.

Time-Lapse Flower Shot

The entire film was shot against a green screen (or in our case, sheets of neon green poster-board). Certain elements such as the flower scene required different overlapping plates of footage for realistic elements to interact. Here is a time lapse video of the puppets being animated for that scene.


Here is the resulting footage:


Later, Mike Genz produced a plate of flowers falling, that would then be masked, keyed, and composited over Baby's hand so that they appear to slip through her grip.


The Props

Props were built with a tinfoil core and a thin Sculpey exterior. The foil reduces the amount of Sculpey used and keeps the items light weight. Brad built tables and chairs from thin pieces of wood and brick structures from sheets of pink insulating foam.

Dave took a photograph of a small car model, and Brad printed it out and mounted it on foam core. The cutout was then cheated towards the camera so that you couldn't see the edge. Replacement wheels were used for the squash/stretch flat tire effect.

A rig, which would later be removed, was glued to the back of the cut-out in order to control the height and sell the impression of easing the vehicle up and down in response to Baby's weight, as well as the flattened tire.

Here, Rob Sassi animates a shot that includes the mirror prop during a scene when Baby sees her new form for the first time.

In the scenes when Victor searches for Baby, a miniature battery-powered light was inserted into the back of a Sculpey lantern in an attempt to give off realistic light. The light didn't produce as much light as we would have liked, so the effect was instead simulated with After Effects after the wire was masked out.

Here, Victor raises one of Baby's arms with a small chain. Baby's smaller robot body arms were specifically built with sliding metal channeling, so that it could be removed, and give the impression of being "built" or expanding.

Baby's dress was a toy, reinforced with wire to allow for better maneuverability with sweeping movements, and held in place below the camera with a rig.

The Robot Bodies

Baby's body was built with two forms in mind: her initial form, and eventually her enraged expanded-body form. Like Victor, Baby has a similar wire armature running through her body- only much much larger. Her height made it incredibly difficult to work with, considering the amount of leverage in her upper body. Parts that wouldn't bend were made with Sculpey, while arms and joints that needed some flexibility were padded with Sculpey Elasticlay Moldmaker. It bakes the same, but still retains a bit of softness. Brad faked much of the mechanic look to her body while things like wires were just ripped out of an old computer. And if you're thinking Joan Rivers from "Spaceballs", you're probably right.

Victor's robot form was built the same way- only with a more squared off, masculine look.

The Wardrobes

Once we had our foam rubber puppets, they were mailed to Victoria Zalewski to have custom fitted wardrobes.

Victoria did an amazing job carefully trimming the seams, painting exposed skin, and tailoring each outfit with fabric we sent her from a trip to a thrift shop. Since the film would eventually be in black and white, we had to ensure that the contrast of certain colors and patterns would still work together when converted.