Found Tape, Dunedin (New Zealand), 27th of September 2007, 5’30 mins.
Team: J. Olli Lucks, Michael Hodge, Brad Kreft, Nicholas Mangos.
Winner of the Audience Award of the True Lies Festival 2007!
What started as a goodbye party for a friend, turned into a welcoming act for something… bigger!
Our DESI322 project is based on a trailer released this summer that advertises a film that is yet to find its official title.
And there is already a lot of buzz surrounding it, slated for release next January. If you type the codenames of the movie, “1-18-08” or “Project Cloverfield”, into a search engine, you will find page after page of unverified hype and speculation. This is product of the viral marketing campaign surrounding the ‘event’, which has left eager fans desperate for more.
Our mean spirited creation is aimed towards further misleading fans, by re-hashing the existing trailer with our own footage, making a whole new trailer. Like the original, our trailer is centred around a goodbye party for a character named Rob, when suddenly the city is attacked by a mysterious creature, leaving the partygoers running for their lives. Our creation deviates from the original by hinting at a larger invasion instead of just one big creature.
It is currently uploaded and actively misleading people as intended.
We all (that is Jan Oliver Lucks, Michael Hodge, Bradley Kreft and Nick Mangos) played important roles in the pre-production stages of the project, where the four of us scouted locations, scripted, researched, and planned for the production phase. During the filming we all played small roles acting-wise, as well as manning the camera, setting up lighting/microphones, and preparing our actors for the roles. We enlisted several people from outside our group to use either as actors or camera operators, the most important of which being William McDougal, our lead character. Others included Kavi Chetty and Livvey Bruce in minor acting roles and Max Bellamy as a part-time camera operator. During post-production we took separate roles, with Olli taking care of editing, Mike planning the “making-of”, Brad promoting the film around campus and on the blog, and Nick in charge of distributing the film on the web. We always had a clear idea of exactly what our tasks were and we were all highly motivated to complete them in order to create the best film that we possibly could.
In order to blend the real trailer and our footage seamlessly, the post-production of ‘1-18-08’ required a lot of time and effort. Most of the 70+ hours logged in the editing suite were spent on scene selection, colour correction, quality reduction and sound design.
With more than 150 minutes of our own footage, the process of filtering out the shots that we needed to only about 5 minutes required hours of viewings, edits, re-shoots and re-edits. Once we had come to our final selection, it was time to apply several video filters in Final Cut Pro to achieve uniformity between both sets of footage.
A real challenge was to create the illusion that our characters were interacting with the existing characters. This was achieved during filming by using quick pans and sweeps that connected to pans within the original footage. This created the impression that the original actors were responding to ours, therefore suspending belief.
Soon after we imported our material and viewed it side by side with the footage of the original trailer, we realized that our footage was of a higher quality compared to the original trailer, post-compression. We tried out several video filters in Final Cut Pro, none of which led to the required result. The solution was to export our footage into a lesser quality format and re-import it back into Final Cut Pro.
With our footage now looking grainier, the next step was to drain out the colour from the footage of the original trailer, as most scenes contained far more red and yellow, and increase the colour saturation in our footage.
Sound was very important in our project, as we could not rely on a budget for expensive visual effects we had to come up with creepy sounds in the second half of our film. Most effects were created with various animal roars found in the Soundtrack Pro library, which were then slowed down.
One of the last post-production tasks was to add music. We deleted a lot of the original audio track of the original trailer and added Nelly Furtado’s ‘Maneater’ (no pun intended) instead, as this granted a higher level of continuity between our scenes and the original footage. Another addition to the soundtrack was a fast paced rhythmic violin during the chase scene. Aware that this takes away some of the realism that was build up to that point in our project, it felt necessary in order to add to the sense of something creeping up behind our main character.
Behind the scenes
The most enjoyable part throughout the production of 1-18-08 was pushing ourselves out in front of the camera and, although we knew that we could not, trying to act. The resulting humor was important in keeping our spirits up during some of the longer shoots. Overall having a good time of filming allowed for us to be more relaxed, which in turn lead to ideas being more free flowing, making us able to consistently be working on new ideas on the fly to enhance our movie.