Life in 3D Production Dossier
Once in a while Cupid is forced to think outside the box in order to unite two like souls. In this short film a futuristic Cupid draws two parallel universe together in order to ignite a park between two characters, but it’s far from easy.
Where did the idea come from:
The premise of the film was born from two sources of inspiration from the perspective of sound design we have Alice in Wonderland and from the perspective of the image we have The Lake House.
Originally I pitched an idea to the group that we would have someone be awoken from their sleep by a voice, omnipresent. This voice would then lead this character on a journey through a series of visual spectacles somewhere between dreaming and reality. We took this idea, still partially formed to Rocio our course mentor. We then developed the ideas into a rough script. On close analysis of the script we realised that the series of visual spectacles would be far to complex and time consuming. Rocio advised that we hone down our aspirations to a couple if not one spectacle. Though as a group we found that this would compromise the narrative we knew we wanted to form. This led to the girls to adjust our previous script into something a little simpler more focused on narrative than visual spectacle. Inspired by The Lake House the script tells the story of two characters living in parallel worlds. They inhabit the same space and are being drawn together by some force that wishes to unite them despite their trans-dimensional separation. The original idea of the disembodied voice was preserved in the force that is attempting to unite the two characters. This character exists in the gaps between worlds and has the ability to influence them.
How did we use the 3D:
For our film 3D offered a possibility to play with the space which was an integral theme to the narrative of our script. We have two characters living in the same space as one another, yet in different worlds. So we knew that we wanted to play on the shared aspect of space within the flat. This really helped the idea of these characters being close to one another but too far for either one of them to sense the other.
We had originally toyed with the idea of overlapping the image and adjusting the transparency to make it appear as if they are in the room at the same time but not together. We realised of course that due to the 3d this was unachievable. If there had been one little difference between the two overlapping images it would confuse the image and lead to a sore head for the viewer.
This is where the sound was able to intercept and bring the two worlds together. The strength of sound is that it can paint an image without a visual being necessary. We used sound to install the idea of Cupid and his machine tinkering around between these two worlds. Not visible but yet still present. This is where we were able to utilise the surround channels, by using these to place Cupid and his actions the viewer was aware of this other plane of existence. At times he crosses into the front speakers to interact with the two worlds and communicate with the two characters.
Questions posed ahead of submission two’s development
Is there going to be a narrator, a voice over, is there going to be more than one voice? Who are these voices?
Yes, in a way. The omnipotent character that seems to be tinkering around the scenes is up to something. Whilst in our presentation we did not have him give a voice over, I have decided to record him speaking to the audience to begin with in order to make the narrative a little clearer.
What sort of visual and aural effects will you need to pursue to achieve a dream-like / surrealist aesthetics?
for the final film the girls drove the narrative away from the surrealist perspective and into a clearer less dreamlike world. Bizarre things are still occurring but they are very much in the real world and not as planned in a dream world as previously discussed.
This move did take some readapting of the aural effects that were to be included in the film. It meant that the prescience of the voice was no longer something that could just be accepted, it needed to be explained. I think this is were is confused some people in the presentation. Who was the voice? Why was he there? Although it became clearer towards the end, I believed it would strengthen the films narrative over all if it was explained at the beginning, hence the short voice over at the beginning.
Who are your characters? Are they good performers, and if not what things would they need to rehearse?
We have three characters within the film, Tom (played by himself), Youqing (Played by herself) and Cupid (played by Raphael)
Given that neither me nor Youqing are actors it meant we were limited with the demands we could make. I feel that due to awkwardness the script went from having a romantic intention to a platonic one. The girls had written scenes inspired by the Lake House, a romantic film starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. But with the necessity of having one of the girls acting this changed.
Although I believe that it’s still within the nature of the film, though this is another element the added voiceover contributes.
Raphael takes part in amateur dramatics, so is reasonably good at taking direction and conveying the demanded qualities within the voice acting required for the role.
How much time would you need them for? What sort of locations they might feel comfortable in?
We used a number of locations for filming, we had my (Tom’s) flat Arthurs seat and the beach.
How many hours for file conversion and rendering will you need?
Also, the more precise and detailed you are in your script / filming plan the easier / faster / more effective it will be to materialise your sonic and visual ideas. Start filming sketches of your script, and work with them to further define what you are aiming to achieve. Recording, converting files, editing and postproduction will take longer than initially expected, so start working on it as you read this.
I think we suffered a little with file conversions for the presentation, we had a few issues with the images. Usually on a production the picture will be locked off and then the sound will be added, although due to the demands of this project and the fact that the technology and it’s processes were still very new to all of us the edit was ongoing. We had a real struggle with deinterlacing the images and trying to reduce the zebra line effects on the image. This did however mean that we learnt a great deal from this process. Given the opportunity to create another film the skills that we acquired within the filming process and editing process will prove highly valuable. The pressure of having had such a lot to achieve in such a condensed period means that we know are aware of how much not only is possible but how much as practioners of 3d film we ourselves are capable of making. I believe this is indicative that given a larger project we would now be competent at planning scheduling and executing a 3d film.
Sound: Chion, Michel. 1990. Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen