Tuesday, August 24, 2010

no robots were harmed during the making of this video

Alas, my new video for LA thrash band 'Bonded By Blood' is online. It is definitely the most ambitious project I've done to date. So glad to have done it... and SO glad it's done!

The tune comes off the band's new release Exiled to Earth, which is a concept album taking place 600 years in the future during the tyrannical regime of an alien/robot race called "the Crong." The song itself tells a sub-story about a mad scientist that builds a powerful cybourg to try and destroy said Crong. Throw in some human resistance fighters, a Dr. Claw-style boss-Crong and a bunch of exploding robots and you get the video for "Prototype: Death Machine."

We shot this beast over two days in mid July 2010. The first day was for the performance. The concept called for the resistance-fighting-thrashers to rock out in their 'secret hideout'. Day 2 we shot all the battle and narrative stuff. It was an exhausting day, and we only upset one (yes, ONE) irritable-shopkeeper-next-door! Great success! Oh and as the title declares, no robots were harmed during the production of this video

Post production. Twas a doozy. I knew from the get-go that this was going to be an FX heavy video. I logged so many hours at the computer that my clicking finger now has a six pack. Worth every minute though... I think. In the future, I may try to do robot eye lights practically. I mean, frame by frame, manually motion tracked, faux 3d with roto is fun and all but... (shoots self in head). Seriously though, after effects rules. And so does videocopilot.net.

Another important mention regarding the video is the use of the Creative Commons. Almost all all of the green screen backgrounds and cityscape pieces come from photographs posted on flickr with the CC General Attribution license. I love and respect all things Creative Commons, and you should too! The full list of CC attributions are listed in the credits post by flickr title and user name, but if any of the original artists wish to modify their attribution, let me know and I would be happy to oblige.

In the last couple months, my eyes turned square, my brain melted a little, and I assisted in the destruction of a vicious race of alien robots. To the band, my cast, and crew... I say we succeeded. Our approach may have been total b-movie, but I'll be damned if we didn't get some B+ results.

Bonded By Blood - Prototype: Death Machine

Credits / Attributions

(or, for a general post about the video click here)

Band - Jose Barrales, Alex Lee, Juan Juarez, Jerry Garcia, Carlos Regalado
Scientist - Carl Solomon
Death Machine - Daniel Wells
Crong Sentinel(s) - Dennis Yang
Crong Leader (Dr. Claw Crong) - Alex Lee

Director / Editor / VFX - Dave Vorhes
Producer - Tyler Condon
DP / Colorist - Dustin Pearlman
Key Grip - Stephen Paar
Costume Designer / Fabricator - Robert Miller
Assistant Costume Designer - Mary Frances-Cusick
Costume FX - Tom Irvin
Makeup - Reuben Rivera
PA - Dave Singleton
Gear Rentals / G&E - Kyle Smith, James Penland, Joe Homokay

Special thanks to Monkspace, Israel Hernandez, Earache Records, JP Riley, and Andrew Kramer

Creative Commons Attributions
(all licensed as 'General Attribution' at time of use)

Amy Loves Yah - Storm Cloud
o palsson - The Atomium
cjohnson7 - Storm Clouds
rodneyramsey - Los Angeles skyline in the rain
mediaman // - IMG_5393
pareerica - brick wall texture

urban_data - kuma-rockaz

peter huys - abandoned factory part 2
urban_data - machinesware
gshowman -Former Greenpoint Terminal Market
shiny things - bangkok bank go down
erix Urban Fragment (entrance door)
bob jagendorf - toledo factory sunrise

max wolfe - Lyric Theatre - Fire Escapes, Alley Side

oh sk - wall-to-roof scaling attempts

mangpages - road downtown

bob jagendorf - Steel Mill - Bethlehem, PA
dan deluca -bethlehem-steel-blast-furnace-2
tim psych - old cement factory
heyrocker - satsop nuclear power plant
nicholas nova - atomium

(Note to original artists: feel free to contact me if you wish to modify your attribution in any way. Thanks!)