Last week we teased a new video, which myself and many others spent over two months working on as a surprise wedding gift for Alex and his now-husband Alek. Today you get to see the final product.
Before watching this video, you should know three things.
First: in high school, Alex made a feature film called The Sword of Amuno Kensai, a kung-fu movie about a girl trying to follow mysterious clues to find the titular greatest-sword-of-all-time-forever-awesomeness. I’ve posted the four minute trailer (FOUR MINUTES, 17-year-old-Alex?!) below. It even features an actress you may recognize, Adele Watkin, who has been in a number of our short films and is one of Alex’s closest friends. You don’t HAVE to watch it, but there will be some inside jokes lost on you if you don’t.
The second thing you should know is that Alek is a HUGE Tron: Legacy fan. Huge. It’s basically his favorite movie.
And finally, this is a video made for two specific human beings, so there will definitely be some inside jokes that will be meaningless to you. My hope is that there’s enough in here for you to enjoy regardless, and that you can get into the idea of being Alex and Alek watching this and being completely surprised; every time a new character shows up, it’s one of their best friends that’s just walked on-screen.
Fast forward to the night before their wedding. Alex and Alek come over to the house where I’m staying in Santa Cruz, and find all of their friends gathered to welcome them. They are completely unaware of the insanity they’re about to encounter. There are smiles and laughter and they are immediately saying, “Okay…what’s going on, what did you guys do?” We give them a wrapped box with a gift inside…a blu-ray! Luckily I’ve brought my 42” plasma TV and PS3 from LA so that we can all watch this surprise blu-ray! We pop it in, they sit down, and they watch it…and they love it. They flip out.
We basically managed to create a film 100% tailored to give the optimum joy to these two people who we love greatly. It was a fantastic night and watching them watch the movie was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had. Afterward, the question came up: HOW DID YOU DO THIS?!
It’s a very complicated “how,” as this was one of, if not the most complicated and visual-effect-filled projects I’ve ever done. It was shot by Terrance Stewart, the quiet genius Director of Photography behind all our short films, and it was shot on the RED EPIC in 5K. There were over 150 VFX shots. We were on set for 20 hours straight one of the days. And it was totally worth it.
It was easily on the scale of our previous short films, so next week, I’ll be doing a post that goes into how we did some of these crazy VFX. If you have any questions about how we did any specific shots, please ask and I’ll do my best to answer! But for now, I’ll leave you with this tease…
“This is the most complicated visual effects shot we’ve ever done.” – Dan
See you next week!