New Cast Member

We would like to welcome H Thomas Altman as Insectula's newest cast member!

Editing programs

So far I have edited Insectula! in Sony Vegas. I knew I couldn't continue in that as I may need to hand off the editing tasks to others and virtually no one uses Vegas. I decided I was going to switch to Final Cut Pro which is an Apple program that is pretty standard. Because of this I was going to have to purchase a Mac too. Turns out though that Apple is slowly but surely dropping their pro programs...their latest iteration of FCP is a disaster in that it isn't backwards compatible and has numerous other issues including a dumbed down interface...gearing up for the eventual dropping of the "pro" moniker. Apple is also rumored to be stopping their Mac Pro line of computers (they haven't updated it in two years) leaving only the laptops, something the "pro's" wouldn't stand for. So this tells me FCP isn't the way to go.

The two other choices I have are Avid and Adobe Premiere. I'm settling on Premiere and just installed it as it's supposed to work very well with their After Effects program that is the basis for everything I do in Insectula. Here's hoping the switch isn't too painful.

Helicopter blowed up

I made a model of an AH-64 for the guys at Detonation Films to blow up. They did a fantastic job!

Movie Pilots

We were shooting the 747 cockpit interior and I had a person there who trains the pilots. I had her read my best-guess attempt at pilot jargon in the script and she laughed. I asked her if she would correct it and she said sure. But then I thought about it, the pilots in the movie are movie pilots – they should talk like we think they would talk, not how they actually would talk. The script stays as written!

New camera...

While I’ve shot the first half of Insectula! with a DSLR, first the Canon 7D then the Canon 60D, I’m nearing the point where I need to move up. The DSLR’s are great and I’m very proud of the images I’ve gotten but they do have limitations. MoirĂ©, aliasing and skew are the big drawbacks. Most of the time these aren’t issues but once in a while, shooting a herringbone suit for example, everything goes to hell. There is no good way to shoot someone in a suit with a fine pattern in a MCU without colors from the moirĂ© pattern dancing all over the place. The Panasonic GH2 deals technically with this much better (no line skipping) but it has a cropped sensor.

The other trouble with the Canon is trying to green screen – it is terribly difficult. I have shot the same footage with several different cameras and the clear winner in this category is the Sony NEX FS100. Plus this camera’s low light absolutely blows the Canon’s out of the water, including the 5D with a much larger sensor. Not as expensive as a RED but with images clearly superior to the Canon’s, the Sony will be the next camera I get. It also does slow mo at 1080 instead of Canon's 720 (I've never shot in slow mo with the Canon's for this very reason).

 The last half of Insectula! has a crapload of green screen and I need to have the best image I can afford. I’m hoping the movie company will buy it for me. Fingers crossed!

Woods Edit

Finally editing some of the woods scenes. I was a little scared to look at the footage as it was really a tough shoot. I had only two main lights (LED's) on batteries and a couple little camera LED's. The crew was my wife Danielle and I, and she got sick and had to that left me as the crew in the woods frantically shooting. But now that I look at it things looks great. I don't think I could have done much better with a crew of ten, so now I'm excited to look at some of the other woods shoots.

Happy New Year!

2012 is of course the year of the mosquito so I’m very excited.
I’ll try to update more often as there are some fun things in the works. Right now I’m working on the title sequence which is turning out extremely cool! We are planning on resuming filming in April and we should have a real budget! I’ve got some cool effects people lined up and may actually have a crew when I film so things should be a lot easier. We are 50% done with the picture but the second half has an extreme amount of effect shots so it’s a bit too hard to do on my own.

There seems to be a bit of confusion on what Insectula! is...Insectula! is a full featured, 90 minute horror movie that I’m told may have a theatrical release instead of straight to video if I pull everything together good enough. I’m looking at midsummer 2012 as a release timeframe. As I said I will update with announcements as soon as I can.