C 299,792 km/s
When Derek Van Gorder and Otto Stockmeier decided to make a science fiction short about a mutiny on an interplanetary warship, they didn’t have the funds for CGI. They did, on the other hand, have access to the digital cameras that are part and parcel of any contemporary filmmaker’s toolkit. So they eschewed the digitally rendered graphics that are ubiquitous today, and instead set out to combine classic in-camera special effects with the advanced low-light filming capabilities of the latest cameras. The result: a unique science fiction vision for their film C 299,792 km/s, released yesterday.
C 299,792 km/s is a Kickstarter success story. The team was successfully funded in December 2011. They raised $37,317, double their target, at which point they decided to further their ambitions, ultimately turning to their fans for a second round of funding. All told, the movie was made for only $40,000 — but you wouldn’t know it to look at it.
“Digital technology has made basic filmmaking tools available to everyone, but undertaking a project like this is still considered way outside of the indie filmmaking spectrum,” says Stockmeier. “What we hoped to achieve with combining practical effects and digital equipment is to show that with a little ingenuity people can make really cool movies with very little resources.”
The project has three main shooting environments. First, there was the live-action interior of the ship. Second, the exterior of the ship in flight. Third, a live-action retro-science documentary.
The interior of the ship was a set built largely from particleboard and pegboards with clever lighting and projectors to create the environment. The space sequences were filmed as stop-motion sequences with a model. By taking advantage of the camera’s ability to shoot in low light, the team was able to create a spectacular setting using cheap, readily available lights like LEDs and Christmas tree bulbs that would have been too dim at the height of Hollywood’s use of in-camera special effects.
By contrast, the “science documentary” sequences were filmed on location with 16mm cameras. Because they were filmed in broad daylight, the lighting situation was much simpler.
Wired contacted the team to learn more about what went on behind the scenes. Stockmeier took charge of responding “since Derek has been tied to the editing station for the past few weeks.” What’s striking is the number of different ways that digital tools played a role in a movie with no CGI.
A vocabulary note: Kit bashing is when you go to a model store and buy up boxed models kits like cars and naval vessels to repurpose the parts for your completely unrelated miniature. The original Star Wars spaceships where detailed by kit bashing.
Aqui está C (299,792 km/s), um novo incrível filme curto de ficção-científica dirigido por Derek Van Gorder, baseado em um roteiro que ele co-escreveu com Otto Stockmeier.
“C conta a história da Tenente Comandante Malleck e seu ato radical de motim durante uma guerra fria interplanetária.”
O filme é uma homenagem às antigas óperas espaciais e à ciência. O filme foi feito com estilo antigo, sem CGI e sem tela verde em qualquer lugar, apenas efeitos especiais tradicionais! Eles construiram sets e objetos a mão e filmaram com uma câmera digital. Bem, você tem que admitir que o resultado é incrível!