• Length: 2:39
• Year: 2013
• Production time: 23 hours 54 minutes
• Produced for: THAC 11, awarded 1st place
• Theme: A Mistaken Identity
• Camera: Nikon D600
• Lens: Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 (macro lens)
• Programs: Dragonframe, Adobe Creative Suite
Behind the Scenes
THAC – More tips, again!
For those of you, who don’t know THAC: It’s the Twenty-Four-Hour-Animation-Contest on Bricks in Motion, which takes place each year, usually in December or January.
• Loop shots: Don’t only reuse shots but also reuse frames: In our exposition shot you see the production line going on and on, but we only animated one cycle (approx. 2x 25 frames), which saves a lot of time and allowed us to create a nice 20 second exposition shot. We also put a mask over the supervisor so that he could move as well. This kind of loop trick works well with redundant animation you will find in a factory, on a busy road or in a crowd animation.
• Close up’s: The most effective way to save time and effort in set design is to work with a lot of close ups. Of course you still need a great scenery for all the middle and long shots but by taking close ups and thus blurring the background beyond recognition you don’t need to relocate every set piece to its exact location.
• If you are looking for more tips and tricks for THAC, have a look at the making-off of our other THAC brickfilms.
• The Contest took place on December 28th and 29th 2013. The theme was “A Mistaken Identity” and the mod element, which is an element that has to be present in every frame, to ensure you did the whole movie in 24 hours, was a red and a grey brick touching each other.
• New equipment, hurray! We all chipped in something over Christmas in order to buy a new camera for our brickfilms. What we didn’t account for when switching from camcorder to DSLR was the tremendous cost of the lenses. So we ended up just buying the already pretty expensive macro lens to see how this goes. It worked pretty well for the THAC entry but it was clear afterwards we needed at least one other lens for the long shots.
• With the new camera we also decided to change the format as well: In our early days we filmed in 4:3, afterwards in 16:9 and now we wanted to do a new switch towards the movie format cinemascope, which equals about 12:5.
• A new camera also means new problems: The big problem we encountered during THAC, for which we found the name and cause only afterwards, is called aperture flickering. This happens due to the camera resetting the position of the lens blades after every frame. In other words if you shoot with f/16 or so, the blades close accordingly and then open up again after the frame has been taken. This procedure is of course subject to physical inaccuracy the smaller you choose the aperture. It’s generally no problem at maximum aperture which is why we had to do a lot of shots with super blurry background. We did no further corrections in post-production since we lacked the time but have come up with some creative ways to work around it for our next film.
• Since we really like being self-referential we did not only include our good old “brick drink” beverage from Lucky but also a very special newspaper edition…
• Although we settled pretty quickly on the films main plot it took us over six (!) hours of set/storyboard creation until we started shooting.
• With only twelve hours left (plus six hours to sleep) you might think that we embraced our own THAC tips… haha, no way! We did over 33 more or less different shots from multiple angles! The result was that we finished shooting only about two hours before the deadline.
• Even though, as some comments on Brick à Brack suggested, this films topic/setting is very similar to Aiwahs picture “Indus”, we did in no way intend to copy or reference it in our production. This is due to the fact that we didn’t know about it at all until pointed out, since we were not active on any forums for about a year.
• It goes without saying that we were thrilled to be awarded first place (again!) out of 78 valid entries. Maybe the reason why we accomplished this is because we reused parts of the soundtrack from our other winning THAC entry “Love’s Labour”, who knows…