First Visual Effects Meeting yesterday afternoon with 3d artists Jan Roth and Stefan Hähnlein and 3d & matte painting artist Marco Wilz. Soon the room filled with pure geekiness and ramblings and murmurs of tech talk, that I better do not recite here.
Marco is a friend of mine since we worked together at Pixomondo in 2006 on the misguided big budget German (anti-)war flick “Red Baron”. It tanked at the box office but it featured great VFX work, thus drew much attention from abroad and placed the young company on the world map. While I finished studies and spent three years to make “Die Farbe”, Marco returned several times to Pixomondo and worked on many high-profile projects, his latest credits feature “Hugo Cabret” (Academy Award for Visual Effects) and “Game of Thrones” (Emmy Award for Visual Effects).
Stefan and Jan are fellow students from university, while Jan spent three years to co-produce and work on “Die Farbe” (and doing smaller stuff to earn his living), Stefan – apart from helping us by creating the decaying mushroom in “Die Farbe” – did freelance work for companies like Scanline in Munich, where he contributed to two big budget German movies, “Wickie und die wilden Männer” and “Hotel Lux”, and most recently to the international spectacle that is “Cloud Atlas”, directed by Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis.
But enough with the namedropping. What did we talk about? Sorry, but I really can’t tell you. You will see and I hope you will like it. Don’t expect too much, it’s a small team (I will introduce the other VFX artists later) and no one can work on this full-time in the coming months. But I’m quite confident that we will surpass the quality of visual effects you have seen in “Die Farbe” by far. After all I have switched from a single core 4GB RAM to a quad core 16 GB RAM machine in the meantime, yes I did ;)
If you happen to be a VFX artist yourself and you are interested in helping us, please give a shout and provide us some information about your work experience and skills, which programs you use, and also please show us some work examples. We’re especially keen on finding experienced simulation artists for fluids and/or destructions (oops, did I say that?).
From time to time we would like to share with you where we will draw inspiration from for this project, be it artistically or in terms of production spirit. First entry is dedicated to a unique independent film project from UK that we have stumbled upon last week: The UnderWater Realm
A group of devoted and enthusiastic young film makers embarked on the incredible task to create five short films mostly playing underwater to showcase their concept for a fantasy film trilogy about the mythical people of Atlantis. Many hours of behind-the-scenes footage show their dedication and hard work in the last few years to make it happen and if you haven’t seen them yet, head over to their webpage and watch the five finished short films that they have published last December. It is truly impressive and for us, as fellow independent film makers being in quite the same boat, a huge boost for our own endeavours.
We really hope they can fulfill their dream and someone big from Hollywood will call them up to get this started. And let’s hope we can achieve something in that league to reach a similar position. But don’t expect us to go underwater and make five short films in a row – we’re rather bad swimmers …
So what is this all about? Here is the whole story: After numerous times that people who had seen and liked our last film asked us what would be next on our list, for the most part of the last two years we didn’t have an answer. For me as the director and writer it was crucial to find another story as fascinating to me as “The Colour Out of Space”, a story with a deeper theme that would resonate within. There are many stories by H.P. Lovecraft that are really great and effective, but many lack such a hidden core, worthwile to be explored and transformed in the form of a motion picture. Among non-Lovecraftian ideas we toyed around with “The Temple” for a while (oh yeah, German u-boats!) but abandoned it in the end. Not so much because of the u-boat and many scenes with water and underwater, which is very hard to do, but more because of the story arc that doesn’t translate too well into a full movie. In typical Lovecraftian manner there is no third act, the idea of “The Temple” is great, the effect is strong, but with no additions to the story you would only end up with a short film with an open end. And that’s just not enough for all the needed effort, we concluded.
So what else? One day at the start of 2012 a new idea came up: “Celephais” has always been one of my favourite stories because of its sad emotional core and after reading a comic adaptation by the amazing Jason Bradley Thompson as well as his rendering of “The White Ship” and “The Strange High House in the Mist” a seed was planted in my head. In late summer 2012, after completing two other treatments for possible films, and reading “The Dream-Quest to Unknown Kadath” for the first time, I was ready and allowed my imagination to run really wild: a huge epic adventure urged to be put on paper. And so it happened.
Thus, we’re not talking about an adaptation of a particular H.P. Lovecraft story. This is about a new original story that takes place in Lovecraft’s Dreamlands and there are many elements and themes taken from those stories. Our dream is to bring a whole fantasy world and some of its characters, gods and creatures to life that haven’t yet been portrayed before. Embark upon this dream-quest with us, a quest that will lead us all to a unique film experience.
But let’s take small steps first: The teaser trailer. Consisting of a full scene that is perfectly qualified to show where we are heading.
Right now we’re looking for a suiting shooting location – something like this. We need a hut or house with at least one side window, a nicely looking wooden door and enough space for two beds left and right and a table in the center. Its architectural design should be coastal (North Sea, Baltic Sea) or plain neutral. The older the better. But within reach for us, meaning Germany and surrounding countries. It doesn’t matter if it is in the woods, on a mountain or in a town, since we’d only shoot inside of it. Anyone with hints (also if you have seen such a hut or house in another European movie or short film – so that we could ask the filmmakers) please give a shout. Note: A wooden attic could work, too, depending on size and structure and if it would be possible to pull up two side walls.
Seven randomly chosen of around 40 fans/followers/subscribers have received a copy of the “Die Farbe” score by Tilman Seege. We hope they will enjoy those eerie tunes and we also hope that we can work together with this incredibly talented composer again for “The Dreamlands”. Digital album will be available soon on www.die-farbe.com
We would like to announce that we have fallen under a spell again. We were allowed to see the future. Glimpses of a new film project, that will hopefully come to life. Dark whisperings of things to come.
Dare to dream with us and follow our progress on this blog. Witness the making of a short teaser trailer for a dark & epic fantasy tale that we are hoping to engage someday.
In the next few weeks we will provide more information. Just follow us on Facebook, Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter. We will give away 7 free copies of the soon to be released “Die Farbe” music score among all new followers, fans and subscribers till tomorrow.
Come back soon again.
Through the Cavern of Flame.
You know the way.