…I saw the trailer for C and I found it inspirational to say the least. Not only because it was an independent film, but because it had integrity and vision, and because its being made right now. I admire this.

Soon after seeing it, I wondered why I couldn’t do something similar for Iapetus, my own science fiction film concept. I set about writing a short screenplay and thinking about ship designs. I also decided to use miniature photography instead of CGI.

Some  of the (film related) things that I remember most about my childhood were space sequences in science fiction. Sure I loved the whizzing adrenalin of a Star Wars dogfight, what kid wouldn’t? – but what I remember most was the Enterprise leaving dry-dock in Star Trek II, or similar sequences in Star Trek III. The scale and volume of the ship as the camera very slowly moved past it were awe inspiring, it’s reality seemed beyond question.

This has been lost in recent years with the proliferation of CGI. The hard limitations of physical miniature photography: physics, time, optics and budget, made sure that every shot was extremely well planned and executed. Here, the story was king. If a shot wasn’t helping, it was dropped because it was so expensive, and because it was relatively inflexible all the thinking went in at the start.

With CGI the focus seems to have shifted from story telling to shiny effects reels, perhaps because of the enormous flexibility. I still think Jurassic Park is the finest execution of cinematic CGI to date. It’s no surprise that they spent a long time studying animal movements. Walt Disney did the same thing for Bambi, bringing in all kinds of artists and experts to try to capture the natural movement of wild deer. What strikes me in both films, is that the medium was exactly that, a vehicle for the story, not the other way round.

Unlike the creators of C, I’m not adverse to using green screen or digital compositing for these effects, and in fact the approach I’m using demands it (more on this later). Next time I want to post some more detail about the film in it’s current format, as well as some test shots for the space sequences.

Random Picture, but it looks niceIt just occurred to me that the one thing I haven't posted about yet is any kind of practical plan on how I plan to achieve my rather lofty goal. I have a few ideas that I've been playing around with over the years, but the flagship is a feature animation film, currently titled 'Iapetus'.

The film I plan to see on the big screens will be based around the following points:

  • Visually inspirational, but not distractingly so
  • Solid intelligent storyline, but not too clever
  • Realistic human depiction, but not photographic
  • Satisfying conclusion
  • Several movements, a solid arc, over about 2 hours running time
  • Lots of satisfying action
  • Laugh out loud comic violence and black humour
  • A solid main character with a human reason to drive the story forward

You'll note that none of this describes a specific storyline or theme, instead they outline the experience I want the audience to share when they see it. I'm describing the film I want to see, and the reasons I want to see it.

Next up is to create a short clip of one of the more frenetic scenes, currently titled "Bullet Wind". I'll post some storyboards on that fairly soon, followed by some concept artwork.

Feels good to be finally starting on this.