Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Featured in this shot are actors Darla Albornoz and Justin Timpaine.
Last week I finished what I called the "pivotal" scene. It's pivotal for two reasons. First, the good guys face off against the creature for the first time. Second, it was the most challenging scene to complete. Ironically, though, the shot I expected to be the most difficult of the whole film, a shot that required a major on-screen alteration to the creature, lots of tiny particles flying around, and direct interaction between an actor and the Crawler, only took a day to complete.
While working on the scene, an issue that came up a couple of times, including the shot shown above, was dealing with continuity problems. It's hard enough dealing with them when editing, but when you add into the mix the placement of CG elements after the fact, it opens up a whole other can of worms, or Crawlers in this case. Since we didn't initially plan to use CG for the Crawler, we hadn't planned the shots to the level of detail needed for adding CG. We basically winged it. Luckily, however, we decided to film with traditional editing in mind, as opposed to the style adopted by many newer Hollywood directors, the long, motion-filled shots with no cuts. The traditional way uses frequent cuts from various angles: wide, mid, closeup, etc., while maintaining proper stage direction. Thus, a lot was fixed in editing before we even got the CG elements. But, as you can see in the above shot, while Darla and Justin should be looking directly at the creature's eyes, it appears that Justin is looking at the creatures throat (if it actually has one); they have two different lines of sight.
I dealt with this by making a choice: I set to Darla's line of sight. Since she's holding a shiny canister, she draws the eye more than Justin. Well, okay, she'd draw the eye more anyway.
Most of the continuity problems we faced were minor, and for some I did my due diligence as a post-production artist and "fixed them in post". The rest we'll live with as all filmmakers do.