Peek at Shot

revealReverseThought it would be fun to see the composite I’m working on now, so I shot it on my phone in this video.

  • The top is the original footage. It couldn’t be used as is; too gentrified looking to be a forgotten, mysterious wood.
  • The little inset is the roto of Miranda I’m working on.
  • The bottom shot is the rough composite. It uses a scratch roto I made of Miranda, so I could see how she’d interact in the wood.

You can see the roto is well on its way, and that the “wood” is built. After the elements are combined and the composite refined, the shot will be complete. Then just one major shot’s left, plus several small ones.


I haven’t been able to work on the film. Personal projects cropped up this year, and the film schedule needed to be pushed back. I’d been rather burned out on the VFX, and went back to the edit a day or two here and there, having fun tightening things up. After a little more work of doing that, though, I’ll be going back to the VFX shots, and asking for help from a pro consultant instead of spending more time struggling on the same shot.

Still Roto’ing

First horse roto is a no go.

After thinking I’d finally found a way to use my horse roto–despite all the branches in front of the horse (see “First horse roto…” pic), the “solution” didn’t work out. I thought I could blur out the branches and adjust the branches and leaves to the color of the horse, but it looked terrible. I was able to blur the torso satisfactorily–there used to be lots of branches over it. But look at the horse’s tail–forget it, and the head would lose the eyes and facial features.

So, I went through all the horse footage I had, and selected another shot that was much cleaner. I’ve been working on this new roto this week, and have about a quarter of the shot finished (140 frames total).

The reason I didn’t chose cleaner shots to begin with was because none of the cleaner shots of the horse had the right movements needed for continuity in the edit.

I did a quick test of the shot in the composite, and it will work–much more beautifully than the first shot, as it turns out. After I insert a cutaway shot, the continuity problem won’t be an issue.

Here’s a look at the successful horse roto in progress:

Successful Horse Roto -- Head
Preliminary result (without edge blur and color correction)

Why am I blogging?

In the midst of script analysis and writing bios for the characters — I mean, people — of my first film, “In this Wood,” I’ve been searching blogs, looking for real people who live at boarding schools in England or the Northeast states: headmasters, teachers, students…it’s hard to find anything.

Getting to know these “people” and their reality is pretty exciting. But it’s been hard getting focused. I get off on too many tangents and get stuck. Every tangent has more tangents. “If she’s Irish, 40, and living in Boston in the 1940s, how much of an impact would the economic climate, racial stereotypes of the day have on her?” That can lead to more and more questions I can’t answer. This probably means i need to research more, or that I should move the time period up to one I’m more familiar with.

So, anyway – instead of working on this analysis, (or staring at my blank notebook,) I’m starting a blog. Not for people to read, necessarily. But more to keep a journal, or have an excuse to not work on analysis. And so i can go back to these entries someday when i’m finished, and look at all my tracks…
Well, it’s 8:30 p.m. — back to work.