Gardens of Miranda Episode 1
At long last, after 3 years of work, Episode 1 of Gardens of Miranda is finished. I spent the first year writing, designing and constructing models, props and puppets, followed by 2 years of animation.
Shooting this proved to be a true learning process and I'm looking forward to putting all of it to use on episodes 2 and 3, which I expect to average around 2 minutes in length. There was a lot of exposition to work into episode 1, something that won't be as true for successive installments, so the pacing will pick up and include more characters and action sequences and a darker tone overall.
The year is 2185, and astrobiologist Jack Pure-Folly and his assistant Effie are conducting a field study on the newly-discovered planet Miranda, during the course of which they make some startling discoveries. Jack and Effie also happen to be robots.
Miranda’s atmosphere is lethal to humans, so Dante, the field study’s supervisor, decides to send the two robots to gather data and allow him to conduct the expedition remotely from his ship in geosynchronous orbit above the planet. Everything goes according to plan for the first two weeks, and then things start to get interesting.
The advent of digital SLR cameras and mini Dv camcorders, coupled with post production software packages like After Effects, Final Cut Pro and Shake, has enabled independent novice and professional film makers to make polished short and medium length films, on a modest budget, and show them to a world-wide audience via the Internet.
"Skull Island" is a short proof-of-concept stop-motion animated puppet film, inspired by story ideas from "King Kong," and shot using a Sanyo ID Shot mini DV camcorder. The individual frames were captured as TIFF resolution stills, uploaded to a G5 Mac, assembled into QuickTime movies and loaded into Apple Shake for finessing and compositing.
All the post-production work was handled by Greg Bossert, and without his hard work and knowledge, the film would not look, or sound, as good as it does.
If things work out as planned, I hope to make more animated short films in this series, and continue my reinterpretation of scenes from the classic that inspired me and so many others in the field of motion picture visual effects.