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Behind the Tentacle

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Hey, I'm Luke, I wrote and directed the film. And I'm John, I produced and VFX supervised. So this film is only 4 minutes long, and if we're gonna do a commentary track there's really only one way we can do it. — Press the button and pause it. — Yeah. So we're gonna be pausing the film, we're gonna be rewinding it, we're gonna be seeing parts of it again, and we're gonna be talking a lot about what it takes to make an independent monster movie. That is true, and if you decide you just want to watch it without listening to us talk, click here or there, wherever the link ends up being. — There. And it'll take you to the actual movie, uninterrupted. Yeah. So without further ado, let's get into the film and start talking about it. — Play. Ethan, our actor here, he came to us via Kimberly Browning, who is one of my best friends and a long time film-making collaborator of mine, and when I pitched her this idea, she was like, "I know the perfect kid for you", and she was right. — Yeah, he was great. — We actually filmed at my former boss' house, I mean, she was my boss at the time and I was terrified that we were going to break something. I was pretty sure we were going to get you fired. That we were gonna set her house on fire and you would not have a job ever again. — Now, if you look directly over Ethan's shoulder you'll see a little knit toy there, it's a knit Kraken that my sister made and I thought it would be a fun little Easter egg, a little bit of foreshadowing for what's to come later in the film. Ethan was supposed to be bouncing the ball here as he walked through. Yeah, Ethan was actually running around the set, squeaking it at everybody, and it was bouncing so irregularly, like... Cause it's not like a basketball kind of thing, it was more of a foam, so it didn't really respond as well, like consistently bounce. The important part of that moment isn't that he bounces the ball off his mom's leg, is that he goes and he annoys his mom. The ball bouncing is a visual gag but the ball squeaking is an audio gag, and this film didn't have any dialogue in it, so the more audio gags and the more audio moments we could build into it would make the film better. So this is something we caught as an audible, we just made the change right there on the set, cut out a couple shots, changed the action, and in the process made the film stronger. You had actually designed this film to not have dialogue for a reason, you wanted a film that was almost like an old school silent film because it would be a more universal thing that wasn't dependent on English as its primary delivery system of information, so that it could play worldwide. — I wanted something that had the universal themes of play and imagination and the idea of a dark and scary place, but then to flip those and have what would normally be the victim become the hero. If you continue playing here we will see Ydaiber has a fantastic reaction. Ydaiber Orozco? Is that how you say it? I think that's how you say it, yeah. Ydaiber was great. Her name is very hard to pronounce. — You can spell it though. — Uh, yeah. Y-D-A-I-B-E-R. I may or may not have just read that off the computer. — You probably read that. Oh, there we go, that's my hand, from a pick-up day. — He's got soft fingers. — Got the touch, got the touch. The ball bouncing is actually a VFX shot. — Fully digital. — So the following shot is practical, we actually had a BB-8 style motorized ball that we used so we could actually stop it on cue. — Instead we went old school, we put down some sticky tape that you can't see on camera, and lo and behold, it catches the ball. — There was one additional problem with the sticky tape though. — We left it on the floor and crew and us, everyone was walking on it and pretty much, we smooshed it into the floor. So when we wrapped, we couldn't get it up properly and our poor production designer, Tye Whipple, who did a fantastic job on this movie, got on his hands and knees, with his fingernails, ended up pulling it off, it was amazing. It was a good learning lesson, we should have just pulled it off right away but we rushed. — Clean your sticky tape off, kids. This is actually John's hand again, but inside the tentacle. Yeah, we actually had a practical tentacle that was yay big and you just stick your hand in it and swipe the ball. And that fit with what our mantra was, which was, try to do as much practically before augmenting with CGI. So there's a certain level of authenticity that comes from using an actual physical prop. Obviously, neither one of us is against using CG, but if for your close-ups you can use an actual physical model, the way that the light hits it and the weight that it carries on film really helps convince the audience that it's an actual thing, so that when they see a wide shot with CG, it feels more authentic. It's one of those things too that also gives us in post a great reference of what it should look like, the way the light hits it, the way it reflects, the way shadows are being cast, so when we go to create the digital version of it we have a really strong idea of what the actual thing looks like in the actual shot. So this right here is probably my favorite shot in the movie. It is the iconic shot for us, it ended up being the poster for the film. I really like the sound design and the score in this section, it does a great job of helping to change the mood of the piece. So, I want to just stop talking for a minute and let's just watch this without us yammering over it. So I do want to give a shout out to Nathaniel Smith, who is our composer. — And Steve Romero, our sound designer. We shot this MOS, there was no sound at all in the entire thing, and then Steve created the audio landscape that you hear here. You can see that we have this wonderful fireplace that our production designer Tye actually built for us, it wasn't there in the space, so he built a practical thing, but obviously having a real life fire was going to be problematic for many reasons for us, so what we ended up doing is digitally inserting in the embers. In hindsight we probably should have dropped some green screen in between the grates, it would have made our post process a lot easier. And by "our" John means "his", because I was like: "John, we need embers in here." You'll see there's a tracking shot, which is a gorgeous tracking shot, but Ethan moves around a lot, he crosses in front of, or in between the slats, so that means each one had to be individually drawn. — So it was a lot of work. — But I think it worked out perfectly for the shot. — Yeah, I wanted to have like a creepy Home Alone sort of scary furnace. So part of what we wanted to do narratively here in the basement is, we wanted to set up a place that contrasted to the nice, happy, sunny upstairs of the house. So we wanted to make the basement as dark and scary as possible. But the basement didn't actually look like that in reality. — We couldn't light it in the way that you're seeing now. And it's a testament to Nico, he was very honest in saying: we don't have the space to light this properly because you're gonna catch it all on camera, meaning we'll catch the light stands and the power cords and we just didn't have any places to hide it, so we were able to have a conversation about it on the day and say, we can do this all in post, meaning, we can over-light the shot, give ourselves lots of information and then when we go to color correction in the D.I. we can create this look. Another visual effect in this scene, obviously, is the monster, and the eyes, man, this was a tough shot to get right, but luckily the guys over at PikeFX, Carrie and Ben, did a fantastic job. I was really impressed with how they took the physical prop and they made the digital model, I mean, there's probably a whole other little behind the scenes piece we could do talking to them. Yeah, let's find out. So I always call this the monster- vision shot in my shot list. I really like the build of the music here, I told Nathaniel that I wanted something Jaws-esque, something that had that good "pom-pom, pom-pom" sort of build as the monster is approaching our hero. So here we go again, this is tentacle shot, which is my favorite shot in the movie, it's all practical. We've got slime, we've got blood, none of it is digital, it's all real. And one of the cool things about it is we had doused the tentacle in KY to get that nice slime thing. We also had to douse our actor in slime, you know, one of the things about directing is being able to relate to your actors, so in order to get Ethan to a safe place I had the make-up artist also put KY jelly all over my face. And that helped Ethan get into the moment. —Yeah, he definitely liked that you were also covered in KY, so it was a cool thing for him. But the real hero is this final shot. This pretty much makes or breaks the film because it does take us to that next level, we realize he is himself the monster. And we did a test of you, right there? We'll do it in full screen here. And that's Luke with the digital teeth, that's something we did really quickly, just to ensure. We had had a big discussion about whether or not it should be practical or digital, and this time digital won. — When John and I talked about it we realized that there was really only one shot where you saw the teeth. If it was something where you needed to see him speaking and you needed to see him with the teeth throughout the film, it would have been worth the expense to build the actual prop, the prosthetic that he could wear. But since it was only this final shot we decided that it would be a better use of our talent and resources to make it digital. So that's our special extended extra long short film commentary on Time to Eat. I want to give a great big shout out and thank you to Ydaiber and Ethan, it was really a joy to work with all of you. — And thank you to our crew, who knocked it out of the park for us. — The truth is, we couldn't have made this film without the hard work and talent of many people. — Thank you very much. — Yeah, thank you guys. And thank you for watching. Oh, and believe it or not, there's actually more behind the scenes material at our website:

Video Details

Duration: 11 minutes and 20 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 4
Posted by: guidici on Oct 6, 2016

The making of a horror short film.
This is the extra long, extended behind-the-scenes commentary for 'Time To Eat' featuring director, Luke Asa Guidici and producer, John Wynn.
Popup links:
The film -
Ydaiber Orozco -
Tye Whipple -
Nathaniel Smith -
Nico van den Berg -
PikeFX -

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