View Full Version : Live Action/CGI Short Film - The German

07 July 2009, 10:14 PM
Hi, I posted this in the News forum, but it should really be here.

I recently completed my second short film 'The German', starring Toby Kebbell (Control, RocknRolla and the up-coming Prince of Persia) and Christian Brassington (Elisabeth: The Golden Age and Easy Virtues). I wrote and directed the film. (

The site is taking a bit of a hit so I have placed the Trailer, VFX breakdowns and some more shameless promotion in the style of a short behind the scenes piece on Vimeo




The blurb!

November 1940, during the greatest conflict man has ever known, an epic duel unfolds between two ace pilots, each willing to take the match to itís ultimate conclusion. Unknown to the pilots is a fate neither has considered.

The German is a war story seen through the eyes of RAF officer A C Barton (Kebbell) who will take his fight to the very end. The singleminded desire for revenge drives Barton, but when it comes face to face, can he pull the trigger?

Shot on 35mm (anamorphic), and posted at 2K, the opening of the film is an aerial battle between a British Spitfire and a German Me 109, all of which I completed here at Image Now Films over a six month period. This is a combination of Live action/stills and fully CGI shots.

I have made up a website for the film, which has a trailer and effects breakdowns and a small behind the scenes clip. I have also written a little about the process involved.

Pretty much like the my last short film, A Lonely Sky, the film was made on a relatively small budget (70K euro). It was funded by the Irish Film Board, under a short film scheme they run.

While that sounds a lot, when broken down under the regulations for filming, it all disappears very quickly. The Effects budget was a big fat zero, so a lot of long hours again.

Unfortunately I can't put the film on the web yet, because of film festivals. It was selected for Palm Springs, and LA Shorts as well as the San Paulo film festival.

Please let me know what you think.



07 July 2009, 11:28 PM
I've watched the trailer on your website and what can I say...., it's fantastic!
The effects are great and I sincerely wish you good luck on the upcoming festivals, you diserve it from what I have seen.
It's amazing experience being able to work with such known actors. Tell me - what was like working on this film, was it exciting? How long have you been in the indusrty and do you plan to do more movies in the future, just curious.
Once again, good luck with your film!

Thumbs up!

08 August 2009, 12:48 AM
Hello Nick,

What a wonderful job youv'e done. I am looking forward to seeing the movie. Did you play a role in the 3D work, or you have a team for that? Top notch compositing. Love the volumetric clouds. Overall solid vfx work. Good luck with the film.

08 August 2009, 07:50 AM
Hey nick great film. I love the VFX cant wait for the full film.

08 August 2009, 09:12 AM
For what you accomplished, 70,000 euros doesnt sound like a lot at all. Really impressive work! Love the music also

08 August 2009, 03:47 AM
awesome stuff, can't wait to see the full film.

08 August 2009, 10:40 AM
Wow this looks just amazing. Great look and awesome mood. looks very very professional!
Great integration of VFX too. Just stunning...



08 August 2009, 12:50 PM
Amazing work mate. The colour tone of the entire film is beautiful. When can we see this short film?

08 August 2009, 06:50 PM
Great stuff there, man!
I would love to see the breakdown video as a separate uploaded video, so I can frame forward here and there :D

08 August 2009, 07:47 PM
Thanks for the comments.

Baradara - to me, making films is always exciting. To be able to write a story and have great talent bring it to life is always a privilege.

tokanohanna - I pretty much did all the 3D myself. Dave Head, who works in Image Now Films made the models (Spitfire, ME109, Heinkel 110 and a Austin Truck). I textured, animated and composited it all. There are 120 or so shots. I initially wanted to do all the aerial stuff in 3d and spent a good bit of time experimenting with various volumetric solutions, before settling on a mixture of film/photographic and 3D.

SpecialFX - I am not entirely sure when I can put the whole film (all ten minutes!) online, but will post a message when I do.

Ferdi - I will make the breakdowns downloadable.

The most important thing with the film is story (which unfortunately you can't fully see here!). After making 'A Lonely Sky' and spending so long creating all the visual effects, I swore that my next film would be a lot more simple. I thought a nice simple film about a duel. It just turned out that it was a duel between two WW2 fighter pilots, which inevitably ended up with me doing three times as much visual effects work than on the last film! I hope that you get a sense of that, and the story from the trailer.


08 August 2009, 11:05 PM
Wow Nick, really impressive. To take on that work load and execute the way you did.....I tip my hat. Your next effort will only be better. Wonderful job again.:bowdown:

08 August 2009, 03:17 PM
i would love to see the story unfold.maybe the film will play on a festival near by.
but the visual effects look superb.

greetings eric

08 August 2009, 11:24 PM
Thanks everyone.

I just noticed the site is down. It seems it has overloaded. I'll try and have a mirror/feeds up later or tomorow.


08 August 2009, 11:05 PM
I have placed some video files on Vimeo, because my site went down . I have posted the direct links in the first post on this topic.



08 August 2009, 12:11 PM
Great updates! I really love it! May I ask what software you guys used for modeling, rendering, volumetrics, motion tracking and compositing? Thanks :D

08 August 2009, 01:31 PM
Thanks Ferdi

The models were made in Max and exported as OBJ to XSI where they were textured, animated, lit and rendered. I used After Effects for compositing.

The clouds were BA Volume clouds (now standard within XSI, but I did this in 6.0-6.5)

I used Syntheyes to track the various live action plates.

and of course, Photoshop for textures.

except for the models, I did everything else by myself. That is about 4 minutes of 2K resolution effects, approximately 120 or so shots.


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