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View Full Version : B-Movie Entry: Michael V. Blount

01-20-2010, 03:26 PM
Michael V. Blount is entered in the "B-Movie" update: View Challenge Page (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/b-movie/view_entries.php?challenger=19138)

Latest Update: Finished Video: Final Deliverable - 30sec + Making Of + Full Trailer
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1271687443_medium.jpg (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=6471825#post6471825)

01-25-2010, 10:11 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1264457470_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1264457470_medium.jpg)

When sitting down to discuss how we thought we should approach the competition, Erik, Karr, and I sat down to rough out the best course of action. We figured that, even though we'd only be turning in a trailer, we should plan out the entirety of a movie, so that we would have a large base to be able to pick and choose scenes from for our long (and short) trailer.

We brainstormed a few different ideas, but have settled on going forward with one that tries to re-write history a little. ;)

01-25-2010, 10:12 PM
So, despite the number of B-Movie concepts we threw around at each other, we always sort of levitated back to one that held a certain level of excitement and anticipation with us. The subject was on speculating some of the more mysterious sides of Nikola Tesla's exploits.

Nikola Tesla's history is rich in gems with which to base a movie around. He was a brilliant scientist who, by our research, appeared to be decades ahead of his time with his inventions. And even how he was regarded by tabloids in his time seemed ripe for the big screen.

In any case, besides his 'mad scientist' reputation and his endless armada of futuresque inventions, there is also quite a bit of mystery that surround various portions of Tesla's life.

Our 'movie' will re-write history to an extent, though. ;) And screw with the timeline. So while history is a good basis for the story, it's certainly not a re-telling.

With that in mind, our story asserts that Nikola Tesla's financial woes are the result of a denial to help the US/Allied Forces in World War II. Presuming that Tesla could develop a weapon that would assure victory, the Government puts pressure on him. However, Tesla's own motivations for technological innovation are of a peaceful nature. He refuses to develop a weapon.

As a result, the Government slowly begins to strangle Tesla's creative outlet by seizing his lab, having the media smear his creations, having the Banks cease financial support, and ultimately, deeming his Wardenclyffe Tower dangerous to the world and having it dismantled.

The result of these actions culminate into Tesla's reclusion and subsequent descent into Madness. It's during a night of drunkeness and hysteria, however, that Tesla does the unthinkable. After cannibalizing his more treasured inventions, he builds what would become known as the 'Death Ray'. Soon after its completion, he slips into slumber.

An explosion outside brings Tesla back to consciousness; making him aware of not only the missing Death Ray, but of the calling card left in its place: A Nazi Armband.

Soberness and revelation come to Tesla, and he realizes the dreadful mistake he has made.

01-26-2010, 07:47 PM
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Karr drew up 5 designs for the "giant robot" that will play a significant part in the Movie. We talked it over and decided we liked this one, though there will likely be some other minor additions to it.

02-05-2010, 02:51 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1265381512_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1265381512_medium.jpg)

Initial concept art for the Death Ray. We're thinking we might build the lower half and use tracking spheres on it to composite in the main body of the gun. We'll see. ;)

02-12-2010, 03:02 PM
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Another sketch of MechaTesla, this time in action. Part of a scene we visualize where he'll be picking up a live actor and tossing him.

02-12-2010, 03:05 PM
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Concept sketch for Tesla's makeshift lab. This will be the guide for how we re-arrange and decorate the room upstairs. We're going to try and use as many props as possible, but obviously we'll be enhancing the scene with CG elements.

02-14-2010, 10:14 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1266185648_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1266185648_medium.jpg)

Layed out the shot list for how we want to present our movie trailer. I will follow up this post with a reply in the thread with the contents of the images.

Visual storyboard should be ready soon.

02-14-2010, 10:16 PM
Visual Storyboard should be up in a few days! In the meantime, here's how we've decided to shoot the trailer:

Shot 1: Hotel Room:
[Pan across the workbench, where the newspapers are spread out. Focus is on the main headlines and their associated pictures.]
[As panning across article: ‘MAD SCIENTIST!’ with picture of Nikola.]

Tesla: “They called me ‘mad’.”

[As panning across article: ‘WARDENCLYFFE A DANGER’.]

Tesla: “They took... everything from me.”

[Pan continues to Nikola Tesla, an empty bottle next to him, as he twists wires connecting two pipes to the front of a strange device.]

Tesla: *smirk* “I will show them madness.”

[Pan back off of the work more, to reveal it to be a weapon of sorts. Fade to black]

Shot 2: Tactical Operations Center:
[Fade in, pan up shot on soldier overlooking a map. A younger soldier approaches, salutes, and speaks]

Solder 2: “Sir! At 0300 we received a report that 5 of our forward camps have been lost. We’ve lost direct contact.”

[Soldier 1 turns to give Soldier 2 a stern look. Fade to black]

Shot 3: Hotel Room:
[Fade in, Tesla passed out. Empty bottle of booze is knocked over, the weapon sitting on the table in front of him. There is the creaking sound of a door, then a shadow of a figure that extends over the weapon and Tesla.]
[Arms reach into the frame and take the weapon.]

Shot 4: Tactical Operations Center:
[Fade in, Soldier 1 is still staring at Soldier 2 unnervingly.]

Soldier 2: “Not a surprise attack. A weapon. They say… it’s a gun without bullets. That harnesses power like a thunderstorm.”

[Fade to black.]

Shot 5: Hotel Room:
[Scene is black for a longer pause, then a loud explosion snaps the scene into Tesla’s Room; his eyes open in response to the explosion.]
[From his window, we can see smoke billowing up from below at the street.]
[ Tesla notes the smoke. The missing weapon. And the Nazi arm band. ]
[Tesla becomes grief-stricken, realizing what has happened. He holds the arm band up, staring at it.]

Tesla: “My God... What have I done.”

Shot 6: Open Battlefield:
[Cut to an open battlefield, Allies firing machine guns on approaching Nazi invaders. The Nazis have Tesla’s Death Ray, which they charge and fire.]
[A small squad of Nazis flank one holding the large weapon. He fires a sustained beam of electricity, slowly shifting it across the field, disintegrating the soldiers it touches.]

Shot 7: Hotel Room:
[Tesla worriedly rushes his hands through his hair, then turns to the large covered contraption opposite the room.]
[Tesla peels back the cloth to reveal the large platform, and segments of a humanoid bipedal.]
[Tesla takes a few steps backwards, eyeing the device.]

[i]Tesla: “Madness?”

Shot 8: Hotel Room:
[Tesla steps onto the platform, then throws a nearby ‘breaker switch’. Electricity beams across the platform, engulfs his body, and begins to crackle along the cables and pipes to the nearby mechanical construct.]

[The electricity cuts out, Tesla’s body drops to the ground. Fade out.]

Tesla: “They were right.”

[Fade in, pan closer to collapsed body. Fade out.]

[Fade in, pan closer to collapsed body. Fade out.]

Shot 9: Hotel Room:
[Fade in, pan closer to a mass of the metal of the construct.]
[A shimmer of electricity coalesces into a sphere. An eye. Fade out.]

[Fade in, the MechaTesla rises from its construction platform. It performs a few quick tests of finger flexing and movement. Satisfied, the blue plasma-eye turns red.]

[MechaTesla shifts and turns around, causing a partial camera blockage of the scene to just his back and shoulder.]

Shot 10: Open Battlefield:
[When the camera pans back to compensate, MechaTesla is on the Battlefield in front of the Bunker and charging a handful of soldiers that begin screaming and firing immediately.]

[MechaTesla grabs one of the soldier and slings him off to the side, then takes another by his leg and holds him upside down, lifting him to eye-height. Fade to black. ]

[Fade in, slow motion capture of MechaTesla ripping a jeep out of the bunker-garage, out of his way. It flies through the air behind him. He keeps marching forward, batting away soldiers and firearms.]

Shot 11: Bunker Depths:

[MechaTesla emerges into the cavernous bunker, stepping into a ray of light that illuminates him from the darkness. Fade out.]

[Fade in, the infamous Adolf Hitler, leader of the Nazis, steps into another cast of light. He hefts the large Death Ray up into position, showing it off. It begins charging.]

[A burst of light flickers across Hitler as he begins to fire the weapon. It’s sustained for a moment, then the scene cuts to black hard.]

Tesla: “But I’ll be damned if I let my madness be used for evil.”

[Title screen]

02-14-2010, 10:44 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1266187444_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1266187444_medium.jpg)

I've started modeling one of the primary pieces that will be comped into the scene in Tesla's Lab.

This is the "Transfer System" that Tesla will use to transfer himself into the body of the MechaTesla.

02-22-2010, 06:14 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1266862452_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1266862452_medium.jpg)

Software: 3ds max,After Effects

Our first trial-and-error attempt at matchmoving a CG scene with a live action camera shot. We've never done this before, so we're doing these experiments to figure out how to best approach the scenes where there is a mixture of the two elements.

Feedback is welcomed and appreciated. :)

Play Video >> (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/b-movie/player.php?entry_id=110196)

02-23-2010, 01:54 AM
Whatever your approach was, stick with it. I watched 4 - 5 times looking for wiggle and I can't tell the live form the cg. What was your approach, if I may ask?

02-23-2010, 04:26 PM
This was great. Matching perfect. What program did you use?

02-23-2010, 05:10 PM
Whatever your approach was, stick with it. I watched 4 - 5 times looking for wiggle and I can't tell the live form the cg. What was your approach, if I may ask?

The only thing that is cg is the light bulb. I also did a version with a box on the table to better see the movement. It wiggles a tiny bit but it's not noticeable unless you're really looking for it. The tracking software I'm using is Autodesk Matchmover which comes free with our 3ds Max subscription. I didn't use the auto tracker but instead used the manual tracking method. I only tracked about 7 points but that did the trick. I then used Max and After Effects to finish it up.

02-23-2010, 05:14 PM
This was great. Matching perfect. What program did you use?

Thanks. The software I'm using is Autodesk Matchmover, 3ds Max and After Effects.

02-24-2010, 02:51 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1267023106_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1267023106_medium.jpg)

Set 1 of 2 of our completed Storyboard. We'll be pinning these up in the next day or two to make sure we like the flow of how it tells the story. A frame or two might get swapped around, but otherwise, this is it!

02-24-2010, 02:52 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1267023160_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1267023160_medium.jpg)

Set 2 of 2 of our completed Storyboard. We'll be pinning these up in the next day or two to make sure we like the flow of how it tells the story. A frame or two might get swapped around, but otherwise, this is it!

Now, on to the fun part, right? ;)

02-24-2010, 03:03 PM
wow, you guys have really bitten off a big chunk of work to do in the next 6 weeks or so! very awesome.

the story seems good so i hope you guys can pull it off :D

02-24-2010, 06:57 PM
wow, you guys have really bitten off a big chunk of work to do in the next 6 weeks or so! very awesome.

the story seems good so i hope you guys can pull it off :D

Hehe, that's about the reaction we had once the storyboards were done. We had a silent moment of staring, looked at each other, then chuckled nervously.

Hopefully our approach will save us a lot of heartache, though. We've limited ourselves to 4 location shoots, 3 of which we can do in our building (with the help of a green screen). Only the 1 requires us to go out somewhere (which we still need to scout).

And though the storyboard seems pretty intense, we just keep telling ourselves "it's ONLY just over a minute long".

OH, and good luck with your movie, also! Love the chibi monsters! :)

03-05-2010, 04:39 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1267807151_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1267807151_medium.jpg)

Progression photos from work on building the Death Ray. We decided to go ahead and build a real prop rather than trying to comp in a digital asset. Plenty of other comp work to do. ;)

03-05-2010, 04:41 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1267807267_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1267807267_medium.jpg)

And the final product. As the note says, there are 2 switches on the Death Ray that will control lights in the front and in the sphere on the back. This will help to give us some lighting effects without having to fake them when we add the lightning.

03-17-2010, 03:33 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1268839987_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1268839987_medium.jpg)

A few clips from some of the scenes we have filmed already.. 2 down, 2 to go.

These are pre-fx, so no post work done yet; other than a little quick color correction.

03-24-2010, 01:33 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1269437634_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1269437634_medium.jpg)

Some more pre-CG shots from filming this past weekend. These shots are from the 'Battlefield' scenes.

Only 1 more scene to shoot, then its all post work. And 26 days to go! :)

04-05-2010, 12:17 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1270426671_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1270426671_medium.jpg)

Software: 3ds max,After Effects

Added in the CG elements to the original live action shot.

Play Video >> (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/b-movie/player.php?entry_id=113143)

04-05-2010, 01:12 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1270473174_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1270473174_medium.jpg)

Software: 3ds max

Quick render of the MechaTesla rig. Will try to get a screen capture of the actual rig itself, which Karr did a fantastic job on.

Play Video >> (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/b-movie/player.php?entry_id=113152)

04-05-2010, 02:41 PM
This is going to seem nit-picky, but I guess that's what we're here for. Everything you've done is top notch but there's something about the muzzle flashes that seems wonky. Maybe they're too crisp, need a little blur. Again, everything esle I've seen is inspiring, impressive and amazing. Way to go all out.

04-05-2010, 03:33 PM
This is going to seem nit-picky, but I guess that's what we're here for. Everything you've done is top notch but there's something about the muzzle flashes that seems wonky. Maybe they're too crisp, need a little blur. Again, everything esle I've seen is inspiring, impressive and amazing. Way to go all out.

Thanks. You are absolutely right. If I have time I will fix them. I think they need to be slightly transparent and blurred out. Probably smaller too.

04-15-2010, 01:55 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1271296518_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1271296518_medium.jpg)

Software: After Effects

Getting close! Still some FX and editting to get done, but think we're almost there. ;)

Here's the editted shot of Tesla, making some final adjustments to his careless invention--The Death Ray

Play Video >> (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/b-movie/player.php?entry_id=113266)

04-16-2010, 06:34 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1271442876_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1271442876_medium.jpg)

We -finally- decided on a name for the movie. Albeit long, we think it fits. ;)

Preorder tickets now!!

Nikola Tesla and the Fall of the Third Reich

04-18-2010, 10:22 PM
Hey everyone! It's been a long journey, but we've finally made it. We're exporting the first wave of our finals, the 30sec spot and the full-length theatrical trailer. They should be ready to upload soon, so taking the time to make sure the credits for everyone's work gets posted.

And hopefully by the end of the night, we'll have our 'Making Of' video up. We're trying to do something a little different with it. ;) :arteest:

--- CREDITS ---

Jon Lolley - Nikola Tesla
Kareem Marquez - Adolf Hitler and Nazi Soldier Zwei
Jermaine Thompson - Allied Soldier One
Richard Williams - Allied Commander
Michael Blount - Nazi Soldier Ein
Fischer Hall - Allied Scout

Michael Blount - Director, Producer, Cinematography, Story Writer, Modeling, Animation, Compositing, Choreography, Character Design, Caffeine Pusher

Erik Blyseth - Music, Director of Photography, Cinematography, Sound Design, Set Design, Animation, Compositing, Modeling

Kareem Marquez - Set Design, Storyboard, Concept Artist, Modeling, Animation, Compositing, MechaTesla Design and Character Rigging

Toby Hall - Executive Producer, Art Director, Assistant to the Assistant Director

And a special thanks to my wife, who has become a CG Challenge Widow for the last few weeks, for being our Makeup Artist! ;) <3 :love:

04-19-2010, 12:54 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1271638492_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1271638492_medium.jpg)

Final 1 of 3: 30 Sec spot

Nikola Tesla and the Fall of the Third Reich
Full Theatrical Video to follow.

Play Video >> (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/b-movie/player.php?entry_id=113349)

04-19-2010, 01:08 AM
Congratulation ! Now this is my faver entry :) , looks great !

I like most this guy exploded on pieces, so cool!

04-19-2010, 01:08 AM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1271639318_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1271639318_medium.jpg)

Software: 3ds max,After Effects,Photoshop

Final 2 of 3: Full Theatrical Trailer

Nikola Tesla and the Fall of the Third Reich

We hope to be wrapping up our &quot;Behind the Scenes&quot; / &quot;Making Of&quot; Video here in the next few hours, so hopefully we'll be submitting that as well!

Credits were posted previously in the thread!

Play Video >> (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/b-movie/player.php?entry_id=113350)

04-19-2010, 04:19 AM
Positively epic, guys! I wouldn't be surprised if the SyFy channel gets in touch with you after this. That was worthy of pretty much all of their cheesy 'original' movies. ;)

04-19-2010, 02:30 PM
http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1271687443_medium.jpg (http://assets.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/27/19138/19138_1271687443_medium.jpg)

Software: 3ds max,After Effects,Photoshop

Part 3 of 3

Nikola Tesla and the Fall of the Third Reich

We finally finished! We were a little worried last night, due that around 10/10:30 we saw that the tech reel could be a max of 90secs. =P Ours was currently in the neighborhood of 10 minutes.

We got it cut down, but it was fun making the other part which goes more in depth, so we may post that later as a Behind the Scenes bonus. ;)


Play Video >> (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/b-movie/player.php?entry_id=113371)

04-19-2010, 02:47 PM
Quite a big production you've got in here!

04-20-2010, 03:05 AM
Thanks everyone, we appreciate the feedback! It was definately a lot of work.

Has anyone noticed any problems trying to play any of the videos? I was able to watch them from work earlier today, but seems like tonight the videos won't play all the way through?

EDIT: Hrmm.. a little concerning.. I tried the 'Download FLV' link on the video page and the file it gave me was only 700k. x_X Should be closer to 30mb.

04-20-2010, 02:44 PM
Added the video to YouTube in case anyone else had problems viewing it.


04-20-2010, 03:54 PM
You have a very nice VFX piece here, feels like a B-movie thats for sure. I think a lot of people failed at trying to do voice over work, but I think yours works quite well. Good luck! :thumbsup:

04-21-2010, 04:37 PM
Thanks, Al!

We actually went through a few iterations of the voice over.. originally, as it was storyboarded, the vocal track was going to come from segments of the scenes that were in play; unfortunately, the timeline started cutting into what we could put in the trailer. As a result, scenes like the Tactical Operations Center got cut pretty short.

Overall, we're somewhat happy we cut the conversation out and made it much more brief; I think the trailer would have been confusing with various scenes of hard-to-connect dialogue. That's why we settled on a last minute 'internal monologue' for Tesla. :)

05-23-2010, 02:33 PM
We just vanished off the forum. :( guess we're out.

Edit: or not. Guess it was an inactivity thing.

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