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    #11
    DVXFest Promo Guru Rodney V. Smith's Avatar
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    MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Good to see you in the fray my friend. Most excellent!

    Shall we be expecting some defined farking about with your mates then?

    Rodney Smith - Flyin' Monkey Films
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    Website | IMDB Link | Web Series
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    #12
    Senior Member lawriejaffa's Avatar
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    09/04/09 - Notes The Idea

    Right, well this is my first blog like update for the film.

    What is the film essentially about? I so far have a concept that has been pitched - the script is yet to be written.

    Production wise - it will be produced -BANG in the middle of Summer, so that will be the first challenge to the movies 'winter' setting.

    Likewise are the costumes required for these early 19th century French soldiers, and pursuing partisans. Questions abound regarding the style of cinematography and what role FX might have - yet the biggest question, the all important question - is where in shall the films soul rest - and in doing so what does it seek to achieve ie. the point?

    My central character will be Luke, a young man who is himself an intellectual, he will be familiar with the political ideals of Republicanism, democracy (as regarded) by the French of that time - and in particular Nationalism. He will also be a rationalist (a popular intellectual movement of the time from since the Revolutionary Period.) This will make our character naturally sceptical of any supernatural occurences that he and the party should encounter.

    The story is set at the point where Le Grand Armee - a huge invasion force of Napoleons has just suffered a huge catastrophe comparable to the German's of World War II. The Winter. The devastating winter...

    The retreating forces were gradually hounded, and cut apart by pursuing (and furious) Russian forces. Most died from hunger, cold and disease.

    There is no romantic brass concerto to the words Dulce et decorum Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori... the old lie :P So too we will avoid any 'romantic' depiction of war.

    Yet a realistic depiction may be (in terms of production) quite impossible. If the film lends itself to a blue screen prodcution :P (as may be case ala 300) then the visuals will be stylised. So mcuh so that it will be 'romantic' in the artistic sense, in a fashion - and this must be given an intellectual relevance if the films marriage of ideas and visuals are to succeed.

    We the audience see the film - but only through the eyes of the narrator (the director... and our somtime narrator characters.) In this sense the film's narrator will be the main character Luke, whose own psychology will lend him to a political idealism, romanticising their great military endevour (perhaps even delussionary) and perhaps just slightly, we can accomodate this psyche with the films visual style.

    FX snow plugins, 3d vista's of snow capped mountains, - it will look surreal - perhaps beautiful but it will be a place of death. The beauty we see must be the beauty Luke sees - perhaps in even the futility of his endevour (to win the war) against impossible odds.

    The quest component is the desire for these men to return home - and in 6 minutes we will only really have time to briefly examine what home is. In a larger project each man would have his own personal voyage (his own sense) of home.

    Luke cannot return home to a France that fails to meet his political idealism - the rest of his band - shall for sake of commonality and simplicity (as well as perhaps common sense haha) will simply wish to return 'home' full stop. To their wives and children - this will be the conflict within the men - between human peace and political action.

    The overriding conflict though is something that is transcendent upon the actions of man - the unstoppable force that acts as a metaphor for the futility of war and political conflict/idealism. The death of the body - ie. mortality - reflected by nature (the castrophic winter and its effects.)

    It may well be represented by that further extension of nature - the beasts of the land the animals... their hungry bellies are fed through fangs... and while its unfair to label animals as the 'savage' side of humanity (it works commonly enough) so it shall here.

    For our men as the synopsis indicates will eventually face off against a threat that is not human... and even worse than the landscapes... but of creatures. The pinnacle of natural ferocity. As yet im not sure whether this will actually be a real animal - or if it might not be some hideous (yet plausible to the horrors of the landscape) creature that tracks them down.

    To nature - what Frankensteins monster is to science - in those wintery scenes of Shelley's novel.

    Such elements combined with a stylised visual form - will lend a somewhat surreal quality to the film - that could express a kind of Napoleonic Jacob's Ladder type effect which i find quite appealing.

    Those are my thoughts so far!
    Feature: LORD OF TEARS - A New Legend in Horror - Pre-Order Now http://www.lordoftears.com/


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    #13
    Senior Member MrKilloran's Avatar
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    Excellent, glad to see you've entered.


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    #14
    Senior Member RodThompson's Avatar
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    I'm out! Not competing against Lawrie.


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    #15
    Member SMarston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RodThompson View Post
    I'm out! Not competing against Lawrie.

    ha, after reading all this im going to agree with rod. no competing here. good luck


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    #16
    DVXFest Promo Guru Rodney V. Smith's Avatar
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    Bah! Lawrie's still gotta bring it. When he posts his grabs, that's when I'll sob quietly to myself and go hide in the closet.

    Rodney Smith - Flyin' Monkey Films
    Writer/Director/Cinematographer
    Website | IMDB Link | Web Series
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    #17
    Senior Member Luis_'s Avatar
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    I don't even know what to think!

    I'm getting more than just a little pop corn for this one!

    Good luck with this!

    thanks for joining the madness!

    WOW!
    Luis R Cosme


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    #18
    Knight of the Holy Order krestofre's Avatar
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    I have to hand it to you Lawrie. You put your money where your mouth is. Good luck. Can't wait to see this!
    Chris Johnson


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    #19
    Senior Member stinkpot's Avatar
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    Hey! I just checked out your reel on your website... and it looks like you will definitely kick some a$$ in this fest.

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    #20
    Senior Member lawriejaffa's Avatar
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    10/04/09 - More Ideas - Production Considerations.

    Okay, so I now have an idea, that this film will be exploring the dark reflection of political idealism and mans failure to overcome his base instincts that we will represent metaphorically through landscape and the 'monstrous' pursuer (be it animals or a monster.) All of this seen through the minds eye of a romantic political idealist - our leader of the band of survivors 'Luke'.

    Great so... part of the appeal for this idea is just how impossible it is (there is no snow... i have no monster... no costumes... no muskets... and NO BUDGET

    But I do have an old hat i made that kind of looks like a Shako (A french hat.) A Shako is a bit like a peak cap with a tall base.

    The fun is trying to create something like this for nothing - and to experiment with visual style. Will it look natural - no way - this will be stylised and weird no doubt - but if it looks 'good' if it tells a 'story' where the style seems relevant to the story also - then it will be a happy marriage.

    Production Considerations.

    Winter.... Oh but its Summer. Russian Wastelands? Tundra? Where the heck is all of that? I have the highlands (well actually I don't i lieve in an urbanised area in central Scotland.) I have carparks! I have MacDonalds (yuck) and many seagulls (as i live on the coast.) but.... no tundra.

    Green Screen! - The 300 route i think is where we're heading here gentleman. Now, this will automatically result in a CGI based stylised look. There is no way we're going to do photo-real effects here (not in and among my corporate gigs in two months!)

    So I need to get a cool terrain software prog to borrow - that can create plausbile and exciting terrains for use as mattes. Also some great particle layers for snow!

    The green screen won't be in a studio per say. (Like one wall...) how exciting... I'll need to work with foreground objects (rocks) and so ill be taking a smaller green screen dish outdoors.

    Costumes - These may be simpler than one might think. Le Grand Armee on the retreat was an absolute mess - ill equipped and utterly unprepared for winter, many had to scavenge civilian clothes. That said we want to retain a semblance of uniform.



    The chaps on the right are Grenadiers (bear skin hats) the dudes on the left have normal shakos. But notice their uniforms - long coats, dirty, ragged. The soldiers also wore tan / beige covers over their shakos. (cloth type material) as a dust cover really. So, we need just the shape of shakos, old coats, fake cut cross belts, long boots (or leg wraps really.)

    I will be experimenting with a mish mash of vintage military surplus and some bizarre prop constructions.

    The Russian partisans in fake furs, furry hats are seen from afar and present far less of a challenge.

    -

    The monster is something i am still considering. The natural tale would be to use wolves or something. But our hero is somewhat delusional, and what he sees may be natural or may be the monster i would prefer to use.

    I am quite up for something that represents almost 'man' in so much as a humanoid -but is the exact expression of savagery - of lost humanity. My idea is something akin to a 9 foot tall YETI with a yawning mouth of sharp needle teeth - that opens so wide, that the creatures eyes are pushed to the sides of its head. (blind, blood red eyes...)

    It is starving... blind... savage... hungry and relentless. (Concept sketch of the beastie to come)
    Feature: LORD OF TEARS - A New Legend in Horror - Pre-Order Now http://www.lordoftears.com/


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