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Discussion Starter #1
Hello folks!

Some of you may have seen this video floating around the Model train community about a year ago:

http://www.youtube.com/user/yourfilmfestival?x=player/lis5PT1PCW8__en_us <<< IF YOU LIKE THE VIDEO, PLEASE VOTE VIA LINK, ONCE PER DAY

We've recently been selected as a semi-finalist in a contest presented by Ridley Scott and YouTube -- and currently have a 1 in 5 chance of being in the top 10 and being flown to Italy to have our video screened by the final judges. The grand prize winner will be given a $500,000 grant to expand their film!

Please check our video out and if you enjoy it and want to see more, vote for us! You can vote daily until July 13th, 2012 and with your votes (and help spreading the word!) you can make our dreams come true!

Thanks so much and we hope you enjoy watching our short film as much as we enjoyed making it!
 

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Element,

We LOVE that video, and had a thread discussing it's amazing creativity some months back. See here:

http://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?t=8991

I'm so very glad you jumped into our forum here, and I'm sure everyone here wishes you and your creative team the best of luck and success with the Scott contest.

I have to admit ... when animated short films were announced for Oscar nominations a couple of months ago, I was secretly hoping your video would be in the select group. It certainly deserved that recognition.

Best of luck, and PLEASE keep us posted!!!

TJ
 

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I've asked Jason (Element) to chime in with some behind-the-scenes info on how the video was conceived, filmed, computer-generated, etc. I'm sure our gang here would love to get an insider's perspective.

Cheers,

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Stop. Watch. Love. - Behind The Scenes

As requested by TJ, here's a little behind the scenes peek from the making of "Stop. Watch. Love."

This is a early test of a 3D modeled character along side a real one (Can you tell which one is fake?):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5lwH6F0vMo

Here's a simple turn table of our main character, Jack:
http://youtu.be/1qhIh5wrKYw

I'll continue to post new links to behind the scenes video, images, and information over the next few weeks. Is there anything you'd specifically like to know about what went in to the video? Just let me know!

Don't forget to vote daily to help our chances to expand on this video!
http://www.youtube.com/user/yourfilmfestival?x=player/lis5PT1PCW8__en_us

Thanks for all your support! Spread the word to all your friends!!
-Element X
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Stop. Watch. Love. - Behind The Scenes

The Concept
The video was conceived by the whole company after the initial idea was brainstormed during a weekend long cram session of ideas. Everyone was asked to come up with 10 things you'd do if you were frozen in time.

Everyone in the company put in their ideas, suggestions, and perspectives on the overall concept of a boy frozen in time with no boundaries.

Then we read each of the lists and everyone voted on the ideas that they liked best. We had a whiteboard in the conference room where we eventually narrowed the ideas down to what we could manage in the short time frame we had (about 5 weeks start to finish).




The story was fleshed out over the next two or three days, deciding which gags to keep, and eventually come up with the broken watch and how to resolve the issue.

In the early stages, we suggested having him do a lot of "bad things" and then get bored after realizing it's not as fun when there is no danger of being caught. Then he'd get to the point of being lonely, at which point he'd start feeling like the only way to get "unstuck" in time would be to right all his wrongs.

We also liked the idea of meeting a girl and having them walk off in the sunset together, and thought we might even show the boy and girl both in their own separate frozen worlds -- the boy doing what boys do (being bad!) and the girl being sweet and fixing things. In the end, having them come across each other and the boy falling for the girl and wanting to fix all of his wrong doings.

In either case, we wanted to show what happened when they restored the time to normal. We had a huge list of gags that would have been shown playing out at the end.

Sadly, because of the time constraints and realistic amount of time it'd would require for all the additional animation and editing, we went with the story you see in the final version. He does a few good things, a few bad things, and end the end, the girl saves him from being trapped, but never seeing them unfreeze time.

The project from start to finish would end up taking an estimated 1500-1600 man hours.
 

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Excellent work and layout.:thumbsup:

How come you did not paint some eyes on the boy?

How do you get the birds to fly across like that.

Very nice, I voted a couple of times.:D:thumbsup:

Don't worry I won't and can't put together a better video.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Big Ed:

Thanks for your votes!! We hope you can keep it up until voting ends! :D

The birds were 3D - as were all the characters (many people thought this was Stop Motion, but it was all a combination of live footage and still images with 3D animation).

Here are a few test videos and early models of the birds:
http://youtu.be/O3XjKmuo3yU
http://youtu.be/-R4FwdkHnsw
http://youtu.be/1D9zW6JUmjI

The lack of eyes on the model were part of the artistic style and part of the time constraints. Since the artists and modelers had so little time it helped with render time, design time and rigging/animation time.
 

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Jason,

Thanks much for the interesting behind-the-scenes info above. What a creative concept for the plot, and tying it into a model train theme.

Did the large model train layout already exist, or was that custom built for the project? I assume most of what we're seeing for trains/track is "real", as opposed to computer graphics?

I love the DeLorean tie in!!!

And personally, I like the fact that the boy/girl have no eyes, fused fingers, etc. It makes it appear as they were really tiny plastic, HO model characters that came to life.

You got my first vote today ... I'll be back!

Cheers,

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Jason,

Thanks much for the interesting behind-the-scenes info above. What a creative concept for the plot, and tying it into a model train theme.

Did the large model train layout already exist, or was that custom built for the project? I assume most of what we're seeing for trains/track is "real", as opposed to computer graphics?

I love the DeLorean tie in!!!

And personally, I like the fact that the boy/girl have no eyes, fused fingers, etc. It makes it appear as they were really tiny plastic, HO model characters that came to life.

You got my first vote today ... I'll be back!

Cheers,

TJ
No problem, TJ!

The layout was LMRA Model Railroad Associations, Gulf & Denver Railroad Authority, Layout in Fort Worth Texas, the layout has been over 20 years in the making.

Yes -- the trains, tracks, buildings, and such are all real. Here's an early stage of the video with some original concept art and the shot numbers and such. You'll see here what was real footage compared to the final version:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcdBUikBznY&feature=youtu.be

Thanks for the votes!!!
 

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Jason,

I wish I was closer to Ft. Worth to see that layout firsthand.

What fun to see the early-stage storyboard conceptualization. I have to say that one of my favorite things about the final video is the music track, and how well the tempo and tone choreographs with the visual action. For example, when the boy realizes that he's free to do naughty things, he gets that crazed look, and the music lets us know exactly what's about to happen. All without a word. Excellent storytelling.

So ... was the music track custom written for the video?

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Jason,

I wish I was closer to Ft. Worth to see that layout firsthand.

What fun to see the early-stage storyboard conceptualization. I have to say that one of my favorite things about the final video is the music track, and how well the tempo and tone choreographs with the visual action. For example, when the boy realizes that he's free to do naughty things, he gets that crazed look, and the music lets us know exactly what's about to happen. All without a word. Excellent storytelling.

So ... was the music track custom written for the video?

TJ
Yep, the soundtrack and effects were custom made for the film. As I'm sure you noticed, the soundtrack in the early cut is totally different. The final film was edited and then sent to the sound production house (http://tequilamockingbird.com/) for the final track and effects. Everyone loved it!

If you're interested in more about the layout, you should be able to find it here: http://www.lmra.org/Activity.aspx?pageid=50!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I like the black smoke better.:D:thumbsup:

I cast another vote, can you see how many votes you have compared to the other videos that your up against?
$500,000 grant!:eek::thumbsup:
Thanks! :)

Unfortunately the votes are blind so we won't have any idea how we are doing until they announce the top 10 finalist! The only thing we can do is look at the total views from the other videos compared to ours and assume that each view is a potential vote.

We're pretty far behind in views so anything you can do to help spread the contest around to the model train community would be great!! :D
 
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