This group has been formed to serve as a central hub for those interested in shooting short movies in the sci-fi, action and horror genres. This group is also for those who may not be leading FX based projects but want to become involved with one. So this group is also useful for VFX artists, Makeup artists, those working with Practical FX, etc. This group also has a minor function as a hub for owners of the Panasonic GH2/GH3 cameras since I own a GH2 and want to do a short VFX film with it to see what I can come up with.
I have been working in the Visual FX industry since 2002. I started in Los Angeles at Cinesite Hollywood and have worked at various studios and effects houses in different capacities including Motion Tracking, Matchmove, Crowd Simulation, Hair/Cloth simulations and now I am beginning to Particle Simulations(so far snow and water). So outside of work I am curious to see what can be done in VFX on a very low budget. The prosumer camera technology and 3D and 2D software is now at a stage where it is possible to make a great looking low budget VFX film in 2K resolution(which is what most films still show at in the theater).
So the main focus of this group is not so much on writing, acting, directing, or photography as it is on the technical how-to aspects of putting together an FX based short (Visual FX, Special FX, models, Creature FX, makeup, and other Special FX). Not the details on how to make a latex monster mask if that is what you want, but a meetup to discuss whether you should use a guy in a rubber monster mask, or a CG monster, and which is more feasible, more realistic, cost efficient, etc.? If you go with the rubber mask, how are you going to light it to make it look real? Who is going to make it? If you go with a CG creature, how are you going to integrate it into your shot? Who can you go to locally to help you to get that monster rigged up and animated?
This group is for the filmmakers and artists wanting to do an FX based short film. The finer details of rigging creatures in Maya or Houdini, or molding latex creature parts by hand is not the purpose of the main hub, but hopefully during meetups or here on this forum you can get in contact with people who can get you the details you need to know for making that monster mask or rigging your CG characters.
Here at the FX Filmmakers Forum, the intent is to get people together who are interested in these areas to talk about how to get these effects into their short films. What the best techniques are? The cheapest techniques? The best looking cheapest techniques? Who to go to? What locations around London to go to get your epic shots? Where to get access to a green screen? That sort of thing. When we have meetups, I will always try to bring some stuff for people to check out. Demo files, equipment, my camera, CG software, lenses, etc. But I won't be teaching a class during meetups or anything like that.
We will have two separate types of meetups : A) FX Filmmaker Hub meetups and B) Field Testing meetups. I guess I will stick with those names for now.
A) FX Filmmaker Forum Hub meetups: these are the meetups where we all meet in one place and brings our ideas and questions to the table. So write yourself a list if you want. Bring your camera, your laptop or other equipment(please be careful with what you bring and don't leave it unattended so it doesn't get stolen). But basically you say, Hey guys, I want to how to shoot a shot that I want to have tracked for CG. Hopefully someone at the hub can help you out(fortunately I can help on this one). Using equipment, paper, pen, whatever, you can then get the info you need to know. Maybe while you are getting some tracking info, the rest of the group can hash out some more ideas and help someone else.
B) Field Test Meetups : This will be a meetup I suggest or maybe even someone else suggests where we get our equipment and go out somewhere and do a shoot, or do some editing, or do tracking, or light and shoot some practical FX, do some location scouting, etc. Here either by committee or whatever we decide to do some Field Testing somewhere if there is enough interest for the subject that was chosen. What would be nice is if you guys give me some ideas and then I will do a poll and see what people prefer. The purpose of "Field Test Meetups" is to get the ball rolling. The most difficult part of putting together your own project is the part where you get the entire mess rolling. And doing a VFX shoot is more complicated than your usual shoot. So I figure by getting our equipment out there and DOING stuff, we will start the hard work of getting our projects off the ground and moving and learning the techniques necessary for putting together an FX based short film.
Until this group picks up some speed and gains a life of its own, it is mainly going to be me and a few people who will try to get the momentum going and always be at the meetup locations when I set them. Would be great if it becomes a hub for others making FX based films in London but outside of the studios and FX Houses... how many filmmakers would that be? I don't know the answer. Either way, if you are looking to learn more about FX Filmmaking you are at the right place. Hopefully I will have some interesting stuff to put online over the coming weeks. Stay tuned.