woensdag 23 november 2022

You reap what you sow


Just coming back for a little update about WKTB.

I had a great talk at the Framed festival in Groningen. It was my first talk ever so I was really dreading that and it went OK, after the presentation lots of people came by to say that it was interesting to see my film come to life. It was supercool to hear and gave me the confidence to do such a thing again.

After all the work of making WKTB
it it was time for sending it to festivals. Festivals ain't cheap so it cost me quit a bit to send it some. There are a lot of festivals so sending them to the ones that matter or fit your film is quit daunting. I send it to some and some select the film and some others don't.

I think it is quite OK to find out what works and what not but there are a lot of festivals contacting you and wanting you to submit for a discount. In the beginning you are like yesss, cool that you found my movie. But after a while you think mmmm, this could well be a trick to get some cash.

Most of those festivals are OK but just have that in mind. Festivals that give away a gazillion of "awards" are fishy just saying.

But nevertheless I send my film around to underground horror festivals and some bigger ones as well. And well you can't tell in advance the movie will get in so in the beginning I was eager to find out. It ended up in some selections and after a while some rejections came and that is OK, it stings a bit in the beginning but after a while you are like yeah Whaevs, move on. But they still cost money so my wallet says auch.

The bigger festivals are much harder to enter so I had no real luck with those. I got into a couple but that's how it is. Nevertheless it won some awards as well. I got a cash price at the new-york indie shorts awards. Won at a festival in Berlin, and some smaller festivals in England and America. And won some more cash in my home province so that is welcome and levels out the money I had to spend at the festivals.

If you have a short and you want to send it to festivals there is a site called filmfreeway. You enter all the data and upload your film and from there you can send it to the festivals you find interesting. Generally it can cost from 5 dollar to 80. It depends on what you aim for. Most smaller indie horror thingies cost under the 20 dollar. If you go all out big festival then it will set you at least 50 dollars back. So you can imagine that part of the filmmaking bizz is a bit cost intensive. 

But I had some nice comments, here is a link: reactions

I had a great time at some local festivals and for genre specifically at Imagine Fantastic Film Festival here in Amsterdam. And the cool news was that I was selected for some training for my next endeavor called LORNA. I wrote a first script and got some helpful feedback and hopefully made it better:p

Lorna is a new story. The initial idea came when I went to a friend in Ireland 3 to 4 years ago. After that the first ideas were written down in 2020. Recently I went over it again after wrapping up WKTB and spend the last months perfecting it. I created my main character called Ben and have the world and feel all in my head. I dread some things like animation and I am seriously considering a mocap suit. And besides that I see what unreal engine is capable off lately and I am working out a workflow to get mocap into blender and into unreal and it works so perhaps that will be the flow.

But it is going to be a lot of work and the film will be around 20 minutes. So you can imagine I am really dreading to begin and spend all that time on it behind the computer. It will be fun eventually but this time I know what it will cost me in advance. 

When I have something presentable I will send it around to some studio's and perhaps there is some nice feedback that I can use.

But before making this I really want to make a violent thriller movie. This is something I have on my bucket list for quit some time and I was kind-off restless after finishing WKTB. So when developing Lorna I was quit content but since last week I had this restless feeling that made me a bit down so after soul searching I remembered that a full length filmed movie was next. That was always the plan after WKTB. It sounds crazy to even begin and expect this to happen but I am convinced that I can pull it off. No to a little budget and with the help of some friends this could work.

I want it dirty, raw, unfiltered and violent as F. The look and feel is in my head for years already but the story is in its first stages so I will take my time to get this right. It is super ambitious but I have to make this. 

If there are any updates on both projects I will share them fcuz.

vrijdag 1 april 2022

My time was almost done:D audio and stuff

Hey you,

I freelanced my but off last year and this year was busy as well.
Recently I started to work at Mitsi studio by the way. Redrum was good to me in the beginning but the recent few years were kinda shit with lots of people leaving so I took the leap as well and not regretting it so that is good news.

When dedicating so much time to a project one cant wait for it to be finished completely.
Well it took a bit longer than I would anticipate and that has some logical reasons. Music, ambience and sound effects.
When no money is involved and there is none Marvey Izijk aka mr Audio has graced me with his free time. And just like it was for me he also sees this as a great project with lots of things to learn.
So he took his time to collect all the good tools for the job and build up the knowledge that led us to the almost final result.

Yes almost. This week he gave me the first complete version with everything in it and it fits perfectly.
We sat many times behind the screen and talked about what to do and what not to. I am quit nitpicky since I have a music background and want everything to tingle my gut. If it does it is ok, if it does not...

When you depend on one person for such a big project they often wander off the path and procrastination occurs. I often found myself frustrated by this fact that my life's work dragged out too long and that sucked big time. Many times I asked Marvey to go on and set deadlines/goals to accomplish. Most of the time those were never met so it frustrated me more and more.
I got the fact that it was a learning process for the both of us but when you are done with a film it takes the joy out of it to wait for such a long time.

So staying nice was often a concern and I did not want to be that guy so that was not ok to be in that position. 
It also is a lot of work so I understood that it would take time but it took about 3 years for the audio to be at this point and most of those 3 years were squandered in my opinion.

Nevertheless I took some extra months after I was "finished" to tweak some shots and make a few extra where I found something lacking. So it made the film in that regard better. And when you have the time to distance yourself from the film it delivers a neutral look when you go back into it so I edited some more and altered the pacing and trimmed the fat so to speak. 
Would I change more if I had the chance, yes but I am content with the way the movie is. I would do some things differently but heck, this is the best I could do at that time in my life. And I am happy with it. It is dark as fuck and a scary short if I can say so myself. Most animations are not scary. The last few years "love death and robots" delivered some adult animations that I fancied a lot.
And recently Arcane, I am not by definition a animation/game lover but this stood its ground and was the best series I saw last year. I had doubts going in but they disappeared as quickly as they came. Best animation I ever saw. Great story, unbelievable visuals, animation style Gddamn. What not to like.

Back to WKTB
So now the first version is done Marvey thinks he will deliver the final version next month.
For now I put this version onto filmfreeway to submit it to festivals. It unfortunately costs a lot of hard earned money but I saved a certain amount to get it out there. By the time it will get into festivals the final version is ready to go.

All the artwork is done for the posters so those will be printed in the near future.
I made a trailer for the film as well including some nice audio from Marv.

You can see more on my instagram.com/darkworx_art 

Now is the time to enjoy the ride I guess.
Framed an animation festival in Groningen invited me to speak about the process so that is gonna be scary so check that out if you will. 26,27 and 28th of may 2022.

I have lots of ideas in my head but limited time so it is quit the endeavor to go to new places in my head.

See you there.

vrijdag 25 september 2020

My job here is done

 So here it is. The long road to finalization has ended and I am done with my part of the film. I have inserted some last scenes and polished some shots and I am happy with it how it is.

The atmosphere is there and I have captured my vision as a filmmaker in this passion project. I think I have succeeded in making a dark short horror story all started off by a dream/inspirational nightmare I had.

So as strange as it seems it is hard to say goodbye to it. One of the reasons is that this is an atmosphere short with a storyline that has an ending which could be much more that it now is but I have peace with it. This was my goal and I've made it. Would there be things I would do differently...yes!

I always said I wanted to make a horror short and not a Pixar short. I am not an animator by any stretch of the imagination. My animation is ok for the purpose I had in mind as you will see in the future.

So what's next...well Marvey is fixing the audio design and music so that will take up some more time but things look promising. I always intended the movie to be done in 2020 and for me that is true. I did not expected audio to take as long. But hey it is all freebee work so it is what it is.

Next up I will start to make some making off kinda vids for insta, little break downs that will be teased around. I have made the posters already and made a first edit for the trailer. So things are in the works.

I also made an ident for the movie and since I am already thinking off a million things to make when this is completely done I decided to make an identity for my films. So the title of my film ventures will be Darkworx. Since all things I come up with are dark in whatever shape or form. 

Here are some stills and thats all for now.

zondag 1 maart 2020


2 months since my last post. A lot has been done to the project since then.
When you work so long on the same passion project I find it quite hard to let go of shots until they are livable with. Everything in this project I do from the gut and don't stop until my inner demon is pleased.
This project is no means the ideal project or how it should be done in a professional way. That was clear very early. And I would do so many things differently now but yeah people learn.

What a thing is that pops sometimes in my mind is that people often say, you don't have to invent the wheel twice. And I am all for it but I think in many things it is necessary to find your own way in the struggle. I could learn about animation and about camera work but I wanted to do what feels good, what makes sense to me instead of walking in the same steps as others. As tempting and probably wisely would be the better thing to do. But I think that struggle makes your own style pop up.
And I am grateful that I made it this far. I never thought that something that started so small would occupy my thoughts and time for so many thousands of hours.
I love every minute of staying in that fantasy where Timmy resides and think about what would be possible if this could turn into a full length movie etc. Who knows but I love the atmosphere and the darkness it comes with. It always has appealed to me and to make something like this is a great experience and I am proud in what it has become.
It will never be Pixar but it will be mine. No meddling from others and no clients with a complete disregard for style/logic to tell me otherwise.
I found out that I want to make movies for the rest of my life and love the process of creating something out of nothing. I am gonna do that for sure and I have 4 ideas lying there to make but time is not my friend in that regard and so is reality. I have to work for a living and I love my work if the work is challenging and it often is. But man what I would give to do this for the rest of my life.

But yeah back to the status of the project. It is kinda done but I am making tweaks to shots I am not 100% happy with and that must rerender etc but I think I will be finished on those last tweaks within 2 months.
Marvey the sound-magician will be doing all the audio work and that is gonna be the next biiiig thing that takes up a vast amount of time. That sometimes bugs me. I am very grateful for him to help me but I can't wait and am to exited to see where it goes. So that eagerness is not a good quality right now.

When I look back at the beginnings of the project I think damn how could I ever find my first designs cool...they look like shit. It is so strange to me that I am learning so much about the shape and design of things. It is like I watched a film about dinosaurs when I was little. It was clunky stop motion and ugly as fuck but then it was so freaking good and real.

And I have made a cool poster design which I will post in the near future. It is already done and I am happy with it so good times!


donderdag 26 december 2019

1 year later

Its been a while. So what is up...
Last december 2018 I made a first complete version of the short and well lets say it was good to see but a lot was lacking, foremost in the animation departement. So last year I fixed all the animation till a certain extend and now 1 year later I am happy with the outcome.
Again, animation is not my thing and is not something I intend to pursue but since this is a 1 mans quest to a 3d horror short it had to be done. So after a lot of tweaking and some last final adjustments I am almost done with all the animation.

Since that is almost out of the way I still have some other things that bothered me, some environments where not up to par and the little things so to speak are now popping up and need to be flattened out. Also I struggled a lot with the hair module in cinema, mostly the dynamic part, some hairs penetrated the face so I had to sculpt the hair different or adjust the dynamic settings a bit with a lot of trial and error to get it to work.

So what is the status. I am rendering scenes which had those little things out and then it is time to comp some more and put some effort in snow prints and little cold breath/smoke thingies to make it a bit more realistic. I have vacation for 1 more week so that is what is up next and I hope to be done with the whole thing at the end of February. By the time I get there there will probably be some other things bothering me but for now that is the target.

Marvey, I colleague of mine is gonna make the audio and music work for this master piece:D
And the self appointed deadline is in december 2020. HOHOHO, lets go

I can't wait to show it to y'all!

zondag 14 oktober 2018

late update

Well hello, I am back again.
It has been a busy time for me lately so lets start from the start why I haven't been updating this life size project.

-my other short film is finally done, it was a short sci-fi, drama, thriller esq type thing and the teaser is in the link below.
Ik geloof in monsters (I believe in monsters).
It has been quit the undertaking and since it was my idea I had to do a massive job to get it done.
But it is done and I am happy with it. It is in dutch so for those who don't know dutch, there will be an English version in the near future.
Now I will submit it to some festivals and we'll see what it does. But that wasn't the point.
It was my first finished movie and that was a great deal for me to finish something tangible.

It has opened my eyes to doing more of that in the future after this project so from now on I'll focus all my energy on this thing!

Also it was summer and I got married with my now wife Maureen and we had the best wedding evah, it was great, people where great, weather was great, food was great, just fckin great.
After that we went on honeymoon to Bali and that is a great place to spend some days I can tell you that. Beautiful!

Also when it is summer I don't vibe as hard on WKTB so I am glad the good weather is almost over and I can dwell some more in my dark wintry vibe the project reflects. Summer ain't no good then.
I did some tweaks on the lighting and that causes a lot of scenes to be rendered over so I have done that but then I was annoyed by the flat looking eyes so I did some work on those as well.
Which are making me render a whole lot all over again, also some other tweaks on the face and hair so all will be better eventually and as you can read through all of this blog...it is a learning process and that I can tell you this is a hard thing to take sometimes. You want to progress as fast as you can but then reality kicks you in the sack and it is back to the drawing board.

But I am happy now with the new light and textures so I have rendered some new scenes out which some frames are here to see below.
Around x-mass I will have a lot of time to make a big leap into this project so until then minor steps but they are steps...

Also I will be doing some vfx work on a short of a friend of mine so work work work.

Till we meet again!

dinsdag 10 april 2018

more images

From now on I'll try to fix 2 shots a week and also render them with some minor post on top.
Here are some images