Arriving Sunday in order to prepare for the following day, we discovered a place just next to the notable Louis Lumière School where we were could set up an ArtFx stand for the week during a tour of the National Higher Education School of Architecture at Clermont Ferrand.
A privileged welcome
This year, the organizers of the Studio have reserved a special place for us with no less than a special 5 x 2.5 meter green screen that was painted specifically for us! There is material that has been exclusively loaned to us, including a crane on tracks that allows us to imagine all kinds of camera movements….The even loaned us the camera! We installed other computer equipment and software that we needed, and now with the setup completed, we are ready to make a film.
The primary goal of our stand is to reproduce the filming conditions in front of the young visitors who are coming to discover this universe and enjoy the process of creating a short film! Organized in advance, this short special effects film project will be created throughout the week. Different students will take the relay to make sure the Friday deadline is met.
The project, inspired by the film Master and Commander, is connected to work that was done earlier in the year by students in the 2nd year of studies at ArtFx: an completed miniature of an époque boat. By using the skills we’ve developed at the school and the tools available during this conference, we will transform this miniature to a realistic scale and tell a story.
A day of filming designed for interaction
In the 4th year, we are not exactly having our first filming experience. It is therefore interesting for us to begin sharing our knowledge with the public. And it is exactly this that we are doing during this first day while encouraging the largest number of people possible to come and see us.
All day long, there were successive people from mixed age groups: middle and high school students…all amateur filmmakers. Some of them were already enrolled in the ‘film option’ courses and knew rudimentary digital effect techniques! Greedy for advice, they patiently listened to us telling them that watching as many films as possible was essential – the same advice that we had heard from our teachers barely one or two years earlier. They watched the work being done on the screens in real time, and we explained the principles of the compositing software Nuke to them.
In addition, there was an older castle being restored, and everyone was exploring the practical aspects of this and learning about the projects done at the school. There was an air of curiosity and hands were enthusiastically being raised as soon as we asked for assistance on the set.
This is the occasion to learn more about the different roles of a film crew.
The young students discovered the role of the camera operator, learning about the crane and camera movements; others took the clapper board and announced the names of the camera angles, understanding that each post has equal importance; even those they didn’t know existed! As for the extras, everyone was willing to play a pirate watching the boats leaving the port….even the organizers of the conference! As well as a certain director of our school by the name of Gilbert Kiner….it was good atmosphere filled with shared experiences.
This first day has shown that the field of digital special effects can inspire the spirit. It is an experience of enriching exchanges for all of us, and the occasion to benefit from the knowledge we have accumulated since we arrived at ArtFx. And it is also a great source of pride when people recognize the school logo on our jackets while we’re all watching a film during the evening of the festival.