Date of Award

12-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Legacy Department

Digital Production Arts

Committee Member

Dr. Victor B. Zordan, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Donald House

Committee Member

Dr. Brian Malloy

Abstract

The purpose of the present project was to use visual effects to enhance a film and save production finances and resources. Using visual effects, digital compositing, and rotopainting impacts the real-world challenges in the filmmaking process as it saves the company money by not having to purchase props, costumes, and hire extras on set. Also, they can film in minimum locations by employing the use of green screens. Traveling fees would be lower, and in a low budget film like this project is presenting, saving money is the most important aspect in finishing and releasing it. FisherFilms directed two films: one a music video for a local Columbia band called Cherrycase, and the other a short film that was nominated in the Expecting Goodness film festival in Spartanburg, SC. After the brainstorming stage, the company found a story arc that fit the song message and explored a historic event in South Carolina's long history. The project was ambitious and, in order to pull it off, they would have to attain many extras, costumes, props, and ideal locations. The company knew that this would take the low budget film over a price they could afford. Once the problems were addressed, several meetings occurred to discuss the best process to solve them. One approach was to bring in a visual effects artist or team to use technology to overcome the monetary challenges of the film. Using Digital Composition to compose visual effects (VFX) elements into the film became the goal of the project. Rotopainting is a highly effective tool that was used in both FisherFilms projects. With the use of green screens and matte paintings, the locations of the actors and sets could be composited into anything. An interesting trick was to duplicate the extras and props in order to fill the backgrounds of scenes.

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