LONE WALKER – Short Film

The Classy Zombie
Mike’s snarling expression as a Classy Zombie

The first zombie-related video I was going to produce (other than the gameplay videos on Intelligic) was going to be a comedy one. In fact, I had actually started producing this comedy zombie video around the same time I was producing my 2013 short film, Control, but I wasn’t happy with the way it came out in the edit, so I scrapped it and decided to return to it at a later date, perhaps when I had the resources to pull it off properly.

Fast forward to 2014, and that comedy zombie video still hasn’t seen the light of day – but I still really wanted to make a zombie film.
As someone who’s into visual effects, I mainly planned on doing a zombie film for the sole purpose of trying out my zombie effects. I wanted to do some of those typical head-stabbing, knife-jabbing effects that you see in most movies or television serials; the kinds of effects that you look at and think, “I reckon I know how they do that! If only I had some decent footage to mess with.”

 

In the end, however, my interest for drama overrode that of my visual effects antics, and now I feel as though I need to do ANOTHER zombie film, just to do the effects that had made me interested in doing the film in the first place.

Designed to involve the viewer directly in the unravelling of the narrative, through non-verbal context, LONE WALKER was intended as a backup film for a more ambitious 2014 project. Though ultimately it became my only project, as my more ambitious project requires more time, and possibly even a better film maker. I might have to let time handle it.


Production

I started scripting LONE WALKER in June, with the initial driving concept being that of, “Oooh, I wanna do zombie effects,” and, “What would it be like if you were a zombie?”

As it was intended to be a backup film, it was conceived with a fast-tracked production cycle in mind, resulting in the fact that there’s not a particularly spectacular display of variety as far as location is concerned (at least to someone who knows the area). It’s also why the film bares an unsettling resemblance to Control, with its reflective and metaphorical narration followed by flashbacks time-progressing montages and… who could forget, the bloody surplus of fields and paddocks.

Filming began in July, and consisted of two days, and editing in October, with a ‘final version’ being completed late-October – and then a ‘final final version’ and a ‘final final final version’ (the one that went up on YouTube!) being completed during November. All in all, a 6 month project, balanced with school work, exams, moving house, more exams and the coding of a website for a client – and you have a par-average zombie flick. ūüėČ

If you’re interested in what happened behind the camera, well then, you’re in luck. Because Paul filmed the majority of our behind the scenes shenanigans so that I could gather them all up into this video. I haven’t explained the production process to great lengths in this post – and I can’t imagine myself doing so in the future as a follow-up. So if you want to see more production-related stuff, the behind the scenes video is the way to go. You can blame my lack of desire to write about the production process on my media exam, which asked the same thing… and… man… I don’t wanna.


Free Assets

During the post-production of LONE WALKER (editing) I created a number of custom assets. I’m releasing these assets into the Public Domain for anyone to use on their own projects – so hopefully you can find a use for them! The blood assets were a bit rushed, and in the end – I used them for transitions, and for the lower-thirds in the Behind the Scenes video rather than grungy overlays.

These assets will be available for free to download in a ‘Lone Walker – Stock Pack‘ to be released early next year.


Summary

Looking back on it, I do feel that I could have ‘fleshed it out’ far more than I did, but I guess, as Pixar says, “films don’t get finished, they just get released.

Editing alone could continue for an eternity.

I’d like to super-awesome mega-thank everyone that was involved with this project, as it just wouldn’t have been possible without you. Normally, I come up with a strange idea and then try to film it entirely on my own, with the cast and crew being less than the limited bones of a skeleton crew… but thanks to your efforts, and sacrifice of free time, I can now tell that strange idea with a far more convincing presentation.

Enjoy the film, I’ll see you in 2015. =)

 

Ben,

All in a Timely Manner

I’m not even going to bother pretending that I’m posting on a schedule here – unless ‘tri-sometimes-yearly‘ is a schedule. ¬†Something tells me that if my blog was my source of income… I wouldn’t be eating much.

Yes, yes. This is another one of my typical…

“I’ve been too busy! LOOK! Here’s a list of things that I’ve been doing! See! I HAVE BEEN BUSY! Am I excused yet? Good! BYE!”

… posts.

There has been a relatively substantial amount of ‘work’ going on. ¬†Note the quotes, this is my backup plan in case you decide what I list here isn’t worthy of the ‘work’ title. ¬†If you do, ignore the quotes – if not, absorb and keep note of these mysteriously placed quotation marks in your frontal lobe and assimilate the conclusion that the writer of this post was clearly using the word for comedic effect the entire time. Once you’re done doing that, we can continue – but next time, try not to think about it so much. ¬†You’re really over complicating things you know.

Projects

Control

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My second shot at the MyState Film Festival. ¬†My previous entry “VOID” that I entered nearly 2 years ago had many flaws. ¬†Apart from being technically riddled with problems that the time constraints did not allow reparation of, it also had a story line that was crunched down by the five-minute limit until it was a mess of confusing mismatched sentences.

This time, would be different.¬†I started conceptualizing the production of¬†Control¬†from before this year’s featured object had been released to the public. ¬†This film was designed to make up for where VOID failed.

  • Visual effects were planned out and were streamlined to take the least amount of time needed as possible. Once the basic effect was done – additional touches could then be made to enhance their appearance – but at least in the worse-case-scenario – they would still serve fine without enhancements. No unnecessary effects.
  • The script was written and timed out to the competition time limit before any filming took place. ¬†A month of script writing – I wanted to write a script that was¬†dynamic,¬†rather than¬†finite.¬†One that’s length could be modified without loss of story line. ¬†Something that would be all but impossible without ambiguity.
  • This film was designed as a silent and narrated story – meaning that I could focus entirely on getting the shots done – rather than wasting time trying to get audio with no decent sound gear. ¬†A limitation in my camera equipment did partially drive this decision – but even with decent sound gear – lugging it around in the rain with my skeleton crew would have been anti-productive.
  • But most importantly… I’ll tell you about this later. =)

I’ll tell you more about Control later this month/December.

Auriferous

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For my Computer Science class – I had to code a computer game in Java. ¬†This is the first game I’ve properly coded “from the ground up” – and it’s… pretty basic. ¬†It’s a point-and-click adventure game with narration (me, attempting to talk in different voices), called Auriferous¬†meaning:¬†containing gold. It follows¬†the story of a character named¬†Julian,¬†a man who… well, you’ll have to wait and see!¬†After I’ve spent some more time on it, I will probably release this game for download later on. The project has already been handed in and marked. (It got good marks!)

There are other projects too… but I’ll tell you more on them… LATER!

Other News

intsmlIntelligic Shouted out by PewDiePie

For those that are somewhat up-to-date with this never-up-to-date website, you would probably be aware that among my YouTube Channels, I have a gaming channel called Intelligic.

Well, on the 21st of September my gaming channel with 181 subscribers was shouted out by the largest channel on YouTube, PewDiePie. For those who aren’t YouTube Savvy… PewDiePie has nearly 15 million subscribers – and he told them about my channel.

It went¬†mental. My subscriber count was growing by the minute and my inbox flooded with messages begging me for co-operative let’s plays and “can you shout me out”s. ¬†Out of nowhere, suddenly people were viewing my gaming content. ¬†As of the first of November, 2013, I have 11,500 subscribers… and I am still speechless when I try to talk about it.

Even so many days after the shotout I still am rattled by these emotions. Excitement, encouragement, worry and shame. ¬†I’m excited by the people I have as an audience, and I want to continue making content for them. ¬†I didn’t know what to expect, but they are the most encouraging viewers that I could have ever hoped for. ¬†I haven’t received any (substantial) negativity, it’s a collection of supportive and positive people – and that’s fantastic.

But of course, with all positives – there are negatives. ¬†Because I can’t help but be¬†worried.¬†There are so many people! So many people now know who I am, know my face. ¬†I’m not a particularly social person in ‘real life’ – and the thought of so many people is somewhat intimidating. ¬†But perhaps that will change. ¬†Then of course… I feel a bit¬†ashamed.¬†Because I’ve been boosted into a place that would have taken me¬†years¬†to get to on my own. ¬†I only just reached 1,000 subscribers on my¬†Upload the Download¬†channel a few weeks before PewDiePie shouted me out – and those subscribers were earned on my own, after 5 years of running the channel. (1 year of running it well.) ¬†Then all of a sudden, Intelligic overtakes Upload the Download 10 fold… and ¬†I can’t help but feel like I don’t deserve it. But mostly… ¬†if my channel continues to grow because of his boost – I feel as though I would forever be seen as someone who is only where he is because of someone else’s accomplishments. ¬†Yes, I am very grateful to have been shouted out. I’m the one who signed up to the shotout competition (I didn’t expect to get anywhere with it, I figured there would be people who would see my post in the forum and check my channel out.) But at the same time, I feel pitied for being a small channel who was mentioned by the largest channel.

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I got to work producing a thank you video, that video I uploaded the next day, I don’t know if he’s seen it or not. ¬†But the response from my viewers has been very positive towards it.

Time to Shut Up

Well, I’ve been talking (writing) for a while now … and I haven’t exactly hit the points I was planning on hitting… but oh well, enough is enough. ¬†Too many words! I’ll write another post later on how Control goes – maybe even an update on¬†Scribble’s Notepad.

But until then, I’ll see you later!

Ben,

A latch gathering dust in an old shearing shed.  This latch will be seen again soon.
A latch gathering dust in an old shearing shed. This latch will be seen again soon.

While filming the other day, I was really taken in by the atmosphere that the scenery around me was flourished with. The utter roughness of time’s progression, as it scrapes away everything in existence, molecule by molecule. Like the erosion of a beach being lashed by the tide, time attacks all matter just the same.

The building itself, that this latch resides in, is abandoned. Another lonely human relic left to creak in the wind at night. I don’t know why I find the thought of abandoned buildings so intriguing, maybe because they just seem to carry so much character as well as wonder as you try to read from its walls like the pages of a book; trying to imagine what it would have been like long ago.

But yet, it’s more than just picturing what it might have been like. It’s like a thought solitude. Walking through this building all on your own, as the clouds begin to brew overhead and the wind rattles the window frames. It’s so beautiful… and I say that feeling very unsatisfied. Because despite writing three paragraphs, I haven’t been able to express how it feels adequately enough.

More thoughts for another day I guess.

Thanks for reading this short post, I’d apologize for not writing more regularly – but I have a lot of projects on at the moment, one of them involving this latch… though it doesn’t have the starring role that this post may have implied.

Good bye for now,

Ben.

A Galaxy in Motion

The first After Effects render I did of this particular project.
The first After Effects render I did of this particular project.

For those that are friends with me on Facebook, (The word ‘Friends’ loosely dangles around here – because of the way it’s been desensitized in it’s meaningfulness online) you would have already seen the image above. It’s another YouTube Title sequence I’m working on – but not only that – it’s allowing me to experiment with space renders a bit before doing another special project.

NASA is nice enough to offer Public Domain images of space… and that really helps I must say.

The main reason I’m posting this here though is that I’m a graphics nut, and I don’t mean: “GAH! I LOVE GRAPHICS!” – I mean: “THIS…HAS…TO…LOOK…NICE!”
I’m the kind of person that will download an app on my phone just because the icon looks nice and it will compliment the other colours on my homescreen. In the scheme of things it’s quite sad – however to onlookers – most people will just think I’m really organised for having 5 different To-Do apps on my first screen.

Hence the reason for posting this Galaxy render. I want to see it’s blue glow in the posts area – so I hope you don’t mind. ANYHOW. Time to get on to editing more Intelligic videos. It’s a good excuse to play games again this gaming channel. Problem is – I’m probably spending more time on it than I should. Especially since my need to make everything look nice transverses over to the videos I produce on there too.

I currently have the next 3-4 weeks completely scheduled; Intelligic is on autopilot. I would do the same with Uploadthedownload except videos for that channel require far more work…
But perhaps if I wasn’t wasting time on Intelligic – and instead spent that time on Uploadthedownload (my more successful channel) I’d be doing better?

I’m like a Galaxy in motion. From a distance Galaxies look so still and slow – but in the midst of them all is a cosmic tidal wave of activity. Actually now that I’ve written that… that doesn’t sound like me at all. Forget my attempt at creating a connection between the title of this post – and the junk that I wrote down here. *Frowns in Failure*

See you later.

Ben.

An Interview with Lyndon Riggall

This is an interview conducted, as part of my media course, with my awesomeness cousin, Lyndon Riggall Рyou can check out his blog  right here.

Ben: Today we have with us an inspired and very, (very) good literature driven Australian, who has so many online blog posts, and so many online book reviews that you could be reading all night.

In 2011,¬†he went in the Australian Poetry Slam, where he went into the finalists, and eventually the runners up. ¬†In 2012, he set off to travel 2224 kilometres, the same distance that¬†Frodo¬†travelled to¬†Mordor¬†in the¬†Lord of the Rings¬†series. ¬†And recently he’s been reading lots of children’s books, because he’s part of the Children’s Book Council of Australia, which requires you to read every children’s book released in the past 12 months, about 400 books. ¬†So Lyndon!

Lyndon: Hi!

Ben: Thanks for being on the show!

Lyndon: Thank you for inviting me.

Ben: So what inspires or introduced you to literature, and what about it keeps you pursuing it?

Lyndon:¬†I think for me it probably began… I was really lucky that I grew up in the Harry Potter generation and so when I was a kid, Harry Potter came out and I was probably in Grade 2, and I read it and it was new and exciting and of course I’d like to say that now because ah look *I was ahead of the trend.*

But I read it, and I was completely in love with it. ¬†And then as the years went by, everyone else read it and everyone else fell completely in love with it and the movies came out. And it was probably the first time… and in fact it’s still used as a benchmark for… it’s about as big as a book can get. And I think when you grow up through that it often has an effect on you, the things you grow up with… so for me…

Ben: Kind of the fact you get to watch it grow and expand.

Lyndon:¬†Yeah that’s it, there was no convincing me that books weren’t important when you see something like that happen. So yeah.

Ben:¬†So in the Australian Poetry Slam that you went in, in 2011, how was your experience with that? And for those that haven’t seen it, maybe you’d like to explain what your poem was about?

Lyndon:¬†Yeah, so my poem was a little bit controversial, it was based on a true story about… it dropped into fantasy… but it was a true story about Jehovah’s Witnesses coming and door knocking on my door. And it was sort of about the attitude they have when they come to your door – because I find it a really strong and terrifying attitude, ’cause I’m not the sort of person who thinks that the world is ending… you know… and that we’re all going to die. ¬†So for me, to wake up in the morning in your dressing gown, to go to the door, and to just be immediately hit with that is a really funny experience. So I wrote about that and performed it in Launceston and eventually got to take it to Sydney… and that was really scary. I performed on the stage at the Sydney Theatre where, obviously I wasn’t in a play, but people like¬†Jeffrey Rush¬†and¬†Cate Blanchett¬†and lots of really famous Australian people have performed there – and I didn’t get to take my family with me, so I was all alone, in front of this massive Sydney audience. ¬†Which is nothing like you’d see here, ¬†but it was amazing. ¬†It was a room of thousands of people screaming and cheering over poetry… which is kind of nice.

Ben: Which audience do you think took your poem the best, the Launceston or the Sydney one?

Lyndon:¬†I think probably the Sydney one. (The) people in Launceston are probably a bit more tentative about coming up and talking to you afterwards, and maybe it’s part of being in a small crowd, that they have people they came to the show with, that they’ll talk to them. But even as I was walking up the stairs after finishing it, people were trying to grab me and say, “My mum’s a Jehovah’s Witness and I need a copy of that poem so that I can show it to her, and she’ll find it really interesting.” And that was really exciting. Yeah, that was nice that people wanted to share that.

Ben:¬†So quite a journey of course from Launceston to Sydney, not quite ¬†as big as your 2224 kilometre trip. On the fan forums, the¬†Internet, it said that apparently it’s estimated that Frodo took about six months. How long did it take you on your journey?

Lyndon:¬†Yeah, I decided to try and walk the… it’s often confusing for people so I will explain. I didn’t try to go into the wilderness and take bread wrapped up in leaves or anything like that in the Lord of the Rings books. ¬†But what I tried to do was, just to get a sense of how far that really is, how far that journey is. ¬†I started on January the 19th 2012, and I wanted to finish by the day that¬†the Hobbit¬†came out, which was boxing day. And so I made it… but all I had to do to keep up with that was six and a half kilometres a day. But yeah, it took me twice as long as it took them.

Ben: Do you have any plans for literature driven journeys in the future? Not necessarily exercise based.

Lyndon:¬†I would love… on that front, I’ve had lot’s of friends say, “Can we walk around Westeros?” which is the Game of Thrones world, and I would love to work that out. ¬†But I was really lucky with the Lord of the Rings people, who have really nutted out all of those details. Tolkien¬†inspires¬†people to get really¬†obsessive¬†about tiny details, and so I was lucky that I actually had someone who had done most of the maths for me, I just had to convert it into kilometres and work out where I would have to be at each point to actually chart the whole journey of the books.

But in terms of my own literary journey, what I’m doing next, I’m trying to write a book. Which is probably much more scary than walking. Yeah, so I’ve finished a first draft but what’s interesting about books is that first drafts often aren’t anywhere near ready. So it’s still hiding from the world at the moment.

Ben:¬†Okay, and finally your a member of the Children’s Book Council of Australia… what’s it like reading 400 children’s books?

Lyndon:¬†*Laughs* Really interesting! So what the Children’s Book Council do every year, they give, and you may have seen them, their little medallions that they put on the books. ¬†So they get a gold, if they’re considered the best of that year, across various categories. ¬†And then there are honoured books, and notable books. ¬†So I signed up and asked it I could perform that process for them, without really thinking the quantity of books you’d have to read.

I mean it’s logical that if you want to choose the best book that this country produces… you have to read every book that this country produces. ¬†And I should have thought of that. ¬†But sure enough, pretty much every two weeks, until very recently, ¬†I get about 30 books in the post, and I go through them and make notes on them and send them off – and they gradually fill up all the space underneath my bed. ¬†But it’s really hard, sometimes you get a box of picture books, and you know, it’s stories about babies and food and stuff like that and they take 5 minutes – but sometimes they are really big novels.

But one of the really good parts of the experience, is finding terrible books… and Australia produces very few really bad books, but everyone who wants to write – should read bad books. ¬†Because when you read a bad book, firstly you teach yourself what’s wrong with it, and you know, some of the books I’ve read I start to see problems and I go, “Oh, that might be a problem in the book that I’m trying to write.” ¬†And the other thing that’s really good about it is that you really get a sense that… (if a ‘bad book’ gets an award, that perhaps your book has a chance in it all.)

Ben:¬†(Thank you) So this of course is Lyndon Riggall! You can check out his blog at¬†lyndonriggall.com¬†for more, maybe the rest of that sentence will come to light on the blog. ¬†Thanks so much for watching, and we’ll see you all next time.

Hey guys!

Hope you enjoyed this painstakingly-written-out version of this interview I recorded for my media studies in school!
I just wanted to let you know that at some point I’ll be doing a major refresh of this site – as you can see it’s been a bit glitchy recently, and I think I know what I have to do to fix it. ¬†MAKE IT A BLOG AGAIN. ¬†I’m going to be getting rid of the social ‘Facebook Profile’ like area of the site because all it does is cause compatibility issues with every single theme I use it with – and I honestly don’t have the time to go through and code myself a theme right now that works. ¬†So I’m going to remove the cause – get it out of the way – and get back to a pretty stable blogging site – all ready for Vlog my Blog 2013… I mean… what?

YOU HEARD NOTHING.

 

Ben,

 

I get it, you may be upset that there haven’t been that many posts coming from me recently. ¬†Let me save you the whole “I’ve been pretty ruddy busy” speech that I usually give when I start receiving complaints… and just show you that “I’ve been pretty ruddy busy” instead.

As you can see above, there is an image of Neb shouting at me. ¬†This is actually one of the projects I’ve been working on for the past few months. ¬†I haven’t been working on it full-time, hence the amount of time it’s taken – really right now though it’s the editing that’s the most time-consuming part. ¬†At this point I can’t say when this video will go up. ¬†But it will be going up on my new Vlogging channel – and I have decided that no other videos are allowed to go up before this one. ¬†This MUST be the introduction to my channel. ¬†That’s final, this channel is going to be special, awesome. ¬†So I want to start it off just right.

Video projects at the moment are taking up a heck of time – unfortunately as I’ve mentioned on thee social networks – the more skilled you get in a field the more pedantic about what you achieve. ¬†I want every video I make to be far better than the one before it – unfortunately this results in some inconsistencies in series I produces because I end up changing the titles or graphics or whatever it may be basically every episode. =/

I won’t go into details in terms of the video projects, I’ve already said a lot of this stuff in a previous post, though if you’re interested the image you see above is of a new series I’m working on called ‘JON JON’ (Yes, I’ve changed the spelling of ‘John’)- it’s going pretty damn well at the moment – but like I said before, I really want to make the most of this. ¬†I have such a brilliant script for this series that I don’t want to screw it up – I want to make it the absolute best that it can be.

One of the things I really like to do to relax now and then is to work on my programs – programs that have been downloaded thousands of times on Softpedia, CNET and this website. ¬†Scribble’s Notepad is my pride and glory at the moment, I’m so happy with the way it’s turning out – I’ve been developing the next version for months now. ¬†I use Scribble’s daily when writing up notes for YouTube videos and homework, and whenever I come across a feature that I would really find useful, I implement it. ¬†Scribble’s Notepad 2.1 or maybe even Scribble’s Notepad 3.0, depending what I decide to go with, is definitely going to be an awesome release. ¬†I find it so useful.

 

Well, that’s my update for now – don’t worry this blog will get very busy in the next few months – I’ve been in contact with an animator, who will be helping me produce a pretty cool series. ¬†But that’s a story for another day. =)

 

Thanks,

See you again soon.