Friday, June 10, 2011

The Official Website

The official website for Small Sacrifices is now live!

Click here to go to the site, and enjoy a little expedition around the world of Otto Von Louse and his Flea Sherpas.

Official Website

Sunday, June 5, 2011


We now have two new trailers for Small Sacrifices.

The first is in the style of a 1922 movie, reflecting the period fell we have achieved in the film.

The second is the official HD trailer.

The trailers feature animation by Keenan, Roberta, Bill and Neil and sound design by Karen. I have used temp music tracks on both, each one by royalty-free composer Kevin MacLeod.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Props of Small Sacrifices

Small Sacrifices takes place in a universe that is at once familiar and totally alien.

In realizing this vision, Neil and his designers drew upon many different inspirations for the look of the main props that would be used by the Louse and his Sherpa Flea team.

At the back of their minds, a period feel, dating back to the turn of the 20th Century combined with modern interpretations of steam-punk design, seemed most appropriate to the story, and with this in mind, the main items were fabricated.

The louse's Alpine Horn was designed by Neil and Phil using sculpy and acrylic paint. Phil also sculpted a lightweight version from dense Styrofoam for use on the flea Sherpa.

The cabin was initially designed by Phil, then made as a 3D computer model by George, who then built this intricate wooden version, complete with wild walls and working door and windows.

The Louse's chair was designed and built by Phil, sculpted from dense Styrofoam and painted with acrylics. Notice one of Phil's bug pin-ups on the wall of the cabin behind the chair.

The gramophone was designed and built by Neil and features a rotating turntable and hinged amplifiers for that true, turn of the century stereo sound.

Neil designed the telescope and George built a tiny working model, complete with lenses and true telescoping action.

The Louse's camera is a true hybrid of design, incorporating turn of the century aesthetics with Polaroid technology! Only the best for our Louse! George built the amazing model complete with working flash, extendable lens and opening case.

SPOILER ALERT! Some of the fleas might come to a sticky end.
That said, here is the prop for the poor frozen flea. This was made using cellophane wrap, glue sticks and varnish. Neil built the original, and Keenan and Roberta improved upon it.

Finally, here is one of the Sherpas with his baggage platform in place. The luggage was mostly made from Styrofoam plus some objects found in hobby shops and laying around in the workshop. Phil made some terrific little wooden platforms and Neil made some rubber straps to hold the whole construction in place.

We hope you enjoy watching the cast of Small Sacrifices use and abuse these props when the film is released to festivals worldwide in 2011.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Official Poster

Allow me to present the official poster for Small Sacrifices!

Huge thanks to Phil who turned in an amazing bit of artwork. Now to get some big ol' 27"x40" prints made...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Old School Meets New Age

It's no secret that most of our crew are huge fans of old school effects and movies, such as Harryhausen productions, or the original Star Wars saga - so the opportunity to insert old-school matte paintings into our digital stop-motion was too good to pass up - especially when I have such talented folks on the team.

With that in mind, we tested the effect on a shot that involves the first doomed flea hanging down a perilous crevice.

Here is an original frame from the shot, animated by Keenan.

Then, the director submitted a staggering masterpiece of a concept sketch to Phil, our matte painter...

Phil then expanded on the existing set, adding depth and light effects,

And here is the final shot with the flea reintroduced and a temporary sky in place. Note, this is NOT a final shot, as the sky needs changing, focal effects need to be added, and the snow is missing - but you get the idea!

Cool, eh?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Evolution of a shot

Here are the first three steps in a single shot's progression - bear in mind that this is still NOT the final shot as there are more elements to add, tweaking to be done, the temporary 'cracks' to be replaced and full colour correction needed - but it is a good indication of the work going into our project.

Firstly, here is the raw footage complete with green screen and 'breakaway' crevice.

Next is a first pass at cleaning up the shot, removing the rigging, animating a new rope at the end and creating a constant foreground.

Now we see a version with more elements composited into the shot, including a new shadow for the flea, temporary background plates, rear fog elements, a live action 'snow splash' a CG snow test and some colour tweaks.

When the shot is complete, I will post it here so that you can see the final result.