Card Play – Short Film

New short film from Insane LLama! Titled ‘Card Play’ and Featuring: Eliot Schultz, Zach Williamson, plus Mike Pinkerton.

Three guys get involved in a high stakes game of cards, with each card flip building the tension even more.

Camera: Sony A7s with an Atomos Shogun

Lens: Rokinon 85mm T1.5 Cine lens

Sound: Rode NTG-3 to a Tascam DR-40

We had actually shot this film back in early January and were pretty far in post-production before I (Evan) had to turn my attention to my senior thesis films. Well after a grueling month and a half of thesis work I was able to return to Card Play this past weekend. The film had been our first time making anything after a semi-long break and was intended to prepare us for the other big January film we were making: ‘Communication’. We also used the shoot to test out our newest lens we had obtained: the Rokinon 85mm T1.5 Cine lens.

In that case pretty much the entire film was shot with that lens and it turned out great! I had to get use to the smaller space to work with but the more we shot the easier it was. Give the film a watch and tell us what you think, we love feedback. You can watch it through the Youtube link below or simply on the embedded video also below. Enjoy!

Link To Short Film – Card Play

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Card Play – Short Film

Cloudy + Chippy – Short Film

cloudy-chippy

Eliot and I made a quick new short film the other night… Well sort of, it’s not very much and I’d say isn’t really up to the standards of what we are capable of now. It’s more of a test of a couple things I wanted to try out.

I wanted to try out a effect or more of a seamless transition between two characters with the camera panning between them. Well it didn’t work as I expected but the good thing is I now know how to do correctly for whenever we want to try it again. Basically what went wrong this time is there was a slightly different look between the two shots I wanted to seamlessly transition between, but the bigger problem is the camera picked up a pretty good amount of noise in the video, making it hard to transition between the two shots.

Next time I got to make sure the shots are identical which can be accomplished with sticking with one camera set up and not the two I did this time. I also got to make sure my camera settings are correct next time to avoid the noise; which I believe I missed in this test because I messed with the brightness and contrast settings on my Atomos Shogun.

If there is noise I could just use a post-production noise remover which I did try out this time and fixed part of the problem. The issue with this fix is it adds many hours to the videos render time, which I couldn’t afford this time since I had other projects in line that needed to be rendered out quickly.

The video was also a test for some LUT’s I wanted to try out through the Shogun. I’ve never utilized LUT’s in the past and through a School project I’m currently working on I got to experience how they can be useful in giving a film a better look or more importantly capturing better S-Log2 footage through my A7s.

There’s all kinds of LUT’s that can be downloaded for free off the internet; colorist or just people in general are always creating some, which most usually give out for free. There’s film emulation, stylized filters, and color space LUT’s out there to use, with all of them being useful for achieving that look a filmmaker wants.

I’ve been looking into the color space ones such as Rec. 709. This color space is known as the current HDTV standard for broadcasting television and many films also utilize this space. This standard is going to be replaced by Rec. 2020 in the upcoming years with UHD televisions coming into the market; but for now Rec. 709 will be used.

I tried a couple S-Log2 to Rec. 709 LUT’s out through my Shogun and a couple gave a good look. I ended up liking and choosing one which I selected to burn straight into the footage instead of applying in post. It didn’t change the footage drastically but mostly just spruced up the colors to my liking.

I will definitely be experimenting with LUT’s and production color settings more in the upcoming future.

Anyway back to the actual short film which is titled “Cloudy + Chippy” for the two characters Eliot plays. Chad the main character has two versions of himself: one the sad cloudy type and the other a more joyful chippy guy.

This is a 5.1 surround sound project since I’ve gotten quite accustomed to working with 6 channels when sound designing/mixing. It’s basically much more entertaining creating pans through different channels and experimenting layering sounds and effects through multiple speakers. I believe most of the work that will be coming out from us now will utilize surround sound; especially since I’m led to believe that Youtube supports 5.1 even with its heavy compression methods.

Well here’s the short film’s link while also being embedded on this post, choose which ever you prefer, but I suggest clicking the link since it will be higher quality. Feedback on how the seamless transition effect can be perfected or just what you think of the short is appreciated. I can also answer any questions about LUT’s or using them through the Atomos Shogun.

Consider subscribing to our Youtube pages or a quick follow of this blog, we’ll try to make it worth the click. Enjoy and until next time!

Cloudy + Chippy

Cloudy + Chippy – Short Film

The LLama Update – October 2016

Damn… Yeah, it’s been over a month since my last post, which is way too long for my liking. The last post on September 19th was the release of our short film ‘The Photoshoot’, in the time since that release Insane LLama has been extremely busy in all kinds of activities.

(Mike approves this message!)

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First of all if you’ve been following our Instagram or Youtube you’d notice we’ve start a weekly update show for our Fantasy Football League. Titled: ‘The Best League In The World: Fantasy Update’. In the past month we’ve released 4 episodes, with the past week being a bye week for the show.

Basically we created the show to keep all the team owners in our league interested and more active in the long run; which the show has succeeded in doing that. The league is the most active it has ever been, plus there is complete parity among the teams this year.

You’re probably thinking why would you watch the show if you’re not even in the league or may not even follow fantasy football. Well we definitely try to keep the show entertaining for outsiders with funny segments and things that are just different from other sports shows.

Every week we make a new episode, we’re learning and refining the show to make it exactly what we want. Plus we have Brad Delfeld in the show, famous from cult roles such as ‘Snow Jenson’, ‘Mr. Winter’, and ‘Frosting Beard’. Who doesn’t want to see Brad make a fool of himself?

The show films every Tuesday night, then depending on if editing errors arise, should be released either Thursday or Friday. This weeks show is being pushed back a little since a little known team from Chicago who happen to play the sport of baseball is in its first world series since 1945! Yes you are actually hearing that right, the Chicago Cubs are in the world series. Eliot and I have been die-hard fans our entire lives so yes, Cubs games come first no matter what. It’s so important that I walked out of my class so I can get home to watch the first game of the series.

So be on the lookout for this weeks Fantasy Update later this week. Also if Eliot and I go completely vacant early next week, the Cubs possibly lost and we would be in a deep depression.

(The league logo! But the Milwaukee Minions for some reason changed their name to the Phlugerville Fingerblasters this past week, completely screwing up all the logos, etc I made.)

the-best-league-in-the-world-official-logo-png

Other business that has happened in the past month is I (Evan) joined a Dodge College of Film and Media Arts senior thesis called ‘Blur’. Eliot, Mike, and I were the sound team for the first two weekends of October, plus early next year I will be sound designing the project once it becomes picture locked.

The film is about a young man who wakes up and his penis is blurred out. Throughout the ensuing day he becomes more censored such as his swear words being bleeped out. Apparently the script was written by some ‘Simpsons’ writers. Anyway it was an interesting set were Eliot and I learned a lot, especially new ways to help run our sets more smoothly. Be on the lookout for Mike’s cameo in the movie once it releases sometime in the spring next year.

(Look. People standing around not doing anything on a set!)

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In other news in the past week I’ve went back and re-mastered many aspects of our short film ‘Savage’. More specifically I’ve re-worked the sound design and mixing while also doing more color correction. Eliot and I are extremely satisfied with how the film is now. The main reason we went back to do more work on the film is to make the best it could be before we start sending it off to film festivals.

The Last bit of news I want to end this post is some positive news for us here at Insane LLama. In the beginning of September I got an email about a free film festival called ‘The Young Filmmakers Festival’. Well since it was free I said why not and submitted a film of ours called ‘Corollary Findings’. This was selected since it was under the 8 minute limit, plus it is a film of ours that has an original score from me, avoiding copyright laws.

Well, our film was selected to screen at the festival, which would be Insane LLama’s first ever film to screen at a film festival. We’re happy to hear that and excited for people to actually see a film of ours on a big screen. Sad news is Eliot and I can’t even make the festival since it’s in Tennessee, but good news is our parents are making the drive down from Illinois to represent us at the festival. There will be many awards handed out at the festival so we’re getting our dad’s acceptance speech ready. The best news though is Eliot and I are getting free T-shirts!

corollary-findings

Well, I think that’s all I’ll share for now in this update. There’s actually some other stuff but I’ll wait to share that information when it becomes more concrete. Hopefully this blog will be updated more frequently and I’ll try to make sure of that. Stay awesome! Until next time.

The LLama Update – October 2016

The Photoshoot – Short Film

the-photoshoot

It’s been awhile but Insane LLama actually has a new short film! ‘The Photoshoot’.

Post took much longer on this than expected with some complicated errors popping up; but it finally worked and it’s here for everyone to see.

Mike goes to Eliot for some acting head shots and the experience isn’t what he was expecting.

Featuring: Eliot Schultz and Mike Pinkerton.

Feedback is appreciated, especially since we haven’t been at this for awhile. Consider subscribing to the Insane LLama Youtube channels for future videos or maybe follow this blog so you will be updated when new videos or whatever else we have come up. As always, enjoy!

Link To Video – The Photoshoot

The Photoshoot – Short Film

New Equipment! DJI Phantom 3 Test Video – Drone

DJI Phantom 3 Test Video

What’s up everyone, I totally forgot to post this when I completed it about a week ago. I have here test footage of our new favorite toy in our disposal: a DJI Phantom 3 standard drone.

In early August when my family and I went up to rural Minnesota to celebrate my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary (Here’s the video for that event in case you missed its release: 60TH Wedding Anniversary) my uncle and cousin brought up their drones to play around with.

He had two drones with him, one is the DJI Phantom 3 Professional, while the other less used one was the DJI Phantom 3 Standard. That first night a few hours after we finished the grueling 10 hour drive from our home in Illinois, my uncle brought the drones out to fly. My cousin set up the professional to fly then showed me on his Ipad the auto take off button which he then pressed.

The drone quickly rose up and once reaching four feet in the air stopped to hover in place, the take off looked clean and easy to do. My cousin then took the drone off over all the farmland and forest around us; it being golden hour at the time the footage looked pretty damn good.

As my cousin flew around the countryside, I looked at the standard drone sitting in its original box on the ground. I asked my uncle what the difference between the professional and standard drones was. He said that the standard only shoots 720p footage but they’re basically the same. He then said I can actually have the standard drone since they don’t use it. Without hesitation I said I’ll be glad to take it since I had been wanting a drone for a longtime to expand Insane LLama’s shot opportunities.

That night I decided to look up online to see all the differences between the standard and professional editions on the DJI website. First thing that stood out was that the standard version actually shoots/records 2.7k footage, where my uncle got the 720p from was that it only displays that ratio on the screen or when live broadcasting. I only want to use the drone to film establishing shots for our films so that was great news to hear.

Fast forward a few days later when I was back home in Illinois, it was time to fly the new drone for the first time. The user manual was missing from the box so I ended up having to look for it online, which one can easily find on the DJI website. I read the whole manual to learn every feature and detail about the drone; which after re-reading the more important sections a couple more times I was ready and confident in flying the Phantom 3.

I went out to my backyard and set the drone in a more open area so it wouldn’t hit anything when taking off. As the manual said I pressed the power button twice then held it until the green bars filled up, which upon filling the drone beeped loudly and powered on. I used my Ipad to connect to the drones Wi-Fi signal, which when done you can use the Ipad as a screen for the drones camera.

I pressed the auto take off button and the drone had lift off. First thing I noticed was how easy and precise the controls were to fly and also move the camera around. I flew the drone all over the neighborhood, experimenting with getting interesting and beautiful shots with the camera.

One thing is the small drone is actually pretty loud for its size, with most people quickly looking up towards it when I flew over them. During this and a couple later flights I captured some photos and also recorded some high quality footage.

Here are the photos

Neighborhood Drone Shot

Neighborhood 2

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More importantly here’s the test footage I shot! Enjoy!

Link To Video – DJI Phantom 3 Test Video

 

Hope you can get a grasp of what this drone can do with the photos and videos. I’m extremely grateful to my uncle for being so kind in giving his spare drone to Insane LLama. Since getting it Eliot and I have been thinking of many great shots we will do with the drone. We’re hoping the drone will increase our production values and more importantly give us another tool in shaping the stories of our films.

Well until next time. Consider following the blog for future post about drones and our short films, maybe also check out the Insane LLama Youtube channel which can be accessed through the drone video posted, we always have interesting and entertaining content being released for everyone to enjoy. Thanks and bye!

New Equipment! DJI Phantom 3 Test Video – Drone

The Big Shorts Movie Posters!

I’ve been busy this past week making movie posters for all of Insane LLama’s big short films. These are the planned scripted short films we make that take months of preparation with pre-production, etc.

Starting with ‘Black Dream’ earlier this year I started to make movie posters for our short films, especially since I found out our own Mike Pinkerton has printing rights to our schools industrial printer. There’s something cool about seeing a movie poster for your own film hanging on your wall. It inspires you to make the next one even bigger and better.

Anyway, here’s all 8 of the posters in order from when the short was released. Enjoy!

The Signal Poster

A Dealer's Iniquity Poster

Junkie Poster

The Actor's Cut Poster

Deal With The Devil Poster

Nobody But Me Poster

Black Dream Official Poster

Savage Poster Final

The Big Shorts Movie Posters!

Throwback Thursday – Takedown

Throwback Thursday Official

Wow… Yes you see that right, it’s actually a new ‘Throwback Thursday’ post. I (Evan) became extremely busy these past few months with school to the production of our latest big short film ‘Savage’ which kept me from doing our weekly post like throwback.

Well here we are in August, there’s no films to be shot, no classes to focus on, no clients with videos to be made. So it’s ample time to post a new Throwback Thursday!

When we left off in April with the last throwback we were looking back at 2007 when Insane LLama really took making movies more seriously. To be more precise we looked back at the two short films that basically started us with the Facility duo. Continuing after that we started to make short films on a more regular basis, especially once school got out in the summer of 2007 and we had way to much time on our hands. There were a couple other short films made during this time, but they were nothing special so I guess I’ll save those for another throwback post once we scrape everything out of the barrel on our history.

In this post we go to late summer 2007 when a Hollywood film starring Matt Damon came out. This movie of course is the kickass action flick ‘Bourne Ultimatum’, the last release of the Bourne trilogy before the whole Jeremy Renner ‘Legacy’ and now return of Damon in the unoriginal named ‘Jason Bourne’.

The Bourne series was a favorite of all my brothers, father and myself; with us seeing the first two installments in theaters when released. The third segment was no different with all of us pretty eager to see how everything ended in the series. We went and saw the film the weekend it came out. The movie easily met our expectations and you can say may even exceeded them. Young Eliot and I were easily inspired by the feel of the movie, from the shaky camera to the blue color correction (Both later incorporated into our own movies). Though there was one aspect that inspired us the most: the fight scenes. The hand to hand combat in the movie was just completely badass and invigorating. It was like nothing we had seen from Hollywood action films before, the intensity, the brutal feel, and the sound design.

We were definitely inspired… Which brings us to.

Takedown 1

Takedown. The very next day after seeing the third Bourne, Eliot, my older brother Ethan, and I decided to do our best to emulate the style of the movie. We were basically going to make a fight scene.

What ensued was our most ambitious film yet with hand to hand combat between Eliot and myself. We also tried some stunts which included one where I throw Eliot across a table knocking down some cleverly placed empty bottles and containers.

Takedown 3

We tried our best to make the fight as realistic as it could be, which watching now may seem a little off with punches seeming weak and not hitting their target. Us being young didn’t know the tricks we know now to make everything seem better. Which includes speeding up footage and the most use tricked in fights which is to cut away a few frames between the punch being thrown and hitting its target.

During the end sequence in the bathroom we decided to go all out, which during the melee I hit Eliot’s head on the toilet hard by accident. He played it off and continued, with Eliot’s character eventually being defeated by me. I kill him off by slamming a door against his head multiply times. This part made our close friend Zach Schnieder laugh his off literally every time he viewed it, even to this present day.

Takedown 2

For how young we were and inexperienced the short came out pretty damn good. The film did pretty successful on our Youtube channel when it was released. It became one of our most viewed shorts and gained us quite a few subscribers by our standards.

Like many of our early films it was taken off the main Insane LLama channel when we purged all of the shorts that had aged and contained younger us.

Don’t worry though it has been re-uploaded on Insane LLama Young, Old and Shitty for everyone to view its glory. Watch it and be entertained by some kids kicking the shit out of each other. Here’s the link with it also being embed here. Enjoy!

Link To Video – Takedown

Well I hope you enjoyed this look back at Takedown and early Insane LLama history. I’ll hopefully be back next week with another throwback. I also hope to do a better job giving insight into the short, this week I’m strapped for time and need to pack for a trip to Minnesota since we’re leaving very soon.

Thanks and continue doing what you do!

Throwback Thursday – Takedown