How to Get Better at Anything: The Power of Inspiration & Action

TFA fan art 1

Hi all, hope you’re well. We’ve been in the thick of it recently, filming the first 14 night shoots for COSMOS in September and have plenty of content to come in regards to the film’s progress and tutorials. We can’t wait to get it out for you and hope it’ll prove useful for your filmmaking adventures!

For now though, here’s something slightly different. I wanted to briefly talk about the value of inspiration and the power of action; and how both of these are forces to be reckoned with when it comes to filmmaking (and any creative outlet really) and what benefits you gain from both.

Is there something that you want to get better at, advance your knowledge and understanding of? Something you want to truly master or even take the first steps towards learning? Is there also something that is holding you back, that voice in your head saying: “I’d love to do that but…” or “I’ve always wanted to try that but…”. It’s a common problem, people have that spark of excitement but struggle to nurture it into a roaring flame and instead put it off for another day or reside themselves to the fact that they’ve got other more important things to be doing. So what can we do to give us that extra drive, that push we need to get started?

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Building ‘The Goodman’ Satellite

COSMOS Banner Goodman

COSMOS MOVIE PRODUCTION BLOG 13:
 BUILDING ‘The Goodman’ SATELLITE


A grainy shape appears at the edge of screen… The image sharpens. We see– A SATELLITE. Its shape undeniable; a pair of solar panelled “wings” clearly defined. The silhouette is hazy, distorted by Earth’s atmosphere.

Roy quickly leans in, the images of this satellite on screen reflecting in his glasses. He sits mesmerised watching it hang almost magically overhead. But the smile slowly fades from his face, his expression growing more solemn. Why? We can see it in his eyes– there’s more to this man. What does this satellite mean to him?

As suggested by the script excerpt above, a science satellite (nicknamed The Goodman) plays a pivotal role in COSMOS for reasons that will remain a secret… for now.

"The Goodman"

The Goodman is a fictional ‘Earth Observation’ satellite residing in Earth orbit at an altitude of approximately 2000km. This satellite traverses the Earth’s surface and completes a single orbit in about 130 minutes, and is observed by the characters in the story via a telescope connected to a computer monitor.

green screenBeing big fans of practical and physical effects (for both photographic and budgetary reasons!) we really want the actors to view and interact with a ‘real’ image of The Goodman on a monitor, rather than compositing this image in later in post-production.

Therefore we’ve had to create several visual effects shots ahead of shooting the film. The first step in creating the telescope image of The Goodman flyover is of course, designing and building our very own science satellite during pre-production.
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The Best Free VFX Software for Filmmakers

blender

About 2 years ago, a friend accidentally introduced me to a piece of software that has quite simply, changed the way I make films. Whether it’s for our TV documentaries, shorts, or our upcoming feature, COSMOS; this software has opened up possibilities that we never thought were possible for low-budget filmmakers.

blenderthumbThe software I’m referring to, is of course Blender. Many of you will undoubtedly have heard of Blender but for those who haven’t, I hope to encourage and inspire you to grab yourself a copy and dive straight in.

Whether you’re into animation, stills photography, concept art, animatics, 3D printing or live action filmmaking Blender has something for you, and what’s more… it’s absolutely, 100% Free for you to use right now. Sound exciting? Well then read on…

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Creating A Great Teaser Trailer… (Accidentally)

COSMOS Banner Teaser Trailer

COSMOS MOVIE PRODUCTION BLOG 5:
TEASER TRAILER


Previously we’ve covered how the concept for COSMOS was born, and our scriptwriting process. Today I want to talk to you about this here Teaser Trailer… and why, quite frankly, it exists.

 

Believe it or not this Teaser Trailer was created before we’d even begun writing the script!

Why?’ I hear you cry – well there’s a very good explanation…

So gather round children, it’s story time!

While brainstorming ideas for scenes, we developed a sequence where one of our characters phones a friend who works at a Radio Astronomy Observatory. We really loved this idea for the change in location it could offer the film, and how it would allow our three main characters to interact with another scientist on the other end of the phone; it could even offer some comic relief as this disembodied voice is caught snoozing during his night shift, instead of monitoring the radio dish array.

However we knew that if we used this scene, we’d somehow have to visually establish this ‘friends’ location and with his place of work being a Radio Astronomy Observatory, this meant inserting a shot into the edit of a suitably impressive dish pointing up to the night sky.

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