One man on the brink of nothing is about to change everything…


Premiere party!!!

Hello all!

It’s been a long time coming, but we’re finally going to have our premiere party in Denver!

I’ve been working on this film – from the very beginning when it was just me highlighting passages in my favorite book of short stories, to the end where the credits finally roll on the film in a few days – almost three years. It’s been my life, and I’ve been through a lot since it started…I’ve been building on this film, pixel by pixel, in every second of my spare time during college, and it’s been a long process, but here we are, and it’s finished.

The showing is going to be at the Oriental Theater in Denver, Colorado, on Sunday, May 20th. Doors will open at 5 pm, and the show will start at 5:30. There will be gifts for the cast, crew, and contributors, and the showing will last about 45 minutes (there will be two other pieces showing that I’ve directed recently, totaling up to about 11 extra minutes). Here’s the link to the facebook event:

This really couldn’t be done without the support of a great many people – the finished film can be credited to no one person, but many people, and I’ve been blessed to have them work on this project with me.

Hope to see you all there!

Jacob Collins


Colorista II and Cease Fire…

The past few months have been spent performing color grading (among other things) on Cease Fire, and the process has been made easier with Colorista II. If you haven’t heard about it, you should check it out on the Red Giant website: Magic Bullet Colorista II.

As a software plugin, it has really taken off, and earned some well-deserved notoriety lately, through work done by Stargate Studios, on shows like AMC’s The Walking Dead, and ABC’s PanAm (read the Red Giant article about it here:

The software itself has an ease of use that really makes it worth learning, it puts major studio production tools into the hands of the consumer, and it’s multi-platform, working in the timeline in two of the major Non-Linear Editing programs, Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere / After-Effects. What’s so awesome about that is that when I work on the grading on my macbook pro, I don’t have to worry about my editor picking up right where I left off without issue on his PC laptop – the workflow carries over, and makes it easier to use both Windows and OSX without compatibility issues.

One thing that I actually have begun to love about Colorista is the slew of tools that it comes with, and how you see the results right away:

“Skin overlay” shows you if your skin tones are within the acceptable broadcast range of quality – use it, and keep your people looking real, and right.

“Pop” feature – this one is key…in this film, the characters need to look, well, worn out, and a little aged. Pop, in the negative, would actually make some people appear more youthful by softening their appearance, but in this case, when used in the positive, it adds years to a person’s features; “Hulser”, played by Kevin Deming, needs to look a little bit older, and “Pop” does the trick.

Working in the timeline is huge – FCP’s Color is a standalone program, and while you get access to some of its tools, there is a functionality to Colorista II that really is just more helpful in general, primarily by giving you access to almost everything it does within the timeline, thus making workflow more continuous and efficient.

And the secondary key is absolutely one of the best versions of this tool that I’ve ever seen…

These are just a few of the features that I’m really digging into, but there’s a ton more – absolutely worth giving a shot, and it’s on sale right now, if you’ve got a few bucks to put toward a worthwhile tool of the trade.

Stu Maschwitz also has a gret tutorial on Colorista II on the Red Giant Vimeo channel, which can be found here:

Once the film is finished, I’ll be posting before/afters – could be a little while, but worth it.

Kickstarter prizes – promo art…

All artwork copyright © Jacob Collins 2011

Red Giant Software sponsorship – AWESOME!!!

For those of you who are interested in the post-production and special effects side of the modern film industry, this is big news – we’ve gained an official software sponsorship from Red Giant Software! This is a big deal, because this company is behind some of the most intense special effects plugins known to the film industry. They have a list a mile long of films that their software is used in, including Grindhouse, The Aviator, Day After Tomorrow, Vanilla Sky, Hellboy, Spy Kids 3D, Double DareNike commercials, Good EatsESPNDisneyCNN, Good Morning America, FooFighter videos, and MTV shows.

Just some of the effects we’ll be using include:

Knoll Light Factory, created by Academy-Award winner John Knoll, the co-creator of Photoshop and Star Wars effects guru

Magic Bullet Suite, co-developed by industry guru Stu Maschwitz, formerly of Industrial Light and Magic, co-founder of The Orphanage, and author of the popular The DV Rebel’s Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap (a must-have book for anyone who is even considering making their own films independently)

Trapcode plugins, which can be seen in popular movies like Terminator SalvationAngels and Demons, Sin City, Spider Man 3, Quantum of Solace, The Day after Tomorrow, etc.

Red Giant is a company about creativity, and innovation – they take magic and make it accessible to us via real-world applications. To say we’re happy to have them sponsor us is an understatement – they embody vision, and we’re no less than excited to have them behind us on this project!

Please check out these websites for great information and products!

Teaser comes down tomorrow…

Anyone who’s interested, please check it out via the links on the right of the page – thanks for coming by!

A little about gear…

We rented all of the essential equipment for the Interior Observation Post scene, and we’ll be doing the same with the future shoots.

The essential things on set were obviously lighting, but the c-track from local rental house LSI really made for beautiful movement.

We’ve reserved what are called “speed rails” with LSI – this system is something they built on their own, although the idea seems to have been around for a while. We’ve also got a few other things in the works, but this is the score for the first exterior shoot.

The cameras and lenses that we are using are listed below,and were provided to us by Pro Photo Rental in Boulder, CO.

EOS 5D Mk II Body

EOS 7D Body

EF 24 f/1.4L II – CA24

EF 50 f/1.2L

EF 135 f/2.0L

EF 85 f/1.2L II

and for the first shoot:

EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS

EF 16-35 f/2.8L II

EF 24-70 f/2.8L

EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS

From a company called Telecorps Sales here in Denver, we are renting a Genus DSLR Mattebox, Followfocus w/ whip, gears, and rail support, as well as a Sennheiser MKH 416 shotgun microphone. The Genus equipment will give us precise control over the lenses, and the microphone is one that’s sworn by in the broadcast business, used on many film shoots.

In order to be able to see on SD monitors from the Mini-HDMI output on the Canon 5D MKII and the 7D, we have to use a box called the BlackMagic Miniconverter that converts HD into SD for video monitoring. This box allows us to have a 7″ monitor mounted to the camera, and a 17″ monitor out of the way of the camera.

As for the teaser, it was created using After Effects CS5, along with a plug-in called Particular by a company called Trapcode.

It was edited and text was applied in Final Cut Pro, with the voiceover edited in Soundtrack Pro.

The ambient music was created in a software program called Ableton Live 7,  using G-Force’s MiniMonsta and Spectrasonic’s Trilian, a plug-in called SupaTrigga, and some foley wind samples and choir samples. Putting Supatrigga on the track’s send  in Live gives a pretty tasty layering sound, and works well for anything with dynamic movement in the mid to high frequencies.

Ableton was also used to create the vocal effect heard on the voice at the end of the trailer; we recorded the voice part several times, and then each reading was layered along with the others, giving a very strange echo kind of sound. However, by re-pitching the audio on just some of the tracks, then filtering some of the tracks and adding radio static with a plug-in called PSP Nitro, we end up with the vocal prototype effect for how Sergeant Chamberlain’s voice is actually going to sound in the film.

(if you’re into crazy awesome sound fx, check out the rest of the smart electronix people)

We’ll be shooting set photography with the DSLR’s we have on set, but we’ll also be shooting 35mm prints from a Holga 120n, which produces some beautiful photography.

1 more week…

…and then the teaser comes down, since I only posted it to meet a class requirement. No more video until the project is finished and completely legitimate. Tell your friends about it while it’s still up!