Friday, 15 March 2013

'The Last Man on Earth' gets a touch up

A while ago I mentioned doing an intensive After Effects course and my intention then to use my new skills to go back to one of my earlier films and 'improve' it.

I think I compared my mission to George Lucas going back to touch up 'Star Wars'. Well my 'Star Wars' was 'The Last Man on Earth'. Perhaps my mission wasn't as ambitious but like George I imagine I was as frustrated as him about certain shots in our respective films. For me it was the reflections of crew members in the beer taps in one shot that made me wince every time I saw the film. Some people never even noticed them. Some did. Some took great glee in telling me they had seen some reflections in the beer taps and then asking me whether I myself had noticed them. Yes I said, I had, thinking it must be like being asked if you'd noticed the elephant in your living room if you were indeed unfortunate enough to have an elephant in your living room. Unable to reshoot at the time and with the original Virgin Media shorts deadline looming I lived with my screw up and had it on my to-do list as something I would soon revisit and remedy. Well that time had come. So I had a go and er, failed.

I soon concluded that the shot was somewhat trickier than I had thought. Indeed, I'm not too bad with After Effects but I quickly realised that I needed the equivalent of a black belt in After Effects to sort this one out. I needed Bruce Lee. Or Chuck Norris if you really mean business. So it was at this point that I brought in the talented John Sellings. Within a week the reflections were gone. Now but a distant memory. Phew. Thank you John.

Do check out the old version on the BBC Film Network and then watch the version below. But if you have some VFX work to be done and you don't know who to call, then you'd better call John Sellings (or probably just email him in this day and age).

The Last Man On Earth (2011) from carlo ortu on Vimeo.

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