Topic: The Nine Billion Names of God (Sci-fi written by HoldingOurOwn)

http://i.imgur.com/G63YJCZ.jpg

The Nine Billion Names of God is an upcoming brickfilm, written by Michael Tourette (HoldingOurOwn), based on a short story by Arthur C. Clarke.

About Pre-production
Around June 2016, I found myself wandering in the pre-production section, and found HOO's page of unanimated scripts. After reading a few, I got interested in Michael's adaptation of this Clarke short story, which I actually didn't know before, though I've been deeply interested in the past in Sci-fi short stories such as the numerous Asimov shorts (One of which, "Nightfall", was loosely adapted in Ad Tenebras). Even though Michael and I discussed and some minor changes were made, the final screenplay is quite almost the same as the original that you can find in the above mentioned page, proving Michael's talent in adapting so believably to a modern day setting this short story.

Filming starts!
After a few months during the which the project was frozen, in January of this year filming started. So far, about 75% of the filming is done. Production photos and frames will be released in this topic gradually.
From the technical point of view, this is my first film shot with a DLSR, which I got around September, after years of using a digital camera to do brickfilming. Also, aspect ratio will be 2.35:1, in order to give the film a more cinematic look.

Story
I believe Michael's description of the story is good and concise: "An unusual order of monks enlists some hi-tech help in their centuries-long mission to inscribe all the possible names of God." To add something, two employees of a 3D printer company, Charles and George, are hired to help this order of monks from the Himalaya, but they'll soon learn the dangers of what is happenning there.
What I personally always find myself to think about when I shoot the scenes is, how this story puts two different ways of thinking in front of one another: the rational, calculating scientific approach, and the religious, apparently almost bigot-like approach. What I find even more intriguing, is the answer to the whole thing, but to learn that, you'll have to watch the brickfilm once it's out! mini/wink

Cast and crew
I'm pleased to say that The Nine Billion Names of God has now a full cast!

Here follows the full list of cast and crew members:

Charles Wagner...................William Osborne
George Hanley....................Morgan McKelvey
Lama.................................Ian Wood
Female Airport Announcer.....Mary Charles

Based on a short story by Arthur C. Clarke

Written by Michael Tourette

Directed by Viktor Toth

http://i.imgur.com/WwjnT7M.jpg

Here is a frame from the film. It showcases Lama (the leader of the Monks), talking with Charles and with George in the Background:

http://i.imgur.com/0bbjc4o.jpg

Be sure to check back for more frames and backstage pictures!

Last edited by LegoStudiosP (June 30, 2017 (02:10am))

Re: The Nine Billion Names of God (Sci-fi written by HoldingOurOwn)

I've been keeping this off BiM until it was the right time for you to discuss the brickfilm here on the forum.  I already saw a few more advance frames that were shot and I'm really impressed.  thanks for the wonderful things you said about the screenplay.  The challenge was to make the story as faithful to the original as possible within the limitations of a visual medium.  Since everything is shown in a movie, you can't explore the character's inner thoughts or the internal conflicts that make them who they are.

LegoStudiosP made some insightful suggestions to change the script slightly, as is always the case when collaborating.  Compromises were made without compromising the original vision, and the story is stronger because of it.  My vision was that the idea is that the story is a bit more sympathetic to the Lama and his monks, and that the contractors are more on the intolerant side, but the screenplay was supposed to find a balanced view without taking sides.   I can't say any more without getting into detail, and I don't want to spoil the story.  If you read the script or the original, you know already, but I'm hoping people first discover "The Nine Billion Names Of God" for the first time in LegoStudiosP's brickfilm format.

also, I didn't know you took Asimov's "nightfall" seed and brickfilmed it!  Awesome.  I read the longer novel.

https://vimeo.com/channels/holdingourown      http://holding-our-own.tumblr.com

"None practice tolerance less frequently than those who most loudly preach it."

Re: The Nine Billion Names of God (Sci-fi written by HoldingOurOwn)

Wow this looks great, and it seems like you guys are doing great work along with the great collaboration!

I still have to start some of my projects I have with HOO and eventually hope I will. Just a matter of when and where.

I'm just curious why you're pushing to 2:35 ratio instead of 16:9? Unless your shots are extremely wide you wouldn't really need to push it out to 2:35. But you may have a reason for it.

The framing looks awesome and am really looking forward to seeing this.  How long is it likely going to be?

The title is rather intriguing and I want to know more about it.

Excited to see more frames soon. Keep up the good work!

-Divine.

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Re: The Nine Billion Names of God (Sci-fi written by HoldingOurOwn)

I am going to like 2.35:1.  It's a cinematic scope.

I also like the logo.  Looks 80s.

Last edited by HoldingOurOwn (February 28, 2017 (02:20pm))

https://vimeo.com/channels/holdingourown      http://holding-our-own.tumblr.com

"None practice tolerance less frequently than those who most loudly preach it."

Re: The Nine Billion Names of God (Sci-fi written by HoldingOurOwn)

Divine wrote:

I'm just curious why you're pushing to 2:35 ratio instead of 16:9? Unless your shots are extremely wide you wouldn't really need to push it out to 2:35. But you may have a reason for it.
How long is it likely going to be?

To be honest, I've decided to use 2:35 as an experiment: I've never shot in 2.35, and I wanted to finally shoot something in this widescreen format. IMO, it turned out well. Plus, shooting in 2.35 is cool. mini/wink
As for the film's lenght, I currently animated about 6 minutes of the footage, and the key scene is not in those 6 minutes. I believe this might be 9 minutes long, with credits and all.

HoldingOurOwn wrote:

I also like the logo.  Looks 80s.

I was inspired by the logo of the netflix series "Stranger Things" (although the film has nothing in common with it).

Re: The Nine Billion Names of God (Sci-fi written by HoldingOurOwn)

Here's a few more shots from the same filmset:

http://i.imgur.com/CDSMMP8.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/ZnjDqSH.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/lK6lGRB.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/2S8nnuD.jpg

A better look at the 3D printer design:

http://i.imgur.com/NW9KbNF.jpg

I guess that's it for this filmset, the 3D printer's hall. Soon I will post some shots from diffeent set pieces. mini/smile

Re: The Nine Billion Names of God (Sci-fi written by HoldingOurOwn)

I love the design of the 3D printer!  It has a retro-chic look to it.  Beautiful!  Everything seems to have a slight amber glow to it, which also is beautiful.  I'm really happy with this first look.

I do see the Stranger Things influence to the logo, which itself is very 1980s-esque.

You told me that you were composing your own music.  This is awesome because I love when specific music is written for a brickfilm, rather than the use of Kevin's MacLeod's stock music (Nothing against him or his talented work).  I wanted to ask you something about it, if you can email me at your leisure.  Thanks.

https://vimeo.com/channels/holdingourown      http://holding-our-own.tumblr.com

"None practice tolerance less frequently than those who most loudly preach it."

Re: The Nine Billion Names of God (Sci-fi written by HoldingOurOwn)

HoldingOurOwn wrote:

You told me that you were composing your own music.  This is awesome because I love when specific music is written for a brickfilm, rather than the use of Kevin's MacLeod's stock music (Nothing against him or his talented work).  I wanted to ask you something about it, if you can email me at your leisure.  Thanks.

I agree, we hear too often Kevin Macleod scores, sometimes the same tunes over and over, and, as I did with many of my previous films, I am composing the music. Mailing right now.

EDIT: I sent a PM

Last edited by LegoStudiosP (March 4, 2017 (09:11am))

Re: The Nine Billion Names of God (Sci-fi written by HoldingOurOwn)

Do you have any voice actors planned?  It's a shame there are only three speaking characters and they're all males.  I'd love Brick 7 to be a part of this.

https://vimeo.com/channels/holdingourown      http://holding-our-own.tumblr.com

"None practice tolerance less frequently than those who most loudly preach it."

Re: The Nine Billion Names of God (Sci-fi written by HoldingOurOwn)

HoldingOurOwn wrote:

Do you have any voice actors planned?  It's a shame there are only three speaking characters and they're all males.  I'd love Brick 7 to be a part of this.

As for voice acting, the only thing I thought of, till now, is that George should have a strong Texas accent IMO. As we used to mail on my "KosmosProductions" mail of which I forgot the password and can't even find its name, I'll soon contact you from my private mail to discuss this, and else.

Re: The Nine Billion Names of God (Sci-fi written by HoldingOurOwn)

Here's some more backstage footage!

This is a quite short but significant shot, as it is the final shot of the film:

http://i.imgur.com/31pO7Ht.jpg

A plane's tail.I was happy with how it turned out, with the emittent red light. Here's how it looks in normal lighting:

http://i.imgur.com/2v7gkgL.jpg

The Engine detail:

http://i.imgur.com/BPXJVRQ.jpg

The rear of the tail. It's past this shot that I started to implement  such lighting systems in the movie sets, as you will find out in the future posts:

http://i.imgur.com/3Y2sQFx.jpg

A small tease of the set I'll share in the next post:

http://i.imgur.com/1sxUV35.jpg

Re: The Nine Billion Names of God (Sci-fi written by HoldingOurOwn)

I really love the lighting in some of these shots!

"However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." -Stanley Kubrick
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Re: The Nine Billion Names of God (Sci-fi written by HoldingOurOwn)

Formal Lens wrote:

I really love the lighting in some of these shots!

Thanks! I'll soon get covered how I achieved some of the most interesting shots.

Re: The Nine Billion Names of God (Sci-fi written by HoldingOurOwn)

Do you have an estimated time for release?

https://vimeo.com/channels/holdingourown      http://holding-our-own.tumblr.com

"None practice tolerance less frequently than those who most loudly preach it."

Re: The Nine Billion Names of God (Sci-fi written by HoldingOurOwn)

Man, it's crazy how much more I'm in the mood to write and animate after looking in the production section. This looks awesome by the way, might have to look at some of HOO's scripts myself mini/shifty

"Of course I'm lucky, I'm a leprechaun!"-Fred the Leprechaun
I hope no one has realized I like emojjies mini/shifty

Re: The Nine Billion Names of God (Sci-fi written by HoldingOurOwn)

Hey, Sir Snorlax.  I'd love to collaborate with you.  The script thread is here, with direct links to most scripts:

http://www.bricksinmotion.com/forums/to … s-updated/

There are two more sci-fi stories in the Golden Age series of which "The Nine Billion Names of God" (and Togfox's "Mariana") is a part.  The other two are "Warm" and "Placet Is a Crazy Place".  Someone expressed interest in "Warm" but anything can happen.  Speaking of anything can happen, "Placet Is a Crazy Place" is excellent if you want to do some surreal and comedic sci-fi.  I'm writing a fifth in the series, "Autofac" by Philip K. D!ck, a novella in four parts.

Others that I'd love to see done are "The Divine Pendulum" and "My Roommate Palpatine".  But there's a wide variety, and by wide I mean sci-fi, fantasy, music video and comedy and that's it.

If you like anything, email holdingourown "at" ymail "dot" com

https://vimeo.com/channels/holdingourown      http://holding-our-own.tumblr.com

"None practice tolerance less frequently than those who most loudly preach it."

Re: The Nine Billion Names of God (Sci-fi written by HoldingOurOwn)

HoldingOurOwn wrote:

Do you have an estimated time for release?

Not yet. I'm going to do the casting call right after easter, and I'll have to do some more sound post production by then... I hope to release the film arpund May or the first week of June. I decided not to settle release dates early on because I often have unpredictable factors that slow down or freeze my projects...

Sir Snorlax wrote:

Man, it's crazy how much more I'm in the mood to write and animate after looking in the production section. This looks awesome by the way, might have to look at some of HOO's scripts myself mini/shifty

That's great! Thanks, I'm honoured that this is actually inspiring someone in Brickfilming!

Re: The Nine Billion Names of God (Sci-fi written by HoldingOurOwn)

Sorry for being silent for some time. Here are some pics from the shot advertised in the previous post.

http://i.imgur.com/1sxUV35.jpg

This is actually just a transitional shot. The character walks through a corridor. However, I used the same room for some night-time shots:

http://i.imgur.com/1X7841o.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/cO3Gdcx.jpg

And here's the trick. I don't use Brickstuff, so I solved this shot with a similar led light as the one used for the plane's tail:

http://i.imgur.com/EUlgyRe.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/hLEDdqS.jpg

I used a flashlight that was "filtered" for the night time shots, similarly to what I did in some shots of Stalker: Mirror of Conscience. The same flashlight without the hand made "filter" was used for the light outside the window.

http://i.imgur.com/ef0oGdk.jpg

Sneak peek for the next post:

http://i.imgur.com/B1PUhdc.jpg

Re: The Nine Billion Names of God (Sci-fi written by HoldingOurOwn)

Can't wait mini/smile

"Of course I'm lucky, I'm a leprechaun!"-Fred the Leprechaun
I hope no one has realized I like emojjies mini/shifty

Re: The Nine Billion Names of God (Sci-fi written by HoldingOurOwn)

Really nicely compositioned and great cinematography!

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