Topic: Once Upon a Kingdom - Production Log

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50563502042_dddc2855b8_k.jpg

What's this then? Well, I'm glad you asked. This is the production log for my next project, a fantasy/action/epic short called "Once Upon a Kingdom".

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I've always loved fantasy, and I even started my brickfilming career making lego versions of scenes from the Lord of the rings. This project is meant to be sort of an homage to all those fantasy films and books that I love, set in a fantasy world created by my younger brother when he was like, eight, at the most. So in a way, I guess it's an homage to him and my other two brothers as well, since we all developed the world with him.

So what's it about? Well, I don't like to spoil things, so I'll keep it vague. But the story centers around Ilaine, a young squire in service of the Kingdom of Rikland. She's part of an entourage travelling through dangerous lands constantly raided by the villainous trolls. When they make camp for the night, they're attacked, and the unexperienced Ilaine has to try her best to survive the ordeal.

The script is currently sitting at a hefty 37 pages, although I tend to be very descriptive when I write, so the final length of the film should end up at around 25-30 minutes. Still quite a long film, and considering that half the film will be the battle at the end I'm definitely upping the challenge for this one. I do like challenges however, and I learned a lot from my previous project "Isolation", so I'm feeling confident I can actually finish it. I also like to try different things, so I wanted to make something different from my last film. The goal is to start shooting during december, and have the film done by the end of 2021.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50563501692_a08aec011f_k.jpg

That's basically all I have for now, but I'll of course be updating more as the project moves forward.

Cheers!

Re: Once Upon a Kingdom - Production Log

Looking great!! mini/bigsmile

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Re: Once Upon a Kingdom - Production Log

Another one? I bet this one will be as awesome as Isolation!

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"Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." - 1 Corinthians 10:31b

Re: Once Upon a Kingdom - Production Log

Very ambitious, but where's the fun if it isn't? 
After Isolation, I'm extremely excited to see this in production! 
Best of luck...you'll need it mini/wink

Re: Once Upon a Kingdom - Production Log

BCStrike wrote:

Looking great!! mini/bigsmile

Thank you!

2x4 studios wrote:

Another one? I bet this one will be as awesome as Isolation!

Haha, we'll see! This one is quite the challenge, but hopfully the end result can deliver! But yes, the best thing about finishing one project is that you have every reason to start a new one!

JonnDthunDer wrote:

Very ambitious, but where's the fun if it isn't?
After Isolation, I'm extremely excited to see this in production!
Best of luck...you'll need it mini/wink

Indeed! And thank you! And I'm very glad to have you onboard to help with the sound design and such yet again!

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Update time!

Wow, it's already been a month since I first posted this log, and it does feel like progress is moving at a snails pace right now. But that's pre production for you I guess, and right now I'm mostly prepping so I'll be able to start shooting before december is over. I like to be fairly organized with these projects, so I'm taking the time to write a detailed shot list and spread sheets for all the sound effects and visual effects I'll be needing further down the line. I find it helps immensly to figure out as much stuff as possible beforehand, partly because it saves time and partly because it usually makes the end result that much better.

I've also started building a lot of the "assets" that I'll be using for most of the film. So no actual sets yet, but a lot of different items and such that will feature in more than one scene. Like I mentioned briefly in the first post, the story will follow an entourage of soldiers etc as they travel through some troll infested lands. So the first few scenes takes place as they travel, and the rest (including the battle) takes place after they've made camp. A lot of the required "assets" will therefor be wagons, carts, carriages etc, like these ones:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50690685946_e27e0d0322_k.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50690685971_439af7fe4e_k.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50690768537_ff27bf65ad_k.jpg

I'll need to buy a few more horses, and I still haven't decided on a design for the "harness" where the horses connect to the wagons, but other than that they're mostly done! The smaller ones do look a bit chunky, so their design might change if I come up with something better.

This one is supposed to be a carriage for the lord that is travelling with the entourage:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50690685886_3c908e5f5f_k.jpg

And this is supposed to be a cage for ravens (don't have any good lego birds yet though, so I'll need to buy that as well):

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50690686001_e15bbff7e5_k.jpg

And here I've started working on some trees. Still need to add foliage of course. The plan is to photograph these and then create a backdrop in photoshop I can print out and use for the background in my shots:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50690768407_235f5343e0_k.jpg

That's pretty much it for now! Coming up I'll probably start building the first set, and hopefully be able to start shooting within a few weeks.

Cheers!

Re: Once Upon a Kingdom - Production Log

Awesome! The wagons are amazing! So are the trees!

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https://i.imgur.com/4yAZqaf.png
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"Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." - 1 Corinthians 10:31b

Re: Once Upon a Kingdom - Production Log

Everything looks amazing thus far. You’ve definitely set a high standard for your films with Isolation and this one looks to live right up to it. Kudos for keeping your project so neat and organized, I always start off with everything planned out and organized and it’s a hot mess before long. Can’t wait to see this when it’s done !

Re: Once Upon a Kingdom - Production Log

Those are some awesome set pieces. I like those open carriages - very smart use of that old fence piece. As for the closed carriages - are they miniature scale? They look a little small to put minifigs inside. Of course, any "interior set" would probably be made seperately (if you are even planning on having any scenes taking place inside the carriage).

Re: Once Upon a Kingdom - Production Log

2x4 studios wrote:

Awesome! The wagons are amazing! So are the trees!

Thank you! Glad you like them! mini/bigsmile

Brickman wrote:

Everything looks amazing thus far. You’ve definitely set a high standard for your films with Isolation and this one looks to live right up to it. Kudos for keeping your project so neat and organized, I always start off with everything planned out and organized and it’s a hot mess before long. Can’t wait to see this when it’s done !

Thanks! Haha yeah, that happens to me all the time as well. Planning ahead helps minimize the risk of it happening of course, but I like to make things up as I go along as well! Sometimes my instincts and ideas when animating are much better than what I originally planned for in the shot list, so I tend to deviate from the planned stuff every now and then if inspiration strikes me.

BertL wrote:

Those are some awesome set pieces. I like those open carriages - very smart use of that old fence piece. As for the closed carriages - are they miniature scale? They look a little small to put minifigs inside. Of course, any "interior set" would probably be made seperately (if you are even planning on having any scenes taking place inside the carriage).

Thank you! The carriages are miniature scale yes, but a bit sparse on space on the inside as you correctly assumed. This one, the lords carriage is just about big enough that I can fit a minifig in there, but I won't actually animate anything inside the carriage (just the lord entering and exiting basically), so I'm hoping it won't be too much of a pain to work with.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50710003792_7bb08d2057_k.jpg

This carriage is supposed to be something more along the lines of a supplywagon, so I only made it just wide enough so I can fit the 3x4 crates inside it. I have a tendency to focus more on looks than practicality when building stuff like this, so it's not really realisticly designed in any way mini/lol

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50709183533_5d8dada59b_k.jpg

Re: Once Upon a Kingdom - Production Log

Update time!

I've just about finished the first set for the film, a forest cemetary. I ordered a bunch of leaves etc from bricklink about two weeks ago, so had to wait for them to arrive to finish the trees. I chose to go with dark tan for the base/ground this time, instead of green. I'm a little bit worried it looks too "desert-y", so I tried to add as a lot of greenery to give the feeling that we're actually in a forest. What do you think? The backgrounds have a lot of green in them as well, so hopefully that balances things out a bit too:
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50752641441_d0a20baa8b_k.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50751907183_77baa09c32_k.jpg

I wanted to use mostly bigger trees for this forest to make it feel a bit more "ancient", or very old at the least. But I included this smaller tree as well just to make the scenery a bit more interesting. We'll only see the forest from slightly lower angles in the finished film, so I figured at least one small tree would be a good idea:
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50752748467_a4d90c9b54_k.jpg

And this is what the big trees look like with added leaves:
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50751907133_5c1c06bf36_k.jpg

And to finish things off, a closer look at the printed backgrounds that I'll use. I made them before I had all the leaves, so the trees still look quite barren. But once again, we'll mostly see the forest from lower angles so I don't think it'll be too noticable in the end product:
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50752748517_128bdfdda6_k.jpg

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And on another note, I've set up a casting call for the project over on Casting Call Club. All auditions are welcome, so feel free to audition yourself! For convenience sake, I've decided to only set up a casting call on that site (more actors there, and easier to just have one casting call on one site rather than several). Signing up is quick and easy, should you want to audition! mini/bigsmile
https://www.castingcall.club/projects/o … tion-short

I've been lucky enough to actually have this project financed by a smaller, state-run, sort of institution here in the swedish town where I live. It's called "Film i Västerbotten", and it's basically like a grant that aspiring filmmakers can apply for to finance any short film projects. They liked the script and project, so I've been granted a smaller budget to work with, which means I can afford to pay all the actors (yet another reason to audition, ey?).

That's all I got at the moment. I'll start shooting some time before new years eve, but I still need to prepare a bit. The set is only 48x48 at the moment, so I'll have to build some extensions for some of the wide shots then I'm goood to go!

Cheers!

Re: Once Upon a Kingdom - Production Log

Update time!

Phew, the last few weeks have been quite hectic, mostly because I was fortunate eonugh to recieve over 700 auditions for the project on the site "Casting Call Club". As you might imagine, it took A LOT of time to listen to all the auditions, reply, and of course, decide on the actual casting. I managed to do it all eventually though, but I did have to enlist the help of a friend to act as sort of a casting director (a profession I have newfound appreciation for, I might add). I'll try to record basically all the actors during call in sessions so I can direct them live, which will also take a bit of organizing. But we should start recording during the last week of January if all goes according to plan!

Principal Photography has also officially begun! I'm still writing the shot list, but the sheer amount of shots I've decided on so far has really spurred me on to really pick up the pace with the animating. Four shots are done so far, which equals to about 25 seconds (about 1.2% of my estimated length of the final film). Yeah. This will take time. I'm counting on animating for the rest of 2021, and probably the last few shots during January and February 2022. So strap yourselves in, it's gonna be a long ride mini/eek

A quick taste of two finished shots (slightly edited and re framed):
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50839760842_504fd3785f_k.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50839675401_2ba16da3e7_k.jpg

And to finish things off, I ordered a bunch of lego off bricklink specifically for this project, and all the minifigs have arrived! This is the current bunch (yes, some are missing heads, those will come in a later package):
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50839675281_886f064579_k.jpg

There are 52 trolls, for those of you wondering! Not quite enough for the big wide shots, so I might have to do some crowd-dupliaction-trickery for those. But for the rest of the shots these guys will do just nicely.

Coming up, I'll animate the other half of the scenes in the current set, and then start building the next one.

Cheers!

Re: Once Upon a Kingdom - Production Log

Those shots look great!

Re: Once Upon a Kingdom - Production Log

Wow, this looks great! I love the lighting, the trees, and the backdrop.

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https://i.imgur.com/4yAZqaf.png
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"Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." - 1 Corinthians 10:31b

Re: Once Upon a Kingdom - Production Log

OneDouglas wrote:

Those shots look great!

Thank you! I'm still finicking a bit with the settings of the camera to get the best look, but it's getting there!

2x4 studios wrote:

Wow, this looks great! I love the lighting, the trees, and the backdrop.

Thanks! I find day scenes to be way trickier to light than night scenes, or at least trickier to get to look nice. Getting enough light is easy enough, but I'm still working getting that fresh vibrant look.

Update time! So progress is a bit slow, or at least the animating part of the progress. I'm currently waiting on a big batch of lego from bricklink that I'll need to extend the set (or build any other set for that matter), so until I get those parts I can't really animate any more. Meanwhile, I've been hard at work with recording all the actors, editing all the dialogue, and finishing my shot list. All the dialogue clocks in at around 22 minutes, so my original estimated runtime of 30-35 minutes still sounds plausible. And the shot list? Well... it currently sits at 798 separate shots, which yes... is a lot. Although! Consider also that roughly half of those shots will be for the fighting scenes, and only about 0,5s-1s long. So I'm still feeling optimistic about finishing the shoot witihin a year or so.

And a sample frame of the latest shot I finished:
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50974678421_11e3b251fb_k.jpg

But yeah, not much progress on the "visual" side of things yet. But that should change the moment I recieve that bricklink order!

Cheers!

Re: Once Upon a Kingdom - Production Log

These sets look FANTASTIC! I can't wait to see how this come out!

https://bricksafe.com/files/thistof/hillbillyheist/TofAnimation.png

Re: Once Upon a Kingdom - Production Log

This looks sweet. I missed the part where you talked about the printed backgrounds. That's a genius idea. Keep up the good work, I can't wait to see what else you make!

Also, I love that ponytail piece, it really ties together the medieval look.

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"Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corinthians 10:31b

Re: Once Upon a Kingdom - Production Log

That frame looks great! Great to hear you're making progress!

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https://i.imgur.com/4yAZqaf.png
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"Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." - 1 Corinthians 10:31b

Re: Once Upon a Kingdom - Production Log

Looks like another top notch brickfilm's coming this way! This is a pretty huge ambitious project, and it looks like your using your wallet pretty well on BrickLink, but I have faith that with Isolation under your belt, we'll see this masterpiece as well! The printed backgrounds are really impressive, and I'd love to get my hands on them. The trees are really well built, and so is the cemetary. The tan ground does look just a tad desert-ish, but you've done a good job changing that with the green pieces. Honestly, I would personally add a few more brown pieces to the ground, to vary up the dirt a little bit. Aside from that the cemetary is very impressive, as well as the uniqueness of all the gravestones. On the eleventh picture from the top, the printed background looks really good with the set, and blends well, except I would say with the far right actually on set tree, as the tree is directly in front of two printed trees, so you just see the slightly blurry edges of the trees around the real one, and takes you out of the forest illusion somewhat. Another reccomendation I would just have for adding to the wooded atmosphere would be to have the lighting be chopped up, to simulate the light being broken up by the trees. It would also give some natural shade, which would be nice. You can kind of see this sort of lighting in the backgrounds, but not as much on the set. The fact that you're getting sponsored is really cool, few brickfilmers get that priveliege/oppurtunity, so it's great you're putting the investment to good use. The number of auditions you recieved is staggering, and also encouraging, because the chances are that out of all of those voices, there will be the talents for your film. Switching subject a little bit, the small armies you have come into possesion of are quite imposing, and it looks like the battle is going to be extremely enjoyable and entertainingly wide spread, which is awesome. One small criticism I did have was about the human soldiers, and the fact that half of them have old heads, while the other half have more recent and detailed faces. This makes a slightly weird clash, but is hardly noticeable, and it definitely isn't necessary to change them up or anything, it's just another little thing that seemed odd. I can also sympathize with the fact that when you're relying on a BrickLink order in order to animate, it definitely feels like forever, and it's always then that the seller happens to live on the other side of the country, further slowing down shipping. If he weren't already hardened by actually completeing a brickfilm, it could drive a man mad mini/smile. That about wraps up my comments, and hey, maybe you'll be able to enter this in the BiM Summer Contest 2022 (bet the theme's "Days Of Old")! Honestly though, you should try to get this project featured on Classic-Castle.com, (it's like The Brother's Brick, but specifically for the Castle themes) it would be cool to see it there! Please keep in mind these are just suggestions from an inferior brickfilmer, and they are just intended to help. This film looks fantastic, a cinematic brickfilm achievement, and a lot of fun to boot. Good luck and keep up the great work,

Sincerely,

Puskov

God bless and brickfilm on!

Re: Once Upon a Kingdom - Production Log

thistof wrote:

These sets look FANTASTIC! I can't wait to see how this come out!

Thank you!

rioforce wrote:

This looks sweet. I missed the part where you talked about the printed backgrounds. That's a genius idea. Keep up...

Glad to hear it! I'm hardly the first person to use printed backgrounds I think, but it's something I highly suggest! Makes it quicker to set up your shot, and you can have more expansive backgrounds as well!

2x4 studios wrote:

That frame looks great! Great to hear you're making progress!

Thanks! Yeah, slowly but surely I suppose!

Puskov wrote:

Looks like another top notch brickfilm's coming this way! This is a pretty huge ambitious project...

Wow, thank you so much for your in depth comment! I do agree with you on most points actually. I've started to add more brown and green pieces to the ground to cover up the dark tan. I actually re shot all of the shots I'd done so far, so the lighting and background looks better now as well. I agree about the faces on the characters, and I've only used the older less detailed ones for the extras/background people. All the principal cast have heads mostly from the LotR or The Hobbit sets! I haven't heard of Classic-Castle.com, but I'll definitely look into it! Thanks again!

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Update time!

So a lot has happened since the last post. First of all, I decided to re shoot all the shots I'd done so far except one (the one in the last post). Basically I messed up the camera settings a bit, and the shots couldn't really be saved in post, so I did them all again from scratch and improved the lighting and such while I was at it. Two examples can be found below here, although without any proper reframing or such. Bonus points to whoever can guess what I used for the water!

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51037081808_252e18ba95_k.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51037910757_ebe607ea8b_k.jpg

Secondly, the big bricklink order finally arrived as well, so as soon as I was done with the cemetary set I quickly went to work with building the next set; the road the entourage will travel along. I decided on keeping the set a bit more "dark tan-ish" than the forest set to differentiate them a bit, though once again hopefully without making it look too much like a desert mini/eek I've constructed it in a very modular way, so I can easily add an extra 48+ studs of road to either side depending on which way the camera is facing for any particular shot. This modularity also makes it easy to get in close to the characters once they're on the road itself, which is required for like 98% of the shots for this set. I'll also easily be able to re dress the set and replace all the landmarks for a few later shots (meant for a travelling-montage), where the entourage will be travelling through a few different environments.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51037897992_d5b852910e_k.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51037795416_479306dd72_k.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51037796111_ba398c9562_k.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51037898542_1493678556_k.jpg

That's all for now! Coming up, I'll start working on the four scenes set on different parts of this first road-set. There's mostly dialogue, which I find quicker to animate than walking etc so I'm feeling confident with churning out a bunch of shots a week if I'm dedicated enough.

Cheers!

Re: Once Upon a Kingdom - Production Log

Wow! That set looks fantastic, and the printed background is a creative, and very nice looking, touch.
I'm impressed.