A CAD geek walks into a bar… is not the start of a joke but just one of those small world coincidences that happens when you live in a small country. A couple of years back I went along to Auckland Skeptics in the Pub expecting to meet some interesting new folks (and did) with no idea it would converge with my Autodesk world.
About the same time TVNZ were screening a futuristic local drama production: This Is Not My Life. It was set in a fictional seaside town “Waimoana”. This was filmed using a business park near my work as the commercial centre, with domestic/suburban scenes shot at a real seaside development, Omaha Beach. Its a popular Auckland weekend escape.
Given the budget probably was less than a Hollywood production spends on coffee I was interested to see how they managed to create this future world.
Subtlety altered Smart & Nissan Cube cars with electric sound effects covered the transport (as long as you had enough carbon credits to operate them!). Careful shooting of the rather techo looking business park made a convincing near future city scene. The computer tech featured in the story, a mix of large wall displays, transparent desktop monitors and smartphone devices which became high resolution screens when active.
The “PEC” (personal entertainment and communications device) became an important part of the plot, in a big brother way. Tech curiosity satisfied I was able to concentrate on enjoying the story, a interesting (almost Orwellian or Kubrick feeling) thriller set in this near-future eco-conscious world. Although unlikely to get to US screens in Kiwi form it has been announced US Network ABC has purchased the series to adapt.
Several months later, in the pub full of skeptics, I met the man who made that digital tech happen!
Quote from "Creating Waimoana" - tvnz.co.nz
“The PEC (personal entertainment and communications device) had to be designed, along with the computers that were to be used. Somewhere along the line it was decided that these would all be clear Perspex to be filled in by Special FX in post-production.
(I'm not sure how many people know that none of the stuff you see on computers or PECs is actually there - it was all done in post-production by the wonderful Peter McCully and his team at Albedo VFX. A journalist rang Rachel to discuss the show and Rachel mentioned the special fx. The journalist, who had seen eps 1 and 2 asked "what special fx". And I don't blame her; I think they are pretty damn seamless.)”
Albedo VFX is a Kiwi visual effects house specialising in Digital Matte Paintings, 3D Environments and Virtual Sets. Their primary tools are 3DStudio Max, Photoshop, After Effects and Fusion. Because I haven’t had much to do with the local media/entertainment side of Autodesk (beyond attending a few Max launches) I hadn’t met Peter before.
Check out his show reel below (Inc. some TINML) and support his project in the “Make My Movie Project” contest*. Your Facebook Like, Tweet or G+ click vote could help him make his own move!
Albedo VFX Reel 2011_a from PJV McCully on Vimeo.
An edited selection of visual effects work from Albedo VFX, Auckland, New Zealand based FX house. A sampling from Cinema, TV drama and commercials.
* The MAKE MY MOVIE project is giving away a $100,000 cash grant from New Zealand Film Commission and NZ On Air for one lucky person/team to make a low budget feature film.
This Is Not My Life - en.wikipedia.org This Is Not My Life - www.imdb.com