Testrunning the Machine

Beware! Spoiler alert!
Don’t read on unless you want to know too much about the story of Nostromo!

Some weeks ago we shot the last VFX footage for Nostromo. Storywise, we needed a huge machine that grows in some huge kind of cavern.

Doing it in 3D was an option in the initial stage, but we had to abandon this concept because we did not know how much effort the 3D people could put into the shot. Another option was filming it in 2 1/2 D, doing some matte paintings which would have been animated afterwards. But this would have been impractical considering the camera move we wanted to achieve.

So Mirjam, who had done all of the costumes for Nostromo, decided to do it the hard way. Doing a minitaure shot! It is a lot of work to create a minitaure that big. Not even speaking about organisational problems, like where will it be built? Where do we get the materials from? How will the minitaure be transported? The final miniature was going to be about 3 x 7 metres tall.

We met in Nostromo’s nuclear blast safe commando central, aka the underground chambers of Valentin, and built a quick mockup to test angle, lens, camera distance, camera move and the standing positions of the actors in the final shot. Then Mirjam built this little monster.

Below is a picture of Mirjam working on the miniature.

science fiction miniature preparing VFX shot


Coming up next: Shooting the Machine!

2 responses to “Testrunning the Machine

  1. Have you ever considered writing an ebook or guest authoring on other sites? I have a weblog based on the same ideas you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my subscribers would enjoy your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.


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