After we had done some mock ups and test shoots we were ready to film the very last visual effects shot – a view of a monstrous machine that’s buried deep in the chambers of an underground labyrinth.
We shot the miniature shot in the cellar of Valentin. One sure giveaway of miniature shots is the lack of atmosphere due to the fact that they are so small. A way to overcome this is using a smoke machine. The smoke particles desaturate the colours of the objects that are farther away from the camera and thereby create the illusion of depth.
And guess now what, we didn’t have a smoke machine!
So we took some of the director’s bongs, which he keeps for scientific puporses only, and Valentin sacrificed himself for the crew and smoked half the night in order to produce enough smoke.
The effect looked nice, but it still was not enough.
So we took all incense sticks we could get our hands on, fired up some really thick frankincense woods and let everyone smoke all the cigarettes they had with them. Maybe I should mention that we did not open the windows and doors for hours and the cellar is only something about 35 squaremetres.
We also had to fire up the wood stove in order to push the smoke to the ground.
The air was extremely thick, but the effect looked really nice.
Unfortunately, none of us had brought a decent camera besides the one we were filming with so you’ve got to excuse the low quality smartphone snapshots. The smoke does not really show in the snapshots, but it was there and it was extremely dense!
In the image above you can see one of Nostromo’s actors and second camera man, Bernhard. He’s currently directing a Star Wars fan film.