Rare Model is a short film directed by Adam Rothstein and written by Cody Pearce.
You can read a draft of the script and some of the concept art that’s been created for the short here:
Adam is a great filmmaker, storyteller, and director and I’ve been privileged to work with him on the project. I’ve been consulting him on the finer points of the script and cinematography on the project since it was just an idea being tossed around in conversation back in the Spring of 2015, and now I’m collaborating with him on Pre-Visualization Animatics. My focus has been on the greater part of Act 3, which has Daphne, our robotic heroine, trapped in the ship of the bounty hunter, Triton and ends with the climactic fight at the end of the film. It’s been very interesting using my 3D skills on a live action project, and my 3D cinematography conventions have had to adapt to the constraints of Adam’s actors, set, budget, schedule, etc.
I like my thumbnail animatics like I like my martinis: Fast and Dirty!
My 2D thumbnails were done in literally 2 hours on a whiteboard. The idea was to get them out as quickly as humanly possible. I didn’t want to spend any time iterating in 2D, where I knew my drawing skills would handicap me. Instead I chose to throw everything into Maya from the start and do all the iterating in 3D. The dialogue in the 2D animatic was taken from one of the table reads that Adam did early on. I used the dialogue mostly to get an idea of timing during the dialogue scenes and later I added my own dialogue when the iterations outpaced our old rehearsal footage.
The rig used in the animatics is the Morpheus Rig, from which I was able save out variations for our 3 main characters: Daphne, Triton, and Daphne’s father, Kurt. Other than the characters and the exterior ship model (crafted by Mat Suarez), all of the props, animation, and lighting effects were done by me. Sound and editing was done in AfterEffects.
I worked closely with Adam to delve into the characters and how they would act in certain scenarios and we spent several long nights drafting and redrafting how things played out in this climactic scene. In some cases entire sequences of shots were scrapped or re-imagined (hopefully for the better) and along the way I also did my best to refine the lighting, animation, and overall quality of the animatics. I hope my work was helpful to Adam and his team during shooting. Adam tells me that now that the project is in post-production the real work begins, but if you ask me it was a pretty big deal just to see it all coming together in pre-viz! I can’t wait to see the final film when it’s complete!
Check out the Rare Model Indiegogo and facebook page and here: