Follow by Email

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Out of the Frame and into The River

Well Well Well, It's Christmas Eve already and here I am shivering at my PC working on the good old half movie. First of all, this is a shot in the middle of editing, half way completed. It looks awesome because it seems like Pat is leaping out of one video and into another. Quite cool. It's been quite busy so here is an update on what the MVM team is cooking up. We are excited to announce that production for "The Second Half" will begin in the early summer of 2012. Not only that, but half is still set for a release in May! There will be a public showing in Saline MI, as well as a way to order DVD copies. The thing about making a movie like half is that you have create a LOT of backstory. There is a lot of backstory for the film that is not told and there are many loose ends that require tying up at the end of the film, so we are creating a sequel. Jared, Pat, John, and I have learned quite a bit about film making from this project as well as other ventures that MVM does. And a lot of that was learning by doing. During the production of half we made mistake after mistake after mistake. But you know what? We never made the same mistake twice. So obviously, half is not going to be a cinematic masterpiece. It will still be awesome, just not quite as awesome as it could be if it wasn't a first attempt at film making. Enter "The Second Half." This film is going to be twice as long as half and have way more actors, as well as a developed storyline that fits quite nicely with half. The second movie is going to cost tons more than the first but the film will be quite worth it.

I hope that you find this update satisfactory, there will be a trailer coming in January...

Kurt Richardson

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Update

Hey there everybody,

I thought I might give you an update about what's been happening at Mountainside View lately. We have been working hard on Half while planning our future projects at the same time. I was really excited because it looks like the film will have a little bit of genuine aerial footage, which will spice up the movie some with some epic forest shots and whatnot. The title sequence has been fun to work on with a personalized title for every actor. Patrick, you are going to absolutely love yours. ;) Anyway, that's all for now, and I'll try to make another update again soon.

Kurt Richardson

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Epic Battle of Half (This is Not a Spoiler)

The epic battle of 'Half' was far from what you'll see on your screen. In fact, everything you see on screen will be the product of this power struggle.

I am Pat, and I play the role of James Anderson in Half. Being a very outgoing person, with very specific ideas on how a movie should be directed, sitting back and watching Kurt direct the movie in a way that I thought wasn't good enough was torture. We argued all the time, slowing down the filming process. Eventually, he let me direct a few scenes for two reasons. Firstly, because he thought I would do a better job directing those specific scenes, but secondly, to get me to shut up.

The epic battle of 'Half' ended without a winner, and without a loser. It ended with a mutual agreement between two friends that the filming was done the way we both wanted it, and was the best material we could give our audience.

Let the Post-Production Begin

Hey everybody,

I am thrilled to announce that Mountainside View Multimedia has purchased its video FX workhorse. We've been moving some furniture around to get everything up and running. This machine is the most powerful computer I have ever seen let alone used. The specs on it are as follows:

CPU: Sandy Bridge Intel i7 Processor
Memory: 8GB
OS: Windows 7
HD: 1 terrabyte
Graphics: ATI/AMD 1GB dedicated graphics
Monitor: 23 inch screen

I'll be sure to take some pictures of it, but at the moment my HD camera is in the shop. Let it always be said that I push my equipment to the breaking point.

As for the Software we are using for this film, here are the specs:
Adobe Creative Suite CS4 (Some AfterFX CS5.5)
includes: Photoshop CS4, Premiere CS4, After Effects CS4
Mocha AE - 2.5D Planar motion tracking.

The system will be up and running in a few days so Post Production for Half will begin.

For those of you who are interested in Half only because it is about fauns and centaurs, (Centaurs are the most awesome creatures in the whole world.) may I suggest to you an incredible ebook series by Yvon Hintz: HalfHorse:

Stay tuned!
Kurt Richardson

Friday, October 14, 2011

Progress with the Ball

I was originally planning on putting this as just a picture under production pictures, but I decided to give it its own post.

(click to enlarge)

CG Cave Test 2 (Better Lighting.) I spent lots of time on the ball itself, making it transparent and giving a nice soft shadow. There is actually a soft yellow light coming from the orb, and an ambient bluish light that counters it. I think that the ball is coming along quite nicely. It is now somewhat fully 3d. I used a CyCore Sphere effect with a texture from Video Copilot (See their Blue Planet 2 Tutorial for the After Effects expression that turns a CyCore Sphere into a fully 3D Sphere that is compatible with 3D Lights and the AE Virtual Camera.) Once we get the editing computer for the film, I'll make the HD version of the cave and really devote time to the walls. Right now they look VERY fake and they don't have any bump maps whatsoever. Adobe After Effects really isn't
a 3D modeling software, but I am really pushing it to be one for the sake of freedom to make whatever camera moves I want. The computer I am using now though is horrible for this. I nearly destroyed it rendering this frame. However, by Thanksgiving, I'll be using an HP Pavilion Elite to Edit the film and do all kinds of fun stuff in After Effects. I really hope to be able to make some After Effects tutorials for some of the effects in the movie that I made myself, (such as the fantasy creature effect) but for now that will have to wait. Stay tuned...

Kurt the very tired centaur who is taking the PSAT tomorrow.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Tribute to Patrick

All of the Half team has worked really hard to make this an exciting film. Right now, I'd like to honor Pat Fifelski. He has put in a lot of effort despite the fact that lots of us liked to joke about his stubbornness. But the great thing is Pat won't settle for anything less than the very best. Here's a great example from our sound files from our mic rig:

Please comment on your thoughts! Please forgive me Pat! :P

Patrick's Plan by Half Movie Project

Kurt Richardson
Directing Centaur

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

First Facts and a couple pictures


Half is a project about several teenagers who turn into mythical creatures, namely fauns and centaurs. Although they are a disjointed quartet, they must work together to outsmart the evil Randall Stevens and his crew of FBI thugs.

To begin, I'll brief you on who is who on the team.

That might be a little hard to see, but here are the names of the awesome people involved in the project from left to right:
  • John Sanders
  • Pat Fifelski (see him and me playing a concert here:
  • Kurt Richardson! (I'm the one who looks all excited for no good reason.)
  • Jared Viitala (Producer) (The green pants are going to be keyed out in post-production, but they really symbolize the project.)
  • Josh Sanders
  • Jack Sanders (Really smart guy playing a really stupid guy.)
  • Marie Martelli

We filmed a couple days where we did almost 8 straight hours with a break at Subway or McDonalds in between. Lots of fun all around. This film will be a pain in post-production but the cinematography is going to be great. We will be using Adobe After Effects and its Warp Stabilize engine ( to make our handheld footage appear to be shot on dollies and cranes, etc. It will really be epic. Well, that is all I have time for now. That was really discombobulated but hopefully you know a little more about this project.

Kurt Richardson
Directing Centaur for Mountainside View Multimedia

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Half Motion Picture Project

Hey Everybody,

So instead of ranting and raving about, "This is the first post of the production blog!" (Really it is just chance that this was the first post to some extent) I'll tell you what this project is all about. Half is a motion picture about mythical creatures in a northern Michigan town. The plot is really quite fascinating, but I can't say much right now. I'll be uploading a production picture or two in a couple of days. Stay tuned for a post from me or someone else on the epic team for a not as epic film.