For the Robotmedia
film festival in Berkeley (archive.org link), I produced a short video with my
girlfriend Kelsi and dog Micky. This is not Micky's first performance
(but this one might have been).
Download the movie:
Kelsi and I wrote the story over lunch on 2004/1/29. We shot that night from
19:29-21:58 and got 36min of footage. It's mostly shots of the dog
resting. We didn't break any dishes while shooting, but I shattered
the vase while I was packing up.
A theme of this festival was 'silent'. The entrants make silent movies
and a live band accompanies them at the show. The point of our movie
was to film a story that relied completely upon sound effects, and
then to present all the sounds in the picture.
I cut the show in several hours with cuisine,
an open-source editor. I delivered the picture early the next week, so
the band could see it and prepare their music. I produced the title
effects over two days on the week of the show.
Screenshot of cuisine's timeline interface
editing this show (before I did the audio mix using the show audio)
The titles are generated by a Python program that I wrote for this
show. It's about 160 lines of code. The program generates all the
moves from equations in the code- any 'keyframing' came from trial and
error adjustment of expressions like "5*sin(id*4)+(25*f)*sin(30)". I
could see the graphics in real time, and see the composited show
pretty quickly, too, so I went through hundreds of iterations.
titles.py has a mode where it can render larger than the output frame
and then scale down, which is how I antialiased some of the effects.
titles.py - program to write DV files for all
11 title effects
pygamedv.py - module for starting up
pygame and optionally resizing and sending
the display to encodedv (part of the libdv
The fonts are all from Larabie
Fonts. I didn't seem to have a program around that would preview
a bunch of ttf files that weren't setup as X11 fonts, so I wrote
one. The result is less than twice as long as
this paragraph, thanks to pygame and SDL.
As mentioned above, I worked on the movie in silence. After I set the
timing, the band Legends & Deeds prepared the music and performed it
live at the show. That was the first time I ever heard the soundtrack,
and I think it's super. In the movie files above, you hear a recording
right from the band's mixer during the live performance. At the end, I
crossfade to a room mic to hear the audience.
Software used, beyond what's commonly distributed with Linux
I used mozilla to display my captured footage (screenshot),
and the dv1394 kernel driver to output DV back to tape.
- dvgrab - move DV from camcorder to disk
- libdv - DV decoding and encoding
- cuisine - browse and edit footage, composite titles
- ffmpeg - write VBR mpeg movies from DV
- transcode - write divx movies from DV