The Making of Dragon Control - TSS
The planning of the Dragon Control sketch started a month before with the biggest obstacle being the actual set of the wall.
With initial ideas being set in a simple wall backdrop with the White Walker climbing over to camera.
As writing and performance changed the script to what it is now, it was clear that we had to go bigger to establish this world of The North and make it believable.
For the construction materials I used 100% foam board and styrofoam from old bounce boards left over from past projects and donated v-flat boards donated from Mr. Roberto Serrini. The frame took two days of assembly inside my office with only gaff/packing and scotch tape and one later day of painting (thanks to my boss D).
For the design of the snow look I contacted Brusan molding cloth who made a significant impact on the sketch with their donation of several rolls of their product. (Thank you Laurens)
Overall the set design, construction and painting/finalizing took just over a week of actual production.
The Costumes were also crucial to sell the characters status at first glance. I went with a simple all black concept for the actors (pants and coats) and purchased three feet of faux fur and spray painted it black for the shoulders.
The capes you see in the video were actually just black window curtains that were lying in our office unused (saving money) but I thought sold it better with those silver rings that we used to hold together. Also if you look at my legs, there is an abundance of gaff tape covering up black nike sweat pants :)
The final props needed were the weapons which were actually leftover swords and spears from TSS’s first “big” budget short SOUND THE TRUMPETS from season 1. you’ll see that the coincidence of my character having an actual Dragon sword was a lucky break.
We were very excited to be given the chance to film this short with the new RED EPIC X from bigapplefilms. Although we were looking to release online, we had options of cropping into a frame since the resolution we shot in was so high (5k). That camera is amazing and definitely up’d the ante again. Thank you baf.
With filming only taking a day, we had a deadline of five days to have a final version ready for launch to coincide with the new season of Game of Thrones season 3 weekend.
This burden fell heavy on the editing juggernaut Nick Snow, who was able to get picture locked within two days with most of the final tweaks falling just hours before launch on Friday the 29th.
Our post sound dept waited on standby with music and final audio tweaking. Keith Nolan of Awen Audio Design was so on the ball that I didn’t even receive a text from him regarding notes or questions. As always, he delivered.
For the post VFX, we really wanted to ensure we went the extra step for creating the vastness of the north. For that, we had Mr. Daniel Dacian of bigapplefilms create an amazing open shot in After Effects which sold the initial setting immediately.
For the view of the “snow fort” on the wall, we had a mix of photoshop blending of a still image which is comprised from more than five separate actual photos I found and masking the final video overtop with color correction hopefully blending all of the inconsistencies, which it def did.This was also the reason we launched an hour later than our aim of 6pm. It was worth the extra hour of work.
Overall this was the biggest set design/valued production i’ve been in charge of design wise and am incredibly happy with it’s final. I appreciate all the great work that was done to get it out and thank you all for sharing if you’ve done so already.
Here is a link to the video.
the next post will have a collection of photos from initial concept all the way to final project.