It’s awesome that filmmaker Taz Goldstein made a funny and high-quality short film using a greenscreen in his living room. That would be enough. But he’s also put out a series of videos showing how it was done!
The short is called 2084 — yes, it’s set one century after Orwell’s 1984. Taz shot it in his “cramped living room, with a one-person crew, and a budget just south of $40.” I take that $40 to mean in additional outlays for 3D models beyond the resources he already had on hand. The software, camera, lights and greenscreen involved would be more. But still, it’s impressive.
To see how it was done, watch the short play side-by-side with the raw greenscreen footage:
Next, take a gander at this tutorial where Taz demonstrates how he was able to animate the short using an After Effects plug-in called Element 3D:
Taz has also helpfully posted links to all the software and 3D model websites mentioned in the video on the Vimeo page. Check it out. It’s better than a donut thing!
UPDATE: I asked Taz about how much of a time investment it was to make. Believe it or not, this 3 minute short has been 20 years in the making:
The short is based on a 20 year-old sketch. Yes, really. Byrne Offutt wrote and performed the sketch at the Acme Comedy Theater in Hollywood back in 1995. I loved it, and wanted to turn it into a short film, but we didn’t have the resources back then. Flash forward 20 years. I was learning to use Element 3D, and realized it would be a great tool to create 2084… and I could learn how to use the software while making the short. Byrne and I revised the original script to make it more contemporary. The re-write was very quick since the sketch was already very well established. Byrne liked my contributions and insisted I take shared writing credit, but really, it was mostly Byrne.
We shot it in about 6 hours, in my living room. I’ve attached a couple other images of the shoot, if that helps. By the way… the three donuts in the movie doubled as craft service. :)
Post[production]… well, that’s another story. It SHOULD have taken me about a month to do all the animation, but it took considerably longer for 2 reasons: 1. I was in production most of the year (and hardly had any time off), and 2. I had no idea what I was doing in the software. All in all, post was spread out in tiny chunks over the course of a year. It that made me crazy. Next time, one month or bust.