Making-2084-Before-AfterIt’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.

Making-2084-Living-Room-Set

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!

Making-2084-Taz-Behind-CameraUPDATE: 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.