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Redemption is a western that tells the story of the outlaw Jesse on the run from the lawman Sam and his deputies. Jesse is trapped by the lawmen in a little cabin inhabited by a starving woman and child. Their plight forces him to consider his own struggle for survival and the motives behind his life on the run.Shot in three weekends in March of 2007, this film represents over a year’s work of a small group of Virginia Tech students driven beyond the classroom by their passion for filmmaking.Cameras used: Canon HV30, Sony Z1USoftware used: Final Cut Pro, Motion (for visual effects), After Effects (for color correction using the process in the DV Rebels Guide), Illustrator (for graphics).

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End in Sight

Fall semester killed my time, so I’ve been working hard over winter break to bring Redemption to a finished product. Music is the only thing left to add, and I’ve been working with one of the producers on the film to find or compose what we need. In the meantime, I’ve begun work on the DVD – covers, menus, and special features.

This is the DVD cover so far. I finally found a visual style that I really like for the film. It features a wood background with images burned onto its surface. Text floats like light above it.

DVD Cover Layout

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Teaser Trailer

Incase you haven’t checked it out yet – see the teaser trailer:

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My $15 Camera Mount

I just wanted to show off a camera mount I built for a movie I shot this spring. It is based on a design I saw online for alot more than I wanted to spend. It is made out of PVC pipe and joints which, including the glue to hold it together was about $15. It has a simple threaded bolt that goes through a hole in the middle X joint and a thin piece of wood with bicycle intertube to better grip the camera base.

I heated the longer section of pipe in the oven until I was able to bend it in to a curve. This allows you to press forward with your hands to stabilize the rig against your neck, like you could with a camera strap. I don’t have the footage on this computer, but I’ll post some shots soon that I did using the mount.

It has been very helpful in shooting actions scenes, allowing me to get a very steady shot while still having much greater flexibility than a tripod. I also shot an interview in an art gallery with it.

I’ve used it both with the compact Canon HV20 and the larger Sony HVR-Z1U. Let me know what you think and if you have any questions – I’ll be glad to give you more details!

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The second cut is complete – that is most of the edits are final and the film just needs sound and visual effects! As I add these in, I’ll be refining this cut even more. Over the next week I’ll focus primarily on the visual effects, in particular the credits at the end and the logos at the beginning. I am just starting to get my feet wet in After Effects, so I’ll see what I can do in terms of animating those logos.

Look for a few more posts over the next couple days. I may post some pictures of the $15 camera mount I created for the film and some demo footage. I just got the DV Rebel’s Guide, which I am very excited to read. And hopefully I’ll post a review of it once I complete it.

Stay tuned.

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