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Ask Director Daniel Knight About Filming Terry Pratchett's "Troll Bridge" 35

Posted by timothy
from the all-filmed-completely-underwater dept.
Daniel Knight, besides being an actor, D&D fanatic, and collector of He-Man figurines, is the director of a film version of Terry Pratchett's Discworld story Troll Bridge that's been enabled by a massive Kickstarter campaign. Filming has finished (you can see some of the raw and intermediate footage linked from that story) and now all the rest of the work that goes into the finishing and releasing the movie is underway. Why this film? Knight says he "ended up acting a small role in a short film called Star Wars: Broken Allegiance. My performance was terrible. But that introduced me to the world of fan films, and I started wondering if it would be possible to do a Discworld one." The project is clearly a labor of love — it's a massive undertaking on a shoestring budget, with a tough goal: "Troll Bridge aims to be the largest scale short film in history. Using resources garnered over eight solid years of dedication, love, sweat, and tears – Troll Bridge has already begun exceeding expectations as to what should be anticipated from a short form production." The cast and crew (even the caterers) are all volunteers, but it still takes money to construct sets, create costumes, and buy time with needed equipment. Daniel has graciously agreed to answer your questions about the process; as with other Slashdot interviews, you're invited to ask as many questions as you'd like, but please ask them in separate posts.
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Ask Director Daniel Knight About Filming Terry Pratchett's "Troll Bridge"

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @02:34PM (#41390641) Journal
    What were the best and worst parts about your experience running a Kickstarter campaign? Whether it be about the Kickstarter site in particular or generic to any "crowdsourcing" platform. Any advice to anyone thinking about launch such a campaign? (and please don't say simply "do it" -- any words of caution about how you structure and suggest the price your reward tiers?)
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @02:36PM (#41390663) Journal
    At Slashdot we have a love/hate relationship with Hollywood. While it produces some of our favorite movies, it also has a lot of criticism directed at it. We rant about the MPAA, copyright law, Hollywood accounting and even the general stagnation of its creativity [shortoftheweek.com]. As an (apparent) outsider to that who also wants to make films, how do you view Hollywood? Inspiration? Repressive? Hostile? A future paycheck?
    • by roc97007 (608802)

      > At Slashdot we have a love/hate relationship with Hollywood.

      What he said, but mostly hate.

      > As an (apparent) outsider to that who also wants to make films, how do you view Hollywood? Inspiration? Repressive? Hostile? A future paycheck?

      Or, the oldest, creakiest, most inbred empire in the world, about to collapse under it's own fetid weight?

      Just sayin....

      • by geekoid (135745)

        You are wrong. Hollywood produces remarkable movies every year, just like it always has. It' also puts out a bunch of stuff you aren't interested, like it always has, and it puts out a bunch of crap, like it has always done.
        It has some pretty good turn over of talent.

        Yeah, MPAA is out of hand, but that's a different discussion.

        • by roc97007 (608802)

          Two words: John Carter.

          Exemplifying everything that's wrong with old school film producing, and why we need a different way. Check out the L5 project, or ... Troll Bridge.

  • Why Troll Bridge? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @02:37PM (#41390683) Journal
    Why Troll Bridge? Why not another Discworld novel [wikipedia.org] or short story [wikipedia.org]? Perfect length? Was it the easiest to envision? Requires the least special effects? Your favorite of the Discworld stories? The only one you could secure the rights to?
    • by ackthpt (218170)

      Why Troll Bridge? Why not another Discworld novel [wikipedia.org] or short story [wikipedia.org]? Perfect length? Was it the easiest to envision? Requires the least special effects? Your favorite of the Discworld stories? The only one you could secure the rights to?

      I think small budgets have not done justice to any of the Discworld films I've seen so far. They're good, but nothing like they should be. I understand Pterry is wary of Hollywood doing a number on his books and has thus shied from their money and producers.

  • No matter how good or poor you do the movie, you will get a slew of people who just hate it and said you have ruin the story for them.
    Why do you think there is such a large group of these people?

  • by JustOK (667959)

    Are you sitting comfortably?

  • But of the Discworld films I've seen done so far, I really feel they've been hurt by working under small budgets (TV movie, rather than cinematic) Going Postal was a bit painful to watch, set in a couple of derelict old buildings with a small square between. Hope to see some better films as the books are great.

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @03:00PM (#41390959) Homepage Journal
    What tools are you using in post production for color correction?

    I'm starting to learn to do some 'home films', using a HDDSLR, and have recently discovered DaVinci Resolve 9 Lite (free version). I was wondering if you used this tool (Resolve) in particular, and could describe the process with it...details of the process greatly appreciated.

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @03:02PM (#41390965) Homepage Journal
    What cameras were you using? Red? Any DSLR's like the Canon 5D3? What were the pro's / con's of the different cameras you were using?
  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @03:04PM (#41390989) Homepage Journal
    As I commented in a previous question, I'm a novice (very) film maker, and am learning about editing my content.

    I'm wondering what tool(s) you were using? Final Cut Pro X, Avid, Adobe Tool Suite? Why did you use what you did? Can you give some details of your workflow processes with these tools?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @03:05PM (#41390995)

    What is your favorite item in your He-Man figurine collection?

  • by Penurious Penguin (2687307) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @03:34PM (#41391281) Homepage Journal
    Slightly off topic, but for those who don't know of Terry Pratchett's battle with Alzheimer's and its effects on his life and writing, here's an hour-long documentary on the subject, including his interesting and thought-provoking visit to Dignitas [wikipedia.org] in Switzerland:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=slZnfC-V1SY [youtube.com]
    I found it quite depressing and wouldn't recommend it to those similarly inclined. It is pretty powerful, or so I think.
  • What are the challenges you faced in directing performances for fantastical elements that aren't really there and what kind of previz was done in advance to help with that? It looks like your main camera was the Epic. I'd be interested the role your DP and FX Supervisor (What else has Brendan Penny supervised?) respectively played in working out the vision for the piece. Thanks. Also congratulations.
  • According to wikipedia, the storyline is a guy wants to go slay a troll and instead they end up talking and complaining and then...the end. How could anyone possibly turn a story like that into a movie that didn't utterly suck? It sounds like Ayn Rand redid Forest Gump but 100x worse.
    • by hman (141328)
      Go and read it. It is not just any guy but an established character (from other books) with a kind of mind and acting quite different from conventional "fantasy" style characters - which the Discworld books quite definitively are not.
      They end up talking and complaining and thinking we are on opposite sides but of the same position, while other people have other positions we don't like a bit from a get-off-my-lawn POV, and it does not just end but is quite coherent.
      If you know and like how the main charact
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I know you present some of the material at various cons, are there any planes for going to Europe? We would be happy to see you and talk to you in Poland ;)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Are there any more planes for the Discworld movies? I would be surprised if you've finished with just 1 success like this ;)

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