found: quantity of sheep are an experimental perth band of whom we first heard getting regularly air-play on anarchist radio show News From Nowhere,
so when word came thru from a fellow filmmaker of their film project we were quick to put our hands up. When we got involved there were only two tracks from the
9 track album left to chose from, the 5 minute closing track & the 50 second track 5 [was originally track 4 for a while] which we finally went for. A 50 second track
doesn't sound like much to get excited about but fortunately it was the track that most matched our visual sensability from the album.
the concept for our clip was initially sketched out during the busride to work, gazing at endless new suburban developments, thinking of oil-crash cannibalism and industrial-era mass-production. the concept was the easy part. as is usual for our films we spend months doing nothing until we're running short on time & then act on
getting our shit together. it took ages to find an actor, well we weren't really looking, more hoping one would just appear. same with the car.
eventually we roped in Natasha Gitnar, a flat-mate from Germany and summoned the car from a long-time friend who we hadn't seen for ages.
the first day of shooting was on the 26th February 2005 with the boyd kids, jesse & jakob, with a lil help from their ma's arm. as you can see from this image
we do shit the hard way! instead of having a pretty lil green screen setup we decided to be lazy in the production side to create a greater
burden in the post side. yep thats right this whole shot was cut-out frame by frame! it was also sped up a heap & due to its ambitious dolly & crane
movement the shot is as shakey as fuck! cue: attempt to conceal this fact with alot of shadow.
the second day of shooting two weeks later 12th March 2005. you're not a real filmmaker until you've made a war movie so lets get this out of the way.
wide shots like these with lots of destruction blow out budgets but this one cost us only $30 [or was it $60] for an army helmet from the surplus
store on wellington street. its not the modern day thing, possibly a Vietnam or WWII era thing but adds to the effect & is a hell of alot safer than doing
the cinéma vérité thing! this time we made a bit of an attempt at blue screening but again laziness got the better of us. we really should have dragged
more than one board outside but there's nothing we enjoy more than hours upon hours sat in front of a computer screen rotoscoping 4 people throwing
rocks and lead at one another.
the bulk of shooting was done over the easter long weekend 25th-28th March 2005. On the 25th we backed the car up into Murdoch Uni's TV studio.
Surprisingly it didn't leave any tyre marks but we really had to clean up the storage area of that flithy place to get it in there.
26th March 2005 was a damn long day considering the amount of screen time this footage was going to get. Marian Peck, her daughter Veronica, and
one of her students Billy Thomlinson came in to gore up Natasha.
The 5 seconds of black & white 'Tetsuo'-like images at the end of the clip were
the most gruelling, taking 'only' 9 hours to film. Initially I had the insane notion that I would be able to do these prosthetic effects myself
but quickly realized that wasn't going to happen. Marian is a professional make-up artist & beauty thearipist with a soft spot for gorey stuff.
The grazed skin was created using liquid latex and bits of tissue paper with fake blood applied with a sponge.
The bigger chunks of flesh like the
glass in the shoulder were made with 'false-flesh' and a plastic lid cut into the shape of glass.
This scene was more bloody than i was expecting
but not as animated as i wanted, mainly due to short notice since we only contacted Marian the week before.
We filmed junk in my backyard on the 27th March 2005. The blue tarp working surprisingly well as a blue screen held up with some C-Stands. A few
objects like the TV & guitar amp that fly past the car window were placed on a lazy-susan so they could be rotated to give them a 3 dimensional
quality. Most of the other objects in the final composite are still photos.
The 28th of March 2005 was another busy day of filming. firstly up early for a stills photo session at a supermarket to sample images to
build the checkout. This process involves taking images as front-on as possible to sample each side of the checkout & then cropping and positioning
these 2D images in 3D space to create the object that you can then add artifical cameras to navigate around. It's basically 3D modelling except you're
limited to creating objects that are very square like doom-era computer games or as f:qs asked "did you create that in the Sims or something?"
After taking the samples we then cut across to the TV studio again to film ourselves queuing up at the supermarket! yep that's right, that is the body
of riche with the tiger head & helena as the checkout sheep. we're duplicated a few times wearing different clothes in the final shot. Also filmed some
background plates for the driving sequences by hanging from the back of my brothers van.
From here onwards we were still picking up shots and samples along the way but now was the post-production side. Just when we thought it'd be plain
sailing from here & we'd meet the April 30th deadline easily... the 2 year old video card in my machine got fried. I'm not sure whether it was
just age or the powercut that killed it but either way it took about 3 weeks to diganose and $400 to replace. I think
it was the workload that it was under, running the monitor resolution at 1280x1024 32bit, never cleaning the heatsinks on the card in 2 years, and
switching After Effects RAM previews to the video card's Open GL to make rendering faster blew a pipe in it :(
The clip was handed to the band 2 weeks late but they were smart enough to know that filmmaker's never meet deadlines & had actually bluffed us
with an early deadline.