The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Saturday, September 09, 2000

Independant Film Making

Every Saturday evening I play D&D with a group of friends, the oldest being in his mid-30s and the youngest, Marco, being 18.

Tonight Marco brought a video tape he and a friend made last year for extra credit. The project was a board game with a math theme and his group decided to adapt D&D. The video tape was a commercial they made of their “game,” mostly made by Marco's friend.

He popped the video in and hit play. Professional credits appeared and the music, while “borrowed” from another movie, was a good choice. Then the first scene: a mid shot from behind of a person wearing medival type garb walking. I wonder what film they took that shot from, I thought. Then a cut to a medium shot of Marco, wearing the outfit. Whoa! I thought. His friend is good with the cinematography!

Except for the occasional telephone pole (“It's a tree!” Marco would shout at us when we pointed it out) the setting was perfect.

“Hey Marco,” I said. “Where exactly did you film this?” This is South Florida. No palm trees and hills were visible.

“Hill Park in Coral Springs,” He said. Ah ha!

Even though the dragon was this cheesey computer generated dragon, it was impressive to realize that it was a high school student working on a home PC. I've seen B-movies with worse special effects.

Medium closeup of Marco, off to one side of the screen. Behind him is a thick forest of trees off in the distance when the dragon lands behind him, cutting him off from the forrest. “That was shot in front of a blue screen,” said Marco.

“Blue screen?”

“Yea, my friend made a blue screen.”

On video, Marco pulls out his sword; it glints in the sunlight. Next shot, medium long shot from above looking down. Marco in the upper left, the dragon taking up the rest of the screen. It starts attacking and Marco is reacting to it—decent job actually. Then it ends with a joke about there only being a dragon and no dungeons but that Bibo (the character Marco played) did die. It got a laugh.

An excellent job. I was seriously impressed.

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