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June 29, 2008

Lush, Green

The other night, I had an allergic reaction to something I ate, and my throat closed up. By the time it finally untwisted on Saturday morning, my vocal cords were strung out and strangled, and my voice was reduced to a raspy warble. Which didn't stop me from meeting up with Clay and having a light lunch of tropical vodka cocktails. After all, what's better than getting slightly inebriated on a hot summer afternoon? I'll tell you: getting slightly inebriated on a hot summer afternoon and then going to shoot green screen sequence for your movie!


Shooting on green screens can be exhausting and frustrating - hence the need for libation - but I still get a little bit giddy about them. There's an old photo in some old book depicting an ILM effects technician holding two TIE Fighers on rods in front of a blue screen, shooting a sequence from one of the first Star Wars films. This image and all the possibilities it represented set my young imagination alight; it encapsulates, in way, quite a bit of what made me want to be a filmmaker in the first place. I couldn't find that picture on the internet, so I had Clay pose in a rough estimation, seen above. We were shooting paper airplanes instead of spaceships, but as far as the technique goes, it turns out there's not that much difference between the two.

After we knocked out the shots, we went to another watering hole for mojitos, compelled by the ingering after effects of Colin Farrell's irresistibly guttural testament to the Cuban cocktail in Miami Vice (which I'd just rewatched a few days earlier). Shortly afterwards, Toby and I hopped in the car and took off to Austin, where we met up with friends and went out for margaritas, which didn't do my absent voice any favors but certainly kept the day on target.

Posted by David Lowery at June 29, 2008 11:20 PM


What, no mention of your TRUE inspiration for this shot? Are you in fear of invoking the great one's true name? We'll just call him M.B. here. And the film in question? The blueprint for this paper airplane dive bomb scene? Two initials. P.H. Let's just say the bombs released from the enemy jets weren't the only ones dropped.

Posted by: clay Liford at June 30, 2008 2:16 PM

I actually made a little diagram in Photoshop illustrating this, but the screen grab I culled from YouTube was so fuzzy that I didn't think people would know what it was. Check it.

Posted by: David Lowery at June 30, 2008 2:26 PM