Production Blog 03/25/2008

Yo Reader,

I’ve heard you missed me. You’ve yearned for my writings over the last few months. Thought about me during those quite moments in your life…

Since my last blog I have accomplished 3 of my life goals:

Special Effects Cinematographer?
For what?
Not a crappy 16mm student film about your step father (Oh really, it was black and white?… yes, I would love to lose 15 minutes of my life watching it) or the internet video of you and the fellas made dancing to Soulja Boy’s “Superman” shirtless (hilarious, guys, keep making the world smile). I am a Special Effects Cinematographer for SOUTH PARK.

This week we travel back to 1981 to the movie HEAVY METAL! A Canadian tale produced by Ivan Reitman (Space Jam) voiced by the likes of John Candy (The Clown Murders) with a Soundtrack including Sammy Haggar (The Waboritas).

Heavy Metal employed a classic animation technique born in 1915 by Max Fleischer called Rotoscoping. Wikipedia defines Rotoscoping as an animation technique in which animators trace over live-action film movement, frame by frame, for use in animated films. One half of this week episode is done traditional South Park style while the other half is rotoscoped from footage filmed in house.

R Emmett enough with all of that knowledge, how does this relate to you and your greatness?
Well virgin reader, The Park needed someone with vision, a keen eye, a Mastery of the Fine Arts to put all the action on digital video(DV). The Powers That Be (PTB) only had one name in mind? R EMMETT SIBLEY.

Daryl ( Line Producer) organized several shoots. Adrien (producer / storyboard supervisor) told me of his vision and directed the action. The PA staff Nate (best boy) Mike (key grip) and Gary (? an extra hand I guess?) pitched in to make the magic happen. C-stands, sand bags, a green screen, 3 – 650s and 12 C-47s were used to whip a together a 3 point lighting scheme that would make Christopher Doyle (cool film reference) sit up and beg for buttermilk (another cool film reference). My subject: the beautiful Lisa Daniels, a hard working actress that has starred in over 29 films in 3 years, showed us how Heavy our Metal can get. Google her… you won’t be sorry.

I set my f-stop to around f/4, looked at the 42 inch plasma monitor and watched South Park come to life. The footage was then rushed to our main room where animators hired to rotoscope the footage for this episode went to work on Cintiq monitors. Everything was animated frame by frame without paper. This mixture of digital know-how mixed with good old-fashioned movie making was a site to see. Is this another Emmy-winning episode? answer: Only time will tell. (*!WINK!*) The show centers around boobs. The Academy of Television Science loves boobs. That’s how “Two and a Half Men” has won 4 Emmy’s and 1 People’s Choice Award. Lots of Boobs… Boobs.

Enjoy the Major Boobage.

Special Effects Cinematographer
R Emmett Sibley