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

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the all-filmed-completely-underwater dept.

Movies 35

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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Best and Worst Parts About Kickstarting? (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#41390641)

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?)

Re:Best and Worst Parts About Kickstarting? (1)

WinstonWolfIT (1550079) | more than 2 years ago | (#41390755)

BZZT

That was two questions.

Melbourne Vs Hollywood? (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#41390663)

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?

Re:Melbourne Vs Hollywood? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#41390707)

> 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....

Re:Melbourne Vs Hollywood? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#41391607)

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.

Re:Melbourne Vs Hollywood? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#41393407)

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? (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#41390683)

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?

Re:Why Troll Bridge? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#41391017)

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.

Re:Why Troll Bridge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41393787)

When Daniel/Snowgum started working on this, there were no other live-action Discworld film adaptations. Troll Bridge was hopefully to be the first! But of course that didn't happen, and since then there's been the three telemovies and a few other (very very low budget) fan films.

[I'm one of the original backers from when the project started, and have known Daniel for over 10 years. However, apart from throwing money at it, I'm not involved in the production of Troll Bridge at all]

Geek Hate (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#41390747)

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?

Are? (0)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#41390799)

Are you sitting comfortably?

Did he have to pay a troll toll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41390807)

To get into this Pratchett's soul?

Have to wait until I'm a home.. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#41390905)

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.

Re:Have to wait until I'm a home.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41393487)

I liked The Hogfather and Going Postal. Yes, they both had the problems you get when you try to adapt a book to film but I found them both quite enjoyable and reasonably well acted. Avoid The Colour of Magic, both the movie and the book but especially the movie.

Re:Have to wait until I'm a home.. (3, Interesting)

Kiwikwi (2734467) | more than 2 years ago | (#41393629)

Anyone wondering about the quality of this endeavor should check out the silly Discworld short that Snowgum Films did without a budget: Run Rincewind Run! [snowgumfilms.com]

There's also the behind-the-scenes [kickstarter.com] pictures [flickr.com] .

Post Processing: Color Correction (2)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#41390959)

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.

Equipment: What Cameras were you using? (4, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#41390965)

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?

Re:Equipment: What Cameras were you using? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41396195)

The New Zealand leg was on the Red One, the studio shoot was on an Epic. No DSLRs were harmed in the making of the film.

Post Production: What tool(s) did you use to edit? (3, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#41390989)

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?

More information needed! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41390995)

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

Re:More information needed! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41391569)

What's your favorite lube to use with your favorite He-man figurine?

Re:More information needed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41395869)

She-ra...

Don't fall for it! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41391053)

Sir, how does it feel to know that with all of your efforts that neckbeards are going to mock you for not doing well enough when these same neckbeards have done little more with their own lives than to deliver pizzas to my home?

Alzheimer's (2)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | more than 2 years ago | (#41391281)

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.

question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41392669)

I have not had the chance to read/find Troll Bridge yet, does it follow the events of The Last Hero?

Re:question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41393755)

Troll Bridge was written many years before The Last Hero. According to vague L-Space chronology, the story kind of fits between The Light Fantastic and Interesting Times in Cohen's personal timeline.

Troll Bridge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41393595)

I wonder who will be starring as Intellectual Ventures, SCO and Righthaven?

Previz as an aid to direction (2)

shikari666 (770101) | more than 2 years ago | (#41395727)

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.

Regarding expectations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41396327)

I have recently been aware of the learnings I have made through differing expectations. What surprised you most, or was least as you expected, in the process of making this particular film in the way you did; and what did you learn from that?

Next movie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41396365)

So Daniel, Blue here. Given your long standing history with theatrical depictions of Discworld novels, and of course this film, what's the next Discworld venture on the horizon?

wow (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | more than 2 years ago | (#41398613)

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.

Re:wow (1)

hman (141328) | about 2 years ago | (#41410841)

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 characters thinks you will not be disappointed. If you never read those... well that depends on your taste of humor and intellect.

Seeing it in Europe (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41407915)

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 ;)

Any more plans for the Discworld movies? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41407925)

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

Seamstress Guild (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41418807)

We are going to limit our questions to your favorite form of carbonation, how dry you like your socks, and how do you expect to survive through the pandemic of Drop Bears.

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