We don't need no Stinkin' Moon

A while back, my buddy Joe and I went out to film. We didn't have a clue what we were going to film, but we had to get out of the house and it was a decent enough day. We took a short drive to a park, threw some ideas back and forth and decided to go with this.

Full Disclosure: As you may know, the main reason behind me starting this site, (other than just having a place to showcase my work), was so that I could critically analyze my work in a public way, calling out what I liked and what I didn't like about each piece. By putting all these thoughts on a public blog, I'll feel more accountable in improving. Besides the obvious benefit of me blowing up the moon, there were a few things that I wanted to attempt while produce this video. 

Background Inclusion/Replacement

In this piece, I wanted to add something that was clearly grand, but out of place. I chose our closest celestial body, the moon. I'm kind of fascinated with the idea that that there could be something so big that it takes a huge chunk of sky real estate. However, i'm not particularly sold on how I did this effect. Technically, it's there, but I think that the clouds obscure too much of the moon to make it recognizable. Couple that with the light tone of the sky, and it's a bit harder to make out. I'll have to make sure that the sky is much darker to add contrast in the future.

Gathering Energy

I love the concept that people can somehow gather and expel massive amounts of energy. Call it ki, The Force or Hadouken, it's always been something that I've found awesome. I wanted to show that it was taking a bit of effort for this character to generate something so substantial. While i'm not 100% sold on the idea of the streams of electricity coming from the fingers, it adds a bit of depth and texture to the overall effect. I particularly like the displaced air around the flare in the middle, adding texture again.

Traveling to the Moon

I do not have a rocket ship, so I had to totally fake the journey that the energy took from earth to the moon, obviously. And because there isn't any real life reference to go from, I had artistic liberty to make it whatever I wanted. I like the ideathat I went with here, but something is falling a bit short of the mark. Maybe it's too blue? And there doesn't seem to be enough atmosphere to sell the effect...

The Speed

I needed to have something to show the scale of how fast the ball of light was going. It's one thing to see it leave the characters hand, but to travel with it and see it leave the atmosphere felt like it'd be a good indicator of how fast it was going. 

The Crash

In retrospect, the piece could have done without this, but I liked the idea anyways. There needed to be something to show the impact the energy had with the moon, and bring closure to the journey that the energy took. To the best of my knowledge, there isn't anything explosive on the moon, but I needed something more substantial than the Wile. E puff of smoke. Again, there's something that the effect is lacking that makes it come short of being extra believable to me.

The Aftermath

Who doesn't like glowy eyes? As a closer, I guess this could have been better, but for my purposes, I think it worked ok. After the tension and release, I needed to bring it back to a managable expectation, and I think having the eyes fade back to normal worked out well. However, it brought out a continuity error, with two eyes glowing at the end, and only one glowing just before the beam was released.

Final Thoughts

First, I'm just glad to have finally released a new video after so long. While editing the visual effects and cutting it together, i was reminded of how much I enjoyed doing this. As for the video itself, I give myself a C+. Certain shots could have been more in focus, and exposure levels led to many issues with the final product. Planning the story out better might have led to better camera angles, thus more impactful visuals. 

But, it ain't bad.