Archive for October, 2007

Help us build the Nazi Moonbase!

October 26th, 2007 by Timo Vuorensola

Dear Wreckers & Iron Sky people, we need your help!

One of the biggest challenges in the production of the Iron Sky demo has been creating the Nazi Moonbase. Although we’ve had some pretty wonderful submissions by great artists from all over the world, we also want to hear your ideas.

The Nazi Moon Base itself is pretty much ready (although texturing and detailing are still a work in progress), but we need you to help us with designing the surrounding of the base. Everything from a brief idea description to a full 3D model are appreciated!

This task is open until 30 November 2007.

DESCRIPTION OF THE TASK

Design elements for the environment surrounding the Nazi Moon Base. Submit your ideas and textual descriptions to the forum. Pictures can be submitted either there or directly to us via email.

TASK REFERENCE

The Schwarze Sonne, the secret Nazi stronghold located on the Far Side of the Moon, is a huge complex built to house thousands of Nazis and their war machinery. The central structure is the fortress built in the shape of a swastika. Surrounding the main construction, many smaller elements have been built to support the everyday lives of the Nazis and the preparation of their return to the Earth.

The technology is pretty much 40′s style, since technologically the Nazis have not been developing much since they came to the Moon. But they’ve had plenty of time to build big, strong elements, tools, vehicles and weapons. You may think of this as a crude steampunkish world, but please keep a touch of realism to your designs.

The fortress is located in a shadowy crater, about 2 kilometres across, and the main building is about 1.2 kilometres in diameter, making it about twice the size of the Pentagon. Around it can be pretty much anything, from barracks and construction platforms to whatever you can come up with – you have the freedom to invent anything. Use your imagination!

SUBMITTING IDEAS / PICTURES / 3D MODELS

We accept anything from short idea descriptions to detailed documentations, from raw, hand-drawn sketches to detailed 3D models.

Material can be posted to by “>replying to the thread, or by sending them to our email address at info@ironsky.net.

COPYRIGHTS & CONTACTING

All the rights to the material submitted must be in the possession of the contributor. The contributor must allow the worldwide, royalty free commercial use of the material in the production of the film “Iron Sky”, and other material related to it (mainly: the demo and promotional material).

REFERENCE MATERIAL

Here you can find some reference material to help you understand the scale and form of the surrounding area and the fortress. You may download these and start working on them, or just use them as a reference – whatever suits your methods best.

Preview of the Nazi Moonbase

This is a draft render of the scene. The camera angle & picture framing are quite close to the final.

Nazi Moonbase where the Pentagon should be (not a political comment)

To understand the scale of the fortress, here’s a quick mockup of the surroundings of the Pentagon.

Other images for reference can be found at our newly created Iron Sky gallery.

WHY TO DO THIS?

We like to believe that the community can be an active producer of quality content, and would like to use this as a test platform for the idea itself. Your help will be crucial and your participation highly appreciated!

If you produce something that can be utilised, your name will be mentioned, of course, in the thanks. If you produce art that can be used to create a 3D model, you’ll be credited as a ‘preproduction artist’. If you produce a model fully usable in this process, you’ll get the title of ‘modeller’. And naturally, you still hold the moral rights to the material, just as long as you grant us the rights to use it in Iron Sky.

Get creative and discuss the task!

Leikkaa Joulutarinalle traileri.

October 25th, 2007 by Jarmo Puskala

(This entry discusses the Finnish film Christmas Story and their new competition. We’ll be writing about the film in english later on.)

Jo Cannes-jutussa mainittu Joulutarina jatkaa asioiden tekemistä oikein. Tuotantoyhtiö on yhdessä Plazan kanssa julistanut trailerikilpailun. Tarjolla on viitisen minuuttia kuvaa elokuvasta, kolme biisiä ja neljä erilaista kertojaääntä. Näistä parhaan trailerin leikannut voittaa matkan New Yorkiin.

Maailmallahan näitä trailerikilpailuita on nähty jo aiemmin, mutta tämä taitaa olla ensimmäinen kerta kun sellainen järjestetään Suomessa. Se, että kyseinen elokuva on nimenomaan Joulutarina ei ole suurikaan yllätys, löytyyhän siltä jopa muodikas MySpace-profiilikin. Niin ja tietysti itse elokuva näyttää todella hyvältä. Tuossa viiden minuutin pätkässä on niin komeaa kuvaa, ettei moista ole pahemmin tässä maassa nähty.

Ja virallinen traileri näyttää tältä:

Elokuvasäätiö uutisoi, että Miehen Työ palkittiin jälleen kerran. Tässähän ei ole mitään uutta, mutta uutisen tekstiin oli hautautunut huomattavasti mullistavampi tieto siitä, että Rutger Hauer piti Miehen Työstä.

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die. “

When In Rome…

October 24th, 2007 by Timo Vuorensola

When in Rome…

For me, this autumn has been all about running around at different conferences and seminars around the world. I’m not complaining, though – it’s always nice to meet interesting new people and engage in valuable conversations, not to mention the possibility to visit countries I’ve never been to.

As winter comes, it seems that most of the bigger conferences and seminars are over. I’m returning now from my last major one this year, the Roma Film Fest held – obviously – in Rome. I’ve got my backpack stacked with cheese, pasta and wine, but more than that, I think RFF must’ve been one of the most enlightening of these seminars I’ve visited.

The title of the event was ‘World Going Digital’, and the main focus was the cross-platform linking of different medias – mainly, how to get the four main arenas (movie theaters, TV, Internet and mobile) to work together. The cast was pretty influential, a lot of people representing their own platforms and boasting vastly different views on how the future will operate. I was of course among the ‘left wing’ speakers, but the presentations on the other side were just as informative, by the president of the Italian Anti-Piracy Association. Although I didn’t agree with most of their policies, it’s always more educating to hear the opinions of the Other Side than rephrasings of the same views that you already agree with.

The strength of RFF’s World Going Digital seminar was indeed in this point – it was not a free-for-all fight, but there was a balance between all the sides of the discussion. Unlike the New Context Conference in Tokyo that I attended, which was more about meeting people and finding contacts, at RFF I think I actually learned something – or at least was able to widen my perspective.

Temple of Venus

The seminar was held in an old temple of Venus built back in the Middle Ages.


Ferrari vs. Lada

Coming to Italy on the eve of the Formula 1 championship race was nice, although nobody seemed to acknowledge the F1 races and Ferrari’s triumph. I actually needed a Nokia executive to tell me the results, since the Italians knew nothing about it.

In my presentation, where I introduced Star Wreck, I focussed on the fact that filmmakers fail to utilise the potential of the Internet. The backbone of the presentation was an analogy:

“Definition of a modern filmmaker: a person driving a Lada, when he has a Ferrari in his garage.”

I went on to discuss the reasons for not driving the Ferrari – you either don’t have the keys to it, you don’t know how to drive, or you are afraid to drive it. The first two are things that can be fixed easilly, but the fear is always psychological, and requires other methods to get over. Then I talked about the primary fears of the filmmaker, and finally granted the audience the key to the Internet – the community, and the key to the community – participation.

It seems that Italy is lagging behind a bit technologically at least in the media field – people were still talking about VOD services as if they were something pretty new, and the bigger newspapers were still wondering how the online newspaper will fit in, whereas e.g. in Japan these issues were so old that nobody even wanted to mention them. Also, user-generated content was feared and the creative chaos of the Internet was seen as if not a negative thing, then at least a very suspicious business.

I talked about communities and participation, showed them the Star Wreck trailer and told them about Star Wreck Studios. Finally I presented the premise of Iron Sky: (“In 1945, the Nazis went to the moon; in 2018, they are coming back”), which received a standing ovation. These are the moments when I love my job. :)

Anti-piracy panel at the Rome Film Festival
A panel discussing anti-piracy and all that… Oh boy, were they lost with their thoughts and beliefs. It’ll take many years before we can expect good decisions from the field they now call ‘anti-piracy’.

Dining With the Dinosaurs

One of the most interesting people in the audience was Mr Robert Pisano, the president/COO of the Motion Picture Association of America, the head honcho of the Hollywood industry, representing the Big Six. After the seminar, he invited a group of speakers to dinner, and we had a tremendously good dinner in a small but wonderful restaurant close by.

He was interested in all new things, and I had time to tell him a little about Star Wreck (and gave the DVD to him). After listening to some of us who had been doing films in a pretty different way, he admitted that he felt like a dinosaur. Of course it’s hard to understand his world, the massive multi-billion industry, from the perspective of small Internet film makers, but these encounters are important to all parties if we want to see some sustainable change happening in the future.

To wrap up the RFF on Wreck’s behalf this year, it was a massive success. Star Wreck is now well known among the professionals in the Italian film industry, and who knows, we might even get the DVD out there as well. I had great time in Rome, and although I didn’t have too much time to check out the city (my best view of the Colosseum was from the plane when leaving the country…), I enjoyed my time there.

Next, I hope I can go to South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, but I can only cross my fingers. I should know in a couple of weeks, though – and I’ll let you know as well as soon as I do.

Timo, signing out while arriving to Tampere.

Stardust.

October 22nd, 2007 by Jarmo Puskala

Falling stars in Stardust.

If I hadn’t been watching Stardust in a movie theater, I could have been mistaken to think that is was made for HBO or Scifi channel. Now, I know that sounds like an insult, but I assure you I mean it in the nicest ways possible.

Stardust is based on a novel by Neil Gaiman. All in all I have a quite weird relationship with his writing. Somehow I keep imagining that I’ve read a lot more of his work than I actually have. From his novels I’ve only read American Gods and from Sandman I’ve only the earliest stories. I haven’t read Stardust the book, but those better educated tell me it’s quite different from the movie.

There is a lot of good in the film, but let’s start with the bad. Most of the film the main characters wander around locations in rural England without any clear direction. Then, in many scenic locations they stumble on something fantastic or dangerous and there is a scene of action and/or special effects. Then, without actually doing anything themselves they get out of that situation and onto the next. There is a plot running in the background, connecting all these seemingly random encounters, but that’s not helping. The main plot offers no suprises. It’s very clear where everyhing is going and how the film’s many characters will come together in the end. It all feels both too random and too convenient at the same time.

This isn’t the first time I say this of things Neil Gaiman has been involved in, but I think the script would have worked a lot better as a miniseries. There really isn’t that kind of a tight narrative that would keep the film together for two hours. However spreading it our over several episodes would let the good things shine. Either that, or then a lot of the random wandering should have been left out and more meat given to the remaining parts of the story for it to work better as a movie.

If the script feels more like a miniseries, then the effects make Stardust look more like a movie of the week. They’re not exactly bad, but they don’t look like they belong to a $65 million film. I wouldn’t mind the obious bluescreen work or airships that look like CGI, but I do object to effects sequences being boring. Most of the effects in Stardust are either green or purple glowing things zipping around the green. This becomes boring very fast and there’s a lot of that in the film.

Among the smaller annoyances there is certain Ricky Gervais, who – for some un-godly reason – has been cast as a merchant. The Office is completely unwatchable and the most overrated comedy since Seinfeld, but I don’t really hate the actor, I even like his new sitcom Extras – but Gervais can only play one character and as a lightning dealer in a fantasy world that character sticks out like a sledgehammer banging on a sore thumb. He just doesn’t fit in.

The good things in Stardust are numerous as well. First of all, it has Airships in it. They’re pretty much the coolest thing ever not really invented. And it has lightning pirates. In the cool ladder they’re just step below steam-powered dinosaurs and alien ninjas. And I have to admit that the idea of falling in love with a fallen star is a romantic one.

There are some great scenes and characters. Claire Danes is always beautiful and lovely and most of the actors do a good job. And the goatman Billy is excellent. If there was an Oscar for the best potrayal of a goat I’d bet my money on this guy.

In the end we have a film that has great parts, some parts that are less than great. It’s a fun movie to watch and very likable, but it’s not as good as it should be.

Trailer

(the trailer has spoilers)