Friday, December 26, 2008

Mission to Mars

Here's a very interesting article on the shooting of the movie, Mission to Mars. More interesting than the movie itself, actually!

It discusses reflections on helmets, locations (int and ext) and lighting. All rather pertinent stuff I think!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's a sketch-up!

Whew! It was hard work, but we're all done; the storyboard (5 megs) is complete! From here on, planning our next steps will be a lot more clear cut. Let me know if you need a hard copy sent out to you and I will do my best to arrange. And feel free to point out any problems, or for that matter anything you really like! Enjoy...

Friday, December 12, 2008

DOP Storyboard...

Here's the link to Lance's storyboard. He completed this a while ago, and I'm just now completing the integration between his storyboard and mine. The new definitive version should be up soon!

Friday, November 28, 2008

LF Update

NEWSFLASH: We will be shooting over February. Possibly the end of Jan and early March as well, but we’ll harden those dates out shortly.

The script has undergone a few more changes, to simplify and improve the story. This obviously impacts the storyboard, which I’m revising currently.

The spacesuit is now with Chris and he’s predicting to have it largely completed in another week or so - exciting!

Adam has continued working on the wrist unit graphics (below). Dig that International Auxiliary language! And our DOP, Lance is off to Malaysia this weekend for work and a bit of a break. 

Friday, November 21, 2008

Colour test 2

Take 2! Here's another experiment in recolouring our recent White Island footage to look like Mars, but this time using different techniques: more selective colouring and less wash to preserve some of the landscape's natural colours. I don't think I'm anywhere close to the final look yet however, still playing!

Mars test 02 from Damon Keen on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Colour test

Here's a quick attempt at recolouring some White Island footage to look a bit more like Mars. I also experimented with keying out the sky, but it looks pretty nasty at this stage! ...Still, you've got to love that landscape!

Mars Test 01 from Damon Keen on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One word - wow

Our trip to White Island was a huge success - the landscape is perfect, and as Lance and I discovered after examining the test footage, it looks even better on tape! 

We had beautiful weather, the people from White Island Tours were extremely friendly and generous, and Lance even spotted a whale and some sunfish on the way over. The landscape itself offered a wealth of possible locations and there wasn't a plant in site - it really looked just like Mars - better than any of us expected actually. It was very exciting!

I'll post some test footage shortly, after I experiment a little with some rough colour-correction and keying out the sky.

With a little bit of luck we'll tramp up the Tongariro Crossing this weekend... but the weather isn't looking too good just at the moment. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Flight update

Things are proceeding slowly - but steadily, folks!

First up - the SIPF money has gone into Last Flight's coffers, so we're no longer running the show on the smell of an oily rag, thankfully! Even so, it's still not gonna be easy. Fees for shooting in the parks, not to mention accommodation and transport are going to make this a real penny pincher. 

Lance, Sarah and I are all off to White Island this weekend, weather permitting, to take a look at locations, and figure out how to get over there with the equipment come shooting. Next weekend we hope to try a scout to Tongariro, assuming DOC will let us film there at all!

Oh, and just for the record, out of 70 odd applications, we were one of just 16 that received a grant!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Costumes extraordinaire...

Coming up... the AUT Costume Exhibition, starring our very own Meghan Visser! If our spacesuit is anything to go by, this will definitely be worth a peek! Come along, have a drink and see some fabulous designs...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The evolving spacesuit...

Here's the latest shots of the spacesuit... and it's looking cool! Meghan has now handed the bulk of it onto Chris, who is building the helmet, backpack and other hardware for it. After that we'll start artificially aging it, adding dirt, rips and repairs... and then we'll be ready to take it to Mars! ...Or White Island, anyway.

Awesome work, Meghan!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We're in the money!

Great news! Our grant application to the Screen Innovation Production Fund has been approved! We're full steam ahead! Very cool! I'll post more later...

The valleys of Mars

My friend Kylie recently visited the Atacama desert during a swan around Chile, and took some amazing pictures in the
Valley of Mars... WOW. It's a pity this place isn't down the road!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bound by law

I've been trying to get my head around copyright laws and so on the last couple of months, especially since we've approached Sesame Street for the rights to use the Sesame Street theme tune in Last Flight. They've since told us that Last Flight "isn't a good fit with their Corporate objectives." 

Anyway, I just stumbled across this comic book, Bound by Law, which explains copyright law, Public Domain and Fair Use brilliantly - and in comic format! This is my kinda law book - even if the rules they're discussing are pretty outrageous in places. Makes me wanna go download something corporate, frankly.... 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Suit fitting #4

As you can see, Meghan is adding a clever tightening system down the side of the suit that is going to look ZING, as well as solving some issues with mobility and wrinkling! She's also loosened the suit in the crotch and under the arms, as well as doing work on the thighs, ankles and on the suit neck connector ring - whew!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Made up and worn out!

Jo was given a bit of a Martian once-over by Chev, make up artist and trainer (currently working on Ironman 2) last night. Meghan, Sarah, Kiri and Damon were given a demonstration in how to hollow out Jo's face and eyes, and crack her lips and skin. Jo wasn't too happy with the result - but everyone else thought she looked fantastic!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


04.10.08 Damon, Sarah, Adam meet with Zane at his studio in West Auckland to discuss the latest storyboard and post production issues that may arise on location. We we all very impressed by the facility that Zane and his partners have set up. Everyone is really excited about the prospects of working on a sci-fi film that has access to an indoor sound proofed stage with a 7m wide, professionally installed green-screen. 

Zane's expertise in sfx and compositing are already posted on this blog.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Second fitting...

Draft storyboard

Whew! It took a while, but I've finally completed my first draft of the storyboard! Wahoo!

Lance completed his a couple of weeks back, and I'll now have a crack at integrating the two of them. I suspect we may at times shoot from both to get maximum coverage, but we'll see. Both storyboards feature some really exciting shots - I'll get Lance's up shortly. Take a look.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Latest script

Here's the latest version of the Last Flight script. Please feel free to feedback ideas and crit. It's a PDF.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Waste Land

Some lines from "The Waste Land" by T. S Eliot.
It reminded me of Last Flight. Plus, I figured putting poetry up on the blog would give us some class ;-)

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Suit shot

It's all held together with pins, but little by little the space suit is coming together...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Timeline on the way...

FYI: Sarah and I will be meeting to thrash out a comprehensive timeline to move forward with Last Flight shortly. Sarah may be in touch with some of you to confirm availability and dates soon after.

Here's what everyone's up to:
Lance has been working on the storyboard - which is looking terrific!
Meghan is going guns on the spacesuit - we'll have a fitting next week.
Adam's working on the overall "operating system" for the wrist display, and credits concept.
Dave is working on the Leak repair unit and Chris is busy with the helmet and backpack.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

See Jo in action

See our star, Jo Lees, in her latest play, Grace, starting 15 Sept at the Basement.

EARLY BIRD OFFER: Book before end of business on Friday Sep 12 and get tickets at concession rates + as an extra bonus you'll also go into the draw to win one of two $40 vouchers for the Mezze Bar. The season is short, 7 shows only, so don't miss out. To take up the early bird offer simply mention "The Rebel Alliance special offer" when booking your tickets at THE EDGE® on 09 357 3355

Monday, September 8, 2008

Welcome Sarah

NEWS: Amie's handed over the role of producer to Sarah Butler.

Most of you will have met Sarah the other night at our ARC get-together. She did a double degree with Media Studies as one of her majors and has a solid grounding in editing, production and post-production, and isn't too bad with a camera either.

She's passionate about her work and will bring practical, solid analytical skills to the production in an organised and vibrant way. Welcome on board, Sarah!

Amie is going to be focusing more on the creative side with me now, and is still up to her elbows in Last Flight.

ALSO: Amie and I are moving house over the next couple of weeks, so I apologise in advance if I'm a bit slow getting back to you. And Lance is moving over the same weekend. Jinx!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

USB stick found

Did anyone lose their usb stick at our get together the other night? If so, let me know.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Jaquie Brown Diaries

If you haven't kept up with ‘The Jaquie Brown Diaries’, Fridays at 9.30pm on TV3, see it online here. Camera by our very own Lance - it's gold!


Epic has been floating around for a while, but if you haven't seen it before, take a look. It's a brief history of the future of media, about 5 minutes. It gets us some of the way to the world of 2038 - Say goodbye to the 6 oclock news anyway.

Also, I've been thinking about the sci fi films that most inspire me in terms of being true science fiction. They are: 2001 a space odyssey, Blade Runner, 12 Monkeys, Children of men... There's more of course. Some more subtle, or less hard sci fi (Brazil springs to mind). Take a look, or let me know if you need to borrow. - and feel free to post more that come to mind.

Not just sci fi either - films that resonate with Last Flight, or that might be helpful.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Big canyon

This is the actual canyon that the Astronaut is heading for in Last Flight. It's quite large. As Adam remarked, you can see why someone would bother making the trip to see it. From the ground it must be spectacular.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bird Dream of Olympus Mons

Check out the lyrics to "It's Bird Dream of the Olympus Mons" by the Pixies.
Its a song. About a bird. On Mars. David Parke found it.

Speed leaving without
i need some place to sleep tonight
blowing in the rocking of the pine
speed leaving without warning
the sunlight is going
into the mountain
i will crawl
into the mountain
sun shines in the rusty morning
skyline of the olympus mons
i think about it sometimes
sun shines in the rusty morning
once i had a good fly
into the mountain
i will fall.

"I will fall"! Uncanny! You can hear it on the second half of this YouTube video.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Teaser clip

Slideshow I did for the grant proposal. Music by Peter Hobbs.

Last Flight Teaser clip from Damon Keen on Vimeo.

Catch up

Our favourite actor, Jo, has another review here. Grace will start in Auckland on Sept 15.

Don't forget we're having a quick get together at the ARC on Weds. Just come to the main entrance and text me when you arrive. See you then!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


"Jo Lees expresses her socially dramatic situation with fluid conviction," says the review on Theatreview. Read it here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

DVD night

Hi everyone - we'll be having a get together on Weds the 27th to swap ideas and have a drink.

Bring along a couple of DVDs (or filmclips on USB stick) that you're drawing inspiration from, or think might be an interesting approach for us to take - or just pop in for a quick hello - so you can meet some of the great people involved with Last Flight.

The point is to put names to faces and bounce a few ideas off each other. Meet us at the ARC building 21 Pitt Street, around 6:00.

Canyons visualisation

Leak repair unit sketch #1

Space suit concept sketch

Space suit designs

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mars walk test.

Just a taste of what's possible. We would be using a combination of CG and real footage. We need to do a few test shoots first though, both on location and at my studio.

Mars walk test from Zane Egginton on Vimeo.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Click the image to view timelapse aimation of dustdevils moving across the surface of Mars. Click here for more dustdevil clips.

Clouds on Mars

Real timelapse imagery of clouds on mars. Click to view.

Toile fitting

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Flightplan for August

What's happenning in August:

Meghan is working on the spacesuit. We're having the second Toile fitting with Jo on Friday.

Meanwhile Chris is working on the helmet (building on the Russian altitude helmet we got off ebay last month). He's also working on the designs for the backpack.

Jo's in rehersals for Grace - details here.

Lance and I are both seperately working on storyboards from the script.

And Adam is working on coming up with with a computer interface for the Astronaut's wrist display unit.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Welcome to the Last Flight blog.

I thought it'd be useful to have a one stop shop to help keep everyone involved in Last Flight up-to-date. I'll also use it as a resource for posting sites and links that might come in useful to you. Also keep your eyes peeled for artwork, filmclips and photos as we go.

Whether you're a visitor to the blog, or one of the crew, please feel free to give us your feedback! The more ideas, and criticism the better! 

I also wanted to thank everyone who's been involved so far for all their hard work. It's really appreciated.

Keep popping by to check on progress and don't hesitate to get in touch.