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New Video: Mark on the TV

October 11, 2009

Mark trapped inside the cold TV world.

Mark trapped inside the cold TV world.

Mark on the TV is a short little comedy about two friends Mark and Zach.  Zach attempts to tune into his favorite show, but instead discovers Mark to be trapped inside the TV. After initial confusion, Zach realizes that he had stolen DVDs from a gypsy lady the night before. The rest of the short is spent trying to figure out how to get Mark out of the TV.  Check out the movie below:

This movie was definitely a more ambitious Mark & Zach production as you can tell by the varied scene locations.  The very first thing we shot was Mark’s first scene from inside the TV. From there, we slowly ticked off each of the various channels that Mark was embodying.  One of the more difficult aspects of the film was trying to make sure the talking between Mark and Zach worked as a real conversation.  For Mark’s scenes, I was able to be there and read my lines so that we could go back and forth; however, all the scenes with myself talking to TV were shot alone.

Zach just "trying to help."

Zach just "trying to help."

I think an earlier film of mine Mylar: The Unhappy Happy Birthday Balloon helped prepare me to converse naturally without someone there.  I think the banter between Mark and myself ended up flowing fairly well.  The best sequence/location was the Pirate scene.  Mark and I traveled to the Rivanna State Park in Charlottesville, Va.  It is a beautiful park with a walking path along the river.  We found a really cool place tucked out of the way that served our Pirate demands rather well.  The opening sequence of Pirate P.I. was the sole creation of Mark.  Once he put on the pirate pants and shirt, he really got lost inside his character.  He told me to just film him as he jumped and ran around, and that is how our beautiful title sequence came together.

The genius actor that is Mark creates the character of Pirate P.I. from out the depths of his soul!

The genius actor that is Mark creates the character of Pirate P.I. from out the depths of his soul!

The hardest trick of the whole film was the picking up and shaking of the TV.  I went to Lowes and picked up a cheap square of sturdy plastic.  To film Mark’s part, I just held the plastic in front of the camera and had Mark smoosh his face into it.  For my scene outside of the TV, I taped neon green posterboard to the TV and secured both a camera and light underneath the TV.  Luckily, the TV did not fall out of my hands and destroy my camera.  In editing, I used motion to keygraph the movements of the footage of Mark to fit the movements of the TV.  I was worried that it would not work at all, but I ended up being quite satisfied with the end product.

Mark's faceplant into the TV screen.

Mark's faceplant into the TV screen.

The final trick at the end of the video was Mark’s whirlwind release from the TV.  The effect was actually quite simple and fun.  I had Mark slowly rotate up from a crouching position, and then in post, I sped it up by 300%.  I then layered it twice over and gave the various spinning Marks different start points and opacities.  The final touch was some funny noises and a wind effect.

The Whirlwind.

The Whirlwind.

This film took a while to complete, but it was a lot of fun.  Very glad to have completed another successful Mark & Zach production. Check my youtube account for more fun videos: CHUMAIO.

-Z

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