Earlier in the year, I wrote two posts about my experience shooting the latest installment of Liken—the children’s live-action musical series—titled, Jonah and the Great Fish (see Challenge on Stage and Challenge on Stage: Afterthoughts). In a nutshell, if you don’t feel like reading those posts, it was an extremely limiting production—from budget, to resources, to space, to time, to crew, to… well, everything. We did our absolute best given all the circumstances & resources and I think we did a really good job, all things considered. Sometimes scenes/shots turned out really nice and other times, well… we did what we could.
One of the biggest challenges was the fact that our backdrop only consisted of a white screen directly behind the actors along with sparse props. It worked well for the stage show (that was being performed in the evenings of the days we were shooting), but it was a HUGE challenge for the filmed version we were doing. The plan was to do our best because any visual effects was not in the budget. So that’s what we did, knowing that what we saw on our monitors was pretty much what the home viewer would be seeing. We accepted that.
Since then, something changed. Liken decided to try out some tests with digital backdrops and the results have been pretty cool. It became clear to them that this was the direction to go. The only problem was the same problem we had to begin with—no money to do it!
So a month or so before Thanksgiving, Liken used Kickstarter.com to attempt to raise $15,000 to finish the FX work for the show. In only a couple weeks, they reached their goal and by Thanksgiving, they had $22,508.00 pledged to the cause and was funded.
The project is full steam ahead right now with a completion goal of early 2011. Above is a video they’ve posted on YouTube to share some sneak peaks of the work they’re doing. It’s amazing what money (and amazing talent—props to Darin Andersen and Alex Johnson!) can do. Keep in mind, the FX you are seeing are work-in-progress, not final, and have already changed and have been improved since these clips were published. Below is a video they posted with a storm scene and also another video they posted with some other scenes.