Earlier in the year, I wrote two posts about my experience shooting the latest installment of Likenâ€”the children’s live-action musical seriesâ€”titled, Jonah and the Great Fish (see Challenge on Stage and Challenge on Stage: Afterthoughts). Â In a nutshell, if you don’t feel like reading those posts, it was an extremely limiting productionâ€”from budget, to resources, to space, to time, to crew, to… well, everything. Â We did our absolute best given all the circumstances & resources and I think we did a really good job, all things considered. Â 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. Â 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. Â The plan was toÂ do our best because any visual effects was not in the budget. Â So that’s what we did, knowing that what we saw on our monitors was pretty much what the home viewer would be seeing. Â We accepted that.
Since then, something changed. Â Liken decided to try out some tests with digital backdrops and the results have been pretty cool. Â It became clear to them that this was the direction to go. Â The only problem was the same problem we had to begin withâ€”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. Â 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. Â Above is a video they’ve posted on YouTube to share some sneak peaks of the work they’re doing. Â It’s amazing what money (and amazing talentâ€”props to Darin Andersen and Alex Johnson!) can do. Â 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.