Post-storyboard, we were ready to create our pre-vis. At this stage, I was still finishing the block-out of The Sidekick (see here for character workflow details), however this worked well for pre-vis purposes. This task was super useful to continue development with basic key-framing.

See our FIRST PASS pre-vis here.

See our SECOND PASS pre-vis here.

I edited/sourced sound for this. Note, I added the letterboxing for reference, which cut some things off, however when we set up our final cameras we will make sure to frame considering aspect ratio.

We received lots of useful feedback when we presented it (presentation link); a key note being that there was too many camera movements. We made sure to revise this in the real film to keep the tense stillness of iconographic Westerns. Furthermore, we were told that the shot of the cowboy at the end was perhaps too ambitious – and that actually the foot squash was enough closure in and of itself. We agreed and this enabled us more time to work on making sure the other shots were as revised as could be. The aspect ratio situation also inspired some helpful comments, those being:

  • We need to be careful to fit the composition within the frame and to watch out for the letterboxing cutting anything off and feeling forced, so we amended this by widening our widescreen a little bit to somewhere between TV and cinema;
  • We need to be slower in our transition from 16:9 to 2.35:1. It was too jarring in our pre-vis.

Music and sound was another key element of the pre-vis stage, to which we utilised lots of diegetic and non-diegetic sounds. The Western track was essential to set the mood and set up that stark contrast after the foot comes down and all pauses. At this stage, we used source material from Star Wars: The Bad Batch by Kevin Kiner but we are currently looking for royalty-free alternatives. We also included desert white noise to enhance the ambience of the environment (which played notably well with Liam’s character’s nCloth, creating the illusion of windy sand storms). Pleonastic sound was also helpful in emphasising certain things, such as the aspect ratio change where we included a dramatic whoosh sound.

We also played with pitch which we agreed was super important when working macro. We wanted the characters to sound regular pitch and normal until the aspect ratio widens and the foot comes crashing down. Then, they would turn high-pitch, chipmunk-style, as we changed perspective. This also meant making the shoe a much lower pitch, like a giant vehicle crashing down on them.


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