“The Barrier” Progress Report 2013 May 19


I finished two scenes I had started last week, reworked two other scenes I’d done earlier, and added three new scenes. I’m at just over 37 minutes now. In the final cut, that would run a bit shorter. That puts me about 40 per cent of the way through.

Characters and Story

I need to do some work on the characters. I’ve gotten a little confused about them. Sometimes I have Arthur’s name as Ralph. I should do a write up about each of the main characters for the blog. I may also create a web page for the film.

I have been reluctant to post much information about the story. That is a silly thing for me to do since the movie is based on two short stories that I posted on my website. (The Glencoe Project and The Gladstone Barrier) I plan to post a bit more about the story in the future.

First Sequence

I redid scene 1 to change the set I used. It is the scene between the Mayor and Arthur’s boss Brandon. I decided that the office I used wasn’t appropriate for a Mayor.

It was not too difficult easy to copy over the dialogue. Xtranormal stores its data in a .state file, which is a zipped file containing several files. The dialogue, camera positions, and various actions are in an xml file.

First, I created a new scene with the new set. Then I unzipped the .state files and did a copy and paste from the old scene to the new scene. I copied the camera positions and actions, but had to recreate the markers manually. Unfortunately, the set was too different and I needed to revise all the markers and camera positions. That took almost as long as it took to do the original scene.

Third Sequence

The two scenes I finished from the previous week were the last two for the movie’s third sequence: scenes 18 and 19. Both of these scenes focus on the Glencoe story line. For scene 18, I added a short bit at the end to move the Gladstone story line along.

I had run into a problem with how to end scene 19, which was why I’d left it. The scene had some escalating conflict and needed to find a way to resolve it. In the end, I split part of the scene off and added it to scene 20. It helped both scenes, since scene 20 was really too short. Scene was a little tricky to do because I had it the hallway of the boardroom set. From the hallway some of the walls are transparent, so it was difficult to position the camera so that wasn’t obvious.

I expanded scene 17. It was a conversation between Ling, Arthur’s mentor and Ishita. I added a piece on the end to set up a subplot that involved Ling. In the process, I think it developed her character more.

Fourth Sequence

The fourth sequence focuses on the Gladstone story line. I did scene 21 and then skipped several scenes to get to scene 25. I may eliminate scene 22. With the Gladstone story line, I’ve had to toss out most of the material from the short story. I don’t think any of the scenes in this sequence have any counter part in the short story.

In scene 21, I have Ling advising Arthur about both of the story lines. I think I went overboard with Ling’s advice. It sounds too much like a lecture. I think I can cut out much of it. I finish the scene with a bit of an aside to build up Ling’s character. I need to do more of that with Arthur.

In scene 25, Ishita and Arthur try to convince Brandon to support the barrier. I think it turned out fairly well. The end of the scene sets up the next scene.

In the intervening scenes, Arthur will put together a case for the barrier and convinces Ishita to go along with it.

Note: You can watch version 0.6 of “The Barrier” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATcKnFAwlU0 I hope to have a final version done some day.

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