C – Behind the Scenes: Beyond the Infinite

For the kickstarter campaign, I wanted to show a brand new element of the story. “Beyond the Infinite” is a retro educational TV series that we’re creating for the film, modeled after shows like Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and other 1970s/80s science education programs. It stars Damien Langan as Dr. Harold Newman, and Eric Muller as the astrophysicist. These clips frame the far-future story in a historical context and provide some insight into Malleck’s motivations.

It was very important to me that this material have the authentic look & feel of a 1980s TV program, so we shot with 16mm film on a used Eclair ACL I found on eBay– a popular sync-sound documentary camera first introduced in 1971. It’s a fantastic machine! Using some helpful how-to youtube videos, I spent a few days learning how to load and operate it, and it worked like a charm.

Eclair ACL 16mm side-by-side with 5D Mk II. We shot all the scenes digitally as well so we could edit the video while waiting for the film to be developed & transferred.

All of the titles & graphics were also shot high-contrast on reversal film and then composited, just like they did it in the old days. The swirling Beyond the Infinite logo was printed out, taped to black cloth on a spinning turntable and lit. We then mounted the camera directly above it, spun the turntable, and zoomed in with the lens to achieve the effect seen in the video.

Otto aligns our logo on the turntable beneath the camera.

Logo in finished frame.

The insert shot of the asteroid was meant to evoke early NASA footage. I wanted it to look as if it were shot timelapse from a satellite’s low-resolution camera. We found a piece of volcanic rock that had a lot of good texture, spray-painted it grey and rested it on a black spoke in the center of our turntable. We then spun the turntable very fast and shot slow-motion while zooming out on the lens to give it the appropriate motion. I used black&white reversal Super 8 film to make the background go fully dark and give it a very grainy texture, complete with dust & scratches. I got the frame markings by pointing my Super 8 camera into the viewfinder of a medium format stills camera and shooting a high-contrast matte.

Kori prepares to spin our asteroid miniature.

Still from finished frame.

This was an incredibly rewarding shoot, everyone involved did a fantastic job. It’s a lot of work to do for about thirty seconds of footage! For the complete movie, we plan to film an entire full episode of “Beyond the Infinite,” and that’s going to require a lot more in terms of materials, costumes, location shoots, and film stock & processing costs. If you want to see this film made, please help us out on Kickstarter by pledging or sharing the link with your friends!



5 Responses to “C – Behind the Scenes: Beyond the Infinite”

  1. Patrick Says:

    So awesome. Cosmos is definitely one of my all time favorite programs.

  2. Alex Bright Says:

    Great Job!!!

  3. fmurrieta Says:

    Very good and interesting, the story is great, I’d like to see it as a mull length movie, ’cause I think there is still much to say on the subject (maybe a “TV” series?).

    Please! :^)

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