Escamotage is an exciting live action short film created by Canadian director Patrick Kalyn. Inspired by the Bourne series of films, Escamotage tells the story of a violent man from a world of organised crime, who finds an unexpected love.
Nominated for Best First Film at the 2008 South Africa International Film Festival, Escamotage is an impressive primary film venture, even more so for a production without a budget.
Originally trained in 3D animation, Patrick Kalyn gravitated towards live action films after working on the blockbuster movies I, Robot and King Kong. During his time working at Weta Digital in New Zealand, the inception of his first live action film began to develop.
According to Patrick the original concept for Escamotage stemmed from the idea of a man, on a bench, on a beach. ‘I thought, what would happen if another man joined him on that bench; and was told something horrible?’ With the image of a climatic car explosion in his head, Kalyn said the scenes almost began to write themselves.
The non-existent budget presented many obstacles including the necessity to write the script around locations that could be used for free. Fortunately the New Zealand countryside provided a pool of incredible environments that became the arresting backdrop to much of the film.
Patrick recruited a budding actor from a local drama college in Wellington for the lead role, and coerced various friends and colleagues into playing the remaining characters. Not knowing someone who could shoot the movie, Kalyn bought a consumer HD camera and taught himself.
As Kalyn was busy working full time, the film could only be shot on weekends; with rehearsals, prop building and shot list preparation being done mid week around work hours. Filming for Escamotage was finally completed after seven weekend shoots.
The footage was cut in Avid Media Composer on a home PC. Once shots were colour matched, targa file sequences of all the visual effects shots were made. The vfx shots ranged from digital bullet casings, muzzle flashes and smoke, bullet squibs hitting the car and finally the car explosion.
The shell casings were modelled in Maya and then eye ball animated per shot, due to a lack of a 3D track, and muzzle flashes were painted in Photoshop.
For the car explosion, plates were shot with and without the car and the beauty plate was used to project the car onto a 3D model that was built based on blueprints of the Audi RS4. The 3D model allowed Kalyn to have the car react from the blast of the explosion; then it was all assembled and comped onto the clean plate along with digital debris that was animated and rendered in Maya.
Scenes were graded with Media Composers color correct tools to create the specific mood that was required. Kalyn remarkably also created the sound design and original score for Escamotage, eventually spending over a year working on the film, from concept to completion.
Escamotage, (from the French word meaning ‘subterfuge’), is fast paced, brutal and keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end credits.
CGNews is pleased to announce that our sister site Sputnik7.com, will be screening Escamotage this forthcoming November 2009. Sputnik7.com is an independent film website dedicated to showcasing broadband content for today digital marketplace. Sputnik7.com is part of the CGNews Network.
Hero – Logan Pithyou
Henchmano – Lance Louez
Ashman – Ashour David
Abram (Tank) – Phillip Reed
Mafioso – Richard Dexter
Writer and Director – Patrick Kalyn
Assistant – Chris Moss
Fight Choreographer – Phil Reed
Auditions Coordinator – Nicky Muir
Original Score – Patrick Kalyn
SUV Radio Song – Mike Kalyn