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Creating tools to crash your favorite movies

You might be wondering what we mean by "Movie Intruder". It means exactly what it sounds like: we take a movie and intrude it by changing the narrative and adding ourselves to the scene.
Why are we intruding our favorite movies? Well, it's fun. It is as simple as that. How? Virtual production. Just as simple. 

We are developing a solution so that Virtual Production can reach its full potential. We create an environment, camera angles, lighting setup and save it to create a library of scenes that can be used by others without the hustle!

Watch the full "Dune : Movie Intruder"  video here: 




This is a well known sentence in cinema. Dune has its own meaning. "What is in the box? " is a question we pondered about ourselves; as Estonian people physically cannot act out something so dramatic ( Timothée was excellent; how can we even top that? ), we wanted to change it to something different. What if instead of pain the box gives you giggles?

For us this is a complicated scene to remake as there are much more shots to shoot than any previous Movie Intruders we have filmed. Twice as much. Also one pan shot which challenges us to really nail the shots right.  This one:


How do we do it?  We set the scene up, film a test video and edit it on the spot. Only then we see if the shot works- if it's the right movement, lighting, angle and lens. Sometimes it is hard to find the right lighting or shot as every person's body shape, clothing, hair and other small details are different from the actor. Curly hair vs straight hair or high cheekbones vs low cheekbones; they make you question if your instinct for lighting setup was correct. This is why it's tricky to tell if the shot is the same as it was in Dune. All we can do is test and tweak until satisfied. Lucky for you, you can just use the setup made by us!


You do not need a large studio to film this. We did it in an apartment!
Do you sometimes want a higher ceiling or walls further away? Yes, but a little inconvenience  is balanced out with saving A LOT of money on studio rent.
For this setup you need a green screen, camera, 3x Apollo 1 lights, 2x Voyager lights ( to light up the green screen evenly), trackers and a computer with an unreal engine and editing software.


For this scene we needed a large soft light; we already knew how the original setup actually looked from a picture. Here we would have really wished for a higher ceiling to put up our largest softbox, but there wasn't, so we didn't. We pointed Apollo 1 to our white ceiling instead and the light bounced back onto the actor. It could have been a tad more diffused, but it was good enough. We used 2x Apollo 1 lights to fake the large, soft light in the original setup.

Photo Credit: @filmlights Instagram account


It is all about placement; we connect lights to the trackers and save their position. In this way, the next time we ( or you )  set this scene up, all you have to do is follow the instructions of the  placement. Putting lights in the right locations is actually quite fun! Distance, tilt and pan are your best friends; those are the coordinates you look for when setting up. So you take objects one by one and match its location.


First rough cuts look like sticker albums;  Kaur dropped in the scene on top of Paul. Once the edit works and all of us chuckle while watching it, it's time to really glue Kaur into the scene. Color grading is important as you need to match the grade with the movie seamlessly. We had to tweak it a few times because Kaur is more tanned than Timothée Chalamet and it was tricky to understand if we have nailed it or not.

Also... lets talk about the hair. Our editor hates to key Kaur's hair, that is a fact. It is everywhere and very hard to separate from the green screen. But now there is another problem: Chalamet has such a curly, flawless hair, It is almost too perfect. Feels like they spent half a day to make his hair look like that. Every lock was just in the right place. And I kept telling guys on the set that the shot seems off. Most of the time it was just the difference between straight and curly hair. Heh, well we learn something every day. Shout out to the hairstylist!

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures

This was our most advanced virtual production yet! We were a bit worried in the beginning, this was a huge challenge. The shoot was still fun, even when demanding. There is a whole new excitement when you are doing things the first time. Each scene feels just like it. 
After many checks, shots, cuts and laughs later, we call it a success! We are really happy to advance on the virtual production field and I hope you will follow our journey.


Creating tools to crash your favorite movies