Lights. Camera. Action! The official Project Arbiter trailer has arrived.
Months ago, the idea of a mysterious machine shop on the brink of being bombed by German artillery sprang to life as I re-wrote the introduction to the Project Arbiter short film. Though the beginning of the film starts very different than this now, I always thought the idea had the right mood and pacing for a trailer of sorts. After being encouraged by Jason Beckwith (Dir. of Photography) to film this scenario as a test shoot for the suit, I got to work on the voice over. I was inspired by the humble intro to the film Sunshine, directed by Danny Boyle. The way the lead character simply states the facts of his current predicament always resonated with me as being honest and cinematic.
With my voice over script as our guide, we set out on a Saturday morning in the studio to bring this vignette to life. With the help from production designer Traci Hays, we dressed the set with all kinds of machinery tools and scientific apparatuses. Then Jason put on his touches with the sourcey lighting and high shutter speed to give the flickers a frenetic look. We fogged it up with smoke and shook the C-stands and work bench for each artillery impact. This sandbox setup also allowed me to freely explore the visual language of the film by changing up my shot list to create new hand-held free-form movements on the fly. I was after a feeling rather than a specific narrative.
When editing the piece, I wanted to incorporate some of the fantastic field test footage we filmed at Hans Beerbaum’s remarkable estate in Petaluma (CA) which included German artillery, MG-42 machine guns, and even a Russian T-34/85 tank. Jason also created the moody motion graphics titles and first look of the XP-61 Black Widow aircraft which will be featured in the short film. To top this off, Jesse Boots lead the Project Arbiter visual effects team to deliver our first finished VFX shot of the Arbiter standing stoic against a defeated German Elephant Tank Destroyer.
The reason why this trailer truly excites me, the Project Arbiter team, and why it should make you drool for more is because this is but only a glimpse into what the short film will bring to the battlefield. Much more will be revealed but its up to you to make it a reality. Support the cause, donate now.
[Writer / Director]