THE WORLD'S LAST PLASTIC BAG TREE TEASER
The World's Last Plastic Bag Tree is a feature film script written by Alex Meader. To help pitch the project to potential investors Spliced Films decided to produce a teaser for the project. We chose the opening scene of the film because we felt it encapsulated the themes and tone of the feature script. The logistics of the shoot were especially challenging. Finding a location, housing for the crew and securing permits to use pyrotechnics all brought with them their own unique challenges. The finished result however, was a vibrant look into the world and the characters of the film.
"The World's Last Plastic Bag Tree" is a story about growing up in the Pacific Northwest. We wanted the imagery of the teaser to reflect this through creating a very organic and slightly nostalgic look to the teaser. We took a lot of references from the films of Terrence Malick as well as coming of age films like George Washington, Stand By Me, and Brick. Our goal was to allow the viewer to see the world of the film through the eyes of a child, with a sense of wonder and mystery.
Because of the technical challenges presented by shooting with live pyrotechnics we spent a lot of time in pre-production doing storyboarding and creating an animatic to make sure that everything went smoothly. This process allowed us to have a very clear sense of how we wanted to tell the story visually and helped tremendously when we moved into post.
Here's is the finished animatic
Finding the right beach to shoot at ended up being one of the most difficult parts of the entire production process. We searched for almost a year to find a beach that fit the look we wanted and also allowed permits for pyrotechnics. We ended up choosing a beach in the city of Port Townsend, WA just outside of the former military base Fort Worden. After a lengthy process of working with the city to secure permits, lining up insurance, and finding lodging for the crew we finally had our beach.
The shoot for the teaser was an intense but memorable experience. We shot everything using pyrotechnics on the first shooting day so we could get the most logistically difficult sections out of the way. After taking some time to figure out some of the finer points of capturing fireworks on camera, things started coming together and we finished our first day ahead of schedule. On our second day of shooting we shot a short segment for the end of the teaser in a nearby field at sunset and then moved back to the beach to capture all of our non-pyrotechnics shots. After wrapping and loading out gear from the beach at the end of day two, our crew was exhausted, but proud of what we had accomplished.
Post production for the teaser was a fairly streamlined process. Having the storyboards and animatic to reference made creating the first cuts a fairly quick process. After finishing these first few cuts we spent the next few sessions refining the flow and rhythm of the piece until we were happy with the overall feel and tone.
Color correction for this project brought some interesting challenges. In particular there were some colors of fireworks that we shot which appeared very blue or green to the eye, but on camera actually came out looking very dull and orange. To bring out the vibrant colors we had envisioned for the project we did some intense work in DaVinci Resolve to isolate the fireworks and adjust them to look more like they do to the eye. The end results of the color correction for this project were striking and really helped bring the project to another level.