CASE STUDY: STAR WARS SCENE FILMED IN HOTEL IN LEEDS

You can imagine the excitement from the guys in the studio when I announced we were making a
reenactment of a Star Wars film.

After the initial buzz had died down, reality kicked in. Unfortunately, the client didn’t have a Hollywood budget, we had a tight deadline to meet and all the filming had to be done in less than 6 hours with people who had never been filmed, dress in costume, and who were only available for 15 minutes each, in a hotel room in Leeds. It was going to be fun.

A production approach was drafted, detailing the complicated issues we’d have to overcome to make this thing look as good as possible. The first concern was the hotel room going to be big enough. a quick dash to Leeds to check the space and yes, as feared, it was tiny, so I spoke nicely to the hotel manager and secured a larger room. It wasn’t perfect but we could make it work.

 

 

Then on to planning of the shooting sequences, who was to sit where, who was playing who, which direction were they speak, and more importantly for them who was carrying a light sabre and how the hell were we going to superimpose a woman on to a table top while a spaceship flew past over a futurist cityscape on a planet far far away.

Next, we sourced a royalty-free film clip of the craft and a suitable space cruiser type window. Acquired a StarWars logo from the internet and changed it slightly to suit the project. Then came the day of the shoot. We arrived at the hotel, loaded up the gear and started converting the room into a green screen studio. But Yoda is green and he’d disappear on green screen so we had to put up a blue alternative. To be fair we’d thought of that beforehand and it was on the plan.

The shooting plan was followed and people were quickly dressed in their characters costumes and lines and a few giggles were captured on camera.

Darth Tracy quickly fell into character, Yoda was a little cheeky, Princess Leia was absolutely stunning, and Luke and his dad behaved themselves, BB8 the robot, who was actually a cushion, (remember were on a budget) .. peeped, a lot and Obe Wan struggled with her beard.

The shoot went on into the evening and the allocated 5 hours soon overrun. This is often a reality of a video shoot. Next preparing for the edit. A still of the intended scene was agreed and the editing began. I haven’t got time to go through magic the editors applied but two days later, the client saw the first draft. Initially, feedback was brilliant, but then Amends were requested and were applied, then a few more and then a few more, and the potential additional costs were mentioned and the requests for amends stopped.

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Once the core of the video was complete we added the bit the guys were gagging to apply. The adding of the light sabres effects. The room was full of swish push and the project was complete.

A one-off project, with a great backstory that was a pleasure to work on, the team rose to the challenge and the video, a piece I’m sure George would be proud of was delivered to another happy client, on budget and a day ahead of the schedule.