Mega Shoot for Nanoswarm
HEALTHY VIDEO GAME MAY BE THE LARGEST BLUE-SCREEN SHOOT EVER FILMED IN HOUSTON
Houston, Texas (January 23, 2006) -- Archimage, Inc. has completed principle photography of Nanoswarm: Invasion from Inner Space, a health-related video game for preventing obesity and type II diabetes in children. The five-week shoot was filmed at Houston Studios with pickup shots at South Coast Film & Video. More than 30 cast and crew worked on ultra-matte blue cyc sound stages using Plus 8’s Sony DVW 790WS Digital Betacam. The story is set inside a hightech laboratory where four teenagers and the game player pilot a miniaturized vessel inside a human body to defeat a virulent plague of nanobots.
Nanoswarm includes more than 60 minutes of “cut scenes,” which are movie clips integrated into game play activities. Executive Producer Richard Buday initially thought filming may have to be taken elsewhere but was happy to discover the resources were available in Houston. “I’m amazed at the talent we have locally,” Buday says. “This is on par with anything that could have been produced on the other two coasts.” Buday also believes, “this may be the largest blue-screen shoot in Houston’s history.” Archimage is a Houston-based design firm developing computer games for health.
Archimage enlisted Robert Cozens of Cozmoziz to direct the game’s cut scenes. An award-winning and international film and video director, Cozens realized the long shoot would require the cooperation of much of the Houston film community. He also knew that it was a plum project. “With something this size, it was important to involve several production houses to get it completed within the deadline. A film director under normal circumstances needs the collaboration of many talented people, but on a blue screen set, the effort and concentration is probably ten fold,” Cozens said. Postproduction is in the hands of Don Sattler of TV Man for compositing. Scott Jones of XL Films served as Director of Photography and is also providing motion tracking for integrating the live action with computer graphics. Jeff Walton is scoring the music. “I’ve worked with all of these mates before,” Cozens notes. “Scott Jones is precise in his photography and technical knowledge of the Boujou motion tracking software. That makes everyone’s job easier.” Don Sattler has worked on compositing for the Spy Kids movies in Austin while being Houston based. “Don is the glue,” Cozens notes. “And Jeff Walton is adding the mood for the piece.”
Two Houston writers, Randall (Freeman) Williams and Mary Ann Pendino, share credit for the Nanoswarm story. Williams created the original story concept and wrote the shooting script. Pendino developed back-story elements by fleshing out the complete narrative in the form of novella. Production Manager Janet Benton negotiated talent agreements and hired the crew, all of which are from Houston. “We kept it local and within budget,” Benton said. “We were able to produce great looking video.”
Archimage develops video games for the Web, PCs, handheld games and Nintendo’s Gamecube. The 23-year-old visual design studio has won over 30 international awards for everything from architectural building projects to broadcast television commercials, computer and print graphics. Clients include Time Warner Communications, Knowledge Adventure, Ziff-Davis and IBM. The firm has also worked on projects for The Walt Disney Company and Nintendo.
- Richard Buday, FAIA
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- Melanie M. Lazarus MPH
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