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Homebrew Render Farming at Crunch Time with Imminent 'The Underwater Realm,' Plus New Trailer

You may recall when director David M. Reynolds shared a guest post with NoFilmSchool readers, in the midst of what would become a significantly successful Kickstarter campaign — overfunded $40k beyond its $60k goal — for his project The Underwater Realm. Now, a year later, the film is less than two weeks from premiering for free on YouTube. Needless to say, the all-volunteer-multi-talented-hyphenates of Realm Pictures is working tirelessly to get the project finished. On top of this, they’ve shared a seemingly endless amount of insight into their process along the way, via weekly video blogs — including a recent look at their self-implemented render farm-style workflow, the sound design, and a bit earlier, a look at their amazing underwater shooting process. Watch these and a new trailer below.

The image above (courtesy Ben Von Wong) displays a couple of the notable things about this production — which will culminate in 5 shorts portraying mankind’s encounters with the lost civilization of Atlantis throughout history — mainly its intensive aquatic shooting, and the custom lighting, camera, and communication techniques necessary to pull it off. The previous post here, by director David Reynolds himself, includes details of building a cheap kino flo-like lighting array — the team also devised a fully submersible DIY LED array as well — so be sure to check that out.

Here are some of the more recent video blogs, which will give you a serious idea of why this independent, low-budget, high-quality feature-length undertaking is important to what we do. These first two deal with the crew’s workflow during crunch time:

These other two, posted two months and a month ago respectively, illustrates what the production had to go through to achieve the Atlantian thread vital to the concept.

This material is just the tip of the iceberg, a sliver of the goods already available on Realm Pictures’ Vimeo page — and this is just behind-the-scenes stuff. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the premiere of The Underwater Realm itself, on the 25th of this month.

Link: The UnderWater Realm — Vimeo

[via Twitter]


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  • DIYFilmSchool on 12.16.12 @ 11:15AM

    I’m truly impressed by the technical ingenuity by these folks. There’s not much more I can say about this. Good post!

  • They are gonna give that away for free? That seems silly to me.

    • It doesn’t to me. Its a great way to get more viewers , And they’ll have name recognition around the globe

      • Yes, must be a bummer to see little immediate financial return but I can see that this will help them enormously in the long run. If I remember correctly this is supposed to be a multi-part series, so they may charge for future releases once a fan base is built.

    • Sharing has been their business model from the get-go as far as I can tell (I am a backer).

  • Congratulations seems good

  • Andreas Wappel on 12.17.12 @ 6:57AM

    production diaries are pretty inspiring
    but the trailer feels strange. as if they tried to put everything in it without caring for structure.

    hope the cut of the film is better!
    good luck to them

  • Big fan of these guys. Amazing undertaking. Really love this kind of ballsy indie gumption and skill, very inspiring. And really looking forward to the release.

    Andreas, maybe as it’s five shorts, not a single film, a more comprehensive narrative trailer was thought too problematic? Or even just the workload. Obviously a ridiculous amount of work in there. Possibly a case of not wanting to leave out so many favourite shots, but I doubt it. There are also trailers/promos which are more mood/sizzle kind of deals and I took this as such, which I still found enjoyable. But I do understand what your saying. And could just be me. I loved the trailer for Cloud Atlas, showed it to my son, and he goes… what the hell is that movie supposed to be about? :))

  • Even if the movie sucks, which I’m sure it won’t, I’m incredibly impressed with the fact that they have been so faithful with their video blogs – a significant undertaking all on its own.

  • Looks pretty epic for 100k. Nice work!