SHOT 208

This is a long, continuously zig-zaggy MOCO shot following Amanda past several works of art and into the Mona Lisa hall. She pauses to savor the marble statue of naked Greek wrestlers, reflecting on her own sexual preferences to the Mona Lisa herself. She finally spins through the stanchions and lands atop an empty pedestal in the opposite corner, suspended from above by fishing line.

For this final move I actually studied illustrations of a skating move call the Waltz Jump. Which is fitting because the music for all of Act 2 is a French waltz, and therefore all of Amanda’s animation takes place in 3/4 time.

And that also means my cuts and camera moves through Act 2 take place precisely “on the bars” in the music.

SHOT 205+206

In this hall she approaches a revolving exhibit full of retro collectibles: Batman & Robin, King King vs. Godzilla, and Kirk & Spock from Star Trek.

Might any of them come to life later? Stay tuned…

While Amanda mocks the display of boy toys and spins the turntable around faster and faster with each swipe, we get to ogle her thong and those sexy clefts that form a V above her butt — which I’ve since learned are called the Dimples of Venus.

SHOT 203

Amanda’s entry catches the attention of someone hiding in the adjacent workshop. Why is he wearing a Chinese peasant hat, and covered in a plastic tarp?

Technically this is another green screen shot, using Chris Pratt’s head on a Phicen M31 body. He’s hiding behind a clay figure that my wife made in a sculpture class decades ago. The plastic is simple a large Zip-Lock bag, cut open and secured with rubber bands off camera. The background is just a nice photo I found somewhere.

SHOT 202

Amanda sticks the landing after what feels like a 15-foot drop through some unseen portal. The first time my wife saw this, she gasped. So I know it’s literally a breathtaking shot.

Technically, I achieved this by removing Amanda’s head and laying her on her back so that the camera lens represented her POV. Then I slide her body along a ruler toward a concrete planter, one frame at a time. A timely flex of her knees, the proper shadows leading up to contact with the floor, and the roller skate sound effects really sell the shot.

This is also the first scene where we start to suspect POSERS aren’t really bound by the same physical laws we humans are. Because we were just outside, and now we’re inside.

SHOT 201

Amanda skates through a layer of water outside the Louvre, around a revolving Waterford crystal pineapple that I bought in the Dublin airport’s duty free shop years ago.

Why? We don’t care because it’s so pretty.

Amanda is carrying a silver briefcase and dressed like Nier Automata. Who’s that, you ask? I have no idea. But her costume is wicked sexy, complete with a mysterious eye patch.

I put her on roller skates to make her easier to balance and animate, plus it’s retro-cool. And yes, those skates have real shoelaces and the wheels roll independently.

I shot this on my MOCO cyclorama, turning at a fixed rate: One degree per frame. The stage is a 24” round mirror, which is not only smooth but it reflects light from the 24” round LED fixture directly above it. That light illuminates the stage’s half cylinder of rigid green board, which gets chroma-keyed out in post.

I did the cool water wake/splash effects with a special liquid resin used to simulate water in model train dioramas. Basically I poured seven elliptical “splashes” on the mirror, let them set overnight and then peeled them up with a razor blade. Then I simply animated them into place by rotating them under Amanda’s skates, storing the other splashes on waxed paper. And boy did that work nicely. The edges of the transparent resin actually reflect a bit of white light to nail the effect.

Amanda skates one orbit around the pineapple while talking to Kim Jong-un in her headset, then she pirouettes around and drops into the Louvre via a totally unexpected double wipe.

SHOT 411

This is Vonky’s POV from within her helicopter helmet and night vision goggles. She prepares to throw The Switch on Kim’s order, to start their sinister operation.

This is a good view of the album signed by her father, the cocaine-covered table, and my doomsday USB hub made by ThinkGeek.

My wife and I shot this live on my iPhone 11 Pro. She’s wearing latex gloves for extra creepy POSER effect. Shots like this are an homage to Thunderbirds, the British “Supermarionation” TV show from the 1960s. They always threw in a few live close-up shots whenever a puppet had to do something with human dexterity.

SHOT 401

We slowly creep away from a gilded portrait of Kim Jong-il’s charming but sinister puppet character from Team America: World Police.

This is a rather beautiful shot, because I used some pearlescent paint on the bunker walls and bombarded the scene with photons from a 365 nm wavelength black light. I slid that light along a yardstick in order to cast shadows through an as-yet-unseen cage.

And what we really don’t yet grasp is why the portrait is slowly mirroring upon itself to become an oddly symmetrical face. This illusion is revealed in the next shot, but the optical setup here had to be very precise for this to work.