This is a 12 minute live motion and visual effects installation project for Fredriksten Fortress, a Norwegian fortification dating back to 1640. The task was to tell the 350 year history of Fredriksten Fortress on two separate projected areas within the fortress citadel. The two “screens” to be used for the projection were two rugged and perpendicular fortress walls. Thus challenging the audience to shift their attention the 90 degrees from wall to wall, and giving them a feeling of being in the middle of the story. Surround sound speakers and a massive subwoofer, as well as LED lighting on a stone wall behind the audience is used to further enhance the experience. To make it all universally accessible, the film is without text or voice commentary.
The process from the intial brief and receiving the manuscript, which was developed by the client in cooperation with Odin Media, was to start with an extensive research process, and then sketching out a storyboard. The storyboard was discussed and adjusted before being used as the basis for making an animatic with sound to get an idea of the timing and flow of the story.
A great deal of planning went into finding the right studio facilities, firearms, gear, costumes, people and equipment. As well as planning the shoot based on what was available to us on the various studio days. We enlisted the experienced Derek Bateman, who has a long track record from BBC, to help us out in this process. Fredriksten Artillerie Compagnie facilitated a lot of the extras, props and costumes while Maaneproduksjoner built the large green screen in their studio. The green screen was large enough to comfortably fit groups of eight people running, and even a horse!
After six long days of shooting, we were left with 18 hours of raw material. This went into editing, and we spent the next two months editing, making 3D elements, compositing and adding visual effects. Testing this on location was obviously crucial, as seeing the film on the stone wall is quite different compared to viewing it on a computer monitor. On location testing throughout the finishing phase of the project allowed us to change exposure, timing, colors, movement and contrasts several times before we were fully satisfied.
This has been a remarkable and truly extraordinary learning experience. We are proud to have made this, and have largely in part our client and hired help to thank for this.
We had great help from people like Derek Bateman on camera and planning, Jonas Bjerketvedt on sound design, and a lot of people in front of the camera making it all come alive.
Starting November 26th the project will be screened every night at Fredriksten Fortress in Halden, Norway.