The Making of ODAS: Dead Origins (The Movie)

Originally the concept of ODAS was based on a comic, which I have talked about in a previous post.  I wanted to develop the concept into a live action film, with the working title; ODAS: Dead Origins.

I originally filmed a version of Dead Origins for a second year module in University entitled ODAS Dead Light. You can see the trailer for this here.

The original concept for the world of ODAS was based on the idea of laife preservation. My inspiration for the story was to write abaout a character that has to deal with the loss of a loved one and wishes to cheat death and revive characteristics of his loved one so that they can live again through reanimated cybernetic beings called Half Lifers:

 

half-lifer n (pl half-lifers) two halves, less than whole, semi-corporate Lifer; n (sl) serving life a sentence.

The central character is Doctor Asclepius,  based on the mythical Greek figure of Asclepius who developed the ability to bring the dead back to life through medicine. Zeus was unhappy with Asclepius and struck him down with lightning, as only the Gods were able to decide the fate of men.

Hilda is Doctor Asclepius’ true love also his assistant and protégé, but when a comet known as ODAS crash lands in the city of Osiris, Hilda gets infected by a deadly pathogen whilst collecting samples and ultimately perishes. The comet has properties that can bring the dead back to life, but as Hilda discovers this, she also finds that direct contact with this alien matter has the adverse effect.  Doctor Asclepius vows to restore Hilda and begins radical medical procedures and experiments that he hopes will salvage Hilda’s memories. He intends to implant them into a artificial android in which he has created known as Sirius.

Creating Asclepius

The costume design was very simple; obvious imagery was used, a very expressionistic finishing touch to the character and the way it was represented; thus creating and enabling a character predominantly found in the genre of science fiction.  The costume was a white V-neck short-sleeved shirt worn back to front with the collar folded inwards and wore a pair of goggles.

Creating the pros and set design

It was a one-person setup, I chose to experiment with close-ups and this style composition simple, to control, as is the advantage with having an interior .The filming set were fashioned in my bedroom.  I created a specific design for the film-set layout to be purposely confined and minimalistic in detail.

The set design was for the medical facilities.  They have been easily constructed in both theory and productivity; the objective of the set design for the computer station and research scenes had been designed to be intrusively personal.  It was not only the objects within the shot that were my concern;

I had to consider different lighting techniques, as well as the red light. I decided to create more reflective surfaces and use additional LED torches, then decided to cut some plastic sheets made from torn recycling bags; which is a very different setup in comparison to the open surgery table which basically was a small table with tinfoil secured by blue tack.

From a local arts and crafts shop I bought some latex cream and some children’s play dough, the play-dough was used to mould the cheeks and arrange the bone and facial structure, which is based on the comic book character.  It was rather tricky as what I had to do was squeeze the cheeks and enforce them with PVC glue As for creating texture and blood; I decided to use red food colouring as my colour for the initial application process, then mixed hair putty and food colouring together leaving the lid off over night to create the impression of solidifying blood.

Creating texture is  an imperative part to making a convincing special effect; texturing occurs when you build on provisional layers once they have dried they solidified which creates a texture.  Once the latex dried both different styles and techniques of application with elements like skin tone and colour orientation; considering how they can be applied to the prop and making the face look authentic realism was not a concern as it would have been altered in appearance in post production with things like colour correction. This technique worked nicely under the correct lighting conditions plus the positioning of the reflectors the same technique of lighting.

By R.E.M.M.C Rhi

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