Author Topic: Keeping up with the Joneses  (Read 197 times)

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Offline Simon Jester

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Keeping up with the Joneses
« on: June 23, 2016, 02:16:52 PM »
I'm so excited! Some of my best work to date shows up in this film and several scenes in the trailer, every CPU shot you see was designed by my team (sorry, i mean wife) , animated and played back by me with the exception of the "bathroom design" which i see they added in post.

This is going to be so funny!



I have a great story to tell about what happens at 1:24 but cant until the film comes out, October is long time to wait.   >:D
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Online Andrew Clunn

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Re: Keeping up with the Joneses
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2016, 03:28:26 PM »
So it's sort of like Date Night?

Offline Simon Jester

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Re: Keeping up with the Joneses
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2016, 03:49:21 PM »
I never saw Date Night but it does appear to have a few similar themes after reading the wiki. A much different plot.
“Don't explain computers to laymen. Simpler to explain sex to a virgin.”
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Online Ambious

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Re: Keeping up with the Joneses
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2016, 09:31:52 PM »
I'm confused

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Offline Simon Jester

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Re: Keeping up with the Joneses
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2016, 10:32:09 PM »
I'm confused

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About what? The film, my role in it, or Andrews question on how this film mite be like Date Night?
“Don't explain computers to laymen. Simpler to explain sex to a virgin.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Online Ambious

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Re: Keeping up with the Joneses
« Reply #5 on: Today at 05:16:35 AM »
I'm confused

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About what? The film, my role in it, or Andrews question on how this film mite be like Date Night?
Your role in it.
Guess I forgot what it is you do? (sry)

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Online SQ the ΣΛ/IGMд

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Re: Keeping up with the Joneses
« Reply #6 on: Today at 05:55:30 AM »
Congrats!
It looks entertaining.
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Online superdave

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Re: Keeping up with the Joneses
« Reply #7 on: Today at 06:51:57 AM »
I again would like to know exactly what you do.  But damn that is one of the most genuinely entertaining movie trailers I've seen in a while.

Online superdave

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Re: Keeping up with the Joneses
« Reply #8 on: Today at 06:53:30 AM »
also, gal gadot, yapha mehod.
There's probably some hebrew slang that would work better here.
ambious, help me out.

Online Ambious

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Re: Keeping up with the Joneses
« Reply #9 on: Today at 08:44:20 AM »
also, gal gadot, yapha mehod.
There's probably some hebrew slang that would work better here.
ambious, help me out.
Slang is mostly disrespectful.
"Mehamemet" (stunning) is probably the most appropriate.

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Offline Henning

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Re: Keeping up with the Joneses
« Reply #10 on: Today at 11:22:20 AM »
I was gonna say somewhat like "True Lies" (... heh... which I loved) 'cos I don't know Date Night. Looks fun SJ!

So what you did is create the stuff they show on computer screens...? Including animating the GUI to look as if the actor is actually using it. Man sweet gig.
I always wondered how much is performed (perhaps even live?) and how much post-animated. You seem to say "all of it in post".
I also wondered what are the reasons they typically have to do the screen shots later...
Is it mostly the camera can't get a clear shot off a computer screen?
Is it they don't want to bother the actor with such details as how to use a computer program?
Is it just easier to pay someone to create a video of fake usage later than to create a functional GUI that actually works the way it's depicted?
Is it that the director needs to control what's on those screens...? Think about it, a lot of plot can hinge on what's on the computer screen and what a character is saying about it in a voice-over (which can also be tweaked in post).
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Offline Simon Jester

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Re: Keeping up with the Joneses
« Reply #11 on: Today at 02:12:31 PM »
I'm confused

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About what? The film, my role in it, or Andrews question on how this film mite be like Date Night?
Your role in it.
Guess I forgot what it is you do? (sry)


In real life my name is Jon Hamm  >:D

As Henning described I am responsible for all TV screens and Computers on set as well as the design of what is on the screens. I also now rent the screens themselves.

I do almost everything live when I work. In that trailer every shot was live with the exception of the furniture design screen (i did produce the "green" on set for VFX to composite later) VFX even took some of our work and re-purposed/re-designed it for the logo fly-in background and the night vision goggles.

 Sometimes I am doing the controlling where I make stuff happen on the screen on cue, sometimes I make it interactive for the actor. When you see an actor typing he is usually not typing , I design a program that displays the proper character on the screen regardless of what keys they hit so it looks like they can actually type fast.  If a web page is needed to scroll or clicked through this is also faked. A production may not have permission to show a windows or apple desktop, I build a fake one with subtle differences.

Sometimes the job is boring, The "FBI headquarters" in film X has 20 desks with computers. I build 20 variations of FBI looking desktop screens (simple jpgs) with no animation or interactivity, turn them all on when I arrive then wait for somebody to unplug me and I turn them back on. LOL  If a TV show is playing on a screen somewhere I must play it back on cue in the same way every take. Sometimes I am just doing this so the actors have a reference for what they are watching and the screen mite not even be in the shot for that setup. Then there are gigs like this film where almost everything I did was interactive or complex in some way. I even got to build an electronics project that had some interactivity with a screen ( it actually worked but I cant get into detail yet as it did not appear in the trailer)

If there is something on a CRT monitor or tube TV I have to use specialized equipment to match the frame rates of the screen to camera or you will see scan lines in the picture, The job was originally called 24 frame playback  (trivia: the first 24 frame playback was designed on Star Trek the Motion Picture) sometimes we remove the tube from the monitor and replace it with an LCD screen but that really only works for background screens, it does not sell for closeups.

I also wondered what are the reasons they typically have to do the screen shots later...
Is it mostly the camera can't get a clear shot off a computer screen?
Is it they don't want to bother the actor with such details as how to use a computer program?
Is it just easier to pay someone to create a video of fake usage later than to create a functional GUI that actually works the way it's depicted?
Is it that the director needs to control what's on those screens...? Think about it, a lot of plot can hinge on what's on the computer screen and what a character is saying about it in a voice-over (which can also be tweaked in post).

It could be any of those reasons, If VFX can do something cheaper than I can they mite win. Ideally the director and DP will want it to work on set.  Sometimes screen elements mite not be available. For instance they mite not have shot the footage that goes on the security monitor that actor A is watching because actor B and location C are not available until later in the production. In this case I would produce a green (or blue, or white, once a production paid me to produce black LOL) sometimes they want tracking markers sometimes they dont It depends on the VFX team and what they personally desire, they all want something different.

I try to be as flexible as possible when designing interactivity. As you suggested some actors dont want to deal with it so i am usually prepared to launch the action myself remotely if needed.  I get to personally explain to they actor how the system works if they are interacting and most of them get it with a few tries. Jon Hamm used to work in tech so anything I had to show him he picked up right away as if he had been using the interface all his life (he is a god!) Zack wanted me to put the script on the screen so he could remember his lines (he was joking) Isla and Gal were also really good when they interacted, everyone was pretty computer literate on this set. 

This particular film is special, I have never seen so much of my work in a trailer before let alone how much will be in the film. I am such a small part of the puzzle but I just cant get over seeing our stuff like that. I keep tearing up. I imagine this is what a director, actor, or dp  mite feel the first time their work shows up on screen I guess this could be said for most film jobs. I'm amazed and feel privileged to have this gig. Everyone I worked with on this show was fantastic. The director Greg Mottola was so great to work with. He is known for Superbad but for me his best film was Adventureland because I also worked in an amusement park in the 80s like he did, we even discussed it on set.  (I worked at Dorney his was in somewhere in NY state)

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― Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Online SQ the ΣΛ/IGMд

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Re: Keeping up with the Joneses
« Reply #12 on: Today at 02:17:42 PM »
You get mentioned in the credits I hope.
"That's ridiculous, spooks. That's silly!" ~ The Tin Woodsman - The Wizard of Oz ~

"Like it or not, we are stuck with science.  We had better make the best of it." ~ Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World ~