Ghost In The Machine Shows The Future Of A Local Film Company | windsoriteDOTca News
Traveling far into the future, a local film crew worked hard to showcase their unique vision.
Despite somewhat limited resources, Helios Films takes a big step forward. Recent filming The phantom machine, the group immerses itself in science fiction with its latest short film. Connecting a cinematic story with synthwave music, video is the first step in creating a larger universe.
It also allowed director Jendo Shabo to work with one of his favorites in the genre.
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“Waveform was one of the first artists who sparked my passion for synthwave music, so it was truly a dream come true to collaborate with him, âhe said. âI started Helios Films to focus on creating cinematic and narrative content and supporting these projects with my commercial experience in creating teasers, posters, social media promotions, etc. for various clients over the years. For my team, this seemed like a natural next step in our overall goal of consistently creating massive, Hollywood-style content, regardless of resources, relying more on skill and motivation.
Set in a neo-apocalyptic future, the world is shown through the eyes of the traveler (a character inspired by Solid snake and The unnamed man.) As the story unfolds, we learn that the murderous Phantom Machine was the Traveller’s best friend until she was kidnapped and reprogrammed by tech poachers. Attempting to restore his friend’s original software, it all culminates in an intense battle between the futuristic weapons launcher and a gang of grossly augmented thieves.
Looking for his next project at the time, Waveshaper started talking about the concept to Shabo. Instantly connecting with their common interests in movies and video games, the artist wrote a song called The Phantom Machine. At just under three minutes, it served to fuel the production and originally starred for actors while preparing to film their big brawl.
Despite their soundtrack, it took more work before the cameras rolled around. By planning every detail, it extended to the intricate fight scenes at the center of the film.
âIt has been a long and rewarding process,â Shabo said. âMy team and I tried to plan every possible step, including several choreography sessions between myself and my stunt coordinator Marcello Morle. After planning a solid point A to Z action sequence, we brought in all the cast to film a preview of the fight in my backyard with random backyard supplies in lieu of the props they would use. on set in the coming weeks.
Excluding the Voyageur’s investigation, it lasted nearly nine minutes. Despite the pairing of things, other changes have also been made. As more ideas formed, director Michael J. Krym’s co-writer and set designer Rachel Fitzgerald brought more than three minutes to life.
Showing flexibility, Waveshaper also continued to collaborate and adapt to the project.
âAfter Waveshaper saw the rough cut it was clear that we didn’t have to cut it down to three minutes, so he wrote an extra five minutes of brand new music to fit the length,â the director said. âTom Andersson (Waveshaper) has been an incredible collaborator throughout the process, not only supporting the film with new music, but also giving me enough freedom to explore and experience.â
Keeping things flowing is something Shabo knows about too. By scripting each image of his projects, the filmmaker also creates alternative ideas that he can integrate if things go wrong.
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After long rehearsals, challenges can still come from unexpected places after all.
âOur ambitions are always high, and I’ve learned to prepare backup ideas in case things don’t work out as initially planned,â Shabo said. âThe biggest hurdle to overcome was to pull off an exciting action sequence between six characters and a robot. It was a challenge to execute the long shots before the makeup melted the actors, but thanks to our talented special effects, Stephanie Johnston, her assistant Mary Shabo and [Fitzgerald,] we found a balance between cosmetic repairs and the countdown.
Developing a world of horror inspired by synthwaves for nearly a decade, the director envisioned The Phantom Machine as a side story within it. While his team seeks to create a feature film set in the shared space, Jendo took the opportunity to execute some of his larger concepts. This includes Traveller’s Smart Respirator, a cinematic blend of sci-fi and Western aesthetics, specific technology like the shoulder-mounted light and the wrist-mounted DataPad.
The translation of these elements into video is a testimony of his team. Even on a budget, almost all of the characters look the same how they were first drawn. Much of this was due to production design and costume design by Fitzgerald as well as special effects and makeup by Johnston. Adapting Jendo’s vision, they used their skills in many creative ways. This included Fitzgerald learning how to solder LEDs for the robot, perfecting key accessories like the traveler’s respirator, shoulder-mounted light, and making sure they were always at their best. Johnston cast dozens of custom silicone “augmentation” scars into different shapes (Jendo’s favorite Ace domino mask scar.) She also brought her unique touch to flesh and gore.
Of course, this future also couldn’t exist without the people who live there. Involved in numerous plays and in the local artistic community, Krym knows several actors of the region. When it comes to launching Jendo’s projects, the two typically discuss the director’s overall vision and character ideas before deciding on the best choices to choose from.
In this case, having so much talent in Windsor meant that only two actors came from out of town.
âWe got to choose Bob Steele of Windsor as the oldest survivor, Kitu Turcas as the aggressive group leader, Shayla Hudson as a brilliant fight and tech support, and Avery Meloche as a nimble gunslinger,â he said. Jendo said. Steve Kasan was brought in from Toronto because I had a great time working with him on a war movie I made years ago and Katy Chapman came from London to lend his physique as warrior of the team. “
In addition to their acting skills, some actors also went through grueling conditions. Wearing his face mask, eye patch and hat, Shane Morris led a fight against five people. On the other side, Paul Hucker had to stay alert and ready despite the heat in his Phantom Machine suit. This held true for Andrew Seguin as he took on the role for additional filming.
Casting decisions were important, however, even in small roles. Setting the tone for the story, Mercedes Ranjit is the first face people see when the video opens.
Choosing the right filming locations also helped create the right atmosphere. For this reason, using Windsor scarecrow was important for production. While preparing another proof of concept short, someone mentioned the installation to producer Krym. After receiving a visit from owner Shawn Lippert, the development of The Phantom Machine came first as the collaboration with Waveshaper was a priority.
Support for local businesses didn’t stop there either. Justin Auto Repair played a big part in the film’s introduction, helping the team with a Delorian and letting them film in his vintage mechanic shop. As a thank you, he appears in the film as The Phantom Machine’s first victim.
by Garfield The restaurant also allowed the production to build a hideout with overgrown foliage and may be on fire for the cast to come together. Beyond, the lights were rented to Gear house for the glowing vegetation or the lightning that lit up the auto shop.
In the end, everything came together and created a universe the director is satisfied with.
âThe atmosphere is one of the most important aspects of a movie for me,â Jendo said. âWhen I watch a movie, I want to be completely immersed in this world. I am very happy with how the bold visuals were complemented by the wonderful sound design of Braden Koksal, fueled by the insanely melodic music of Waveshaper. It’s no surprise that a project has to end eventually, and although I ran out of post-production time for our first release, I’m happy with the current version.
That’s not to say the director is done with The Movie. An extended cut more faithful to Jendo’s original vision is in the works. This includes the main stylistic differences which were cut off from the original due to time constraints. Having already made his own visual effects for projects, the filmmaker called on Anthony Sunsin and Justin Goulet: the duo created the intro cgi valley, the outro and the glowing veins on the victims of the robot. Even more of their work is expected to be featured in The Phantom Machine: Ultimate Edition.
By completing this version, Jendo is ready to push his limits even further. With many unused ideas, he’s hungry to make a feature film more than ever. Making this new concept a reality on their own, the director and his crew can’t wait to see where it takes them.
It is also this ambition that has provided a bigger story in progress.
âThe Phantom Machine is exactly the kind of movie I loved to watch, and I’m sure there are other people out there who like this specific mix of elements,â Jendo said. âThe script for the feature film is already written and although it is heavily inspired by my influences, it is unlike any sci-fi horror that I have seen. The Ultimate Edition will show that we can tackle the ambitious concepts that we will delve into with the feature film.
In the much less distant future, Helios has a few miscellaneous projects in the works. Beyond a more ambitious video with one of his favorite synthwave artists, Jendo and his team are working on a Ontario Nurses Association countryside. Moving from an alternate reality to such a serious subject, the filmmaker finds it creatively rewarding.
It is also one of the many projects that allow Jendo and his peers to develop their skills.
âMy main goal as a filmmaker is to push my limits with every project and luckily I have a team of extremely talented and dedicated artists to help bring my vision to life despite limited resources,â he said. declared. âOne of our first films in high school was an action-packed, visual effects superhero fan-movie. Since then, I’ve had the chance to collaborate with like-minded clients and develop these conceptual skills in a variety of projects.Each one, be it a music video or a wedding film, taught me something that I was able to use in my passion projects.
Released by NewRetroWave, The Phantom Machine is available at Helios Films website. The Ultimate Edition will also be included in the coming weeks.