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A Can of Paint

DMN talks with the Director and Effects Supervisor of this short film By Stephen Schleicher

Interstellar junk dealer Kilgour dreams of riches when he discovers an ancient derelict ship of an unknown race. But the find of his life instead becomes a threat to his life. A spot of paint from an alien can begins to grow on his body, out of control. In space, the simplest things can kill you...

In A Can of Paint, Director/Editor Robi Michael and Special FX Supervisor Thomas Marinello spent close to two years working on the special effects and compositing for this futuristic story set on a loan spaceship.  Digital Media Net’s Stephen Schleicher caught up with the founders of Invisible Films to talk about the making of this award winner.

Digital Media Net:  Tell me a bit about yourself and your background and how you came on to this project.

Robi Michael:  I’m from Israel originally, and came to LA 11 years ago, where I went to film school.  There I realized that in order to do the films I would like to do, the only place to do it was in LA.  So I stayed.  I did a bunch of short films, a TV pilot, a couple of spec commercials, which eventually lead to A Can of Paint.

DMN:  Where did the story come from?

A Can of Paint PosterRobi:  A Can of Paint is based on a short story by A.E. Van Vogt with the same name.  The Executive Producer Winston Engle, of Englomerate Productions, is a very avid writer and was looking for someone to direct his adaptation of the story.  We knew each other through a mutual friend, and when he showed me the screenplay I said, “Wow, this is really good!”

Tom Sammon, from Make Believe Media, was the Producer for this production.  His help was amazing throughout the production, and I am thankful he gave me the opportunity to direct.

DMN:  How true is the film to the short story?

Robi:  Winston Engle did a great job.  It is true to the story, but also different.  In the short story, it is told 3rd person.  We couldn’t do that in the film, so Winston introduced the computer voice, so Kilgour had something to bounce ideas off of.  Also Winston set the entire story in the spaceship.  In the short story, part of the story takes place on an alien planet.  So the changes were to improve the story telling and to translate it to cinema.  Other than that it is very true to the story.

DMN:  Was there anything early on you were concerned with?

Robi:  Obviously since it was a science fiction film, to make it look right, the budget had to be there, especially for the effects and set design, which usually cost a lot of money.  Our modest budget wasn’t too bad for a short film; I saw it as a challenge and was happy to direct it.

DMN:  Once you came on to direct, how long did it take to make A Can of Paint?

Robi:  After a year of preproduction, we were able to shoot it in five days.  Eventually it ended up being two years in post production because of the effects.  Most of the shots in A Can of Paint needed some kind of effects. Most of the work done in post production was done by me and Thomas Marinello.  We did have help with some of the roto work, but it was mainly the two of us.

We had to do work during the nights and weekends, because obviously we didn’t get paid for the work, and we had to earn money through different jobs.


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Related Keywords:a can of paint, kilgour, a.e. von vogt, robi michael, invisible films, schleicher, interview, short film

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