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The Making of Broken

Making a great short film with the help of a Panasonic DV camera, Final Cut Pro and Shake By John Virata

There is a short film generating a buzz that was shot on DV, edited in Final Cut Pro, with special effects added in with the help Shake. While there are a lot of filmmakers taking advantage of the DV format to make a film and the Internet to generate a buzz, it is not too often that all the elements that make up a good film come together to arouse an audience. 

Fortuity Films' BROKEN is one such film that combines all the elements (story, editing, effects, and of course, acting) that causes one to pause and ask what these filmmakers could do with the right resources and connections.

Everyone who wants to work in Hollywood has a script in their back pocket. These filmmakers not only have the script, they've made a movie from an act of that script to show the world what they can do. BROKEN is a short film, just 19 minutes. But what we see in this film is a lot more than just some artists who got together and decided to pool their talents and make a film for $8000.

How'd they do it and why? DMN senior editor John Virata recently spoke with the principals of Hollywood, Florida-based Enigma Factory and Fortuity Films (Alex Ferrari, director/writer/producer/editor, Jorge F. Rodriguez, writer/producer, Sean Falcon, VFX Supervisor/Shake Compositor, and Dan Cregan, VFX artist/compositor) on some aspects of the making of BROKEN. Here is what they had to say.

DMN: Who are the principals at the Enigma Factory?
Alex: I am the owner and founder of The Enigma Factory.
Jorge: And I am the owner and founder on Fortuity Films.
Dan: I'm just a hired hand... only I don't make money. Remind me to fire my agent when this interview is over.

DMN: Did you all go to film school? What are your backgrounds?
Alex: I went to Full Sail in Orlando. A "tech" film school. I started out in the biz as a dubber in a commercial house, then worked my way up to an editor. I went freelance and a few years later open The Enigma Factory. I've been in post now for about 8 years and my weapon of choice is Apple's Final Cut Pro.
Jorge: I was a critical care nurse, flight attendant, and comic shop owner before I ever got into production. I have been writing and producing in South Florida for the past 5 years.
Sean: I went to the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale and studied computer animation.  Toward the end of school, I took a vfx class and I was hooked! It was a Shake class that they only offered 8:00am on a Saturday. Since feature film vfx work is not really abundant down here, I would always create work for myself. So when Alex told me what he wanted to do with
Broken, I jumped on it. I figured at worst, it was a free demo, but things turned out really well for this project.
Dan: I got my masters degree in computer animation from Florida Atlantic University. It was a small intense program that taught me production from concept to screen. I specialize in Photoshop and Shake for doing digital effects and animation. When I'm not doing my own projects, I teach.

The changing of the actresses' eyes to blue in this scene was accomplished in Apple's Shake.

DMN: Is BROKEN your first short film?
Alex: No, but the other few shorts I made in my early days will probably never see the light of day. I burned them, in sacrifice to the Indy film GODS.
Dan: Live action, yes. . . but I've done four animated short films that made the rounds at festivals all over the world. I've also worked on a couple of feature length film projects. 

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Related Keywords:Broken, Alex Ferrari, Jorge F. Rodriguez, Fortuity Films, Enigma Factory,

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