Interview with Chris Buchal Regarding Glass Cage
Glass Cage, a new film about female social issues which produced by Chris Buchal just been released (Check the Glass Cage video at bottom). Chris and his team had overcome so many difficulties and didn't give up the film even under very serious budget problem, what a tough team! And power for its VFX part. Here is the interview regarding this new film between Chris Buchal and Fox Renderfarm as below.
Fox Renderfarm: Hi Chris, would you please give a brief introduction about yourself?
Chris: Sure thing! Hi! I'm an English Major from University of Oregon. I've been making films for about 5 years now, and I am self-taught in visual effects, editing, cinematography, and post production. I've made commercials for some major brands, and have been building out my portfolio for past few years to hopefully apply for more commercial agency work, while I work on a feature script.
Fox Renderfarm: Sounds wonderful. So when and how did you get into the film industry?
Chris: It all started when I wrote to a craigslist advertisement and applied to have a job helping write the technical questions for the food safety manual that restaurant workers study before taking an exam. From there it evolved to editing videos, and from there the creative realm. My first year I made 20 pretty terrible comedy films, and then took the level up to a more professional and polished final product.
Fox Renderfarm: Haha, very interesting experiences. Then what is your most satisfied work in these years and why?
Chris: The short commercial piece "Baquon," because I made it with my best friend in my kitchen, it was a successful commercial, and it was a love poem to Bacon. It also made us some money.
Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations! OK, how did you and your team members come out the idea of making the female empowerment film?
Chris: The original concept was based on something my friend at the time, Cheree Marks, came up with. I wanted to do something with projection mapping and the female form, because at the time glass sculptures were on the table of the female form, and Cheree suggested body issues, and then agreed to work with me to help formulate a script that would enable us to tackle these social issues, and hopefully provide strength to women who struggle with them. Then the glass sculpture artist dropped out and we decided to use a mannequin of the female form, which was a blessing in disguise because it made the projection mapping more legible.
Fox Renderfarm: You guys are so much warm hearted! We highly appreciate your work for women. Would you please tell us what’s the Glass Cage about?
Chris: Glass Cage is a mother-daughter bedtime story about growing up in the world. It's a story about self-love and not giving into societies sometimes skewed expectations. It’s a movie that tackles different social constructs, and provides hope for how a woman can overcome them by being brave and staying true to themselves, and not letting the opinions of others sway themselves from the love they must have for themselves. Women are incredibly strong, they give life, and yet society oftentimes tries to take their inner light away from them.
Fox Renderfarm: That must a great inspiration for women. While how many team members for the Glass Cage and how you guys cooperate with each other?
Chris: This was a rather large and ambitious project. We had no budget, and a lot of visual effects, but luckily members of the team such as Ray Kelley, Celeste Leizer, Tim Riva, John Williamson, Shepherd Duff, Michael Mavromatis, Paul Turcott, and Andrew Williamson all were willing to dedicate their visual effects knowledge and time to help accomplish some of the more advanced CGI. I created all the projection mapping assets, and did a lot of the compositing work. This film was a labor of love, and thanks to the producers/cast, and crew who all donated 4 days of their life to make this possible. The cooperation worked the way most film sets work, a lot of phone calls, favors, and just the generosity of other people. Without them this film could not have been made.
Fox Renderfarm: We are really impressed by the effort of all the members involved. Besides, what difficulties you met when making it?
Chris: There were a lot of difficulties with this project. We had no budget. We had about $100,000 of rendering/VFX time. We wanted to finish the film in 4k (in hindsight 2k would have been smarter). At various points people dropped out or dropped the ball, which happens on projects with no budget, and we also had several random cloud server crashes and hard drive failures that thankfully were avoided by triple backups. Backup your data! There was some lack of clarity on the time commitment the project would take, and so some people had to drop out due to personal reasons, but all in all, this is par for the course with a no budget film. It was the effort of a lot of kind talented and generous people, and thanks to Fox Renderfarm, we were able to render out our films title sequence using Maya/Vray and 4k finishing.
Fox Renderfarm: Anyway, the good news is the film is finally released. So where would you plan to submit/release the film?
Chris: Ideally it will get passed along the festival circuit before being released online, and backed by some female organizations who support its message
Fox Renderfarm: Great, we sincerely hope the Glass Cage would have a perfect result. As for the rendering phase, why choose Fox Renderfarm as the partner and What you think about us?
Chris: Fox Renderfarm was an absolute lifesaver. We are a no budget, VFX heavy film. We simply don't have enough CPU power or render hours to export at 4k all the visual effects in the film. Thankfully Shelly Yu, responded to my request for a sponsorship proposal with grace, tact, and charm. Fox Renderfarm worked tirelessly, and patiently with us as we slowly compiled the work of multiple artists across the globe into the film’s final title sequence, as well as a few of the "Glass Cage" CGI shots. Without Fox Renderfarm, we wouldn't have these elements in the film. They worked with us tireless overcoming technical hurdles, and even language barrier. They were really caring and just an incredibly supportive experience. I hope to be able to employ them sometime in the next year or two on some vfx heavy commercial projects should the opportunity arise.
Fox Renderfarm: Besides the previous child abuse film “The Cycle Starts And Stops With You” and the just released female empowerment film“Glass Cage”, do you have any idea for your next film?
Chris: Yes, a female dynamic due comedy feature script is in the works, as well as maybe two more short films and proof of concepts. One involves the future of virtual reality, and the other is an alien invasion proof of concept. We also have another short film in post-production about cell phone addiction.
Fox Renderfarm: Looking forward to your next film soon. OK, anything else you would like to add or say?
Chris: Thanks again to Fox RenderFarm, and anyone who worked on or donated time to Glass Cage. Couldn't have finished the film without you guys.
Enjoy the Glass Cage video now!
Glass Cage from Illustrious Productions on Vimeo.
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