Horizons: Filming a Monkey Island Movie

August 14th, 2011 by | No comments

I’m sure many of us thought of bringing Monkey Island to the silver screen… but how far did you went with that idea?

Well, I thought of covering each game so far with a simple list that contains all the vital elements for a successful AMATEUR production. (not including post-production stuff like editing, music etc.). Let’s dive into:

The Secret of Monkey Island – Production Notes

First, the actors… you would need Guybrush, Elaine and Lechuck as the main characters. Three main actors. Choose them wisely.

Then you have all the secondary actors like The Voodoo Lady, Stan, Herman, Meathook, Otis, Carla… they need to support the main cast, so don’t go easy on them. A good actor can supplement a not-so-good effect or background.

Oh and don’t forget the “episodic” actors, like the cannibals, the Pirates from the ScummBar, the Outlook… not to mention all the extras (ghosts, random pirates etc.).

You also will need a trained monkey.

As far as locations go… not everybody lives near a tropical island. You can find dungeon-looking-backgrounds easily (basements or some medieval-themed-restaurants). Hm, but you won’t find ships that easily… so you’ll have to think of some heavy greenscreen stuff.

Therefore… greenscreen! Since you also have battles, sword fighting, maybe adding some extra little scenes of your own.. I’d say a 6×6 meters Greenscreen should be enough. don’t forget the lights (one big for the actor, two small for the greenscreen to separate the foreground from the background).

But you can do a little research on that on your own. Mind you… filming on location is super expensive, but is a lot faster than filming at home and editing like crazy in post-prod.

Costumes! Costumes…costumes… yeah, I strongly recommend hand-made stuff rather than bought off eBay. It’s a lot cheaper. I’m not saying to make them from scratch, but you can grab a normal shirt off second hand shops, and cut it… bend it to your will muahaha! You get the point.

Equipment! Some stuff filmed on location (especially the scene with Otis in the dungeon) will require some heavy lighting. In one of my latest videos I used 3 big lights + a chandelier + some wall lights for a scene… and everybody says it’s too dark O.O  Sooo… imagine that you would need to look at some tutorials on youtube regarding how to light your scene.

Always remember, the camera is NOT your eyes. If your eye can see it, your camera may not… and vice-versa. Oh and…buy a camera too ^.^

Great! now all you need is a nice script adaptation and you’re good to go! Tune in next week where we’ll talk about quadrupling your production cost for Monkey island 2: the Movie 😀

Posted in Horizons, The Secret of Monkey Island

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