I would proudly like to present to you: my latest short film; set in the universe of the videogame series ‘assassin’s creed.’
Assassin’s Creed – The London Chronicles
For anyone who hasn’t played the videogame, in this world the templars are engaged in a secret war with the assassins that have stretched all the way back to the times of Saladin and Richard the Lionheart. Rodrigo Borgia himself was a templar.
The templars seek to suppress humanity in order to further their own ill-gotten gains. The assassins are on the side of good, seeking to give free will back to the people. Despite these ideological differences the methods these two groups employ are similar. Assassinations are commonplace in this world. The good guys are never truely good; the bad guys never fully bad. One thing I’ve always loved about this series is it’s dedication to a philosophy of free will, of seeking the truth at all costs; and of the price humanity must pay to not sequester its freedom to authority.
Oh, and there are also air-assassinations.
Our short film is set in 2013. It follows Robert de Grandpre, a lone assassin, stalking a templar hitman through an abandoned building complex. This templar, John Vidic, is extremely capable and dangerous when backed into a corner. Who is truly predator and who is prey in this game of cat and mouse, where their lives are on the line?
It stars Lewis Williams, who featured in my previous short film, Unit 21. It also stars Oliver Maule. They are both very talented and hard-working, and I am certain they will go far in whatever field they choose to pursue.
The short film also provided me with an opportunity to test out the new glidecam my friend built for me. It is an engineering marvel. Built for a fifth of the price of the factory version.
I can’t exactly go into the technical details, but the ball bearings and the way the handle works centres around a gimbal in the middle of the device. This gimbal allows the camera to be moved across an axis without shaking the way it would normally if you were holding it with your hands.
I made a vine to demonstrate what it does:
The hallmark of a lot of professional filmmaking tends to be the steadiness of the shot. Entire companies are built around making stabilisation devices for cameras. So it was amazing to get a chance to use this device. It gives really great steady tracking shots. I’m not saying it’s perfect, I haven’t mastered the technique completely yet. But the difference between this and holding the camera with your hands is like the difference between night and day. See for yourself in the above video, and let me know!
And just as a side note, stabilisation is important but it isn’t the be-all end-all of filmmaking. I’d much rather see a compelling story shot shakily than a boring story shot as smoothly as possible. Story overthrows everything else!
It was a tricky process to film. Our original plan was to make a completely unrelated short film based around 80s beat-em-up games. This short required 8-10 people to be in front of camera. But, when two people showed up, we quickly realized that wasn’t feasible.
I had a few props at my disposal, one of them was an assassin’s creed hoodie. So one man took the hoodie. I gave my leather jacket to the other man. And we went to work crafting this story.
In retrospect I do wish we had more time to plan it out. But I’m very proud of the finished product. We had a location, a few props, and two actors; we churned out what I think is a decent story, along with a decent fight scene to boot.
Let me know what you think of the film, guys.