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Fan film...in the concepts stage...


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Hello to all of you Dig enthusiasts...


I guess I am the first in my group to let you all know that a Dig fan film is sorta in the works. We haven't gotten too far in it's creation, and it is still sorta in the concepts stage. I am in the midst of adapting the novel into a screenplay for our personal use, and others are working on the CG aspects of what lies ahead (Cocytus looks nothing like any place on Earth) or drawing concept art for the nasty creatures of the aforementioned alien world.


I, for one, hope that this project will not be dropped or abandoned before it is completed. If completed, it would be the first live-action representation of the novel in existence. As for legal stuff, I think since we are not intending to sell the fan film, or display it on TV/Internet, etc., the legal issues should be okay. Feel free to correct me on the details of this if you like. We are considering this a private film right now, but I expect a lot of you will be most eager to see it yourselves. In that case, I think we would need legal permission, etc. I hope we will be able to handle all of this...


Anyway, The Dig has been something I have wanted to see as a movie for a long time. I know Spielberg tried to do it, so it would seem that such a task would be completely impossible for me and my friends. You would be surprised at what can be accomplished when one is truly determined to acheive their dream. This is one of my dreams, I guess. I will remain enthusiastic about the project and will work as hard as I can to make it a reality. I only hope the fan film becomes as good as it has the potential to be.


I suspect that we will spend two years in making this film, and much may change in that time. At this point in the beginning stage, I see no reason to give up, for one will never complete a long journey without taking the first step.


Just keeping you all informed, I hope my friends don't kill me for saying all of this...I'm not sure how involved they are in this...Feel free to give input, feedback, and ask questions, but please--keep it constructive and not destructive.


- Soren

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Wow. Good luck with the project!


Can other Dig fans help out? -if so, with what?


I want to see this happend.

The pure beauty of the planet Cocytus is incredible. Incredible. I cant put words into it, but I can the game gives a wonderful and precise feel of your self actually experiencing the planet, and its just you and the beauty. The colours, the emotions of adventure, discovery are just floating there in the air. Quite a journey of intellectual intercourse.


I dont know how a film based on the novel would be. The spirit of the novel seemed to be not like in the game. Though, I only read the first 7 chapters. I got bored after chapter 4 or something.


Though, "just" a 5-20 minute long 3D simulation of the planet would be awesome. To be 'flown' in the air over the open sea without any land, and then to see the island in the horizon, then to fly around the different towers, to visit all the locations, *that* is a dream. A sexy one. *drowl*


as Sean said:


(copy to address-field)


Shotgun to be a beta-tester!

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Hmmm...well...how could you guys help? First of all, you can provide us with valuable input, ideas, and suggestions.


Here's one thing to think about: How are we going to simulate weightlessness inside the space shuttle cabin? Those scenes are actually in the novel, and are not from the game. If we decide to include the scenes covered in the 4th and 5th chapters of the book, how can we make it look like our hair is floating, etc.? I would like to hear your suggestions, and if any of you know how they accomplish the effect in professional sci-fi movies, I would gladly like to know that as well.


If any of you happen to know how to work with blue or green screens (like they use for the weather on TV, and obviously, for visual purposes in films) we would really like some help on that. We see the need to composite live action characters over a CG background, especially when it comes to placing our characters on the planet of Cocytus...


If you have any talent in 3D modeling and/or animation, and are willling and able to create fairly decent models of Cocytan artifacts/machinery, we may be able to use them in our film. Metal plates, life crystals, spire interiors, etc. Perhaps a few of you are able to make REAL metal plates with inscriptions on them. If anyone is involved in pyrotechnics and can make a "life crystal" with a tiny green light in the middle or something, that might be helpful, too...


I know all of this is probably beyond your capabilities, but at least most of you can help out on ideas and thoughts and input. I'm just giving ideas myself here, as to how you might be able to help us. If you come up with another way in which you might be able to help, I would be delighted to hear it. :)


Oh...and about that 3d simulation...yeah, we could probably do that easily, if we ever fully complete this project. Cocytus and it's unique locales will most likely be modeled in 3D sometime over the next two years. I imagine it would be simple to have a camera fly around it...I don't know about 15-20 minutes, though! :p

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When I get my computer, Id love to help you guys.


As for weightlessness, have you thought about filming underwater? Im not sure whether that is within your means, but it would give the floating hair effect, you could then modify the image in post production.


Im pretty keen on all the film stuff, however Im not sure how my online access will be, so just bare with me, Ill try to help as much as possible.


Ill also setup dig.mixnmojo.com to be your official information page for your project if you want. dig.mixnmojo.com/whatever etc.


We can work something out

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I made them many months ago for The Dig Soundtracks cdlayout ...but there're some errors (in the earth texturing and using fonts, I was studying to change it but I never had time!)

The Asteroids is modelled in a few minutes... the very difficult is set up an entire scene, idea, a realistic way to realize everything and find time...


I was playing while I was modelling them..

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#1. Yes, we have thought about filming underwater. Although, I don't know how we would be able to breathe to speak our lines...perhaps we would all be wearing spacesuit helmets...


#2. Having our project info on dig.mixnmojo.com would be great, but I do not think we should set anything like that up until we have a lot more of the project completed. Maybe a few months from now? Hopefully, the project will NOT be abandoned by then. There is a possibility that busy schedules might interfere with taking on such a project. Assuming that we remain up to the challenge, I think it would certainly be convenient for us.


#3. Nice graphics there. However, take a look at what I was able to do in a program called Blender. Of course, I spent a few hours on this image, so it's not like it was easy...I think this is the correct URL here:

Consider this as highly detailed concept art...


We are just starting what looks to be like a very big project. I hope we actually get around to filming, and we don't just get stuck in concepts and the script. While most of The Dig remains in our heads at the moment, be patient and we may soon have some concrete information about the film and what we are going to do with it.

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For filming underwater youd have to just mouth the lines and dub them in later, and have lots of short cuts :)


Or have everyone have short hair :)


Im not sure there is any easier way to do it, without the use of computers...


Anyway, goodluck and keep us informed

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Originally posted by SST_Brink



#3. Nice graphics there. However, take a look at what I was able to do in a program called Blender. Of course, I spent a few hours on this image, so it's not like it was easy...I think this is the correct URL here:

Consider this as highly detailed concept art...



Very nice, I know Blender as a little big 3d package!

Blender's team are working on a new version and recently they show it in Germany...

I use other 3d programs and these Dig images are created only to play with one of them... I made it without concept art, a draw, something to copy, only idea..

Make a film it's totally different, I worked on a short and my team and I thought all the necessary, only to the end we worked on CG... not using the way I used to make this picture ;)


Good luck for your project! :guybrush:

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Here's the whole plotline of the Dig, shortened into a list of "scenes." I am using it to get a big picture at the massive-ness of the story, so I can wrap my mind around it. I just thought it might be entertaining for you all to look at:


Borneo (and a Title Sequence)

It’s A Rock, Mr. President

The Ultimate Souvenir Picture

Small Talk, Small People

Burning Hell At Your Back

I’m Paid To Worry

Just Another Star

Framed By The Black Of Space

A Home Run For Boston


It’s A Little Weird Up Here

Some Kind Of Artifact

Trapped Within A Psychotic Rainbow

Flashes Of Light

Cavorting Gravity

What You’re Telling Us Makes No Sense

Amid Oceans Of Preternatural Calm

Others Have Come

Did You Feel That?

A Diversion Only

Spirits, Maggie?

Monitor Them Without Condemnation

Cocytus It Is, Then

Teasing Up Old Memories

Lights In The Sky

A Sign Of Mental Strength

There’s Nothing We Can Do

These Are Different

Acting On Your Own Orders

Truly Problem Solving

Alien Engineering

Be Not Impatient For Failure

The Crystal

Hard To Make A Corpse Worse Off

We See Reason For Hope

All Out Of Bright Ideas

We Must Get Them Out

Thinking Like A Human

A Shocking Experience

They Continue To Make Progress

A Planetarium

We May Look Like Food

Favored By The Grand Intangibles

The Crystals Must Be Attended To

To Cancel Out An Invincible Guardian

Sometimes You What, Maggie?

A Distorted Mockery Of A Face

Something Of An Obsession

All Spasms And Twitches

The Creator

The Beauty Of Mortality

I Find Myself Unable To Move

Missing A Part

The Fifth Island


Find Out What the Beams Are For

You Will Never Go Back

Too Many Miracles To Deal With





* I have heard many people say that the conclusion/ending to the Dig was really unrealistic. If not that, it only takes up a very small amount of pages in the book. A very short conclusion, and in that time 2 people die and come back to life, and the Cocytans are freed, and they all go home. Truly, it may be "altogether too many miracles to deal with at once." In an effort to make this a better film, we are considering lengthening the ending for our project. I don't know how we will do this. We don't necessarily want to change the ending either. I am interested in hearing what all of you think about the ending, and how we could make it better. Perhaps, we should not do anything to it and leave it alone. What do you think?

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I vote No lifecrystal for Maggie. Other than that, about as in the game sounds good to me. Perhaps from opposite angles or something else neat (like when they are all standing with the big sphere behind them, and the view/'camera' in the game is located to the back-right of them, and then I think it would be interesting to see that scene from the left -- which means from the entrance of the eye.)

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Where to start...hmm...


Ok, first of all, if you have read the novel (in case you didn't know, there is a novel), there are less puzzles involved. This takes care of that problem fairly easily. The plotline seems to be quite interesting to me...


Second of all, this is an extremely low-budget fan film... it's not much, but it is better than nothing. I was born in 1986, do the math, I don't have that much money, and I am doing this with friends. I believe we can accomplish this, and make it look fairly decent. How many of the legal issues still apply if this is going to be a non-profit private film, shown to only those involved in the making of it?


Thirdly, I have about a year's experience in 3D animation and CG art, it should be enough to get some good results, as far as I can see.


I don't know what we are going to film this on (Mini-DV, etc.) Any suggestions? :)


No, I don't have 70 million dollars, but I am extremely interested at what I can accomplish with what I have. I can imagine that at least some of you doubt my abilities. If I make this into a film, and it is utterly horrible, you can doubt my abilities then and I will not mind. Thank you very much for your input on mattes and legal issues, it is very helpful to me.

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OK, here i go:


1)Cocytus is a barren landscape, especially in the opening environment. The key here is that it's CLOSED OFF. This is going to require a travelling matte for all of the shots in that particular scene, not to mention the numerous crystaline rooms, the spherical transportation system, etc. This is friggin' expensive. It's also very hard for a person with little CGi experience to create, since places like ILM have 20-30 people working on the same sequence at once. That's gonna be damn expensive.


2)You have no idea how many legal issues you're going to come across. Who's going to be the space organization? NASA? That's probably another $30 000 in the hole by just getting access to their names, from spacesuits to the shuttlecraft. Also, the design for the shuttlecraft is copyrighted, so you won't be able to use a ship even remotely close to its design unless you fork over even more money. Also, you need to contract your script, screenplay, your actors need to be paid (According to the Screen Actors' Guild's foundation), you need to get them contracted, actors contracted, and not to mention, you're going to need to find a field to film this in. The only place suitable for this project that i can think of would be some flat surface on the Grand Canyon, and you've got another copyright infringement right there if you don't contact the State of Nevada. When i worked on a film project, i needed 2 lawyers to handle the stress - luckily, both of them were good family friends and were willing to do it for free. Even some friggin' wallpaper patters were copyrighted.


3)Like I mentioned in the other post, you have the dillehma of stripping the plot of all puzzle-solving aspects in the story. That basically leaves the story to some cliched, stripped down version of numerous sci-fi stories. Sure, the life crystals thing hasn't been done before, but unless you use clever lighting techniques to set the mood, Brink (While under the posession of the life crystals) is going to seem like the most lame character ever. Not to mention the weak relationship with Low and Robbins near the end of the story - where the hell did that come from?


4)What do you plan to film this on? Mini-DV?


5)As for mattes, the best technique is to buy lots and lots of linoleum, and paint the back with green (It's farther away from skin tones, and there's not a lot of green colourization in The Dig anyways). The actors need to be at least 10 ft. away if you don't want any green spill seaping into the back and cutting off the character edges in post-production. That's something you DON'T want, unless you have the money to shoot footage outside of principal photography. You also need either green lamps capable of handling 400 watts at LEAST. You're going to need 4 of those, and a fluorescent lamp in the middle to balance it out. There's $3000 in rental equipment. I'm assuming that these mattes will be for outdoor environments, so you're going to have to go portable with those too... add in a generator...


I'm sorry to burst your guys' bubble, but too many times have I seen someone attempt to make a movie, only to be overwhelmed with the complexity of the project AFTER they've put in good money in starting it. It's not that easy, considering this kind of plot was meant to be produced with a $70 million budget.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just a reminder that my last post (in reply to TheFilmGuru) somehow got placed above his post, so it's kinda backwards...


Anyway, I think it's safe to say that our preliminary screenplay is completed. Of course, the page number corresponds to about 4 hours and 15 minutes of video, so we will have to cut it down, I think. That's all I have to say right now. I'll keep you posted on further developments. :)

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  • 3 weeks later...
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  • 1 year later...

I had noticed the new splash page earlier. Work on the project has been pretty slow, but I'm still trying to keep it going. It may take many years to complete anything. The project may be killed in a few months. It's really hard to say anything for sure. Either way, it would be nice to have hosting for the things which have come out of this project. :)

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