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DBA in Space: Behind the Scenes—Question 11

Part 1 of Question 11—The Question.
Part 2 of Question 11:The follow up to the question.

This is a continuation of my DBA in Space journal.

This was a Friday task-related question and involves two key scenes. First, in what appears to be a video from a dead Miss Friday (aka Verity Blunt). She is asking you for your help to find the footage of the alien making the transmission she had recorded before her untimely demise. After you perform your task, then a new scene is show where alien Brad appears to be in a server room, and then jacks himself into a computer, apparently trying to upload the SQL Source Control software and database back to his dad back on Mars. This is the footage that Miss Friday wanted you to find. As you may notice at the end of this scene, alien Brad notices the webcam, and then you see the menacing message on the screen: “Your attempts to stop me are in vain. Cease your interference unless you want to be reunited with Agent Friday”. Apparently, alien Brad knows that you are watching. Also, can you be sure that alien Brad succeeded in uploading the software and database so that his father would help him return home?

I wasn’t involved in the scene with Miss Friday, but I watched it get shot. It was a straight-forward scene, but what I thought was interesting was the set. It sort of looks like Miss Friday is standing in some futuristic-looking room. In actuality, it was just cardboard painted black, with some holes made it in, which were covered with colored gels, with flashing lights behind the gels. It was a very simple set, but looked good on screen.

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This shot was done with one camera, but with many takes. It was filmed in the actual server room that held the computers used to create the CGI effects for the videos.

The second scene, where I jack into the Roddenberry Launch Center’s servers, was the only scene in the episodes that was not filmed at the racetrack at Epson Downs. It was filmed in the server room of The Mill, the company that produced the videos. In fact, it was filmed after the initial filming the previous week, late in the evening after most of the people at The Mill had gone home. While this scene had a lot of CGI, what is really interesting is that the actual CGI was done on the servers I was standing in front of. Because it was such a short scene, we didn’t need the full crew. In fact, it was just me and Will, the director. Will had a HD camera that he mounted at various places in the server room where a hidden webcam might be located. We then filmed the scene many different ways, which gave Will a lot of options when putting together the scene. For example, the initial scene shows what appears to be four webcams, and you can see alien Brad move about the server room so he can jack into a communications link. These four angles were filmed as separate shots, and then later combined to the scene you see.

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When filming this scene, Will (director) was worried that it might be too scary, so he filmed lots of options.

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This scene was filmed several ways. At the time of the filming, Will couldn’t decide if he wanted me to use my tongue, finger, or mouth to “jack” into the servers.

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What might not be obvious from the video is that alien Brad is aware that he is being video taped. This fact becomes important in later episodes, if you are a conspiracy enthusiast.

As we were filming, Will couldn’t decide exactly how alien Brad should jack into the system, so it was filmed three different ways. First, jacking in with a long, alien tongue. Second was using a finger. And third, was my mouth, which was what they decided to use for this episode. It was a lot of fun trying all the different versions, and this scene is one of my personal favorites.

As we were filming, Will was exploring different parts of the server room. At one point he asked me to walk to the other side of the server room (not shown in the video that was used). The only problem with his request was that two of the floor panels were missing where he wanted me to walk, and the floor was covered with optical and wire cables. I suggested to Will that walking on the cables might not make some people at The Mill very happy. Fortunately, he took my suggestion and we tried something else.

If you look close, you might notice that the pants I am wearing are very tight. They are tight because they were the same pants that were used for the upcoming scene (filmed the previous week) where I slide out of the alien stasis chamber, covered with slime. After these pants got slimed, they went to the cleaners, but came back shrunk and stained. I guess that proves that you should not slime any clothing that you don’t want to shrink.

In my next installment, I will talk about filming question twelve.

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