The 48-hour film festival is back, self-isolation style. While the judging panel is deciding the winners, The Spinoff is showcasing seven films from the competition. We’re sharing one a day in the lead up to the one-hour awards special, airing on TVNZ2 on Friday, May 8, at 9.30pm. Today, Duck 3D: 2D Busta’s from Flat Earth Globalists.
Duck 3D: 2D Busta’s is a short film about a family of mafia dogs that will do anything it takes to get money, including kidnapping Johnny the dacker (duck-hacker). It’s packed with absurdities, dimensional anomalies, and made with about as much software as you can name, if not more.
Flat Earth Globalists is a film collective made up of Corey Fuimaono, Tyler Baikie and Glenn Frederic. Fuimaono works as a video content producer in Tāmaki Makarau, Tyler is a screen producer living in the depths of Murihiku and Glenn is a production-focused IT specialist at a VFX company. With their powers combined they, quote, have ‘once again been able to spread the good word of a truly globalist agenda with homegrown entertainment.’
The filmmakers, after prompting from The Spinoff, interviewed each other in a fittingly hectic style about the process of making their weird and wonderful film.
What’s the story behind your team?
Tyler Baikie: We all studied film and animation together, but Corey didn’t study with Glenn.
Glenn Fredric: He was a year above me. I saw him across the room sometimes and I saw him on a newscast gag for our end of year film festival. But Tyler, you’ve been the anchor.
[To Corey] Have you been a flatmate with Tyler?
Corey Fuimaono: Yes.
GF: So we’ve technically all been flatmates together.
TB: This is the first project we’ve all done together though.
GF: But also it’s all been through Tyler. Me and Corey are like random acquaintances that barely see each other because Tyler’s just like “let’s meme on this shit!”
TB: I make sure to keep my friends very segregated.
Did you do any preparation for the film, and how did that set you up for the ‘shoot’, such as it is?
GF: Tyler and Corey each created loglines before I came in at 7:30.
CF: And the thing that I liked about Tyler’s logline was the fact that it flipped what urban fantasy was on its head.
TB: That’s right. One of my first ideas was that there’s this 2D duck with a photo of a 3D anime girl. So he thought that there is another dimension where his waifu was, and the next dimension was the fantasy element.
TB: The other component of our test video video we made last year based on the trumpet boy meme. We were just bored.
CF: That meme was big!
GF: I never saw it. I wasn’t even interested in this project until I saw that meme.
TB: When we sat down and thought we’re in lockdown, we’ve got a tiny team, what can we do? Make an animation?
CF: Yeah, my camera was locked up at work. I thought Tyler, this dumb animation demo we did, which is totally hilarious to some people but completely dumb to others because they miss the point, why don’t we just do that for this 48 hours film? What are we gonna lose? Nothing. This thing is free this year dude, like, let’s do it. Let’s just do it.
What were the big difficulties of working in lockdown, and on the flipside of this, what opportunities did this provide you?
TB: The biggest difficulty of working in lockdown is you can’t directly work with people. Outside of that there wasn’t any difficulty.
CF: We had all the tools we needed to do this remotely. I think it would have been the same if we were all in the same room, if not worse.
GF: Honestly, being able to get food, being able to survive in your own introverted environment and make sure you can get done what you want to get done… it wouldn’t work for everyone, but because the way the team was set up the team could focus a bit more.
TB: We were always on Discord 24/7. We never had like, weird meetings where we’d come together then split to do our job. We were always communicating, running ideas past each other. A lot of screen sharing! So if someone did something they thought was hilarious and they wanted to show us, we’d just jump in and watch it. Every single time we pissed ourselves laughing!
What was the most technically complex thing in your film to do?
GF: I think we need to list what programs we actually used for this.
CF: Photoshop, of course. Then Tyler hit us up with Blender.
GF: Audition. Audacity.
TB: After Effects to bring everything together.
GF: We also used websites like Pexels, Unsplash.
T:B A website called Miro for planning. Google Sheets to organise and track assets and shots.
GF: Miro was huge. Also Discord. But having the ability to find things you need online? That is a nightmare. So I think we learnt some things there.
TB: The most technically complex thing for me would have been the 3D duck. Doing a cloth simulation when he got shot with the magic laser. It wasn’t tricky or hard, just more complex than other steps. Then the next most complex thing was the Daily Keno sections I animated. There were probably about ten layers at times of Photoshop recorded green screen elements that had to be composited together. My computer couldn’t play it back in real time which is a rarity.
CF: The technical aspect for me, and something you can complicate very easily, is the sound. Last time I did a count I had about 40-50 separate audio tracks for different sections of sound.
TB: On a regular project of this size you’d probably be stretching it at 10 or 20. Glenn, what was the most technically complex thing you did?
GF: Social curation.
TB: What does that mean?
GF: I probably looked through thousands of images and audio files, figuring out what you guys would like, what wouldn’t fit for the scene, but also not overloading you guys with content. I was trying my best not to do that. So what is going to be the most useful? What can they actually use? That was the fun part. It wasn’t one of the hardest things, but you have to find the thing that works, then find if it’s useful, and not spam them with it, and also share it in a way they’re able to find it and not just scrolling so it’s lost in the ether.
TB: There were so many dogs!
CF: So many. On all fours, two legs, or they look angry looking off to the side.
TB: Just the weirdest poses. And the chihuahua images, wow. We only used one though.
This interview was edited for length and clarity. You can find the other films that The Spinoff has selected to showcase here.
Flat Earth Globalists are just one of a record breaking 2,111 teams who created three-minute masterpieces from their bubbles. The Vista Foundation 48Hours judging panel, including Sir Peter Jackson, will select finalists to be screened on TVNZ2 in a one-hour awards special on Friday, May 8, at 9.30pm.
VF48HOURS: LOCKDOWN is made with the support of NZ On Air, New Zealand Film Commission and The Vista Foundation.