Promonews - 23rd Nov 2021

Harvey Eaton has created a dystopian sci-fi blockbuster for Krinks' The Chain - a future-set parable of exploitation and worker-drone slavery that packs a real punch.

Using combination of live action, green/bluescreen and visual effects, Eaton directs a powerfully visceral drama of a Far East factory of the near future, where a downtrodden female production line worker makes a stand, and sparks an uprising - one that is doomed to fail.

Eaton worked with and his collaborators for months to achieve his vision and give his tale of tragic heroism the maximum impact, and it shows. Carefully considered and well-crafted, and delivered on a cinematic scale, it's a real labour of love and a remarkable achievement for a low budget video.

HARVEY EATON:

Everyone’s arms were very sore after a full day of throwing their fists in the air.

"When I first heard the track, I couldn’t stop listening to it. The more I listened, the more I enjoyed the cyclical and overbearing nature of the electronic layerings, with industrial tones and alarming sensibilities, juxtaposed by the human element of the piano, cutting through and crashing with angst.

"Eventually, I got the idea of humans being treated like a commodity in an industrial environment, and I remembered reading some articles about the abhorrent abuse and maltreatment of workers in mammoth factories, primarily in China. Workers found having committed suicide in warehouse aisles, left dead for days without being noticed.

"I developed the story to be set in the near future, so as to push the idea a little further and give it some creative flexibility. And the lucky cats (maneki neko) were an apt product to add a wry, satirical feel, taking the edge off.

"Pre-production was one of the most important elements in getting the film right. I am not a big fan of the big Hollywood movies that seem to shoot their talent and think about framing the backgrounds later. We also had the tiny budget of £5,000, so had to be clever with every single shot.

The process of matching the 3D city and factory to the foreground footage took months...

"I wanted to create all the cinematography beforehand, and with the help of our excellent DoP, Lee Thomas, we spent days in coffee shops, meticulously planning the cinematography so that we had beautifully framed shots. We referenced a lot of movies for cinematic inspiration.

"In terms of production design, I pulled a lot of references for Max Bat, our amazing CGI artist who created all of the backgrounds in Cinema 4D. The process of matching the 3D city and factory backgrounds to the foreground footage took several months, and really tested our brains.

"Together in production design, we tried to create a world that felt a little further from the present, yet also realistically tangible. Thinking hard about the advancements of technology was essential; I didn’t want flying cars and tech that seemed scientifically unfeasible. Just enough to aesthetically feel like the future, but close enough to the topical world problems we face today.

"We shot all of the actors and cats against green and blue screens at Make It Studios over in Bow, London with the help of my friends at Pavilion Films, who helped us out hugely with their gear and endless positivity for the project. Everyone’s arms were very sore after a full day of throwing their fists in the air.

"This was the biggest post job I’ve ever done. The organisation needed to pull everything together was a titanic task. Creating and updating the amount of spreadsheets needed (each sheet about 10 x 60 cells in size, for the VFX supervisor, CGI artist, and compositors) was a full time job in itself.

"After a year of trudging through the basic assemblies, it was wonderful to finally get to the fine compositing stages, VFX overlays and colour grade. I have so much respect for VFX, CGI and post production and how much patience it takes.

"Topped off with excellent sound design by the fantastic Fred Pearson (possibly the nicest and most professional guy on planet earth), we ended up with what I hope you think is a fresh and interesting piece of work. Thanks for watching and please share the video if you like it :)"

Credits

DirectorHarvey Eaton
ProducerHarvey Eaton
Co-ProducerMegan O'Hagan
Production ManagerLilli Burridge Payne
Director of PhotographyLee Thomas
GafferSimon Hargreaves
WardrobeFlorence Jones
Hair & Make-upElle Mcmahon
EditorHarvey Eaton
VFXMax Bat
Lead actorAlex Guo
Other creditsGrip & DIT - Alex Newton Costume Assistant - Lily Pipe Location - MAKE IT Studios Camera & Kit Hire - Pavilion Films Additional VFX Support - Atelier VFX Compositor - Alessandro Maschietto Junior Compositor - Emily Birkett Sound Designer & Mix - Fred Pearson Lucky Cat Logo Designer - Anckor Lead Story Development - Sulaiman Bhaimia

Promonews - 23rd Nov 2021

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