Well-written dialogue and an intriguing use of the POV camera style help make “Craiglist Horror,” directed by Russell August Anderson, so memorable. The May winner of the iPi Soft-sponsored monthly filmmaking competition has the intense feel of the opening to some popular crime procedurals like CSI or Law & Order, or perhaps a gritty indie film.
The three-minute piece begins with a man filming a woman sleeping inside a car while he comically debates the ethics of what he’s doing. We quickly learn they’ve accompanied the man’s actor brother to a remote film shoot in the desert. Shot POV style throughout, things take a suddenly real and violent turn, ending on a cliff-hanger that leaves viewers ready for the next scene.
A professional editor in commercials and film in Los Angeles, Anderson says “Craigslist Horror” came about as both a test of iPi Motion Capture software, and with the Source Filmmaker package from Valve that features the mocap software.
“‘Craiglist Horror’ served as a proof-of-concept that the technology is getting to the point where filmmakers who aren’t insanely tech savvy can pre-visualize their ideas and use motion capture easily to get a feel for the visual flow of their story before shooting it,” Anderson says. “The script was a short film a friend of mine wrote and set aside because he was unsure whether or not it worked, so it seemed like the perfect candidate for a test run. The project helped me gain mocap experience that I’ll apply to my next pre-visualization project — a short film we’re shooting this month.”
Anderson adds, “With iPi Soft I was able to act everything out beforehand and easily drop the mocap data into Source Filmmaker with DMX files. This was my first time using the software and the one Kinect setup was a breeze.”