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Prey Alone

SynopsisCrew ListReviewMaking Of




Synopsis


Agent Cain is on the hunt for an elusive unidentified killer. His only leads are a reluctant witness held in a military prison and the words 'prey alone' written in a notebook. Can Cain track him down and discover the true identity of the mysterious criminal. The chase is on.



"Prey Alone" isn't your typical Irish movie short, in fact for all intents and purposes it looks like your average major studio US sci-fi action thriller. That is where the surprise comes in. Using up to date digital film techniques with nine home computers hooked up together and arranged to operate like a high end digital TV post production system, the gang behind this feature have delivered what could very well be titled the first digital home movie done by a couple of Irish guys with their home PC.

Much like last year's "Sky Captain", "Prey Alone" is almost entirely digitally created. In fact the only elements of live action in the movie are the actors and some hand props. Everything else was built in post production by the film makers. Writer & Directors Stephen St Leger and James Mather have worked together on many TV commercials which has resulted in a film that looks wise rivals most feature films with its dark and crisp cinematography and inventive mix of 350 effects shots into a strong narrative. While it took over 18 months of prepping, the shoot took just four days and a miniscule budget and the results speak for themselves.




MakingOf



Believe it or not it took only 4 days to shoot all of the live action elements of Prey Alone in a green screen studio at Ardmore Studios in Dublin. One can appreciate the amount of preparation this took. Every head turn, look and movement had to be worked out in advance by directors Stephen St Leger and James Mather and agreed upon for it to cut together. There are approximately 350 shots in the completed movie and each one is at least digitally enhanced if not completely created on a computer. The self-taught James Mather spent at least 18 months preparing and building all the necessary 3d objects and elements. After seeing a short clip, producer John McDonnell was successful in securing  funding from the Irish Film Board. With a budget most Hollywood producers spend on lunch, Technical director John O’Connell set up the domestic nine-computer render farm.

Then James, Lead animator & compositor Jonathan Ridge and graphic artist Eddie Sheanon had only three and a half months to animate, model, light, render and complete the film.





“Ideally 35mm would have been a better format for compositing and tracking, but we didn’t have the money…so it had to be 16mm…James and I also wanted to shoot a lot of it hand held so that made things even more difficult for tracking, more difficult for everything in fact…but it’s a much better way…more exciting, realistic and unobtrusive.” - Stephen St Leger, Director
“I felt that the camera should always be trying to catch up with the action. In real life the camera operator would be struggling to shoot what is happening so that should be reflected in the 3d generated camera moves. Camera shake, camera focusing up, crash zooming into the action”…”The more unpredictable the better”

It was filmed entirely against a green screen background on 16mm film.


Crew List


Directed by James Mather & Stephen St. Leger
Writing credits (in alphabetical order) James Mather & Stephen St. Leger

Cast (in credits order)
Ger Carey Darris Cain
Andy Moore Dean Ellis
Kurt Savage Fugitive
Produced by
John McDonnell producer
Original Music by John Walsh
Cinematography by James Mather
Film Editing by Janice Toomey
Sound Department
Peter Blayney sound re-recording mixer
Peter Blayney supervising sound editor
Brendan Geaney foley artist
Brendan Geaney foley editor
Jon Stevenson sound effects editor
Visual Effects by
Paul Flanagan CG artist
Other crew
Garret Baldwin gaffer