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Crash Course gears up for Car Shorts

Media Design School’s latest short film, Crash Course, is officially in the virtual race to win the title of Car Shorts Grand Prix champion.

Crash Course

Crash Course

Crash Course, a futuristic driving film created and produced by Media Design School, is one of the films vying for the title in Car Shorts, an online film festival run by Direct Line Versicherung AG and Interfilm Berlin.

Crash Course, which features both computer-generated images (CGI) and visual effects, tells the story of a hapless driving student named Gavin who can’t fly, let alone drive. His long suffering instructor, Don, is stuck yet again trying to get him through his flying license test which, in the past at least, has never ended well.

When thuggish thief Hank hijacks their flying car after a heist, the roller-coaster ride through the high-rise city gets him more than he bargained for.

Seven third year students from Media Design School’s Bachelor of Art and Design degree programme had only 14 weeks to work on the project. They created over 40 visual effects shots, all of which feature in the 4:05 minute long film.

The students were involved with every facet of the production pipeline, working on everything from pre-production design and conception to prop building and set-dressing as well as being involved in the shoot and completing all of the visual effects work.

According to the film’s writer, producer and director, Simon Heath, who is also a Senior Lecturer of 3D and Animation at Media Design School, Crash Course was shot in a single day using live actors against a computer generated city in a completely computer generated flying car.

“What was particularly impressive about the shoot was that in order to make the car scene completely realistic, a low-budget, practical rig was developed and built by the students, which enabled us to raise and tilt the car , even when all three actors were sitting in it. This system enabled a single person be able to pivot and tilt the car freely, allowing the actors to have dynamic reactions to the car moving around,” says Simon.

“We then tracked and digitally removed the car, replacing it with the computer generated exterior of the flying car that you see throughout the film.”

Car Shorts, a global competition featuring 351 movies from 56 countries, seemed like the perfect platform to launch the film, says Simon.

The three winners of the Car Shorts Grand Prix will be decided via an online audience voting system. You can watch the film and register your vote for Crash Course here.

The voting process opens today and closes on the 9 November 2014.

Media Design School is New Zealand’s most-awarded private tertiary institution and distinguished by its close alignment to industry. The Auckland-based school offers specialist degrees for emerging creative industries including Bachelor of Art and Design (3D Animation and Visual Effects), Bachelor of Creative Technologies (Game Art), Bachelor of Software Engineering (Game Programming) and Bachelor of Media Design. A range of foundation diplomas and graduate qualifications are also available. Media Design School is part of Laureate International Universities, the world’s largest private university group with over 70 institutions in 29 countries, including dedicated design schools in San Diego, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA; Berlin and Hamburg, Germany; and Milan, Italy.

For more information, visit www.mediadesignschool.com

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