Home Movie News AWAKENING And The Rise Of The Micro-Pilot

AWAKENING And The Rise Of The Micro-Pilot

AWAKENING And The Rise Of The Micro-Pilot

J.B. Movies and Visual Arts

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AWAKENING & The Rise Of The Micro-Pilot

On an undeveloped industrial park road, in a small Michigan town (population 1,200), the “micro-pilot,” AWAKENING, was filmed on August 21, 2010. Amazingly, the final version of this short film looks more like it was shot in Detroit instead of on the edge of a soybean field. With a cast and crew of 40, one mile of road, and over 30 cars the large accident scene made more than a few heads turn during production. And now, the Michigan writer/director, John W. Bosley, hopes to turn even more heads on February 28th when he reveals the finished film on YouTube.

“I describe the concept of a micro-pilot as being a TV pilot meets viral video,” Bosley explained. “Even though it is five minutes or less, the micro-pilot is NOT a teaser. It is a scene, or could have been a scene, from the script that encapsulates the story’s concept.”

AWAKENING is the story of a man who wakes up in a car accident. He doesn’t recall why he’s there or what had happened. Soon, he realizes he’s not alone. There are dozens of people on the road who are dealing with the aftermath of a tragic accident.

Just as James Cameron said that AVATAR had a lot to do with the eyes, AWAKENING has a lot to do with the reflections. Instead of revealing everything in a simple shot style, Bosley makes a point to extend the scene through reflections on the windows, mirrors and even the most surprising discovery in the eyeglasses of the main character. It was designed to be artistic and make the audience really focus on the action, but still create a sense of mystery.

AWAKENING was shot on a budget of less than $150 and, originally, the sequence was planned for only four actors, a couple of cars, and ton of computer generated additions added in during post-production. 24 hours after posting a call for cast and crew on mandy.com and craigslist.org, virtually every casting site in Michigan and the Midwest had re-posted it and approximately 150 people had already sent Bosley their resume. Shocked by the quick and overwhelming response, especially for a short film only offering a free lunch and credit, he quickly requested that the posts be removed. Bosley revamped his plans and almost 40 actors and extras ended up being involved in the shoot and many of them drove nearly two hours to be there. AWAKENING even gained enough attention that Gigante Catering (located in Detroit) offered to provide all the food for the one-day shoot, free of charge. The accident scene incorporated approximately 30 cars, two of them on loan from a local salvage yard (Robert’s Auto – Coleman, MI), and a one-mile stretch of road. The road had been built for a industrial park and since it was still undeveloped, it was a perfect location for the shoot. Other local businesses and people got in on the action and provided tables, chairs, a tent, and even a porta-potty for the day.

The actual shooting phase of the production was only 2 hours long, with the majority of the day spent setting-up and tearing down. John W. Bosley played the main character and ran the camera when he wasn’t acting. Cameraman 1, Andrew Guenther, ran the camera for all other shots and provided all the on-set camera and sound equipment.

For post-production, Bosley enlisted the help of his VFX artist brother, James R. Bosley. Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts, Bosley’s brother was only able to create a post-visualization shot during the initial post stage and the director ended up doing 98% of the rotoscoping, composting, in addition to all the editing and sound design on his own. Also because of this scheduling conflict, Bosley’s brother was not available to do the VFX that were planned to be done in Maya and Lightwave. So, the director had to find more inventive ways to create helicopters and other 3 dimensional effects.

The captivating music was provided by Hans Karl, a L.A.-based composer, who has created scores for the Visual Effects Society, and also film shorts and feature films for other filmmakers. Bosley stated, “Karl’s music accentuates the storyline and acting perfectly.”


Nic LaRue Nic LaRue is the owner of FilmSnobbery, is an advocate and passionate speaker for indie film, a film reviewer, and the host of the web broadcast series FilmSnobbery Live! Nic also offers his services as an independent film consultant whose passion is giving a voice to independent content creators.


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