Smoke On the MOVIE

Aviation & Simulation Topics
necigrad
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Smoke On the MOVIE

Post by necigrad » Fri Nov 10, 2006 1:35 am

First off, I'd like to say it was a pleasure getting to meet the team. Your selfless dedication has paid off.

Several years ago I saw the VFTC movie. "Wow" I thought. "That's just amazing!" A few months later, the first VTB movie found it's way to my computer. "Incredible!" Their flying is as precise, if not more so, looks awesome, and the effects just really make the movie. Not to mention that they do it simulating my countries demo team, and living in Las Vegas, my home team as well. Well, while those videos were innovative and fresh, Smoke On has created an entirely new level.

As was expected, the Virtual Thunderbirds have proven yet again their skills. In the real world, the USAF Thunderbirds perform manuvers that us that watch them, even those that understand aerodynamis and such, are left in awe. Those moves cannot be done, and yet they do them. Well, the Virtual Thunderbirds have done the exact same thing. And, as Commander/Leader Mike Jobe pointed out, the virtual team does this without periferals and without the feelings of flight. No sense of yaw or G forces to add input of what the aircraft is doing. Top notch flying by the entire team.

Normally the actors are the star of the show. Nobody stands by the red carpet looking for the director or editor. Smoke On is the exception. Kris Langdell has created a work of art. One he created while working a full time job, notably the full time job of airline pilot. Forget the rumors, airline pilots don't get two weeks off a month. They work a lot of days, usually 4-5 a week, and during that time they are away from home and family. In the midst of all the Kris has found the time to not only practice with the rest of the team, but to put together a masterpiece. And that is truly what Smoke On is, a Masterpiece, with the capitol "M". Throught the entire movie I was presented with astounding views, angles, and perspectives that could not have been imagined. And on top of all that he FLEW as well. But because that is not enough (OK, WAY more then enough, but apparantly not for Kris) he has also created a stellar tribute to the USAF Thunderbirds.

The Virtual Thunderbirds have set the new standard. For someone to improve on this presentation will likely require help from Pixar, money from Universal, the direction of Scorsese, and the creativity of Gene Roddenberry.

I would like to thank the entire Virtual Thunderbird team, as well as their sponsor Thrustmaster, for an enjoyable evening. You are worthy of every accolade said about your abilities, and more.
necigrad
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Post by necigrad » Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:24 am

I've seen the movie and can't wait to download it. I'm just wondering how many days it will take to download. If you're on dialup I have a feeling you'll need to find another way to download it, cause it's gonna be HUGE. They did break it down into four parts, so it's a bit more manageable. I'd like to download the whole thing in one part, but I don't know how practical that would be.

Man, see the trailer, airshow this weekend, then I've got to wait two weks. Damnit! :-)
Canuck
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Post by Canuck » Sat Nov 11, 2006 3:27 am

Are you on Dial-up?
necigrad
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Post by necigrad » Sat Nov 11, 2006 3:29 am

I'm not, but 50 minutes of HD is gonna be huge!
Canuck
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Post by Canuck » Sat Nov 11, 2006 3:34 am

Yup, it will be probably pushing close to 600 megs :)

So did you see this in an actual theatre, like at full screen?
necigrad
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Post by necigrad » Sat Nov 11, 2006 7:00 am

Stryker
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Post by Stryker » Sat Nov 11, 2006 10:01 am

Isn't that just amazing? No matter how big, colourful, concise and loud an announcement you make, there will always be someone who doesn't have a clue what all the excitement is about. Yet they'll be the first to type away and hit that 'enter' key, in a rush to show the rest of the world just how its possible to be a complete _____ (fill in the blank).

BTW...nice post necigrad. Well said. The rest of us meanwhile hold our collective breath until Nov. 23 :shock:
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Lawndart
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Post by Lawndart » Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:56 pm

Quick comment. Still in Vegas meeting the real team and more, but everyone is right (except Viper)! :wink:

The internet release will be out November 23, approx 1.2 Gigabyte and split in 4 parts as mentioned (roughly 300 megs each). The premiere did happen in a 400 seat theater!

Looking forward to talking to ya'll again after the weekend. Thanks for anyone who came and for the rest of you, we'll be watching for your comments and critique after Novmeber 23!

...and yes (Viper), the movie is 50 minutes long! :wink:

LD
Stryker
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Post by Stryker » Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:47 pm

Thx for the update LD and congrats on a successful weekend.

This is probably a dumb question but I'm no geek so here goes. Will there be an option to download the entire movie in one part? If not will it be at all possible to "splice" the 4 downloaded parts for a seamless 50 min playback?
Canuck
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Post by Canuck » Sat Nov 11, 2006 9:10 pm

That's amazing Lawndart, I would have expected it to have been shown on a smaller display at the theatre.
50 minutes is a long time for a machinima movie, how was the pace? and did it keep the attention of the audience for the entire 50 minutes?
Any idea how many showed up for the premiere?

I only found this movie and this site yesterday. I going to be doing some reading tonight to get more background information on the team and movie.

Thanks for the updates :)

Hopefully the movie will also be available for download as a torrent.
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lqcorsa
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Post by lqcorsa » Sun Nov 12, 2006 12:33 am

Lawndart wrote: The premiere did happen in a 400 seat theater!
Wow, congratulations!

I'm having a hard time figuring out what the movie will contain, it must be like a documentary on you guy's, 50 minutes of non-stop aerobatics would be hard to do.
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BonJobie
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Post by BonJobie » Sun Nov 12, 2006 12:38 am

Okay, time for the Boss to answer some questions. First, necigrad it was a pleasure meeting you and thanks for coming. You will have the pleasure of seeing it all again on the 23rd. Our weekend at Nellis has been great. We met with members of this year's team and all of the new fliers for nexts year's team (that would be #2, #4, #6 and #7). They are just starting their training season which will begin in earnest after Thanksgiving.

Now that the movie has premiered on a 40X70 foot screen :D I can send out public kudos to LD. Not to get sappy here, but only a few of us have any idea of the work that this man has single-handedly put into this movie. I can say proudly, but with all humility that this movie will set the standard for any and all simulation movies yet to come, whether combat or demonstration flying. We did the flying (and a LOT of it) to get the right shots for the maneuvers, but then the remaining 85% of blood, sweat and tears came from Lawndart. You will want to sit and watch it over and over. Last night, after our Team dinner, our #7, Convertible and I fired up the laptop, cranked up the decibels and watched our movie again comparing it to one heck of a great demonstration from the real Thunderbirds earlier that afternoon. We can't wait for you all to see it.

To answer some questions: at this time you only be able to download the movie in 4 parts, but let me tell you, the transition from one part to the next is seamless. I have played it on Windows Media player and if you load all 4 parts simulaneously and start them then they play one right after the other into one beautiful 1.2 GB masterpiece.

How many at the movie? we counted about 50. Remember, this was a private screening and so we had many friends and family there. Also in attendance we had Thunderbird alumni and an Honorary Thunderbird. The point wasn't to see how many people we could get it was to generate interest in the release for the movie, which I can see we have already done. Earlier this year LD discussed the progress of "Smoke ON" over dinner in Tampa, FL and later that evening he showed me the first post production clip (13 minutes long) which I played on my laptop with headphones. When I saw and heard the clip I knew right then and there that we wanted to show this thing on the big screen and feel it as well as see it. Our sponsor, Thrustmaster, made it possible to premiere the movie in Las Vegas on this weekend, and to them we give many, many thanks.

How was the pace of the movie? Well, my first comments after the lights went up as I had microphone in hand was, "Wow, I am worn out! I feel like I just flew that!. . .And I am one of the guys that had flown it! You will have absolutely NO problem with the pace of the movie. The pace is as fast as this year's Boss, Hollywood is flying the High Show, we just have more shots and views that take the time out to the 50 minute mark. Which brings up another very important point: You absolutely must watch this movie in it's entirety. And I know that true Thunderbird fans will have no problem doing that. When the airshow portion of the movie is done, don't just click it off. . .their are some very special things after the airshow portion is finished. . .kinda like staying and watching any Pixar release: there is stuff after the stuff. 8)

Okay, I am sure there will be more questions in the future and I know that between LD (the master craftsman) and any other member of the Team we will do our best to answer them. Get ready to watch us next weekend at VFAT where we will be hosting the Western team flying. More to come on that in the next couple days.

Thanks for your interest in our movie! YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!!!

Regards,


Bon Jobie
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lqcorsa
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Post by lqcorsa » Sun Nov 12, 2006 3:04 am

BonJobie wrote: Thanks for your interest in our movie! YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!!!
Never have, and never will!
BonJobie wrote: We did the flying (and a LOT of it) to get the right shots for the maneuvers, but then the remaining 85% of blood, sweat and tears came from Lawndart.
:!: What the heck, who made Lawndart bleed his own blood?? :lol: I'm joking of course.

Sounds like it was one heck of an event, I'm totally envious of those that went, I assure you if you ever do something in Washington or Portland Oregon I'll be there 8) .

1 Question to the Virtual Thunderbirds. You say you guys hooked up a laptop and watched the full movie? I might be mis-understanding but thats the impression I got on a first read. So why haven't you guys released it if its done?

1 Question to anybody. Where can I find 100% of all the information available for VFAT? I'd love to go and witness this, maybe quench some of my thirst for watching the pro's do it. I'd like to know when, how, and what's required of me to watch this.

Great stuff Virtual Thunderbirds, I'll gather up a lot of friends at my house to watch this one, maybe break out the popcorn even :lol: . I think that's cool how The Virtual Thunderbirds have team dinners and everything, it really show's the connections between the team, rather then having your only relationships over an internet voice software.

Congrats, man I wish I could have seen that theater premier :o .
necigrad
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Post by necigrad » Sun Nov 12, 2006 4:20 am

lqcorsa wrote: I'm having a hard time figuring out what the movie will contain, it must be like a documentary on you guy's, 50 minutes of non-stop aerobatics would be hard to do.
I don't want to give away any surprises, but I'll say this. It's a FULL aerial show. The real TBird shouw is something like 45 minute, but that's including the ground show. Some of the manuveres are shown multiple times from different angles, so that might increase the show time a bit. but there is also some other stuff that adds some time.
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Lawndart
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Post by Lawndart » Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:50 am

First of all... There will be an official PR about this event and the weekend at Nellis at some point later in November. We've been extremely busy making sure everything worked out for this event and you cannot trust anyone else to get it right (that much we've proven many times over). We're striving for the same level of excellence as the Thunderbirds and unfortunately most others you deal with (incl. corporations) don't think or assume the same, but in the end it all came together nicely!

VFAT is next on the agenda. Go to our announcements forum and there should be a link to JaBoG32's site about the event with the most up-to-date info. Regardless of the eastern server issues (you may have heard of?), we're flying on Saturday. Step-time TBA, but expect early afternoon for most of the North American time zones. We're planning on flying a complete High Show without any modifications from the real deal. Most likely it's a first come, first serve type of deal with the server, so be sure to know when and where to connect to via VOIP and the server (game) IP's will be published through those channels. JaBoG32's Teamspeak server info can be found via the link in our ammouncements forum. The Virtual Thunderbirds will be on comms via Ventrilo (for the actual flying) and more details will become available for the western server info later on this week. In the mean time JaBoG32 is solely responsible for providing ALL the details, so direct your Q & A there. During the show, there likely won't be enough spectator spots on the server and if you miss us this time around, the movie is coming out the following week. Otherwise, we'll likely fly a complete live show again sometime Q1 2007.

Smoke On (the Movie) will be released November 23rd for download in HD 720p. Reason for this planned and deliberate delay is because we're swamped with actual travel and venue visits, live show, internet release, price contest, PR for magazines and more all at the same time and we had to pick a logical timeline to do everything in and keep up. Besides that, the movie requires slightly different renders for the theatrical release and the download online. Even though the feature has been complete for some time, rendering a different copy isn't a simple click-N-go! It takes a tremendous amount of computer power and time to render an hour long movie! For starters the movie will be available in 4-parts (with minimal interruption and next to seamless cuts) via a fast host in either wmv streaming and/or compressed archives (zip, rar etc). It may find it's way to youtube and other flv (video) sites eventually, but you'd truly be doing yourself a great disservice by watching it in such low quality. No doubt! The movie contains essentially an entire High Show (about 38 maneuvers) from multiple angles and cameras and additionally; startups, taxing, a long intro sequence and approx 8 minutes of extras after the flying portion of the show is over. Total time: 49 minutes and 54 seconds (in its current format).

In between all these remaining events for November, our image gallery will be updated (later this month) with many pictures from the premiere, Aviation Nation and our team events in Las Vegas, NV from this weekend. Then, at some point expect an official PR about all of that took place in Las Vegas for the movie release and more (as well as potentially other publications/media early next year too)!

Necigrad, Thank You for your comments! Much appreciated... :D

P.S. The real Thunderbird aerial show is about 30 minutes long. Our equivalent show is just over 40 minutes long. Adding some additional scenes and bonus things to the movie makes it almost just as long as the entire Thunderbird performance. That is, an hour long.
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