Over the past seven months, our Tampa Video Studio was used as a sound stage for a new steampunk action film titled “The Skyship Chronicles.” Three unique sets were built and designed by Litewave Studios’ team, led by Jeff Zampino, and lit by our resident gaffer Andrew Ortoski.
The first set was the ship’s bridge and laboratory of the film’s main villain, Gustav. The bridge is part of a vast skyship – a hybrid of the Starship Enterprise and a Victorian era study.
The set used large steam pipes, victorian wallpaper and a wooden captain’s wheel, backed by a radar and communications station, complete with an antique world map. In the final scene a large green screen was added to the reverse shots to show the ship’s porthole.
Two months later, the film required an entirely different type of set: a small post office in Wichita, Kansas circa 1920. The original location, a post office in downtown St. Petersburg, wound up being too difficult to secure with the United States Postal Service, so the entire set was built from scratch in our St. Petersburg video studio.
Litewave Studios’ graphics team created nearly 500 period specific post office boxes, each with a unique P.O. box number. The entire set was trimmed out with dark stained wood, and the floor was faux painted with a grey marble look to give it a 1920s era feel. To complement the set, our Tampa Studio team created period specific props, including: hand wrapped boxes, letters with vintage stamps, mail sacks and even a 1920s AirMail poster.
The final set built in our St. Petersburg video studio, which is also the final scene in the movie, takes place in the dank hold of yet another skyship, owned by Lucius Black, a sky pirate for hire. Lucius and his intimidating crew are interrogating our hero, so we wanted an eerie, dramatic look.
To achieve this, we used 50 greyed and weathered pallets. Hammer and crowbars in hand, our team tore apart the pallets, and recycled them to make a fully recycled “green” set.
The team found an old steamer trunk on CraigsList and our set decorators added buckets, rope, chains, candles and rum bottles to give it a sky pirate swagger. A 4-foot green screen porthole was added so our effects team could later superimpose a night sky through it. Two crossed swords from the film’s fight choreographer, adorned the walls. Minimal lighting with heavy shadows added to the tension.
The sets fit easily into our 1600 sq. ft. Tampa video studio rental space. Cast and crew alike had our expansive green room and lounge to relax between scenes. The hair and makeup team enjoyed our spacious makeup and changing rooms to prepare the characters. Hot meals were prepared in our craft services area, and at the end of the day, everybody relaxed in our Tampa editing studio to review dailies on our 60” plasma monitor.
And so, on December 12, filming of Skyship Chronicles was wrapped. Nearly 100 people have been involved in the movie, and a dozen or more will now come on board to score, edit and add visual effects to the film. Litewave Studios would like to thank each and every member of the cast and crew for their hard work and dedication!
If you are looking for a top-notch team to build cinema quality studio sets, create unique props and costumes, and an experienced camera team to complete your vision, call Litewave Studios, Tampa’s premier white cyc and green screen video studio, today.