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Making of: Futility Farseer

Ascorbius decides to visit the notable Engineer, Felicity Farseer to improve his Dropship - Much to Jayne's dismay - however things don't go entirely as planned. What could possibly go wrong?.

A lot as it happened. Futility Farseer had its fair share of production drama. The only thing that really went without a hitch was the audio recording. The part of Felicity Farseer was played by Natalie Budge, and she nailed it in 2 takes.. which is impressive considering the list of materials she had to read out.

My initial vision for filming was a Federal Dropship coming into land, some incidental shots for Farseer base, a cool takeoff and other odd shots to cover other scenes.

Unfortunately, to get the kinds of shots I wanted, I needed a camera operator. Basically another pilot to play alongside me and film my awesome spaceship acting.

The first cameraman was Matt Stone - the disembodied ship voice in the "Complementary Ship Sound" video. He's a relatively new player of Elite:Dangerous and hadn't unlocked Felicity Farseer on account of his love of the PewPew and less of the Exploration. He followed me to the planet to record footage and was immediately attacked and destroyed by Felicity's Goons. It became obvious that he wouldn't be able to help.

The next cameraman was Chris Lord, a real life rocket scientist and all round good chap. He helped in both camera duty and stunt double in the video "Don't drink and fly". The plan was that he would get into position and record a decent landing while filming from a SRV. Unfortunately in order to get the camera position we wanted, he accidentally trespassed over a landing pad and the station opened fire on him. This lead to a hilarious Benny Hill style chase around the station where his SRV was fired upon with lasers and missiles in a relentless assault - only though amazing driving skill and sheer luck was he able to survive. He jumped off a cliff and met up with his Python and bugged out with a week long bounty. Upon his departure, his python was immediately attacked and reduced to a fraction of his hull strength. Tense, but funny.

So I was alone, left to my own devices - to capture all of the footage on my own with the 2.2 camera suite. The cruel irony being that if I'd waited, the 2.3 update would bring a very powerful camera suite which would make the shots I had in mind a total doddle.

About half way through the video is a Montage where Ascorbius has to collect all of the materials needed to improve his Frame Shift Drive. The list was long and varied so I figured the best way to show the tedious process of hunting and gathering the materials was with a Montage.

So after filming footage of flying, mining, shooting, driving a SRV, collecting stuff and a whole load of other activities we were ready to make the montage. But it was missing something, something else, something funny.

Matt came up with a great idea. So we set up the greenscreen rig and filmed Matt in motorbike gear shaking a bottle of Arsenic and putting stuff into a shopping basket - courtesy of my local shop (with permission) and using an Etch-a-Sketch as a wake scanner. The sequence worked brilliantly.

My bother provided some stirring montage music and the montage was complete.

The rest of the video fell into place, needing only a few extra visual effects. All that remained was the ending.

I wanted to do something a bit special for the ending. So I contacted Turjan Starstone to see if he'd be interested in a little cameo - to which he kindly agreed and filmed a short stinger outside of Jacques Station - about 20,000ly from where Ascorbius was situated; where Turjan would hear the scream from Ascorbius from accross the stars and his ship AI "Cass" would make a sarcastic comment.

You should check out Turjan's web series "Turjan's Travels", it's absolutely fantastic and was a massive influence in my own channel.

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