Made with the help of Kickstarter, this short film was shot with only $3,000 over two days with a Canon 5D Mark 3 and a small group of incredibly talented people.
Plot: Set in the fantastic alternate history of the 1800s, “Tea Time” is a comedy that follows a conflicted mad scientist. Elizabeth is in a proper and strict world where inventors are held in high regard, but only ones that fit in. Her work has been rejected (again) and she has had it. Her Aunt Judith wants nothing more than for her to give up this foolishness, marry a proper gentleman and get out of her house (taking her machines with her). This particular day Judith has a different potential suitor waiting for her. A man Elizabeth is somewhat familiar with…
There were only two locations, the basement laboratory, which was shot in the basement of an abandoned warehouse that was built in the late 1800s, and the house which was shot in an actual Victorian mansion that was turned into a bed and breakfast.
There is a great deal more effects in the film than one would think at first. There were no stairs to a basement, so we used clever lighting and camera work to fake the light from an open doorway at the top of the stairs. Also, this mansion had been updated to the modern world and had many light switches, electrical sockets and so on that needed to be removed in post-production.
The ray gun was made from the base of a nerf gun with a lot of elements and paint added. The business card was a VFX shot where we used a blank card for lighting and placement reference but fully replaced it with the CGI card that was made and animated in Blender.
The explosion was the most challenging and was done entirely in post-production. It took a lot of work, and even some digital birds (although the smoke was the hardest to be honest) but I’m really pleased with the way it turned out.
I love this film so much. It is what I consider my first real short film. One that didn’t feel like it was practice or playing around. I called in every favor I had to get it made and it really paid off. It’s been shown around the world in the Steampunk community, and I’ve received so much wonderful feedback on it.