Interview with GL&HF movie author - 4fun

Dota 2 / News / 22 August 2018 — 11:33

4fun - creator of GL&HF!

We have interviewed one of the participants of Dota 2 Short Film Contest, who is the author of the third-place winner movie — GL HF. Welcome by Anatoliy «4fun» Chasha!

— Let's start with the basics - how did you get interested in the moviemaking? Do you remember your first steps in video-production?

— Hi. I learned about Fraps and Windows Moviemaker when I was around 13-14 (now I'm 27), it was incredibly interesting to do something of my own, inspired by the movie clips about CS 1.6. Then I made various videos in the Warcraft 3 map editor. But it did not last very long, because I had no internet, there was nobody to share with, other than friends. I returned to movie production in a few years, in 2010, making my first Dota video — it, Dota, about the players of the Belarusian server.  

— How difficult is it to master the skills of a movie maker? How did you learn? Maybe you took an example from someone?

— Let's just say, if there is interest, then the software is not difficult to learn: now there are a lot of different courses on the Internet. When I first started the first time – you had to learn using «trial and error»: click on the button and see what it does. When I returned in 2010, I already learned using courses, and it was much more effective and interesting.

I liked  Mixep's CS movies (such as Alive), they were different in a sense that they contained a plot and not just a string of highlights with music. Therefore, I also tried to add it n my first frag movies.

— Do you remember your early works? Is it true that, as per Russian saying, the first pancake is always lumpy?

— I do remember them well, they are still on my disks. For me, it wasn't just the first pancake, but the whole batch of lumpy ones, all about CS :) It's good there was no internet, and only a few people got to see it. There aren't many people who get it right the first time, I have never met such creators.

— At what point did the video production become something more than a simple hobby?

— In 2012 ua NAVI were looking for Dota 2 moviemakers on a competitive basis. I made a video and was immediately taken to work. Although I had a lot of freedom, I could do almost anything I wanted. So it was still a hobby.

— Your video has become one of the most popular in this year's Short Film Contest. How do you evaluate your work against other participants?

This year I decided that it was enough to do everything alone and made a video with a friend together. So this is not only my video. It's hard to evaluate your video, but people like it, so I'm glad. I think there are good chances to enter the top three.

—You decided to make a movie in a humorous way. Were there any other thoughts and options?

— Yes. Usually, I did some kind of epic action and this year many people were waiting for the same from me, and I am more interested in doing it. But the experience of past years shows that people prefer humorous videos. Therefore, I did not want to spend a month or two on a video, which has few chances to enter the top three. It would be much better if the winners were chosen in different nominations.

— Tell us a little about the process of creating short films. How does the work begin? What are the stages of each of your works?

— First of all, there must be an idea. Usually, it appears spontaneously, I never sit and think what I would do. I write the script or keep it in my head, depending on the complexity. Next, if we talk about the animated 3D movie, the most time-consuming stage sets in: creating an environment, preparing and animating characters, physical simulations, working with effects, arranging lights and cameras, etc. About 80-90% of the time is spent on this. Then we render a raw material from 3d software, composing, correcting color, editing, working with sound. Often during the creation, something changes in the script, because new ideas appear, old ones fade.

— How much time is required to spend on the implementation of such a project as GL & HF? And what about the variety of software?

GL HF took us just over a month. We managed to do it with 4-5 programs, basically, everything was done in SFM.

— Do you remember the work that turned out to be the most labor-intensive and difficult to implement? Why?

— Last year's movie — To the light . I spent more than 2 months, wasn't done with it. I used a new software for me, every day there were some difficulties, the rendering of 1 frame took an average of 4-5 minutes. I wanted to make my Lord of the Rings, but seems like it wasn't meant to be :) But still, I'm happy, you learn a lot during such projects.

— If we talk about the other participants, whose works would you single out? What video do you think is the best this year?

— I would highlight The Ballad of Lovelace, the video was worked out to the smallest detail, the city turned out to be very lively. I'm afraid to even think how much time and effort have gone into all this.

On the cliff — nice comedy, rather light and cheerful. Also liked The Final 88 Seconds Of An 8-Hour Game, but the conclusion ruined it.
In general, there is not a single video this year which I like. But it's all because of my preferences, as I already said — I love the epic fights, but it was either nonexistent or of poor quality.

— It is generally accepted that there is not much point in taking part in the contest, as Maxime Lebled will be the winner in any case. What can you say about this?

— Max is really very good. One of the best animators in the contest. But apparently, this year he will have to cede the winner's podium to someone else because the video's plot wasn't understood. He talked about that on Twitter and Reddit. So it's always worth it, the more so that the prize money for 2-3 places is also quite good.

— You also sent your work to the competitions before. Which do you think is the strongest &mdash: this year or the previous ones?

— I like the ones from the past. But many people wrote to me that this year's video was much better. Even Maxime Lebled :)

— In general, you already have a solid experience with video materials. Surely, besides the Short Film Contest, there are projects that you are especially proud of?

— From the old work, I like Origin 2 and The Wings. But I can not distinguish anything from the newer ones, except for the contest videos.

— Of course, your profession can be considered creative. Where do you get fresh ideas? What inspires you?

— Most of the time, I'm inspired by music, I can turn on the track I like and play 10 times on repeat, thinking about something. Then, movies and cinematics, similar to those of Blizzard.

— You are the creator of a unique video with a 360-degree view. How did you come up with the idea of creating such a video?

Unique might be too big of a word. Back then, YouTube just introduced the 360-degree video view function and I immediately wanted to do something in this format, because I was impressed, so I spun around the room with a phone like a child :)

— Of course, it's impossible to avoid the talk about the tournament itself. The International 2018. Who is the favorite of the championship?

— I'm not strong in a professional dota, I follow only CIS-teams. Predicted the victory of ru in the battle pass, so I am cheering for them, as well as ru Winstrike Team.

— Could the opening ceremony be better?

— I was not impressed, still a long way to go to the Epicenter level :)

— What do you expect from the tournament itself as a show? More information about Artifact, some announcements or a new hero?

— Not looking forward to Artifact; card games are not my type but will try it regardless. Wating for a new hero announcement trailer, or something unexpected.

— Is Dota 2 just work for you?

— I play a little bit, 1-2 games a day. It's been 10-12 years like this, ever since Dota 2, with small breaks.

— Share your plans for the near future! What do you plan to show to the fans of good video content?

—The plans are to study Unreal Engine 4 for creating cinematics and VFX. So in the future you can expect something graphics-heavier from me :)