Beth G. Kopin
Inches to Metric: Zionism Through Design

Inches to Metric: The Making of a Movie #11

“Our team members are all incredibly creative, hip and fun. They are top in the industry and all were grateful to be part of such a meaningful project. This film project transcended all the static noise (faith, levels of observance, political ideologies), that holds many of us back. It brought our team closer to the Jewish community, Judaism and Holocaust education”. Beth Kopin (post #2)

I liken creating a film to making soup. You throw everything into a pot and let it simmer, sometimes you need to add extra spice. To season a soup some folks throw in Trader Joes “Everything But”, I might throw in Baharat, (Middle Eastern spice blend I discovered from Ottolenghi’s cookbook Jerusalem)…We were in the home stretch and Lisa Effress (Producer I wrote about in post #7) felt we needed to add a dash of something extra to our film. She suggested bringing Christian and 11 Dollar Bill onto our team, they were just the added spice we needed!

Continuing to build the team: #11 Christian Robins (Animation and compositing). Christian is the chief creative officer/partner of the award winning innovative post production facility at 11 Dollar Bill Chicago/Boulder/LA, where Lisa is the managing partner. Christian is an insanely talented creative genius with a Catholic upbringing and a huge heart. He heard our story saw the film believed in our mission and jumped on board.

Christian Robins (Animator, compositor).  (Photo courtesy Marc Bennett)

I met Christian in his Chicago studio, when we were about to premiere The Tattooed Torah. We had three venues lined up and each one required a different method for screening. I picked up a blu ray disc in surround sound and stereo, a zip drive, and secured link. Who knew simply showing the film was so complicated.

Post Production Studio

I entered the studio and was immediately excited/impressed. The space has an air of hip professionalism… people were tucked into their offices busy working. The center of the studio has a bar (it was a converted space), coffee juice and water a.m., party p.m? I was led into Christian’s office. He pulled up our film on the screen and gave a tutorial on what a post production studio does. I was blown away!

Christian Robins in his studio. (Photo courtesy Marc Bennett)

 Compositing/Animation

Christian rallied his entire studio, they worked on our film for the greater part of a month. The studio took everything; illustrations, narration, music, sounds and mixed it all together referring to it as compositing. Compositing/animation entails adding in special effects, visual/audio, additional animation and tremendous editing.

Special effects include: colors/shading, changing scenes to black/white (creating a memory feel). Images of rain/snow/lightning/bomb flashes were layered on. Sounds such as thunder/barking dogs/ bomb blasts/soldiers marching, and birds were added. Pop ups were used, bringing in different looks of Little Boy as he was growing up. Waving the tattered flag, flipping the calendar.

Editing includes:…close ups, moving scenes up and down, altering the pace, speeding up voice overs, adding in blackouts, holding scenes seconds longer creating additional drama, fadeouts.

Marc Bennett (Director, Co-screenwriter) on left Christian Robins (Animator, Compositor) on right working in the studio. (Photo courtesy Marc Bennett)

Each additional animation, graphic change, sound enhancement, movement, and pace was touched by their magic. I liken Christian and 11 Dollar Bill to the cavalry arriving. They gave us the final push to the finish line.

I thanked Christian profusely for his efforts, we hugged. He thanked me for allowing his team to work on our film. We both had tears. I’m still in shock and awe, forever grateful. I was disappointed Christian could not make it to our premiere, he left later that day for LA to accept a prestigious award in the industry…I next saw him at our first and only live festival The JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival, (days before Covid hit). I was thrilled so many on our team flew in.

At our first and only live festival, JCC Jewish Film Festival. From left Daniel Alcheh, Beth Kopin, Christian Robins, Lisa Effress, Brett Kopin, Marc Bennett, Martin Lemelman. (Photo courtesy Beth Kopin)

Animating stills is a lengthy process. Disney has volumes of stills and an army of people working on animation, creating fluid movements for scenes. We had approximately 140 illustrations. What Christian and Pittle (Animator I wrote about in post #9) were able to achieve is miraculous. Bless you Christian Robins for creating magic with your secret spice…

“Chris and Pittle are two extremely talented animators and collaborators that were a total joy to work with and brought this story to life in a rich and powerful way”. Marc Bennett (Director and co-screenwriter). 

  Click on the Vimeo above to meet Christian and our team. Vimeo (and trailer on our site) by 11 Dollar Bill, 11dollarbill.com.

 The magic continues, 23 festivals and counting… thetattooedtorah.com

About the Author
Beth Kopin is a trained interior architectural designer from the US. She has experience in the design/construction world that spans thirty years, and works and lives in both Chicago and Arnona, Jerusalem. She commutes regularly between the two cities. She brings her work ethic, training and US standards to Israel. Beth has surrounded herself with extremely talented trades. Her design team developed a way to CAD (computer aided design) plans in both US and metric standards. This enables both the US born clients (some of which live in Israel, some as second homes), and Israeli trades to better understand the plans, ensuring a more fluid communication. She is able to help bridge the gap of cultural differences, manage expectations, relate often confusing metric standards, as well as all the basic elements of designing a beautiful and functional home. Beth@KopinInteriors.com, KopinInteriors.com
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