Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fix List

Our mysterious super-secret special mystery guest star (of mystery)-- that's OMSSSMGS(OM) for those of you playing at home-- will be back in the States next month, at which point we are to pester him relentlessly until he sends us his footage-- which, we're confident, will be absolutely golden-- a great way to kick off the film (as his part takes place about five minutes in and is an integral part of the film's now-legendary eighteen-minute opening scene).

To better adapt his performance to the tone and feel of the film, OMSSSMGS(OM) has asked us to send him a copy of the rest of the film, with his spot left blank so he can see where-all it fits in. We are, of course, more than happy to oblige, and after a bit of puttering around, we tonight burned a DVD with said film-in-progress and gave it a look on our telly.

We were pleasantly surprised to discover that the film looks absolutely gorgeous on our television set; we had gotten so used to looking at it on our computer, with its dismal colours and splotchy blacks. Whereas on the TV, it looks much the way (if not better) than it did on the camera. Which is wonderful.

We were not so pleasantly surprised-- indeed, we weren't really surprised-- when we came across a few places where the audio needs a little nip and tuck. When we mix our sound for our movies, we do it right on our computer, right in Adobe Premiere, using our computer speakers to judge when something needs to be raised and something needs to be lowered. Often, we miss little things with our imprecise equipment, and watching a rough cut on TV results in a long list of things to fix-- or, a Fix List.

This Fix List, however, was not actually that bad; there are ten spots to be fiddled with. Four of them are "spikes"-- when the decibel level is so high that an unpleasant distortion is present-- and there are three quiet scenes in which the mix itself is a bit lower than we would like, and so those must go up.

All-in-all, though, everything looks nice and everything is more-or-less audible; there is one small snippet of a scene where David decided to mutter, despite us telling him again and again to be louder, we told David to mutter, making it a "quiet moment" between the two characters in which only they know what is said-- like the bit at the end of Lost in Translation but less "emo"-- but we'll live with it it was intentional.

We would, though, like to get a better mike for our next project-- and one with a longer cord. Maybe even an actual boom operator with a sound mixer.

We'll see what happens when the time comes; we've already started taking a few stabs at the characters (with the help of our able-minded actors) and storyline of the next project, though nothing concrete will come out of it for at least a couple months yet.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Trailer! (# 1)

Our first trailer plays up the comedy side of the equation.

It also generally adheres to the peculiar rhythm employed by many of today's trailers-- short, almost modular sequences of ideas, each unit running roughly ten to twenty seconds, punctuated by a moment or two of black video in between. It's a popular format precisely because it is effective-- if the purpose of a trailer is to make people want to see a film, it does that fairly well-- and we decided to employ it for this trailer precisely for that reason. (And also because we wanted our first trailer to be out-and-about fairly quickly.)

Our next trailer for this film will probably be a very different animal indeed, both in terms of style and substance-- not necessarily pushing the comedy aside in favour of dramaturgical sturm und drang, but putting more emphasis on the anger as a problem, where it comes from, et cetera.

Not that-- let's be clear here-- the anger is a "conflict" that must be "resolved" by the end of the third act. That's exactly the sort of bull-puckey we're seeking to avoid. In fact, we're not even sure if the film can be divided into three acts. Five "movements", perhaps-- more like music than McKee.

Anyway-- tell us what you think of the trailer and please feel free to e-mail it, link to it, embed it and otherwise share it on your own websites, your Space that belongs to you and your Book of the Face.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


So, we're going through the movie, looking for shots for our first trailer-- and we notice that approximately three minutes from the middle of Sequence E are missing.


As near as we can figure, what happened was this: we had two different layers of video. Video-1 contained most of the shots, while Video-2 contained reaction shots. That second track must have been "locked"-- meaning that it could not be changed while other parts were being edited-- when we were shifting the scene one way or the other. So layer one moved and layer two stayed the same; we then must have noticed it and unlocked the track, shifting it back over to where it should have been. In doing so, we then must have accidentally selected the first track as well, which means that that first track then overwrote the shots earlier on that same track.

At least, that's what we've been able to piece together. We're not sure when it happened, and it doesn't sound like the kind of sloppiness we would usually be guilty of.

Either way, we've got to re-edit a complicated portion of a complicated scene-- something we're not particularly happy about. But we'll do it. (We knew things had been going too smoothly.)

We'll probably have those three minutes back in place sometime this week; we should have the first trailer up and ready for mass consumption around that time as well.