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March 27, 2009
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Why do I do this to myself? I have a sick, nasty compulsion. I just signed on to edit another feature film for someone. This time, it’s an HD feature where I started out just offering some technical advice, and then the curse of knowledge bit me. Next thing you know, I’m scheduling out how I can get assistant editors in to re-synch audio and convert files.

My desire to see things through to completion, AKA obsessive compulsive disorder, appears not to be limited by my own projects (as if Goodnight Cleveland didn’t already demonstrate that). Now I’ve signed on to put together an editorial team to see another feature through the editorial stages. My role starts out more as a “Post Production Supervisor” because I have to get all the technicals lined up and taken care of. Overseeing the flow of footage, sound, and then assembling the files to a point where creative editing can even start to take place is something, unfortunately, I’m good at. Being organized and anal about folders and systematic ordering of massive amounts of data can hardly be labeled “talent”, but it is a skill. One I’m cursed with. Who am I kidding? I do this to myself.

So already, I hit my first major snag. The footage came from the Canon XH A1 HDV camera. It was shot in 24F, which is Canon’s answer to 24P, or 24 progressive frames per second format, the coveted frame rate of actual celluloid film and the key to making narrative pieces look more “serious”. Since their CCD chips are natively interlaced, they have some kind of work around to getting a pseudo progressive “film like” format. Since this is yet ANOTHER HD format I’m learning in the last 3 months, I have hit the hardest wall so far. My beloved CINEFORM codec is not dealing with the footage as well or automated as all the others have so far. The way CINEFORM handled the Sony Z1U footage, shot in PAL 25 frames per second mode and converted it unconventionally to 24P impressed me so much; I thought there was no mountain I couldn’t climb. Now I might have to go back to the source tapes and re-digitize 29 hours of footage. Ugh.



I plan on finishing the two Sonnyboo produced shorts ASAP. I have another weekend of freelance work kicking me, but I need to stockpile the $. Again, the comedy short is already more or less picture locked, minus the 2 pickup shots. The other one needs a solid 8 hour day to just immerse myself with the footage, watch the cut about 20 times, and start to see what annoys me first. Part of my new editorial process is to kill myself watching a piece over and over until something starts to bother me. You have to utterly destroy your association with the piece by over analysis, then you can start to find things that bother you, and those tend to be the same things that an anonymous person either online or in a theater will see on their first viewing and hate to. This chaotic method works far better than you might think.

I still struggle to carve out time to actually WATCH movies. Tonight I forced in the time to watch the black&white “director’s cut” of THE MIST from Frank Darabont of the Stephen King novella. I liked it the first time, and I even love black and white, but I preferred the color version. No other changes to the movie really. It didn’t suck in black and white, but I don’t think it added anything either. Oh well. It’s so freakin’ cool that we live in a world where a director can have it both ways on the same DVD release, so there’s that.



“V” only semi-hates Jessica Cameron. I suppose its progress. He really really hates Micah Jenkins, so this is definitely several notches more friendly than that relationship, but we had such high hopes that upon their first meeting my baby boy “V” would be more like every other boy on the planet and fawn all over miss Jessica. He let her pet him for about 20 seconds without mauling her flesh, so it’s somewhat hopeful. My Sexy Fiancé Veronica ™ says he has claimed me and I’m his pet. He lays on my desk before me now as I type just purring like a motorboat eyes closed in a blissful sleep.

Whatevah…

- PJR
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