When things move again, they move fast and mightily. On my plate already is post production on a quick green screen short I tossed together this past Thursday night. I wanted to make a commentary on the ever giant Wal-Mart and the media. I was greatly inspired by seeing a TV “news” segment that was glorifying and miraculously sponsored by a hospital during the 11:00 O’clock media coverage that used to be called journalism. This cynicism and sick sense of humor keyed off a new bit. I wrote it quick and called in some actors.
Today I shot the background plate for one section of this bit. My Sexy Fiancé Veronica ™ has been tinkering with IN THE TRENCHES OF AN INDIE FILM documentary relentlessly since the screening a little over a week ago. She wanted to re-order all the scenes to make it flow better, plus we really agreed with most criticism from the screening which was that the Fly-On-The-Wall B-Roll segments were too long. They cause the overall pacing to drag and people lose interest. I think these sections could be equally effective in less than half the time.
The other thing needed was more on Post Production. I short-changed the entire process in the documentary that played. It was 3 minutes of montage with a quickie voice over to cover the entirety of post. Now we took some of the existing “educational” web docs and fashioned them into the movie proper. Sections on ADR, M&E Tracks, and why&how we deleted scenes fit into the scheme. The actual “editing” process is still skipped a bit, but on a DVD I can use the WebDocs of editing as bonus features.
Speaking of which, the goal is to sell DVD’s of this documentary and DVD as an educational tool. Many people who want to get into making a feature length film can get in depth with the process and really feel what it’s like to take the plunge. Creative and practical decisions with footage make for a demonstrative movie at a budget level more people can relate to as opposed to the huge multi-million dollar productions that are beyond more people’s grasp.
The final touches and clean ups for My Sexy Fiancé Veronica ™’s edit are completed and we’re about to start the encoding for DVD process later tonight. Last night I worked on the DVD art and setting up the distribution with Amazon.com. My goal of 90 minutes has been met, and we’re even 3 minutes shorter than what played barely over a week ago at the Cowtown Film Series, and that’s with 14 minutes of new material ADDED to the movie. It’s another feature I produced, and that’s a goal met.
On the downside, I reviewed footage from much earlier in the year. I had always intended to do this short film but since it relied on snow, it was incredibly difficult to put together. I gave someone a shot at D.P. and after supervising the first few shots I gave over the reins and focused on working with my 7 year old actor. I digitized the footage shortly after that and was disappointed, but didn’t feel rushed to edit this piece. As we enter winter I wanted to re-examine it after not seeing a frame for months. Looking at it now, the footage was not as bad as I remember, but it still falls very far below the standards I am setting for myself for the future.
This puts me in a quandary. I will absolutely not use a frame of this footage and if this short is to be resurrected, it will be re-shot entirely. The stars may not ever align to make this happen again, but I would rather not release anything that is below my current standard of quality. I have to tell my nephew that this piece will never be done. That is not something I look forward to, but I can’t do it. I don’t even have enough footage to cut something together just for him. I don’t blame the D.P., as it was my shoot and making sure the shots I want are there is my job, no one else’s. Let’s just say that my trust of camerapersons understanding me has gone down. I will be absolutely sure I’m getting what I want for all my projects. This is a stinging reminder of my role with the camera as a director.
I’m hoping to get a sole music cue for my new little greenscreen experiment, and I have to create some graphics, plus key in the back ground and I will have a new piece on the market by the end of the week, if not sooner. I love having a greenscreen and studio I can just walk into and shoot on next to my edit suite. I don’t want to take these things for granted and not only let them inspire my creativity, but I need to ACT on these inspirations.
I love being burned in the flames of inspiration right now. 2009 looks to be quite a kick ass year; recession be damned. This year, I defeated my enemies, drank their blood, and sang the songs of victory to the lamentation of their women and children. Next year I conquer more worthy foes and loftier goals. My banner is raised, as are my standards. Let’s just watch as it all unfolds.
To my acolytes of Boo,
I wish you the best
Peter John Ross