Unafraid of the dark

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Had a great session yesterday – till 1 am – fantastic stuff...sounds images cuts, cuts, performances...

I was enthralled by everything - and I’m tough audience - usually fall asleep watching action flicks (don't ask)...

I’m either extremely deluded or I got something special – time will tell.


Sneak Previews

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CHW came over for lunch a sneak previews...if any one's interested in seeing some rough cut footage drop me a line...No i didn't tell him the real name of the film or show him the opening credits(!)


Thanks for the laugh CHW

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Chris (‘Paris’) Hilton-Woods left a message on my voicemail saying cast and crew are at the studio all waiting for me to do pick ups (!)

I wish…

Anyway – this was funny because:

1. We shot a s*&^load of footage…who needs pick ups.

2. if everyone was on set – they probably wouldn’t wait for me and go ahead and shoot something; I’d like to think that this is because everyone is so prepared and has a clear idea of what I want as a director – and not because they think I'm an idiot who should not be listened to (!) and that indeed I can make a creative contribution.

3. We shot a s*&^load of footage…who needs pick ups.


Over the ½ way mark

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Looking good. Looking very good.

Last night I was working my way through day 3 and 4 footage– Crikey we shot a s*&%load…who was the maniac director? Man, I was knackered just logging.

Isn’t it interesting? In retrospect you think – good enough take – but on the day –I can get better – or I need better than this – mind you it doesn’t hurt to have the footage for one reason or another (technical (camera, sound), performance (never!), variety)…

Day 3 was a particularly interesting day – full of cooing pigeons and barking dogs;

What I find interesting – because I never noticed on the day – is to see the actors’ reactions up close before “action” and after “cut”.

The shear fury in Danielle’s eye every time we had to cut and go for a further take – is a short film itself - and here I was worried she was too sweet-looking. Hell hath no fury like an actress upstaged by cooing pigeons…

To be fair - she wasn’t he only one with daggers in her eyes – I could see fury and rage even in lovely Luke’s visage. Reckon it all improved their performances…

The only one to take it on the chin was Chris – unfazed by this or that problem – he just kept putting his performance out…very Zen.

It is a strange feeling making a film I get to spend so much time on my own - writing first, then reliving it all in the editing.

I still miss production and the shoot – not as bad as previously – I don’t have ‘withdrawal symptoms’ – but I am itching to go at it again…I will have a first draft script by X-mas.

There, scoop.


In the end - it all works...

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The other night I thought that a particular card (the 'leading' Red camera none other!) had not been digitised (Nooooo….)

Yeah, I know why would I think that with such an efficient and reliable onset postproduction crew? Well – to cut a long story short – all the other cameras recorded the card/shots – Blue and Green had the card and the log book had it recorded but the red Card was nowhere to be found on my hard drives…And I was certain I had transferred all the cards across to the Firewire HDD (see this post)

I then checked the original slave drives and lo and behold it was there.

Anyway – it was a painless exercise to then import the folder and edit.

Again, I’d like to thank all those involved in designing the system – it wasn’t perfect – and may do it differently next time - but things in the post have worked out well so far.


Somewhere between 1/3 and ½

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The mid point is fast approaching – I don’t know if this is a meaningful milestone – but I’m making it...

Everything is working really well – in fact, it will be interesting to go back and revisit the earliest scenes now that I’ve gained more experience with the material and the process.

I always knew I was going to play with the material but I never realised how much fun it would be.

Editing is more like a performance, or even sport – you cut and move and use material like a footballer uses the ball and the arena – you guide the eye at will – sometimes you hang on a performance longer - other times you shift focus on purpose – then you lay down sounds effects and play with their levels…enchanting.

Anyway – getting to the halfway mark of the assembly/edit.

A great place I tell you – after the shoot I was in a real funk – withdrawal symptoms from not being a set with all the creative decisions - was dreadful...

Editing replenished me - it’s a great feeling – it renewed the pleasure of working creatively…


The weight of silence

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Sound and silence are very powerful in the edit. This is probably a banality to some – I was certainly aware of the theory -yet it is not until full immersion into the material that one can appreciate the power of sounds and its counterpart: silence.

For me another discovery was that the silence between dialogue gains a whole new weight/meaning now that I’ve introduce even the barebones of the soundscape.


Laughing During Sex - What is the sound of fear?

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Working on the soundscape

Not the obvious screams and squeals and horror movie staple – I’m talking about those undefinable and intangible sounds that inexplicably grate against your bones.

Those sounds that sink their teeth into your soul.

Anyway – these are elusive since we all carry personal baggage.

One man’s nightmare is another man’s joy. E.g. I had a friend whose girlfriend would laugh uproariously every time she and he had an orgasm (See how this pays off on the title of the post?). Now – some (many?) men would find these peals of laughter a little ego-deflating – an effing nightmare! Yet he thought it was the sweetest most romantic thing she could do with him – anyway – back to MbM soundscape…

Been working on the soundscape – no, haven’t completed the picture edit yet but the plan was to do the two contemporaneously (try saying that three times when you’re really tired…) -

Anyway, Soundtrack Pro 2 is a dream as it allows the monitoring of the sounds across the 7.1 points, so I’ve been playing with sounds coming from the room at various points and panning and other effects – I’m like a child with his first bicycle…

In any case – I’m designing the soundscape then editing the visuals against it…

Very interesting effects…


Learnings from the film editing trenches

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Here’s what I learnt last night:

Some actors are so precise in their actions (hand, leg and head gestures), that no matter what material you use (shot days apart and out of continuity) – you can cut it together effortlessly.

Others replace the discipline of precision with the discipline of enriching the performance and not one take is the same (I’m exaggerating blocking is blocking but compared to the ‘precision actor' there is a vast divergence) – but their offerings mean that with hard edit work one can create a performance that has greater nuances. Others are somewhere in between. I won’t name names – it’s irrelevant…

But when this opposite forms of discipline happen at different times in a shot/scene not only it’s easy to edit them together – but also the shot/sequence sparkles and cracks with drama.

It’s when things happen simultaneously - you need to cut across performances to have a shot sequence that holds. Great challenge – and when it works - it’s pure bliss (relief?).

I wonder - how does one direct these talented individuals for the camera? Multiple takes? Multiple Cameras? Or does one just let them roam free?

I certainly found that ample coverage provided a solution.

Speaking of coverage, lo and behold the same is true of other creative especially the camera operators - this is very apparent when see the same take from multiple angles – even the fixed camera have their own personalities (!)

Each cameraman with their own style – very much like the actors – some are precise in frame and operation – others are more fluid and seeking the new.

I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised but I find it always interesting that each mind see things - and thus reacts - differently.

Appropriate for a film about perceptions…