Sunday, March 29, 2009

It Lives!

That's me above. What's that crazy looking contraption on my back? Its nothing spectacular, just the ACID MASTER 3000. A lucky find on the side of the road + about $100 and 3 trips to Lowes + a weekend worth of work = my kind of DIY project. I still need to tweak/figure out a few things, but we're still Beta testing.

Why the hell would I build this absurd device? The answer is simple. I've more or less decided my next film is going to be a zombie movie. When I first began dabbling in filmmaking, horror movies were what I wanted to make. Though I drifted away from this after being exposed to good films, I once again find myself searching for something thats cheap to make and entertaining. I love gimmicks and an acid gun is a great one, at least I think so. I'll write more about the zombie script I'm working on if/when things start falling into place.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Festival Win

The City Green won first place at CofC's student film festival last night. This is great news because the winners all took home a rather hefty sum of prize money. Now I can put it in some film festivals. The "phantom producer" of the film Alex Hesemann and I will be spending the next week making a list of festivals to put it in. Figuring out which festivals to submit to is key. Most of the festivals we submit to will have student sections. The three things to keep in mind are:

1. If the film has a chance of being accepted.
2. If accepted, would the film have a chance of winning any prize?
3. Most importantly, would anyone involved with the film be able to attend the festival?

On another festival note, Nate and I have talked about what the game-plan is for submitting SOB to festivals. Our main goal is to submit to some smaller regional film festivals, specifically those in North and South Carolina. The logic behind this is that we'll have a better chance of winning some sort of prize (money) and be able to afford to put it into some bigger festivals. We'll see what happens.

And of course thanks to Taylor Townes, Antonio Robinson, and the Mallard brothers for making this film happen. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

SOB Premier Date/Time

The Charleston International Film Festival announced the 2009 schedule today. S.O.B. will officially premier at 12:30 on Saturday April 25th. Tickets are available at:

How exciting! Nate's finishing up our poster, and I'll post that as soon as its done.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Student Film Festival

The City Green will be screening at the 4th annual College of Charleston Student Film Festival this Wednesday at 7pm in the Physicians Auditorium. Wow, maybe I should get a Twitter. Just kidding.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Citizen Kane

I was browsing local art theater The Terrace's website when I noticed they were doing screenings of Citizen Kane (1941). By chance I mentioned it to a friend and we called to see how long it was playing and if it was an actual film screening or a dvd. The answer was film and today was the last day. So I went to the one o'clock screening and watched Citizen Kane on the big screen, the way it was meant to be seen. And even better: the theater was almost empty, and the 2 couples there walked out. So I basically had an intimate screening of what is perhaps the most important movie in cinematic history. What a great experience.

I've seen this film before in a small classroom theater for a class once, but the real movie theater experience is completely different. As everyone knows, there is just something about seeing a film on the big screen.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wrapping Up

After an extremely productive spring break, I'm finally getting close to finishing up SOB. As my last post indicated, working on the sound mix was an unpleasant experience. To think that people actually work with audio for a living! What an awful life that would be. Though I listened to music throughout my second round of color correction, you simply cannot listen to music while mixing sound. There is no escape from the meticulous hell of adjusting audio.

In the second round of color correction I worked a lot on giving the film a "look". With no artificial lights some interviews ended up with a person's face looking a bit overexposed on one side. I found a really nice filter that adds contrast and color saturation to the brightest parts of the image. This filter, applied in concert with a few others, gives the overall pictures a more even lighting scheme and makes the colors stand out. I like to think this gives the film more of a carnival look. Vivid colors = visual pleasure.

There a few VERY minor things I plan on changing with the audio still, but this sucker is basically finished. I have to submit some screener copies to the Charleston Film Festival by next week, and then I have a solid month to make any other MINOR changes before the premier. A few months ago I thought this film was never going to end... low and behold the time has come to start brainstorming about my next project. And for those loyal followers that are sick of this string of technical blogs... I feel your pain.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Soundtrack Pro Hell

Working on this audio mix has been quite a pain. I took a full day to watch part of a 6 hour video tutorial about Soundtrack Pro, Apple's sound editing suite. Feeling confident, I tried to get started but ran into a huge problem. For some reason some of my audio clips looked blank as opposed to showing a picture of what the audio looks like. Now this is a huge problem because to edit the audio I need to see it. I was basically blind.

I looked through a TON of other problems people have had with this program. My favorite was at the official Apple forum. The problem was considered resolved by suggesting to break larger projects down into multiple smaller projects. With the ever present danger of things getting out of sync, why would anyone want to start messing around with a finished sequence?

I finally found the answer to my problem. Apparently it takes the program a long time to compile or process all the information about the clips. So I have to run activity monitor and watch to see when Soundtrack Pro quits tweaking out. The best part is that it takes about 30 minutes. And after reading other people's complaints about problems they've had with this program, I'm almost positive I'm going to have trouble bringing it back into Final Cut Pro when I'm done. Spring Break 09 Yeah BABY!