Sunday, 3 October 2010

Where We Are...

We're at the tail end of the shoot now. Two of the three of us made a judgement call today to call off today's planned shoot. I stress two of us - hopefully we won't have made the wrong decision but it wasn't a unanimous vote and I'll feel a bit stupid and annoyed if I end up being the one that's wrong because we really needed to shoot today. However, at the time of the call, heavy rain was forecast until 1pm with light rain thereafter until 7pm. We're an outdoors shoot so a current forecast is something that we have to put our faith in. Besides the fact that the scene wouldn't match the rest of the film in rain, I couldn't ask people who are being paid to put up with that anyway. So the call was made. So far, no rain and there's even been a tiny bit of sun. It's the one time I think I've ever actually wished for rain, just to assure me that I made the right decision. I hate making choices like this because they can either be right or wrong! But I guess you have to make those decisions and stand by them... The justification for cancelling's solid. I mean, do you drag people across London, at least an hour, if not two, on the chance that the Met Office and BBC got it wrong? It's a big risk to play with other people's time...

Anyway, I'll try and forget about that (try being the operative word - it will bug the shit out of me if today ends up being fine).

So we've two days of shooting proper left - with potentially another shoot day added on as there's something we'd like to add. Thoughts are now turning to post.

As I've mentioned now and again, we've got 6 mins in rough cut. Now that I've gained a day here, I'm going to try and bump that up to three finished scenes, if not four.

I don't think I've ever detailed the entire post process that I've adopted so might as well explain now. I'm buying (yes buying, not downloading) the Adobe CS5 Production Suite next month and so, in the meantime have been assembling the rough cut in Adobe Premiere Elements 7 as the Elements projects can be opened in Premiere. I'm investing in this software as this won't be the only film I make and even if it was, I don't want scAIRcrows to be screened in a rough looking state. I see far too many films on YouTube etc where people have just edited the footage from the camera and uploaded it. So there's differences in colour between shots and sound jumps around - I think to myself that these people obviously spend some amount of time filming and editing their work. I mean even if it is a couple of friends knocking something up, editing footage alone is time consuming, let alone scripting, planning and shooting. I don't understand how anyone could be happy putting that time in and then releasing the product in a haphazard manner. Because a lot of it is relatively easy fixes. They might take time but they're easy. And I think it makes the world of difference.

So I'll spend the time getting it right. But anyway, what we've agreed is to watch all the takes from a scene, choose the best ones and then I go away and cut it together. We then watch that and see if that works and from there, decide if it's a final edit. If it is, it just awaits delivery of the editing software so that sound and picture can be tweaked. If not, I go back and tidy it up until we're happy with it. I should note that whilst I am viewing this all with other people, I am making the final decision on this. I just really value other opinions as I'm way too close to it.

At the same time, scoring for the film is now beginning, that should be a very fun and interesting process. It's the one part of this film that I'm fully hands off - I've given the composer the brief of doing whatever he wants and we'll work backwards from there. I keep saying it, about stifling creativity with the acting - it's the same with the music. I don't want to instantly limit the scope of the score by saying it needs to sound like this or that. I have ideas but I'd rather be surprised by this. I think that you can't have a favourite anything. There can't be the perfect film/song/food because unless you've watched every film ever made, every song ever written/performed and every food the world has to offer - you don't really know what your favourite is. Whatever your favourite film is - there's a film even better out there somewhere. You may never discover it but it exists. And that's why you have to be open to trying things and not limiting yourself to what's comfortable. I could tell you exactly how I see the score for scAIRcrows being but I can guarantee you that it wouldn't be the best score for the film because I'm thinking very tunnel visioned about it. In a way, that sort of brief may be seen as a cop out but who, in a creative position, would turn down the opportunity to do exactly what THEY wanted to do? If someone said to me, come up with another script and gave me no spec, all the better for me. I mean it may turn out that, without guidance, I end up creating something that the person doesn't like but what have I lost? I haven't lost any time because I have a script that I can use if I want. So that's my view on scoring the film - we'll see how that goes...

The webpage will become a site very shortly. It's something that I'm going to work on today. I want to start promoting the film but what I have up so far isn't great. Whilst the film's progress is well covered, if you go to the website, you realise that if you're not familiar with the film - there's absolutely nothing there to tell you what it is. Doesn't even indicate that it's a film. That all needs to be sorted out before I can start issuing the link.

And maybe we'll see a trailer soon. I am a bit cautious though as I don't want even the trailer to go out 'unfinished'. Maybe before we dive into the colour correcting/ sound mixing on the film, we'll cut the trailer... I know that something needs to go up soon - I keep talking about the shoots and I put pictures up but none of the footage - I am just very careful about getting it right. Like the Erroll video that we put up - the sound was synced but unmixed and the picture wasn't cleaned up at all and then YouTube totally destroyed the image - just want to make sure that everything that goes out, I'm happy with.

I also mentioned this time last week that I'd unearthed some old stuff relating to scAIRcrows. Now, I totally don't remember this but I can prove that scAIRcrows as a concept was around since at least 22nd July 2009. What I dug up was a trailer that I'd cut together using images pulled off the web etc as a way of communicating the idea - but it never got finished. I'll upload it at some point though, just as a curiosity. The more interesting thing though was that I'd started writing a feature length script for scAIRcrows, I found what I'd written for that. Again, I'll post as a curiosity at some point. It doesn't bear any resemblance to the film as it stands. It's definitely more generic and there's an attempt at explaining what's going on with the scAIRcrows. I'll say this here and now - I am writing a full length scAIRcrows script. Not really with the intent of making it, unless someone put money up for it, but just to have it in case anyone was ever interested. It's a continuation of the story in the short, carrying on a character's journey but it isn't anything like the short - there's separate plot lines running through the script with them inevitably converging at some point. Only one of the three plot lines occurs in the same tone as the short. Whereas this feature script I was writing over a year ago would have very much been like a more stretched out version of the short as far as tone and structure goes. That is the one thing I'd say about anything creative - finish planning/mapping something out and then leave it and create something else. I find that the longer things sit with me, the more they gel. Believe it or not, there's many different ways you can portray flying scarecrows in film (if you don't believe me - ask me what happens in the feature and what I'd do with the sequel to that feature) and where I was heading with it a year ago was the most generic place it could have ended up. There's definitely something to be said about not rushing into things...

Okay, so that's generally the status of the film - there'll probably be another update fairly soonish depending on what I manage to get through today. Until then - keep an eye out for scAIRcrows on the horror-izon.

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