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Jun. 26th, 2006

Yeah, so I didn't lay down. I worked on the DVD.

Lots of little cleanup-y issues. Small bits. Adjusting sound levels, mostly. About 2/3 done, I think.

I've seen this movie lots of times now. This is the first time with the final music, and the music is awesome. It actually looks like a real movie.

But I've lost all sense of objectivity. I've been so focused on the technical tweaking that I've lost sight of what the movie is, which is a vehicle for telling a story.

There is a story there. And I've even caught some subtle moments of synthesis onscreen when all the music and effects are thrown into the mix.

But the story is not my story. It's avindair's story, fitting in to saveau's universe. All I really do in this particular episode of making is provide technical support.

Don't get me wrong, I love doing it. I enjoy it. I do it well. But it's not my movie. The heart of this movie is avindair. I'm sort of the liver, or perhaps the spleen, one of those organs of which you'd really rather never see the color.

It's one of those things that I'm afraid of. Which means I have to do it. It's territory that is frighteningly non-technical, highly subjective, and prone to whopping interpretation.

And I could fail. I could make a movie that sucked, just like Roger Ebert did. I suppose it's like following Brian Wilson into the abyss. But why is it always pudgy white guys?


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 26th, 2006 02:52 pm (UTC)
I think you just identified, cleanly and concisely, the different ways that you and I look at movie making.

You're focused on the technical challenges. Even back on Hunter you said "This could really stand some film look!" or "That sound isn't what it could be." I thought I got what you were saying, but I didn't.

Me? I've always looked at movies as a way of telling stories...and everyone one of my stumbles and missteps is out there for the world to see.

Steve the Vampire plays like a comic book because, in an attempt to make a cheap movie, I went with what I felt would be a Frank Miller-esque monologue. No, it didn't work...but hey! At least the sound was bad!

More importantly, Steve reiterated the old maxim "Show, don't tell."

The Chickenshit Syndrome taught me that video storyboards rob me of my energy to tell a story visually. (Seriously, the video storyboard of TCS is a much better film.)

The Thing That Happened taught me to not just hand over directorial reigns on a project when you've sheparded it all the way to the point of being filmed. At least for me, anyway.

Hunter taught me that safety always comes first on the set, that showing is still better than telling, and that storyboards are your friend.

And Pray for Daylight? What did I learn?

1. Never shoot a script that has been written so quickly. There are things that are wrong with the PFD script that I can see obvious -- and CHEAP -- solutions to now that escaped me back in July of 2005.

2. If it feels talky on the page, it's about six times as talky on the screen.

3. A little blood goes a long way.

I'm proud of what we did, but I'm aware of each and every flaw that the STORY has. (And that's what I was referring to earlier this month when I said "Nothing in post-production will make this a better movie.") And if the movie fails as a story, well, that's my fault.

That all being said, it's a gorgeous-looking and amazingly scored film. Those are things you and Conrad need to be very proud of.
Jun. 26th, 2006 03:09 pm (UTC)
Each film that we've done has gotten better (with the possible exception of TCS, but I blame the subject), so I don't think we have anything to grouse about. I'm more looking at an overall what's missing from my own arsenal.

It's a deeper direction-finding thing for me. Where do I want to go next? What direction do I want to take? And will there be badgers?
Jun. 26th, 2006 05:26 pm (UTC)
>And will there be badgers?

My dear Marmot...

... we don't need no stinking badgers.

I couldn't resist. Go ahead and throw stuff at me.
Jun. 26th, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC)
I shall. Mushrooms most likely, or a snake. An African snake.
Jun. 26th, 2006 03:57 pm (UTC)
>It's one of those things that I'm afraid of. Which means I have to do it. >It's territory that is frighteningly non-technical, highly subjective, and >prone to whopping interpretation.

>And I could fail. I could make a movie that sucked, just like Roger Ebert >did.

If only we could create mutant filmmakers - courageous, thick-skinned and humble.

As difficult as the tech side is in any medium, there's a level of comfort in it being measurable. You can hear when sound is bad, you can see when an actor is underlit. There is something tangible against which to gauge your skill.

This is where courageous and thick-skinned come in. Movie makers need the courage to step off the ledge and try - whether or not the end-product is particularly good, and the thick-skin to be able to brush off the critics that don't have anything useful to add. The humble part? That's to balance out the tendency of some movie makers to sway the other direction and hold the belief that a handheld shot of a dog taking a crap in black and white that took three years to produce is ART.

You'll never know unless you try!

Besides... what's to be afraid of? That someone might not like what you've done? Um... so? The world is full of critics. And no matter what you do, you can never please everyone. So do what pleases you (within the boundaries of the law) and make movies... good, bad or ugly.

Remember something, Roger Ebert might have produced a turd-burglar of a film, but people still listen to his opinion on movies.
Jun. 26th, 2006 04:08 pm (UTC)

More than pleasing others is the wanting to please myself, to try and get the movie that's in my head onto the screen. I don't know if I can do that, or even if the movie that's in my head is actually complete and cohesive enough to make the translation.

Storytelling. Do I have the ability to tell a story well? And if I don't how do I get to the point where I do?

It's a lovely quandry.
Jun. 27th, 2006 05:37 am (UTC)
I can't access the Stone Soup webpage. Do you know why? If Pray for Daylight out yet? I wanted to see the final product.
Jun. 27th, 2006 02:03 pm (UTC)
The website crashed hard a few weeks ago. PFD is the DVD I'm working on now, shooting for this weekend to have it completed. I'm pretty sure the entire movie won't be online, but if you e-mail me your address I'll get you a DVD.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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