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lacking depth

I feel like when I'm writing stuff down here, it's lacking depth. When I go back and read over the last (garbled) months, there's not a lot there beyond What I Did Today and the odd meme. A few concerns about illness & weight issues and a lot of talk about the porch, but far removed from any kind of deep thoughts or creative writing exercises or anything like that.

I feel like I'm boring.

Maybe I am. The reality is that I'm a divorced middle-aged white guy (which is so boring that it doesn't even have an acronym like DMAWG) with a computer job in the 9-5 world of Corporate America. I don't have children, my pets don't do anythying extraordinary, I haven't seen Bigfoot, I don't seem to have a ghost in my house, and to my knowledge I've never been abducted by aliens (I do have the mark, but it could just be varicose veins).

I do some interesting things, like making movies. But we've reached that part of moviemaking that is really exquisitely boring: I just spent three hours trying to get the sound of the tentacle dissolving her flesh just right isn't a particularly significant thing when you do it for days on end. It's sitting in front of a computer, and that's not exactly an extraordinary thing.

I make zombies, but I haven't had time to work on any, because more mundane things have taken precedence like cleaning and fixing the house.

I could talk about my sex life, but that would take all of ten seconds, and nobody wants to hear about the consistencies of different hand lotions or what my favorite¹ is, particularly in that context.

I feel very dull talking about illnesses and medical-related issues, because it seems like such a cry for pity, and I really don't want pity (unless it leads to really good pity sex). It's really not fun.

And that's really it then, innit? I want to be a veritable playground of fun, and I'm not feeling up to that role anymore. Or at least not right now.

Yeah, it has a lot to do with the Big Broken Box™. There's a significant chunk of stuff that needs to be done on that huge beastie, and I'm feeling a bit less than adequate to handle it anymore. It's not that I don't know how to do it, it's that I don't feel physically able to do some of the stuff that needs to be done. I feel a lot more fragile than I've ever felt before, and that's just wrong.

Maybe I've just stopped feeling invincible.

Yeah, you know, I'm actually a little scared. I don't know if I can do all of this anymore.

¹Vaseline Intensive Care with Aloe Vera, in case you were wondering.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 3rd, 2005 07:23 pm (UTC)
Well, there's a lot hanging over your head.

If I was a millionaire I'd move your ass out the BBB and hire a crew to finish it up for sale. In the meantime you'd be living in a space that doesn't have all of those old memories associated with it, which, frankly, is a GOOD thing.

But I'm not a millionaire, so I can't. So I'm stumped.

But you're not boring. You are one of the most talented guys that I know. It's just been a rough few weeks, that's all.

And this, too, shall pass.
Nov. 3rd, 2005 10:51 pm (UTC)
>But we've reached that part of moviemaking that is really exquisitely >boring: I just spent three hours trying to get the sound of the tentacle >dissolving her flesh just right isn't a particularly significant thing

Okay, so I am obviously just a glutton for punishment...but forces beyond my immediate control compel me to defend and extol the wonderful art of film sound.


Someday, people's attitudes will change from "mannnnnnnnnn, we have to work on the sound now, that sucks" to "well, it's really important to the narrative of this film that this sounds right." At least, that is my fervent hope.

There is nothing boring about editing film and it's sound.

Carry on. =)

Nov. 3rd, 2005 11:05 pm (UTC)
Don't get me wrong-- I love the feeling that comes when you get the sound just right, and I have no problem spending hours to do it. But really, for other people in general, it's the equivalent of having someone tell you what paint looks like while it's drying.

I can go on and on about how that particular gloopy sound was a rock dropped into a bowl full of whipped cream (and how happy the dog was when most of it glooped out onto the floor) or how that beautiful sword shinnng was actually a kitchen knife, or that nifty gunshot is a combination of six different sounds from a cannon to a popped balloon to a bag of fritos being stepped on. And people go "hey, cool" and move on. They don't want to sit and watch the four hours that it took to get the balance of those sounds just right.

There was an absolutely wonderful show on FOX a couple of years ago. It was called "Profit", and it had THE best sound mix on a TV show EVER. I first recognized it once when I was listening to the show and not watching the screen, and I could tell exactly what was happening, just from the sound. It was joy, I tell you.

I think it lasted five episodes.

FOX sux.
Nov. 4th, 2005 08:06 am (UTC)
My original concept for PFD was that it have a "tv-style" mix.

My reasoning was primarily one of time and budget; by telling the story through dialogue, music and hard effects you reduce the need for subtle foley movements and complex BG sounds. One can hear the technique used to great effect on shows like CSI, for example...a show that sounds just as good on a 13" mono tv set as it does on a 5.1 home theater setup.

Interestingly, the television style mix also places very high technical demands on the sound team. Broadcast tv places a -10 dbfs limit on the audio signal to conserve bandwidth, and in order to "cut through" mix engineers are confined to a very small dynamic range. This places an added burden on the production sound crew to get very clean, consistent dialogue recordings as it will undergo not insignificant compression both at the mix, and then again at broadcast. Cable is perhaps a little more forgiving, but not much.

The landscape changes a bit with the "direct to DVD" release, as mix engineers are given a little more leeway with dynamic range, and ADR and foley both work very well in the context of the home theater.

I'd never expect anyone to sit and watch me edit a piece of dialogue or massage sound effects into place, as that would certainly be exceedingly tedious to behold. But I think that most people are genuinely interested in the way sfx and foley are created, and who doesn't love watching the faders move around on those gigantic control surfaces they use to mix feature films? =) Lights...lots of lights. I only have a few lights. I need more.

Nov. 4th, 2005 03:38 pm (UTC)
I want to go as elaborate as necessary to make it a shining beacon of ultra-low-budget filmmaking. Realistically, I don't think that PFD is going to be a moneymaker, but it is going to get some attention, and I really want to have it be the kind of attentioon that might lead to funding in future endeavors.

At this point, it's time more than anything. And I can do time. Hell I spent over a year in Iowa.
Nov. 4th, 2005 04:32 pm (UTC)
Right on...

Well, good luck with it all!
Nov. 4th, 2005 06:58 pm (UTC)
I'd never expect anyone to sit and watch me edit a piece of dialogue or massage sound effects into place, as that would certainly be exceedingly tedious to behold.

I'd say, less tedious to behold, and more completely maddening to listen to....

Shelly, hi...
Shelly, hi...
Shelly, hi...
Shelly, h...
Shelly, h...
Shelly, h...
Shelly, h...
Shelly, h...
Shelly, h...

Josh "Goddamn it, WHERE is that click coming from?!"
Sarah "What click? I don't hear a click."

Shelly, hi...

Sarah "Oh, that click."
Nov. 4th, 2005 07:21 pm (UTC)

FOr me, there is always a rhythm that happens when I'm hearing the snippets of dialog over and over, and I usually take those clips that have a particular musical quality to them and end up making a song or two with ACID.

Nobody understands that unless they've done it.

And oh, yeah, taking out clicks. I've gotten to be really good at doing that with Sound Forge. I'm even to the point where I can "read" the wav file display and identify particular types of sounds, and sometimes words...
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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