The Big Think

June 9, 2004


Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 11:08 am

It’s easy to be clever. But the really clever thing is to be simple.
Jule Styne, friend and fellow songwriter to Irving Berlin

The Nuge

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 10:52 am

A great post from a Marine at the pointy end.

Movie Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 9:48 am

The movie is going very well. The first day (Sunday 6am-3pm) was a total wash for me in that all the footage we got was “MOS” (filmspeak for “mit out sound”), so they ultimately had no need for me on set. Monday and yesterday were great long days (6am-9pm), but I really got to exercise my mad boom mic skillz and we did a total of around 16 pages from many different angles. It’s a fascinating process that combines the technical (camera angles, lighting, mic-ing, blocking, etc) with the aesthetic (just _why_ do you put a light right there? What point are we trying to make? Why mic very close to one character but slightly farther from another (close mouth sounds vs. a slightly more distant sound)). It’s much like the technical/artistic problem solving that goes into Sing that I enjoy so much. The director/actor is brand new and mostly blind (really), and much of the crew is pretty new, but it’s a “real” production with all the equipment, manpower, and money involved. The budget is approx $150,000 although much of that is deferred until it’s sold. I think the actual amount spent is around $10-12K. All of our lunches are graciously donated by local restaurants (Dairy Queen, Papa John’s, Marie Calendars, etc). It’s amazing how much you can get if you tell them you’re making a movie. We’ve got an 8′ boom and a dolly that runs on plywood we lay down. It’s a nice system. The Panasonic DVX camera is working out great, too. Good pics and it’s convenient being able to record the sound in-camera. There are also tons of lights on stands, mounts, hung from the ceiling, etc. Every new shot means that we reposition many of the lights (and cords), 2 monitors, the camera/boom/dolly/plywood assembly, etc. This means often tearing down part of the set dressing, repositioning everything, and then putting the set dressings back together.
We spend a lot of time taking pictures of the set and referencing them so we get continuity right. Have you ever seen a sequence of shots where a glass moves across the table or suddenly switches hands? That’s a continuity error, and I’ll never be critical of a film for having them again. Continuity is hard to maintain, especially when the set looks as messy as ours. We’ve joked that we’re going to have a “spot the continuity error” contest to generate interest in our movie. I’m sure there will be cups and bottles of water that mysteriously appear and disappear in the background, but it’ll be like trying to spot the extra barbie-head in two pictures taken at the city dump.

I hope to be able to edit the sound on the final film. I think right now the producer/editor wants to do all the editing, but because he’s mainly a visual editor I don’t know if he realizes how much massaging can go into a soundtrack. I think he believes that he can do an adequate job just editing sound to the nearest frame. Unfortunately, this will ultimately make ME look like I didn’t do my job right. I’ve expressed my thoughts to the director/$$ guy and he understands, so I think it’ll be okay, but it’ll add more donated/deferred time to the backend for me.

Working on the bench today and catching up on stuff I’ve let lapse the last few days. Starting tomorrow we’ve got a marathon until our next day off (wed). A few 6am-9pm days but mostly noon to 7:00 stuff, so it’ll seem like a vacation. 🙂

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