30 October 2005-
On Friday, I recieved an external hard drive, hence, I could now upload all the production footage from the first
mini-movie. I edited a montage that runs 1:49, but that is not the one that will end up in the finished film- while I like
the current one, it has too many transitions and dissolves, as I feared the cuts wouldn't be "smooth" enough; however, they
ended up killing some of the lines, and just don't look right. The montages will have some transitions left, but not a lot.
Yesterday, we shot all of the scenes with Donna (Jessica Warner)- and as such, I now have character snaps in the "Summary"
section. I have edited everything we have shot so far except for two montages- one of which I don't have all the footage for,
and the other being the mini-movie we shot for Donna.
As well, Jessica brought up a piece of music she had come up with, and both Richie and Aniket said it would go fine in
the film. I placed it in the first mini-movie montage (well, the rough takes of it, anyway), and while it does sound good
with it, it doesn't really fit the mood I want to convey. I think I'll move it to the scene with the third mini-movie's filming,
because I want to use this music someplace in the film. (and besides in the "Fight Movie 3"-esque end credits reel I'll
have to add for film festivals)
If nothing else, it'll be background music for that "foreign film" Terrence watches repeatedly throughout this movie.
I want to finish all the scenes this Saturday on November 5th, so I'll take Aniket's advice and do an "all-day" filming
session. The musical score for the finished film, I plan to have recorded on November 11th (as well as the ADR for the movies
And yes, I did take the opprotunity to make the camera move during the (scripted) scenes we shot, and I have a couple
of cuts with overlapping dialogue- the effect is great, and I love the moving camera shots (even if you do hear the tripod
Looking over the current rough cut- it runs 16:59 right now, now with 19 5-second placeholder cards for missing scenes (so
it's 15:24 without them). As much as I feel proud of my big, fat "epic", I do want to cut out as much unecessary frames and
lines as possible- it's amazing how a frame or two can make or break a film.
6 November 2005-
It's official- this film has passed the 20-minute mark. While without the 5-second placeholder cards, the film runs
19:34, one of the scenes still yet to be inserted would be a montage that is sure to be 2 minutes or longer.
I am definitely going to delete two scenes, as I am dissatisifed with the performances in them. Rather than go through
the trouble of writing in more ADR for a scene I hate, I decided to scrap it altogether. (this is, by the way,
Scenes 21 and 23 (Scene 22 didn't get shot)- which I had deleted from the first draft!)
We finally shot Mini-Movie #2- I have 95 minutes' worth of production footage to file down into a 2-4 minute montage,
so this is going to be quite a bit of work. I'm still going to trim scenes down and find lines to cut out.
As well, I have composed a short piece on the ukulele, to be used in the final scene (the final 20 seconds of it, anyway).
This is one that's been stirring in my head for months, and due to my lack of ability to compose something more than a small
cycle of notes, I don't think I'll be composing music for my other films. I'll leave the composing to people who can comprehend
Dealing with other films-
According to Richie, MrMan is planning to make his film, "The Mind", into a minimalist film. You know, that pretentious
crap where you take 5 minutes to follow someone walking down a hallway? It's supposed to make you think and reflect on past
events, but it comes to a whole different effect-
Putting the audience to sleep.
The reaction from fans of this genre, of course, is "Go back to your 'Garden State'. We know REAL art!" and "You have
ADD if you don't like these films!"
Reportedly, this is because, yes, MrMan wants to leave pauses for the audience to reflect and think. After all, this
is an intelligent film (and the script is actually pretty good).
However, you can make your film intelligent without making it pretentious- as such, we're having a "preview" filming
session where we don't film anything, but just planning out and talking scenes over ahead of time. One of the things we'll
be doing is talking him out of this minimalist idea.
As for me-
My next few films are probably going to be 5-minute affairs (and actually, I wrote this to be 10 minutes- instead, it
ends up being the longest film we've created yet). Right now, I'm only certain about a couple of them-
-the walk in another park- Mini-Movie #3 was essentially practice for this, but I might drop out the original idea and
stick to the scripted part of the project (which I like).
-Broadway Syndrome- I want to create a musical. My current plan is to write out a script- which, this time, I will make
VERY SURE the cast and crew is fine with (I sent the script to "Visions" to Richie and other people, and they all said it
was fine, initially- but, like with "Fight Ultimatum", as soon as I find flaws, so do they)- and find peculiar spots to have
people burst into song.
-Mozoukani (Reality)- My live-action/claymation project. I'm probably going to make this half the length of "Visions"-
which means, when I write the script, I should target it at 5 minutes.
Among the films I've made, the shorter ones were my favorites.
-Ambulance- A 40-second companion piece to "another walk in the park", which I'll be working on after I'm finished with
"Visions". It will be on the future DVD release (which will be another big project), and will not be submitted to too many
film festivals due to its violent content. (however, studentfilms.com should accept it, since they generally accept films
with R-rated material)
A script-in-progress, which for now I'm titling "Donna", is not going to be filmed anytime soon, and I want to do some
research before writing it. It deals with Donna's days in the school newspaper, a year before "Visions" (and is not a part
of the "escapism" trilogy), as well as the big project she ensues. I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure "Donna"
is not a repeated cycle of events, and does not follow the same plot structure as "Visions".
12 November 2005-
At the last minute, I recieved a notice from Aniket that, due to a crapload of tests, he couldn't make it yesterday.
Those two shots left in the film (however small they are, they are still vital!) have to be put off until Thanksgiving
Well, not that I'm submitting it to the San Francisco International Film Festival anymore...
So, deciding I wouldn't waste the three-day weekend doing nothing, I invited Jessica Warner over for scoring sessions.
I liked the resulting product (which was done on ages-old synth keyboard, combo Piano+Flute (?)), though really more my problem-
the keyboard's volume was too low, and the audio noise was too loud. (in the meantime, I might buy new audio cables) Fortunately,
the volume level is just right for the scene I want to put it in.
I decided I'm actually going to attempt submitting this for the MV Film Festival- this time, I won't expect it to get
nominated for anything. Yes, I'm going to try my hand at yet another shortened Director's Cut, seeing if I can't file it down
to 15 minutes. (I did anticipate this from the start, though)
As well, my mum wants me to do a G-rated film. I have concepts, but complete plot ideas is an entirely different story.
If Writer's Block were a person, I'd shoot him in the head 60 times after sadistically torturing him for 10 hours and castrating
him with a pair of 2nd grader's scissors.
...that wasn't very G-rated of me...
One very short one I can do is more a PSA than an actual film, but perhaps they can display it as a pre-show sort of
"Broadway Syndrome" and "Mozoukani" I'm going to take my time on- I don't want either one of them to come out rushed.
13 November 2005-
I have a rough edit of the Scene 25 montage, which took long enough, and is too long- almost a little bit longer than
4 minutes. The film now runs 24 minutes, with a mere 4 5-second placeholder cards left (24:22 without them). I still have
some other scenes to edit, including a couple of brief shots that have yet to be photographed...
That montage was a pain to edit- I used only the first 50 minutes of production footage, since it was long enough as-is
(takes up 17% of the movie).
However, there was plenty of other stuff I didn't include that I thought was good footage- either for time constraints,
or profanity reasons (footage I really wanted to use but couldn't due to the usage of the "s" word (I want this shown on TV-
PBS apparently has an independent film program)). Then the idea hit me-
Why not edit all of that footage into a movie of its own?
Mostly construct the film from there, with its main focus on the making of this mini-movie, rather than the complete
story of Terrence. Temporary title is "The Supremacy of Terrence" (I'm not good with titles), and if I like the end-result,
I just might send this one to the film festival circuit. I'd say this will probably be a 95% improvisational piece, since
I AM going to edit in scripted scenes from "Visions" to create a proper beginning and some closure. My main intention
is as a companion piece, though I also want for it to be where it can stand on its own. I may or may not have it
released online, but I probably will.
Filming for MrMan's "The Mind" just might finally start this upcoming weekend- FINALLY. If I'm estimating correctly,
photography on that film will start before photography on this film is finished! We'll see, though.
As well, kenny wrote up lyrics for a number in "Broadway Syndrome", which I like enough to make it the opening act- what
I envision is an elaborately-choreographed sequence. I definitely want to take my time on this one, as well as use actors
who can sing, or at least, dance. (I don't need actors who can sing to actually perform in this number, since all outdoor
numbers are to be lip-synched (and all indoor numbers are to be recorded live), but I do need those who can perform the choreography
19 November 2005-
While there are still two shots left for this film, we started production on MrMan's long-delayed "The Mind". I had a
draft that I printed out several months ago, during the production of "Leviathan" (as it was planned, at the time, we'd shoot
that and "The Mind" back-to-back). He had a newly revised draft which inserted a lot more lines into one of the scenes we
shot today- after my constant whining and complaining about it, we removed the new lines. Not because I didn't want to read
off long monologues (I actually was really anal about memorising my lines for today's session), but because they explained
far too much. MrMan wants to make a film to make the audience think, but how are they supposed to think when we're spoonfeeding
them the information in a completely redundant manner?
So, we also cut off the long monologue I was originally going to say, and skipped to another short line. We spent 75
minutes on a scene (two scenes, actually) that are probably less than 90 seconds' worth of screen time.
Afterwards, we did some 50-second-long panning shots across the drained pond (much to my objection, but I followed through,
anyway). Doing this made me realise how much I really need to see "Open Water" again- aside from those unbearable first 20
minutes (damn, it's ALWAYS the first 20 minutes!), I remember the remainder of the movie was quite fun to watch. No masterpiece,
but seeing a young couple bickering to each other in the water comes to be quite amusing at times, and the novelty of it never
wears off. (come on, with lines like "We're STUCK in the MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN!!!", how can you resist?!) Maybe give it a rental,
check it out from a library or borrow it from someone unusual enough to buy it (try the latter ones first before you
spend any money on it), and just skip the first 20 minutes- the only thing you're missing is a bunch of gratuitous shots of totally
redundant places in the vacation spot, which downright kill the pacing, and the people jumping in the water (the guy
tallies the people coming up, but it takes 5 minutes- I know about taking time to build tension, but this is ridiculous!).
Then, we went on to shoot "Scene 4", where narration plays over footage of me walking. This is when, I suspect, I started
to take big control of the production, and virtually dissatisfied at the footage that came out of it, I wanted to just stop
production and leave for the day. (5 minutes later, I apologised for being a dick during that shoot)
We spent the remaining 45 minutes discussing redundancies in the script-
There was a LOT! Entire scenes were removed...
Basically, it's like "Visions", where everyone who read it before the shoot thought the script was perfect-
just that we caught the problem BEFORE we shot 80% of the film.
As for this film...
Two shots left, one of which requires the school. Convenient enough, since "The Mind" requires several scenes to be shot
As well, if I am dissatisfied with the resulting workprint of this film (once I screen it), I'm considering re-hashing
the narrative, to have narration at specific points. (and at this point, consider which scenes to delete to shorten the runtime)
...Woody Allen's early films were considered disasters, and were salvaged at editing by completely rebuilding the structure
Whatever I can do to make this film better, I'll do it.
I'm coming up with concepts for "Mozoukani (Reality)". That's a project I want to build upon. For that film, I want a
SPECIFIC plan for, not deciding at last-minute what to do during shooting. Considering it's the kind of film I'm going
to storyboard for, anyway (it's going to be live-action with animated segments, like "another walk in the park"), this shouldn't
be much of a problem.
27 November 2005-
Well, I do have a workprint finished, which I will screen privately tomorrow to the three leads- Aniket, Richie and Jessica.
This is mainly for two reasons:
1. I want an idea as to what the film can do without- mainly scenes, but even lines, as well. The current workprint runs
24:24, and I intend to shorten that by a couple of minutes.
2. Musical score cues. I use original music (or royalty-free; all the placeholder music I have in the film is free-to-use
from Newgrounds), never unlicenced music. Where I intend to have my films shown, is far beyond the school film festival and
private website- and in those places, music royalties will most likely have to be cleared, so I don't want to deal with them.
Afterwards, what remains is the ADR for the movies Terrence watches, as well as recording of the rest of the original
I'll probably post a trailer, though I can't make any promises. Film-related, I've broken every single one (including
the "No more 'Fight Movies'" promise), but I do want to get a trailer up for this specific project.
If I do, it probably won't be until I finish editing a workprint of "The Supremacy of Terrence", which, as the concepts
churn, is almost a way for me to handle my deleted scenes- as I have mentioned before, though, I do intend for that film to
be able to stand on its own, and, if I'm happy with it, I'll submit that one to studentfilms.com as well (granted, it'll be
an expensive submission, but it'll be worth it).
28 November 2005-
The screening went better than I expected. Richie, whom I repeatedly told it was "passable" and "watchable" (read: mediocre)
said that it was "pretty good; its 24 minute runtime ran like 24 minutes", and Aniket said it was "the best film in the Alliance"
("Alliance" being our entire filmmaking group put together- he's directed quite a few films as well ("Code of 'Con'duct" (http://codeconduct.tripod.com/
) and "Leviathan" ( http://www.freewebs.com/leviathan-movie/
)- be aware that the latter is a VERY slow download due to the hosting service).
Hopefully, these opinions aren't subject to change, like they were for "Fight Ultimatum"- I'm hoping for the best for
this film, though. I put a lot of work and a lot of time into it.
I did see a few things I could have cut out (lines, one scene heavy on the in-joke department (which didn't even develop
in-joke laughs)), but everyone at the screening (Richie and Aniket, plus Aniket's girlfriend and, due to miscommunication, Kevin) said
there weren't any scenes the film could do without. (and to think I was THAT CLOSE to writing in redundant scenes intended
for "character development" (the character Donna doesn't have too many scenes)- I wrote one, and deleted it, since, while
I did like it, it served absolutely no purpose, and developed neither the plot nor the characters)
While everyone else said I should have cut down on the second mini-movie filming montage (I agree), Kevin said I should
have made it longer.
Just the reason why I'm planning on creating the companion piece "The Supremacy of Terrence".
The fact that I made this a private screening did infuriate a few other of my friends, but I wanted a smaller group so
I could get more honest opinions, while in a large group, everyone would fear what the other person's opinion was.
At the current rate, I should expect this film's final cut to be finished by mid-December- hopefully, I can get
original music to replace the placeholders I currently have (except for the beginning- while it did state royalty-free (Newgrounds),
I want to get the artist's full blessing; if not, I'll see if I can't find another garage band).
I should expect the final cut to be around 22-23 minutes long, mostly filing shots down to make them shorter.