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Inakamichi: Visions - Official Movie Website

Production Journal, Page 5

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1 December 2005-
It's the 1st Anniversary of "Fight Ultimatum", as it was released on this same date in 2004. Happy anniversary, "Fight Ultimatum", you still suck just as much as you did a year ago!
I'm editing "The Supremacy of Terrence", which will probably be much shorter than I originally planned it to be- what I've edited so far is more repetitive than "Visions", and has no actual plot excusing its repetition. It will probably end up being a workprint for the mini-movie montage in the real movie, and I'll cut scenes out from there. After editing- not even the first 25 minutes of production footage- I'm exhausted! (I grabbed 10 minutes out of that portion)
Yes, I'll still go forth with it- it'll probably end up being more of an alternate version of "Visions" than I intended it to be (I'm also going to have it end differently). For the screening party (once I get the final cut on both completed), I'll screen "Visions", then "The Supremacy of Terrence".
Aniket filmed footage for a trailer of his new upcoming masterpiece, "The Inner Circle". It looks more promising than "Leviathan", but I want to see a full script. This plus "The Mind" make what I think are my first lead roles- "The Mind", I play a teenager who gets followed by a strange man who might or might not be a schizophrenic delusion, and "The Inner Circle", I play an assassin for the mafia... from what I've grasped out of the plot, it appears to be "Julius Caesar" with gangsters. I've decided that, for the latter, I'm going to be 99% focused on my performance, rather than the photography or the direction of the film. (...I really hope I didn't sound really egotistical in that last paragraph)
As well, I've started animation for "Ambulance", a short film which I intend to include on our upcoming DVD release. I've done my second pencil test, and from how it's going, I'll definitely be doing a lot more! (for "another walk in the park", I didn't do any pencil tests- they went straight to the scanner. For this film, I invented a fancy-yet-dirt-cheap method involving a camcorder facing downwards to the printer tray (told you it was cheap) in a live feed to my computer)
...I want my next film to be simpler... much simpler... after facing two highly complex projects, I want to do something short and simple. ("Ambulance" is short, but anything BUT simple to animate!)

5 December 2005-
First off, I'll start by plugging "The Boondocks", a show which I've been addicted to since Episode #1. Each episode gets more and more offensive, and all but the third episode get funnier with each new one. Last night's episode was absolute gold in the first half, though the second half pushed it w-a-a-a-a-a-y over-the-top with highly blatant Iraq war symbolism followed by a pretty graphic shootout that runs a few minutes too long (the reason why I say "too long" is that the intensity and length of the shootout just don't fit with the tone of the rest of the show). Still, if you can withstand all the N-words and vulgarity, it's quite a rewarding little show, on Cartoon Network Adult Swim, Sundays at 11PM EST (I have satellite, so everything is EST for me- meaning I get it at 8PM), as well as a rerun on the Saturday of that week at midnight (okay, so it's Sunday. Shut up. It's 9PM for me... then airs again 3 hours later if you missed that).
* * *
Anyways, where was I...
Oh yes, "Visions"!
I did send an e-mail asking for permission to use the song "Anything But Human" (it's listed on Newgrounds as royalty-free, but from them, it's limited to "Flash Movies and Games" on the website- this film is obviously not a flash movie or game, nor do I intend to post it on Newgrounds (something like "Ambulance" would fit right in (never mind the fact that I'm doing it entirely hand-drawn, no Flash), but not this)). Once I get a song confirmed for use, I can get to making the trailer for this thing- maybe I should view my workprint and see which scenes to include.
...oh yes, and I've decided (for now, at least) not to include ADR for the movie-watching scenes. I might leave it for quite a bit later, when I can perfect what I want, but it works just fine without it.
I've also been viewing some of the stuff on (looking among the new releases):
-Why Won't the Pickle Jar Open? *** (out of 5)
-The Adobe Visions Commercial *** (out of 5)
-Life in General ****1/2 (out of 5)
-Break the Chain ** (out of 5)
-Noir ***1/2 (out of 5)
-Happiness **** (out of 5)
I intend to view more. I have reviews for all except "Noir" and "The Adobe Visions Commercial".

10 December 2005-
I got news from Aniket that he has finished composing the piece for the film's finale. I haven't heard that piece, but as well, he suggested using a certain classical piece for one of the film's montages- I've gotten a listen at that one, and think it's great for the scene.
...on the other hand, it's been a week since I've e-mailed him, and I have not gotten a reply back from the artist who did "Anything But Human".
A friend gave me a CD from his friend's garage band, Get Off- I don't think any of those songs are useable for this film.
In terms of what I'll do next, the plans I've revised over and over and over again, life would be much easier on me for "Broadway Syndrome" if I did a super-short "pilot" movie first, then try to recruit (singing) cast members and artists.
As for my other "big" projects...
"Mozoukani (Reality)" is one I want to milk out concepts for, and possibly get input from other people- the claymation part is going to take a long time, so I want to make sure I'm working with good material before I put out all the effort (not to mention money).
"The Adrian Floyd Murders", once titled "Donna", is one that I'll be doing research for before I write a single word of script; I want to make sure I have some authenticity in the "school journalism" aspect of the plot. To satisfy my vision, I might put this into graphic novel format before writing a screenplay.
...I have under consideration "ZOMBIS!!! Holy Shit, They Made a Sequel!", which if I made it, I'd want to be released on Halloween. I've been constantly delaying the film, frankly because I haven't had any interest to do it.
Whatever film I do next, big or small, I want a much lighter-hearted film. I'll see what I can do for that no-dialogue movie.

19 December 2005
I figured I should update before I leave for Japan tomorrow. ...actually, I've meant to update throughout the week, but just haven't found the time.
My gift before I leave- "another walk in the park" is back up.
I think you've already figured out I'm delaying the release of this film until next month. But why am I doing so?
The biggest factor in this delay is the re-uploading of the mini-movie #2 production footage. It's taking longer than I expected, and I'm using this as an opprotunity to reconstruct that entire set (scenes 25-28).
As well, I plan to create a couple of smaller shots (since I have scenes 21-23 deleted, what I noticed was that the shooting of the new film came by quite abruptly, right after the critiques scene- I have in mind a typewriter shot, or at least a shot of the scripts being xeroxed (I have a xerox machine at my house)).
Concerning the entire package, I'm finding it very difficult to find stuff to cut out to make it even a minute shorter (my goal is for the final film to run 23- minutes, and right now, it's a few seconds under 24).
The other reason why I'm delaying it is because I wasn't satisfied with the musical score sessions. Record using a better piano, and more practice on one of the pieces. The piece Aniket composed was fine, but it didn't fit the tone of the finale. For the part where he suggested the classical piece, I'm going to see if I can't get the rights to the Newgrounds placeholder music I currently have (we attempted recording the classical piece (Leyenda) several times, then he told me just to use the MIDI. However, MIDIs, contrary to what he said, ARE copyrighted- copyrighted to the people who program them. Since I'd have to get rights either way, might as well request for the piece you prefer).
In the end, though, I think these delays will be worth it. Gives me more time to do things, and come out with a less-rushed product (after all, I worked since late-July on this!).

10 January 2006-
Updating this thing for the first time in a few weeks, and I've seen three movies (not including the many rentals) during that period of time:
King Kong (**1/2 out of four)- Three things that could have made this better: recast Jack Black's role (come on, Jackson, you can't waste the biggest production budget of all time on rash casting decisions!), get rid of that cliched teenage Jimmy character (did not help advance the plot, and is an insult to the intelligence of all teenagers), and get rid of the shaky camerawork! Who cares about realism when you're about to barf your head off?! It could have been trimmed a little, but the last third of the film was absolute perfection, don't trim a frame! Andy Serkis deserves an Oscar nomination for his excellent performance as Kong, and his chemistry with Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts), makes the relationship believable but never provoking one to scream "BESTIALITY!"
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (***1/2 out of four)- I saw this right after "Kong", so this is probably why I enjoyed it as much as I did. Great plot, just as I remember it from 5th grade. The effects are much better than the animated and BBC incarnations (enough to not look cheesy), but they are always obviously CGI and never steal the show- a show of confidence on behalf of the filmmakers, who knew people would love the movie itself, so why not have people praise the movie and not the effects? One can't watch this without being reminded of "The Lord of the Rings", and with our second winter without an LotR movie, this is an excellent alternative.
Match Point (***1/2 out of four)- After its extremely slow first portion, the rest of the film picks up to something you never thought Woody Allen could to- edge-of-your-seat suspense. As many critics have said, Hitchcock would be proud of this film. One of the best films of 2005, I'd put this one second to "Unleashed"- I'd have absolutely no problem if this took Best Picture at the Oscars (it most likely will get a nomination, but I think "Brokeback Mountain" will win).
* * *
I finished re-uploading the footage for the "Supremacy" production footage- I'm probably going to straighten the music rights issues for all the placeholders I have, except one, which I'll see if I can't get a piece composed for it (the ending).
As well, I've resumed animation on "Ambulance", and now have around 4 seconds of animation (now, I estimate the film will run around 20 seconds, not 40).
I'll probably have this film, "Visions", released by the end of this month, though I can't make any promises.

11 January 2006-
Out of sheer boredom, I added a CREDITS list in the SUMMARY section. That list is as of today, and may be subject to some changes (mostly to add stuff I'm not completely sure about right now). I think we have our largest cast list (with each actor playing an individual character) along with our longest film.
As well, there WILL be sound with the movies Terrence is watching. After thinking of ways to do it, as in ways that are possible and legal, I've come up with a completely legal way of doing it. I won't disclose what it is, but it's far more legal than what I originally had planned (though it utilizes the same method).
I will also submit this to the Monta Vista Film Festival. Early. They have a "15 minute" guideline (compared to last year's 10), so if I get it in early, I have more time to discuss it with the people who run this thing. (I don't expect the finished product to run any shorter than 23 minutes)
If they will butcher my film like they did last year with "another walk in the park", at least let ME pick which parts I want this massive audience to see! What upset me more than them butchering my film in half last year was that they didn't show the better half!

12 January 2006-
Working on editing of "The Supremacy of Terrence", while at the same time, editing the mini-movie montage for "Visions". If I can't get satisfactory results out of this, I'll just cut the re-uploaded footage to what the original screened montage was like. ...just that part doesn't seem as good as it could be...
Since I can't seem to figure out what I want to cut out through Adobe Premiere, I decided to render and upload the footage to DVD-R, and do some good ol' fashioned VHS editing. With that, there's the convenience of simply running the movie, and when something interesting comes up, start recording. I think it's easier to find stuff I want to keep, rather than find stuff I want to remove. I've filed down 95 minutes of footage to 33, and now I need to file 33 down to 3 (or around 10 for "The Supremacy of Terrence"). Easier said than done, but it's worth a try.
We've been spoiled a bit too much by advanced digital non-linear editing (NLE) techniques. Back then, editing was of much simpler, less precise, and harder-to-use mechanisms- we're seeing much shorter shots than we did in the 70s. Now, we have more complicated and precise mechanisms that are quite easy for amateurs to use. However, like with anything else, it takes experience to ultimately master editing. I'm still learning- before, it used to be that I left a shot running too long (see: Fight Movie II, where White Warrior grabs the charging "Freeze Shucks Bag"). Now, I'm cutting almost too quickly- not too much of a hassle when watching on a video (or computer) monitor, but if it was projected on the big screen (or A big screen), I'm sure people would get exhausted from cutting the image before people can think (though from where I've watched "Visions", the bigger the screen/monitor, the better).
Besides, it's good practice for when I make the final masters of the three mini-movies Terrence and Claude shoot, which will be featured on the DVD as special features. (while I have already completed the three in computer editing, they will be seen as VHS-edited)
...sorry, just had to write that "essay".

14 January 2006-
The VHS editing was a failed experiment- I couldn't think of anything I wanted to take out. It's not any one segment that's the problem, it's the overall package. I'll probably be able to work a VHS workprint for "The Supremacy of Terrence" (which will implement both of the scenes I left out of the final cut for "Visions"- so on the DVD, you won't get a deleted scenes section, but rather, another film to watch), but for the 3-minute montage in "Visions", I think I'll just modify what I had in the previously-screened version, with a few parts removed, and possibly a couple of small items inserted. The editing-room scene afterward is the one I want to change the most (needs more stuff in it), but there's only so much I can do. I've worked on this for months, I've kept you all waiting, and I want to show you guys that I have a film out there, not just a trailer.
Perhaps I should take my time to make sure I can't make the film any better, but the amount of time I've spent tweaking and tweaking hasn't made much difference. I'll get the music rights straightened out once and for all, and I'll get a film released soon enough, preferrably by the end of the month, and you'll see it (hopefully) at, since I don't have a .com yet (I hope to get one, but studentfilms is also a good promotional site in addition to hosting the film in the quality I want (beyond the RealMedia and WMV you're used to seeing our films in)).

16 January 2006-
"Fight Movie II" is now available in a format other than RealMedia. I submitted it as a Windows Media file, and they converted it to QuickTime. I don't know whether I should click the "convert back to WMV" (they were kind enough to give me that option)- it was slightly better in quality in its original WMV format (and had a lower filesize), but Firefox users can't view WMV files straight off the page (though I'm sure the Download link works). Any way you put it, it has a new host- Google Video may or may not have it within a week, as they're still verifying it (as well as both versions of "Fight Movie: a pilot"). I intend to replace all films up in RealMedia to Vimeo and Google Video, gradually over time. If we get our own .com, the transition from RM to WMV or Quicktime will be faster, though some videos will be submitted to these two sites due to promotional value.
The Golden Globes are on tonight (in less than 30 minutes after posting this entry)- since "Unleashed" has ZERO nominations (though that was expected; movies like "Unleashed" don't get presitigious award nominations- and as good of a movie I expected from its trailers, I NEVER expected it to be my #1 film of 2005), I'm rooting for "Match Point".
Do I think that will win?
Maybe one, two awards, but Best Picture and plenty of the other awards are going to "Brokeback Mountain". In fact, I don't doubt it's going to win Best Picture at the Oscars, as well as sweeping up the rest of its nominations.
I'd absolutely love for "Match Point" to sweep the Globes and Oscars, as it is an excellent film, but "Brokeback Mountain" isn't a bad choice. The Academy's done far worse- I was going to say giving "Gladiator" Best Picture, but "Gladiator" is like "American Beauty" compared to "Ordinary People" (that movie won OSCARS? If you want my opinion, it should have gone up for RAZZIES- the worst movie to ever win awards that big. think it won all those awards while "The Elephant Man" didn't get squat).
Oh yes, and I'll be plugging Turner Classic Movies all week until this Thursday. "Whisper of the Heart", my favorite film of all time and a major influence on both "Visions" and "another walk in the park", has its official US premiere on that date, January 19th. Mark your calendars, set your TiVO or VCRs (all movies are shown uncut (though none require censoring), commercial-free and in their proper widescreen formats)-
5:00PM Pacific (8PM ET)- My Neighbor Totoro (new English dub)
6:30PM Pacific (9:30PM ET)- Porco Rosso (English dub)
8:15PM Pacific (11:15PM ET)- Whisper of the Heart (English dub)
10:15PM Pacific (1:15AM ET)- My Neighbor Totoro (original Japanese with English subtitles)
11:45PM Pacific (2:45AM ET)- Porco Rosso (original Japanese with English subtitles)
1:30AM Pacific (4:30AM ET)- Whisper of the Heart (original Japanese with English subtitles)
As well, for DVD releases, "My Neighbor Totoro" (in proper Japanese and widescreen format- do NOT buy the current Fox DVD!), "Howl's Moving Castle" and "Whisper of the Heart" are going to be released on March 7th- provided Disney doesn't go through another of their idiotic delays!

18 January 2006-
I did experiment with various looks I could have given the film, using a "film-look" trick mentioned on some message boards (what I can remember of the topic on MySpace, though it's long gone now)- this is done by placing the same exact clip on two video tracks, with the one above set to a certain transparency level to give the image a "thicker" appearance.
Below are four image samples of various modes of experimentation:

Sample A
Brightness reduced 5%, contrast increased 18%

Sample B
Black-and-white 80% contrast overlay with 20% opacity

Sample C
Color 80% contrast overlay with 20% opacity

Sample D
Original, unmodified image

Samples A and ESPECIALLY C were far too saturated for my tastes- though you can't really see it in the downsize, C has extensive color bleeding, most noticeable on Terrence's face. B, I came close to using, but in the end, I decided I'll stick with the original (D). The reason is:
All of the modified images, to me, look far too stylized. While it worked just fine for "another walk in the park", for "Visions", it comes to be a distraction. I suppose I should watch the film with the applied looks before I make up my mind on whether it distracts or not, but for now, I'm happy with the current image without filters.
I'll probably get this film sent in a week. I don't know how long it takes for to verify an entry, so I can't confirm a release date.

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