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Inakamichi: Visions - Official Movie Website

Production Journal, Page 6














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28 January 2006-
Yes, it's been a long time since my last update, and a lot has happened.
No, nothing new with "Visions". I keep telling myself to stop procrastinating, since I DO have music rights issues to clear up, but I DID try AGAIN to re-edit the mini-movie #2 montage, but with no luck. Trying to make the short version from scratch with strict rules, I still overran my time limit. The film will not be any shorter, and as unsatisfactory as that middle section is, it'll stay like that. I hate that portion of the film as much as you probably will.
On the other hand, Richie and I have been busy filming "SCHEDULE", and filming sessions couldn't get any more productive than this. Two 3-hour filming sessions, all of which have gone much, MUCH smoother than the rest of them in the past, amounting to 12 minutes of raw footage each time (I never checked, but I'm guessing the usual amount we churn in 3 hours is 6 minutes... if we're lucky). From the looks of the footage, that film will contain my best cinematography yet (early on, we made the decision to film in 1.33:1- the DVD will contain an alternate 16x9 version, though, for those widescreen TV owners who don't know how to use the "Pillar Box" function).
As for the film itself...
It's vastly unconventional, coming from the prespective of security cameras (though it's slightly more cinematic than that). Constantly narrated by robotic voices, in a futuristic society. Heavily influenced by George Lucas' "THX-1138", we promise this film to be more entertaining than the short film THAT was based off of, "THX-1138:4EB".
More contemplating on future projects...
MrMan's "The Mind", which both Richie and I continue to have less and less faith in as the days go by, is continually delayed due to that dreaded thing called "procrastination". There should be another filming session for that on Tuesday.
As for me, I'm still having writer's block as the days go by. Not related to the writer's block is, I was thinking about in times past, how not every filmmaker was like Robert Rodriguez- not having all the crew jobs in one person. To put it into English:
For my next project, I'd like to try a shot at directing a script written by somebody else (whilst Richie will say "Fight Movie 3", but I mean for real). There are better writers in my crew than me, so I'd like to see how this works.
As well, I think I'll just throw out the rules, admit defeat, and just plain complete "Customer". Still filmed, edited and released by the scene, of course- that hasn't changed.

6 February 2006-
Okay, I have a finished cut.
Sort of.
I have a cut that I'm submitting to MV Film Festival. I'm not entirely satisfied with it, but right now, it's the best I can do. Until then, I'll get the rights to use the other two pieces of music, and submit to studentfilms.com.
My parents have both seen the film- my dad did comment that I could work on lighting for future projects, and my mum said the music was incorporated quite well. But, considering they're parents of the filmmaker, I'm sure it was more praise than they really meant, but no matter.
Tomorrow begins the possible battle of my film, as to how (or if) it's going to be shown at MVFF 2006.

24 February 2006-
No, I still haven't submitted the film to studentfilms.com yet, and I know it's wa-a-a-a-a-a-ay overdue. I still want to confirm that I have the rights to use the Newgrounds music I put in, as well as possibly having a new piece for the ending (I'm not satisfied with the current one, and especially not satisfied with the abrupt fade-out it gets. I want the piece to end when the movie does). Maybe I should just submit it right now, then do whatever modifications I want for the DVD release. I don't know.
Been extremely busy during this so-called "vacation week", where the definition of "vacation" to some teachers is "out-of-school project week". I'll give my photography teacher credit, since we had the entire month to do that project, but my history teacher has yet another case of blatant disregard for our vacation time. Not putting myself into the picture, but there ARE some students whose families like to take this week OFF and have a TRIP SOMEWHERE.
Of course, part of my stress was that I picked such an ambitious project for history- construction-paper animation.
What
a
mistake.
I already had an animation to work on- Ambulance. And I'm sure I would have completed it if I just went for a "boring powerpoint". But, I learned my lesson. Never devote your vacation week to something so time-consuming.
Today was my "day off", so to speak, from these damned school projects. We filmed a trailer for kenny's new film "Productivity". Our first foray into scope-ratio cinematography since "Fight Ultimatum", we got some pretty good shots, but there was a choppy edit in one point, and due to the distance of the camera, both me and Sean had to really project our lines (you know, like it was the stage... grr...). I overacted plenty of times- since this is the only time I appear in the film, I can devote the rest of it to where I work better: behind the camera.
But, for Aniket's next film, "The Inner Circle", I'm the lead role, so I'll definitely have to work on acting (and 99% of my work on that film will be devoted to acting- I'm leaving the behind-the-camera to Aniket).
What's ironic is this "Productivity" trailer might be up even before kenny's "The Last Fight Movie in the Universe", which has now officially past one year since its first day of shooting, is finished with post-production.
Things are slowing down a bit for "SCHEDULE"- no work on it at all these past few weeks. It was all going well and productive until we entered that editing suite. What we have shot so far is 32 minutes' worth of useable footage, and Richie shot a whole extra tape's worth of new footage himself. How to organize this mess into a 9-minute film, I don't know.
We have a bright future ahead of us- a bright, dubious future.

27 February 2006-
The film's release is ALMOST HERE! I have submitted it to Google Video, and it should be verified within a couple of days, for those of you who want to see it.
I'll wait a little bit longer on studentfilms.com release, because I am not satisfied with the ending piece of music I have used (I'd give the title, but it's kind of a spoiler, and I hate spoilers (not that I have any magnificent plot twists written in, but still...)).
In the meantime, I think my next project is to get "The Last Fight Movie in the Universe" released. Kenny has waited a long time for this (it's been a year now since the first day of shooting started), so I'll complete post-production on it. Depending on my homework schedule, this should be within March. What I do need from Kenny is a re-recorded sound reel- this time, with a line-in connection, not recording from the TV speaker.
Just so I don't give hints as to how late I am with everything, I will not release the already-finished trailer to his other project, "Productivity", which was shot this past Friday, until after LFMITU is released.
I apologize for the constant delays and procrastination going on. It's only within the past couple of weeks I've had any real excuse to delay the release of these films.
I think "Visions" and "LFMITU" are the only films absolutely finished with photography that I could finish all the post-production and be finished with... but I could be wrong...

13 March 2006-
Been doing some things, including finishing post-production on "The Last Fight Movie in the Universe", which should be online in the first weeks of April, at the latest.
I haven't touched "SCHEDULE" since the last editing session, which was a month back. I'm too scared to go back there... that massive amount of footage I got really cluttered things up.
As for this film, the few comments I've gotten on it were... well...
...I'm really shocked I've gotten as many positive comments as I have. I did receive two constructive criticisms:
"That [second] 'fight scene' sequence runs too long"
"Use better lighting next time. It makes all the difference."
Throughout the shoot, I have tried to improve lighting, and in the meanwhile, discovered my camera's ability to configure F-stops and shutter speeds. I could only afford to re-shoot one section, though: the close-ups of the VCRs ejecting tapes ("afford" in this case meaning afford the time).
But yes, for my next film, I will most definitely work on lighting.
Upcoming Projects:
::The Suite- An Aniket Das experiment which I think sounds quite interesting (as does the rest of the group). Packing together several filmmakers' interpretations of the same scenario: Four people go to a luxury suite for the weekend, but only one walks out in the end. From there, it's "fill in the blanks". Each segment will have the same cast, is set to run 5-6 minutes each, and I think it's the same person who leaves every time, but I'm not sure.
Now, if only it weren't for my WRITER'S BLOCK... grrr...
::Productivity- Looking to be our first summer project (after we finish "Mutants"), it is kenny's next film: a thought-provoking sci-fi with a "The Island" complex.
::Code of "Con"duct I: "Con"cession- Richie and I will only agree to do this if we see a finished script that we approve of. We will not waste valuable time filming a carbon copy of the original, which is what Aniket said it was like when he completed a draft back a couple months ago.
::Richie's possible horror project- Another idea I don't have much faith in, but if they want to proceed with horror, fine. While most of the big horror hits as of late have been independent films (hell, what I consider to be the scariest film of all time, "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" (the old one), was a low-budget indie film), I do think it requires something resembling a budget... or at least better acting for it to even resemble "scary". When I heard this idea, I responded with a story about when horror legend John Carpenter held a film festival filled with amateur horror movies (and I'm paraphrasing)- "Most of them are actually pretty funny, due to their attempts to be scary. Horror is a lot like comedy, in that both require good timing." What my dad said about it was, "Well, bad horror usually means it's comedy, and bad comedy usually means it's horror."
* * *
Aniket has cancelled his mob movie, "The Inner Circle". When he pitched the idea to people, he recieved responses saying "it's like The Godfather", or "it's like Julius Caesar". It's true, though- the basic plot summary I got out of it was William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" in a mob setting.
But it still would have been fun to do. Oh well.
As well, "The Mind" should resume filming this Thursday- provided we don't get delayed AGAIN.

24 March 2006-
I had planned a screening over at my house for tomorrow afternoon around 1PM, but our TV suddenly went out-of-commission this morning. This either means it'll need to be repaired, or it'll need to be replaced. If replaced, hopefully with a 16x9 1080p HDTV.
Would love to see all of these films on a 16x9 TV one day.
The screening, which I have postponed to April 8th, contains:
::TRAILERS
-Productivity
-Inakamichi (Visions)
::FEATURES
-another walk in the park
-Inakamichi (Visions)
-Code of "Con"duct
I originally planned to have the ending piece of music changed. Yes, I finally got to it- got to recording it, that is. After seeing it with the film, it was far too soft for my taste, and the piece was just trying too hard (basically, I liked it when I composed it, but when I put it with the film, it just didn't work). It will be included on the director's commentary/isolated musical score track for the DVD (and possibly the CD soundtrack). If the rights are all cleared, the soundtrack (and possibly the edit itself) is set in stone. I'll get this mailed to studentfilms.com very soon.
In other news, "The Mind" has been halted. Schedules conflicted for the last time, as it's far too late to complete the film in hopes of submitting it to Monta Vista Film Festival 2006.
Really, I think that's a good thing- as I might have said before, what we have shot and what I have edited of it, it's downright awful. The next time we shoot this, we're restarting from scratch- and hopefully that includes a script rewrite (as I was telling Richie, "It looked so good on paper... then we read the script!").
Also in the category of "films collecting dust", I resumed editing of "Mutants" a couple days ago- now that it's at "Halted" status, instead of "Dropped". Almost all the scenes we had shot (except for two) have been edited- making up for the last 5:30 of the film. This one's going to be MUCH longer than I anticipated it to be. When we resume shooting, I need to remember for my villain character: DROP the poor Al Pacino impersonation!
I'm still having writer's block on "The Suite"- my script is 75% complete. Unfortunately, the problem isn't that I can't come up with an ending. The problem is I have a first half and an ending that don't match. Got to come up with something quick, scripts are "due" at the end of the month!

18 April 2006-
Well, long time, no update. Stuff has happened, indeed.
-MySpace is a sucky video host. It only allows me to have so many. It doesn't tell me that I have too many videos- it just confuses the crap outta me, making me think I hadn't uploaded certain videos. I've been given more and more reasons as to why MySpace sucks, and this is just the latest one.
-Screening party, which was postponed to April 8th, went well, though a rowdy crowd.
-My first official video job... solo, that is. A church friend wanted me to videotape her singing audition for a scholarship- apparently, they no longer accept just audio recordings. They want video evidence the applicant is the singer. Sounds reasonable. I wouldn't want to hear LeAnn Rimes and then find out I just accepted Norah Jones.
-Filming for "The Suite" commenced today, starting with Richie's segment, a post-apocalyptic vision of sorts (from what I can gather). Editing the footage, I do like the ideas he has for this, and if it comes out right, this should be the best one. Three screenshots, from three different cameras- I wanted to utilize multi-camera as much as possible. How was it?
Multi-camera was hellish to set up. Each little scene took, literally, an hour to prepare, but that was partly due to script memorization and general fooling around. While there were 3 cameras and they were all used, the three multi-camera shots only had 2 running. Screenshots (though I don't know how well these can be seen due to the lighting):

Camera A (my Optura 60, the main camera)
suiterichiecameraa.jpg

Camera B (Richie's Optura 20)
suiterichiecamerab.jpg

Camera C (the old Sony DCR-TRV315)
suiterichiecamerac.jpg
The "Fight Movie" camera I thought I'd never use again, is being used again.

Due to the lighting conditions, Camera B had far more color noise than usual. Camera C, the old DCR-TRV315 Digital8 camera (the last (officially released) movie shot on that was "another walk in the park"), always has color noise and is just of crappy quality- but it was the only one to get sufficient lighting in without a jittery framerate (Camera B).
As well, for the first time, we got to use the new shotgun microphone- which directly inputs to my camcorder, instead of wiring it in. There is still noise, but the sound quality is better- and the noise isn't that of the camera.
Due to constant fooling around, though, today's 3-hour session was less productive than it should have been. Only 44 seconds of the finished segment were completed. We do need to be far more productive tomorrow.

30 April 2006-
A rather low rate of productivity, and I'm actually quite shocked we still managed to complete one segment of "The Suite". We did utilize multi-camera more and more as the shoot progressed (and it went from me requesting there be multi-camera, to Richie requesting multi-camera; nearly every scene we shot on the last day of shooting (Thursday, April 20) used all three cameras available (only a couple of them were single-camera)).
It did produce some problems when I got my first edit out. Never did I think we'd have this problem at Dead Moose, Inc., but the pacing was too fast. While I think everyone does like a nice, fast pace for their movies, just like there's a such thing as "too slow", there's a such thing as "too fast".
Since I needed to do color corrections (the color schemes on the three cameras are radically different- the Optura 60 is a little reddish and oversaturated, the Optura 20 is a little yellowish and undersaturated, and the DCR-TRV315 footage was difficult to adjust since it was a mix of excess reds and blues), as well as adjust the sound and put in certain effects, this wasn't a problem.
The multi-camera setups were hectic, but I would like to do it again- I don't know about Richie, but given how he would utilize them more and more, I think he would want to, too.
Just that people do need to be better-prepared for the shoots. We're at a phase right now where people actually do need to memorize their scripts before coming in for filming- especially as one of our actors is going to be gone for the summer, we do need to get as much done as possible (if not every single segment "The Suite" has to offer- though I know that's not going to happen).

7 May 2006-
The day of the Monta Vista Film Festival is nearing.
...that is, if it actually happens.
Apparently, they're getting an insufficient number of entries, so they're unsure if they'll have it this Friday or not (I'm guessing it's because people didn't want to see their films butchered; Jessica (who plays Donna in "Visions") has a less cynical view, saying it's probably because most of the filmmakers in the school graduated last year)
MySpace just hasn't worked for me in the near-year I've had it- I much prefer xanga. ...and to register yourself as a filmmaker, you apparently have to get a new MySpace... which is weird.
I have "another walk in the park" verifying in there, and I posted it as a test- whether I'll need to letterbox 16x9 movies (the last few sites I uploaded 16x9 content in, they distorted to 4x3- these are sites that do not understand how movies are made), or I can safely leave them in their proper form. I do not want people watching them in distort-o-vision.
Let's see how long the MySpace lasts.
















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