Sunday, January 31, 2016

Everything's Gotta Be A Hassle

So if you haven't taken a look at that HH clip below, take a look. See a bit of jagged weirdness going on? I thought that was just the way it would look on the computer, but I spent some serious time making a rough HH DVD.

I can only fit the movie, a making of, and a commentary on the DVD. No motion menus, just some audio at the one menu. Ya want all the extras, buy the Blu, right?

Anyway, took me a little while to remember Encore. Been a couple years since I used it. And I forgot how wonky the menu buttons can be. They can only be one solid color, and if the lines are too narrow it gets all jagged.

Whatever!

Burned the dvd and it looks okay but in parts it's UNWATCHABLE. Super jaggedy-weird. Like, interlaced funny. (for an explanation of interlacing in video, see wiki--it used to be a huge thing in video)

I'm like, "What the fuck?"

Go back to the original footage on the timeline. And I notice, it's there. Can't figure it--these are the original files I used to burn the master oh-so long ago.

Looks like this:
Blow that shit up and take a good look. And in motion it's just unwatchable.

The Always De-Interlace option doesn't work, but didn't figure it would anyway. De-interlacing is actually what the problem looks like. So then I hit Flicker Removal, a mysterious little feature built in that I've used many times over the years.

And the shit goes PERFECT right away.

Easy peasy, right? Nope. See, the copy of the movie I'm working with had to be chopped up at every scene, and sometimes every every shot. That way I could individually color-correct them.

And see, you can apply effects and whatnot to a group of individual clips, but you most certainly can not apply Flicker Removal to them. So one by one I have to Right Click, Field Options, Flicker Removal to roughly 300 clips.

I guess it could be worse; for a minute there I thought there might be no way to recover the footage without paying to get the BetaSP tapes retransferred.

Here's some before and after shots to see. Or could be after and before. Whichever shot looks fucked, that's before. Whichever shot looks good, that's after.










Now I gotta re-export the whole thing to blu and dvd copies again...


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Authoring Work Continues


Have located all the assets for Bounty and HH. Am exporting dvd-sized versions of each of the files.

I've trying to figure out how much I can fit on a DVD. Depending on the compression scheme I think I can probably get about 2 hours of video plus a commentary on a single-sided DVD, which is the only kind I'm making. Things get more expensive and more complicated on the dual-layer(or double-sided, which is actually different) so forget about it.

So on Bounty that means it's tricky. The movie is about 90 minutes long. The Making Of is like 30 minutes. Then there's another special with Savannah that's like 10 minutes long. Then the commentary I did with Luke, Zig and Jared.

BUT...it looks like I'm actually going to be able to do a commentary with Tom, which is pretty awesome. It will take some coordinating but he's excited to do it. So gotta fit that on too.

With HH the problem right now is figuring out what new extras to put together, and then figure out which can fit on the dvd. People want something new. I really may try to get in touch with Rick to see if he'd do a new commentary.

I thought maybe I'd contact some of the cast/crew and get some new interviews, see what they have to say after all these years, good or bad.

I thought about trying to get an exclusive interview with that serial killer who got caught with HH in his truck. You can see some video about him plus a clip from the flick at https://youtu.be/0HugbNXXb6Y?t=1m35s

That's a longshot. I mean, I'd have to go to where they keep him(which is in PA), get permission to not only talk to him but to videotape it. I'm not sure how Dateline does that shit, but I bet money changes hands...

Anyway, lots to do.
--------
Also, Lassise contacted me. He's coming back to town(from Brazil where he lives now) for a few weeks, wants to meet up. I'm betting he wants to try to chat me up about FOC3, but that script he passed to me was fucking terrible. That's not happening unless my palms get greased pretty heavily.
-------
Got a weird email today about T-tory. I've removed the names. It also had a big scary legal warning at the bottom about disseminating info in the email but guess what? You can't send unsolicited emails to people that contain "rules".

This was the email:

Dear K,


The reason I am contacting you today is because our records indicate that your upcoming film "Ttory" may be a perfect candidate for COMPANY for worldwide pre-sales and may qualify for a minimum guarantee. With such major festivals and markets as Berlin, Hong Kong and Cannes fast approaching, COMPANY, is currently seeking a handful of titles to complete its winter 2016 catalog. Please contact us today by calling PHONE and/or by submitting your film for immediate review to the COMPANY acquisitions team by following the steps below:*

*Submission guidelines:

1) Download, initial and sign the RELEASE FORM, making sure that each owner of the film completes a separate form of their own.

2) Scan the completed form(s) and e-mail it back to this address.

3) Mail the hard copy form(s) to: COMPANY ADDRESS.
4) Send a logline, synopsis and list of cast and crew attachments to this e-mail address.
Please note: Our international sales, distribution and acquisitions teams are currently finalizing our winter 2016 catalog and preparing for a busy film market schedule that will take us to Berlin, Hong Kong and Cannes. Due to heavy call volume and market activity, please allow three to four business days turnaround time. Minimum guarantees are subject to change and are based on above-the-line talent and market conditions. For more information please visit WEBSITE


Dunno. Sounds fairly scammy, but the web site and the release form are all pretty legit. They have mostly no-name movies, like a company just starting out.

Thing about me is, I just don't go through the hassle of making M&E tracks anymore. After the failure of FOCs foreign, I just decided it wasn't worth the bother. My reps never dealt with foreign in the old days anyway.

There used to be a lot of money there, but I hear that's dried up. Why should a foreign company pay money to get an American movie they need to dub or subtitle, when equipment is so cheap they can just make movies at home for a fraction of the cost?

But the idea of presales is pretty great. Basically countries pay money ahead of time to own the rights to your movie in their country. I had heard the odds of getting pre-sales from foreign countries when you have no known actors was close to nil.

At this point though, I wouldn't have much to lose. The release is basically so they can take a look at what you have and decide whether it's worth their time to rep your film to get presales/sales. There's nothing in the release other than that--so if they decide they'd like to rep the film then there would be a new big agreement governing what they can/can't do.

So...who knows...

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Uh. Political.

I'm gonna drop some political commentary. I don't do it often but I must admit that I'm a bit stumped by people who I thought were pretty intelligent people.

The thrust of the matter is quite a few people I know would like Hilary Clinton to be the democratic nominee for president.

My problem is this: Bernie Sanders is about 10,000 times the better candidate.

And when you point out some salient facts to the people about WHY that is, they just ignore you.

Fact #1: Bernie is not nor will ever be owned by the corporations who are currently destroying our country by writing their own rules. When I point out just HOW owned Hilary is, her supporters throw back the "Every politician is owned". Bernie's biggest supporters can be found here:
https://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cycle=Career&cid=n00000528

If you'd like to say he's owned then I guess it's by these guys, right? Could you do me a favor and point out which of these parties is currently destroying our country and how.

Because you know who Hilary's biggest contributors are?
https://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cid=N00000019&cycle=Career

#1 is Citigroup. How are they hurting our country? Well they're writing their own bills, for starters.
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/12/spending-bill-992-derivatives-citigroup-lobbyists

#2 is Goldman Sachs. DO I REALLY HAVE TO TELL YOU HOW BAD THEY ARE? Fucksake.

Keep going. Her fucking donors list contains every bank that was implicated in the giant economic meltdown years back. Do you think she's going to do anything to go against their wishes once she's president?

Fact #2 is tied to the previous. Bernie wants to reinstate Glass–Steagall. Don't know what that is? Go look it up. It's a provision that should never have been repealed--not having it led to the economic meltdown.

Know who repealed it? Hilary's husband Bill. So you think she's going to re-instate it? Go against not only her former-president husband but also against the people lining her pockets? Fucksake squared.

Fact #3: Bernie Sanders is an honest and genuine man who's sincerely trying to help the less fortunate in this country.

Is there anybody out there who thinks Hilary is honest or genuine? You know what honest people do when the government starts an investigation because they think they did something illegal?

I'll tell you what they don't do. They don't say "I didn't do it" and then attempt to erase their entire hard drive. Wanna see some of her recent lies?
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/23/america-rising-8-times-hillary-clinton-lied-about-her-emails/

And sure, Breitbart's obviously got a dog in the fight but he's citing a number of other more impartial sources, and if you look into them you'll see Clinton did indeed lie about these things.

Don't believe me? Believe politifact that has compiled a number of confirmed lies, not necessarily about Benghazi or the emails.
http://www.politifact.com/personalities/hillary-clinton/statements/byruling/false/

Anybody think she's trying to help the less fortunate?  Come on.

Fact #4: Bernie's going to try to radically change America. Hilary wants the status quo to continue.

America needs a massive change. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and there's going to be a revolution soon if something doesn't change.

Bernie wants to revamp Obamacare, which has been less than the stellar success everyone hoped. He's going to implement a single-payer system, which according to every poll I could find, is supported by the majority of Americans.

Hilary wants to continue the way it is. Watch those health care premiums continue to skyrocket. Think she'll attempt to do anything about those drug companies who are inflating prices in America, causing prescription prices to go through the roof? I'll help you out--no, she won't.

So let's address a couple of the nonsense reasons people have used for why they won't vote for Bernie.

He'll never be able to pass any of these grand ideas of his.

Do they understand that they're saying "It's irrelevant that his ideas are better--he'll never get them passed, so let's not try. Let's go for the worse option because she'll get stuff done. Sure, stuff that's not as good, but it'll get passed."

People with this attitude have apparently never tried to do anything hard in their life. Run a marathon? I'll never make it. Ask that gorgeous woman out? She'll say no.

A stupid rationale. Speaking of...

"He's unelectable."

First off this is exactly what people were saying about Barack Obama before he got elected. This exact thing, because he was running against Hilary who was the "guaranteed" Democratic nominee.

And if Obama was unelectable and has now been president for 8 years then it's pretty simple logic that so is Bernie.

But this guy phrases it all a little better:
http://observer.com/2015/09/is-bernie-sanders-really-unelectable/

Monday, January 25, 2016

SnowMyGod

On my way back in last night from shoveling I told my wife to grab me 3 red Solo cups. I filled them with snow. Told my kid I was gonna make us some homemade slurpees.

I poured some coke over the snow. Turns out it's nowhere near as good as a real slurpee but it's not half bad either. He liked it a lot, and even got all excited about making them and selling them door to door around our neighborhood.

Anyway, today the sun was out. Snow melted a fraction. My wife shoveled her truck out, so I went to the 7-11 for real slurpees.

I honestly don't mind the whole snow thing. Even the "biggest snowstorm" we've ever had--which is bullshit because I have pictures of an event when I was a kid with snow that was more than this--even this only kept me off the road for one day. Hell, I could have gone out yesterday, it just would have been a little dicier. All Wheel Drive.

Meanwhile my wife fixed homemade soup, lasagna, crab dip. I watched The Shining, Phantoms, Legend. Some TV.

So fuck it. Not sweating it all. Had a toasted almond tonight plus a brownie. A good night.

Gotta get on a diet soon though, I can tell ya that.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Snow-MG




So the freaking snow arrived. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 inches. I briefly went out but the wind was whipping so bad that even though my camera was covered the snow was still getting in.

Here's some 96 fps slow-mo I added some music to because Youtube hates silent videos. I added a serious color grade to some--you'll notice.


Here's some 4K with a little more slow mo at the end. Nothing exciting. It was cold as balls out and I didn't have my tripod or my shoulder mount.

Figured I'd watch some "snow" movies. Started with Phantoms. Still don't hate it like most people. Sure, it's average but there's nothing wrong with it on the whole.

Then The Shining. It's funny, I still vividly think of the first time I saw this every time I watch it. My buddy whose mom was always working had invited me for a sleepover. I think I was like 13.

He got HBO and Showtime, and we heard this movie was coming on. We heard it was scary.

And let me tell you, it scared the shit out of us. We watched the first half in the dark and then turned the lights on.

Anyway, still an impressive movie. Kubrick's best by far if you ask me. Then again, not his biggest fan.

Not sure what's next on the list. Legend seems like a decent choice. Also have Dreamcatcher--only saw it once, but got the dvd way back when because I wanted to see the extras and it was cheap.

Really wanna watch The Thing, but ain't gonna do it on this rapidly-breaking TV. The little white dots would make me go ballistic.
 -----------

Getting very close to getting HH on Amazon. Working on finishing some audio fixes. I had exported some various versions(Amazon version, Blu Ray version, DVD version) but then I thought...Man, I really should watch one of these to make sure there's no glitches.

Good call. There's a few things in there that I really couldn't let stand.

So got it all fixed up, re-exporting.  That'll take a day.
UPDATE: Woke up--been 12 hours since I started rendering HH and it's at 31% on PASS ONE(of two). And this is just the Blu Ray version. So I can tell ya this will take up my rendering computer for probably 4 days instead of the one. Noise reduction is no joke on the CPU...

UPDATE 2: It's now been over 24 hours and it's at 69% of pass 2. So fuck doing this again for the dvd. I'm going to import the new render and export that to dvd size. Should save quite a bit of time, and shouldn't be a big deal. Normally you want to render as few times as possible but in this case, fuck that noise.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Dunno What This Is

But I sorta like it. Figured you might too.


FIRE SPINNING on Vimeo.

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Also, some excellent advice I wish more young actors would take:

What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
I wish I knew that less is more, always and in whatever you do. I remember when I was younger always trying to having a sense of a scene, and what I wanted to achieve in it. What I realized was that once you rehearsed a play, the whole thing is to just relax and be simple with it, and never try to hit a note. Don’t try to go out there with a set game plan. The only way to be creative is to be relaxed.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

It's All Gotta Break

Told ya about my TV, right? I'm still looking at new ones, trying to figure out which one to get. Probably in February I'll bite the bullet and get one.

Then today I wake up, come downstairs and find my computer being SUPER loud. This is my older internet computer--the one I edited Bounty on way back when. I figure it's my CPU fan, so I dismantle it and vacuum and clean it, because the dust had built up underneath the fan.

I plug it all back in, turn the computer back on, and the sound's still there. So just to test it, I use my finger to stop that fan...and the noise is still there.

Turns out on the UNDERSIDE of the graphics card is another fan, and that's the offending one. I try my best to clean that one(after pulling it out), I even put some oil near where the shaft is. I plug it all back in--and the noise is still there AND I can't see my computer screen even though I hear Windows booting fine.

Got no choice but to power down the computer hard, pull the video card and reseat it, try again. Works fine there, but the noise is still there...

And Windows has some sort of critical error where it gives me what I can only describe as a green screen of death. Says it has to do 3 levels of checks, and it starts fixing a bunch of horseshit.

Anyway, I figure--this video card is like 7 years old. I should be able to get a replacement for cheap. I go look it up--the video card is over $100. (yes, that's cheap for good cards--the video card on my editing machine is almost $1000)

But for this OLD computer? Shit, I can get a new desktop for around 4 times that that's much faster than this old heap...

I do some searching. I find a cheap replacement--this one on Amazon. Under $30 and appears to work nicely. So I order it, and I'll put up with the noise for a couple of days...


---
Big snow coming I hear. Whenever I hear that it makes me want to write a short, get out there in that and shoot something. Production value!

Seen this?

The son of Proctor helped on it--and is in it as an actor. It's an 80's throwback thing like Kung Fury. It's chuckle-worthy.

---

Man, just when you're starting to lose all hope for humanity these new polls come out showing that perhaps the American voter isn't as stupid as I believed. Bernie's finally starting to smash Hilary.

About time.


Monday, January 18, 2016

Greg McLean

Watching Wolf Creek 2 on Netflix. I thought the first one was well-made but really fit under the bill of torture porn.

Which is a shame, because Greg McLean's a good director.

I'd heard good things about Wolf Creek 2 so I decided to take a look. But it's got the same problem, and that problem is this: It feels like McLean's rooting for his bad guy again. There's no protagonist to speak of, just random victim after victim.

Eventually you get to a dude who sort of takes the protagonist role, but you never get the feeling he has any chance, or that McLean even wants him to win

---
SPOILER UPDATE -- Finished the flick, and it's confirmed that McLean doesn't want anybody but the bad guy to win. At the end of the flick it turns out the bad guy releases the good guy after cutting off some of his fingers. The good guy wakes up, can't believe he's been released. And for a second I'm like...wow, didn't see that coming. But then a title card comes up telling you that the man was put in an insane asylum after that. No happy ending for you.
---
Also--and this is a personal thing--every time the bad guy speaks he sounds like Crocodile Dundee. Doesn't help that his name in the movie is Mick.

----

Speaking of other indie directors, Christopher Smith is a guy who's really impressed me. From Creep to Severance to Black Death, and especially Triangle. Hadn't heard anything in a while, so I looked him up.

Apparently he did something called Get Santa. That sounds disappointing...probably won't seek it out.

He's in post production on something called Detour that sounds more promising.

------

Went back to editing the wrap-around for T-Tory. Over the next couple of months I want to completely finish all the segments I've done, because odds are great that if these other filmmakers come through with theirs then I will be editing them.

So I want to be in a place I can be ready to rock and roll to a picture lock so I can get this to Chad as soon as possible.

But so far I don't have a script from either of the two guys. Which means I'm going to continue working on mine.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Titles. I'm getting bored of them.

Once again, returned from LA. I won't go into it because mostly it was boring, but I will say that the banquet video I did went over VERY well. Much better than we expected.

I'll post it soon, but you won't find it funny. I also find a lot of it embarrassingly-bad because of the time crunch I was in.

Let's talk T-Tory, shall we?

When last we spoke none of the filmmakers we'd talked to had gotten back to us about doing a segment, which left me at about 99% to doing another one, and STILL being short one segment.

I reached out to ANOTHER filmmaker who I only barely know, and actually have never seen any of his shit. Talk about desperate. All I know about him is that he's prolific--works on a LOT of shorts--and he puts a lot of blood and boobs in his stuff.

He's super interested. Super excited, since he's a fan of mine. I told him to think up some ideas to pitch to me and if we can figure something he can do given his resources then I'd give him the green light.

He got back to me the next day. His pitch is so so. Has no ending to speak of. I told him we'd work on it, and I'd try to come up with something to help him out.

THEN another guy got back to me, and his pitch is actually pretty good. Didn't have an ending, but I told him to think about it and get back to me, and the next day he did with an ending that's not bad.

The concept is decent, and timely. All we have to worry about now is the execution, because he's one of the filmmakers who was supposed to be in T-tory but after shooting one day we realized that what he was doing wasn't going to work.

Good news/bad news is that he wants me to be on set to help him out, make sure he's getting what he needs and not making any of the mistakes he made on the other shoot.

On the one hand it means we should have a segment that's decent. On the other hand if I have to be out on set for two days then part of me says "Why not just make your own fucking short instead of someone else's?"

---

Saw Creed. Good movie.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

HH Another Post

Had some orders through Amazon, and they keep saying stuff is "Customer Owned" but it's not actually added to the total sales. Sometimes it gets added in later, other times it's removed from there(and I see the inventory go up as it's put back)

So is "Customer Owned" the same thing as "In Cart", and if so, why the fuck don't you just call it IN CART, which is self-explanatory. Unlike the other thing.

Anyway, went over to see how many units(of GOH) that Amazon claims it still has in stock. Then got to reading reviews, cuz I haven't checked those in a while.

Which led me to double check to make sure the old distributor hadn't tried to put HH back on Amazon streaming. They did not, but I checked the HH reviews.

LOVE reviews. Good, bad. They're always so bizarre. Like this one:


"an ok movie,i was expecting it to be alot better but as i said its ok.its a under budget movie"
Nothing all that weird there, right? How many stars you think he gave it, after reading that review?
If you guessed 5 out of 5 stars, you'd be right. So..."okay" is apparently as good as a movie gets for this guy. That's weird.
This one:
"charming and unique idea
This movie is weird but for some reason has such a unique charm that I can't help but enjoy. It's cheaply made, but the producer and main actor did great with what resources they had. I wish the creator would change the ending and re-make this movie with modern equipment. Could be a great indy web series if nothing else.

Go into this expecting to just watch a cool concept of a movie and dont get bogged down in crapping on it."

 Kinda nice. I'm just confused about the part where he says he wishes the creator would "change the ending and re-make this movie with modern equipment". Does he mean "change the ending, and re-make this movie with modern equipment"?
Isn't he really saying "I wish he'd remake this movie with modern equipment, but change the ending when he does it".
And if that's what he meant, then I completely agree with him. Also, had thoughts about doing a web series. Maybe I'll talk about it next. 
Three HH posts in a row? That would be nuts...
  

Monday, January 04, 2016

HH


So sure, I'm trying to finish up T-tory. I'm doing all this bullshit freelance work. I'm working to get Bounty to an aggregator. I'm writing like five scripts. I'm playing Fallout 4.

But I'm also working to get HH ready for a new dvd and/or Blu, color corrected. Can't use MTI's poster. And my regular guy and I had a bizarre falling out, so he's not gonna do it. (it's the first poster he hasn't done SINCE the original HH...it's like...cyclical! Hollywood would love it!)

So I found another guy who seemed to do decent work. He's nowhere near as good as EA, but what ya gonna do?

He's fairly cheap, but not from this country so I think his English is spotty. I sent him a bunch of stills, and said "Use at least one of these--I hated the distributor's original poster 'cuz nothing on it happened in the movie."

So he takes longer than I thought, and sends me the one in the next post(that I posted last night). I'm like...Is he joking? I sent him a response and he said he'd fix it, which he did. This is what he sent me:


I like it. It's pretty minimalist, but so's the movie. I actually don't want it to look TOO slick. And bonus--that's actually Rick in the picture! Sweet. (it was one of the stills he took AFTER we got distribution because they needed some stills--they put this pic on the back of their cover but took the gun out and put a hatchet in his other hand)

I may tweak it a bit--he gave me the original psd file so I can mess with it.

----------

SUPER excited--finally chatted with my composer to see if he'd take on T-Tory's music. He's busy, and I couldn't pay his normal rate on this one. I described the project, and sent him one of the segments.

He's IN. Seemed pretty excited. Just have to fit into his schedule--he's doing a couple of things now, the big one(at least money-wise it sounds like) is a video game. 
TRIVIA--He composed all the music for the Jurassic Park Lego game.

Best news I've heard in a while, because #1) The movie's going to be better by about 100X more than it would if he didn't do it , and #2) Love hearing new music from Chad.
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Ha, put my kid on imdb! He has a small role in T-Tory, so I said fuck it, I'd put him in.

Weird thing is, my nephew is starting to get into acting. He's a senior in high school, and I actually am going to need some college-looking kids, so maybe I'll see if he can act and put him in.

If my brother is cool with it. There's a scene where a woman bares her breasts, and he's a bit of a prude so might not let his kid do it. (as if his kid hasn't SEEN boobs first hand by now...)

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Tell ya more about this later

And no, this ain't what I'm gonna be using. Guy didn't listen the first time.

Friday, January 01, 2016

You Been Had

I want to start a new show called "You Been Had". Or maybe "You Been Had, Sucker".

What it is is this: It's Undercover Boss, but at the very end after we tell them all the money and stuff we're gonna give them, after they're crying with gratitude...our person gets up, points at them in the face from like 6 inches, and says "YOU BEEN HAD!"

The person will get confused, smile like maybe THIS is the joke, then probably get mad or start crying sadly.

It will be MUST WATCH TV.

I must go make this.

Yes, I'm aware I'm a horrible person.