Monday, March 26, 2012

What did you spend 8 hours doing the other night?

Me, I tried to remove a seam from a wall in a 20 second shot.

Remember that hallway set we built? Well, there is a seam at either end of the hall that's visible. I don't know whether your average person will look at it and say "Hey, a set", but to me that's what it says.

So spent 8 hours trying to remove it frame by frame. I was not 100% successful.

On the first angle, I got it done. It was not easy, since my main character crosses the seam. The problem is that you can't just paint each frame haphazardly, because if it's not perfect there will be a shimmer in your picture.

And you can't just copy a piece of clean wall, motion track the scene, and then attach that piece of wall to your motion-tracked null object. Because the light changes as the camera moves, so that piece of wall might be invisible on frame 1, but by frame 34 it's too dark and sticks out.

Fascinated yet? So what you have to do is, paint the seam out. Then you copy the new area you've painted, advance a frame, and paste what you copied. Then you make sure to move it however the camera moved. EXACTLY. 'Cause if you mess up, you've messed up every frame in the future.

Then you touch THAT up so it matches, then copy it, and repeat it all again. For every frame.

Anyway, the first angle works, but the second angle has some harsh lighting that really lights up the seam. Not only does my actor cross it, but his shadow crosses it. I wasted about 5 hours before finally giving up.

I did go remove a smoke detector from a wall, which wasn't nearly as hard.

Anyway, going to San Fran on Thursday morning. I had emailed my old pal Tim Vigil, artist of the comic book Grips, Faust, and a ton of other stuff. Here's some pics of his stuff--he's awesome.

He used to come to a lot of east coast cons. I have drank many beers, been to many Hooter's, and many comic con parties with this man back in the day, but haven't seen him in like 6 years.

He lives in San Fran, so I was hopeful maybe we could go out to dinner. He hit me back in an email that he was unfortunately going to be at the Emerald City con by Thursday night, so it was not to be.

But he mentioned that he emailed me like a year ago, wants to talk about investing in a movie. He just thought I blew him off.

Kind of funny.

Anyway, seeing how much GOH shit I can get before heading out.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I Got Nothing

Well, almost.

Busy week for Twitter. I've never been replied to by a celebrity of any type. I don't tweet at them much anyway. Hell, I don't tweet much at all PERIOD.

But last week Todd Farmer, writer of stuff like the My Bloody Valentine remake, Jason X and Drive Angry, tweeted that he was looking for someone who had a working copy of Scriptware. It's an old program that I used to use for writing scripts and apparently he did too.

Well, he had some files he needed to convert and no longer had Scriptware installed. So he emailed me and I got him a copy of mine. He said he'd owe me. I told him to kill a character in his next script with my last name and we were even. He said DONE.

Then the other night I tweeted "Anybody else watch Talking Dead last night and think, 'Man, @Laurie_Holden is even hotter than I thought she was'?"

And shortly later I get a private message from her that says "Okay...luvin' u. xo" That's right, Laurie Holden is luvin' me. Eat it, bitches.

In other news, passed the vamp script on to Luke and Zig to get their thoughts. It's at the 65 page mark still. I'm stuck in this "Don't write it if you can't shoot it" mentality which is paralyzing me. I'd like to write whatever I want and then say "Now let's figure out how to do it", but I've been there before.

You can write 20 versions of a script before you figure out what locations you can get or what FX you can accomplish, and THAT is maddening.

Went over to Luke's and did some more work on the Bunker script. He'd like to write while we're in the same room, and that's really not my process. I'm a solitary writer, even when co-writing. I'd rather write, pass it on, get something new passed back, then continue.

But we got some stuff done. We're at the 24 page mark right now, but the entire story's plotted out. I'm just concerned that at this pace the script will probably end up at like 103 pages and I kid you not, if this script is even one page over 90 I am not shooting it.

Going to San Fran next week. Remind me to tell you about Vigil. But this post is long enough.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Watched The Goh

So, got the copy burned. Have never burned a high-quality blu from CS5 before, so I was a little worried about getting the settings right.

Man, does it look good...

Sound issues, like I thought. Maybe your average person won't notice so much. I think the looping is pretty solid for the most part. Some scenes are spot on, others have a few loose spots, but I think it's as good as I'm going to get.

There were a few glitches I'm going to fix, some other stuff I'll look at. And I did manage to get it under 2 hours, even with the extended end credits for Chad's awesome end song.

What? What's that?

Wanna see a short new trailer? Go here.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Don't you love when there's spelling errors on Demotivational pictures?

Seven years ago today I started this blog. Man, who the hell keeps a blog going for seven years?

Honestly, it's really more for me than you. I enjoy being able to go back and read what was going on. It's a continuation of my autobiography that I quit keep up with around 1995.

Anyway, that's not the big news. The big news is that I have a working Blu Ray of GOH. It took over 18 hours just to export the h.264 version of the entire thing for Blu Ray.

But lemme tell you, it looks NICE. We're gonna watch it tonight and make notes, see what changes the boys think should be done. Get some fresh eyes on this bad boy.

m exporting a rough of the trailer too. I'm not in love with it, but it's okay. The second part of the trailer could really use an awesome KMFDM song but I don't have permission...must be nice to be able to use any music you'd like in a trailer.

Will put it up here soon.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Scene 95: We meet again, my enemy...

Man, I can't tell you how tired I am of scene 95. In it, the hero and the bad guy face off for a fight in the woods at night. The bad guy surprises him, hits him in the back with a stick--he goes down, blocks the second swing with his forearm and manages to scramble back up.

Then, he speaks! And...yes, there's a plane in the background of his dialogue. Cut to the other guy talking, no plane.

In the real world I could foley in a plane through BOTH of them to cover the lack, but this is not supposed to be the "real world". It's a mystical place existing outside of our reality.

So fucking planes do not fit in.

I've had the actor come 90 minutes to me TWICE for looping(he lives across the Bay Bridge, so he's not close), and both times the wind ended up being far too loud to loop any useable dialogue.

And you can't accurately reproduce outside voices INSIDE, so there's no way to loop his lines indoors.

Man, can NOT wait until this is in my rearview mirror. This movie is killing me and my love of moviemaking.

Monday, March 05, 2012


--Chad delivered the altered scores plus a rough of the End Credit sequence. Let me just tell you, the End Credit sequence fucking kicks ass. It's so cool that I don't mind that it's longer than I intended. It's gonna put the movie at 122 minutes, when I was aiming for 120 even.

I was gonna post some, but I would have had to upload it to my server and I'm too lazy for that. Trust me, it's awesome.

So, gonna render the rough. Here's where I discover the problem with editing at 4K res. I can't bring every part together into one timeline--my computer pretty much tells me to fuck off.

What I think I'm going to have to do is export a high-res of each part, then bring them all together on one timeline and add the music. Then I can do some color correction and additional FX to those so it doesn't take so long. I tried some pretty complex effects in the Premiere Timeline through After Effects and it started to bog the computer down.

The good thing about this is that if the video's all cool, I can just export the audio track separately from each piece when I do more work on them. As long as it's exported at the same frame rate that I did the first time, it all stays in sync.

Then when I'm happy with all of this, I can export the final for the Blu Ray or DVD or whatever and it shouldn't take as long.

Long? Know how long it's taking to export a 15 minute section of my 4K flick? Two hours, 45 minutes. With small load times in between, it should take me like 22 hours to export every piece into this smaller 2K version.


--Also am working on the trailer. It sort of looks like another teaser, as it's only about a minute long. I don't really want to show too much. Not sure if it's cool or not.

--Did I tell you the premiere will take place on April 26th? It will be at the Landmark Theater in Baltimore. Never did a premiere there but I have filmmaker friends who have. They all say it's very nice, but the biggest theater only seats 211.

So unless something dramatic happens, it will be my first sell out. I've never had less than 250 people at a premiere(other than for HH, but that was my first film and we did it Saturday at 10am because it was cheap...and we still got 150 people).

I can't give out many free passes since it's that small, so not everybody can get in free. Can't wait to hear the actors/extras/PAs complain.

--Watched the first episode of the show "Awake". Man, that's a good first episode. I don't know how you sustain that show with its super high-concept idea, but I'll definitely see where it goes.

--Can't say too much, but I weirdly got not one but TWO job offers this week. I don't have big details other than that one pays $200 a day and involves me working 2-3 weeks a month, and the other involves me working maybe 30 days a year, but I don't know what the pay is yet. (they want me to come talk to them)

--Another alarming thought today. Really, two thoughts:
1) I feel like more and more we won't be making Bunker this year. We're moving very slow on the script, and seem to have some fundamental differences on characters.

The big problem is that as director/editor, I really have to get my way. I can't direct a scene if I don't feel like I understand and believe the characters and their motivation 110%, and if I'm really not in love with the story then it's impossible for me to spend another year of my life working on it in post.

But I completely understand Luke's frustration about me having to get my way. It's sort of a lose-lose for him there. I try to be as accommodating as I can, but there just may be a time I say no to this whole thing.

(crazy, right? The chance to direct a $60K movie that might have real actors in it? But the combo of me living this thing for over a year coupled with me not taking ANY paycheck just doesn't blow my skirt up unless I'm totally down with the story)

2) The other thought: After laughingly saying I might be shooting two movies this year, what if I end up shooting NONE? Because I'm going to need $5K at minimum to shoot the vampire one, and I'm going to try to raise it on Kickstarter. If I don't make it, I don't shoot it.

I can totally see not making the goal, getting no money, and then shooting no movies this year.

Weight: Still 196 but I been cheating a lot lately. There's been a couple of days I've stayed at like 1200 calories for the day, and I actually GAINED. I guess it's too little.

Vamp script: page 66. Still stuck, but the way I get stuck is to always stop a little earlier than I'm stuck. That way I always have SOMETHING to write. If I ever came to a dead stop I think it might seriously fuck me, so I make sure I've always got a little more in the tank.

I have another page and then some assorted scenes before I'm gonna really run out. The big question is really, "Who's gonna die?" (Or would that be "Who's gonna live?")

Holy shit this was a long blog post! Bonus pic!

Friday, March 02, 2012

Computer Change

So as the internets has been changing, so has my daily computer getting slower and slower. Playing a Vimeo video ALWAYS stutters, Firefox is getting bogged down due to lack of memory, I have some programs that won't work anymore and refuse to reinstall...

If you know me, you know that I don't like to change. My desktop internet PC(because I currently have 4 PCs not counting my laptop) is this:
Runs Windows XP
AMD Sempron 3000 1.8ghz(single processor)
1 GB Ram(hahahaha)

I wish I could tell how long ago I put this computer together. I would guess it's at least 8 years old.

I have been mulling over converting my "Bounty" editing machine into my new internet computer. I don't edit anything on it, so it just sits there watching me.

Only problem is, I would have to install all these programs I use onto the hard drive there. It's not easy because I have like 100 programs on here, and I'm not even sure where all the install programs are at this point.

I can't just unplug the hard drive because it's an IDE and the editing machine uses the newer SATA, and also doesn't have a spare plug. To make it work, I would have to unplug one of those hard drives, get a converter, then once the IDE hard drive was plugged in I would have to update/install all the device drivers for the new computer onto that hard drive.

A lot of work, that. So my thought is that I will not convert totally, but I will begin to gradually install programs on the edit machine so that when I finally decide to make the jump it won't be so much work.

But the part of me that likes to keep his edit machine sleek doesn't want me to put slow-down programs on it like anti-virus and whatnot. (none of my edit machines EVER get connected to the internet)

On another note, I have updated the GOH and Bounty blogs, including a video on the Bounty front. Check 'em out if you like to read about my misery!