Friday, October 31, 2014

Officially Halloween

Once again it's here, far too early. I have taken barely any pics for my book. Gonna have to beg people to let me use photos, and license them when that fails. Awesome.

Got around to watching Pumpkinhead blu.

Then Halloween H20 and Resurrection. I don't hate either of these Halloween movies, but I can't fucking stand how Myers looks in H20. He's like barely 6 feet tall(if that) and not stocky at all. Hell, Alan Arkin was bigger than he was.

He looks better in Resurrection but that movie has a real hard time recovering from the incredibly-bad beginning.

Also been working on that opener for my buddy's show. He essentially needs it done in the next 3 weeks. Only, I don't have a few elements yet, and he hasn't sent me the list of the cast for each episode.

Here's the 2 finished effects I did for them. They're not spectacular, but then again, I'm not a VFX guy by trade.

Here's some disappearing stuff.

Then he wanted sort of the same thing, but backwards. Sounded boring, so I did something else.

Gonna go out tonight, hit the bar, get drunk. Normal Halloween stuff I didn't get to last year. And then try to forget it's already November.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Comp

Andrew's all talking computers and stuff, so I figured just for the heck of it I'd post the stats on my edit computer. I edited a 4K feature with it but a lot of that is thanks to the magic of CS5's Mercury Engine.

And note, I added many hard drives to this--the hard drive I bought here was simply where I installed the operating system, edit program and filters/whatnot. You want to leave your OS computer as empty as possible(though I got lazy and began saving my projects on that drive, which would mean that all of the conformed files would start getting stacked there)

But here ya go:
4 OCZ 4GB DDR3 PC10666 1333MHZ 4096MB(16 gigs of Ram total)
Intel DP55WB Socket LGA1156 Motherboard
Intel Core i5-750 2.66Ghz 8M LGA1156 CPU
Seagate 1TB Serial ATA HD 7200/32MB/SATA-3G
Ultra XBlaster Mid-Tower Case Black
GeForce GTX580 Video Card(which is pretty much the cheapest card you can use for Premiere, and in fact you have to trick it into knowing it's useable by altering a text file in the premiere folder)

That's it. Total cost of just this working machine(without the added hard drives) was about $1500. So when they tell you that you can't edit 4K without spending 5K on a computer you can tell them to fuck off.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Too FAST, I tell you

It is blazing away toward Halloween. I have done hardly anything I wanted to do. Have taken barely any pics for my book. I have to get out there, cuz you know people take those decorations down right after the 31st.

Haven't watched that many more movies.

My wife had her pumpkin party. Good time, as always. My brother came over and shot some pics. Hopefully he got some good ones. We lit a pumpkin on fire, which was very cool. Again, a Youtube find. We used weed killer, where they used Boric acid.

It didn't work that well(the fire on the outside of the pumpkin), so I dumped some Bacardi 151 over it, and let me tell you THAT did the trick.

Here's some VIDEO--that's me having a good time pouring fuel on the pumpkin. It didn't appear to hurt the pumpkin at all, so it definitely wasn't a very hot fire.

The next night we went over Zig's to check out the pumpkin trail. They put lit pumpkins all along a trail in the wood, and TONS of people walk through. It was cool, but would have been cooler if there were LOTS of pumpkins. I mean, there WERE, but the trail was pretty long which amounted to about one every ten or fifteen feet.

We came back afterward and watched The Ring. Haven't seen it in years. Still a good movie. I just started Motel Hell, but I have a bunch still to watch before Friday. I think we're going out Friday night to a bar. I feel like we're on the cusp of being too old to even get dressed up and go out to a bar.


Am also working on the opening credits for that UFO series. I still haven't gotten the straight story on why he's not using the original guy for this, but the guy provided his AE file but it's a CC version, and not backwards compatible to mine. So basically I'm going to reconstruct it(and make it better) with the elements.

Only bad news is that it doesn't appear he's provided all of the elements.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Cruising Through The Movies

This is really just a list for me. So I can see what I've watched. But I will tell you what I thought.

  • Cloverfield - Been a while since I watched it. Still dig it. A solid found footage flick.
  • Silver Linings Playbook - not Halloween, but I hadn't seen it. It was okay. Not as great as I'd heard.
  • Banshee Chapter - Couldn't finish it. Bored me pretty severely, and I stuck with it for a good hour.
  • Wake Wood - Not bad. Fairly unoriginal premise(Pet Sematary?) but decent enough.
  • Grosse Point Blank - It's been on my list to rewatch. Still a super-fun flick.
  • Trick Or Treat - Finally got my wife to watch this. It's really grown on me as a flick, and I'd kill to live in that town.
  • WXYZ H Special - I didn't put the name in cuz I don't wanna show up on any searches. It's a local film. It's a really well-done recreation of the past, like a VHS you found at a flea market, but ultimately it drags after the novelty wears down. But it's still pretty amazing how authentic it feels to the time period, even stuff they shot recently.
Gonna watch some TV show Halloween episodes.

I'm really feeling like I haven't shot any freakin' pictures for my H book, and the holiday is bearing down on me with force.
I wish people could hear the conversations my wife and I have. They're really pretty funny. Examples:
Wife: "Hey, do we have anything to watch tonight?"
Me: "Yeah. Something big going into your mouth."
Wife: "Oh yeah, I was thinking about making caramel apples."
Me: "You can coat it with caramel, whatever, long as it ends up in your mouth."

Another one tonight after I re-hung my kid's blinds because it kept falling down.
Wife: "Did you get it up?"
Me: "You know I got it up."
Wife: (be serious mode) Does it work?
Me: "You know when I get it up it always works, baby."

And then finally we had the electric guys coming this week to change our meter to those BS new meters they can simply read at their headquarters. The dude shows up, wakes me(cuz I sleep during the day), so I'm out of it. I show him where the gas meter is and he's like "I can't install it there--you're going to have to cut that bush. " He's gotta get a screwdriver in there and be able to attach it to the front of the current meter, and the bush is all over it.

So I tell him I'll have my wife cut it in about eight inches. Later I tell my wife and she laughs. I have no idea what she's laughing at. She says "So you told the BGE guy that you'd tell your wife to trim her bush?"

Then I laughed, cuz I got it. It's funny that the BGE guy didn't laugh, but I guess we never put the bush and wife thing together.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Grand Dame of Mystery

Am reading "Hallowe'en Party" by Agatha Christie. One of the books I'm reading so I can accurately compile my list of best books for the holiday.

Back in middle and high school I read a TON of Agatha Christie. Probably about twenty five of the sixty six she wrote. Loved them. I was a mystery junkie back then and couldn't get enough.

But I never read H-party. Hell, didn't even know about it until recently.

So it was with a little trepidition that I started reading the book. What if I didn't like it? What if I had out-grown my taste for Agatha Christie's novels? That would feel like another piece of my childhood dying.

And the first ten or so pages of the book continued my worry. It was a little slow, a little wordy. And it's Stephen King's fault that I sort of cringe when people over-use words with ly at the end. Adverbs I think they call them.

Christie uses a lot of them. But luckily the second Hercule Poirot comes on the scene I was right back in it. From a basic writing standpoint he's an interesting character. Why is he so likeable, I ask myself.

He's so full of himself that it's amusing at times, but normally that will make you dislike a character. My guess would be because--to put it basically--he saves the cat at the beginning of every book. Someone comes to him for help, and he never says no. Always seeking to right the wrong and catch the murderer.

Anyway, my goal is to finish the book before the actual holiday. Hard to do because of all the shit I got going on.


Went to see The Guest tonight. It's the new movie by the guys behind You're Next. I thought that movie was okay, but not as good as I'd heard. Expectations too high.

I went into The Guest with no idea what to expect. It's a pretty fun movie, sort of action/horror, and it takes place at Halloween so that was a nice surprise. I won't spoil it at all--go check it out before it's gone from the cineplex.

It also has a great 80's sounding soundtrack--kind of like Drive. Reminded me of it a lot. Am definitely going to buy it.

Watched Stitches. It wasn't bad. Had some very cool FX to it, but I couldn't get over how every time the clown talked I thought it was Gerard Butler under all that makeup.

Watching Dust Devil now. Can't remember if I ever saw it or not. It's weird watching the Dust Devil dude though, because he played such a funny part in Rescue Me, so I'm used to him being a comic actor.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Good, more work to do!

I went back through some of the random audio files I had to search for useable clips in the short. Figure I'll see if there's anything I can salvage in there before I make the list of stuff I'm going to need to finish, and then go back out to the woods to foley them.

Cutting contacted me--needs an effect done for his UFO series, sent me the clip. I started working on it, cuz why not?

I watched The Caller last night. Not bad, but it's pretty obvious it was written right after the dude saw Frequency.

Currently on my list to definitely watch before Halloween this year:
Pumpkinhead Blu
Halloween Resurrection
Jeepers Creepers
Shaun of the Dead

There's a bunch of other ones on the maybes, but those are the ones I pulled out and haven't seen in a couple of years.

Did I mention just how much work doing a layout on a book is? Trying to figure out the best layout for pictures--so they're big enough people can see them, but small enough you can get maybe four per page?


Monday, October 13, 2014

Rough Cut Basically Done...

...on my short. The sound in the second half still needs to be fixed. There's a couple of shots left to composite once I get some better "plates" of the bottom of the pumpkin. Then there's the fuckload of color correcting I have left to do.

But I have both halves exported and watched them. Not bad if I do say so myself. More works than doesn't, which is nice. A couple of places to tighten.

Went back to writing by H book, since I've gotten sidetracked on that. I really gotta get out and shoot some photos, then I'm going to make my wife make a ton of these cool foods so I can take pics.


Finished the remake of Carrie. Ugh. Never liked the original, liked this one even less.

Watched The Gift to wash that out of my brain. Hadn't seen it in ten years. Still very enjoyable, and Jeez does Katie Holmes look great topless.

Now I'm watching Nightmares in Red, White and Blue, a documentary on horror that's been in my queue for over a year.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Update re; Rolling Shutter Fix

Remember that rolling shutter post-production fix I found a while back? It was in this post if you forgot:

Anyway, at the time I had wondered if there was an easy way to make a template or something so you didn't have to do the complete process every time(which involves making 3 compositions)

I'm a little shocked that the solution didn't occur to me as I typed that post, but today I figured it out immediately.

If you do it once, just save that project As another project with the name of the next clip you want to de-jello-fy. Then simply right click on the original file name in your project window and click on Replace Footage > File, then go click on the new file you want to fix.

Voila. After Effects will do all the work for you right there. Render your new file, then repeat for each clip you need. It's pretty simple.

October, Time To Starting Acting Like It

So here it is October, and I haven't seen one goddamn horror movie yet. Time to rectify that, big time.

There's some new horror flicks on Netflix, so I decided to check one out today. Cabin Fever: Patient Zero.

I start watching it and note that it's directed by Kaare Andrews. I know the name because he started off in comic books, doing covers. Then he went on to direct the moderately-entertaining Altitude, plus a segment of ABC's of Death that definitely said fuck-the-budget.

The movie looks slick, I'll give it that. And it has Sean Astin in it, which was kind of surprising. It's moderately-entertaining, just doesn't bring anything new to the table at all in regards to Cabin Fever. (Yeah, there's gonna be some gross out shit going on, big time)

Up next is either Motel Hell, which Zig lent me, or The Town That Dreaded Sundown or Shivers, which is an early Cronenberg flick--both of those are on Netflix.

Turned out to be Sundown. Can't remember if I ever saw it or not. Pretty weird movie, with a narrator, and some really bad day-for-night in the first 20 minutes. Am watching it as I type this.

Update: Interesting movie for the time, for sure. Funny that someone was called Loomis in this--guess that's where Carpenter pulled the name from?

Turns out I'd seen Shivers a few years ago. So I'm watching the remake of Carrie instead. Will let ya know.

Apparently it's a big week for clowns. Not only does American Horror Story have one, but out in California some funny pranksters have taken to dressing as scary clowns and just standing around at night.

And my moviemeter readings on my clown movies--which hover normally around 50,000-60,000 are both in the 12,000 range.


Work continues on the anthology short. It's all about filling in the top and bottom of the pumpkin and the eye holes. The eye holes are the easiest. The bottom is the hardest.

My computer is hating certain clips, for no discernible reason. Sometimes it crashes just trying to render a clip on the timeline. So I'll re-export the clip into a new quicktime file using the animation codec(one of my favorites). Then drag it back in--and many times, Premiere STILL has a problem with it.


Thursday, October 09, 2014

Back From Work/Right Back To Work

Back from the L.A. trip. It was a clusterfuck of epic proportions. Worst disaster for the company I've ever seen.

What happened was, we had two wired internet lines from the hotel(under AT&T). Blazing fast. And as always we have our wireless hot jet packs from Verizon.

And a couple hours into day one's auction, the hotel's wired connection just went out. Both lines. And weirder still both wireless units also lost connection.

I'm not sure how it's possible. Two different companies, one wired and one not. It's like a fucking invisible dome dropped down over our hotel and cut us off from the internet.

And just like that we lost--best guess--around $100K. The internet wouldn't come back reliably. We got back on occasionally but we essentially had to call the company that handles online stuff and have them run the program from Utah while we had them on the phone, relaying bids to them.

The next day it was still pretty spotty even though the hotel had brought in their network engineers to see what they could do. It was some highly stressful work for me. I had two computers, and was going back and forth between both them the whole time.


Anyway, met Proctor Friday night. Me, Luke and he went to a steak joint and got some good food. We also were treated to this woman getting on the mechanical bull. She was smoking hot.

Tom's doing well--dude's in everything now. He was flying to Texas the next day to be in another flick. Luke and I had written a script with him in mind for one of the lead roles, and I thought I'd sent it to him. Turns out I hadn't.

He wants to read it, so I told him I'd send it when I got back home.


Weirdly we were literally eating at the entrance next to Universal's Halloween Horror Nights. I have wanted to go there for YEARS. And the year I finally make it there? Lame lineup of exhibits. The only one I would have genuinely liked was the American Werewolf in London.

They had The Walking Dead. Not really interested. From Dusk Til Dawn sounded good but then I saw it was the TV show.. To cap it all off it's like $80 to go. Had it been like $25 then maybe I'd have gone just to say I did it.


Monday night I met up with Jacky and Mun. An FOC reunion(well, FOC2 to be precise, cuz Luke was there also). We had dinner, chit chatted. Jacky left after a few hours, and us guys headed back to the steak/bar place for some beers.

Here's me and Jacky, taken by the Mun-ster.

Here's a selfie I took of the guys.

Got back home to shitty MD(rainy and like 50 degrees) and had to get right back to work. It's October, and that means I have about 1000 things to put up on eBay(I have so much horror shit, and it all sells well in October). I have GOT to get rid of some of this shit in my house. You can barely walk.

Then back to the anthology. Did I mention how much CGI work that is?

I'm not going into how much work it is, but here's a quick comparison so you can sort of see what I'm having to do. I split screen it so you can see what's going on:

In a perfect world of motion-controlled computer cranes/dollies this would be easy. In my world it took about 8-9 hours to make this finished 9 seconds(no color correction's been done yet):

And remember the hole in the head thing? Here's a couple of finished shots of that that I think are pretty solid. Don't spread any of this stuff, eh?

I gotta finish dicking around with the rough cut just so I can put down all the audio I need to go get before it gets too cold. I'll go out with my brother and Matt, recreate some of the scenes audio-wise. Foley. Not my favorite thing to do.

We'll probably take some promo pics while we're out there too. I also need some better composite plates of the bottom of the pumpkin, as we barely shot any of those. I didn't realize how bad I'd need them.

Also, got back to my house and my wife had decorated the place all Halloween and shit. So now I feel like Halloween is closing down on me too fast.