Sunday, May 29, 2016

T-Tory Done Filming...?

So, went out Saturday with a trimmed-down shooting script and a plan to shoot from 7am-7:30pm, knowing full well we'd need to skip dinner to have a shot.

Got to the park early, but there were multiple entrances and apparently entrance one was not it. We found the right entrance and met up there, and everybody showed up on time. Unprecedented.

We headed to the trail and found the spot I wanted the first shot of, something that wasn't in Dan's script. But we've got walkers, and sunlight, and issues with the electric thing and I make a fuckup I could have fixed.

The shot is a sweeping view coming in over our hikers and as we get to them we cut to an exact reversal of the angle and continue in the same direction.

Unfortunately Dan didn't understand me. And then I sort of confused myself which may have confused Dan, when I noted we might see our crew the other direction. See, the camera's gonna be pointed the same way on both shots. So if you can't see the crew in the first shot, you can't see 'em in the second shot. So that may have helped Dan think I wanted to shoot in that direction.

And since I couldn't see what the electric thing was shooting I couldn't correct it.

Hey, I don't think so well at 7:30am unless I haven't gone to sleep yet.

We moved onto the trail, which SUCKED at the beginning. A giant rut ran through the center of it, so the hikers had to keep dodging it or going up and down in it--and our tripods had to straddle the line.

We moved through scenes and as of lunch we were on schedule(even slightly ahead at one point). Ate a shitty Subway sandwich and got back to it. It was getting hot and we were all getting sweaty.

We had a neck appliance to one gore shot. The problem was how sweaty the actor was getting--the rig kept coming off. Not sure that'll work at all, and if it does it'll be because I've frame-by-frame fixed the seam.

Got into some shots involving those flying things we won't mention, and things started slowing down. Always had to take time to set it up, get it in the air.

Then we get to a scene where the actors are throwing sticks into the air at the things(but they are throwing in our general direction). We roll, the actor on the right throws his stick and does his line. The second actor says his line, brings the stick back and then:

Except it's my arm. There was a THUNK--pretty loud to my ears--and then pain in my forearm.

I was shocked. The dude is supposed to throw the stick like 6-10 feet over me. Even higher probably wouldn't matter. And he throws it as hard as he can and somehow isn't coordinated enough to get it over me.

And I mean, I was crouched down at like the 5 foot mark watching the camera. If he'd hit me in the face I'd have lost an eye, even through my glasses. As it is, I've got a pretty nice welt and will probably have a bruise tomorrow.

We start falling behind after that. Light is fading fast, even though it's only like 4pm.

I make the executive decision that we're cutting two pages out. It would be hard to do, and it involved 3 flying things, of which we've now busted or used up battery on two.

We cut those.  I do a quick take where I chase two actors and take a little bit of happiness in the fact that the actor who winged me slips and falls HARD while he's running. I'm thinking, "Karma, bitch."

Shame I only barely got it on camera because the actress in front of me was running way slower than she was.

We move out into a field for the last shot where we need to composite a building into the shot. I shot some angles where the actors hopefully don't cross the frame where the building is. We banged out the last couple of shots and wrapped up at 7:30pm--meant we had to pack up and get out of there within an hour or so--they lock the park gates then.

We did it--carried all that shit out of the woods on what seemed like a much longer walk back than the first one.

Went to a late dinner with Cutting and Zig. Shot the shit, went home and took an oxy for the ache in my bones, and went to sleep.

Slept 11 hours. Got up and felt super achey. Had a migraine most of the day.

Getting footage now. Have all the cam1 stuff, which was Dan's. He over-exposed some shots. Seems odd because he shoots weddings so I assume he's okay. Must have been nervous, because I saw some other stuff he shot recently and it was fine.

Cam2 is my stuff, so I'm eager to see that. Most of what I edited from day one was from my camera.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Work Continues

The rain just won't stop. Killed our shooting last Saturday. We went out to shoot Sunday but could only do the interior scenes. We got them done, got some decent stuff.

I had Dan google drop me the footage. Downloaded it, and went to work. Two days later I have an assembly edit. It's rough, but at least I see the two shots we missed. I think I can do without them. Not optimal, but whatever.

I took QUITE a bit of time and redesigned Dan's shooting script for the other scenes. We're going to try to shoot them all this Saturday. It's 10 pages, so it's gonna be tough. I mean, we only shot 3 pages on Sunday and it took all day, hence, why I redesigned Dan's script.

Basically we're gonna shoot my way Saturday. We gotta move fast. But I still want to get some good shots. If we start falling badly behind then I'll slow down and take more time and just assume we have to shoot one more day, which won't be Sunday because nobody can do it and it's supposed to rain anyway.

Gonna do a VWZ Sunday night too. That's the thing where Me, Luke and Zig get together and do some bullshit commentaries that the world will probably never hear for movies. Our only rules so far have been no movies longer than hours(so we can do 3 movies in one night), and no movies that are very good.

So Luke decides to pick Star Wars The Force Awakens. It's 2.5 hours long, and I think we can all debate about whether it's "good". At this point maybe we all break the rules and just do whatever the fuck we want to do.

Personally there's a movie I wanna watch again, a personal favorite that is most certainly a GOOD movie. But sometimes I get tired of watching all my favorite movies by myself. It's fun to watch them with other people who enjoy them, so maybe I'll just bring that movie.

Also been fucking around with posters--Mark had mentioned a LONG time ago, back when I was only supposed to do one segment and the wrap, that he thought it would be cool  to have a poster for each segment, and then one for all of them.

So now I've done one for three of mine, just cuz. They're not great, but they're not so bad I'm embarrassed of them. Here's one. No sharing or uploading please.

I'm also working on the new trailer. I really do work pretty much nonstop.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Fat / Back

Got back from Vegas. Went okay. Had some fun, and we managed to hit pretty much every big hotel/casino on the strip.

Saw a couple of shows, went to the Shark Reef exhibit and then R&S' Secret Garden with the dolphins and tigers. Walked like 20 miles.

Which is weird because I get back, and decide it's finally time to weigh myself. I feel like I've gained weight. I'm normally very good at picking my weight before I step on the scale. I would have guessed 216.

It's 220. I am only 12 pounds away from the heaviest I have ever been.

So it's emergency diet time. Gonna be eating a lot of grilled chicken, peanuts, raisins, pretzels. Gotta ramp up the metabolism.

Came back and finished up the demo reel. Lemme know any thoughts on it if you have any experience editing.

We were supposed to shoot the final segment for T-Tory today and tomorrow, but rain fucked us. So I guess we're gonna shoot the inside part tomorrow, and then try to do all the rest in one day next week.

Also working on a new trailer. Will wait to get some footage from the final piece to include, so there will be clown footage and that in there, along with a few new shots. Not looking to give away the entire movie.

Really wanna get out to see the Nice Guys. Maybe Monday or Tuesday.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Goin Away

Back to Vegas tomorrow for a week.

Have watched the T-tory 81 minute cut twice. Fixed some of the issues. Noted others that I'll have to mess with.

Also, Premiere has decided to start acting glitchy. I've had these sorts of issues before. They're infuriating in that they don't seem to have any fix, just workarounds.

What happens is this--I tend to edit my flicks in pieces so my timeline's not too cluttered and it gives my computer some breathing room. So I'll have part 1 and part 2, for instance, of a segment of T-tory.

These are sequences. So when it's done, I'll drag one of those sequences to a new sequence, making a nested sequence. Then drag part 2 in, and this new sequence is the whole thing. Then I can add slight color tweaks to the overall thing, and export the whole thing as one big piece to drag into the actual movie project file.

Problem is that all of a sudden there will be weird audio glitches--talking at a cut. But if I go back to the original sequence, at that exact moment and hit play, I don't hear that glitch. If I jump back to the nested sequence and hit play, it's there.

My workaround  involves exporting the audio file of both segments and bringing into the nested segment. Pain in the ass, but it works.

Also, I saw one weird video noise frame in the export, which is not in the original thing.

I'll iron it all out.

When I get back from Vegas next week I'll have literally hours to relax, then Saturday and Sunday am helping the guy shoot his segment for T-tory--the last segment. He's having issues, so hopefully he irons them all out.


Saw Cap. Liked it. Still not up with Avengers or Guardians for me, but definitely fun. Spidey was pretty great.

Am rewatching Lost from the beginning while I work on shit. Haven't seen it since it originally aired, so it'll be neat to see how it plays out back to back. I didn't hate the ending, but it didn't thrill me.

I DO miss the days of watching it though. Of discussing it with people, what we all thought was going on, what it all meant.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Day Of Neat Stuff

These posters are pretty amazing. I sort of want almost every one. Insane.

Then there's this amazing footage of Nasa launching a rocket into space with multiple Go Pros on it. Crazy...

In case blogger deletes the embed, it's here:

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Ha! Ha ha! Insanity!

Hey, got my normal 5 hours of sleep and woke up for no reason whatsoever. So, back to the edit.

It's rough, this second half. Everybody was moving so fast--it feels rushed. So I'm trying to space shit out since we have(technically) four cameras going at the time. The fact that the girls decided to basically videotape the ground or the fire, well, let's just ignore that.

But when I space shit out, there's gaps in sound. So I'm trying to find just sounds of them breathing, or making scared sounds, but there's not much because they were powering through their lines. It's brutal.

Honestly, really would love to take them all back to the woods and just do some looping back there that I could put in. I don't put the odds of this happening very high.

So I'm starting to trim the shit. I'm guessing this thing is gonna be under 14 minutes when I'm done.

And I'm at the strangulation, and it's hard to make it work because it was never supposed to BE a strangulation, but I think I've worked it out...


One of the takes I need for the end of the thing was one of the takes BEFORE we hooked up the blood rig on her neck. So there's no blood on her neck or her shirt.

So I'm having to copy out the bloody shirt/neck, and frame by frame put it into that shot. I can't motion track it because she's squirming which causes the shirt to bunch up in places. I can't track her head because it's not doing what her body's doing.

Which leaves frame by frame. Luckily it's only about a 4 second shot, but that's still 120 frames. Frames where I advance forward a frame, move the blood to where I think it should be, then jump back a frame to see if it fits(it's never perfects), then jump back to the new frame and adjust the blood, and REPEAT over and over until that frame is perfect.

Then on to the next frame. It's imperative I don't make a mistake on any frame, because if I do, then every frame after that will be incorrect, and will need redoing.

Breaks. I take a lot of breaks.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Rough Cut Done

Not a bad week of work, all things considered.

I went with the strangulation for now. It'll probably stand, because I don't see any way to make the decap look great either way. Could I make it work okay if I went out and recreated the clean plate of the clown bending over? Maybe. Would it take me 2 weeks of intensive work?

Yeah. And all for "okay".

For me the bigger loss is the final shot--it's that complicated VFX shot I told you about, and I can tell you it's probably not going to happen. I did some small testing on it--Mocha refuses to track the items(I don't blame it), and so does AE because the items we're talking about are balloons.

They're bunched together, and they criss-cross one another, and rotate, and it's not a close up shot.

So the couple shots we did with tracking dots are worthless because the balloons spin(so the tracking dots go on the other side) or the balloons cover each other.

I took about an hour and frame by frame motion/zoom/rotate tracked a balloon, and then applied the effect I wanted, and it's not great. It'll never be confused for a practical effect, so I'm leaning toward scrapping it.

Too bad.

The rough cut comes in at 14:30--the script was 18 pages. I have a lot of work still to do--mostly working on sound.

And man, I'm fucking tired of actors chatting in the background while I'm shooting something like 500 feet away. Actors really can be the most clueless fucking people in the world.

Here's a clue--if I have a camera and I'm pointing it at another actor, shut the fuck up. Is that hard to understand? At the VERY least, WHISPER.

UPDATE: Did a second pass on the first half of the movie, fixing audio in as many places as I can. Thing is, I was thinking about ALWAYS using the audio from the same camera, rather than cutting between the two camera's audio(which would be more accurate).

But now I realize, as I try it, that because the actors weren't right on with their dialogue there's very little chance to do this. I decide to only do this on the first couple of day scenes, and THAT was tough. I had to do some very creative cutting, plus actually alter the speed of one guy's lines so they fit as he speaks.

Not perfect, but acceptable.

Also threw a little digital noise in between cuts. If you make flicks you're probably saying "There's no digital noise any more!"

Well, these are mini-DV cameras so it's perfectly acceptable, and even if it wasn't I'd still counter that your average consumer doesn't realize it so it won't bother them.

The main reason is to clearly signal the tape has stopped and moved to another scene. The straight cuts just seemed too...clean. Too abrupt. Definitely works better with a quick 2-5 frame flash of noise.

The original first half was 8:56. The new cut is 8:34. On to the 2nd half tomorrow night.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Dream...dream dream dream

I don't know what is going on with my brain, but I am having the CRAZIEST dreams. And remembering them, which is weird enough on its own.

Here's one the other night:
My mom, for some reason decided to buy me a ticket to a Backstreet Boys reunion concert. Which is weird because, sure, I like the occasional BB song from the 90's, but I wouldn't go to a concert. The second weird part is that she bought me ONE ticket...

So I go. It's at a place called Wolftrap, which I've heard of but is most certainly not the place in my dream.

It's a big building, sort of like a convention center. I wander around until I find the auditorium and take my seat, which is a pretty amazing 2nd row seat. But apparently I'm early. I wait and wait, and fall asleep(in my dream?), waking up a while later. I have to take a piss.

I head out to look for a bathroom. I have a hard time finding one, and when I finally find one it's filled with weird people. I take a quick piss, and head back.

But I get lost. I find myself in very weird, collapsed-ceiling hallways, and can't figure out how to get back to the auditorium.

Then inexplicably I run into Teri Hatcher. Like, this Teri Hatcher.

Like, before you saw how weird her boobs were in that Alex Baldwin movie.

She's super sexy, tells me she's lost too. We wander around looking for an exit, and somehow that leads to making out with her. Then we wandered some more and even found ourselves on the ROOF of the building. Still couldn't find our way back to the main entrance(or down).

That's the last thing I remember.

Last night's dream was weird too, but not going into that one. That's one's madness.


Finished a quick version of the demo reel. Most places I found say they should be like 2:00 minutes long. That's how long mine is, but doesn't contain all I'd like to put there. I also set it to the end song of GOH, which sounds fairly demo-y.

Went back to the clown thing. The decap sequence is definitely not going to work as well as it should. Between the fire not matching, the bloody(or non-bloody depending on the shot) shirt, and the actions of the actors, there's no way to keep consistency between cuts to sell the illusion.

So my choice is to make it SUPER cheesy so you sort of know she got decapitated but it's all done through fucked up cuts, or just go with a strangulation. The strangulation has a pretty good performance on its side--frankly, I had to stop them a couple of times because she was moving so much it was like she was being strangled, instead of staying straight up for the decap.

Also would have helped if I'd shot a clean plate of the clown just doing the actions without her there for a clean background plate--I got a plate, but he was standing up straight, and when her head disappears he's bending over, so it doesn't match right.

I mean, I suppose I could go back out there with Fred and start a fire, do it again. Probably won't though. I'm fucking burnt on this whole thing.

Leaning toward strangulation.