Friday, August 21, 2009

Been Wearing the Director's Cap for a while...

I'm suppose to be writing the new script right now. (Shhh! Don't tell Travis...he doesn't read my blog does he?) There's nothing quite like having not written a post for a week and then suddenly writing one as a way of procrastinating working on the script.

It's been very difficult for me to switch back to "writer-mode" since I've been in "director-mode" for the last couple weeks. It doesn't help that I have a new music video project coming in October which will require me to put the director hat back on, not to mention anything that might come from the video I just finished for W&CK and Universal Music Group or the Mateo Live show I just directed.

I just looked back to what my last post was (not counting 3Questions) and damn, it's been a while and lots has happened, so, let's get to it.

Last Thursday, as I mentioned, I directed the video production of a live show for MySpace artist Mateo and it went really well. The shoot went super smooth, even though we had to take short breaks after every song to reload the cameras and had a 25 minute one right in the middle due to a technical difficulty with the P2 card for the HVX. A small glitch during the download process made us concerned whether or not we had all the footage. Rather than take a chance, we decided to re-download the card, which took some additional time. Other than that, the audience was fantastic, the music was unbelievable, and the footage looks amazing.

In order to get additional footage and close ups, we shot the rehearsal for the show, where we got CU's and other things we probably wouldn't be able to get when the actual show happened. After the main performance, we went back and got CU's of the drummer and bassist on every song, since we hadn't been able to get it during the rehearsal or the main show.

Will did an amazing job lighting the set. I had heard that some people, including one of the MySpace guys, was worried about what we'd be doing for lighting and set design since the room isn't that amazing looking. But Will and Dan had gone to IKEA that night before and picked up tons of really cool lamps and lights. Needless to say, everyone seemed to be really impressed with what we put together with the budget we had. And if you were impressed with what it looked like in person then you're gonna be blown away by the footage from the cameras.

Since then, our editor Vic Brown, has been cutting the 45 minute show. We saw cuts of it on Tuesday and it looked fantastic. Of course, we all had some tweaks to make to it, but everyone is really happy with the result.

I then spent all day Wednesday with Mateo and Vic cutting the the monologues Mateo has during the show, cutting out ums when we can and basically making Mateo sound smart (ha ha). It's really amazing to me how quickly everything has been put together. Pretty much within a two week period everything will be done, from when we got the job to when we're delivering.

Everyone has just been on with their game, which makes me really happy.

Meanwhile, things have been going very well with W&CK's video. I'm getting lots of great feedback from Universal, from people at mtvU, from producers, and just from people in general, so that feels really good. My main man James Cohan (ha ha...rhymes) did an awesome, I mean, awesome job coloring this son of a bitch and it just looks beautiful.

James also went through and did some blurring effects (when you see the video, you'll know why) and is currently doing two tracking replacements for our own purposes, and then the video is done. It will be mastered out and handed to Universal next week. I'm not sure when I'll be able to post it, as I'm not really sure when the video and single will be released, but you can bet that as soon as I do, I will have it up on here and my site.

My friend Chris is also editing a behind the scenes doc about the making of the video, which will be released the same day.

And now onto the writing I'm procrastinating about. Travis and I have been stuck on page 40 (or our second act turn...we're about 15 pages long right now) for the past week or two. Things got super busy with me and he had this other musical project he's been developing take some precedent, but now I'm finishing up the videos and the musical treatment is off to our manager, and it's time to get back to the script. We tried last night and nothing happened, ha. We just can't seem to get anything done when we get together. So, for now, it looks like we're gonna try and pound out this draft in a completely new way. Basically, Travis and I split up the next couple scenes. When we meet, we'll talk about what should be in them, what direction they should go, and then we'll go off and write our scenes separately, basically like you would in a writers room on a TV show.

But, I keep trying to write and this last minute stuff on these videos keeps distracting me. For instance, I just spent the last couple hours, between when I wrote "TV show" to when I wrote "But, I keep..." watching the new cut of Mateo's video and making notes. We're suppose to deliver today but I'm not sure that's gonna happen. Probably Monday, give us the weekend, because we still need artwork for the DVD menu, etc. And, my guess is, there's some notes on this round that will need to be taken care of. It's remarkable that we're trying to deliver a 45 minute video a week after we shot it.

Of course, normally when you do this, you do a live to tape edit (meaning you cut the video on site, kind of like a live TV show) which you can then go back and adjust later if you need to. However, because of the Canon 5D's, we could shoot this straight through, so we had to cut; and because we only had four cameras, we had to shoot insert shots later; so all this adds up to doing a major edit on this video in not a lot of time. So, delivering today is slightly unrealistic.

However, I realize I was suppose to write about writing, which just isn't gonna happen now. Hopefully I can get some work done on the script tomorrow, or at least over the weekend. But, it's been another mentally exhausting day, and trying to be funny just isn't gonna happen.

However, Travis delivered his treatment for our musical to our manager, who really liked it, thought it was a great start, has notes, etc. So, we'll be meeting with him Tuesday and I hope to have a better idea of where this thing might be going.

Keep you posted. Enjoy your Friday and have a great weekend.

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