Friday, October 30, 2009

What I'm Working On Now

Tim and the Space Cadets: Superhero

I started editing the music video I shot late last week. I waited because I ordered a new drive system to edit off of. Usually, I buy an inexpensive MyBook or something comparable from Best Buy. I use it to copy all the footage onto during shooting, then transfer everything onto a GRAID when I start editing, and ultimately return the original external hard drive to Best Buy.

However, while on the shoot, the Steadicam Operator, Sergei, suggested a new system. Basically, he uses internal drives that pop in and out of an external drive reader. It looks like this:

It runs about $80 - you can buy it here Then, all you have to do is buy the much less expensive internal hard drives. What I realized is that with the expensive GRAIDs, you're essentially paying for the enclosure with the brushed metal design. What’s the point of that!?

I bought a 1 TB Western Digital internal HD for $84!

WESTERN DIGITAL Caviar® Green WD10EADS 1TB SATA II 7200 RPM 32MB Buffer Hard Drive Bulk at ZipZoomfly

$164 later, this only cost me ha fraction of what a GRAID would have; furthermore, half of that is money I won't have to spend again, since it was an upfront investment for the reader. And, it's totally plug-and-play, so I don't have to restart the computer to switch between drives. It's amazing. I am very excited. Thank you, Sergei!

Anyway, I obviously highly recommend it. It's ideal for photo and video, but could be used for anything. Not only is it economical, but and it's also much easier to store these smaller internal hard drives than the bulky external ones.

So, when this new system finally arrived, I got started...and then stalled....and then started again.

I was overwhelmed by the amount of footage I shot. We had about 15 different takes and angles for the band performance and cutting through all that footage kept preventing me from getting anything significant accomplished.

I finally pushed through, and I cut the last chorus (which has a different performance). That done, I moved on to attacking the main performance. I puttered around for a bit, played with some of the narrative stuff, and finally made my way back to the performance. I just barreled through it and finally got it cut over the weekend.

I forget whether or not I've already written about this on the blog, but in the early stages of editing every new project – guaranteed – I will get depressed about the footage I shot. I'll see mistakes - what I didn't shoot or how I should have done a shot in two takes instead of one. And then, I just have to sit down and figure out a way to edit what I shot, not what I wished I shot.

What I'm struggling with right now is finding a way to cut down the narrative footage. I could literally just have the narrative footage and not show the band. In fact, I probably have enough narrative footage to run through the song twice through. And still not show the band. So, I have to find a way to make space for everything and maintain the flow of the narrative.

Usually, I start by cutting things longer than they need to be and then trimming and trimming and trimming until it gets down to a place that works time-wise. I've gotten a large majority of the narrative filled in. There's a section at the beginning that's filled with random shots - the kid walking around, etc. - that's suppose to be a general mix of stuff, that I haven't tackled yet. Not to mention cutting in the random shots throughout the song as well. I also have to figure out how to cut the opening, a section I haven't even touched. The ending, however, is pretty much good to go.

My plan is to have a finished rough cut by Friday, send it to Tim to preview over the weekend, make changes towards the end of the weekend, have a fine cut by Monday night, and send it all off to color sometime next week.


Due to the music video, Travis and I haven't had a chance to really get together to write but we did meet up last week to discuss what's next.

It's funny because we wrote our first script together based on the only idea we had at the time. Then we wrote our second script, Glory Days, because that was the one idea we had next.

But now we have five different ideas that we could move on, and all of them are in different genres and industries:

We have a big feature comedy that we're halfway through (and got stuck on, resulting in us needing to go back to the initial drawing board).

We have an indie feature that we'd like to write, get funding, and I could then direct.

We have another indie feature, a very cheap one, but it needs rewriting, preferably from a playwright, which could be done very quickly. This is exciting to us because I also have strong leads to funding, and we would obviously like to take advantage of that.

Also, because of some connections I’ve recently established, we also have a very direct road into television. Working with a good friend of mine, we want to develop a TV show pitch, and take it into his boss. The great thing about this is that we wouldn't need to write the script on spec. Instead, we can put together a pitch, and if they like it, we can try pitching it to networks and get paid to write it, with this guy on board as an EP. So, that is a very real possibility if we have the right pitch and we want to try and take advantage of that avenue, since it's open to us.

Those are all very different things. What we've realized is that if we're not jazzed about something, we're not going to get anywhere with it. And that's what happened on the big comedy feature. We haven't written on that since July, when I did the W&CK video. We haven't actually written anything since then. Which is not good. I mean, I've been doing music videos, but music videos aren't going to get me a feature. So, it's important we keep working.


During all of this, because I've directed three projects in a row, I've started getting that itch to do something narrative. A feature is a long way off and even though I've sworn off shorts, I've got a couple ideas that might work every well, and now with the introduction of the RED camera, I can get a very high quality looking project for not that much money.

I had a long talk with my manager last night about this. The music videos just aren't really going to do much for me...but there is the potential to do something bigger off of a really successful short. I don't know. I've always thought that, to do a short now, it really has to be something simple and something special. In college, I could experiment and play around; but now, since I'm married and can't burn through my own cash the way I did in college, I didn't think shorts would be worth it.

But now, I'm rethinking that. I won't do one unless I think it's something very special, something unique, or something that could go out and do well. I have two short ideas that could be both, but I have to discuss it with Travis and see if it's interesting and worth it to us.


As I write this, I've just been informed of two things:

1) A friend of Travis's was at a meeting at a management company and saw the receptionist doing coverage on Glory Days! Ha!

2) This news is a bit more disappointing though. Travis told a friend of his, who read and really liked Glory Days, and who works for a big comedy director, about our feature comedy idea. Apparently, the director is attaching himself to an already greenlit picture of the same subject, and this friend recently read a script that, from what we can tell, is nearly identical to ours.

It's a bit disappointing, really. You spend several months working on something, only to hear that we shouldn't work on it anymore, because there's already several things out there, including a go picture.

I feel lost right now.

No comments:

Post a Comment