Sunday, April 10, 2005

Yes, it's just the same post I just posted on Dragons Fandango

But this is the director's cut post. As opposed to the theatrical cut, which I didn't make quite as good as I absolutely could have done so I had a definitive version to put on the DVD.

1. New Opening Music
2. Constant background hiss throughout opening scene
3. Balance music and dialogue
4. "I'll do it now while I remember" instead of "better do it now while I remember"?
5. Redo dialing Cass and getting "sorry, the number you have dialled..."
6. Constant background hiss throughout office scene; office ambient fx
7. Redo "Kevin, thank God. Listen, you haven't spoken to Lindsay..." outside
8. Redo mix on 'The Cassandra Complex' - reduce bass, add guitar kick
9. Add engine noise, door slam impact fx to rundown scene
10. Remix Joe's dialogue in rundown scene to balance live sound and dubbed clips
11. Add wrapping crackle fx when Joe picks up flowers
12. Redo dazed recovery sequence to keep eyes visible
13. Remix 'Bad News' - replace piano sample
14. Add punch fx to lift scene
15. Add keypress tones when Lindsay dialling Cass?
16. Add unlatch, door open fx to Cass finding Tyler outside her flat
17. Add some wrapping crackle when Tyler trying to present flowers at door
18. Add fx for Tyler running into flat?
19. Add fx for Tyler hitting sofa, hitting floor.
20. Add fx for Tyler replacing phone handset.
21. Add fx for Tyler catching his breath.
22. Add fx for Cass walking into living room.
23. Add fx for Tyler clambering to feet and falling into chair.
24. Add fx for hitting 'delete' key and play confirmation dialogue "message deleted".
25. Add fx for stereo being switched off.
26. Redo line "Does this have something to do with last night?"
27. Redo line "Cass, I wanted to be the first to tell you... I bought you some flowers."
28. Redo line "You cheat on me and the best your guilt can buy me are some tatty flowers."
29. Redo line "You did Tyler..."
30. Redo 'When Harry Met Sally' sequence.
31. Redo line "You don't?"
32. Add fx for bedroom door closing - rustling flower wrapping.
33. Add fx for Joe opening flat door.
34. Add fx for struggle with Joe across all clips.
35. Add fx for bodies falling to the floor.
36. Add fx for thief scrambling to feet.
37. Add fx for thief tackling Joe.
38. Add fx for nose cracking against floor.
39. Resample Joe's line "No! My little angel..."
40. Redo line "I thinking about..."
41. Finalise credit roll.
42. Produce stereo dialogue mix.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Good News on Bad News

It's been a while since I did a proper post on the progress of the film and since there has been some progress of late, I thought I'd do one now.

Yesterday was a good example of why post-production on the film has taken so long. The morning and some of the afternoon was spent doing nothing at all on the film, with me playing World of Warcraft instead. When I finally tore myself away from that, I produced another song to cover one of the gaps left on the soundtrack. That took a couple of hours and when I finally imported into the current edit, I found I'd synch all the beats to an old edit which no longer fit.

This meant while the drum fill kicked in in time with my character realising he's just had his mobile nicked, the climax of the big crescendo arrived roughly two seconds after the cut to Seb in his car and overlapping the next musical cue.

Rather than fix that straight away, I decided to start polishing up the credits and some time after trying to use Premiere Pro to directly import unused clips of the principal cast and finding out it didn't work and then managing it using Pinnacle's DV Tools despite that piece of software's perennial glitches, I found Premiere had suddenly gained the speed of a sloth and now took ten minutes to respond to a click on the file menu and produce the file menu itself.

I spent a couple of hours trying to fix that (open other project, close project, kill Premiere, reboot, re-reboot, open Premiere, kill Premiere and then eventually go to bed leaving my scratch drive defragmenting itself overnight). I actually fixed it this morning after re-installing Premiere (though I think the cause of the problem was Windows suddenly recognised my Sony DV Camcorder as a new device, which I think caused my Pinnacle capture card to get its knickers in a twist and confuse Premiere when it tried to play any video).

All of which doesn't really you anything about how the film has got, but does give you an idea why it's taken as long to get there as it has.

But I can report it is approaching the final cut now. I still need one more piece of music, I need to tidy up the editing around a few of the key scenes and then there's the painful job of cleaning up the audio. In the latter case, I've cut out most of the shots that might have required additional dialogue to be recorded (simply because they're no longer needed) and the music does hide much of the hiss that came from not getting the microphone close enough to the actor, but all the dialogue is in mono, which means I need to expand it to stereo and in some cases I need to add hiss to clips where there isn't hiss because a non-hissy clip next to a hissy clip only draws attention to the hissiness of the hissy clip and makes the non-hissy clip starkly quiet by comparison.

All that stuff really put me off working on the film for a month or two. Then I finally got around to choosing music and it completely transforms the experience. Despite having watched the final sequence roughly 73 times so far with the new closing music, it still gives me a kick of enthusiasm. This, coupled with the fact the visuals are considerably tighter than they were in the cut I presented before Christmas, means I'm actually looking forward to showing a final version that people can watch and enjoy, as opposed to presenting a version so riddled with continuity errors, bad acting, incomprehensible lines and sloppy cutting that imagining the bleak criticism brewing behind the viewers' eyes feels like a million knives being stabbed through your genitals by a horde of rabid toothless Rhesus monkeys starved for sixty-three days and able only imbibe their favourite testicular snack in the form of a puree.

Of course, the film still possesses continuity errors, bad acting, incomprehensible lines and sloppy cutting, but, rather like Star Wars, with a corking soundtrack it actually makes for a pretty fun ride.