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Jan 20 Update - SCI CO

Jan 20 Update

Posted by Dana Phelps

We’re trudging away here with the video post. It’s not fast or easy work, very frustrating for Dana but progress is excellent. Dana is having to learn After Effects without any formal training, all by doing it with tutorials online. It’s an intuitive program but for the workload and time pressure of the film goals it’s definitely not the pace which would be preferred. He went through a similar learning curve with editing sound and video but this is a whole other ball game! We spent several hours yesterday working to get blurred faces and we’re about halfway done with our first one. Once we have that one finished it will be very quick to get the rest of them, we’re learning the methodology for the technique then can apply and re-apply speedily.


Today Camille Spain is coming into SCi CO studios to record one line for the opening scene of the movie! We’re missing a punch line to the first line in the whole film and her voice is really perfect- no frills or b.s., she’s a 5-year Naval Veteran and will deliver the material with a very antiseptic tone which makes the line funnier. It’s “Pirate’s Booty?” uttered by a patron of the Chowder Bowl restaurant. We don’t know yet that he is trying to order a meal, he is just saying something. Then the waitress responds “We don’t have a ‘Pirate’s Booty’ on the menu, sir!”. He has a sheepish strange look on his face after that point. Then we get onto the dialogue with PASSY and VIOLETZ, which has some stylish flair to the scene. We’ve worked very hard to get the sound to be fluid and smooth for the exchange between STRANGE MAN and RESTAURANT OWNER, that took quite a bit of creativity and movie magic but we’re home now, it’s good. The masking and video editing coinciding with the strategy for making that dialogue work was very tricky, we have to be clever, take some chances with the video footage. The result is a much better scene overall, it’s funnier and the snips we made to the video definitely improved the content for its humor. We also added the ‘Shimmer Fairies’ ballet piece (starting about 30 seconds into the music) and that opened up the whole walkout of the restaurant for VIOLETZ and PASSY with STRANGE MAN watching on. We cut out a small close up on STRANGE MAN to improve the flow, then changed a bit of perspective for the outdoor sequence of them walking away (also similar change for their walkout) and now it works. Very good progress!


We’ll be getting back to the technical obstacle of blurring the faces today. It’s a simple task, very quick and easy for an After Effects expert but we’ve had to go through this with no experience in the software use thus it’s had some obstacles. But we’re almost there, are halfway through the process now and it is the easier part, the final steps. Then we’ll be completing about 6 more of those for the restaurant scene, plus we’ll be placing the new line in there. This scene needed some work and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results. The music ‘Shimmer Fairies’ is going to be re-recorded with much better sound instruments, the current version is a crude demo from the notation software Dana used to write the music. Next will be high end sounds from a library of virtual instruments which are expensive to ‘rent’ (the software is $10,000 to buy and we’ll pay a month to month subscription to record all of the music in 4 weeks). Then it will be challenging for non-musical experts to notice it’s not a real performance by a live wind ensemble.

We had a cancellation by our actor yesterday who was scheduled to come in for a shooting of the CHAT MODEL lines. She is rescheduled for this coming week, and then we have our newly hired talent coming in for this coming Saturday. Things are going very very well for “Raiders of the Lost Clam!!!”

Stay tuned…