We’re just now finishing up the Yurt scene. There’s a bit of an issue with the establishing shot which took a lot of time to try fixing but we’re going to wind up either being without it or we will capture the footage again on a different date. We’ve placed the typing and the video screen of the recording software into the video. There’s a lot of tiny little technical things we had to take care of to make this scene complete. The amount of work we did on this is pretty huge, it’s a lot of meticulous tuning to get it to flow and be as perfect as possible. The good news is that the work is definitely paying off and we are being rewarded with a really nice, interesting and fun little sequence here. It’s not coming across as too technically challenged and we’ve removed the stitchiness, the stickiness, the roughness from it completely. Each second of the scene was poured over with a fine tooth comb and we’re at the point now of perfecting the music placements, getting the background noise (ambient room sound) and adding one last foley element which is a few footsteps and then a door closing.
This scene (Scene 2 , Yurt Recording with FLAV and WISE GREY HAIRED MAN) is crucial to understanding the plot and it has a lot of flair, creativity, weirdness. It’s introducing FLAV and the WGHM is integral to identifying how the alien fits in, what FLAV does and how FLAV behaves within his work. FLAV is a loner but gets along famously with his client. He gets high with his pot as much as he can, even on the job — which is not uncommon for music producers:) We managed to find suitable audio 100% on the good, clean mic without resorting to any in-camera stuff which unfortunately we had used for a good bit of the scene work before. This scene was left in a state which needed to be worked on but the others are not nearly so challenged. We do have some obstacles to face for SLICK PRODUCER scene, namely the wonky erratic camera work by Dana. The Yurt scene and the SLICK PRODUCER Flav’s home scene were shot on the same day and that was the second or third day of filming. Dana’s hand steadied in future production dates and we’re left with these chores to take care of some inexperience behind the lens. Let’s keep in mind Dana had a Director of Photography who was hired for the whole film but had quit on the first date, right on the set! So Dana had to take over without preparations and it did effect the first few filming dates.
We’ve discussed the Voice Over ADR date with Josh at Green Light Studios. We have the scenes prepared and he’s going to be helping us get an easy synch for the clips. Dana will be recording all the lines for the HOTEL 1 scene which precedes the ZOMBIE HOTEL scene, he will do one or two lines from the final RESTAURANT scene, a few from the car scenes (Beach BIGFOOT Beach ZOMBIE) and that’s about it. That’s all that’s missing from the voice overs and then the whole film will have crystal clear fidelity. As we’ve been mentioning, high quality sound is the most important feature for a movie to be accepted by online platforms for distribution. We’ve invested some new money for the final sound and we’ve already replaced 90% of the dialogue which was on the line or badly failing.
Dana will be going back to work next week but will be working on the film this whole weekend through! It’s possible we can get the Yurt establishing shot next week but more than likely we will wait a while for that. We don’t exactly need it but feel it would be better to have. The footage Dana got a few weeks ago for the establishing shot was excellent, much better than expected and it’s probably going to be added in once we can get the right weather and spend a 5 hour round trip to get the footage. It is of course no problem to be on the coast, which is utterly beautiful and relaxing.
We’re in good shape here. The Yurt scene is much, much stronger than before and is feeling juiced up. It’s pretty good. At this point we’re ready to move on and will be completing it as soon as possible. It has taken a lot more work than we anticipated but these little boosts are critical to making sure it’s up to par with the rest of the film and at this point it’s not lacking anything. In fact, it’s coming across exceedingly well for what we had to work with. The synchronization of WGHM’s lines is only possible because Butch Gwaltney has a natural ability to redo his lines at the same rhythm as before– for the most part! The rest is editorial magic with a lot of sly cutaways, zooms and pans, etc. to mask the missing issues of words where the audio is not clicking. This is all going to glide by the audiences who will be unable to notice any issues and that’s the way we want it.
At this point it’s getting the music to support the Narration that WGHM is recording, adding a tiny bit of foley– and that’s it! Yurt Scene will be done and then we’ll be moving on. As we’ve indicated, there’s far less work to get done in the next scenes except we are looking at some work for the SLICK PRODUCER scene. The rest is mostly audio issues. SLICK PRODUCER’s camera work is funky in some places. We can resolve it by cutting up the enormous monologue but we’ll see if we can be creative with some editing tricks. Also, there’s the possibility that it will be completely fixed just by using some delicate correction with Adobe After Effects or our new friend Da Vinci software. Stabilization might work but we don’t want it to *look* stabilized. A combination of both perhaps will solve the problem. The performance is so perfect for the character that we’ll really work hard to keep the entire monologue. It’s a dirty, surly speech by a greasy no name producer who is explaining how a mess was made by an actor in his production office. And the actor ate it up, he sank his teeth into that part and took it all the way to the moon.
Let’s see how far we get! If we completely finish the Yurt scene tonight, we will post another update. This is a major overhaul and the next scenes may be much quicker. Thus we might be getting to the ACTIVISTS pretty quick, which is scene 5 and that has some corrections (soft focus, some minor stability, green screen, some sound refinements) and we’ll be working our tails off to get the clam footage before the attack to come across much more lively because at the moment it’s really underwhelming. But the rest is locked, we won’t be touching the video or the audio and nothing is missing. We’re really getting close now and it’s feeling really good to see how the improvements manifest.