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July 7 - SCI CO

July 7

Posted by Dana Phelps

Scene 3 has little room to do work with but we’re still not able to resist getting some improvements. This is the BIGFOOT BEACH scene where PASSY sets off a mutant monster clam! The Voice Over for dialogue is being mostly replaced, all of PASSY’s lines but we haven’t got to the studio for that yet and aside from that, all we’ve been able to do is replaced some of the music in the car and we’re changing the BIGFOOT footage up slightly to make it look more realistic. In doing these things, we went through a lot of old unused footage and organized some for future needs. But we’re almost done with Scene 3 for now, after which point we’ll just be plugging in new dialogue.

The next scene work is the MENTALLY UNSTABLE COWBOY scene. That sequence has been refined quite extensively. There will be some work needing to get accomplished for it but overall, it’s a similar story with the Scene 2 workload except there’s no dialogue needing to be replaced. We got excellent audio for all of that and it’s all been carefully attuned to the actors for their imaginary world to flow naturally. There’s a slight improvement needed at the very end for one tiny cutaway and that’s about it!


Scene 5 is the ACTIVISTS scene and we are very familiar with the demands for that. They are basically technical for improving a 2 second issue with a soft focus, there’s some green screen work (which we hired a tech advisor to help with because it’s an unusual shot needing the green screen background, which we solved the issue for while he was there), and we’ll make the small shot of the clam itself much better. We will be playing with some of the clam action footage of the prop moving along the beach because it’s sort of unsatisfying as of now with the stationary clam just staring at them and we have quite a lot of the clam hustling along the beach to work with. Aside from those touches, we will be able to move on.


Scene 6 is the POLICE FBI scene under the bridge. We have a major issue with sound on the second half of that and we’ve employed help to salvage the scene with the ADR and existing audio we have. It’s a really nice scene, too. We may have to cut some out for the first releases then will re-work it in later, depending on how things go. Other than those issues, the whole scene is tightly wound after mountains of work was done with it, especially on sound which was amazingly challenged because of the road work going on around the set! We’ve done some very big things with the ambient sound to get it to work and it is happening now but what a massive task that was. It’s now one of the best scenes.

The rest of the scenes have similar stories- very little work needs to be done, overall but there are a couple of tiny sequences which we are looking to sew in that are missing from the cut now. One of them is with STRANGE MAN fetching the second object on the beach. Now that is outstanding acting work but not essential to the plot. We’ll probably throw it in. The other STRANGE MAN stuff we have to fix in is him working with the artifact PASSY and VIOLETZ are seeking but STRANGE MAN found first– he plays with that inside the spaceship. We haven’t cut that into the film anywhere but it’s more brilliant acting from Kevin S. Martin and we’d like to see if we cannot place that. Then we need to put KITTY LILIKOI in her spaceship, which is already prepared.

We’re getting very very close to to the end product here. When we finally nail down the sound and the final cut, we will send our sound files to Green Light Studio for his work to begin– that’s Josh, who owns the studio. He will go over each and every single piece of dialogue, touching it up with his system and then he will smooth and balance all the foley, all the background / ambient sound. All of the music will be polished up (much of it is raw at this time, some needs no work but a lot of it could use his help). With the final sound work from him, we will send it off to Craig in L.A. who will gloss it up to a shiny state. Sound is crucial to getting people to be able to pay attention to your movie without distractions and is the #1 issue for us on Quality Control for distribution– Netflix, Amazon movies, etc. It’s also a big big boost to festival competition. Sound is a top priority and we’re investing a good chunk of change to get this into the right quality area. With the YURT scene spruced up with 100% clean, pro audio (no in camera clips, no cut-up and spliced together lines, no pops or clicks, etc.) we’re in much better territory for overall sound.


Once we get to the point where we’re going to be doing the last technical work with a few blurred faces, adding the ufo, credits, etc. we’ll be right at the finish line. We’ve prepared extremely well (with a monetary cost to hire tech help) and we know what we’re in for. We have the software, the task list is very low for the demands of the movie and it will be a lot easier to do all that than the creative work, which is meticulous and demanding in terms of decisions rather than just X=Y stuff to take care of technical stuff. We already learned how to do the tech stuff and now just need to get the final cut before rendering any of them.


The TITLE is being prepared by Camille Spain at this point. She’s developed our own special unique font and is working on the final product. We’ve also gotten into the demands for the credits. There’s expensive software which takes care of the credits with a slick professional look but we might not need to spend the $500 they are asking. That’s the bar, though and we won’t settle for anything less. We’re probably not going to do anything real fancy or creative for the actual end credit roll but we may have a music video play on the side– Dana’s ‘Out of the Way’. If we do this, then we will have a few more Laurels to put on the film since the song won a few festivals for ‘Best Music Video’! This will be a tricky way to get ourselves more Award logos on our promotional poster and lobby card. We want the maximum number of Laurels that we can, especially when we first start to release it and sell. That would give us 3 Laurels to put on the poster before we’ve even gotten the film done!


We are working on a new poster. We are not satisfied with what we have got so far and though it may cost a bit, we’re going to wind up with something else. Camille has one designed but has not finished it and we might wind up hiring someone else to paint or draw one up.

In a few hours we will be getting back to finishing Scene 3, which won’t take more than an hour or so. Most of the time we’ve spent on that so far has been going through old footage and seeing what we can do with the BIGFOOT stuff we have. There’s not too much we can really do but it will be enough to make the key moments with BF’s appearance make more sense and we’re toying with the idea of adding a bit more content for that with PASSY and VIOLETZ arguing. There’s a little sequence of them arguing on the beach that is not really fitting into the movie, but if we can find a niche for it then it will make sense to add a bit more BF footage– just a touch. And we have enough to make it possible. That would be an entirely new sequence with new music, new sound fx, etc. and thus a good bit of additional work but we’re not going to set it aside to escape more labor if it will improve the film making.


When this is ready, we’ll be preparing for a couple of music videos and Dana will get back to writing for a while to finish his novel “Shuke’s War” which is about halfway into the 4th draft. The 4th draft is the last major overhaul for the book and the 5th will be relatively light editorial work. We’ll also start work on a new screenplay which is a writing exercise with Dana and Camille to be entreated into festivals for screenplay content, hopefully to be picked up and SCi CO can just sell it.

Stay tuned!