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Oct 14 - SCiCo Films

Oct 14

By Dana Graham

Dana has been working a job to keep bills paid and get investments for the movie to become a finished project. He has got to come up with a balance between work tasks from his source for revenue and the need to get things done for SCi CO. This is a bit of a struggle but is yielding good things!

We have just heard today from Josh at Green Light, though we have not read the emails fully. Camille Spain is meeting with Dana for some business oriented discussions and actions, including a review of the new version of the nudes on artinawindow.com which are now black and white with enhanced articulation for shadowing, light balance, etc. We’ll be selling the repackaged images as prints on saatchiart with artinawindow.com’s shopping cart feature. We also will be meeting to discuss the poster for “Raiders of the Lost Clam!!!” and to prepare for screenings, for copyright issues going with distribution, festival selection, software concerns and computer system upgrade choices for the next video and music projects, how to focus on earning income with the company next year, which project to choose next, etc. etc.

The computer memory concerns are still there but we have a functional computer system at this time which is not showing any signs of being a problem for the completion of the post production with the movie. This is fortunate because we want to maintain the workflow and contain the problem, then upgrade our system to the next projects in our good time. Currently the same old system is performing well enough to move on with. This leaves it to Dana to find pockets of available hours to work while he’s maintaining his full time employment. He is doing his best to cut back on job hours as well as to find scheduling solutions to yield advantages for getting a lot more hours to work with for the business. It’s going well and it might wind up being very good for both the movie and the company because he will have a steadier flow of earnings and be able to continue with progress on SCi CO at a grind rate, keeping up with them to release when it’s possible. It will help to have the money to enter the festivals we want to (there’s more than we can afford to enter, there are over a thousand this year and we’ll run a year).

If we haven’t mentioned it, we did find a valuable addition to our operation for “Raiders…” and that is a skilled video artist who will be able to polish up our video to a highly refined tuning. He has done work with Snoop Dogg videos and some famous music video directors, giving the final videos their gleam and overall color balance, etc. He is a video ‘artist’ because it takes more than a technician to take a video and improve it to the point where it all is the best it can be. This takes a lot of vision and many micro decisions which is only available to the best talent for the job to come out with something really amazing to see. We have some solid video, some totally outstanding, some iffy, some pretty good, some not so bad, some ‘eh’, some great, etc. The clips we’re worried about most have low lighting, slight over saturation, camera wobbliness and some color balancing. They are not mega problems but they definitely need attention. We’re hoping that the video from start to finish will wind up looking smooth, brilliant and fluid over the whole amount of the content. We’re paying similar money to what Josh is getting for doing the audio.

We will be in the range for having a serious property to attempt distribution with in limited theaters such as Vietnam, Cambodia and some other smaller countries. We have some connections for voice over dubs with foreign language actors and some translation connections for subtitling ready to go. We will require these for some festivals overseas and it’s a modest investment and not a big technical obstacle to put in subtitles though dubbing is a bit more expensive because our production team will have to run that through a studio to replace all the new dialogue properly, which is expensive to record. Once we have opportunity to deliver a finished product which is quality enough to reproduce on the digital systems overseas then we can begin to look at revenue possibilities from downloads there and a steady market for more of our foreign titles. They are more forgiving of low budget movies in some smaller countries.

Our plans for the next movie are limited by budget and we have a desire to aim for commercial success with it, meaning we want to make some cash flow for the business. Thus our determination for which project to go with is going to come down to potentiation for it to do well more than some other factors. Also we are aligned with pumping out a product fast. We want to have it done not just to move on from the long stretched out process for “Clams…” but to pursue some projects down the line which require us to finish a few other ones first! They are lining up and we have to make room for all the work we want to do with film making. This is another reason to seek some rewards for the funding and get something which will help us establish a long term production assembly which will facilitate high quality audio and video works that we can continue to prosper with as a team.

Dana has made some contacts for audio engineering, video production, digital work of any kind, distribution, and a lot of word of mouth for “Raiders of the Lost Clam!!!” and it’s clear from the pursuits we’ve had for screenings that every movie house available in Portland takes 3 months minimum to find the time to put your flick on. Thus our Halloween excursion is obviously out but we’re pushing to be ready to deliver this film as soon as humanly possible. This is a time pressure right now and we’re crunching to find some to put into the movie while maintaining a higher income for financing the company.

We are looking to upgrade the workstation and have had some surprising convictions about the products for our new system. We are possibly trying a PC based machine to get a lowered investment cost but we will be upgrading to a clean machine with dedicated workload functionality right away. Camille is coaching us on which is the right fit and we’re working out which software options will go with the new system, so we’ll be working with a different video editor and music production DAW facility. Dana is dedicated to working on beats, some new rap and hip – hop as well as having a strong set of virtual instruments to record basic tracks with for his orchestral compositions. This will save a lot of money and time in the long run for releasing commercially viable music for film, tv, video games, websites, etc. Making beats will be a revenue opportunity and an outlet for stress relief/creative expression that Dana needs on several levels.

If we do “Figures” for our next film it may be a radical effort with a wild approach and a lot of artistic creativity. It will also be taking a lot of live theater footage with actor performances in front of audiences for the retelling of the survivor stories themselves but the film will be venturing into the murky waters of what transpired during the making of this film the first time. The way this will be achieved is unclear at this time but we’re careful not to overshadow the stories of the victims and make it about the film maker but it will have to interpolate and show the criminality behind the abuse of the person who tried to tell the stories the first time but was prevented from it. Our aim is to deal with all of these challenges in a mature and dramatic way with a highly entertaining outcome. “F for Fake” is a movie title worth mentioning as far as inspiration, as it will sort of hinge on fiction and reality. We’ll also have a large devotion to music for that film and we’ll be streamlining to make it a faster production with a fairly speedy completion date. We don’t want to rush it but we want to make sure not to have delays like we saw on our first venture so we can move on to the next productions in good time. We’d also like to begin making some money with these films as early as possible.

Dana is enthusiastic about filming a B Horror or Thriller rather than “Kuk Fu” after “Figures”. “Kuk Fu” is expensive and large for production designing, many locations, lots of actors, some stunts, some big props, lots of costumes, lots of fight choreography, etc. It’s going to be a big production. We can do something smaller with more of a goal for immediate financial gain. Or we can do the sci fi space cadet one that Dana has a treatment for, or could do Goomba U, or one of a few others Dana has ideas for. There’s one in particular that we have ready to be made into a script that we feel would be a good gamble for production costs, would be fairly small and cheap to film, could be produced in probably under a month then less than six months of post production. It’s got a great hook and would be not too many actors or sets.

We’re about to meet about SCi CO business now. Dana worked last week and is caught up on bills, is getting money together for the computer system upgrade and more investment to our “Raiders…” needs. He’ll be starting work on the Scene 5 again today and tomorrow, seeing how the system does.

Stay tuned…