Tagged ‘Editing‘


So one thing that many may know, some may not, I started making Machine Based Cinema (Machinima) about 10+ years ago.  Actually, probably more like 13 years ago but just because I wanted to experiment.  It turned into a hobby of mine where I was actually able to make some money to fund this expensive hobby.

The last couple of years opportunity and changes in the market have made it unrealistic to make that a full time gig.  As much as I would love making Video Game movies, technology limitations for creating them has been very limited.  I’m not sure why exactly because it literally is an untapped market.


Be that as it may, there was one game which I would have LOVED to have been able to create in.  Skyrim from Bethesda Softworks.  Without giving to much away, I am working on something.  I conducted some tests to literally check function over feasibility within the game engine.  I can say that some of the Mod communities creations have been pretty amazing.  If you can’t rely on a game studio to create the options for you, well you can bet your ass some gamer will.  Some of the brightest most intelligent people I have ever met.  That’s PC guys, not Mac guys and surely not console bunnies.  Sorry if you were just offended there but I hate playing anything online via console because of the kiddy play.  Therefore I don’t but I digress…

After reviewing some mods, I decided to run a test and what a grand test it was.  If you are a film maker, what you see you will understand.  If you are a gamer, you probably will to.  If you are just a fan of games, you may or may not get it.  If you play console only and have no creativity, you will not understand.  That said, enjoy….

Screening Update

We had the screening on Saturday evening and overall, it was a real success.  It accomplished exactly what we intended it to accomplish.  We were able to sit down, have some soda, well, beer AND Soda, some popcorn and other snacks…  We gave out note cards and pens so people could reference ideas, suggestions, comments to the timeline in the film.  We watched it and some folks clapped, some didn’t.

Okay, so what did we learn?

Lot’s.  First, we need to make some shot adjustments in the film.  There were clearly some objections to the use of more than a few shots and while I could default to the heart and say, “well, they were here for this and that”, I’m going to default to taking a harder look at what we used, why and where.  So the general sense I got was, we should have asked folks to NOT write down during the film because my experience for this type of film, the length and the narration, if you miss something, it’s likely something won’t make sense.  And of course, there were some things that people questioned.  Which is exactly what was intended.


Roof of Car

When writing this film, the intention was to be ambiguous.  That challenge with ambiguity is that it can frustrate some audience members.  However, we CANNOT spoon feed this kind of story and make it interesting.  We see movies for the entertainment value, not to get a life lesson so we want to be careful to separate the two, but we also want to make you as a viewer, “Think about what you just saw”.  Graphically, we tackle very specific subject matter and it’s difficult when you don’t want to give away plot.

So, the plan is, is to maybe, MAYBE shoot one additional scene, rearrange a couple of things around and tighten up some things.

One of our friends who is a critic beyond all critics, which is why I love the guy, said simply, “It was much better than I expected”.  Of course he went onto share why and what he didn’t like but overall, the general sense was we accomplished something film wise that would be regarded as successful.  We would like it to be unquestionably successful so we’re going back in folks.  Not for long.  Nothing should take more than a couple of weeks to get through this and I think we’ll be in a very very good place to submit this for scoring.

So, all in all,…  it was great, GREAT to see people watch our film and enjoy it and ask questions after.  Thanks to everyone who took the time.


First Private Screening of “Despondent”

Israel and reached out to some folks to see if they’d be interested in seeing an unfinished, finished product.  Right…

Okay, so where we’re at with the film.  We are showing our first private screening of the film.  The only thing missing?  The music.  We are however using all the temp tracking that we’ve been using to line up and score with.  We’re doing this to venture into uncharted territory.

As a storyteller and film maker, you tend to produce your own level of pride andor ignorance towards the audience.  It’s, in my humble opinion, unavoidable.  Sometimes, as we’ve seen through the latest round of “Star Wars” films, a blatant arrogance to the audience.  I’m talking specifically about George “Bring me another Goblet of something cool and refreshing, along with the Head of a Pig!” Lucas. (Courtesy Brian Regan)..   While I think our arrogance is not intentional, the fact is, you can lose site of your audience because YOU as the film maker already know the details of your story.  So perhaps arrogance is a strong word when in fact I would say, it’s more ignorance.  Arrogance would be ignoring your own ignorance.  So there, settled.

Despondent - On the Web

So, we’ve opened the doors up to a small handful of people where we will screen the film, in it’s entirety while providing pens and paper for constructive feedback.  We’ll take this feedback and use it (where applicable) to make necessary changes or additions to the film so that we don’t have to necessarily “go back” and do it again after we’ve locked it for scoring.  It’s a pretty significant hurdle for us and we’re pretty excited about it.

Am I excited to hear the criticism of the film?  Nope, not at all.  I hope EVERYONE Loves it..  However, we know that there will be pretty significant suggestions and we’ll have to weigh these suggestions out against time, scope and cost.

We are shooting for Sundance submission in August.  I think we’ll get it in and even if it’s not accepted as a screener, we’re hopeful that someone who’s interested in up and coming film makers who can tell a good story while keeping an audience interested will see it.  That could lead to more opportunity to do what we love.  Isn’t that the goal of every filmmaker?  To make a film people enjoy and give you opportunity to do what you love and get paid for it.  Wows that would be something.

So, the next update will be, “what did people think”.  I’ll give a general take after the fact and what’s planned.

If you are a film maker with some talent and are interested in the screening, contact me here through the website.  It will be on Saturday at 7pm in Gaithersburg, at a private theater.  Cheers!

Mocha Tracking – Quick Tutorial

The Tutorial is linked in the Tutorials/After Effects Section – Watch it in FULL SCREEN or Windowed Mode for the Best Results!

One of the things I’ve been working heavily on, is tracking.  Mocha, in my opinion is one of the better options for anyone out there with a budget.  Yes, there are many more available and work better, but they also come with a hefty price tag.  All that said, I took some time this evening because as promised, I’m doing what I can to provide more information on the website so this seemed like a decent start.  While trying not to give everything away for free in terms of the film I’ve been working on, it’s still pretty good stuff and I think you’ll like it.

There is one mistake, at least one that I saw in the tut, it’s with the transparencies, I forgot to hit the stop watch to set the keyframe and went back and started it again.  Anyway, instead of trying to make it perfect, I just left it in.  Not because of laziness mind you, it’s just that, I know I’m not the all around pro here, but I wanted you to know, that I know that you know so you know I don’t mind leaving my mistakes in because they’re real.