Tagged ‘Independent Film Maker‘

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!

All Roads – Come to an end… Soon, not yet though.


As promised, going to try and give out more information as fast as I can make it available.  Here’s just a quick snapshot..  We are currently in an ‘unlocked state’ for Despondent.  The reasons are simple, we had clear areas that required improvement that we were both seeing.  Either both seeing the same thing, or differently in different sections.  I can tell you this though, we are very close to having ALL the renders completed and those changes, I count 6 from this evenings meeting that need to be shored up.

So where are we in all of this?  What’s left?

For those following us and for those who have ever made a film, long, short, mid..  we are at a good place productively.  A lot of sound engineering has been done, however almost no mixing.  We have a day or two for foley (I think a day should do it) and about 2 full days of mixing, maybe a bit more.  However, all that can be done AFTER we lock the film.  The simplest definition of a film lock is, once you lock the film edit, you don’t change a darned thing.  Period.  If you keep going back to make changes to your edit, you throw off timing for the rest of the film because music will no longer line up for anything after that point in your timeline.

So this means, once we’ve ‘locked’, I’ll start doing a lot more mixing in tandem with scoring.  Most likely, we’ll break it out that Israel and Roger Hooper will be doing the scoring while I mix.  I’ll be a part of it, however, I don’t understand musical language other than, “how about trying this or that”..  whereas, they talk in “let’s throw a bridge in here, run through to an E sharp”.  I’d be better off studying another language.  That doesn’t mean that your ears lie to you or notes don’t sing, it’s just that I can’t express it in a way that makes much sense because I know what I want to hear in my head, I just can’t get it out.  Make sense?

So as the project is about to reach another milestone, we do have some things in store.  One, a website we’ll be posting shortly.  Two, the final trailer for the film which divulges a lot more detail and is JUST like the film is supposed to be.  No good trailer, crappy film here.  We hope anyway.

All this to say, as we approach locking the film for the first REAL TIME, we are liking what we are seeing, I hope you will to.

The film time is nearly exactly 45 minutes.  So from a 1 hour, 20 minute film including credits, down to 45 minutes including credits.  I’ll just have to go into the reasons and concepts for this deviation at a later date.  I can say, it was the best thing we ever did and I’m grateful for Israel for pushing me that direction to run that exercise.

Edit Locked

So, I’ve been working hard at my real job, traveling and raising kids. Busy busy. I have been less than absent from the site, for that I’m sorry folks. However, working on the film, we’ve managed to lock the edit. A few minor changes here and there for color correction, things like that which made it through are being changed but we are moving onto the sound and scoring phase.

We’ve been working on the sound phase both during and in effect for screening purposes so have a very good idea where we need to foley and replace sounds. Overall, I think it will be an enjoyable film. Locking in the story and the edit, we are really seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and let me tell you, it’s exciting. Another update soon!