Saturday, 20 February 2010

It Ain't Over Til...

...Lenny Kravitz says it is.

We got the last ever shots for CrimeFighters today so I can plug the little gaps in the edit. For a series of shots totalling about three minutes of the film, it was a long and packed day.

Started off getting some shots of the Minster, then a couple disappearing down an alley, a policeman, a CCTV camera, then home to get everything else from the warm, cosy confines of my house. Which included:

A twat and a hand double lurking in a garage...

A jovial cameraman...

A lady with a light (Jenni Suitiala: have light, will travel)

Yes, this is all starting to look strangely familiar...

My worlds colliding as we find a way of getting Hannah into the film...

(You won't see her in the film, her head just proved useful for one shot)...

Jenni 'Spookiala'...

and then, rather unceremoniously, this was the last shot we did:

Random. So that's it! After the long day, we settled in for the evening to drink booze and bore Jenni with talk of Star Wars until Paul, Tony and I spent about two hours discussing how much of an impact E.T. has had on our lives. And how this is the first artefact I can recall that made me want to be a filmmaker:

I can remember going to see the film with my dad in 1984, him buying me this in the foyer, taking it home to read, watching the Making Of documentary on TV and being fascinated by the various departments from storyboard artists to set design and cinematography, and being so hooked that I went out and made a 5 minute Indiana Jones film on 8mm with a friend, then screening it for our families. Nice to be able to pinpoint an obsession.

CrimeFighters will premiere in one month ;-)

Thursday, 18 February 2010

The Last Few Shots of CrimeFighters

What, you thought just because we were having a premiere that we'd finished the film? Don't be SILLY!

Tomorrow we're off out to grab a few small but vital images to put the final pieces in the jigsaw (or edit, as it's called by normal people) including shots of buildings, some panaoramic shots of York we didn't get to our satisfaction the first time (ok there was dirt on the lens), some mock newspaper headlines... and a shot of a man in a garage. The glamour.

Plus, a calling card with a familiar logo:

After that, it really is over, but the fat lady won't be singing for a few weeks.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Tweaks and Geeks and Back to the Future 2

There's a period during the making of a feature film where things relax a bit and everyone drifts off and calms down and the edit gets done and everything is still and peaceful.

Now is not that time. Now is the final month of post-production. Now is copious hours of careful sound editing, notes and endless tweaks:

Lists and lists of things to do that seem to get added to faster than they diminish:

...and FX shots delivered from America!

Everything's actually about two weeks ahead of schedule, which is awesome. Test screening at the cinema coming up at the end of the month, then 2 and a bit weeks of frantic tweaking. Yes. I could have phrased that better.

Oh and Back to the Future 2? I watched it tonight and noted how the effects are still awesome after 21 (TWENTY ONE!?!?!) years and how even that long ago I was impressed with how they did the split screen/motion control thing, but how even though I hope I'll always be a filmmaker, that kind of thing, how to do effects shots, will always give me a headache. That's why Tony's doing the MA in post-production and not me. I'll stick to the scripts.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Finishing a Feature Film... more work than I remember. In fact it seems like more work than my first feature, and I was doing that all myself.

With CrimeFighters, Tony's spent the last couple of months doing the picture cut, with copious notes and nagging from me, although really this is the first time I've made something this collaborative, and it's a great feeling knowing that other people are working on it (when I can quell my control freak tendencies) and that it's not just me doing everything.

Over the last couple of weeks Tony has turned the film over to me, Dan (sound recordist) and Alan (our man in Miami) for sound editing. At this point the film goes from a visually impressive film with a tinny (or non-existent) soundtrack to a loud, thumping, punching, music-saturated MOVIE. I think sound editing might be my favourite editing job, because 50% of a film is the sound, possibly more in terms of what you feel while watching it.

As an experiment, just try turning down, or off, the sound in one of your favourite movies, and see just how unemotional you feel while watching the images flash silently before your eyes. It's sound that makes you scared or makes you cry, it's music that swells the emotions and influences how you feel while watching the movie. And thankfully we have an amazing soundtrack by Hayley Hutchinson and Sam Forrest, who I already knew were gifted musicians but have now been elevated to the status of kick-ass soundtrack composers! Many of the scenes in CrimeFighters are about twice as good once the music goes in.

As for the long-awaited second trailer, it is coming but there have been many issues in its delay, such as life, jobs, and making sure we get it just right. No point putting out something that isn't technically to our satisfaction. So it'll be along as soon as we're satisfied.

Meanwhile, here's the ever-decreasing (finally) CrimeFighters TO DO List:

- A day of shooting filler shots of buildings, props and people to plug the gaps in the edit
- Test screening at the cinema, Feb 28th
- Finishing the sound edit and adding the mixed and mastered soundtrack
- A few FX shots
- Creating the opening and closing titles for the film, which involves typing out dozens of extras' names
- Creating posters for City Screen
- Booking the film into a few cinemas around the country to screen in the period between the premiere and our hopeful return to York

That's it. Better crack on.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Our Heroes Watch Zomblog

A few weeks ago, we got an email from Sandeep Parikh who makes Legend of Neil and The Guild, two inspirations for us making Zomblog, telling us he had seen Episode 5 of the show and really liked it, despite never having the time to watch web shows. So, we were honoured.

Then today we found out - courtesy of our own 2 Baldies FX dudes Ian and Darren, who met him at this weekend's FX trade show - that Mr. Tom 'Dawn of the Dead' Savini has seen TWO episodes of our humble zombie series and really enjoyed them! He told Daz and Ian that it was cool how we'd been inspired by his legacy (which let's face it, we have) and wished us the best for the future.

Mr. Savini, we salute you. Now, if Joss Whedon fancies watching CrimeFighters, I'll be a happy man.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Sneak Peek at the Entire CrimeFighters Film!

Here you are, the whole film. Enjoy!

A High-Density Production Day

This is what happened today:

- CrimeFighters tickets went on sale.

- I gathered the wild tracks (sound with no dialogue) for sound editing on CFs and sent them to Miami where one of our sound guys Alan is editing a third of the film.

- I started work proper on the second CFs trailer, which is about 25% done at the end of the day.

- I had a phone meeting with Darren of 2 Baldies FX to discuss Zomblog 3's complicated prosthetic effects.

- Tony, Paul and I had a meeting about the first test screening of CFs at the cinema in three weeks, and the work we have to do before then including Second Unit stuff (mostly single shots to slot into the edit to match up shots).

- I had a hangover.

It's days like this that bring it home to me the amount of work we've done/are planning to do so that we can have days like this; finishing off a feature film and starting up a new series. I goddamn love it.

Also, yesterday Tony and I discussed the two space films we're planning scripts for, and realised they could potentially make one big space epic. I've got characters I like but no story, he's got a great story. And it'll be in 3D. Ok we didn't say that, but who knows...