Thursday, May 12, 2011
Well, here we are, nearing the finish line. God is amazing and has brought the film far. I know it’s been a while, so let me rehash:
My birthday was about two weeks ago. I’m now 26. Even I find it hard to believe sometimes that I’ve made it this long 😉 The past few weeks have really been a huge growing experience for me. Every day I can feel Satan digging at me, trying to keep me from releasing this picture. In the past month, the enemy has attacked me physically, spiritually and emotionally. After going through this, I’m pretty sure I’m not the same person I was when I started this project. But I haven’t given up. I’m a fighter. The music for the film is complete, thanks to the awesomeness of Mark Richardson and Matt Clark. The two of them really took the level of the picture to new heights. While they were finishing their tracks, I was busy trying to conform our online. Unfortunately, due to an error on my part, the master print was always a few frames off from my offline edit. I ended up having to resync all the audio =/ It was either that, or re-conform and re-grade the entire film. No thank you.
My online process went like this: I cut in Sony Vegas Pro 9 on my eight year old computer. My mistake was that I was using some .avi files as my offlines and due to the 2:3 pulldown, ended up throwing everything out of sync. Anyway, I cut the offline and exported the timeline in seven parts via an EDL. I borrowed one of my composer’s laptops (it was faster and more powerful than my desktop) and opened each EDL in After Effects CS4. Using the Immigration Script (a third party script), I conformed the online with my original h.264 files from my T2i. Now, I know that everyone says, “oh, h.264, you can’t grade it. You need to convert it first”. Bull. I performed some extensive tests first and it holds up just fine, at least for the grading I was doing, which is pretty heavy. About the only thing you can’t do with this codec is brighten it up too much. Good thing I nailed the exposure in camera. Anyway, once the files had been swapped, each reel was graded using Colorista Free, making our movie (as far as I know) the first feature to use this free and awesome plugin. Next I traded Mark’s laptop for his desktop (again, more power) and rendered a master image sequence (.tga) of each reel. These image sequences are then strung together and from that any print can be struck-DVD, bluRay, web, whatever. I created a new offline of this master (this time in the correct codec) and have spent the past week polishing and recording the audio. I just finished up the ADR process this morning and will spend the next few days I have left recording and mixing foley.
The premiere for the film will be this Sunday, back at the Roxy in Newport, WA. I can’t wait to get everyone’s reaction, especially those who’ve seen the first film. To get peoply hyped, I’m currently uploading the first six minutes to the web. Hopefully that will take care of the skeptics.
So that’s where I’m at. It’s been an insane year for me, but I look forward to whatever the Lord calls me to do next. Part of me feels that this could very well be my last film, especially if things start to escalate. But hopefully it’s not. We shall see.