Sunday, September 26, 2010

Meeting Artists and Musicians On Twitter

One of the coolest aspects of the internet and Twitter in particular, is meeting like minded artists and musicians to work with on projects. So far, with my new film Rat Rod Rockers! I have met three outstanding recording artists that have contributed to the soundtrack of the film. The first was Miss Paula Flava, who sent me some excellent gospel and scat vocal tracks. I had sent her a basic MP3 piano riff as a guide via e-mail. She then went into a studio on the East Coast and laid down the vocals, sending the tracks back to me as an e-mail attachment. Later I placed her vocals in various music sections within the Rat Rod Rockers! soundtrack.  Seamless. The second was vocalist Nicole Alonso who laid down some serious rock vocals for a tune I wrote called Shut Down. We did the same back and forth e-mailing of MP3s basics with her using a file sharing site to send the final vocal takes. The third was LG From The Bay, who wrote an all original Hip Hop track called Nuthin' To Loose with beat producer K4s. I sent LG the basic film synopsis and some movie stills and he took it from there. I have never met any of these people face to face. Pure creative flow. To me, this is the most positive aspect of social networks.

Rat Rod Rockers! Editing

Spent all day editing. Tied Scene 27 into Scene 28, which is actually in two parts. The first is Harold Milldue spying on the Rat Rod Gang and the second is Harold being chased by the Rat Rod Gang. I am now at the chasing part. Maaaaaaan.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Rat Rod Rockers! Editing

Just completed all audio for Scene 29. Now moving back to Scene 28 which is a toughy- with a full on car chase set to a little punk ditty I wrote a few months back.

Rat Rod Rockers! Editing

Finalized Scene 29 for RRR! Last night I had created four versions- all with sections I didn't like. This morning I made a composite of the best parts from the four and it looks really good. Still need to tighten the audio, then on to the next scene.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Rat Rod Rockers! Editing

Completed three versions of Scene 27 yesterday and then jumped onto Scene 29. 27 and 29 bookend the car chase sequence (Scene 28). Sometimes jumping around a little makes the editing flow a little easier.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rat Rod Rockers! Editing and Binocular Matte

Just completed the first rough of Scene 27. Feels like moving forward again after all the time I spent on Scene 22. This scene will flow into the next, so after a few more versions I will open the next scene and paste the "chosen" edit of 27 into Scene 28. I also made a Binocular Matte in Photoshop for this scene that is sized 720x480. You overlay the matte onto the scene that you want the binocular effect on, then using a Color Key filter, remove the green center. The right side of the template got cut by a few pixels, but I don't think most will notice, Grab it if you want it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rat Rod Rockers! Editing

I finally completed a rough of Scene 22 for Rat Rod Rockers! Not completely happy with the edits, but it will work for the films premiere. After that I will tweek the film extensively before committing it to DVD. This one scene took a long, long, long ass  time. It also is the puzzle piece that completes thirty two continuous minutes in the films timeline! FINALLY!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rat Bastards/Slaughter House Car Show and Power Outages

P-51 Mustang. Photo by Sid Sebasstian
Man what a weekend. Saturday we got up a little later than we should have to head out to Monroe, WA for the Rat Bastards Car Club Slaughter House Car Show. The event was held on a small farm not too far off the main highway. Nice place with wine tasting, a weekly farmers market and ample open spaces to set up the cars and the vendors. They also had a covered stage for the bands that played all afternoon. It had been raining solid the night before so there were the occasional boggy grass spots. I got my van stuck in one trying to cut across the back stage area to unload our vendor booth. My son and several big guys got us unstuck without too much hassle. The day was decent- though a bit humid with the sun making occasional cameos in the cloudy sky. The plan was for me to set up my outdoor Portable Drive-In and show the first ten minutes of Rat Rod Rockers!  and then an old Hot Rod movie after dark. Around 7 PM, as we were setting up my big 10' x 20' screen, the rain started. First a few little drops, but soon it was pouring. I set my projector, sound amp and DVD player under our vendor tent. I always get a little nervous having all that gear out in the rain, especially with power cables running through the wet grass. People sat in their cars or under other canvas vendor tents and watched the films. It was wet, but not extremely cold. After the last film we packed up everything but the vendor tent (it was soaked) and the projection screen and then drove the 35 minutes home.

We slept in planning to head back out to Monroe to get our vendor tent and screen after digesting breakfast (for me- coffee and cinnamon toast).  Just after noon time as I was downloading a new track from LG Of The Bay for my Rat Rod Rockers! Soundtrack, we heard a big boom boom baboom! All the lights flickered and went out. My computer went dead. I opened our apartment door and it was pitch black down the inner building hallway. We walked around the complex and saw that almost half the buildings were without power. Something big had blown up. We saw the maintenance guys running around so figured it was a good time to head over to Monroe and get our stuff. We did and upon returning several hours later, noticed that although some of the previously dark buildings were lit up, ours was not. So we ran some more errands, did some clean-up work at our Arts School, came back home and the power was still out. Around the side of our building was a huge Power Company truck. Guys were in one of the underground electrical vaults yelling and pulling things up. I asked one what had happened and he explained a series of transformers had blown up in the underground vaults around the complex. He didn't know how long until we would get our power back. I went upstairs and told the wife. She moved all the milk and cheese into our freezer. Even though the power had been out for nearly six hours the freezer was still fairly cold. As the sun went down we lit candles and ordered pizza- urban camping. Around 9PM the power came back on with a sputter kachunk! I had lost a whole day of editing, but it was relaxing hanging out in the dark with the family. I went over and fired up my computer and no DSL! I found out today that all the incoming lines got fried by the power surge. The Comcast guy assured me it would be up later today. I am writing this from my work computer. Crazy weekend.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rat Rod Rockers! Editing

I am still working on Scene 22. This one has been a bear to sort through. Got the first section of the scene laid out fairly quickly- but the second half has been the problem. Mostly because there is soooo much footage. I started with over one and a half hours of raw video to be cut down to around 4-5 minutes as the final scene. I have also been working extra time at my wife's arts school as this is the second week of the new school year and as such it is busy!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Rat Rod Rockers! Editing and the iGTO

Busy weekend. Today got the first ten minutes of Rat Rod Rockers!  exported and ready to screen for an upcoming car show event. The audio is still rough but not too bad. I added all the rough cut footage for RRR! and am clocking in at 51 minutes complete. I estimate 27 minutes remain to be rough cut- giving a total run time of around 78 minutes for the film. Very close to what I was shooting for. Also worked extensively on the car show scene (Scene 22) for RRR! This is a scene montage set to music with the Danielle Milldue (Teri Aslett) character walking around the car show. Over an hour and a half of raw footage to squeeze into a 4 or 5 minute scene.

I have also been chipping away at my 1/25th scale iGTO Intergalactic Muscle Car. Took a few minutes today to mount it on a home made stand. Still needs a few more details, but it is almost ready to scan into the computer for CGI work in Memories Of The Planet Earth.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Rat Rod Rockers! Editing and Terry Vs. The Imam

Gypsy as Old Man Kanker's Dog
Revamped the opening sequence of RRR! I had done an extreme rough cut just as a place holder on the main timeline. Today I re-recorded the narration voice over and then re-cut the scene. Also added some edge softening to the clips to give it a real oldtimey look. Works well right- before the opening credits.

World News B.S. - The rhetoric about Terry Jones and his little Florida Church burning Korans and the Imam Feisal Rauf and his Ground Zero Mosque is typical, especially coming from supposed religious leaders. Now Jones wants to fly to New York to meet with the Imam to make a deal? I'd love to be at that meeting "Look Imam I won't burn the Korans if you don't build the Mosque." "Terry what the hell are you talking about?" "I'm making you a deal Imam." "Get this fool out of here and bring in my construction foreman, we are moving the Mosque ground breaking ceremony up two weeks!"

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Rat Rod Rockers! Editing

Completed both parts of Scene 52 for Rat Rod Rockers! I broke the scene into two parts after examining the footage. Part A was the action and dialog originally in the script with part B being a driving montage we shot on the fly featuring the girls in a Rat Rod set to music. As I am assembling the final timeline, parts A and B may be split with Scene 53 in between.  Many times I have to reorder the scene sequence to adjust the flow of the film. Regardless of the script, if your film doesn't flow, you can loose your audience.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Top Twenty Films (Excluding My Own)

01. Blade Runner
02. Vanishing Point
03. Star Wars IV (New Hope)
04. Rumble Fish
05. Nadja
06. The Life Aquatic
07. Dead Man
08. A Clockwork Orange
09. Baraka
10. Blue Velvet
11. Apocalypse Now
12. Eraserhead
13. Alien
14. Dr. Strangelove
15. Planet Of The Apes
16.12 Monkeys
17. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
18. The Matrix
19. Snatch
20. Sky Captain & The World Of Tomorrow

Monday, September 6, 2010

Rat Rod Rockers! Editing and Last Day Of Summer

Scene 52 of Rat Rod Rockers! is kickin' my arse! Two days into editing this one scene and it's still not completed.  Getting closer- but I keep running into issues with continuity and trying to align the hand held shots as they transition into tripod shots. When you cut from a moving frame into a static frame it can be jarring. If the subject is moving in a similar direction the transition is easier.  I also have a pair of disappearing keys- i.e. the actress did one take with car keys in hand and all others without. Of course the one with the keys in hand is the necessary shot. Anyway sooner or later I will figure it all out, right now my eyes are blurry... Tomorrow school starts in our area. Though it is still technically "summer" for a few more weeks, for my kids it is the Last Day Of Summer.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Interview On ILN With Lucy Diamond

Did a live internet radio round table interview with hostess Lucy Diamond for ILN (Intuitive Life Network) and Drag Racing Vixen Nicole Lyons. The discussion focus was "unusual careers," with Nicole being a Drag Racer & Muscle Car Restorer and myself being an Independent Film Maker & Recording Artist. Nicole and I both share an extreme passion for Hot Rods, Drag Racing and Muscle Cars so of course that was a big part of the discussion. I was really impressed with Nicole both as a racer and a person. Is she going to be the Danica Patrick of the NHRA? It wouldn't surprise me at all. This is my second time I've been on Lucy's show. She asks great questions and has a natural interviewer ability, making you feel comfortable and relaxed on air. Had a good time.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Rat Rod Rockers! Editing and the New School Year

The last two days have been hectic. My wife's art school year starts next week (she is the director) and we she needed my help for cleaning, preparation and general errands. It felt good to help the missus out. She works her ass off to keep her small non-profit school going (as do several other board members and parent helpers). Anyway- today took the morning off to clear my head and then jumped into Scene 55. Had already started this one a few days ago and knew what had to be done. Mostly correcting one clip of bad audio using the Soundtrack Pro tool set and assembly. On to the next scene!