Monday, 5 May 2014

Yr2 Week 26 (Wed 30 Apr - Uploading Shattered Reflecion and Final thoughts)

With Pete's aid unavailable for today, my director decided to push on and upload a 'temporary' version of the film so as to meet the deadline. Once Pete's schedule cleared up, we could then work on finishing up all the sound work, and then get that in to David and Eddie for the end of year show. Also, my director intended to make a director's cut, given our 10 minute time limit, which would run closer to 15 minutes, and hopefully send this one out to festivals as per her original intentions.

And, by about 3pm today, we got it rendered and shipped off. So then, final thoughts?

Honestly, I am not entirely satisfied, as I'm sure you the reader have gathered from past blog posts. Throughout this entire production, we have had pretty much nothing but continuous problems and curve balls thrown at us. Whether it be unreliable crew, problematic scheduling, unreliable sources for production needs like the whole debacle surrounding the flat, or even bad technical botches, something has always popped up to annoy us. Of course, I was very stressed and anxious, but who I feel most sorry for is my director, for whom, this was a very personal project. How must she feel, knowing that her vision, based on a story she drew from real life experience, has continually been undermined by sheer bad fortune due to either incompetence or simple indifference on the part of others.

Naturally, I take a chunk of the blame myself, as sometimes I let the weight of the situation get to me, and was not forward thinking enough to counteract some of the problems, especially the disastrous club shoot that then lead to a reshoot. However, I am also furious with certain crew members who failed to be reliable, and in some cases, failed to inform me of schedule changes. People like Zane and Kacper were very clear and easy to work with, but then, people like Sidarth (who was supposed to do booming for our entire shoot), save for one instance related to a family accident, was always either late to or never responded to posts on the group's production page, or even to messages. I cannot tell you how much of a betrayal I feel at this, and my director feels much the same as well.

However, I cannot also deny that the experience hasn't also been useful,. as well as eye opening for me. It has given me a new respect and appreciation for producers and indeed, the 'art' of producing, and how difficult it is. So often, directors get the biggest slice of the credit pie that we often forget how vital a good producer is to getting a film off the ground in the first place. Though it wasn't always the easiest road, I feel that, through thick and thin, I managed to pull it off, albeit not as well as better circumstances would have allowed me.

Yr2 Week 26 (Tues 29 Apr - Sound Session with Pete)

Having had perhaps the first bit of luck in a good while on this production, I managed to book a session with Pete for today to go over the sound. We had decided to drop the ADR work, as it was obvious there were other technical issues going on, and even though Pete had come in to check, he wasn't sure either why there was a sync problem when the file was taken to another computer.

This took practically the entire day, finishing up at 9:30, and only because of Pete's other commitments. Sadly, this meant we were still unfinished, and tomorrow, the deadline I might add, there was no way he would be available for any type of assistance. He did offer to take the card and data with him to see if he could do anything with it at home, but I doubt he'll have any time to do it.

Really, I don't have all that much more to say, as it's all stuff I vented about in the past, and I do appreciate Pete for trying his best. However, trying is not the same as actually succeeding, or in this case, finishing, and I'm rather concerned about how tomorrow will work out.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Yr2 Week 25 (Fri 25 Apr - Assisting with Sound editing - Shattered Reflection)

With Katarina back, and pleased with what was produced during the reshoot week, post-production on Shattered Reflection was back on track. However, due to outside circumstances, we had lost our editor, so Katarina was stuck taking care of it herself, though I was coming in to assist in the field of sound. Specifically, the therapy scene, was was left unfinished. I was meant to have done it all yesterday, but my Pro Tools skills were really rusty, and so I couldn't, and needed to do some revision.

Coming in at around 8:00am, I opened up the Pro Tools session in DMW2, and with my refreshed skills, got underway with trimming and carefully matching up the audio from both ADR sessions to the relevant video clip. I also opted to use different takes than what Pete had worked on, as I felt the 'stretched' sound just didn't s9ound right, and I wanted to find a more organic and smooth sound. Once done, I exported (or to be precise, 'bounced' each clip to Quicktime Movie), and then played them. Here, they all seemed fine and in sync. Katarina was pleased, and keen to get them into her Final Cut project.

Sadly, this where the positives end, as one we transferred over to DMW4, the clip went out of sync. Confused, I went back and tried different rates and settings, and then exported those clips. However, no matter how high or low the sample rate was, or what quality the video conversion was, nothing made a difference. Everything was synced up dead-on in the programme, and played fine in DMW2, but when took them over to a different area, they went right back out of sync again. We decided to leave it for the day, and get Pete's help on the matter later to figure out what was going on.

Once again, I seem to be this project black cat, as trouble always pops up at the most annoying and inconvenient of times. I'm thinking perhaps it might be the sound rate of Bridget's that's throwing the whole thing off, but that doesn't explain why it then plays perfectly on the DMW2 computers, but not elsewhere. Frankly, I can't make sense of it, and I just hope we may be able to find a solution to the problem before time runs out.

Yr2 Week 24 (Thurs 17 Apr - Reshoot at the Claddagh Ring pub)

Today was the one day I had been awaiting, and partially fearing, the most: today, we reshoot the club scenes up at the function room at the Claddagh Ring. Frankly, it was the exact same scenes and shots as the previous club shoot, so check out my blog entry on that day if you want more information on that aspect. This entry will be focused more around what happened between those scenes, and the level of stress involved.
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Today's call sheet and risk asses.:

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Beginning at around 7:45 today, I arrived at Zane's place to pick up the equipment I had left there the previous night. Annoyingly, despite posting a clear bulletin and private messaging last night, no one was there except me and him (save for Nicole, who messaged saying she would be a little late), so it was up to us to haul everything up to the Claddagh Ring. Once there, we met up with Jamie (Mark) and Alisha (Emily), who had arrived promptly, and were raring to go. Going inside, the next hour was devoted to setup, both due to the tardiness of other crew in arriving (Claudia informed us she would be joining us nearer 11) and then, even when we had the first shot of Rhiannon walking into the club, we discovered a problem with the zoom kit. So, like a complete lunatic, I ran down to he Loan store to find another kit, which took a while as there were other people in front of me, and they had to test out the equipment beforehand to see what was wrong.

However, Zane's presence was the sliver lining in this cloud, as he got on with shooting the opening shot, as it didn't need extra sound, and then setting up for the bar scene with all three of our leads. Once I got back, out of breath and irritated, we could finally get on with the shoot, and with Claudia's arrival, duties could now be evenly spread out, with Zane=Camera, Nicole=gaffer and First AD, and then Claudia=Sound and boom op. From there, it was much smoother sailing, and though once more, despite advertising and messaging, we were without extras, Zane found a clever solution for our problem with the dance scene, as he carefully lit it so as to create a lot of darkness around our leads, and then just had Alisha and Claudia in the background to act as the 'other' people.

Once everything was done, each actor was given a 'remuneration' of £50 for their troubles in coming, and then we packed up and left. What can I say as a closing remark? Well, a lot of blood pressure probably rose today, and I don't imagine it was exactly the most sleek or smoothest of shoots that anyone had been on, but still, I can say without a doubt the results of our endeavor were far and away superior than last time's disaster. I just hope Katarina is satisfied...