Movie Making – Deux

I am on the mailing list for a few of the ‘instant movie’ competitions. I just got an invitation&#185 for a two week competition in November. That really changes the whole thing.

When we made our little movie, External Monologue, we crammed everything into a Saturday afternoon. This will be different. We’ll have Roger Korman time! Two weeks would allow for writing, pre-production and a few days to shoot. We’ll even be able to edit without a crunch.

Am I living on some fantasy planet? No matter what the job, it will expand to fill all available time.

I’m not sure whether everyone who was in for movie one will be in for movie two. It was a brutal day – and though instantly satisfying, will people want to torture themselves again?

There are a few people who couldn’t make the first one and who have ‘skills’ that might be convinced this time.

OK, I’m psyched. More details as we draw closer.

&#185 – Invitation still means there’s an entry fee.

Concerning Our Movie

My body has still not forgiven me for the beating it took yesterday. Little sleep. Lots of tension. Deadlines to keep. It’s taken me this long, until this late at night, to get to write about our movie, “External Monologue.”

First, if you missed the setup, this is part of Cinemasports, based in San Fransisco. They sponsor the it all… though there’s really no prize and, so far, no acknowledgment of our entry.

Production, as such, went smoothly. Production zealots will notice we eschewed lighting and well placed microphones during taping. The huge amount of voiceover work in the film was done in a professional studio

The script was actually very clever. I play a guy who is hearing voices – voices guiding me through my life. It is only at the very last moment that you realize the voices aren’t really in my head.

As I said, production went smoothly. It was post-production that was the bear. Marrying voiceover work with sound on tape and linking them both to action is not easily accomplished. We get an “A” for effort, but not execution.

As we worked up toward deadline, the clock on my oven picked up its pace. Minutes were 40 seconds long, then 30, then 20. We started sending a movie file seconds before the deadline. Then trouble struck. We resent it. And, with time to work during the resends, sent it again.

Finally, we had a finished product. It was after the real deadline, but we were having so many transmission problems at this point that it made little difference. I sent the polished file.

Everyone shook hands and talked about how satisfied we were with what had happened. We wished we had hit the deadline squarely, but we learned so much. There would be new techniques and internal guidelines when we did it again… and we would.

They went home.

It was then I discovered the file I was sending to San Francisco only contained the last 45 seconds of a three minute movie!

Somehow, during editing, someone had stuck a pointer at this spot. We were stuck because all I had was this version and an older, very rough unfinished version. That’s what I resent to ‘Cinemasports Central’.

Before you click the link you should know this isn’t rated “G.” There is a little salty language toward the end, and some of the imagery is a little dark. Still, I think we’d all like to know what you think.

And now ladies and gentlemen – External Monologue.

We’re Making A Movie

As I type this, Ray Flynn is editing our movie, “External Monologue” on a Mac here on the kitchen table.

We started early. Actually, I started excruciatingly early – 6:30 AM. Helaine woke up and I was too jazzed to go back to sleep. Three hours – as I’m now seeing, not enough sleep for me.

As hard as we tried to preplan, it became obvious much of this would be written today.

The members of our movie team started arriving around 8:20. At 8:50 neither our writer nor director had shown. No problem. They made it in the nick of time.

Our ingredients, the special things this movie had to have, arrived via email at 9:00 AM sharp.

July 16, 2005

CINEMASPORTS Remote Ingredients and Guidelines

Here are the ingredients for today’s event. No interpretation is wrong, so be creative.

1. An unexpected visitor

2. A tickle

3. Crumpled paper

Movies should be 3 minutes or less. (20 seconds allowed for credits, so movies should not exceed 3:20 min. total.)

Not much time. Still, we took well over an hour before we shot the first frame of video. Everyone threw ideas back and forth.

A concept that Chris Arnott and Hugh Mackay brought with them was our framework. The rest was molded to fit.

People brought medical instruments, lab coats, all sorts of things. We used none of them! That was OK.

On the other hand, a lineman for a local utility drove by in his bucket truck… and we got him to shoot a few seconds of ‘crane’ video. Not too shabby for an ad lib.

I’m not going to say much, because I expect to put the finished product here on the website tonight or tomorrow. Why spoil the fun.

The question is, will we be finished in time? At the moment we’re two and a half hours from the deadline to start uploading. I think we’re OK.

The accent is on the word think.