So... I've decided to migrate my blog to Tumblr. It's kind of a pain, but i think their interface and simplicity might serve my needs a little better. I might set up some kind of forwarding, but for now, you can get there by going to:
Thanks for reading, hope you'll follow me as we begin our journey of screening the movie!
Wow, it's been a crazy few months, and finally, it looks like our film is basically done. We've been working on audio mastering then the picture mastering, and have spent the past couple of weeks ironing out various technical issues, but finally, finally... We are basically done. It's an amazing thing to be at this stage of the process, it feels really quite, like some sort of calm before the storm? I don't know, we are starting to now work on screenings, some closed one for investors, then festivals, of course, and then possibly a theatrical run in a couple of places... It's exciting, but weird at the same time, everything feels so... Quiet. It's nice, because between moving, teaching and finishing this movie, I have been beyond nuts. I have a little bit of angst about how this movie will find its way into the world, but I think this is the part where you have to faith that some good things will happen with it. I know they will, we've come this far and worked this hard, it's totally crazy to now think about actually showing the movie. Very exciting!
The past eight weeks of my life have been totally insane. On a personal note, my hubbie and I decided to buy a place in Culver City. We have been living in Santa Monica for four years, and totally love it, but we had wanted a bigger space, and had thought about about buying. We weren't hardcore about it, but we would look, but the prospects in Santa Monica were bleak--lots of great places that were way, way out of our price range. Anyway, so we started looking in Culver, and found a couple of cute homes that were doable. One went away right when we decided to get on it, and another opened up. We went through a lot of ups and downs in ultimately deciding, but we went ahead, and here we are... Love having the space and place, still getting adjusted to the neighborhood. On the movie front, we've spent the last few weeks polishing the score, working on the sound mix and solidifying our vfx. It's been a good process overall, as we've been working with some really amazing people. As of last week, the film is officially done! It's so hard to believe, and I'm def going through a broad range of emotions having worked on this for so long... But it's also really exciting, now we have to figure out our screening and distribution plan. We've already got a lot of companies sales agents, etc we need to send the project to, and of course, we are starting the festival run. This part of the process is nerve racking, too, because it's all about hustling on a different level and working hard to just get the film out... So, we shall see!
Being at this stage of the process, I mean, nearing the end, is a good feeling because we're no longer undertaking the very abstract task of raising the money for something that doesn't exist. It's cool to see all of the little pieces come together like the visuals, sound, music, fx, titles and all of that too. But then of course, nearing the finish line opens up a whole new bag of questions, anxieties and just general stress, because the main question now, of course, is, what's next? Where does this movie go? Where does it screen and how does one see it? This is actually my least favorite part of the process, because people, esp festival programmers, some of whom have no idea of how grueling it is to raise money and make a film, get to reject you in an instant. I hate this feeling of standing on the side of the road and basically waiting for someone to "pick us up" so to speak... Actually, I'm pretty sure it's a terrible way of doing things. With our little movie, I of course, want to traverse the festival circuit as far and wide as we can, but I also want to be more proactive in setting up distribution. For a feature, all of the festival stuff is great, but I really think it's more important to get the movie out to people and get it screened. I think with indie films, it's easy to feel like the "world is against you" kind of mentality, but I really think that there is an audience out there for everything, you just have to be smart in finding it. So, as we complete the movie, we face one of the most challenges tasks of all, getting out there and screening it. Should be an interesting journey.
It's been a seemingly crazy summer with completing post and starting on music and sound. This part of the process is sometimes stressful, because it's even more detail oriented than editing, if you can believe that! Sound and music are really finite, I mean, it's very tough to work on these elements until the picture is locked, and for a director picture lock is well, beyond stressful... But we've gotten past all that and are now approaching the music being finalized. I hired my talented friend Jesse Clark to score the film, and brought in a few friends like, singer-song writer duo, Fair and Kind, and my friend Robin to add a bit of tabla. We were in the studio recording music one afternoon, which was really fun. Now, we're dealing with ADR, sound, Vfx and color grading. I'm excited for the color grading because it'll be the first time I can see our Red footage at 2K. We shot at 4K but have decided to finish at 2K, using the 2:35 aspect ratio. I think it will look pretty :) The next part of the process, getting the film out there, will have all kinds of challenges, I know. It's a little daunting, but it'll be fun to actually show the movie after working on it for so long!
As a screenwriter, it's hard at times to think past the written document you're creating. But having gone through the directing, editing and now music/sound process with the movie, you realize there are so many layers of storytelling in a movie... As the writer, you are creating the structure of the story and developing the characters. The in terms of directing, you are rendering the world real--I think as a director, it is very important to be able to think in a completely visual way without totally worrying about story per say, or what is on the page. You want to manipulate the camera in a way that really and truly engages the narrative and makes it as interesting as possible. It is tough as a first-time director to take risks, but I think it's imperative... Our editing process has been a bit tough because the story changed in many ways... It's still the same movie, but we re-structured and re-arranged to make it all gel together better... Now with music and sound, we are really building upon that to fill out the emotional and subtextual layers... So much goes into making one movie, it's truly amazing...
I have been catching up on some writing while working on RM over the past month or so. It had a while since I had worked on any of my scripts, but I've been meeting some new managers lately, and I wanted to polish up a couple of my pieces. When writing a script, there is always this question of when something is complete, will it ever be complete? When I wrote RM, I went through so many drafts. It was draft after draft. It was hard because in the beginning, I wasn't clear on my own personal goals and how I wanted to tell that story, so I let other people shape and then re-shape the vision. There was especially once writing teacher I had who is good, but he's very dogmatic about how he believes a story should be written. Anyway, I left that group, stopped with any/all writing workshops, stopped getting feedback, and started spending long hours on my script, deciding and defining it the way I wanted. It was hard, but as I began to listen to my own voice rather that that of others, it began to take a clear shape. This is the same process I recently went through with the rough cut for the film. I got so many notes, I feel completely overwhelmed, and at one point, unclear about what the movie was about. Then, I took a break and I came back to some clear conclusions about the final edits. It was kind of a grueling process, but it's important to always, always remember your own voice, intentions and goals with anything in life, really. I have a new screenplay I am finishing. It's taken me a long time to be clear about the story, but I finally feel like it's getting there. I definitely will still get notes, but I now know how to parse through them and clearly get the work to be what I want it to be.