It is good. I’ve decided. The film, that is. Not, I dunno, dark chocolate or something. Although that’s good too.
I showed Soul Searcher to Ed and my other flatmate, Paul. Ed wasn’t really paying attention, but Paul seemed riveted and made some really useful observations at the end. So why does Luca pull up in her car, get out, check the clip in one of her pistols, get back in the car and drive off? Funny how you can watch a film 27 gazillion times and not notice something like that.
And why don’t we see Joe kill that demon outside the Leftbank? Curiously, the answer, “because the stuntman sliced his arm open on the step and we had to wrap early,” didn’t seem to wash with Paul. He suggested filming a whole new section of the fight “with just their shadows on the wall, so you don’t have to get the real actors.” Call me lazy, but I didn’t think that was necessary. Instead, I went back to the rushes, dug out a shot of the scythe being picked up, dropped that in, then – in a highly Lucasesque move – superimposed the scythe onto an existing shot of Ray approaching the demon. A swish-splat sound effect over a reaction shot of some watching drunkards completed the cheat.
Armed with more of Paul’s suggestions, and those of David Gillam, and resigned to the fact that I would have to perform minor surgery on a couple of the music cues, I snipped another minute and a half out of the film.
David Gillam, the director of Borderlines Film Festival, had a sneak preview of Soul Searcher this week. He said it was “amazing – much better than it’s any right to be”. As a result he’s decided to kick off the whole festival with it, having a screening on the opening night, March 18th, and a matinee the following day complete with a little talk from me.
Andrew’s work on the animated train smoke has been held up due to a corrupt file, but I’ve finally seen a still of it and it looks really nice. The trick will be integrating it convincingly into the live action without it looking like Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
After a weird week in the Hairy Ford on a corporate job, I’m now back on the case with the foley pre-mixing, which has now reached the scintillating stage of adding reverb. The other day I had a play with Apple’s Soundtrack software, which lets you create songs by sticking a bunch of samples from a library together. In five minutes I whipped up a cheesy drum and bass track for the scene where Joe walks past a nightclub.
You know those things that you say, “I’ll sort that out later.” Later is now and that’s why I’ve been attending to several special effects shots and one or two other things that needed improving. I’ve shaved another thirty seconds off the film, bringing it down to 94 minutes plus credits.
I’m expecting Andrew Fidelis’ cell animated smoke for the train in the next few days. So far, thanks to problems with his internet connection, I’ve seen nothing of his work except some concept sketches, but he assures me that the animation is nearly complete with only the colouring then left to do.
Simon Wyndham has completed his sound design for the martial arts sequences, allowing me to start premixing. At present I’m pitch-shifting and EQing the foley to make Joe, Luca and Dante’s footsteps more powerful.
The choir Colla Voce have had their first rehearsal of Scott’s now complete score, which apparently includes nonsensical latin chanting, which I can’t wait to hear.
Finally I’ve been trying to arrange the premiere [readers around the country gasp and choke]. As recommended in The Guerilla Filmmakers’ Movie Blueprint (page 125), I first contacted BAFTA, which is described in the GFMB as “relatively cheap”. I was a tad surprised therefore when I was quoted a staggering UKP4,000 + VAT to hold the premiere there. And that’s with a filmmaker’s discount.
And into my fourth year on the film that still won’t die.
It may not be dead but it is drawing its terminal breath. I’ve just been doing a rough mix for David Gillam at Borderlines Film Festival. Something came over me as I got to the end. As I sat and watched the (albeit still computerized) music swell over the final scene and the closing credits fade up, I found myself laughing with pure, silly joy and my eyes filling with tears. Not because the film’s any good, you understand. (It might be; I wouldn’t know.) Because I’m nearly there.
Happy new year.