Soul Searcher: December 30th 2003

Edd’s been valiantly trying to schedule something for us to shoot this weekend, but conflicting availabilties mean it just ain’t gonna happen. Also, my camera still hasn’t come back yet, though I’m assured it has been repaired. I hope they lose it and have to give me a new one. Just in case anyone out there still hasn’t got the message: CANON SUCK. But they do make exceedingly good cameras.

I’ve spent the last two days making lists. I went through the rough cut and listed everything that still needs shooting, every FX shot, and every sound effect required. All three lists are frighteningly long. The FX list runs to six pages, the sound effects to ten pages. Guess I know what I’m doing for the rest of my natural life.

Simon dropped by to see how the fight scenes were shaping up. He was very pleased, and so he should be. Everyone who’s seen the trailer and the rough cut remarks on the quality of the fights. Big up to Simon, Chris Jones and the team.

Speaking of fights, annoyingly we’re gonna have to reshoot one of my favourite ones – Joe vs. the demon in the multistorey. I was concerned on the day about the quality of the demon’s costume and despite all three people who’ve seen the rough cut so far saying “It’s dark, it’s quick, it didn’t bother me…” I don’t think I could live with myself if I let it stay like that. I broke the bad news to Edd earlier.

Thanks to Alex Chappell for solving my semantic problem – the opposite of “nocturnal” is “diurnal”. (Good boy, Neil – now use it in a sentence…) I am now diurnal, due to a radical regime of actually getting up when my alarm clock goes off.

Soul Searcher: December 30th 2003

Soul Searcher: December 28th 2003

Been busy putting together a promo reel for a company that gives out post funding for features. You never know. Also tonight I showed the rough cut to a couple more people. Again, there don’t seem to be any real problems, but then they were friends. Once the rest of the shooting’s done I’ll need to show it to some strangers. A screening at the art college seems like a good plan.

Soul Searcher: December 28th 2003

Soul Searcher: December 27th 2003

My body won’t let me be non-nocturnal (dacturnal? jourturnal? solturnal?). I slept through most of Christmas Day and spent the small hours of boxing day trying (again) and failing (again) to write an outline for Soul Searcher Part II.

Soul Searcher was in the Malvern Gazette this week, showing lots of pretty photos. Hooray for local press.

Soul Searcher: December 27th 2003

Soul Searcher: December 23rd 2003

The remaining 106 frames didn’t take too long, fortunately. I progressed to other FX today, but I’ve had to slow down a fair bit because all this screen-staring is giving me headaches and making my right eye do funny twitchy things. Plus I had to stop being nocturnal because it was giving me indigestion. Jesus, it’s like being an old man.

There’s a great two page article in Impact magazine this month, available at all good newsagents (and I really do mean good newsagents – you’re unlikely to find it in any shoddy ones). There’s a nice big picture of Ray and Lara just over the page from Kiefer Sutherland.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Soul Searcher: December 23rd 2003

Soul Searcher: December 18th 2003

Just been to see Return of the King and spotted a few shots with dodgy compositing, which makes me feel a hell of a lot better as I slave away in Photoshop. I’m sorry, but what the hell is up with the last fifteen minutes of that film? Cutting room floor, Pete, cutting room floor.

Thanks to Lara for solving the mysteries of the 80s: “D.A.R.Y.L. stood for Data Analysing Robot Youth Lifeform. It was released about 1985″… and for posing another… “I believe it was the same kid who played Bastian in The Never Ending Story wasn’t it?”

Soul Searcher: December 18th 2003

Soul Searcher: December 17th 2003

Got my credit card bill today. That was amusing.

Who’d have thought a 16-year-old Sarah Jessica Parker was in Flight of the Navigator, getting upstaged by a cardboard box with a flashing light on top? I’ve got a hankering now for other family sci fi movies of the eighties that I can only just remember. What was that one with the robot boy who wasn’t supposed to be able to tell the difference between chocolate ice cream and strawberry ice cream? Was it DARRYL? And didn’t that stand for something? And wasn’t there a bit at the end in the rain with a cheesy eighties power ballad?

But enough now. I spent most of last night doing the FX for the opening scenes – mostly just subtly playing about with the demon in Photoshop to make its movements just slightly non-human. Today I’ve been working on the ghost/solid object shots. Some of it’s quite tedious, like going through forty frames of video working out how many tenths of a pixel the camera’s moved by on each frame by trial and error. It’s times like this where I don’t feel like much has changed since I was crouched on my bedroom floor in 1995 working out the pre-roll on my old Toshiba VCR so I could edit tape to tape.

I also went to the station to see the somewhat elusive manager about filming there in January. He deferred me to their PR department in Cardiff. Hmmm.

Finally got to speak to Edd last night. Thanks to his selfless absorption of all of his expenses from the shoot, he’s now even more broke than me. He couldn’t return my phone calls because he couldn’t afford any phone credit. Ain’t filmmaking grrrrrrrrrrreat?

Soul Searcher: December 17th 2003

Soul Searcher: December 14th 2003

Cut a little tiny web featurette last night and spent a lot of today pissing about compressing it and the trailer.

My friend Rick just came round to watch the rough cut of the movie. It was the first time I’d seen it all the way through. A couple of things about it surprised me but not in a bad way. It’s kinda hard going at the moment, what with big blocks of text explaining the missing scenes and FX, and some scenes being completely mute, but being a filmmaker himself Rick’s used to that crap. Anyway he liked it, particularly the first third (which is by far the most complete at the moment). He made some useful comments which I shall bear in mind this week as I go for another pass over the whole thing.

Lara drew up a whole big publicity/distribution plan which is pretty scary, simply from a time point of view. It’s a full time job and I’ve already got me one of those in finishing the film. May need some extra help.

Soul Searcher: December 14th 2003

Soul Searcher: December 13th 2003

Finished the teaser trailer. No-one sent me any sensible tag lines, so I went with the old “Get a life… get an afterlife” one. It ain’t great, but it’ll do. Also finished cloning the rushes, which makes me a feel a lot better, even if at the moment the clones are sitting right next to the originals. “It’s like I’m looking in a mirror.”

[Remembers Harry Hill’s on, breaks off to watch it.]

Started work on the special effects and knocked off a couple of simple ghost-passes-through-solid-object shots. That’s about it today so far, other than working on some content for the new website.

Soul Searcher: December 13th 2003