Today I have been mostly replacing plastic gun sounds with metal ones of an equivalent relevance. Whilst doing this, Alan dropped by the first two tracks of the score. Anticipation was high as I placed it in the CD player, James “jeep driver” Clarke and Chris “sound guy” Mayall poised to listen also. And it was fecking brilliant. Yay! Sadly, cast and crew, we’re going to have to reshoot the entire film to bring it up to the standard of the music. Happy New Year.
Month: December 2001
The Beacon: December 30th 2001
The low budget guide to crashing a helicopter into the HOLLYWOOD sign: (1) Get enthusiastic, curly-haired friend person; (2) Put your dad’s scooter helmet on him, and some dark glasses; (3) Sit him in your living room, put a couple of redheads in his face, and frame it real tight; (4) Using a magazine ad for David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive” as a reference, cut some 3cm wide letters out of a piece of white card and glue them to an old black t-shirt, in turn gaffa-taped to a piece of wood; (5) Instruct friend person to look up in death-loomingly-induced horror whilst moving the miniature sign towards his face; (6) Call action, hit the zoom rocker and shake the tripod for all you’re worth; (7) Get some poor sap to do all the exterior stuff on a computer.
The Beacon: December 29th 2001
Again demonstrating a complete disregard for rest or relaxation, I collared a few of my mates yesterday after a curry-centered meal experience to yell and applaud on command. I fear their attempts at girlie screams may be a little too silly, but three more crossings-off on the SFX list is not to be sniffed at. Today I filmed the Ash Jackson quip insert for the cinema scene, using a friend I found down the back of the sofa. Thank you, Matt Streatfield. And hopefully tomorrow I can mock up the helicopter shots with nest-head Rick Goldsmith.
The Beacon: December 27th 2001
Whilst in Malvern for Christmas, I took the liberty of recording some more sound effects, from dropping the Soul Searcher “Exorcist” gun on my folks’ back lawn, through recording rustling leaves on Link Common, to rolling dice on my mum’s Trivial Pursuit board. I think there are less than 20 sound effects left to do now. I’ve borrowed a helmet, so I can now finally do the helicopter pilot shots. Speaking of which, Mike showed the model to me on Christmas Day (no day is sacred to the stupid low budget feature maker). His elusive new computer has finally arrived, so there’s no excuse now. Oh god….
The Beacon: December 18th 2001
A week till Christmas, and less than a month from my target completion date of January 16th. In the wee hours last night (the hours in which, according to my research, I wee the most) I crossed another 27-ish sound effects off my list, having tortured myself in assorted sonically productive manners, including throwing myself against walls, dropping a chopping board on my stomach, and dragging myself across the floor on my back.
The Beacon: December 13th 2001
With the edit officially locked, I provided composer Alan Jones with a timecoded tape and cue list when he visited today. He has until January 14th to complete the score – a tight turnaround, but he was enthusiastic. As for me, I’m still adding footsteps to the soundtrack. Mmmm, lovely.
The Beacon: December 11th 2001
Had the test screening today at the Mural Weedier Company, courtesy of Spun Out, who made some excellent observations. And had popcorn. First thing in the morning I will implement their suggestions, which will include a further addition to the DVD’s deleted scenes list (hint: I think AJ may kill me), a bit of trimming in the Cobra scene, and then the edit’s locked. I’m pleased to announce Alan Jones as The Beacon’s composer, who I’m meeting on Thursday to chat about the score. Oh, and looky, looky, I revamped the website. Jesus, the release date is two months today. How feckin’ scary is that?
The Beacon: December 7th 2001
Chris and I laid waste to another six or seven items on the SFX list (er, we’re cracking through them). Also, I hastily designed and sent off a Phase II advert for Worcestershire music mag Rhythm & Booze. This will be unveiled just after Christmas.
The Beacon: December 6th 2001
Spent the morning down by the Wye. Why? Because it was a nice quiet location for some sound effects recording. Having produced a list of 125 sounds needed for da Beak, I enlisted the help of Chris Mayall to cross out 14 (wow, that’s really not very many) of those today. The local residents – one of whom saw the “dead gerbil” and assumed we were from Central News – looked on in disbelief as I ran around towing a cardboard box on a bit of string, and Chris chased after me with the mic. Most of the other stuff was fairly mundane – walking, running, jumping, falling over (mmmm, falling over wet grass which is probably full of dog shit) on various surfaces, trampling through undergrowth, and so forth. More of the same tomorrow, I expect, but in the mean time I need to take a close look at the budget. Only about UKP200 remains for publicity, this figure having been reduced from more like UKP700 in order to transmogrify 40% of the video dupes into DVDs. However, since the DVDs will be sold for a higher price per unit, I guess I can safely increase the total budget. Hell, without publicity, I’m just wasting my time.
The Beacon: December 5th 2001
A slow week, due to me being a bit ill. Just about struggled through the closing 2D FX shot of the movie, which had been hanging over me for ages, and in the end had to be hugely simplified to get anything even vaguely resembling realism. Never heard back from the Folly Arts Centre. Still not got any more demos from composers. Mike’s new computer still hasn’t arrived. Oh well, I need a little time off.