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?
More obscene e-mails from pissed off composers today. My favourite is the following, from “Mum’s Curtains” (yes, that’s really his e-mail address, and this is really what he wrote…)
“Just _who_ is going to pay the
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.
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.
It’s ten to four in the morning and I’m trying to finish the trailer, but I can’t because I can’t think of a tag line. So it’s competition time, folks. Come up with a tag line for Soul Searcher and win two tickets to the premiere, plus a signed copy of The Beacon. For real.
Posted on Shooting People today for composers. My inbox this evening contained several mails along the lines of: “A full orchestral score for no money – you can’t be serious!” Oh but I am, sir. I hate sample-based scores almost as much as I hate CG. You know when you’re listening to one and you’re almost convinced, but then some strings or a trumpet of some form comes in and in that two seconds you know you’re watching a low budget film that some guy’s scored in his bedroom with a Casio? I’d rather have a score played by a school orchestra, recorded in their gym with one microphone. I guess that makes me a fool in most people’s eyes. Well so be it.
I still haven’t got round to watching Flight of the Navigator. What’s up with that?
Thanks to Ray for his “comedy” tag lines. You’re fired.
I finished the rough cut a couple of hours ago. It clocks in at around 107 minutes, which is more than I expected, especially given that we have a good 15 minutes still to shoot. It’s great because it means I can cut it really tight if I want without having to worry about it getting too short to be marketable.
Mya’s started work on some concept art for the special effects. We’re now officially on the look-out for matte painters, model makers, puppeteers, stop motion animators, cell animators, CG artists and visual effects DOPs. Woah, that was weird. As I wrote “puppeteers” I looked over at a photo of Ray and suddenly imagined he was a puppet. Woah, now Kermit the Frog’s popped into my head. Er, better quash this thought train quick…
The big question now is do I (a) start laying temp music, (b) finish the trailer, (c) watch Flight of the Navigator or (d) go to bed. I think a bit of (b), followed by (a) and then a big dollop of (d). Tomorrow I plan to see some real people.
I just bought Flight of the Navigator on DVD. How good is that? “David Freeman is eight years late for dinner and his family want to know why. But David’s got an absolutely fantastic excuse…”
I sent my camera off for repair AGAIN, this time to Canon UK’s headquarters in Elstree. Presumably there to be looked at by Finnesbury Park, their chief scientist. Let’s hope they can ACTUALLY FIX IT this time, rather than just keeping it for a few weeks and then sending it back unchanged. Worringly, whatever’s screwing my poor XL1-S over seems to be contagious, since my deck is now complaining of head clogs. I’m duplicating the rushes as we speak, just in case it turns out to be some sinister nano-virus intent on destroying Soul Searcher forever.
My bank statements are becoming interesting reading. We still haven’t been invoiced for any of the locations we used, so it’ll be fun when those come through.
Oh dear. I’ve just noticed that on the Navigator cover art one of the aliens appears to be… well, if you’ve got a copy of it, check out the kid’s facial expression and you’ll get the picture.
Watching the rushes from the first weeks of production is like stepping into some weird parallel dimension. All that stuff in High Town, and with the Companions of the Crew (sic) seems like years ago.
Anyway, I finished capturing the footage late Sunday night and started editing. Last night I edited until 6am, reaching scene 25. I also cut most of the teaser.
Somehow I’ve slipped back into a nocturnal cycle, getting up at 3pm, working until 4 or 5am then going to bed. I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever see daylight again. At the moment I’m still capturing the footage into the computer. At the time of writing I’ve got four tapes left to go, so I should be done tonight and ready to start editing tomorrow.
I’ve recently been getting paranoid about my flat burning down and the film in its entirety being destroyed. As soon as I’m done capturing I’m going to start duping the tapes and then take them to my parents’ house for safe keeping.
Coming soon: new and improved website, with teaser trailer and much, much more. As they say.
Slept for 14 hours. Started clearing up the flat – a mammoth task. Met up with James to sort out the budget. Once all the expenses cheques have cleared my Soul Searcher account will be just shy of its overdraft limit. I have no idea how we’re going to pay for the January part of the shoot. That’s not something James will have to worry about though, as his role as producer is now most definitely at an end. He was aware that he was not up to the job and in fact had considered pulling out before the shoot but couldn’t bring himself to let me down. Fair enough, since if he’d done that the shoot would never have happened.
Still, that’s all in the past now. “You mean the future.”
Did I mention that on Sunday night I couldn’t sleep so I got up and started writing the sequels? No? Well, I have now. I didn’t get very far. Some dodgy 70s movie called The Beast Must Die was on TV and I kinda found myself watching it. Curse you, Peter Cushing.