Saturday, May 15, 2010

Eternal Optimist

It's easy to get down and depressed when watching the news these days.  We get so overwhelmed with the bad news: murder, corruption, environmental disasters, and more.  The list could go on and on.  Especially with research related to Abandoned Allies.

But I'm an eternal optimist.  I even have a laminated certificate to prove it.  (OK, so maybe it's a Silver Lining Award from my Leader In Training counselors at Camp Don Lee, but it still proves it.)

Some how, in some sickening way, I can absorb the worst news and frame it in the most positive light.  It annoys even me.  But when I hear all of the bad news, I see opportunities.  When I see a massive problem that is bigger than me, I, too, get overwhelmed.  But I also see the possibility that a small group of passionate individuals can rise up and take action to make change happen.  What a glorious thing that would be, wouldn't it?

I have hope.  I have faith in mankind.  I believe that good will not let bad take over.  And I know that all things are possible.  Even what seems impossible is possible.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Process, Progress

This has been a great week for the film, as we keep pushing forward to get it finished.  Here are a few updates on where we stand with things.

For the past few months I've been editing the film in FCP, trying to tighten it up so that things makes more sense.  Kyle Owen (@KyleDOwen), one of our team members composing music for the film, watched the rough cut this week so we could chat about his work. 

It's always nice to watch the rough with someone, since I have the film virtually memorized at this point.  Watching the film with someone else in the room gives me the freedom to see it through their eyes and make notes about things to improve.  We have, what feels like, a long way to go--but it's coming together well.

Kyle has been working on original music, one in particular that makes my heart sing.  It's a solid, beautiful composition.  We defined a few spaces in which we'll need music without lyrics, and I'm looking forward to working with him on it.  We're both learning: how to score a film, work together, and communicate goals.  (It makes me realize that I might actually enjoy directing just as much as I have been attracted to producing, but that's another matter for another day.)

Annie Beth and I are working towards talking more about the film's music.  She is leading the music efforts, and has gathered a lot of pieces that might work well in the film.  The music she's gathered is really impressive.  I am so amazed with the talented vocalists and musicians, including Annie Beth.  When the rough cut is ready, we'll sit down to figure out where a piece of music fits best.  We're making plans to do that very soon so that I'll have a deadline to work towards.

B Roll
The transfer of our Super 8 footage is still on hold but hopefully not for long.  When you've had this one challenge with many dead ends and failed attempts, the idea that it could be put to rest is very thrilling.  I see the light at the end of the tunnel, yet am walking ever so slowly towards it.  We have one lead that feels very promising, but it's a hurry-up-and-wait type of thing at the moment.  This is actually a very good thing, as I am still very focused on editing the rough cut.

For all of the people that have given me leads on getting film transferred--THANK YOU!  You have been a huge, huge help.  I cannot wait to get this task marked off the list.  When you've tried so many routes, it's really wonderful to know that you still have options.  When the rough cut of the film is in better shape, I'm going to attack those other options with full force.  It's a challenge to get film transferred when working with a shoestring budget, but I am bound and determined to make it happen because we need the footage. 

There are some other segments of b roll left to capture, but it's tough to work on that while juggling so many other things.  I have a short list of things that can be quickly captured, but need a bit of help in organizing schedules with a number of people.  For the moment, that sits on the back burner as a result.

Motion Graphics
The team of fine folks helping with motion graphics is helping me think of needs for the film.  We need lower 3rds, subtitles, segment transitions, opening/ending credits, and probably much more.  I love working with them because they see things I don't, and that's one of the things that makes a great team.  When the rough cut is closer to being finished, we can start adding those things.  They are working on ideas and storyboards in the mean time.

There are so many other things to list here: legal, focus groups, screening events, fund raising, film festival entries, distribution, etc.  I have a list of things that float through my mind on a regular basis, and I cannot even begin to tell you how delightful it will be to watch these things take shape.

Thank Yous
We'll have a long list of people to thank, and I am terrified of leaving someone out.  Every day there are more and more people interested in the project, which speaks to the importance of the subject matter.  I hope we can deliver the highest level of quality possible, with the restrictions we have had. 

So many people have expressed an interest in helping, whether it be a suggestion here or time/talent there.  Thank you all for helping, following along, offering words of support/encouragement, and even financial support so I could attend Full Frame.  There are so many people to thank.  Know that each of you have touched my heart and helped make Abandoned Allies great. 

Until next time...