Saturday, August 23, 2008

Inner-City Filmmakers Day 44-End, Weeks Six-Eight (Editing & Distribution)

This blog starts way back after my last day of shooting Uncover'd. I've already detailed what happened the last day in my previous ICF blogs but here are the pictures (you can either scroll down and search for it or click on "Inner-City Filmmakers" in the tags).

Rehearsal (Directing is fun)


So after my team made a mad dash to Latana (the ICF headquarters) we turned in all of our equipment and started capturing on the Avid systems. I can't remember exactly what happened that day but I think we got a lecture from Steph about completing our shoots and getting through our editing and then we left.

When I got home I knew I'd be spending all my time at Latana. That means a week and a half of editing, a week and a half away from home entirely. So I packed a blanket and pillow, some food and headed off.

For my first day of editing I did twelve hours straight (from 6 PM - 6 AM) doing nothing but organizing and sub-clipping. When we imported my footage it was a clumped together as one big clip, essentially. So I made it my responsibility to organize all the footage by scene so that when I went in to edit I could easily filter through. I even went as far as to edit each scene separately which went from 1A-14B. At around midnight I started my first cut (which I'll post up somewhere when I feel like it).

After my first cut I waited a while because I wanted the co-founder, Fred, to see it before I moved forward but he wasn't going to be around for the weekend so I showed it to a few of the mentors and got good comments but was told that it would definitely need to be cut down (it was seven minutes and needed to be at three). That wasn't SO bad. There was one guy who had twenty minutes to shave off. So I went to work on the second cut.

When I finished up my second cut I was told once again it was nice and even paced well but it was just need to be cut down (it was five minutes at this point). Fred saw it and said the same thing but liked it a lot.

When I finished up my third cut it was at a comfortable four minutes and I thought I legitimately had a final cut but I was told again to cut down and it was really hard to do. From the first cut to the second cut it was really easy to cut some frames off of this shot or that shot but by the time I got to my third cut I felt I couldn't do that much anymore. At this point I had to cut away whole scenes or shorten whole scenes which would, to me, hurt my film. I also realized why the director and editor are separate. If a director edits his own work he's too attached to certain things like I was.

In any case though, I sucked up my pride and cut it down to three minutes and something seconds in my fourth cut and then to a final three minutes and four seconds in my final cut (this is all calculating without credits).

Although I think the time constraint hurt my film I'm glad I didn't blow up in Fred and Steph's face like some other students did. I mean, if I'm going to be a professional editor I'm going to have to listen to what the producers want. If I'm editing a TV Show I can't have an episode go over 22 minutes. Plus, my final cut still tells the same story but it feels more like a preview or a treat before the meal more than anything. Also, I'm sort of irritated that other students got to go much over three minutes (one actually going to seven) just because they didn't have Fred and Steph review their final cut before it went on the DV Reel. But I learned how to cut my stuff shorter so I'm not completely tripping about it. You'll never see dead space in any other film I do.

So when I finished my final "picture" cut I was told by Fred I was the first done. That was pretty cool. Little sleep and no shower (except for the bathroom sinks) paid off. Now it was time for sound, and a lot more goofing off (see the lightsaber pictures below).

My favorite

Lightsabers are ugly in light environments.

When I started on sound watched through my film a few times and jotted down notes on what sounds I needed and whether it would be foley or ADR (most of it foley, of course, and thank god for that). Anywho, after that I imported all the audio files I had retrieved from various sites and I placed them in where they went. When I came to the point where I had no more files that could realistically be put in for sound I went to record my own foley and ADR in a quiet room at Latana (ICF HQ). Foley and ADR is fun but I would never for the life of me do it for a living. The best sound I got was my captain, Jorge, chewing on a banana which I used for when my lead is spreading jelly on some bread and when she puts on lipstick.

After about two days I was done with sound and essentially done with my film (aside from color-correcting which I probably should have spent more time on). I watched the film over a bagillion times before I let it leave before graduation and boy was I nervous.

Graduation day came and I had a ton of butterflies. We had a mini-assignment to talk to all the executives that would be at the reception before the ceremony. I don't think I did to well. I didn't find too many people of "importance" but I did have a lot of fun. At one point I got interviewed by ABC 7 News but the footage was never used. You can view it here.

The graduation itself was fantastic. But there was this one long speech from this guy who was supposed to be important in some way I didn't get. The videos were the best part, including this one:

It was either before or after this video but they announced the winners for the Screenwriting competition and Sound Editors competition and it went something like this.


ANTOINE sits in his comfortable seat, clutching the sides of his chair as he listens for the winners of the Martin Roth Screenwriting Award.

Sweat starts to glisten his forehead as the FRIAR'S LADY takes out an envelope with the winning names.

In third place. Derek Sakata!

Antoine claps more out of nervousness than congratulatory purposes.

He had a really weird script.
Were they looking for something
a bit unorthodox? Oh well there's
still second place.

Friar's lady opens the next envelop as DEREK takes his seat, his teammates clapping him on his back.

In second place. Elizabeth Jeri!

Antoine claps again, this time truly enthusiastic that one of his teammates won something.

Elizabeth walks up towards the stage with frightened shock. She takes the award as the Friar's Lady gives her a kiss on the cheek.

Elizabeth takes her seat again to smiling faces.

Her script was pretty good.
Really sweet. My film is sweet to,
near the end, maybe they'll ... no.
There's always that sound editing

Friar's Lady opens the final envelop.


She starts to speak.


Antoine clutches the sides of his chair harder with each second.




Antoine sits planted to the back of his seat as the crowd applauds more loudly then he realized.

Oh my God.

Antoine watches as the Friar Lady begins looking around.

Move. Get up.

TRACY pats Antoine on the back, urging him forward. He gets up tentatively but makes his way up to the podium slowly.

Great job! You had a beautiful script!

Antoine is too speechless to say thank you as the Friar's Lady hands him his $1,000 scholarship award.

He turns around slowly to see the audience still clapping as he smiles broadly and a camera flashes him in the eyes.


So yeah, through that dramatic short script I told you what happen to me. I won first place for the screenwriting scholarship! I was not expecting it at all. Sure, I wanted it. I wanted it to be my name they called. I'm sure 90% of the other students were waiting for their named to be called in the back of their minds but mine was called! When I sat back down the students sitting next to me were poking me and hugging me because I wasn't moving at all. I was looking dumbfounded straight ahead with the envelope lulling in my hand. (I'm also proud to say that my good filmmaking buddy, Ashten "Whoopi Winger, got second place for best sound editing! Hamilton High Represent! His film will be out soon). For once I really do believe I got an award I truly deserved. Outside of my own team I have not read many scripts but I went through fifteen drafts with Shawn Ku. Big shout out to Shawn Ku because this award would not have been possible without him.

Anyway, here is the actual film:

You all already know my biggest critique about it. But it still came out fine. "You're only as good as your next film" (nope, I didn't misquote). I'm hoping my next film will finally be The Devil's Company but I'm going to want some legit equipment for that but that is my next big project but my next small project will probably be with Casey Veggies (who's song "I'm Right Here" was featured in the party scene in Uncover'd). Then I'm doing a 48 hour horror film fest. But The Devil's Company will be my first real full short film. I'm completely reworking it now.

Here are some photographs from graduation.

My Family

Me and my supporting actor, Charles Chen

Me and my writing mentor, Ryan Roy (also helped bunches)

The original duo! Tearin' up ICF

Oh, and there was a cool party afterwards at an undisclosed location.


Someone plugged me on their YouTube!


1 comment:

LiL said...

dude you didnt tell me you won the scholarship!!
im so proud of you! representin hami...woot!!

ps. thats a sexy fuzzy sweater :]