Monday, November 22, 2010

Joanne Lee suicide pact: the comfort of strangers | News & Politics | News & Comment | The First Post

Joanne Lee suicide pact: the comfort of strangers | News & Politics | News & Comment | The First Post

Silent Movie

We have now recommenced postproduction, with a new sound team, after 18 months of delays and general silliness. (Certain people have pins in their voodoo dolls, shall we say.) This is in itself a minor miracle, as I had been feeling that the film would either not be finished at all, or would emerge as a posthumous work. It looked at one point like we had a silent film on our hands, as all our Avid sound files have disappeared from the drive, which is very strange. The audio risked being lost from the onlined version of the film altogether, but we noticed in that the drive also contained an AAF file, which saved the day. This is an occupational hazard when you have such a long gap between the online and the sound design and mix. I must write a book about how not to put together a workflow... The upshot of this is that we will be spending the next few months on the sound, possibly getting the actors in to do some ADR, and then we will HAVE FINISHED THE FILM. (Cue cheering, clapping, general delirium and heavy drinking.)

Friday, October 01, 2010

Location Destroyed by Fire

The arsonists have returned to one of our locations, the Royal Pier Hotel, and completely destoyed it. An insurance job, natch. It's very sad - always been one of my favourite buildings in Weston, elevated to Holy status by the fact that the Beatles stayed there. They started demolishing it today. More info here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Newsworthy Farm

A rather uncannily 'on topic' news story has just broken. Go here to read.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Final Push into the Ardennes

"We are now at war with Germany." Ah, yes, the good old days of '39... Not much point in beating Hitler, really, as Nazis do indeed run the world these days.

But I digress. I am posting to announce progress. I did not find a rich auntie with a grand and a half to spare (what Mel Brooks calls 'Little Old Lady Land' in The Producers). I have instead been working as a cameraman/director on a series of documentaries tentatively entitled The Lost Science. Should be out on DVD and the web in time for a tie-in conference in Amsterdam next June.

This means that, schedules permitting, we can resume work on Folie and get it finished before then. Hopefully within the next few months. I can't say more than that at the moment. I feel so out of the loop with this film that I almost can't now be bothered to finish it at all. But if it does get finished, and screens at festivals, I plan on becoming insufferable in an 'I always knew we'd do it' kind of way, and not miss an opportunity to slag off people who have got in our way. (I can think of at least 4 or 5 people who I'd like to publicly humiliate...)

Anyway, money is flowing in, so I'd better spend it on Folie before I spend it somewhere else, or dash off to the bookies and put everything on the 3.30 at Doncaster.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

First Fruits

Well, after starting a search for a sound designer and mixer, we have had our first offer from a two-person team. This has led me to feel that the project is happening once more, rather than languishing in a limbo of someone- other-than-me's making. (Unless of course it is all my fault, in a perverse, subconscious sort of way; something I've actually considered. Must get some Jungian therapy!)

For this final bit of work, I need to find another £1500. Anyone have a rich auntie who happens to like arthouse films about suicde pacts? Let me know:-)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Plan B

We've decided to divide the remaining sound work up between two people, sound design and sound mix. That may make the film easier to finish, and give the prospective sound maetros less of a headache. I think it's more usual to have sound design and mix being done by two separate people, anyway. Nowt else to report at this hour, other than it's time to go to bed and catch up on my reading. (Which is currently The Fanatic by James Robertson.)

Monday, June 14, 2010

It Ain't Over Till the Fat Lady Sings

... and she's currently not booked to do any gigs for the forseeable future.

 We are now back to square one on the sound design and mix. The last 12 months have been spent at the mercy of two sound designers, neither of whom completed the job. So, 3rd time lucky? I hope so.I keep having to remind myself not to give up, and that it took David Lynch 7 years to complete Eraserhead, Martin Scorsese 5 for Who's That Knocking at My Door etc. We are not the first filmmakers to spend forever in post, and we certainly won't be the last. But even so, it feels like a never-ending nightmare.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Dance With Me

Sasha Damjanovski's film Dance With Me, starring Folie's Adam Napier, goes on general release today. The poor souls at The Grauniad haven't been able to make sense of the film, but then again, if it doesn't fit into their politically correct Islingtonian view of the world, they can't tell arses from elbows. It's a paper I stopped reading years ago. Anyway, I hope to catch the film in Glasgow. 

Meanwhile, Happy St George's Day! Be Falstaffian. You know it makes sense.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

OMFs and Other Noises

Sound mixing continnues. Several scenes have atrocious sound, so we're going to have to try and create a new OMF file from the Avid Project folder and see if that does the trick. If not, it's down to London to do some ADR, which will further tax the purse strings but, without doing it, will mean we have an unreleasable film. I think the problems were caused by shooting with two cameras which, while it sped things up during the shoot, has caused no end of trouble in post, as one camera had good sound, while the other one was the bad one (two different mixers, I seem to remember). We should have sent both radio mic feeds into the good mixer. (I'm assuming we didn't do this during the shoot but, to be honest, I can't remember.)

Apart from the further funding required, it also means yet more delays. We probably have a month's work left to do on the film but, as we're all working part-time on it as ever, God knows how long that month's work will take. I think I forgot to mention that since September I've been doing a part-time Masters in Creative Writing, so that usually takes up about half my time at the moment. I decided that it would be unwise to put all my eggs in the basket of filmmaking, and have something else to fall back on once Folie is finally finished. At the moment, I honestly can't see me having a career as a director, and feel that renewing my Directors' Guild of Great Britain membership is probably a symbolic gesture and nothing more.

What, though, is a career as a director? About the only way I can think this through in a positive way is to recall either Eric Rohmer who, when faced with hardships early on (after the failure of his first featute, The Sign of Leo), went back to making shorts (the first of the Six Moral Tales) and didn't actually becomes successful as a director until he was pushing 50. Or I think of Margaret Tait, up in Orkney, making her own films, funding them herself, doing everything herself and generally just doing her own thing, world go to hell. And she made some wonderful things (have you seen Where I Am Is Here? Or Ariel? Or Hugh MacDiarmid: A Portrait?) I've got a few years to go before hitting 50, and maybe moving to Orkney, or Lewis or Harris is the answer. It's impossible to make a film over the length of time we've been stuck in the mire with Folie and not become increasingly introspective, apprehensive about one's future and generally questioning what lead you to be where you are at the moment.

Perhaps the only way to carry on is to do one's own thing and just not care too much. I hope to get started on a novel over the summer, something to take my mind off Folie and its never-ending problems. 'Who speaks of victory?' Rilke once wrote. 'To survive is all.'


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Journeying to Cannes Also

I've explained the film's sound problems to our sales agent, and he wants a DVD of the film as it is to take to Cannes. He will see if he can try and raise some money to get the problems sorted out. All we effectively need is enough money to do a day's ADR in London, so we're not talking huge amounts of money. That gives us about a month to ignore the appalling sound in the pub and cafe scenes, and get on with some creative work, which I think Ali, our sound designer, is keen to do. He's had enough of dodgy OMFs, and I don't blame him. The key to surviving your own film is, I think, learning the art of hiding the bodges, which is something Ali and I talked about yesterday in our crisis meeting. So some of the sound design decisions will be dictated entirely by the fact that we have bad sync sound that needs papering over. It's like trying to wallpaper a house that is almost falling down.

Journey We More into the Nightmare

Yes, I know, it's a quote from Jim Morrison's poem An American Prayer (also set to music by the the Doors). It also sums up just how bad things are with Folie, the sound in particular. The cafe and pubs scenes are almost unusable, as are one or two other scenes. We are now looking at having to go on bended knee to those kind souls in ADR land and ask for free time in their studios, otherwise the film will never be finished. I don't know if this is due to a fault in the sound files, or a fault in the sound recordist. And if it's the latter, and he doesn't have a fault in him at the moment, he bloody well will have once I've finished with him. This problem could sink the entire film, and it will mean I've wasted the last 4 years of my life. Maybe I will become the first independent filmmaker to commit suicide live on the internet.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Steve Dineen's New Blog

That mostly non-mustachioed chap, Steve Dineen - who plays Paul the tie salesman in Folie (and superbly at that, I must add), has recently started a blog, Dispatches from the Frontline of Mid-scale Touring. You can read it here whilst waiting for us to finish the film. You may even have time read it more than once.... Seriously, folks, we progress on the sound mix. I am strongly tempted to make a silent film next, as postproduction seems to be nothing but trouble with the sound... One of life's little imponderables, I guess.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Adam Napier Movie

Just a quick missive from Folie towers to let you know that our most excellent leading man, Adam Napier, is soon to be gracing select cinema screens across the UK in Sasha C. Damjanovksi's feature film Dance With Me. The film opens in London's West End on St George's Day/Shakespeare's Birthday (look it up on Wikipedia), and will then play in Glasgow. I will post more details when I have them. Hopefully by then Folie itself will be finished and about to start it's life on the festival ciricuit, before making us all fabulously rich... (That was a joke, btw.)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Back to the coal face

It's been a while since there was anything to report, but I can now announce that we are back at work on the soundtrack. The film will be ready in time for Cannes, although I doubt if we will have a screening there (except on someone's laptop!). A UK screening before the year is out would be could (in addition to the traditional cast and crew piss-up. Sorry, I meant 'industry screening':-))