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.