Saturday, 28 February 2009

Captain's Blog 28.02.09

At long last, it is out.

Episode One is up and running (after about 4 false starts; bloody Veoh and Vimeo... major pain in the arse getting it upped).

Work to recommence on the Episode 6 script and prelim work on Episode Two underway in advance of the arrival of VO lines, so end of March is the next slated release date (though, if I can get everything back and done before then, Stigmata will be released).

For now, go enjoy the ride... it's 54 mins long, mostly character dialogue and very few "eye candy" moments, but then, that's what I write! There are some sound and gfx glitches that crept in during shooting; a coupla bad angles I didn't spot til after I'd rendered it and a major section in the last third I had to dump altogether as couldn't pull off the space battle convincingly, but all in all am happy with it.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Captain's Blog 22.02.09

It's Sci-Fi Sunday!

Yes, despite being on 3 weeks in a row, Ken has foolishly asked me back on TMOA again, in the illustrious company of K4, Capt'n Strider and Uber, to discuss Sci-Fi in machinima and it's popularity. Looking forward to chewing the fat live on air with my Skype compadres (I just hope for the listening public's morals that we keep it tamer than we usually get when yattering across the airways!).

3/4 of Episode One now complete; am on the home stretch of principal shooting now so hoping to break the back of the largest section of footage today.

I've slung up a quick teaser for Episode One in advance of completing and issuing the full episode.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Captain's Blog 20.02.09

30 minutes of completed footage in the bag for Episode One; with a bit of luck and a following wind, I should get the rest of the principal photography completed this weekend. Then, it's just effects work (this episode is quite heavy on it), soundtrack insertion, checking run, remounts if necessary and export. We shall see how things go...

More later; for now, I have to go to work (bah!)...

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Captain's Blog 14.02.09

Happy Valentine's Day!

So, in honour of this particular day, go sit down and watch Temporary Night by Nukester and see what TM can really do in the hands of a dedicated director! It's a full length movie, but don't let that put you off... it's a superb story, with some top drawer acting and an exquisite score. You'd be better off watching this with your loved one than dragging yourself off down to the flicks to watch the formulaic dross Hollywood tries to shove down our throats this time of year, that's for damned sure... and it won't cost you a penny to see! How can you argue with that?

And, of course, War of the Worlds Part One is out, so enjoy the two-for-one offer while it lasts!

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Captain's Blog 12.02.09

Writing for fun and others...

With Part One of War of the Worlds coming out this Friday (all being well), I am driven to think about how we approach writing for others, as opposed to ourselves.

For writing my own scripts, I tend to go very very light on the stage directions, mainly because a) I'm a lazy sod and can't be bothered to write it down :P, b) I find it distracting from the flow of the story and dialogue and c) unnecessary.

Ignoring A) as a personal failing (:P), let's look at B). For me, the story, characters and plot are the most important things. I'll occasionally have a blast of inspiration and visualise a scene I want to try and shoot, but that tends to get jotted in CeltX's scratchpad or on a scrap of paper or Word doc rather than entered into the script.


Because I find the worst thing to be interruption of the story flow. I've lost count of the number of times I've completely banjaxed my efforts for the evening by suddenly breaking the flow of my muse and jotting down some pretty much irrelevant technical guff halfway through a scene, then got stuck when I've turned back to it to complete it.

So, I don't do it any more. Purely because, when I shoot, I follow the flow of the dialogue and use whatever scene I feel fits the particular mood of the scene (which is the reason for C)).

Now, of course, writing for others is different. I try, wherever possible, just to concentrate on the story and allow the director to get on and visualise the writing as they desire. I have to admit, though, when doing WotW, I got pretty stubborn with Chris on a couple of points, mainly because it's one of my favourite sci-fi classics, a great book in it's own right and I had particular ideas about how I wanted certain scenes to look (wherever possible). Of course, there comes a point when you have to "put the gun down and back away", so to speak; too much interference from the writer gets in the way of the director's creative process, so I've had to force myself to let him get on with it HIS way... it is, after all, HIS movie, not mine! :)

That said, adaption of the original novel and album was a hard slog in places, and it's not over yet. Wherever possible, I've tried to stay true to the "spirit" of the story, even though it's ended up being updated and given a more "international" feel than the original.

In order to comply with the "brief", I had to split the "narration" up between the original journalist character and the new character of Max Forrester (points if you know where the name of this guy came from :P), which wasn't too hard. I tried to keep in the "familiar" and famous scenes wherever possible, but have had to tweak them a bit here and there to follow the revised narrative (and the limitations of what is possible with the software we had available).

Other than the first 10 mins of rough footage, I've not seen the completed film yet (length-wise, Part One has had to be split into 2 pieces, purely because (as usual :P), the dialogue has needed to be given room to work. Other than some observations and requests on this, I've had little input into the finished work; much as I have chafed at the bit to do so, I've tried to stay "hands off" as much as I can... as said above, it's Chris' movie, and it has to be HIS interpretation of the script that comes to the screen if he's to have enjoyed making it.

Hopefully, the finished product will be well received, and I have fingers crossed that it will come out well.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Captain's Blog 08.02.09

Busy, busy, busy... it's all go Chez Cave at the moment :)

Brief waffling appearance (complete with dodgy mic) on TMOA last week, and again this week with my observations on Magix and maybe FXHome VisionLab.

Episode One filming going well; coupla remounts needed upto now but it's all going pretty well.

Not much else to say at the moment. Have seen some rough cut footage from War of the Worlds Part One, gave Chris my observations and driven the poor sod batty with my perfectionist vision, but I'm sure he'll cope ;)

More as and when... meep meep!