April, 2001

Film Fu

April 6th, 2001 April 6th, 2001
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Printing Last Train will cost �2,500 which includes grading and blow-up and then after I can get extra show prints made for �165 each, although I might not need them (fingers crossed). The most expensive part of this process is the blow-up from Super16 to 35mm (�1,300) which of course teaches us valuable lesson, Grasshopper: Always shoot on 35mm. And always blag everything for nothing.

So, Grasshopper, next step is to finalise end roll credits, bite the bullet and pay for them. Then they can be printed on to film (about �600 plus tax) and cut into the negative. Then cut negative (final cost of that bit is another �350 plus tax) can go to lab. It’s now Friday, obviously, so this won’t happen now until next week and somehow I need to magic up �4k. Or walk on rice paper without leaving marks.

Another credit card at 2.9% for six months, do you think? Or remortgage the house? Anyone need any copywriting done?

Oh, and there’s still Fate & Fortune to pay for too…

One (More) Small Step

April 5th, 2001 April 5th, 2001
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For Last Train I got the running time for the cut film plus the closing credits (total: 8 mins 30 secs) and emailed it over to Ted at the labs. Now I sit back and wait for the outrageous or affordable quote. Fingers crossed for the latter.

Fate & Fortune still lingers on. I managed to speak to the editor yesterday and it will be two or three weeks before we can re-do the EDL thing, which means three weeks before it can be cut. Still the soundtrack won’t be done for that long either.

Such is my progress for today. More soon.

Hungover Update

April 4th, 2001 April 4th, 2001
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Went to see my wonderful artist friend Jelena yesterday evening. I had a couple of wee gifts from New York’s Museum of Modern Art — bendy rubber people with magnetic hands and feet — and she was going to practice aura healing on me. What had I forgotten? That today, the fourth of the fourth, is her birthday! Doh. Well, lucky I had a gift, wasn’t it? We ended up drinking a LOT of wine and getting a really good Chinese takeaway. No healing but therapeutic nonetheless.

Now I have a hangover and am on the phone trying to get the last stages of Last Train sewn up…

Printing costs
I phone the labs for a quote on Last Train. It was shot on Super16. Ted, the friendly voice at this lab says, “Do you want a 16 millimetre or 35 millimetre blow up?” I say, “It will probably depend on the cost.” Ted: “Well, you do realise that a Super16 print is mute don’t you? There’s no room on the print for an optical sound track so it can only be shown on a double-headed projector with separate mag [magnetic] stock.”

Of course, I wasn’t aware of that. No one has mentioned that right up until this point. Why? I have no idea. So it looks like I have to get a 35mm print, which is doubtless going to be expensive. Or maybe it will be affordable. Ted says to email the running time across and he’ll send back a quote broken down into each stage that’s needed. Then I can call him again and we can go through it. I ring the graphics people but Martin is out, so I can’t get the end credits final running time. I ring the neg cutters but Andy is out, so I can’t get the final running time for the rest of Last Train.

I twiddle my thumbs and wait for my calls to be returned…

Getting an EDL
Simon the editor is back in the UK so I call him to sort out the Fate & Fortune edit decision list (EDL) which needs re-doing with just two title plates instead of seven. I get through. Hooray! He’s at the dentist and can’t talk. Boo!

And so it goes on…

Is It Done Yet?

April 2nd, 2001 April 2nd, 2001
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No. So what have I done about getting these films closer to completion in the past couple of days? Well, I’ve taken some more of the negative to the cutting rooms today — just one can instead of the seven that were ridiculous to carry the other day.

And I phoned the sound guy at the weekend. Guess what? Having said, “We’ll have it done in the next couple of weeks,” his latest news was that, “We’ll get it done on the twenty second. I promise. You can hold me to that.” This means audio postproduction — a three day job — will have dragged on for SEVEN MONTHS!

I think I should do some swearing and, no, I wasn’t overly ecstatic. And I am turning the air blue, but I’ll save you having to read it. This time around, anyway. Regardless, I don’t have that extra �1,000 to pay for sound — or rather, if I can get out of spending that money, I surely will.

Talking of funding, whatever happened to making money on the stock market? The shares I bought specifically to pay for all this are currently worth less than half what I paid for them (�1.5k from �3k). However, I have cashed many in at a profit to pay for things already (about �2k’s worth). So, should I buy more? Warren Buffet doesn’t sound too optimistic, does he? But the money has to come from somewhere.

Meanwhile this all means I go back to concentrating on Last Train because the sound mix for that is done, graphics are set with the exception of end credits which will need setting and proofing, and the negative should be cut this week. Now I need to find a lab. Metrocolor, who did the developing, have been bought out by Technicolor and are no longer dealing with 16mm or super16. Groan groan (procrastinate procrastinate).

The joys and frustrations of creating something from scratch continue.