Still slogging through the edits I have to do for FRAMELINES, many of which arenít for immediate broadcast, but still in need of doing and putting online. Iím celebrating the finishing of a short video by listening to PRINCE from the underrated Under the Cherry Moon soundtrack - the song MOUNTAINS, the lyrics of which have deep meaning.
Backsliding sucks. When something like your health, your emotional state, your finances, or your creativity starts to wade back into negativity, how can you avoid the jaws of despair? What makes today any different than 6 months ago? I donít know, but Iím at least not slowing down the creative side, or the positive thoughts for the most part. I think I can hold back the bad stuff for a bit.
So I have even less time than I imagined. Sometimes life puts enormous roadblocks in front of you and you have to decide how to get around them. Every single time I get a little bit ahead, either with health or financial or personally - SOMETHING goes to hell in a handbasket. Luckily, Iím somewhat impervious, although I do have to make some very hard decisions.
Shot another Cell Phone Monologue today. Worked with a small crew and the customary cast of one. Talk about teamwork, everyone on the exact same page about what we were doing. Mike McNeese shot with the Canon C300 camera, so it was a chance for me to keep trying out all the cameras Díjour on todayís market. I prefer my tests be very productive and tell a story, not just meaningless random shots.
A tradition broke! We finished an episode of FRAMELINES and neglected to do my celebratory dance. It was 2:00AM, and I was simply too exhausted to bust a move. Plus having to get up for an early morning class didnít help. Or the freezing weather. And yet, the positivity ainít gone.
Non-stop work. The work infects my dreams. Sleep is bumpy, but happens a little bit at a time. Maintaining the happy positive attitude represents the struggle of my life right now. Getting up before 9:00AM to teach really inhibits happy positive. I am NOT a morning person. Sometime around 1:00PM, I start to feel a bit cheerier. As cheery as Ross can get. Itís a sliding scale.
This weekend I will test market a part of the new webseries to see how it plays and get notes. Iím pretty sure I have solved the issue with the Ďhostí (me). Iím going to rotate the hosts out and switch it up all the time. I donít have to be on camera. Itís such an unattractive thing, me, on screen even for under 2 minutes.
Hmm. I am finalizing an edit of the new webseries and starting on the edit of the 2nd episode. I appear in these segments on camera as a Ďhostí. That has become something of a sticking point for why I am somewhat unhappy with the pieces as they are. The intent was always to pass the baton to other hosts within a few episodes, but I might start sooner rather than later. I donít like what Iím seeing.
My day started off with a location scout for a Cell Phone Monologue and ended with a title sequence for the new webseries with a class in between and lots of little tinkerings and edits. At least one bad habit has returned and thatís the not-eating-because-I-lost-track-of-7-hours-editing syndrome. Strangely, there are worse things I could do that donít have the same end result of a finished project.
I ran out of Led Zeppelin songs to use as titles for the blog, so Iím back to alliteration of sesquipedalianism. Many things seem to be back to Ďnormalí for me, if such a thing exists. Lack of sleep, no real down time, and non-stop creation in some form or another. Yesterday was a marathon of work on a variety of projects; today wasnít much different.
Did a shoot last night again, got the Ďsceneí and the intro done. Shot with the Sony F3 with the Samurai hard drive recorder. You get a significantly higher data rate that way (35 megs per second versus 250 megs per second bit rate). For greenscreen, which all of this was, it makes a huge difference on the quality of getting people and the backgrounds to look good.
The pressure of the projects lined up affects my sleep. Anxiety dreams and all kinds of stress keep me from getting good rest. Meetings about different projects, amping up the preparation, and generally worrying; this is what my nights are like now. Iím trying to calculate every angle and decision without killing spontaneity or creativity. Itís like trying to smoke without inhaling or choking.
A new outlet has occurred to me. As I embark on several new movie projects, both long and short, the harder ones to get seen are the short ones. Sure, thereís the YouTubes, but beyond that I donít feel the Ďnewí way is the only way. Television ainít dead yet, and far more importantly, no one has made it an either/or when it comes to traditional versus new media. Only an imbecile cuts off options before they succeed or fail.
I am hammering these bitches out. Instead of going to the movies or watching a Blu Ray marathon, I edit these little clips together, obsessing over minutiae as I go. At the end of each completed edit, I dance a little jig. I kick it old school, Parliament/Funkadelic or 1970ís Prince. My cats stare at me (or Lorenzo hides in fear of the body movements that are more akin to a seizure). I must adhere to my creative process such as it is.
And life keeps elevating me lately. Hot damn, getting some creative work done energizes every part of me. Framelines on track, almost done with 16 episodes including closed captions. Two of my webseries are about to either start or continue. Feature film on the books and scripts getting breakdowns, key cast members lining up, and money in place already. I can say it; I feel like a million dollars right about now.
Teaching ramps down, which is great because I need the time to prep all the film work. Between all the small shoots, Framlines, and the feature all hitting one in a row, your faithful narrator could be crushed under the weight of self imposed pressure.
And some days reaffirm your beliefs. Iíve just had several of these days. I had two classes, one was the end of a project and the other was my first days with them. To be honest, I was afraid I was losing my mojo being in front of the students. As the days unfolded I felt a lot better about how I was doing things.
Iím using Google Drive extensively now. Iíve made simple spreadsheets for the first season of Framelines, charts about what segments are shot and what state the edit is in, and the release schedule of all the videos. Since I have a laptop that goes to school and work, a PC at home and my amazing ability to sometimes forget the aforementioned laptop means I can access these files anywhere, including on my iPhone with an App.
Last nightís Penny Poker night was fun. This year was the first year I actually played poker for more than 2 hands. I played for over an hour at the beginning and then in the wee hours, I played again for over an hour. I cleaned up on silver coins (thanks Gil!) and came out several dollars ahead. Now, itís time to look at the calendar and feel a great deal of pressure.
So Iíve been cranking away on the Framelines clips. For the fake demonstration scene, I got all the ADR in, some visual effects correction since some shots are daylight and others are nighttime out the big window, and added the ambient sounds and even some foley. Since the purpose is to use these to show concepts and that entails intros and on camera talent, I thought Iíd go into some more detail on that aspect.