Well, this Friday night my cousin [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1wPBCgv9x0]Ian Ross[/url] will be here while prepping for a gig on Saturday. His father, my uncle has surgery here on Sunday, but it looks to be minor. My uncle is responsible for getting me into Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith, whilst I am responsible for introducing him to Stevie Ray Vaughn and other more modern bluesmen. I gave up music many years ago. I never felt I conveyed my intentions to listeners very well. No one “got it” and as an artist trying to express yourself, there is frustration when your thought or idea is not being interpreted. With filmmaking, I feel I was getting my ideas across right out of the gate. I recall the night I had an impromptu screening in my attic to about 15-18 friends of my first 6 short films, the “Back Office” series. Several guests were people I had been in bands with over the years. I was blown away by their responses. It was validating, unintentionally, that several people liked what I did as a filmmaker.
Back to the present time, I am finishing my next personal project, a series of short films. Working with another editor has its benefits. Working with an editor who understands rhythm and pacing has even more benefits. Since we’re both working class Joe’s at this point, it’s a lot harder to get things done fast. I took yesterday and today off work to try to get things done and I’m glad I did. I got 5 out of 9 segments finished off with final audio and graphics work.
In these little vignettes, I still felt the need to challenge myself in some ways, so I did titles that are tracked to the background and worked with more jib and dolly shots, along with a little rack focus, you know – things not normally scene in a Sonnyboo movie. My main focus, since picture was complete, was to finalize the sound mix. This involved altering voices to sound like they are on a telephone, music from a source boom box, and mixing dialogue recorded from 2 microphones. Then I would add music and effects tracks – yes even on :40 second long clips. Sound is 50% of the experience of any movie, so I try to spend as much time on that as anything else. I finally got to work with Arya from Cleveland on some music scoring.
The plan as it is now will be to release 1-2 vignettes a week as a viral type video, although I will oblige one site with an edited whole piece as was requested of me by the studio that owns that site. I will market these little bits as I have all Sonnyboo shorts, but it was an exercise for the upcoming feature with workflow of the system, working with a very small crew, and getting my legs back into directing – although I may crack and do 1-2 more shorts beforehand. I have a backlog of pieces, not the least of which is the SNOWMAN short I’ve been trying to do for 3 years, but it’s hard to plan around definite snow, especially snow that you can make Snowmen with.
The editing process on ETERNAL is in full swing here at Rossdonia. Five nights a week, people invade my living room and work to prepare for cutting. The first stage, especially with 28 hours of footage, is to sift through it, organize it into bins, sub clips, and get everything notated so that actual editing can begin. Organization lies at the heart of a multi-editor project. The script supervisor’s notes create the foundation for everything we do. Thank God the Derek had a good script girl. It will take at least another 2-3 weeks to get the bins set up to start editing. Once we start, the process will move in high gear. HD editing is roughly the same except without broadcast monitoring. Oh well.
This weekend will determine the final stages of commitment for my next feature, which is shaping up to be March 2008 for shooting. I have a team of people, some old, some new, that I will choose to work with. They say you should write for what you have, and the scenario has just opened itself up to me. Combine that with my marketing savvy, and we’ve got ourselves a recipe for fun and profitability.
We just celebrated our 1 year anniversary of getting “V”. This also means we mourned the 1 year anniversary of the passing of SPAZ. COUSSETTE has not been the same, but she bounced back in many ways. As I told My Sexy Fiancé Veronica, COUSETTE has not played “Chase Game” even once since SPAZ died. She isn’t as sad as she was last year, but a part of her went with SPAZ and she took some aspects of him into lifestyle. “V” is an irrepressible personality with equal parts sweetness and evil. His fur matches his personality. Most mornings he wakes me up by crawling up my back and purring loudly on my neck or head when he lumps down to fall asleep. I cannot help but be touched.
All else fares well in Rossdonia. As the sun fades earlier and the leaves fall, my spirits rise and my wardrobe gets better since I have a lot of Cosby sweaters. The mighty VANS are put away in the closet until the return of spring. The long cold winter awaits, and with it many new adventures.
Stay Tuned my acolytes. The Boo will have many things to say in the near future.
– Peter John Ross