Hey all. It’s Saturday evening, just shy of May 1st.
I recently cut together the first episode of The Difference Between. Thursday evening, Julie, producer Julie, came by and helped shape the first rough edit of the short into a much tighter piece.
We laid in the voice over, some music, and synched scenes and tone as best we could with what we had. When she left, I did some sound mixing with some music, and then kind of just sat back and waited.
The next day, I gave it another viewing, and found some issues. It’s amazing what a night’s sleep will do for your eyes.
One of the biggest things that we both noticed was that the overall pace of the film was bad. There were no breaks. Keep in mind, it’s all voice over. I won’t go into the argument of whether voice overs are bad or not. I know that some screenwriters are against it, and believe in the ‘show, don’t tell’ way of screenwriting. There are now officially too many good examples of voice overs in film to have it be an issue anymore.
I do believe that it is a device that should be used reasonably sparingly. But in the context of this short, I’ll forgive myself. Hopefully others will do the same.
So. Pace. No conversation breaks. And, the biggest issue of all, no background sound.
After showing some of the footage to our friend Todd, he said “Looks great. Now you can take your time and do the foley.”
No, wrong Foley.
Foley is defined as: the reproduction of everyday sounds for use in filmmaking.
So, instead of having to worry about getting the perfect sound of, say, a person putting butter on toast, or walking down stairs, or what-have-you, a foley artist records these sounds and they are put in during the editing/post production process.
It’s essentially getting the PERFECT spread of butter for a commercial, or after morning after sex, or whatever.
When we first shot the short, I wasn’t thinking AT ALL about sound, because I knew it was going to be voice over. I was thinking pure and total silence, watching this guy do his thing.
Boy, am I glad that Todd spoke up because, as we found, the lack of background noise SUCKED. It really did.
So, yesterday, I went out and recorded a ton of audio for the short.
I used both the H4N Zoom and the NTG-3 mic. Let me tell you, those two machines are sensitive! It’s unreal how much the human ear (and brain) block out around you… or just how oblivious we are to the spectrum of noises around us.
From room tone to traffic noise, crowds, trains, buses, diner noise… it was awesome. I had so much fun yesterday walking around the city, walking and traveling the exact path we took that day in February, when we were shooting. Thankfully, it was about 40 degrees warmer yesterday.
One of the things it was yesterday was windy. So, I had to buy one of these:
That is called a windshield, and it reduces wind noise, filtering it through all of those furry strands of what look like cat hair. While this particular model is not referred to as such, these items are normally called ‘deadcats’.
So, there’s something you learned today.
This thing worked wonders, and I made it through the day without tearing my own hair out.
I got about 90% of the foley work done for the shoot. I have a bit more to do, and I’ll take care of that tomorrow, but I can’t tell you how excited I am to get started laying this sound in.
Today I shot part of the second episode of Off Off, a web series my friend Stephen Bittrich wrote and directed, and acts in, too.
The first episode… I think that was a bunch of people getting their feet wet. I made some mistakes with the camera work, Stephen edited what he had, and it’s gotten a good response. You can see the first episode here:
This second episode, I can tell you I’m quite happy with the photography. We had some really great moments, and some fun happenings that just made scenes and the look of the episode become much more stylized and tight.
So, I’m looking forward to seeing it put together.
One of the things I had a super hard time with today was pulling focus while using the fig rig. There’s a handle in the middle of the wheel, at the base (where you slide the camera in) where you can hold it and use your free hand to pull focus.
Well, being a bit of a novice at it, we had to do a couple of takes, but I finally got it going.
One of the things I’m going to have to purchase (and this will be super helpful for 8 for Vegas) is what is called a Follow Focus:
It will allow a second person to be able to pull focus while I’m shooting. The follow focus has, on its side, a wheel that one is able to mark (with an erasable marker), for the two, three, or four different focus points needed.
Not 100% certain I’ll be able to get one of those this time around. We’ll see. I still have to purchase some hard drives. I’ve finalized my choice of brand, which is G-Tech, now I just have to push the PURCHASE button on $600 for two 6tb drives.
I knew it was going to be my main purchase, amongst renting equipment, for the 8 for Vegas shoot/fundraiser. Without the hard drives, we’re pretty much sunk. Not to mention, one is an offsite backup, you know, just in case my apartment burns down or burglarized.
That’s about it for now. I’m out and about, writing. Writing this, the romantic comedy feature, and 8 for Vegas. Busy, busy.
Hope you’re all well. Talk again soon,