Obstacles Ahead – 11-2-20

russell no color

Original, untouched footage in S-Log3

I’m close to finishing the edits on episode 4, and I’m very proud of what I have. There have been more than a few bumps in the road –

1. The 1st day of filming I used bizarre color settings and shot in S-log3, which has made color editing a huge challenge.

2. The 1st day of filming I recorded audio at Medium gain, which has forced me to add a lot of gain in post which can cause some distortion in a few places.

Russell no painting

Same frame with color correction applied

3. The day I filmed with my brother (day 5) we were constrained with time and decided to do the entire scene in one take. It came out pretty well, but unfortunately significant portions are not in focus and I have been unable to find a good way to cut those out. I have close ups (like, lips and eyes close) of myself that I recorded right after he left. I’m leaning towards sticking to 1 take even if that means we’re both temporarily out of focus.

out of focus 1

At least in this frame it focuses on my brother rather than the latch.

For the above 3 problems, I have decisions to make. Ultimately, however, I am limited in what I can do to fix these issues. I have accepted that, and am also grateful I’ve improved my filmmaking ability so that I did not consistently repeat these errors on the following days of recording. It’s a harsh lesson but an important one – get it right during filming, and your days of editing will be SIGNIFICANTLY easier. Beyond that, I have these obstacles ahead of me:

  1. For the outdoor shoots, I attached a lav mic to each character and turned the gain on “HIGH” for my microphone. Consequently I have 3-4 audio tracks for each line of dialogue. From what I’ve gathered, my best choice is to use only one track, so I’ve got to locate that for each line. Not too difficult.
  2. Digital blood – There are 2 instances where I would like to edit in digital blood. I’ve been learning Adobe After Effects for the past week and have made 1 animation for blood. It is not ready yet but I do believe I will continue to progress and make the blood squirt appear authentic.
  3. Digital intro – I want to have “Mountain Cult” appear in 3-dimensional space in the beginning of the film. This can be done through after effects. It will be a challenge, but it is also one of the easier type of animations you can make.
  4. Adding in digital paintings – This is a bit of an OCD thing, but there are a couple of shots filmed in my apartment that have WAY too much white wall in the frame. I am determined to add objects – e.g., a painting, into the background. This can be done so it appears seamless. I’m in the process of learning how to do it right.
  5. Find a contest! I’ve been searching online and there are several contests I can enter the film into. Once it is completed, however, I would like to upload the video to youtube. I want to create shirts for “Mountain Cult” and ask for any person who supports the series to show support with a donation. That donation will give me a production budget for the next episode. In return for a donation, supporters will receive a T-shirt with the series logo on it.
with painting 1

Same frame with the painting (object) I’d like to add in.

Anyways, this is what I’ve been up to. If I am diligent I can cross most of the items off my list in one weeks time. The only hang-up I have is that I will be working 72 hours this week beginning tomorrow, which means I have to make the most of my off time. I can tell you I’m very excited, and am also obsessed with the ending my film – as it is the best sequence I’ve ever shot, written, and directed. Looking forward to posting the episode here soon.

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