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That’s A Wrap

Posted in Filmmaking, Post Production, Production with tags , , , , on February 22, 2010 by Richard Diaz

I realize this may seem strange but it is true. Tonight I shot the very last shot that will ever be done for ‘Distortion’. Ironic in some ways. I kept forgetting to shoot one very simple insert shot. Yet in the film it is one of great importance and meaning. It was one of the first images I had of the film when I imagined it in my head way back when. A simple shot but a poignant one.

I knew I could shoot it quickly. I got two lights and set up the camera. Then the battery died. I ran and got another one and as I walked back to the camera and saw it sitting on the tripod with the two lights set up and the picture on the table I all of a sudden got very emotional. A few things still need to be done on the film. Mainly some music which I need to finish tonight and then a few tweaks in the next few weeks before I announce it done. But in essence the film is over. What started back in 2003 has now come to a close. It’s funny how I was just thinking of the technical side of it with the lights and the battery but when the realization hit me I was suddenly saddened. I used to joke that the last shot of the film would be some basic shot and I would be standing there by myself. Well, that is exactly what happened. And as I hit the button on the camera to finish the last take I said softly with tears in my eyes, “That’s a wrap.” The shooting of my first feature film is over. Kind of sad to have the moment be by myself but it’s how this whole journey has basically been. Only fitting that it ends on a whisper.

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A New Direction

Posted in Post Production with tags , , , , , on February 3, 2010 by Richard Diaz

A close up of my mighty keyboard.

Some of you may remember a previous post (located here) where I talked about the music for the film. I decided at the time to go with a more synthesizer based score. I love synth scores and I have many in my soundtrack collection from all kinds of very talented musicians (some of them I listed in that previous post). Slight problem. The movie did not sync too well to the synth.

Some of the suspenseful scenes worked well. Afterall, sometimes all you need is a simple bass like sound to get the creeps going. Unfortunately it ended there. It wasn’t working and I knew it. I just couldn’t go back to the more orchestral score using samples. It was very taxing on my system (leading to several program crashes) and if it sounds bad it sounds really bad. But when it sounds good it sounds really good. Also means the score was going to be harder as I could not take short cuts with an orchestral sounding score. The film though called for it. I did some tests a long time ago but this time I went back and did another test. It worked. It worked too well. One thing I am doing is forcing myself to keep it simple. Not just for the sake of my computer crashing but also because music not being my main talent I know the simpler I keep it the more likely I will remain within my range. One scene specifically I wrote to be slightly tragic. The synth score made it scary but I lost a little of the tragic. The strings I added made the scene tragic for me again and I was sold. The fact that my original emotional intent was there means while it may be a harder route to go (much like the road less traveled I mentioned in the last post) it is the one that my film requires. I have not come this far to let a key part of the film be inferior and therefore make the film as a whole suffer. Now granted as of this writing some of the harder music scenes I haven’t gotten to yet. I may write another post lamenting the fact that I made this decision. But I doubt it. If anything I love a good challenge. Especially a creative one.

The next round of festival deadlines is quickly approaching so I have no time to debate things. This is how I am going and it may kill me but it is worth it. Not to say I won’t use a little synth here and there. Afterall, I can’t deny using the waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.