Friday, May 25, 2012

Earrings: Editing Update and a One-Sheet


I haven’t posted about my new short film Earrings in a little over a month, and for good reason(s). I’ve lived and breathed this movie for eight months, so when filming wrapped, I felt it was important to take a few weeks off before I began reviewing all of the footage.

While taking a break from the film, I was hit with a rather heavy blow in my life. Point in fact, I’m currently going through something extremely difficult that I’m not going to discuss publicly. Times are tough, motivation is sparse, and inspiration has been nonexistent. Don’t worry, I’m not looking for a pity party, I’m just saying that when the worst of life happens, it’s important to embrace something (one thing, anything) and keep going.

Earrings is my one thing.


I’ve fully immersed myself in the post-production of this film. I’ve gone all in. The result has been an ongoing, humbling catharsis. I feel good. Reinvigorated. Motivation is now at an all time high. Inspiration is never-ending. And hope… there’s this newfound, immaculate sense of hope that is ungodly refreshing. There are a few other factors involved with my recent lust for life (the constant encouragement Earrings receives from people on Twitter is a big one), but all in all, I feel good. I’ve got a ways to go yet, but in the most honest sense, Earrings has awakened me.

Moving on.

A typical editing session
Any filmmaker will tell you that editing is a bitch. You review your footage and there are shadows and focus problems and steadiness issues, but that’s where the tricks come in. All movies are made in the editing room. You edit around your mistakes (or use them to your benefit), discover new ideas you never imagined, and get to really know what kind of story you want to tell. As far as the technical process goes, I’ve reviewed all 25 hours of shot footage for Earrings, and have begun synching sound. But also, in one 13-hour marathon session fueled by panic, I cut together the final scene of the film, just to make sure I had it the way I wanted it.

I’m happy with what I’ve seen so far, and I’m very excited for all of you to see it. Which brings me to the one-sheet:

My boss and I spent several hours creating this one-sheet (and the Facebook cover at the top of this post), the final product of which I am very satisfied with. I think it speaks perfectly to the film’s tone, without, of course, giving away too much.

July 28 is the day. I had picked a much earlier date, but I figured, why rush it? I also toyed with a July 21 release date, but who the hell is going to want to watch a melodramatic short film on July 21? No one. We have a Dark Knight to watch rise. So Saturday July 28 it is. I'll have the film available here on my blog, as well as on Vimeo and YouTube.

In the weeks leading up to the film’s release, I’ll put out a few more promotional items, including a trailer. Cutting a trailer together is one of my favorite parts of making a film. I love how the perfect song coupled with perfectly obscure images can send chills down your spine. In no way am I saying the trailer for Earrings will provoke such an emotional response, but that’s always the hope. (For an expert example of this, witness what occurs during this masterful two minute short film.)

When I saw Lee Daniels introduce his film Precious at Sundance a few years ago, he said that whenever he makes a film, sharing it equates to him sharing his soul with the people who watch it. I like that. So mark your calendars, because Saturday July 28 is the day I share a piece of my soul with you all.


36 comments:

  1. I'm travelling during your film's release, but I look forward to it upon on my return.

    Sorry you're having a rough go of things, but you're most certainly finding ways to keep busy (without sleeping, too, you freakin' maniac). And what better way to lose yourself during these tough times? I love burying myself in films when everything else in life just doesn't make sense.

    Good luck to you, friend. One-sheet looks sharp as hell, dude.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dave! That was really kind of you to say, maniac and all haha. I agree, burying myself in the film has actually been a blessing. Gotta keep movin'.

      Delete
  2. Your one-sheet looks great Alex, especially your style of writing that Title. Brilliant !! Fits right in with whatever you have told us about Earrings yet.

    I am sorry for whatever happened but good to hear that you found something to hold on to and bounce back with double strength. And you know we will be waiting for 28th July now !! That's two phenomenal weekends in a row !! WHOOO !! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I dunno man, Earrings may outshine The Dark Knight Rises... just be ready haha. Anyhow, thanks so much for your kind works. Glad you like the one-sheet!

      Delete
  3. Anxiously awaiting July 28th........

    I really like the one-sheet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm anxiously awaiting July 28 too haha.

      Delete
  4. What's the editing software you're using. I'd just like to know once I break into the world of films.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I use Adobe Premiere Pro. So it's either that or Final Cut Pro. Honestly, FCP is more used within the industry, but they will both get done what you want to get done. Plus, Adobe Premiere integrates really well with Adobe products like Photoshop, Illustrator, Encore, Audition, and especially After Effects. So, either, or.

      (PS, don't skimp and get Adobe Elements products. They are bare bones editions and will in no way get you what you need.)

      Delete
    2. So essentially, get the most expensive one and you're on your way to cutting a film like a pro.

      OK, thanks.

      Delete
    3. Ha, well most expensive or not.. something is better than nothing. As long as you have the drive and passion to make the film you want to make, you'll be okay with whatever software you buy.

      Delete
    4. Just for reference, I'm using FCP 7 for my short film. Please avoid FCPX if you can. It just doesn't have enough to get the job done.

      Delete
    5. Right, don't skimp. Go for it.

      Delete
  5. When there's a void in life, there's always art.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is indeed, my friend. There is indeed.

      Delete
  6. This all impresses me beyond words. I cannot begin to fathom the time and money you've put into this. It really seems staggering, the effort you are so relentlessly putting into this film. I think it's fantastic, and it can be difficult to do such tough work when you're going through something painful in life, so you have my utmost admiration. July 28 cannot come quickly enough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well... hell. I honestly cannot fully articulate how much your encouraging words mean to me. Your blog post about Earrings was as moving as anything I've ever read. Period.

      Thank you, Tyler. Thank you.

      Delete
  7. Love the Movie poster think it is on point man! Excited to see this thing buddy! Everything will push through and all will be well. Many great things to look forward to in the coming months, keep your head up and pushing ahead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! That's really kind of you to say. Wait, is this... Sean. You read my blog? haha

      Delete
  8. Sorry to hear that you've been having a rough time :( Hoping that things look up very soon. The one-sheet looks fantastic, and it's great to hear that the post-production process has been invigorating.
    Counting the days until Earrings gets shared with the world :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ruth! Your kind words are always so inspiring.

      Delete
  9. Good job man. As someone who has been having trouble just writing the outline for my short film to actually get a proffesional short film done is quit the accomplishment. I look forward to watching your short when its done. Perhaps one day we will meet each other at the Oscars ;)

    Also, after a bad cut made it into my final project for my television production class i've sworn to never edit my own films again, or at least not try to edit it by myself. I would be too afraid of that happening again

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps! Man, wouldn't that be a trip.

      I've always edited my own stuff, but would love to hire someone full time for a few months to edit something for me one day. That would be a real test. I write and shoot as an editor. I'm always thinking about that transition I'm going to use, or how long this shot will last before I cut to that shot, etc. It's all about editing, to me.

      Delete
  10. Looks like you've put a lot of hard work into this thing and I can't wait to see it. And regarding those rough patches you've had isn't it amazing what movies can do?

    Unfortunately I'll be out of town during the premiere, but the day I come back I will certainly tune in!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah man, this ain't the first times movies have helped me through a hard time. Indeed. Thanks for your support!

      Delete
  11. I can't wait to see your movie! With influences like the ones you described in previous posts you can do no wrong! I'm sorry to read you are having tough time I hope everything will be all right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind words. I hope people will enjoy the flick!

      Delete
  12. Looks great, man! Cool idea to include the Twitter hashtag, too. Looking forward to the release!

    ReplyDelete
  13. First of all, I'm glad to see the film is moving along great, I can't wait to see the trailer. As for the one sheet, I really like it, especially the dark colors and the girl's posture in it- it makes everything seem more intriguing and mysterious.
    Second of all, I'm sorry for the low blow you were talking about at the beginning of the post- I guess this project came up at the right time, didn't it? at least you have something else to worry about, it takes your mind off other painful things! I don't know what the problem is, but I hope it will get better soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Diana, that's really kind of you to say. Yeah, working on Earrings is a godsend right now. That, coupled with a few other very positive things in my life, are helping me chug right along.

      So glad you liked the poster, I really think it's going to speak well for the final product.

      Delete
  14. Looking forward to watching Earrings and the trailer!

    Really cool poster by the way, probably the meaning of it will be more apparent to us once we have seen your film, she is kind of holding her ears while looking down at the release date, which is well thought out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Chris! Ha, I like your breakdown of the poster... can't exactly say that was the intention of the picture, but I like your thoughts!

      Delete
  15. Every time I think of cutting a film I'm immediately transported to an anecdote surrounding Easy Rider from the Peter Biskind book Easy Riders Raging Bulls. Dennis Hopper so stressed out, ingesting so many drugs, spending days and days in a dark room hacking away at film stock struggling to put his vision together and some wise soul comes along and tells him "you can paste stuff back in you know Dennis" or words to that effect.

    I know you're done with this but I think it's a good inspirational example to refer back to in those marathon edit sessions when things aren't going right, just tell yourself at least you're not doing as bad as Dennis Hopper and if worst comes to the worst start again, you've got all the footage safe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahah true words! Yeah, there were only a handful of times when I had minor meltdowns and just had to step away and literally run it off. But then, once I calmed down, I'd say to myself, "Dude, chill the fuck out, it'll get done, do it the way you wanna do it." And then I'd be good.

      Taking a cue from Mr. Hopper (on what NOT to do), I actually didn't drink one drop of alcohol while I was editing this. I felt it would be good to keep a consistently clear head throughout the entire process and not lose days or hours to being hungover or whatever. I don't do drugs, so I didn't have to worry about that, but man, can you imagine cutting a flick together being as doped up as Hopper was? Nuts.

      Delete
    2. And with real film stock! The visions of a drunken Hopper passing out with a lit roach on his hand setting fire to his entire film are enough to cause nightmares for anyone. And yet somehow he crafted a film that defined a generation and changed Hollywood more than any other film had to date. The mind boggles.

      Delete
    3. It does indeed. That's one of the reasons I like that movie so much... dude was completely burned, but he did it.

      Delete