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August 1, 2005

the most expensive minute of my life

by sven at 4:17 am

(except for being handed my diploma)

I started working in earnest on the teaser-trailer on June 29. The grand total of hours put into getting the trailer done: 142. Minus the 3 seconds of black on either side, it's exactly one minute long. That works out to 2 hours 22 minutes (!) of effort for every second of screen time. Which is to say...

I'm DONE!!!

After dinner I called Andrew Migliore and arranged to drop the DVD off at his house tomorrow. The disc is burned, the submission form is filled out, I've just now emailed Andrew my "press kit" materials... As soon as I deliver the deliverables, I'm coming straight home and starting "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince". I get a day off!

Oh, but a few more war stories before I sign off for the night...

Just as I was saving the final sound file -- the software crashed! Fortunately I'd saved recently, and all the tweaks were fresh in my mind. Things were put back in order without much pain.

But better yet: Today -- today of all days -- I filled up my 200 Gig movie-making hard drive! No more room! Very lucky, then, that just a few weeks ago Gretchin juggled some data around and made more space on the Workhorse's hard drive. When I ran out of space, I just started saving new data on the other drive. (Thanks, gl.!)

Today's final tweak: I decided that the teaser would say "coming in 2007" instead of "coming in 2006". It's probably more realistic, and it takes some psychological pressure off me. In terms of the audience, I think it conveys that they should be anticipating this project -- but not get too antsy. If I get it done by 2006, I'm ahead of schedule. If it's not done til 2008 (dear god, no...), people will either have forgotten about it, or understand that it's that big of a project. Gretchin advocated for not naming a completion date at all... There's something to that -- but for my own sanity, I have to believe that this thing will be completed within two years.

I got the first DVD burned by 9:45pm. Finally able to let the excitement creep in, Gretchin and I watched it over and over, alternately squealing and nit-picking. I did something fancy for the DVD menu -- I'm really happy with that (check out the photo above). The lavamen don't look as good as I'd hoped -- the TV screen makes them glow way more than I expected, they lose a lot of subtlety. The brightness level of the TV set makes a huge difference for this film; there are white-whites and black-blacks, and you lose detail on either side of the spectrum if the set's not adjusted right. In the shot where the explorers come into the cave from the blizzard I lose most of the cave entrance -- I failed to respect the "TV safe" boundary. But it's still acceptable.

Overall, I'm both very happy with the results -- and rather disappointed. I'm ecstatic with excitement -- and utterly bored with the teaser. I'm alternately proud, thinking this will wow folks -- and nervous, thinking that they may be non-plussed. With so much sweat and blood in this thing, you gotta expect some complicated emotions.

Wow. I'm done.

posted by sven | August 1, 2005 4:17 AM | categories: let sleeping gods lie, movies