This last week was one of little sleep as I was juggling two major projects:
1. Post-Production supervisor on an irreverantly funny internet video about Santa Claus.
2. Assistant Camera on a Documentary about my Boss's Father and Step-mother.
So basically, my days were spent shooting this documentary on 16mm film, and my nights were spent advising on file-transfers, and trying to schedule people for delivery of this Santa Video to Atom Films. And only as I'm writing this, (having finally gotten some sleep,) do I realize that my days were all STEAMPUNK, and my nights were CYBERPUNK.
STEAMPUNK because 16mm is a film format. I haven't shot anything on actual film since film school, and now I remember why. It's partly because shooting film is SOOOO expensive, time-consuming, and void of error-checking, but also because it's just plain HEAVY.
We prepped and picked-up our camera package on Tuesday, at which point something became immediately apparent to me...if we had been shooting on any kind of digital format, we would've had 2 to 4 cases to walk out of there with. Instead, we had TWENTY-TWO. The camera package took up the entire van, and it weighted a ton. So, being the techie that I am, I had plenty of inner monologues about how useless film was nowadays and why the smart movie maker would shooting everything digital. But while we were on set, building these camera-rigs of metal, gears, servos, latches, screws and hinges, I suddenly became aware of how beautiful it all was. Even though today's film cameras run on electricity and have simple digital read-out on a small panel, they are still, in essence, a late 1800's victorian technology. I so rarely get a chance to touch the past in my life, but slapping a film magazine on the back of one of these heavy-as-shit mechanical cameras filled me with such a sense of history and respect for the craftsmanship.
Of course, Dion and I still had our quiet asides to one another like "If we were shooting on digital, we could play it back and see if it looked okay," or "If it were digital, we could shoot for longer than ten minutes at a time," but when all was said and done, it was the closest real-life Steampunk experience I've had.
CYBERPUNK was when the sun went down, and the heavy machinery was replaced by cell phones, laptops, flash-sticks, FTP sites, and Final Cut Pro. Saturday and Sunday night especially saw me driving around in my car in the middle of the night, running over to friends' houses, jumping on their computers, and trying to work through technical processes as fast as possible in oder to get this 4 minute video about Santa Claus ready to upload to the web.
It was Saturday night at about 3am when I drove through a deserted Hollywood neighborhood to drop a DVD off outside the gate to a friend's apartment building. I texted him from my iphone that the frames he needed for his VFX shot were waiting outside, and as I drove away, I felt like part of the god-damn digital video ILLUMINATI!
Sunday night I arrived at Ric and Jen's place in Burbank where my old College buddy Dave Barnaby had been working on the sound for the piece, and twenty minutes into the 8 o'clock hour, he leaned out of the room he was working in and said, "Man, this is just like bein' back in School! It's a lot of fun!" And I suddenly realized that I hadn't really done anything like this for a long time! I mean, I'm an editor for a living, but this was for somebody's personal project, and we were doing it late at night on our own equipment, bringing all of our experience and creative technical know-how to bear on it.
And then we wrapped at 5am, just in time for me to go home and sleep a few hours before going to work Monday morning...shades of my days on AMANDA HADES.
So overall, it was a fun, exhausting weekend of revelations for me. What the upshot is, I have no idea...but you'll be able to watch Aaron's Santa Biography on Atom films as soon as they post it, and you'll be able to see the 16mm documentary several years from now if you happen to be friends with the film makers.
Big night in Sean-world. I just finished Kraken on the latest draft of my gargantuan space-epic. This is a project I've been workin' on sporadically for 5 years now. My assignment this time around was to get the first script (yes, it's a trilogy,) down from 230 pages to a more manageable length.
You're probably asking yourself, "230 pages? Are you insane? The average screenplay is only supposed to be 90!" It's true, and normally I would never have written something this long, but it's an adaptation of a book. So, it started off with EVERYTHING in it. Now you're saying, "Dear God, Rourke...why are you wasting your time adapting a book when you don't own the rights to it?" Public Domain, baby.
I've managed to get the page count down from 230 to 173. So, its running time is now 3 hours instead of just under 4. BUT, I've managed to avoid going into that sad, sad territory of combining characters, truncating events, and changing the story in order to fit the time limit. I guess that'll be the next pass?
Anyway, the above image is a piece of concept art I did for it awhile ago. The model is Susan.