Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Awooo

Went to see the ever excellent Betty and the Werewolves. They feature as the band who Stevie and Neil go and see at the beginnig of the film when they first come acorss Billy Nixon. In the film the band play a song called Euston station, and tonight was the single release party for that track. Got there just in time to catch the end of the band before them (who were also excellent) and then it was werewolf frenzy. This was the second time I've seen them and they were once again brilliant and I'm so glad they're in the film, they're just the sort of band we want. It's been a long time since I've seen a band having so much fun on stage. The single is available on itunes to download, or, if you're just so hip it hurts, you can get it on 7".

And they were giving away cake tonight. How rock is that?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Finally

The trailer is up on the site here . It's pretty much the same as the one down there, but bigger, better aspect ratio, better sound (you can now actually hear what they're saying) and just all round a much nicer thing. Fingers crossed this is just the beginning of loads more things going up on the site, but I'll believe it when I see it.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Waiting

There's nothing else to do and it's driving us mad. One public body and three companies are looking at the film and considering if they wamt to get involved, and until one of them says yes (or all four say no) there is absolutely nothing we can do. We don't need to do much more to the film, but it would be good to just get on with it, but there are so many different ways (and costs) to complete the film we have to just wait until we know which is the best option. And I'm not very good at waiting.

On the plus side a better quality version of the trailer should be going up on the main website this weekend, at least that's the theory, followed, we hope, by cast biogs and more general info. I'm spending some of today trying to come up with some more things to do for the marketing of the film. I thought doing all the general paraphenalia you get with a band would be good, button badges, tour T shirts, that kind of thing. It's probably way too early to think about these things, but at least it stops me checking my email every 15 seconds to see if anyone has got back to us.

Also we have a composer working on some ideas for incidental music. As I normally hate incidental music I'm really looking forward to hearing what he's come up with. Now I have to try and not smash my computer up in frustration before he sends something over.

Next week I'm meeting up with a guy called Jon who is making a documentary on the Oxford music scene and I'm really looking forward to seeing how his cut is going. Having been involved in that music scene for years it will be very interesting to see what everyone has to say about it. Then, the day after that, I'm meeting up with a guy who's doing a documentary on Iggy Pop, who wants me to look at some early cuts. The most important thing here is to talk this viewing into the oportunity to ocme along and film some stuff with him. After all, we're using a Stooges song in the film so it's only right and proper that I get to fulfill one of my dreams and meet Iggy Pop. Well, that's the angle I'm taking.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Final hurdle

We're putting the budget(s) together for the last part of the film. We know we have to do some pick up shots, a sound mix, some ADR work, a grade, titles and music clearance, but after that we have three choices.

Choice number one is the bargain choice, and is to go to a digibeta copy from the DVCAM masters we've been cutting off. This is very cheap. Choice two is to end up on an HD master with a full stereo 5.1 mix. This would show perfectly in any cinema that can show HD. That would cost about 50K.

Choice three is to end up on a full 35mm print. This is the choice we'd most like to make, however this will cost about another 70K on top of the HD master, so about 120K all in.

The good news is that we've had some good news which should (hopefully) make finding the extra money easier. We've applied to UKFC as well as a number of other avenues for the money and now just have to wait. Worst of all we can't say what the good news is until it's cleared at the beginning of September, but it is proper good news.

Everyone said that making the film was the easy and fun part, finishing it was the difficult bit. I laughed in their faces when they told me this, I couldn't see how anything could be much harder than making the film. But, of course, they were right and I was wrong. This is the real uphill struggle, but thankfully we're used to that by now. Sort of.

And happily John from National Park got in touch. I'd emailed him ages ago as I really wanted to use one of their excellent tracks in the film (specifically No More Rides), but never heard anything back form him. Turns out his websites spam filter was set too high and he wasn't getting any mail, but luckily looked into this and found my email, and even better he's happy to let us use the song. We're very pleased about this as once you start using a song and it really works, it's very hard to change it for something else. It never sounds as good (unless I wrote it, obviously. Actually, not even then. Actually especially not then). So hurrah, the sound track is nearly complete.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It's a small, small world

I went to see my friends Rob and Amelia tonight. They've both spent their lives in indie bands (Tallulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research, Tender Trap), and have provided a huge amount of support for the film through script readings and advice. What I wasn't expecting was that one of their other guests tonight was Claudia Gonson from the Magnetic Fields. Rob and Amy had told her all about the film and she was really interested to hear more. they'd also told her about the line about her band being cut. She was very gracious about the whole thing, but I now have to try doubley hard to see if it will work in the film again.

I have a terrible feeling it won't, the scene reads so well now without that pause, but it was still great to have to make my apologies to someone whose music I really love about not name checking them in the final cut. And then it hit me, one of the title cards is still named after a Magnetic Fields song, so at least they're in there somewhere.

Odd that in the beginning of the film Stevie name checks Comet Gain (who later appear in the film), The Nation Of Ulyssess (who bass player later appears in the film) and Huggy Bear (whose guitarist later appears in the film), none of whom I knew were appearing when I wronte the lines, and now a Magnetic Fields track is mentioned and then I meet Claudia (loads of other bands are mentioned, but I knew them before I wrote the thing). I'm starting to think this film may be some magical device, like some kind of filmic monkey's paw. I'm going to try and put in a reference to Winona Ryder and see if she turns up on my doorstep tomorrow. The court order will obviously make that tricky, but I can but try.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

If you don't cry



Is of course the title of a song by the Magnetic Fields. It's also a line we in the film, a reference that Stevie spots and mentions. But it was one of those lines that worked well on paper but not so well read out loud, so it got cut. But tonight I went to see the Magnetic Fields in concert, and I feel guilty for cutting it. So I'm marking it down in the book of things to try next time we're in the edit suite (this book is starting to fill up now).

Of more pressing concern is a meeting with the sales agent next week when they want to discuss a timetable for showing the films to distributors. My answer of 'when it's finished' was deemed not precise enough. They also said they would take us out to lunch (though I'm sure they'll charge this back to us at some point, I would). They are, however, the fourth people to say they're going to take us out for lunch in the last few weeks, and as yet no lunch has been forthcoming. So I'm going to keep my fingers crossed they're first, I'm starving.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Teaser trailer

videoI have no idea if this will work or not, but while we're uploading the trailer to the website I'm going to try and load a copy up here. It's a little low res, but I it seems to hold up OK. If it does work then please let us know what you think of it.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Almost there

The trailer is finished now. Hopefully it gives a feel for the film without giving too much away. I don't know. It's just for us this one, distributors will do their own. I just want to make sure it has one foot in the comedy and one foot in the arthouse.

Anyway, it should be up tomorrow or the day after (or Monday as it's usually known).

Trailer


Just cutting a rough version of the trailer at the moment, just for the website. It's a much harder job than I thought it would be, trying to balance out giving a flavour of the film without giving the whole film away. However, hard as that is it's nothing compared with making sure the film doesn't try and appear something else. You suddenly realise how accurate all those spoof trailers from a few years ago were, it would be easy to cut the scenes from our film to make out it was almost any genre of film (with the possible exception of sci fi).
Met up for drinks with Alan Harris yesterday, along with a large chunk of his crew from Dean Spanley. I can't wait to see the finished film. He showed me a trailer and it looks beautiful, and Peter O'Toole looks wonderful. I have a feeling it will do really well.
Meanwhile we have a couple of possible avenues for our completion money, but it's early days and I'm not holding out too much hope for these ones. Maybe when they see the trailer on the website. Especially the horror version. Amazing what adding the Psycho soundtrack will do to a shot.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Smoke on the water

I gave up smoking when the ban came into effect in the UK last June. All was fine, but I knew that when we started filming there was a chance I might have the odd cigarette. And so, at about 10.30 on the first days filming, I turned to david, the 3rd AD,, and said, 'give me a cigarette'.

So I smoked for the shoot, but then came the edit. I smoked for some of that, mainly becuase the editor smoked, but for about half of it I didn't, letting him go for a fag break while I hunted for pornography, or played word battle, on the internet. I never smoked at home, so it was only a couple a day, but still too much.

But now the edit's done (-ish) I've stopped again. Until tonight. Today I had to go and meet my friend Tessa rockchick who was over from Hong Kong. We met at the hospital (the club not the NHS building), where she was witha group of other people who I didn't know. One was a PR, one was a booker for models 1, one is making a film on the Stooges (I've already offered to do some camera on his next shoot) and one was a mystery. The mystery one suddenly announced that he was going for a cigarette, and did anyone want to join him. Being ill at ease with a large group of strangers (I'm as crap as everyone else) I said I would, so the two of us went onto the balcony for a cigarette.

Making small talk I asked him what he did. He said he was a film financier. Hah, what are the chances. I explained our project. It's not what he normally does, but he loved the idea. He may not be able to help, but he's going to make some calls.

So it all may (and probably will) turn out to be nothing, but the fact is that if I hadn't gone out for a cigarette I would never have had the converstation and so would never have found what may be the final piece of money we need. So smoking is thereofr officially useful.

Of course had I been strong and not smoked he would have come back in at some point and we would have had much the same conversation, but I'm ignoring that fact. And anyway, I've given up smoking again now. But this time I mean it. Unless you're a film financier who wants a chat.