So, everybody knows that things in the Starcraft community kind of exploded last week.
I’m not really in a position to talk about that or how it may or may not effect our film at the moment. I’ve got a Skype chat scheduled with Henry tonight, so I might know more later, I might not. Obviously I have thoughts on the whole thing, but I don’t particularly think it’s my place to share them at this time. So if you were expecting that, I’m sorry!
But what I will do is finish up the post I’ve had hanging around on my drive for a while now. A few weeks ago, when I should have made this post, I asked my followers on Twitter what they wanted me to write about. I got this response:
@ninehourfilms when can we see!? what it’s like to see your documentary develop over time?
— Edward Joseph Juarez (@Damogron) April 26, 2013
As to the first question, I’m afraid I have the same answer I’ve had for a while now – when it’s done! I’m with everybody else in wanting this to be finished sooner rather than later. But we need to make sure we make the best film we can, otherwise what was the time and expense and heartache and work really for? Donors who have donated more than $250 will be able to watch a test screening of a cut of the film to be able to give feedback and possibly influence the movie. But I’m still working out when and how the rest of the world will be seeing it.
As to watching the film develop…at the risk of being horribly melodramatic, I actually had to stop the rough cut about two minutes in and just stop for a while because I was a little too overwhelmed. The last two years have been a very emotional ride, with plenty of ups and downs to share. Fun trivia, the first real proposal I wrote for the film was actually for my class in Digital Imaging in my last year of my MFA. It was my final project, and I put together a graphics package for the whole thing. We’re using absolutely nothing from that original proposal, of course, but that’s the nature of the beast.
From that first proposal to now, it’s been a lot of stress, a lot of fun, a lot of creativity, a lot of problem solving, and a lot of raw emotion both in front of the lens and behind it. So when I had all of that boiled down into this file that was just sitting there on my desktop, just an icon like all the other icons, it was really odd. Suddenly it wasn’t an experience, it was a movie. I’ve felt this before, since this isn’t my first movie (I think it’s technically the 10th). But this is the first project of this size, and it’s the first project that’s had this kind of scope, timeline, and budget. So it may have been a familiar emotion, but times 9000.
At this point, the rest of the post process won’t be as emotional, I’m sure. The next big step is actually screening it in front of an audience. That is going to be a big deal too, and I really can’t wait. Except I have to wait until it’s actually done!
There’s something really profound about the moment that you sit down to watch the first cut of a project that has been your heart, soul, and life for so long. I realized earlier this month that it had been exactly two years since I went to PAX East and we filmed the first frames of Good Game with iNcontroL, Anna Prosser, and Scott Smith.
We’ve come a long way, and accomplished so much. Our editor, Henry Kaplan, has been hard at work since he came onto the project in December of last year. He took my first version of the script, and with my blessing tossed it out the window and started fresh. He then put together a rough cut of the full film that he sent me a few weeks ago, where he’s already starting to incorporate the fantastic music being composed for us by Rob Rusli.
It was clear watching the film that the right thing to do was to toss out that script and get a new perspective and a new eye. Henry really managed to get me out of the fog that descends when you’ve been working on a project too long, and he’s managed to capture the feeling that I was aiming for, which is so much more important than just lining up the clips that I picked out.
The ending gave me chills when I was watching it to write up my notes for the changes and adjustments that I wanted. The music, the dialog, it all came together in this moment that I just can’t wait to share with everyone. But Henry and Rob still have work ahead of them. So do I, for that matter. But watching the rough cut, all I could feel was how happy I was with my post production team. They get it, and they care, and it’s going to really show when you see the film.As a side note, ironically we actually haven’t used any of that footage from PAX so far.
hello to all of our supporters and fans first i want to wish everybody a very happy holiday season I hope that you’re all doing well and looking forward to some time with family and friends to celebrate as the year comes to a close while I’ve had a trying year it’s been the support of our fans that s helped keep me energized and working on this project and i sincerely thank all of you for that here at the the end of 2012 there s a lot going on behind the scenes here with both good game and nine hour films first we’ve been a little quiet lately because we’ve been redesigning the website and completely revamping the back end so that i can more easily bring you news and updates about the film also we’ve just signed on a new post production team who will hit the ground running in the next few months to get this film finally completed and ready for all of you who have been waiting so patiently for so long next year will be great and i can t wait to share everything with you all thank you again for your support and your encouragement.
Nine Hour Films
SC2NewSCast Weekly Edit Season 2 Episode 3
February 7, 2012
On being at the end of the filming process: “Filmmakers are their own worst enemy. You’re very rarely going to find somebody that’s going to be like, ‘Yes, everything is perfect. We did everything we wanted to do, it was all fantastic.’ We also have a tendency to kind of shoot for ten things so that we can achieve five.”
I know, it’s been nothing but the sound of crickets around here, huh? I’ve taken a small step back while the editors are working to work on other projects so that I can continue to pay to get the film finished. Right now, that’s the most important thing, because I want to make sure that post production is done right.
I know it seems like things have been pretty quiet around here. The trick is, that’s what post-production is like when you’re watching it from the outside.
Since we’re not attending events anymore to film, what we’ve been doing is a lot of the behind the scenes stuff. The editing team has been going through almost 100 hours of footage, logging it and taking notes about what we want to use and what is repetitive or not usable.
In the end, only around 90 minutes of those 100 hours will make it into the movie. In addition, we’ve got around 100 interviews that are being transcribed and sorted. Thanks to a few great volunteers, that was much easier than it could have been but it still is a long process. On average, transcribing an interview can take three to four times the length of the footage. Every fifteen minutes of talking is an hour of work on our end.
Along with that, there’s script writing, hiring people to work on the graphics, color correction, and sound design. We’re also going to start working with our composer, etc. I’m also putting together a mailing list so that it’ll be easier to get news and information. Our first list will be for donors only, so if you want in on exclusive information and images, you can donate today and you’ll be added when it goes online in a week or so.
So basically, I know it looks like nothing on that side of the fence, but there’s actually a lot of activity going on back here. It takes a lot of time and people to make a high quality film, and that’s what we’re working on.
In the meantime, why not go to our Facebook page and let us know what burning questions you might have about the production? I’m happy to answer whatever I can!
Starting with MLG Anaheim last year, Good Game has primarily been shot by amazing cinematographer Stephen Tringali.
I’ve known Stephen since we met at American University, where the bulk of our crew studied filmmaking. Stephen graduated and moved to L.A. and I was very happy to be able to start working with him again for Good Game.
The class has been wonderful, and I’ve got a few different things in the draft stage that we’ll be implementing as the next few weeks go by. I’ve learned a lot, and I can’t wait to apply it to the film. If you’re a local here in DC, I have to give a huge recommendation to the classes at AIM, especially if you want to start learning filmmaking.
Meanwhile, our editors have been continuing to work on the first rough cut of the film. I know that this part of the process seems extremely long to people who are used to this era of YouTube and instant streaming. For one thing, we’re taking over 90 hours of footage and carving it down to 90 minutes. That takes quite a bit of time!
We’re making sure that every single step of the process, from cataloging and transcribing to graphic design and music composition, is done with the most care and as professionally as possible. So I know that things seem quiet on our front right now, but that’s because things are happening that will make the film better, but look sort of boring from the outside. Let me tell you, transcribing 25 hours of interviews is actually so much more dull than you can imagine and it takes at least 75-100 hours to do it.
I should have some news about some website updates coming up soon. Thanks for being so patient!
Last week, I got the shipment of all of the signed mousepads that are owed to donors from our Kickstarter campaign. They’re currently taking over my dining room table.
By the way, that larger stack in the picture is just the ones signed by IdrA. We’re very grateful to him and apologize if his hand cramped up from so many autographs. You guys are definitely fans of his though!
Since I started working on the film, I’ve been spending a lot of time at the post office. They’ve been very patient and nice to me, since I routinely show up with stacks of things to be mailed internationally.
With the mousepads, it’s going to take a few trips to get it all done. First I’ve got to package them all up, and confirm addresses. Then international packages require customs slips, I have to go bother the post office again to ship everything. So it’s going to take a bit of time for me to get them all sent, but I’m working hard to get everything out since everybody has been so patient and kind while they waited.
We don’t have signed mousepads available anymore since that was a special perk, but you can still support the film and get a lot of cool items by donating through the webpage here. Every single bit helps, especially right now when we’re at a critical phase of post production.
In narrative films, it’s easy to declare “that’s a wrap.” Even if you end up doing some reshoots, there’s a very specific amount of time that is principle photography.
Documentaries aren’t really that way. They can be, but for the most part everything can be a bit nebulous. But the real danger is that you never stop shooting. You see, there’s always one more thing. There’s something else going on, there’s some other story line that you think you can capture. It’s very easy to shoot forever.