Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Post Mort

Rich, we've got no printer. I turned 21 yesterday, and I hurt. This is just timestamped proof that it's written - I will bring you a hardcopy as soon as I can feel my eyes again.


Shannon Bennett
Post Mort Essay

The following is a list of the most prominent problems I have encountered during my directing 3 experience, my reaction to them, and how I plan to avoid them as Capstone sneaks up on me.

- Lack of certain types of coverage.
o I attribute this problem to how long it took for me to secure a location for my film. If I’d had a space to diagram much earlier on, I would have been more prepared in terms of a shot list and schedule.
• Next year, I plan to assemble a production team instead of piling all of the responsibilities on one producer. Included in this team will be a Location manager whose soul responsibility will be to secure a location at the head of pre production.

- Dissatisfaction in the performances of my actors.
o I auditioned a lot of people, and made my decisions based on where I saw the most talent. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to create chemistry and comfort between my leads before shooting.
• I will cast early and set aside rehearsal time. I will also research methods of creating the necessary relationships between my actors so that their repertoire is believable. I will also have time to play with improvisations so that recited dialogue will not sound so wooden.

- Random editing blips
o My actors overlapped when speaking.
o There was a serious eyeline issue.
• I could blame my script supervisor for these issues, but honestly, it was a problem that no one caught it. As an editor it’s necessary for me to be more aware of things like that while I’m shooting. Hopefully, because it’s caused such an inconvenience this year, I have learned my lesson.
o Sound was horrible.
• We needed to be monitoring sound during filming. The echo is horrible and some of the actors are incoherent.
• We also never recorded roomtone, which has turned out to be a huge issue in the wake of the aforementioned problem.

- Time for post
o It took me entirely too long to lock picture. As a result, I will not have time for a sound mix or color correction before our screening.
• I will create a schedule with deadlines ahead of time.
• I will assign people to specific jobs with deadlines as well. If I have a date to aim for, I may be more confident in my decisions when I feel like my deadline is sooner than the actual end.

As a final note, assembling my team much earlier will be a huge component to my capstone process. I’m determined to have a team of producers to simplify the process, and pre-production will last much longer.

I also want my producer(s) to be involved in the post process to keep me and the post team on schedule. Perhaps this is one of the reasons I didn’t finish a polished version of the film on time.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

In the Wake of Feedback

So, these test screening forms are pretty intense. Some of my personal favorites.

- Everything is okay, except for the story.

- The music ... sounded soft core pornish. You might wanna go with another song, or not ...

- Visually is was very nice in general

- Excellent job, if not a bit cliched story. (if anyone knows a story I have cliched, please, please let me know.)

- Was she dreaming, or had she known before?

- Music must be improved! I was wondering if this film were made for the same person because they all have Jump cut that are not clear and they just confused the picture.

- I'm not a fan of romance/fantasy (Sorry?)

- Please change eyelines in cafe conversation.

- The opening ... I didn't understand. Don't like the title, how does that go?

Okay, so, translations are more than welcome.

Seriously, though, some of the feedback is useful, and I loved reading opinions on my film, even if some of them were a bit ... harsh. Or incoherent.

Rich made a good point - you have to read between the lines for useful material.

Now, I'm off to the editing bay to use that eyeline changer tool in Final Cut ...

Saturday, March 31, 2007


Ever watch something so many times that you can't tell what's working anymore? My sound has been thrown off sync, and I'm fixing it, but I need to take a small vacation from my cut so I can approach the thing with eyes fresh enough to know what the hell I'm changing.

Also, the sound thing is a huge pain in the arse.

Happy Holidays.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


I've got a new cut. And it's comin' to class. Brace yourselves.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Sleigh Bells

So, updating during post is pretty difficult. I would just post random clips of stuff I'm improving, but that'd take all the shazzam out of showing another cut, which I intend to do.

I've re-cut my opening to Blue Christmas, and I'm rather loving it. Music is becoming really vital to the project, as is displayed in my teaser.

I need to find a sound designer for post to help me with some ADR, and I'll be meeting with Phil soon to get an idea of what we're going to do musically for the fantasies. Right now, we just have sleigh bells ringing everytime one happens, which is actually pretty funny, but I want more (naturally).

I'm not sure if seeing the pure magic of some of the other films (Has Heppe's cut finished circulating yet?) has pressured me to strive for perfection, as it ought, or kind of relieved me, as I now know that our screener will be bested by no one. Regardless, I'm still slaving away, smiting all of my other classes in the process.

Anyway, off to work on my sorely neglected feature.

Friday, March 16, 2007


So, here I am, on campus - doing some editing like a good film student on Wednesday night - and I figure, okay - let's get a CD out of my car and pull some music onto the sequence.

I walk out into the hallway - toward the snack machines - and this guy, in full SWAT armor, complete with visor helmet, swings out from behind a wall with a GUN.

Turns out there was some training going on. The entire team soon spilled out in equally terrifying armor to ask me wtf I was doing at school in the middle of the night (10:30). They told me to leave, and I did, unscathed, but, all the same, I figured I'd share.

Moral: Edit during spring break - get shot.

Be careful kids.

Thursday, March 8, 2007


Okay - so, this isn't a real trailer, because it gives EVERYTHING away. But, this will give you guys a better idea of what I'm goin' for.

Enjoy (and comment)