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With August coming to a close, we completed the fourth draft of the screenplay and shot it off to Andy, Shannon, Karel and Michael Favelle. This represented a lot of work, naturally, because it incorporated changes from the read through, Andrew Traucki, the workshop with Karel and Andy and Shannon’s notes, as well as work to bring the indicative costs down for sequences in the film that were fine from a story perspective, but not so much from a budget perspective.
It always feels great to deliver a draft, but this is a little different. With the production of the film fast becoming a reality, I find myself thinking about the screenplay as a blueprint for others to view way more than usual. Of course, that’s what a screenplay is; a working document that is the first piece of an artistic puzzle that has many collaborators. After so many years of not getting much further than this point, this draft definitely feels more… real. Real feels good, let me tell you. To know how likely it is that the screenplay you are working on will get made? Feels amazing.
An unexpected result of this draft has been my baby steps into a new skill set – post production effects! There was a sequence or two in the third draft that Andy was pretty sure would be way too expensive to even consider having in the film, but we didn’t think was that pricey. We aren’t in a position just yet to get detailed, per sequence, quotes from specialists, so we’ll have to wait until we can do that to make ultimate determinations on what we will be able to accomplish.
To allow me to have conversations based on some kind of knowledge of the area, I’ve started teaching myself how to use After Effects. I told myself that it was just to get a grasp of the basic processes of post effects. I told myself that I would do some online courses, try out some test shots, and see if I could conceive how some of our shots might be done.
That’s what I told myself then.
Didn’t quite turn out that way. I’ve been spending wayyyyy more time than I expected on it. Holy moly do I love bumbling around with this stuff. Rotoscoping, green screens and composites, oh my! It’s so much fun. My kids love it, too. They’ve been helping me wrap my head around some basic processes, and they love seeing themselves in the finished products, flying off like Superman or walking through walls. My test shots are amateurish, which is not surprising, as that is what I am – but I think that with a little ingenuity we could pull off a lot of what we need to accomplish on my little MacBook. At the very least, I’ll be able to have some conception of what the experts are talking about, when we get the chance to speak with them. Until then, I’ll keep tinkering for the sake of education. I’m totally not just playing around because I’ve suddenly becoming a post effects geek. No, sir. This is all strictly business.
That’s what I’m telling myself now.