Friday, June 17, 2005

Short Horror

So now I’m back to writing about writing.

I was stuck on a few airplanes this week and started to write down the skeleton of a short film that I hope I can get made in time for the Salem Horror Film Fest. The deadline is sometime in September for showings in October during Salem, Mass’ huge celebration of all things scary. Coincidentally I got married in October in Salem.

Just a coincidence.

The story is a mash up of a couple of some made up things and stuff that happened to me and people I know. Right now I’m debating on whether I should go the supernatural route or a story more based in reality. There seems to be no requirement other than scariness for this film fest. I think the real world is much scarier than ghouls and goblins, but in the spirit of the competition I may include something a little mysterious, if not paranormal.

On the plane I scribbled on a printed page that had some earlier ideas on it. I filled the paper with words, which was satisfying. I started to write in short story form, in the first person. This will obviously have to change, but I wanted to get the feeling of the perspective of the protagonist down on paper. This may end up as narration in the film, or maybe not. I love films that tell as little as possible and make you watch. Although getting the back story in that will make you care about our hero and his plight by purely visual means will take some time and might kill the ‘short’ of the short film.

In case you were wondering:

Logline: A kid has a bad experience in a cemetery.

The next step is to get it off the paper and into the computer. Followed by more writing, then somehow forcing it into a film structure.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Saturday, June 04, 2005

The Awful Blogger

I need to get back to posting often. Which also means I need to get back to writing often. Slight problem, I’m tired of “Something Awfu”l and I’m excited about “Untitled Thriller”. Well, let me finish talking about the 48 Hour Film Project and then I’m of the races. Races = Staring past a silent keyboard at a blank screen.

Fixing the wrong line
The competition

So we had the wrong line. It should have been a deal breaker, but it ended up being no problem. I get to my editor's house Sunday morning and he doesn’t know we have the wrong line. I break the bad news. He sighs. Immediately we have plan. The once scary fact that he had to leave me for 2 hours to go to a friend’s christening now becomes a blessing and an improptu ADR session. Luckily the only time the line is spoken is by an unseen audience. He takes his mini DV camera to the party and records the unsuspecting family and friends saying the right line. A quick call to my animator and songwriter in Maine fixes the animation and song for the opening. I’m now glad that he put his work off until the last minte. Phew.

So I learned in the editing process, using an experienced editor, what an art and a science it is. He fixed so many ‘problems’ it made me ashamed to think I could just up and edit. Also, he was more than a fixer, he was an enhancer. He knew where we lingered too long. He knew that a particular shot was a great idea, but didn’t fit when the pieces were all assembled. One thing he said early was that we wouldn’t have enough time to edit, even if it were a 72 hour film festival, but we’ll do it anyway. I am a lucky bastard.

The film was finished and we turned it in. Of course there are more details but I really need to start working on a new project. I will say that some, if not most, of the other movies were great and fun to watch. You saw so many levels of experience and technical skill. It was very rare to see people who didn’t have great ideas. Some films were too long. Some of the exection wasn’t clear enough. But all of them were inventive and original. Experience and an extra few hours would have helped. There’s probably some life lesson there that can be applied to everyone. I’ll look into it.

And oh, yeah, we didn’t win.