I’m Super Upbeat

Writing these blog posts isn’t the same as doing the video updates. I know people are watching the updates; I have a counter tallying how many and commenters coming in with constant interaction. The blog, however, often feels more like an interior monologue, where I have a little time and space to myself to put into words the low-budg’ production thoughts that have been rolling around in my head for a week. It’s like a great pressure-venting system where I feel like I can be completely open and take some time to formulate my thoughts and cathartically eject them into the vastness of cyberspace instead of carrying them around. Sometimes it backfires though. My post from last week had comments coming in telling me not to let internet-people get me down and people I know in real life coming up to me with sympathetic eyes at the ready wanting to pat my poor little shoulder. (Very appreciated feedback, I might add.) That was not at all my intention. The very act of writing those things recalibrated my mood and made me feel better about the crazy amount of time this episode is taking to finish.

This week, the hits kept on coming. The good stuff: I finished the effects for the episode intro. Now, I’m working on the sound effects, followed by color correction, so one out of the four parts will finally be done soon…minus the music (more on that in a second). I’ve been getting shots back from one of our VFX volunteers, David, and stuff is looking great. I’m really happy to have him on board.

The bad stuff: I’m starting to lag. I heard it in Ryan’s (VFX coordinator, VFX artist, and DP) voice too. We were talking on the phone yesterday and his voice was thick with the signs of VFX hypnosis. Staring at a computer one tiny frame at a time and rifling through blending modes, layers, and rotoscoping mattes (and 3D workflow, for him) every day for hours starts to remove inflection and verve from the voice and the light of hope* from the eyes of any dedicated VFX artist toward the end of a long project. He also dropped a very telling phrase, which I’ve also found myself whispering while at work in the home office: “I’m just trying to take it one thing at a time.” That’s all we can do if we ever want to put this thing to bed. [These anecdotes aren’t meant to elicit sympathy. We could stop working so hard if it really bothered us. They’re just things that are really happening and I sometimes rely on exaggerated phrasing–*see “the light of hope” above–because I think it’s funny.] The biggest roadblock this week was a call from our music composer, Suede, with the news that his computer decided to destroy his Pro-tools files, including his episode 6 work. He’s going to try to recover what he can and redo what he can’t recover in the next week. God bless, I say. Ep6 has been plagued with difficulties since the beginning, it has to be the toughest yet. I think that means we’re on the verge of something amazing. See, guys? I’m an optimist.

One last thing. Avengers!!! Gah!!! You know when I bust out trip’-excla’s that shnact is gettin’ real. (Usually when I type a sentence that ridiculous, I delete it. Not this time, baby.) Joss Whedon is on fire. Below is an interview with him that almost gave me an anticipatory brain aneurism. Like I was talking about a couple weeks ago, here’s a dude who’s following up one of the hugest movies ever with a black and white Shakespeare adaptation he shot in his house with his pocket-actors over a couple of weeks. The internet has changed everything, probably for the better where creatives are concerned. Unless the impending financial apocalypse proves me wrong, in which case…I was kidding.

Thanks for reading, guys.

–Jarvi

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