Man, oh man, I am SO excited. When making a web series, there are large sections of the process where the only thing driving you forward is sheer brute willpower. It starts to feel like masochism. Like you’re punishing yourself for no good reason. I think this mostly applies to creators who tackle post-production largely by themselves. The initial thrill of creation during writing is gone, the frenzied energy of forcing it into being during production is gone, the giddiness of finally seeing scenes come together in the rough edit is gone, the VFX part is when it really gets on top of you. For a few months, while you’re manipulating your footage a key frame or two at a time, you keep watching sections of your rough edit and they start to seem lifeless, overly long, and dull. That’s because you’ve spent too much time with it. Nothing about it is new at this point. At the script stage everything is new. During production you’re seeing how reality affects your vision for the story and that feels new. The first rough cut is the first time you see the whole thing assembled. While you’re laying in one little visual effect after another, you’re just fleshing out something you’ve been imagining for a long time, most of it is a compromise in some way or another, and none of them actually work without sound effects, so it’s a very disheartening process that feels stale and incomplete for months. It’s a ton of work and since your rough cut has started to feel stale and lifeless, you wonder why you’re wasting your time. If people haven’t quit before, this is when they quit or start half-assing things. Only the bullheaded determination to see this thing through gets you in that seat to complete something you no longer believe in. And it’s totally worth it. I finished the VFX in the show toward the end of last week and—as I said in the update—I’ve spent the last week laying in sound effects and music. Oh…my…heavens, does it ever make a difference? All the sounds and music have injected the episode with so much life again and I can’t believe how good it is. Soon I’ll begin the last slog, blindly groping my way through the technical wilderness that is color correction to come out with a finished episode. Finally. Then on to the next one.
All of this just reiterates the idea that people have no idea how much work goes into this thing. That’s an idea that was discussed in the middle of my friend Craig’s latest installment of his web series where he discusses the rock star lifestyle with people in successful bands. One of my favorite musicians, Mike Doughty—from Soul Coughing and his solo work—talks about the difference between people who achieve something and the people who sit around talking about doing something. Check it out; it’s a really fascinating examination of reality versus expectation for creative people. At about the four-minute mark they start talking about having to actually find your satisfaction in the work:
And sorry there’s such a long post this week, but another YouTuber I’ve never met made something awesome for us. Using clips from the show, PartyFish1000 made a title sequence for PoPS that feels like a late-80’s sitcom. It’s hilarious:
Thanks for reading.