Getting to Edit

I spend so much of my time on this blog talking about how hard it is to make this web series. Bitching about scheduling, people’s schedules, finagling everyone’s personal calendars, and the scheduling of it all. That’s really the main thing I complain about. But I do it a lot. Because, clearly, everyone’s lives should revolve around the show, as the planets revolve around the life giving sun. So…

It’s nice to finally be able to tell you that I’m having a really good time editing the episode. I’m a cheerful little showrunner as I’ve watched the first fifteen minutes of the rough-cut come together. Even as I already plot to re-shoot a section of it and come to grips with a heaping amount of ADR we’re going to need to do (more on that later), it’s so validating to see the story unfold in a visually satisfying way with your friends giving hilarious performances before your very eyes. It’s one of those This-is-the-reason-I-do-it kind of moments, and it’s nice to feel that way.

As for why we have so much ADR to do, I’m going to let you in on it. Three main reasons, file them away as cautionary tales for your own productions.

1: We have a whole new system of sound gear: a wonderfully specific shotgun microphone to go in our old-as-the-hills boom pole and a brand new Marantz field recorder. We started learning to use these on the production, so there was a learning curve involved.

2: Our old tried-and-true sound crew is scattered to the wind. We had them some nights, but most of the time we were calling upon the ears of fresh volunteers. They did a great job for just picking up the equipment for the first time, and a fantastic job monitoring the levels, but if you’ve never had your head in the earphones before you can’t tell the difference between a microphone that’s pointed directly and one that’s pointed slightly indirectly. You’re not trained to notice the slight bass’y muffling around the edges of speech.

3: This one is on me. I’ve been choreographing scenes with A LOT of foreground/background interplay. I’ve been packing a lot of actors into tableau frames with a variety of depth and speaking levels. It looks great, but as I’ve said, we have ONE microphone and it is perilously specific. So, placing actors on either side of a room isn’t the best plan for getting great sound. Even a superstar boom op would have trouble landing this one.

In other news, we have a lot of kids to cast. I’ve put out a casting call to several Chicago agencies and I’ll get some auditions lined up in a couple weeks. Only waiting that amount of time because of the availability of the free audition space. I’ve put out a lot of lines to a lot of locations, and I feel like we’re finally getting to a place where we can start shooting the rest of the episode. All it takes is time and persistence.

So, there you go. Another week, another blog post. I have a lot of work ahead of me and I feel pretty good about it. Not a usual state of affairs.

Also, my last video update was embedded on one of my favorite film craft sites, Filmmaker IQ, this week. They liked what I was saying enough to include it in their articles. Good week.

Thanks for reading.

–Jake

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