Archive for the Hypothesis the 6th Category

PoPS video update 147-2012 in Review

Posted in Hypothesis the 6th on December 30, 2012 by PoPS blog

PoPS video update 146-Compositing Craig for Christmas

Posted in Hypothesis the 6th on December 23, 2012 by PoPS blog

PoPS video update 145-Splitting Sebastian

Posted in Hypothesis the 6th on December 16, 2012 by PoPS blog

PoPS video update 144-In the FX Zone with Ryan Wolff

Posted in Hypothesis the 6th on December 9, 2012 by PoPS blog

Composer Composure

Posted in Hypothesis the 6th on December 5, 2012 by PoPS blog

It seems to me that the relationship between a film director and a music composer is one off the most minefield-laden relationships in the entire process. Here you have two people that speak entirely different creative languages, and they have to come together with perfect synchronicity to elevate a series of moments. It’s like a surgeon working with a serial killer, their individual fields are very different, but if they work well together they’ll create something you’ll never forget. Yikes. What’s more upbeat than that? It’s like a mortician working with a seamstress, even in the best collaborations it’s hard to do anything better than sew sew. Not any better. I guess I feel spooky today.

It doesn’t matter how beautiful a piece of music is, if it doesn’t match visual beats or is tonally wrong, it’s just not going to work. I’m the kind of director who edits a temp track to move exactly with the pulse of the edit too, so that it’s going to be practically impossible to get a satisfying sound-alike that hits everything the same way. And a lot of times what a director will talk about then is only what a piece isn’t doing instead of what it needs to do. I try to communicate all of these things as best as I can, but I’m still not a composer, a musician, a sound engineer, or final mix specialist. I just want my project to make an audience feel how it’s supposed to and I decided a while ago that I’m not going to “settle for almost” anymore. I’m not going to “get used to it.” It’s going to be right or it’s not going in the show. Too many other people are working their hardest on this thing and putting in too many hours for an integral part not to work. So here you have two (sometimes more) people who are passionate about their creative output, pulling against each other for days until something magically works.

One of the most famous action movie cues comes from Aliens, at the end of the picture James Horner wrote this thumping, escalating beast of a score that perfectly encapsulates holding your breathe as something spirals to the edge of chaos and surviving by the skin of your teeth. See? That’s how directors talk to composers. Now try and make a piece of music around that vague-ass description. Go! And that music cue was like the last thing dropped into the picture right before it was released because James Cameron was satisfied with nothing. Horner had to keep doing it over and over as the release date ticked closer and closer. Many screaming matches were had, and the greatest action cue of all time was born. Horner refused to work with Cameron again for a lot of years.

I have some great people working on music for the show. I sure hope I don’t Cameron them.

As I write this, I’m sitting on the third floor of a library observing the parking lot through floor to ceiling windows. I never before realized how mystified parking a car apparently makes people. I’ve seen at least 7 people slowly pull into a space, stop halfway in, and then abruptly jerk forward a foot at a time until they hit the concrete parking stopper like a boat running aground. It’s pretty amazing.


PoPS video update 143-The Emi Music Hatch

Posted in Hypothesis the 6th on December 2, 2012 by PoPS blog

Pretty Little Post-Pros

Posted in Hypothesis the 6th on November 28, 2012 by PoPS blog

A day after Leo gave us that look at how he blew up the building at the end of Ep6, a video went up outlining the post production process on The Hobbit, which you can see here:

As you can see, our processes are exactly the same. My irony here might be slightly masked by the inability of the written word to convey my wry eyebrow raise. But really, when you take away their massive staff of people, all of the specialists, the gobs of money, the beautiful facilities, it would still just be some people sitting in front of computers making fake things seem more real. In that way, what we do is the same. However, Leo had to start throwing out detail and geometry to get his computer to render the building explosion, my foley room consists of repurposing a library of pre-recorded sound effects, and instead of a series of perfectly controlled environments with enormous mixing boards full of programmable sliders for mixing and coloring I have one wireless mouse and the standard Mac half-keyboard. I haven’t even sprung for the regulation size keyboard with the numeric keypad, that’s the kind of low rent op’ we’re running around here. Determination over manpower and money, the DIY credo. I dream of one day sitting in while specialists correct and mix my project. That would be amazing.

I’ve come to the realization that I oversaturated the whole of episode six. The blacks are too low and I over-boosted saturation. I think since we shot flat, I was worried about not bringing it up enough and I overcompensated. I should have left it mildly undersaturated or at least pulled a lot of the reds out. But you live and learn, right? Especially when you’re DIY’ing. And the oranges on that explosion! Yikes. Don’t even get me started.

Still working on non-PoPS stuff. There should be at least a couple more updates of people other than me talking about their show processes during 6.



PoPS video update 142-Leo Blows Up Everything

Posted in Hypothesis the 6th on November 25, 2012 by PoPS blog

PoPS video update 141-The Eliza Hatch

Posted in Hypothesis the 6th on November 18, 2012 by PoPS blog

YouTube Fears

Posted in Hypothesis the 6th on November 14, 2012 by PoPS blog

The big topic this week that’s swept the YouTube communities I follow is fear. This British dude named Ali, who vlogs under the username RogueBluejay, made a short vlog called I’m Scared, in which he listed a whole bunch of his fears and then asked the commenters to say what they were afraid of. A day or two later, the most subscribed to dude in all of the UK, Charlie McDonnell, goes by the handle CharlieIsSoCoolLike, also made a video called I’m Scared. Charlie didn’t say anything about Ali’s video, so he probably hadn’t seen it–the YouTube community is very good about mentioning if they’re riffing off someone else’s video. So the fact that these two British guys made “I’m Scared” videos within a couple days of each other seems pretty indicative of a larger problem, but I’m not here to talk about that. Ali’s video was about fear in general. Charlie’s video was about his YouTube fears, specifically, that he had gotten to a point where he was so afraid of what his 1,690,000 subscribers–you read that right, very subbed dude–would think of his next short film that he was completely incapacitated and unable to do any work on the script whatsoever. So he vlogged about it. He said that he hoped by vlogging about it he could get passed it and I guess time will tell. The thesis statement of the whole video came down to the very basic human desire to be liked. The outpouring of support was substantial. People talked about their own fears and desire for acceptance, the told him what an inspiration he was to them, and that they always looked forward to his videos. Gagillions of comments and video responses. It was great.

The whole thing made me think about my own concerns about YouTube. I follow one of the very basic rules of YouTube. Upload regularly. Every Sunday I have something on my channel. Usually they’re the updates, which are the most YouTube’y thing on my channel. The webseries is what I pour my care and attention into, but every week I throw something together to let people know we’re still around during the months that pass between episodes. My YouTube fear has nothing to do with output. I’m not incapacitated by people’s expectations. I like the episodes enough that I’m confident that there will be others who enjoy them too. I was convinced that the updates were a necessary evil to keep the show alive while the episodes brewed, and I put them up no matter how many people tell me they hate them and that they’re stupid. 2,000’ish people still show up for them every week and it doesn’t seem to be hurting my subscribership too badly, so I keep doing it. Content hits my channel regardless, not scared of putting anything out there. My YouTube fear is that I’m not positioning the show correctly. That the format I have turning the episodes into playlists and listing them on my main page is too confusing to maneuver. I worry that many people don’t want to check out another superhero web show, no matter how different our approach is. I’m nervous that while I dedicate myself to finishing the remaining four episodes, my window of opportunity for making an industry calling card of a short film is dissipating. That no one wants to dive into such a long viewing experience when the first couple episodes are such poor quality. That me and my cast and crew could make a much bigger splash with a independent 15-minute long story that you didn’t need to sit through a 7-minute long previously-on to understand without feeling lost. But I love PoPS. I love what it’s brought us, I love that people love it, and I want to do it justice before I move on to the next thing.

Anyway. Those are my personal YouTube fears. Here’s something awesome from Vimeo for fans of the flick Rear Window:

Thanks for reading.