Thursday, July 27, 2006

The End is Near

The Oath of Desormeau on Final Cut Pro. Kristina Ramsey as Helene Desormeau.
Just a few days until the deadline. You know that feeling of being stuck in traffic when you're already late? That is how I feel all the time. I found myself shouting at a red light to turn green. I wasn't late to a meeting right then. It was just wasting precious seconds.

Last night, while compiling the credits, Beth asked me if she thought we'd ever be the same after all this. I said "No. We'll be at the tavern in the Shire with solemn looks on our faces while everyone else is laughing it up."

I have poison oak on my shoulder-blade from a shoot last month. It lasted three weeks, but I guess it never really healed because it's been acting up again. I've been calling it my "Wheathertop Wound."

Today I realized, while describing the film's swordfight to my mother, that Julien Desormeau gets wounded in the very place where my poison oak has sprouted. We planned shot that sequence well before I got it. So odd.
The Work Space.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Possible Uses Of The DATs

Location Audio for The Oath of Desormeau was recorded on Digital Audio Tapes (DAT). Since, I couldn't give them away in good conscience, I'm thinking of auctioning them off in reverse; meaning that whoever demands the least amount of money to take them off may hands could have them. To make my pitch more convincing, I have photographed some of their possible uses:


You get the idea

Disclaimer: Bids placed by those planning to play them so that they can be heard by oneself or others would, of course, be rejected. Aletheia Stage & Film Co. does not endorse torture.
This post is respectfully dedicated to Elizabeth Doster and the cast of The Oath of Desormeau, who collectively accumulated hundreds of hours and 3,028 takes (and counting) of Foley and Auto Dialogue Replacement.

Stats on The Oath of Desormeau

Preproduction: Three Months

Principal Photography: 8 days

Pick-ups and Reshoots: 6 days

Postproduction: 1 Year

MiniDV Tapes (Hrs. of footage): 30

Digital Audio Tapes (DATs): 13

DATs of Value: 0

Video Clips Captured: 529

Dialogue/Foley Recordings: 3,028 (see # of Valueable DAT tapes)

Gigabytes Used: 180.64

Conception to Completion: 16 months

Total Hours: Wish I knew...actually, maybe I don't.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Yet Another All-Nighter

Just finished yet another all-nighter on The Oath of Desormeau. Erin came in and did about five hours of ADR. I thought it would go by faster, but she has a lot of lines and we did her longest scene. In fact, I think it's the longest sustained screen time of any actor in the film. She has a couple of scenes left, which we intend to pick-up on Sunday night. After she left, Beth and I were joined by Allison, a college student, who put her sound experience to use in our Foley session. Thank you, Allison, for all your help, insight, and your stellar re-enactment of the third act.

Some Foley Notes: In order to simulate the sound of a person getting hit in the face with a book, I hit myself in the face with a foam pad, but I caught myself right in the ear and it produced an immediate ring, which, thankfully, quickly subsided. I didn't want to have to include busted ear-drum on the list of occupationally-related wounds. Recent additions to that list include: reddish-black circles under the eyes (from sleep-deprivation) and poison-oak, which lasted nearly three weeks.

I actually did remember to bring my camera today, but, due to having pulled it too soon from the computer USB cable, I was having technical difficulties. Erin, brought hers, and is supposed to mail them to me. When she does, I will post them.

The deadline is approaching. It's starting to feel like Louisiana again in that respect. We're getting very, very tired, and the work seems to keep piling up. Please pray that we get our film done by August 1st.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Latest Postproduction News

Baker came in and did his ADR. Leigh is supposed to come in tonight, and Kristina may come in as well. I think Beth and I had a successful Foley session. To save recording time, we decided to do a lot of "generic" recording rather than an ADR style of Foley. For example, rather than trying to walk on grass at the same time as Julien (while watching him on screen), I just recorded myself walking on grass (at various speeds,strides, etc.) for several minutes. I will cut out individual steps and match them in the sound editing/mixing process.

This will prevent our having to walk at the same time, and with the same stride, as every actor in the film. The same will apply for clothes rustles and other generic noises; I'll just cut them up and stick them in. Had we been getting more sleep, we might have come up with this solution sooner. Or perhaps, it's a bad idea, which we concocted during a sleep-deprived stupor. I'll find out in a few hours when I go to plug in our sounds.

Oh, and the music has started to come in from the composer, Richard Bowling. I've tried, in this blog entry, about 15 times to find the words to express my praise and gratitude in such a way that does not give away too much information. I can't think of one. So, until the film comes out...Thank you so much, Richard.

Sorry that there are no pictures. I keep forgetting to bring my camera. I'll try to remember it tomorrow. However, Beth has been filming a lot of this stuff for posterity, so buy the DVD when it come out!

Monday, July 17, 2006

This Week

Foley is supposed to start tomorrow. That should be interesting to say the least. Kristina will finish her touch-up ADR this evening. Baker is coming in tomorrow, followed by Leigh on Wednesday. Erin will finish her final session on Thursday, and Kayleen on Friday. With the exception of (maybe) a line here and there, everyone else is done. It is such a thrill to chip away at all the wretched audio piece by piece. It makes an indescribable difference.

Since ADR will be complete by Friday, I am hoping to complete most of our Foley this week, so we can mix next week. Richard Bowling is busy in Austin composing the score, and I will be meeting with Asher soon to lock-down color-correction and compositing.

Oh, in other news: I put the trailer for The Oath of Desormeau on our myspace. Our web hits went up dramatically, and we ran out of bandwidth. I guess it's a flattering problem to have, but it's one we need to get worked out soon. I'm hoping to host our video files (trailers) elsewhere, but I don't want the quality degradation I've experienced on many video uploading sites. I'm open to suggestions.

Check back regularly. I plan to post pictures of ADR and Foley throughout the week.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

It'd Be Funny If It Weren't So Tragic

David and Beth's (oh so flattering) birthday present to me. Click the picture to read.

A Super Birthday

I know. It's a very lame, obvious title, but my inner-clock is so messed-up right now from all-nighters on The Oath of Desormeau that I am too tired to come up with something better. Anyway, my birthday was yesterday. To celebrate, my family took Kristina and I to see "Superman Returns." After that, we went back to my parents house and ate this cake that Wil made.
We also have the accessories to make Batman and Wonder Woman. Seeing as we are a family of four boys, Wonder Woman is probably in mint condition.
My mom has had this cake pan since before I was born.
The cake was great, but hearing the words "happy birthday dear daddy" sung prior to its consumption made me wonder if maybe I was just a little too old for it. No, seriously, the cake was good. Thanks, Wil.
I need to get some sleep. I have another recording session tonight.

Sunday, July 9, 2006

Thanks to All for the Comments

My brother Wil has pointed out to me that I must approve reader comments or they Wil not be posted. I had assumed that they were posted automatically and that we were simply not getting comments. As a result, many of your responses have gone unposted...until now. I have posted them to their respective blog entries.

I enjoyed reading them, and I apologize if my ineptness has discouraged anyone from posting. Your feedback is appreciated.


Saturday, July 8, 2006


Tomorrow (July 9th/10th at 12:00am) marks the one year anniversery of the end of principal photography. Despite being signigicantly behind schedule, we were able to finish because of an event that took place a year ago yesterday while we were shooting the scene below:

"As Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the LORD.
Then they said to Moses, "Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt?"
"Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, 'Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians'? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.'"
But Moses said to the people, "Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever."
"The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent."

-Exodus 14:10-14

Friday, July 7, 2006

All Shooting Done


Yes David, you can cut your hair...and sideburns. Congratulations on your "martini." Thanks for being Aletheia Stage & Film Co.'s first intern. You've left some big black (but painted brown) boots to fill.

Sam, great job in the studio. We shall all hold you to your mid-year's resolution to check your email and this blog. While you're at it, we need to get your bio on the site for all the enquiring minds...and the ladies.

Beth, thanks for recommending a certain film about a certain Russian.
A final funny thing: I just found out that blogger spell-check dictionary does not recognize the word "blog." Hmmm. I wonder if it recognizes the word "irony." Yep. It does.

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Thanks Beth, David, Leigh, Santry, & Kristina


Santry Rush and I just finished an all-nighter for The Oath of Desormeau. He is the latest in a line of actors and colleagues to have done so. Thanks guys!

Oh and Leigh, I was able to fix the bug in your ear in "Scene 9." I'll send you stills of 16 when I can. They're in another computer.

I've given in. Aletheia has a myspace. Now I need to work on the necessary disclaimer.

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Quick Updates

We are frantically trying to complete The Oath of Desormeau because our deadline is approaching. I don't know if I can be frantic for four more weeks.

Except for one pick-up, which can't be done until the sun comes back out and dries everything, we are done with reshoots. Fortunately, it should not effect the film's timing, which needs to stay in tact. Among the things we are doing in our hysteria are: making final decisions for video lockdown, foley and sound-recording, sound-mixing, credits, color correction and compositing, and composing the musical score. I'm sure I'm leaving off ten things, but they will, no doubt, come to mind soon.