Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Latest

I just got back tonight from a rehearsal of A Midsummer Night's Dream and am doing a DVD test to see if the opening and closing credits for The Oath of Desormeau are working properly. If they are, I am extremely close to the point where I will not have to work on the film itself again.

I am happy with the style, font, and pacing of the credits, but they have been blotchy and flickering -even with Apple's LiveType. So, I turned the opacity way down, which should take care of blotchy; and I applied Final Cut Pro's flicker filter to all of them, which should take care of flickering.

I made some changes in the sound mix that I think came out nice. Over the last couple of days, I added reverb to all the foley effects, which has caused them to sound much more realistic. At first, I was determined to not have reverb on the ADR. The original location sound had reverb (that's putting lightly) and I guess, having hated it so much, I did not want to be reminded of it. However, Kristina convinced me to try otherwise while doing the mix, and once I did, I realized her advice was right. The difference in crediblity was night and day, and over the weekend I discovered that extends into the foley as well.

In other news, we are trying to lock-down a date and location for the Premiere -probably sometime in early November. We intend to have the film available to the public by then. We will be submitting to another film festival this week, and I hope to cut a new updated trailer for the website that is more representative of the film.

Which reminds me, last night I was thinking about this teaser trailer I made almost immediately after production in Louisiana. I remembered that the end of the teaser said "Coming Fall 2005." HA!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Moved Back

Thanks to Mike Buehrer for letting my borrow the speakers a couple of extra days.

I moved out of Sagemont Church's media room and set up back at my home office. Bug is here, messing with a monitor. No wait, she's trying to plug my mouse into Kristina's cell phone. Hold on...let me get the camera.
Ah. It's great to be back.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Up Here

I'm up in the suite waiting on the latest audio render on The Oath of Desormeau. I'm very tired and I have to be at work at 8:30am. I really miss my wife and daughter, and I am so grateful to my wife for all her understanding and support. She let me know that she knows I am doing this for them.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Mixing It Up

"Better is the enemy of done" -Kevin Rigdon

I just got back from the "editing suite." I did twelve hours of mixing and tweaked some colors for The Oath of Desormeau. I started looking for an appropriate font for titles. I thought "hoefler" was going to be the answer, but I had to make it bold, which ended up looking somewhat cartoonish.

We had gotten compliments on how the ADR was nearly impossible to detect. Now, it should be much harder. I learned a few tricks from listening to movies this week. You can't be shy or stingy with the ambience. I've pretty much got the sound in some scenes to where it's like sitting in the actual room. I almost felt like I was back on location. I started to get sweaty and anxious listening to it.

I also had to crank up a lot of the sound fx and foley.

There was something else I wanted to post about...and I can't remember what it is. Oh well, I'm sure it will come back to me.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Slight Return

Well, I'm back up here again in the "editing/mixing suite." I'm making the aforementioned changes to the film -sound mix, title, color correction. I've spent the last few days really listening to movies to determine how loud to play ambient noise and foley in relation to dialogue.

In other news, we cast A Midsummer Night's Dream today. I'm very excited about it. Though it is not an Aletheia project, I'm sure it will be a learning/growing experience. So, I will keep everyone posted via this blog.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Next Thing Begins Tonight

I've agreed to direct A Midsummer Night's Dream for my alma mater, Friendswood High School. The school's drama program placed third in the state last year with their One-Act version of Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons, which starred a number of actors from The Oath of Desormeau. Auditions start tonight. Rehearsals start next week.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


John and Anna are getting married today. We had a wonderful rehearsal dinner last night. More to follow.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

The Oath of Desormeau in the Studio

Some pictures from the studio:
Though most of the editing for the film was done at my home, all editing done since June took place in this room, where we also did Color Correction, ADR, Foley, and Mixing. We projected the film onto the screen so the actors could see it for ADR. Also, having such a large image made it easier to discern if the re-recorded dialogue matched the movement of the actors' lips.
My lovely wife, Kristina Ramsey, (Helene Desormeau) finishes up her ADR. Most of the ADR was done with the repetition technique. I would play the line for the actors, and they would repeat it immediately afterward. This proved to be the most effective way to capture both synchronization and emotion. Towards the end of the process, for lengthy, difficult lines, the actors would say the line at the same time as their previously-filmed selves. I would set up three beeps to cue them so that they would start the line at the correct time.
David Attebury (Julien Desormeau) finishes his last session of ADR -although he did have to come back later and say one more line. FYI: "Because I am not worthy of such a blessing" was the last line to be re-recorded in the film.
Elizabeth Doster in a Foley experiment. She's walking on Chex-Mix. Don't listen for it in the film. We never found a place to use it.

We also have video footage of our ADR, Foley Sessions which we intend to put on the DVD.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Resuming Soon

Kristina, Bug, and I went to the Rio Frio in the Hill Country this past weekend. We met Kristina's father and some friends there. On Saturday Night we screened The Oath of Desormeau for everyone. Much to our relief, that went very well. Kristina's father sincerely enjoyed the film, and was so proud of Kristina and her performance.

When I get a chance, I will make the last minute adjustments to the film that I have mentioned in previous posts. Also, I plan on cutting a new trailer soon. Stay tuned for that.

My brother, John, is getting married this weekend, and I'm the best man. So, I may wait until after the wedding to resume.


In response to popular myspace banners:

Come on, people. Disapproval of a person's sexual preference and behavior is not bigotry. If it were, then all sane people, at some point, would be bigots, and rightfully so.

"Tolerance is the virture of a man with no convictions" -G.K. Chesterton

Friday, August 4, 2006



Kristina and I took The Oath of Desormeau to my parents house tonight. They invited Baker and his mother, and we were later joined by Santry. My brothers, Wil and Seth, also watched it. My family enjoyed it, and had some encouraging things to say. I was very grateful for Santry's insight. It means a lot to me that the actors involved in the project are pleased with it.

Over the weekend, I plan on floating down the Frio river for my breif, but much needed, vacation.

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Dear Kristina

"I do love nothing in the world so well as you.
Is not that strange?"

-William Shakespeare
Much Ado About Nothing
Act IV, Scene i

I love you very much. Thanks for spurring me up the stairs and encouraging me to keep fighting. Thanks for the joy you brought to us at the end, and for rekindling my love for the story. You were amazing, and I couldn't have done it without you!


Wednesday, August 2, 2006


Well, we got The Oath of Desormeau in the mail, postmarked August 1st. Fedex will postmark until 8:00pm. We arrived at 7:20pm and handed it over at 7:40pm. While the film will undergo minor changes (some title graphics, sound-mixing, and color correction), it is pretty much done. Thanks to all who prayed for us over the weekend. God has come through for us once again.