Monday, September 1, 2014

Melissa Schlachtmeyer

Melissa Schlachtmeyer, sister of Laura, passed away on August 6th.
There's a memorial service in New York for Melissa:

Sunday, October 19, 2:00 p.m.
Fifth Floor Theatre
Tisch School of the Arts at NYU
111 2nd Avenue
New York, NY

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Importing XML


As far as I can tell, the problem exists entirely within Final Cut Pro. Because even a straight-up import of xml causes it to freeze at 67 or 68%. Which is rude and ignorant of FCP.
The reason I figure it's Final Cut's fault is that I took an XML file and brought it into Text Edit. Then I found the following text in the XML:


3.00 : 1
7


7
And I changed the last value to "1" which should be the 1.66:1 letterbox. I did a search and replace. Very proud of myself, I was.
To no avail though. The import still froze at 68%.
So I quit. And I'm doing the changes manually. It's not as difficult as I thought it would be.

Today's Gonna Be a Long Day

On our latest movie we tried a 3:1 letterbox. The sales rep said "no way".
Now on most of our movies we've delivered a 2.35:1 letterbox and we ain't heard nuthin'. And we usually think of there being a letterbox on set when we're shooting. So if a boom creeps briefly in or what-have-you we don't mind so much.
But our rep would prefer full-frame 16x9.
Ugh. The letterbox is applied to each clip individually on the whole movie. That's a lot of clicking.
So searching around the Internet I found there's a thing called Edit Mule Filter Remover. It's got a 14-day trial and it's only $15 anyway. Perfect.
Except the company doesn't seem to exist anymore. Well, I better get all the work done in those 14 days. Except. It doesn't work.
It freezes on importing back into Final Cut Pro. I got no idea. I got nuthin'.
I will be doing a lot of clicking today. Oh, and I still reserve the right to letterbox to 2.35:1 because of boom lines and shadows. Luckily it seems that we actually rendered out all the effects at full 16x9.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Colors and cities

Color bars and how to use them.
Some Shutterstock city flyovers.
Lee filter 508 "Midnight Maya" is something close to what the opposite of the color of my florescent lights+the color of the walls in the office is.
The actual opposite color of my walls under light.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Two things are all I've got

You know that movie that you tried to make at your friend's parent's place Upstate? You know, where you have that great big house and you can shoot anywhere you want and it'll be that awesome noir-horror-thriller?
The Aggression Scale is that movie.
Ancillary Justice is... well it's just a terrible name for a book. But it's a smashing book.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Prometheus Trap Japan

Prometheus Trap Japanese artwork:
 So it's "Starship Invasion".
The beautiful Rebecca Kush commands the mission.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Monitor, color

The time has come to change my picture monitoring situation on the PC. We'll see how that goes.
  Seiki Monitor 39" and apparently takes some tweaking to work, but the price sure is right.
I'm not altogether down with the light and the color of the walls in the new studio.
There's a groovy app on Android called ON Color Measure which uses the camera to take color measurements. Which is very cool. And the color that's opposite of the institutional color of the walls is this.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Failure Groupies

Here's a trailer for our own Mandira Chauhan's Failure Groupies.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Render Order

Oftentimes in my life I have wondered what order effects are rendered in Final Cut Pro.

According to this search result it is indeed from top-to-bottom.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Solve that Roll

Via Kangas is this kind of brilliant tutorial on correcting for rolling-shutter problems. It's a very wonky solution, and I bet you could do it such that it corrected for each and every line of video which would only drive you very slightly insane. But it's quite brilliant. Yeah, you're not gonna want to do that for a whole feature, but man there's always a couple shots you wish you could do some handheld with that doesn't get all jello-cam on you.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Distortion in ADR

So my new thing is putting some distortion on ADR tracks to make them fit better.
The amp simulator plugin in Samplitude works really well for this. But all by itself it's a bit too much. So I feed an aux channel from an ADR channel so that I can blend the inserted distortion all I like.
Like so.


Where did I get this idea from? I got it from this brilliant book on dialog editing. Oh man. This book is good. Read it. Live it. Ignore all the ProTools-centric stuff. ;-)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I only got the two things

Eric Ian Steele on writing loglines.
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Although not the best-written article, here's a comparison of what's needed for film sales in different genres. 
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Today in the machine

So today I took a pair of black pants, put a robot armor calf piece inside them, and shoot them with a paintball gun loaded with dust pellets. I shot it overcranked. I have no idea what it's going to look like.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Do these blog posts ever make sense to anyone else?

Today's questions include things like: Do we need a closeup of Hawkins' leg being hit by shrapnel during the robot shootout?
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The magic solution to the inherent problem in ADR (that the new, dubbed, dialog sounds too "clean" and "dry" compared to the natural noisy and an ambient way dialog recorded on set -- even well-recorded dialog -- sounds) is this one reverb setting.
The 1.1-second "garage" impulse response in Samplitude has changed my attitude towards ADR.
One of the many impulse responses which comes in Samplitude is the thing. It's just a junky enough sounding room* that it sounds like an actual acoustical space. And it matches practically everywhere from a long hallway to a tiny anteroom. I realize that doesn't make very much sense but it just works. It sounds like the reverb one would record in a not-terrible room using a boom mic right over the actor's head. It's magic. I dunno.
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Okay. Saturday we recorded the last of the scheduled ADR on Dead Raid. And I've re-mixed everything. New thing: when making the stereo masters off of the 5.1 masters I pull the levels on each channel down -12.144dB. This way the stereo mixes don't get additional limiting and yet the peak level never goes about -12dB.
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The answer to the question is "probably not".


*"Junky" here doesn't mean engineeringly-bad-sounding. It just means small and, well, garage-y.