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Monday, January 31, 2005

Chop Shot

So I just finished lacerating another tape. I'm listening to KFDM while I write this. This band is funny. I feel so E-V-I-L listening to them! RAWR!!!! Bwa-ha-ha-ha!!!

While I cut I'm listening to the "Escape from New York" soundtrack cause it helps to remind yourself of just why the heck you wanted to do this ridiculous crap in the first place.

I actually met Carpenter back in '98 at Dragon Con here in Atlanta. I had a complete fanboy breakdown that made Carpenter very nervous and other fanboys feel pretty good about themselves. The level of drooling blind devotion I showered upon Carpenter (or Johnny McCarp as I have tattooed on my ass) left me feeling like a real champ. It's hard to look like the biggest nerd in a room full of 54 year old men wearing Peter Pan costumes.

I still have the cigarette butts that I swiped from Carpenters ashtray.


seven hours

Things are progressing fine, some stuff is easier to cut then others. The thing I'm dreading is this large conversation between four principles that is spoken in a huddle. A lot is said and a I covered it in two reversals with a difficult composition in the frame to maintain. Everyone had to stand exactly where we put them or they would be blocking another's face, and when they moved (because the conversation involves also three more principles in another room) they had to go back to the exact space they were in, and make it look natural. This was all in a feeble attempt to honor (rip off) John Frankenheimer who I love because of his deep focus compositions during conversations. I tried to do this elsewhere in the movie, but this was the most challenging spot. I'm dreading cutting it together.


So this is scheduled to be the last day of the rough cut so I'm am working around the clock to get it done by midnight. I was so nervous putting in the last of the footage because I hadn't seen certain scenes that I knew we shot, and I freaked and wondered if I had lost a tape, and what if I had, and what would I do!?! And so I started tying a noose, just in case that happened, with notes to the producer on how I would have finished the project had I not been met with such an unfortunate event. I wrote down phones numbers to the location contacts and such and the pages to the missing scenes. But it so happens that on the last tape I put into the hard drive all the holes were filled and thus the noose has been put back into the drawer until the ADR sessions start up.

I will be making several entries this day to keep for prosperity the long last day of the first cut. Well this only took five and a half months to get to this point; frame by frame, shot by shot, scene by scene, act by act, sequel by pointless sequel.


Monday, January 24, 2005

Home Stretch

So I'm motivated and focused on getting this rough cut done by the end of the month, nothing going to stop this nutball from getting to the sweet spot it so desires! If I have to edit around the clock, the flick will have a cut ready by Feb 1st. Then of course it will be torn apart by my preview screeners, and it still has sound work to be done, and the rest of the digital effects to be put in, but that stuff is cool and fun, especially adding the sound effects. The rough cut is tough because you are constantly facing reality, not idealism, and that is something I hate doing. Never liked doing it, don't have a taste for it.


Friday, January 14, 2005


Last few days I've just been bleeding mucus out of every orifice and my head has felt like hot mashed potatoes. I've been doing life things, but fell behind the schedule as far as the movie goes. But the nice thing is that I'm filling in a lot of the narrative holes now in editing. New footage comes in and plugs a gap and I get a better sense of how this whole thing will flow. Also I'm finding pick up and close ups that I had forgotten I had done, so the scenes are becoming better and better in terms of coverage.

In terms of length, I'd like the move to run exactly 90 minutes with credits included.

The hardest thing about editing is dealing with the enormous work load. This can be intimidating, especially since we shot 21 hours of footage. I've never edited something this big. The last film was a short with 9 hours recorded. Simple stuff. And that took months. I'm not sure how long this stuff is supposed to take, but we are at the five month mark now since we stopped filming. I guess that's not too bad. Every shot I put in lightens the load just that much.

I have several screenplays gearing up for the next project. I've learned so much as far as how to write a filmable scene from this movie. I want the next one to go smooth and fast.

The website for the Sci-Fi Summer Con where Zombeak! will be promoted is here at

Friday, January 07, 2005


That's how far along we are in the cut, with seven tapes to go and an hour running time. It's been fun the last few days as I've been pulling all nighters on the puppy, working from midnight until 8am. I blew through footage doing this, no distractions and no sounds or light, just me and the movie. Of coarse doing this means you live like a vampire and sleep through the day and wake as the sun is going down. That has been a blast and something I haven't done for years. The world conformed me into a nine to five mentality.

The cool news is that Zombeak will be represented at the Summer Sci-Fi Con 2005 in Atlanta, GA! The event takes place in June and we will be talking up the movie for an hour to hungry fans in the southeast. Also, and this is a maybe depending on what kind of venue they are able to come up with, there will be a special preview screening at the con. I haven't enough info right now to give a thumbs up or down, and it won't happen if it is just a tv in a meeting room, but if we can get an auditorium with a screen and a projector, this very well might happen.


Tuesday, January 04, 2005


I'm so excited right now. I just got back the tests for some special effect shots and it feels like a thousand pounds are off my shoulders. They look awesome! It was some shotgun blasts and some head damage that I was really wondering how it would turn out, and I give props to Wes and Matt for making it look really neat. I forget how FX intensive this thing really is, and to finally see some of that, not just actors reacting to nothing, is a real hoot.

The movie is an hour long now, and I still have eight hours of raw stuff to go. The final running length I'm shooting for is standard exploitation 90 minutes. Does anyone really want to see a three hour mood piece about a killer chicken?