Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy NY Cryptonites!

All the best to all - 2010 - is likely to be a bonanza for Cryptopticon - say no more - keep yourself posted.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Facciamo i conti

As 2009 draws to an end I draw up conclusion.

In Italian one says – facciamo i conti – (we do the sums).

What happened? What went right - what went wrong. Some successes – many would say ‘many successes’ – and some set backs – nothing life-threatening thankfully – but just enough to make us all humble before the unfathomable universe

Anyway – if I don’t see any of the readers before – thanks for listening and Buon Natale.

The New Year brings nothing but good tidings.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Welcome Back

Been absent from blogging but hectic with many pursuits:

A major one was recutting the film since the First Screening.

Front of mind was a need to bring in several scenes that had ‘mysteriously’ been left out of the cut that we all saw on Aug 8th. Then tweak pacing, SFX. So much for the image.

Secondly, was a proper post on the sound track – so over the last 2 months slaved over post-audio using Soundtrack Pro – which is fast becoming the professional standard for sound design.

Very happy with the finished results – the soundtrack creates a stereophonic world that complements the psychology of the images.

Anyway – enough of my artistic travails in the dark edit suite.

Great news is that Cryptopticon has been selected to compete at the 7th Annual Queens International Film Festival New York City (November 12-15).

Established in 2003, the Queens International is a unique event in a borough rich in entertainment history, including Coppola and Scorsese who were born here. The QiFF 2009 film lineup will includes over 200 films from all over the world.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Screening...

The screening was a major success - the crowd was suitably bewildered...Someone asked to buy a copy of the film on the spot..!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The latest cut & Aug 8th

Putting the finishing touches to the latest cut of Cryptopticon: ‘tightening’ of key moments or revisit beats with additional coverage – one of the major charges is in the soundscape, depth and width.

This won’t matter to most people, as only a few saw the very first assembly. Still, thought I’d share it for history’s sake.

Excited about the Aug 8th screening.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Cast & Crew Screening v 2.0

I haven’t done this in a while – blogging is a routine one should do every day or it goes to mush.

Anyway, updates:

Working on smoothing few ‘kinks’ in the edit to be ready for the cast and crew party – which is getting bigger than Ben Hur.

The marketing people took one look at the film and have gone wild with enthusiasm: ‘Counterculture, Insane, Ban-able! (new word – apparently it is desirable to have your film/project banned by as many government bodies as possible – ASIO/FBI?)’, psychotic, infectious, sick, rattling etc….apparently all these are synonyms of very good.

Anyway – because of this wave of unplanned and dopamine-fuelled optimism - the initially small and intimate C&C affair has metamorphed into a huge alien ship.

So in addition to the C&C – add to it an underground campaign and viral marketing campaign.

If that wasn’t enough - also planned a video puzzle hunt – so working on the edit to ‘insert’ subliminal easter eggs in the film (video gamers know what the jargon means leave it to you to explain it to neophytes).

Invites have gone out…many-many-many industry players and other VIPs on the night; should be interesting. Might get shut down or arrested or both. I’m bringing my lawyers to be on the safe side.

Those of you connected, be sure to click on the facebook invite to let the caterers know. Or be sure to follow the instructions on the invite – which was sent to your postal address of August 2008.

By the way first in best dressed, as there are limited seats.

See all the believers then.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Cast & Crew Screening

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer" Tubman

"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for." Epicurus

Well – here’s the first public screening.

I thought I’d be more anxious but like a grandmaster I‘ve spent enough time on this puzzle to know its moves.

Calm - Confident - Deadly. (Sounds like a movie poster!)

Cryptopticon will screen for a selected group on the 8th of August.

The Loop bar 23 Meyers Place Melbourne (off Bourke street).

Email for a passkey (RSVP)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cryptopticon Cast & Crew Screening 8/8/09

So here we are dear travellers.
The light shimmers on the silver screen.
To see the actors move in between
The pauses and looks that reveal
More than a speech ever will.

Cryptopticon Cast & crew and friends screening on the 8th August 2009.
More details will follow.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


BTW - I'm on twitter.

My accounts are phillipmar
and cryptopticon
c u there

Friday, April 24, 2009


An artist is somebody who produces things that people don't need to have.
Andy Warhol

Why my casual attitude to the resp
onse from Cannes?

Cryptopticon will always polarise.

Here’s a story to illustrate my point.

In the beginning - early 2008 - I couldn’t find a crew.

The blog posts and the personal approaches didn’t work.

As I re-read my diary/journal from the time - it was death by silence - death by indifference. Even though I was planning to work with a ‘skeleton’ crew – literally no one was interested as DOP, designer, producer, gaffer, sound recordist, caterer…

That changed when John Hipwell came on board. John pretty much recruited the whole production team: DOP, gaffers, sound, runners, on-set digital acquisition.

The casting was a major problem too - this was a first – never before whether casting for theatre, short films of a feature had I had problems, usually I was able to get cues round the block with actors and actresses all wanting a part.

On Cryptopticon none of the actors I initially had in mind were available or even wanted to audition (!) - this is not to say what we finally cast was the B-team - but when you plan a feature film you kind set your aim pretty high and get what your mind envisages.

Then Sarah-Jane came on board – thanks to her we saw a lot of people for each role. And the results speak for themselves.

The moral of this story is that if you truly do something personal and distinctive – you won’t find universal appeal – universal appeal only happens occasionally.

There are another 4-5 festivals where I will enter Cryptopticon (it’s bloody expensive once you factor in postage and administration fees) – I predict that 3-4 out of the 5 will reject it – I’m counting on the 1 out of 6 that will say ‘I love it!’

But if not – that is the path.

Abstract painting is abstract. It confronts you. There was a reviewer a while back who wrote that my pictures didn't have any beginning or any end. He didn't mean it as a compliment, but it was.
Jackson Pollock

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Fwd: Quinzaine des R?alisateurs - R?ponse du comit? de s?lection / Answer of the selection committees

It's a hat-trick from Cannes!!!! 

Sent from Phillip's iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

Date: 24 April 2009 2:21:23 AM
Subject: Quinzaine des R?alisateurs - R?ponse du comit? de s?lection / Answer of the selection committee

Titre du film : Cryptopticon

Madame, Monsieur,

Vous avez bien voulu soumettre la candidature du film ci-dessus à la sélection de la Quinzaine des Réalisateurs - Cannes 2009 et nous vous en remercions vivement.

Le comité de sélection l'a visionné avec beaucoup d'intérêt, mais en dépit de ses qualités, nous regrettons de vous informer que ce film n'a pas été retenu pour figurer dans notre sélection.

Nous recevons chaque année plusieurs centaines de candidatures, mais nous ne pouvons retenir qu'une vingtaine de films, toutes nationalités confondues. Notre volonté de présenter un éventail de films le plus varié possible nous contraint donc à faire des choix souvent difficiles.

Nous souhaitons néanmoins garder contact avec vous et espérons pouvoir compter sur votre participation lors d'une prochaine édition.

Dans cette attente, et en vous renouvelant nos remerciements, nous vous prions de croire en l'expression de nos salutations les plus cordiales.

Olivier Père
Délégué Général


Film Title: Cryptopticon

Dear Madam,
Dear Sir,

We would like to thank you for the submission of the film quoted above to the selection committee of the Directors' Fortnight - Cannes 2009.

The selection committee has screened it with much interest but, despite its qualities, we regret to inform you that it will not be part of our selection.

Each year, we receive several hundreds entries from all over the world, but we can only confirm the selection of twenty of them, all nationalities considered. Our desire to offer a wide selection of films, as diverse as possible, keeps obliging us to frequent and difficult choices.

Yet we would greatly appreciate if we could keep in touch with you and we do hope that you will still consider a future submission of a film for the next editions of the Directors' Fortnight.

Looking forward to a future collaboration,
Best regards,

Olivier Père
Artistic Director

Thursday, April 23, 2009

First rejections...

Rejections always sting a little – (the ego mostly!)

But as the saying goes ‘time wounds all heels’ (Groucho Marx).

Initially, we never planned to submit Cryptopticon to a film festival – (a little ‘too ‘establishment’, ‘too well-trodden path’); Cryptopticon is hardly that.

So why did we bother?

The opportunity arose after having shot C on Hi-Def and with higher production values than originally planned…it seemed like a door to knock on - especially for the sake of the market attached to it.

And indeed this is the plan - there are other 4-5 high profile festivals (with attached markets) that are worth the punt: Toronto, Telluride, Sundance, Berlin, Rotterdam.

And even if these do not pan out, there are other avenues to get the film out there.

…not sure what others do with rejection letters - I eventually use the back of them for the first draft my next project!


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sandie Fabre <>
Date: Wed, Apr 22, 2009 at 8:36 PM


Thank you for having submitted your film  " CRYPTOPTICON "  to  La Semaine
de la Critique.

The Selection Committee considered it with the utmost attention.

Unfortunately, it has not been selected for the 48th Critics¹ week.

We hope to have another occasion working with you in the next few years.

Thank you,

Best regards,

On behalf of Jean-Christophe Berjon, Artistic Director

And his Selection Commitee

48e Semaine de la Critique ­ Cannes 2009

Fwd: Festival de Cannes

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <>
Date: 2009/4/23
Subject: Festival de Cannes



1 Penn StreetNorth Balwyn MelbourneVictoria 3104




                                                                                                                      Paris, 22/04/2009


Réf. : Présentation du film « CRYPTOPTICON » au Comité de Sélection du 62ème Festival de Cannes (13 – 24 mai, 2009).


Monsieur / Madame Phillip MARZELLA


Nous avons le regret de vous informer que votre film n'a pas été retenu par le Comité de Sélection du Festival de Cannes pour sa Sélection Officielle (Compétition, Hors Compétition, Un Certain Regard).

Nous espérons que vous nous ferez l'honneur de nous présenter votre prochain film.


Avec nos meilleures salutations,



Ref.: Presentation of the film «CRYPTOPTICON» to the Selection Committee of the 62nd Festival de Cannes (May 13 - 24, 2009).


Dear Phillip MARZELLA


We regret to inform you that your film has not been selected by the Selection Committee of the Festival de Cannes for its Official Selection (Competition, Out of Competition, Un Certain Regard).

We hope that you will do us the honour of presenting us your next film.


Yours sincerely,



Christian Jeune          

Adjoint au Délégué général / Deputy General Delegate                                                                               

Directeur Département Films / Film Department Director

Tel.: (33) 1 53 59 61 74  / Fax : (33) 1 53 59 61 70


Conformément aux instructions du Festival, les cassettes vidéo et les dvd adressés au Festival pour la présélection ne sont pas renvoyés à leur expéditeur par le Festival, après avoir été visionnés.

Cependant, toute personne mandatée par vous-même, et de passage à Paris dans les locaux du Bureau du Festival, pourra, avant juin 2009, demander à récupérer cette cassette en votre nom.


In accordance with the Festival instructions, the video-tapes and DVDs addressed to the Festival for its pre-selection are not returned by the Festival to the sender, after they have been viewed.

However, anyone authorized by you and passing through Paris, may pick up the video-tape at the Festival's Office, before June 2009.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Websites updates

I finally sorted the web presence for Acrobat Films and Cryptopticon.

Might add, not without the pain of having to re-register domain names and change over web-hosting services.

I ditched Optus: long story, but I did exceed the legal safe limit on the phone with various call-centres around the globe.

I now speak several Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, and Rajasthani dialects.

On the upside I may or may not be engaged to be married to several Pakistani princesses. And I have many fans in Lahore, Islamabad and Gujrat. Love globalisation.

Anyway, keep an eye on these websites:

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Director’s notes

[I need to write these for the festivals]

Cryptopticon came to me as a dream.

Another story was before me – cryptology loomed large – lots of research and material was there - yet I couldn’t get a sense of the frame of the story, or a handle on what was the story moving towards.

I felt and intuited that it was a thriller – a mystery that needed to be solved - but wasn’t sure what was at stake if we didn’t solve the mystery and who was the character that made it all happen – anyway, it wasn’t working.

I’ve just realised that I started writing about the film from writer’s angle: story and narrative issues – when the title of this is in fact Director’s notes. As it will become apparent the two are intermingled in my mind. Above all because writing screenplays for me is a visual emotional effort at first which is then translated into a logical one of sequences and scenes.

As an aside I’m writing this blog entry because several film festivals expect to have a director’s statement about the film – which I think is okay from a press/media release angle and a necessary marketing tool - but it is artistically distant from film making – I make films to give light to inner emotions and mental images – if I could capture all in words – no need for the camera is there? But I repeat myself – I think I’ve said this before in an earlier post.

So I dreamt it all. The whole story from beginning to end came to me early one morning – that was a very happy day – I’ve had this kind of epiphanies before – but mostly for a single scene or sequence - never for a whole film…

And then it became obvious that what I wanted to do was make a film that had strong abstract elements – that it wasn’t clear-cut what was happening and how – and that each viewer would take away what they wanted from the film.

Suffice to say that some people who read the screenplay – would complain – “I didn’t get it.”

Well, as in any abstract painting - you get out what you put into it – this wasn’t a film with a definitive moralistic statement or closed loop narrative – rather an Alice-in-Wonderland psychedelic journey for the spectator.

With this in mind then as a director I wanted to delve into what is the best way to capture this hallucinogenic story?

In camera is the answer.

Indeed, this story can only be told with a camera – a theatrical representation of the same action – would have none of the impact or subtleties of the film – which for me is a good test of cinematic potential.

The idea was that this was routine gone wrong – with a thousand eyes looking onto the setting – a thousand cameras.

So my directorial ambitions were simple. Bring to light what had only happened in my mind’s eye.

I believe it worked: script and direction melding into a rollercoaster of broken emotions and chilly thrills.

Qui vivra, verra…

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Teaser - different transition

Teaser with a different transition: dip to black.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cryptopticon Teaser

Cryptopticon Teaser

13 Apocalyptic seconds

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Quinzaine des Réalisateurs / Directors' Fortnight


Thank you for sending the DVD of the above mentioned film.

We will let you know our decision as soon as possible.

With best regards


Bureau des Films / Films Department

Quinzaine des Réalisateurs / Directors' Fortnight

14, rue Alexandre Parodi 75010 Paris

Tel.: +33 (0)1 44 89 99 85

Fax.: +33 (0)1 44 89 99 60

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cryptopticon trailer #2 up on facebook

The 2nd trailer is now up on the Cryptopticon group on facebook.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wikipedia entry

Cryptopticon on wikipedia by my friend Xavier

They received it...

Monsieur / Madame Phillip MARZELLA

Nous avons bien reçu votre film CRYPTOPTICON

La conférence de presse annonçant les films sélectionnés pour le Festival de Cannes se déroule durant la seconde quinzaine d’avril.

Si votre film est sélectionné pour le Festival de Cannes, vous serez prévenu avant cette date.

Nous essayerons dans la mesure du possible de donner des réponses à tous les candidats avant la conférence de presse.


Festival de Cannes

Département Films


Dear Phillip MARZELLA

We have received your film CRYPTOPTICON

The press conference will be held in the last two weeks of April.

If your film is selected for the Festival de Cannes, you will be notified before the press conference

We will do our best to notify all candidates before the press conference.

Yours sincerely,

Festival de Cannes

Film Department

Monday, March 23, 2009


Behind the scenes photos of Cryptopticon now on the wall.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cryptopticon Logo

This is the Cryptopticon logo.

A mindmaze inside which unspeakable things happen.

Be ready to see it everywhere you least expect it.

I trust you as an insider will share its meaning and story with all 'civilians'.

Working on the animated version for YouTube.

To the impossible and beyond

There’s a great quote by German thinker and philosopher Goethe:
“I love those who yearn for the impossible.”

Well, I certainly did yearn for the ‘impossible.’
Shot a feature film in 1 week.
Edit it on a tiny MacBook with media storage of two small lunch boxes.
Finish it and submit it to festivals around the world.

It’s over. Done & dusted. Cryptopticon is complete.

More Goethe is appropriate: “Certain defects are necessary for the existence of individuality.”

Cryptopticon is not perfect – I can only see the mistakes (!) mine that is – everyone was working at the best of their abilities. I always end up with a few lessons.

Anyway – we made virtue from the faults. Individuality has no smooth edges.

Thank you one and all for your efforts encouragement, patience and friendship over the long haul.

I believe that if your treat an individual as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.

Thank you to those who treated me with the respect and considerations; to the others who didn’t - A plague o' both your houses!

I kid – everyone is always so nice to me – to my face anyway - I tend to intimidate even bulldozer-sized grizzly bears!

See you all at the cast and crew screening/party…no date yet – but it is appropriate we have one soon. Cannes?

Monday, March 16, 2009

The 'first screening'

So John (‘Hips’) and I watched the ‘complete’ (more on this later) film yesterday. It was on a small notebook screen - but that is the best we could do with what we got now. No doubt more tune-up screenings will happen over the next few month.

Anyway, regardless of the screen quality, I think was surprised. In a good way.

I’m assuming this of course, but he smiled a lot during the screening which I took as a sign that he was pleased – but the again John is always of good cheer - maybe he was just humoring me, kind John knows how much midnight oil I burnt over the months I spent editing at night and was probably concerned for my self-esteem – a very caring producer!

Or maybe he did enjoy seeing it again for a third time (script – shoot - edit).

It was first for both of us – as I’ve watched long scenes and sequences but this was the first time I sat through the whole 83 minutes (a prime number what else).

I enjoyed it – the film had good pace and enough twists to keep one hooked.

We had much banter with William (my hyper-interested son) – even this hyperactive 11 yr old was hooked – kept asking questions – “Who did it? Did he…? Did she…?” “She’s lying!” No, he’s lying now…” and on…

For both John and I, the best declaration though was at the end when W yelled “I want to watch it again!” proof that the thrill ride had been a good one.

Anyway, self-congratulations will have to wait; the film is not yet complete – I need to tweaks few beats and the audio needs another look into it – I will spend most of tonight on it - but the film will be ready for submission this week.

Cast and crew screening…?

Thinking about a suitable date…keep you posted ;)

Friday, March 13, 2009


“Man is a genius when he is dreaming.” Akira Kurosawa

Cryptopticon is a dream of a dream – we’re inside someone’s head and see the story unfold through their eyes - yet we are not sure whose eyes.

Early one morning - dawn - maybe 4-5 am - I was in a hypnagogic state, that beautiful and strange somewhere between wakefulness and dream - I dreamt the whole film –– I knew I was dreaming and yet couldn’t stop the dream, the film played and played before my mind’s eye.

I then spent the next 8 months translating that early morning vision into a screenplay that could serve the practicalities of filmmaking.

So what’s it about?

It’s being trapped and escaping and the idea that the most vulnerable may in fact hold all the cards.

It’s about the patterns that are before us and those we wish for or imagine are real.

It’s the reality and imagination fighting to coexist.

It’s difficult to describe the film in words; I think there’s another quote from Edward Hopper

“If you could say it in words there would be no reason to paint it.”

Same her – if I could just use words – there’d be no reason to film it.

I had this visual and emotional sensation and needed to have it captured in filmic form. “Cinema is cinema” says Kurosawa

So the best way that I can express it is: Cryptopticon is Cryptopticon – see it and you know what I mean.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


It is now finished- just tweaking the technical stuff - audio levels colour, etc.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The lessons

I am a few weeks away from the finished thing: joy and anticipation.

Few discoveries/lessons I’ve made during post.

Do not show hands in close up – unless made up – including waxing:

Even on the most fair and hairless, hi def shots show a veritable forest of follicles and hairy knuckles – not a good look for your leading lady. I did have to blur the shot so to preserve Danielle’s dignity – hairy knuckles appeal to a very select few.

Beware of radio mikes:

If actors wear lap/radio mikes – make sure the mikes are turned off when said actors visit the toilets – as we were shooting a scene without an actor (won’t name names) we can clearly hear on the soundtrack someone’s bowel movements – again not a good for decorum – no, it won’t make it to the bloopers reel.

It can’t/can be fixed in post:

In general if the shots/performance/writing is crap – it can’t be fixed. On the odd occasion it can. So make sure you have all you need during the shoot.

Get your footage:

You can never have too much footage. Sure, it is a labor of pain and love to organize and manage clips and files – but the work is worth it. The additional footage does help when cutting the overall picture. Being limited to fewer shots or scenes is very frustrating. You can always cut away additional material – but it is very difficult/expensive to manufacture shots in post.

Make mistakes:

There are no mistakes only unexpected results (I know this contradicts some of the lessons below - but trust me on this one they are all trues and still hold at the same time). With enough creativity (thinking and courage to leap beyond the obvious); you can elevate things to something above their functional value. This happens especially when a mistake happens and you have an effect you hadn’t intended – e.g. a jump cut. If you look at these with an open mind they can sometimes reveal story subtleties or facts that a more formal and predictable approach may not.

Trust your dreams:

Your vision unfettered by desires or fears (both brought on by the childish ego) is the truthful artistic expression – seek it in all you do.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Trailers...coming soon...

Hello fellow travellers.
Been working the midnight oil, burning the candle at both ends --- and killing cliques...

Anyway - somebody rip this things away from me!!!!!

Reday to launch a full Semtex asuslt on your senses - I will be cooking up 30 sec trailers over the next 2-3 weeks.

Any wanna be editors that think they can out do me in the psychotic stakes le me know - I'll sneak out some rare footage (quickmovie files) ready to be edited to your hearts darkests desires...

Back to the cave...the muse wants more blood...

Memento Mori

Some things have no daylight

Edited the ‘memento mori’ monologue last night – one of my favorite pieces.

45 seconds monologue – 45 seconds that took several hours to shoot - it was a dolly on a track shot - we did 11 takes; yes 11 takes (which is a lot since we had at least 5 cameras rolling and typically we did 3-4 takes); 11 takes because of technical problems with sounds - take – dolly move – take - camera move retake – dogs barking, airplanes flying, pigeons cooing retake after retake after retake.

Danielle was going blue in the face. Literally, she looks like she is running out of oxygen, out of blood, out of sanity. She’s half angry, half defeated by the whole thing; at the end of each take, her eyes scan the room for support, she forces a smile as she knows she has to go again – the clapper board clap now an unbearable intrusion – as if this is a bad dream she’s stuck in – strapped to a chair having to repeat the same lines over and over again hoping that a dog or a bird won’t destroy the poignancy she’s trying to imbue into the words. [note to self - I can see why there is a movie to be made from the happenings on a film set - the tension is unbearable for us]

On that day I thought – what a trouper – what great effort.

So last night I edit the scene – I’m excited – I know how to get around all the technical hurdles and discover the wonderfulness of the performance.

And it just wasn't there – there’s nothing – no thrill in the camera move (no fault of CHW – camera moves have to fit with the mood of the scenes otherwise…) but worse of all, the performance was - it was...soft.

It seemed to be tacked on – like it didn’t belong to the scene or the story…how could this be…? The writing? The performance? The direction? All the above? No matter…I thought, I’ve had to fix worse than this…

Worked on it all night: jump cuts, cross-fades, dissolves, compositing - five hours to edit a 45 seconds segment.

Ten past midnight - screened it: It just lay there - soft - squishy - lost all its bite – I gave up and went to bed. Restless night – then a flash of insight.

This morning at 6 am – went to the edit suite and cut it all out. The whole monologue gone before breakfast.

11 takes, all on the cutting room floor.

The scene now works.

Memento Mori.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Screen Time

90 minutes of screen-time.

Above all else - this is a statement for Mr. John Hipwell…who (rightly) had doubted the time of the film following the first read-through (clocked at 45 minutes).

I - on the other hand – ‘knew’ that the 75-page script – in my hands would gain length in light of my directorial pace:

I love pauses between looks and I know how I’d like to pace actors’ performances; slow-burns, explosive outbursts that careen unhinged and unbridled.

90 minutes of screen-time. And this is for a super-tight cut.

Still I’m glad for John’s insistence - it was good to have the extra footage in hand – it gives considerable more material to the editor in post.

Anyway – I’m on schedule to submit to festivals in 2-3 weeks.

I’ll make an announcement closer to the date.

Also launching our web-presence then – including footage on you tube, trailers, web commerce, merchandise, soundtrack (composed by Luca X) etc.

Very excited…

Monday, February 9, 2009

MbM real title & Web page launch

Real title revealed in 8 weeks.

Web page launch at the same time - yet to devise the details.

Be cool...

Editing the last 3 scenes – I’m excited, thrilled and little scared.
Next is actually putting the scenes together.
Putting the 30 odd scenes into a cohesive whole.
Will it still hold?
I tried to treat each scene as a jewel in a necklace –
Polish each jewel and trust the screenplay did its role of telling the story.

Yet – only pressure turns you into the diamond version of yourself.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ave Caesar! Morituri te salutant

Started editing day 5

The last day of the shoot: Jesus we did a lot of takes. Maybe a few were NG for sound but still…

By the end of the week we were firing in all cylinders.

The CHW-JH team working like a well-oiled machine with the many cameras; and it was only the 6th day of shooting (we started counting on Saturday at day 0) – only 6 days to get used to working in a new team and in a new way, all the technology - the hurdles of production, etc – 6 days is a very short time.

Anyway - there’s little lag between “rolling…mark it…and frame”

In earlier days – I find myself scrolling through the scene to discover that
The clapper board is somewhere in the middle of the file.

But on day 5, it is snap – right there at the beginning of the file and this is take after take after take – it’s relentless!

What can we learn from this ladies and gents?

The simple and humbling fact that a lot can be accomplished by a team of dedicated individuals passionate about doing their best.

My thank you to you again.

Anyway – I have 3 scenes to cut – the last 10 %.

Next the full assembly when I have another go at tweaking the dream.

Speaking of dreams and thank yous - as a show of courage roman gladiators used to shout "Ave Caesar! Morituri te salutant" (Hail Caesar! They Who Are About to Die Salute You).

I do not intend to die - neither did the Gladiators - it was more a show of dispassionate cheek towards life and death as they chased their ultimate dream.

Here is my dream - reckon 4 more weeks. There are a couple of March deadlines I must make. I have entered the arena – I see the mission before me...Hail Caesar!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Nearly there...

Very good week of editing the “Y goes berserk scene" for those of you who are geeky about these things it's Scene 30.

Yes, it takes me at least a week to get the bulk of the scene sorted – which is par for course really about 8 hrs for 4-5 minute scene. I think - some people claim 1 hr per 1 minute of screen time...which would ma ke me slow - but I enjoy trying out combinations - all for the better long-term - but if does chop up efficiency.

The shots were all spectacular – all worked – performances top notch– camera work steady and sure, lighting (hmm – okay but will be better next time – can be fixed somewhat in post). Sound – bit noisy but can fix.

Nearly there friends/comrades/amigos/compadres/freund...nearly there...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Delays? What delays?

Long time no blog/post dear travellers. Well, I’ve been sort of busy – with what holidays and the rest. Rest assured ladies and gents I was still working on the magnum opus. Every day in fact.

Not finished yet – I’m 80% of the way there – I know, I said this before nearly there...- so what’s the hold up Dr Marzella?

The delay is due to the fact that I keep f*&^ing around with each scene a million times – then rethink the whole thing and start from scratch. All for the better I hope. Who knows? Does it matter? ‘Cause I’m having tons of fun – the footage…the footage: a kaleidoscope of options and alternatives – it’d be artistic bankruptcy to default to the obvious choices.

I even get a thrill at fixing the edit for crappy camera operating and dodgy cinematography – sorry guys, yes, no one is perfect – yet there is a semi-sexual thrill in turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse - steal a look from here cut for a reaction shot from that take trying to miss the crew or a light stand in the background.

Anyway – it still holds up!

Why do I sound excited?

Well – human nature dictates that you do get jaded even by the most beautiful of things.

Desensitisation or acclimatisation; pick your scientific terminology.

Yet MbM is still intriguing. And a promising thrill-ride.

The edit – well yes - we are beyond assembly really – not final cut but a little more than a rough cut – let’s call it a middle cut – is getting there. Still to do sound mix of course but could get there quickly.

Anyway – I'm keeping you all in suspense – I hope.

March 09 is a doable date...

You will be surprised I guarantee that...