I’ve been working quite a bit on Episode 10 these past few days. Seems like I always have to work a lot herder on the shoots that I screw up on. We shot this episode the morning after the gala party of our film festival, and we were not at our best. I got snookered by the seemingly perfect glow from the floor-to-ceiling windows in our location, and did not bring in any lighting at all. Big mistake. Improper mic placement didn’t help much either, as the room was much livelier than my sleep-deprived ears were able to detect. I knew the transition sequence in the temple were ringy, I wanted it that way….I just was not prepared for the amount of ring I picked up in the office location. I felt dead so that the room sounded dead, the rest is just not pretty…..
But that’s okay, really…..we are not going for cinematic excellence with ‘Dreamer,’ we are trying to spur a conversation. The Rabbi’s comments for episode 10 are so spot on that I can only be grudgingly pleased with the episode as a whole. Oh, sure — a more film-like look would have been better, and my shoulders are still burning from the hours I spent re-lighting the thing in post. I really wish I had set this up where I could have more aye contact with the good rebbi, who is an absolute joy to work with, and the audio is just dreadful. But still… the core issue could have not been framed any better: Does anyone hear from God anymore or not? If you think you are hearing from God, are you crazy?
To be precise, our title character is not ‘hearing’ from God. We were careful with this, and have held to our plan of Robert Cohen simply seeing things in his dreams that lead him to the conclusion that God might be involved somehow. Since he does not believe in God, he tends to believe that his family history of mental illness might be at work. Since everyone he talks to brings their own bias to the conversation, the field is wide open. What do you think – is God just a fairy tale for people who want to have some kind of meaning to life? Feel free to join in this conversation any time — episode ten will be up this week, and we will be bringing all our characters together in the story soon. This challenge is not for the faint of heart — if you are willing to face the though questions, we’re willing to work with you to help find some kind of answers. Feel free to make comments here, on our NVentive YouTube Channel,. our Vimeo uploads, or of course our series headquarters at blip.tv/nventive. Let’s have fun with this….
Oh….and for those of you who read the last post, and know something of the bad haircut…..we’re going to have to wait a while before we shoot anything new with the title character. 😦
We just launched Episode 5, which is the first episode where we talk about plot elements openly. We planned from the very beginning to use the first six episodes as ‘establishers,’ where we would introduce the characters, the setting, and the overall mood of the story. With only one of those episodes left to go, it is time to start lifting the lid on plot.
We’ve got a quirky professor of astronomy named Robert, who thinks he might possibly be in the early stages of some kind of mental illness. This is a big problem for him, since his Dad lost it many years earlier and killed himself. We’ve got a group of apparently dark individuals who seem intent on following Robert around, a fact of which he apparently unaware. We’ve got a young kid who seems to know that something is up, and we’ve got a colorful Godmother type who either knows something or is just as crazy as everyone else.
And we’ve got a question — do you have to be crazy to believe in God? I mean…let’s face it — if you’re hearing from God, you probably should check your meds. Even the prophets, revered by most of the monotheists, were strange outcasts who yelled a lot and ate bugs. Is a belief in a divine presence nothing more than a form of mental illness? Or, perhaps, it is just our own way to desperately apply meaning to our own otherwise accidental existence?
To many, a sound and unswerving faith in God is as natural as breathing. To others it is a silly fantasy, a grown-up fairy tale that causes more harm than good. To most there is no middle ground, and all discussion is moot. We’re not so sure…..we see people becoming more dipolar than ever, unable to talk about something as mundane as the weather without getting angrily political. We may ve crazy ourselves, but we’re going to give this a shot. Our character might be hearing from God…is he crazy or not? What questions should he ask, and where should he go to ask them? We’re ready to hear from you now, and to begin the journey forward … we believe that it is okay to ask any question, just as long as we are willing to listen for the answer. We don’t need hate, or B.S’ers….we need questions. Check us out at http://www.blip.tv/nventive. We want to hear from you….who is God?
Spent much of today doing drive maintenance, and a lot of the things that had to be dealt with were Dreamer-related. A lot of the elements in episode 1 were built up in un-compressed 32-bit 1080P layers. Although most of the shots were short, there were a lot of them and the folders were getting a little bit bulky. Even though everything is fully backed up, it still felt a little bit weird to be deleting things that I have been working so much with for so long. Kinda like a re-doing a room after a kid left home……
Wow — we finally pulled the trigger on this thing. It got kinda weird there near the end, as every one of of the real (i.e. ‘paying’) jobs we had in the shop during the run-up to launch ended up being pretty labor-intensive. Everyone’s deadlines moved as if by magic to the same hour of the same day (evening, to be precise) and we were frantic trying to get everything done. Delaying the Dreamer release would not work — we had delayed it too many times already, and our schedule for the rest of the year is not pretty. We decided to just forgo sleep for a while, push all the paying work out and wiggle a little Dreamer time in the midst of all of it for something resembling final tweaks. There were a lot of things we did not get a chance to fix, such as music in places color grading in others, but all in all we’re okay with how it looks. The purpose of Dreamer is the story, we knew from the outset that we might have to cut a corner or three from time to time. The paying gigs came first, and our clients have all reported back that their projects did very well with their presentation audiences . Our hope is that Dreamer will do the same.
And so — it is up. There are links on our page to the Y/T and Vimeo locations, our Blip address is blip.tv/dreamer. We had a truly great launch party with a very large turnout, I send again my sincerest thanks to everyone who helped make that happen. We’ve got a good group here…..
And now — time to catch up on some sleep…..I wonder if I remember how?