My Spanish is bad, so I can’t translate it for your. However, there will be a discussion panel, exploring the themes of the narrative of DFTB, with abuse survivors and a psychologist / expert, discussing the topic before and after the film. The event will be hosted by Tony Rovira (of TONY ROVIRA Y TU fame), there will be bands playing music, and last but certainly not least, we will also be screening SVEN GUNNAR (also directed by Darwin Reina) and MR CLEAN (by yours truly).
I know it’s a bit hard to travel there just to see a short film, or even three short films. But watch this space, because we might be able to arrange a special temporary online preview of the films… but you need to let us know now if you’re interested in that sort of thing… – so tell us in the comments below.. or email us…
But now that I’ve finished my rough colour grading, I’m just waiting on the sound mix and then we’ve got something to show them! And also we’re currently working on the Swedish premiere event in Stockholm also, as well as getting ready to shoot our next film LOVELY TO MEET YOU around the time of the event. So busy, busy, busy…
The week of furious editing to create 6 music videos – background visuals for MEIPR’s gig at Snottys Seaside, in Stockholm, last night was achieved! The night before the gig! And above you can view the first of the series: Sommersonne:
Sommersonne is taken from the Alvaret Tape Rekording release EgalitÈ (ATR010) 2018. It’s a lovely piece of Ambient Industrial music. A great blend of organic and synthetic sounds.
It was a fun challenge to see what I could come up with, after receiving firm instructions / restrictions from the band: “ideally black and white, no people, cars or modern objects… something blurry / out of focus, weird, distorted…blurry, distorted shapes or flashing lights is fine…” – but also, the challenge I set myself, was how to make each one unique, properly reflect the source music and if possible add to the experience…
Somehow, in the process, I decided on taking random pictures of strong organic plant forms and a summer sunset and stumbled upon a way of twisting them into synthetic childlike forms that I’d loved as a child, when looking through toy kaleidoscopes…
You can see Track 3 of their 6-track set here:
The rest of the videos will follow over the next coming weeks.
Hopefully you will enjoy them and you’ll agree, like the crowd who attended the gig seemed to do, that the visuals did indeed add to the experience. Although when some sync issues were encountered, I’m not sure how much it messed with people’s heads at times, rather than added positively. At times it felt like combat, wrestling between the images and the notes. But maybe it was just me who knew each track and visual so well by then?
It was definitely educational to me, to see the same videos I’d worked on played live, with video projection over the artists and with the volume of the music, it had quite the sensory impact! Definitely worth seeing such a gig live if you get the chance. And it was cool to see the other bands and their unique visuals too. Each unique and complimentary experiences.
Ok… so we didn’t have a premiere on Halloween…. and MR CLEAN isn’t finished yet… but that’s not strictly why….
Off to a great start… ahem….
The week of the premiere, we did have a music score… and we got all of the VFX shots… but then we suddenly didn’t have any venue. Also, we didn’t have any sound mix for MR CLEAN. But we weren’t the only ones.
Re the sound mix – Darwin also didn’t have his sound mix. In fact, our Sound mixer, the one we’re both using for the same film, went AWOL. Please note: when people are donating their time to your project, you must always respect that paid work takes time and comes first. It has to. Either pay people… or be prepared for potential delays. I totally respect that. It was just a shame with the timing.
But the venue was a separate issue. Essentially, we had two potential venues and then suddenly we didn’t have any. And I’m still none the wiser as to why that is. I mean, I’ve asked… but there are no clear reasons as to why both of them were suddenly unavailable to us.
Ignoring that fact, we now have to find a new venue and book it. And we’re no nearer to finding one. It’s just not that easy to do it over here…. we need help – if we want to hold such an event!
Then, when colour grading – I was 2.5 mins in to the film, doing my own grade and we suddenly found a colour grader! Yayy! Then I needed to spend time getting the files ready for them to take over the grading. That meant stripping all colour effects and titles away and re-rendering the project to different settings… however, I still need to finish the grading! As Darwin and I are again sharing the same colour grader and he found them first…. oh and then two of the VFX shots needed to be redone, because of minor imperfections and then the grade needed to be reissued again…
The other strange element, is that we do have a Spanish premiere booked and arranged – more details on that soon. This is a premiere for DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE, to celebrate the award success it’s had. But also SVEN GUNNAR and MR CLEAN will also be screened and a lot more going on that night too…. The only question for that premiere is will everything finally be done by then?… who knows?
But seeing as there is this event going on in Barcelona… why not shoot another film there? right? That’s what Darwin wants to do. And so we collaborated on another script – LOVELY TO MEET YOU. It’s another dark piece. And we’ll be shooting it before the end of the year. We’re currently in pre-production and we have a cast. More details on it soon…
But yeah… barely finish a thing and then you start another thing… and then so why not suddenly do 6 videos for a friend’s band, for their performance tomorrow… lol. Yes I did that too!
But now, I am back on the colour grading train, because you can’t guarantee that we’ll have anything to show in time otherwise, even though I will probably end up binning my own work for that of the professional. But needs must and I’ve got to do what I can do…. all we really need right now is that sound mix… oh and a venue in Stockholm!
So hopefully that explains what’s g’wan and when I have more info I’ll share it soon.
Yesterday I released a video for MEIPR, for their song Schlangenbisse, a project that I started back in February I think. Yes I’ve been a bit tardy with this project, but finally finished it. Woohoo! He finishes a thing!
MEIPR consist of H. Meierkord and P. Josefsson. They try to capture the old days of dark ambient as well as a neo classical vibe colliding with the sizzling sounds from modular synthesizers. Essentially lovely, haunting ambient vibes.
So why did I finish the video only now? What took so long? What’s going on?
After I did the original video for Weich, Peter set me the challenge of taking some pictures from Instagram that he really liked and then animating them to the music in some way…. An easy enough request in some ways. However, there’s one slight problem – the images are instagram sized and therefore smaller resolution and not so easy to animate on a 1080p timeline; well not without extreme pixelly graininess. Something that Peter doesn’t actually mind, but hurts me a little inside ;).
The other problem was that there were only three pictures. So I cheated and used one more to round it out.
I kind of got about 2/3rds through it, and like a lot of projects, when you drop it for something else, it stays forgotten – in this case it was MR CLEAN, needing me to take over the editing – and so everything had to get pushed aside. That is until now…. Because MEIPR are doing a gig this weekend, and I promised to do the visuals for their set, for some projection over the band while they play…. and I’ve been lost in MR CLEAN land and head down on colour grading… oops! Better get on with it then!
Cue me hastily resuming editing and finishing it off. And now editing the rest of the footage I’ve been shooting and editing over the last months, as some random project. Like a true autist, I’ve been collecting random abstract textures and things that might look good in Black and White… or might not. It’s all very experimental and fun. But now I’ve got to finish the damn thing! And let’s hope it all looks good on the night!
More on MR CLEAN and the Premiere situation soon… and mention of another project that is now in pre-production….
If you want to view a throwback to the DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE Premiere from earliest this year in May, play the video below and you might just catch a glance of me suddenly being interviewed… as well as Darwin, and see some of the cast too:
We’re all flawed… Very much me. Very much whatever I produce. But isn’t that what makes us unique?
I think if anyone ever consciously creates anything it usually doesn’t match what the original idea was, once executed. Even a child. I doubt anyone truly conceived the thing that has become me. It’s all one happy accident – a combination of numerous random factors and lots of added road miles and chemicals.
It’s very rare that the film you set out to make is the one you release. It’s no surprise that the editing process is often described as the third stage of the writing process – you write the film, you rewrite it in pre production and during the actual shoot (problem solving and adapting to reality) and then you rework and refine it in the edit, based on what you actually shot. Often compromise is heaped upon compromise and small changes reset the whole, as a result of the effect of collaboration with others.
This film is definitely not what I set out to make at the start. In fact it is bigger and more ambitious. Plotwise, it was a fun way to make a simple short, which could give Darwin and I something to do. Technologically, it would be a useful test of the Gh5 camera I purchased. Scopewise, it was simple – shoot it at home, mostly in a controlled environment and with a limited crew. We didn’t know anyone. We wanted to establish ourselves in Sweden as filmmakers and build a small network of likeminded collaborators. As with many endeavours, our desires overtake our ability in some ways and soon the plot became more ambitious, making the radio DJ and Studio a much more significant part of the film. Then I thought “why not throw in some FX in to the mix?”. This all impacted the Scope, the duration and the budget and the time to get it all done.
The shoot was chaotic at times, but mostly went well for our first shoot working together, despite cinematographers not showing up and not having enough people. With enthusiasm we shot stuff we hadn’t planned on getting. Brief moments became much longer scenes. And we also didn’t get stuff we planned to shoot – partly due to losing control at a few brief but significant moments. All of this added to the complexity of the edit task and once it grew beyond the script it became much tougher to reshape. But it’s all in the past now…
For my part, I inherited the edit, 4 months after having shot the film and having to start it from scratch, due to cross-compatibility issues with files across Premiere and FCP X. Mainly because I refuse to keep paying monthly fees for a buggy sluggish editing programme. Darwin had realised that our estimated 3 week edit timeline was unrealistic and then he’d begun to doubt and move on to other things and it was clear he was not moving forward with it. But I then had to pay the price of a blank slate and try and make up for lost time, when I took it all over. And in that time, the 6.5 months that followed, I had to first identify every shot I liked, then get that timeline down from 33 minutes of footage that told the story I wanted to tell, to the 6.45 mins of finished film that I have now. Constantly trimming and rearranging clip orders and trimming some more. – While also having a day job, writing a new script and shooting that film this summer…
Throughout, I’ve doubted myself constantly. Am I making the right choices? why didn’t I shoot X? How can I weave a narrative from this? Have I weaved a worthy narrative from this? Am I going insane? I must be insane to try and do this for an October 31st premiere? etc. And will anyone even care?
I’d like to think that there are less flaws with each successive project that I work on. That’s definitely what I aspire to – to improve upon everything I do. I think in many respects, this is my best film yet. But despite this, I am well aware of every flaw. How could I not be, after seeing the same shot hundreds of times and each one in a gamut of variations? And all while knowing what my original vision was for each tiny moment.
Essentially, I guess you could say that I am now in the Fine Cut stage. Which means that we have locked picture. We are now working on sound mixing and scoring and colour grading the film for its premiere screening. Is this merely like rolling a turd in sparkle and trying to make it something better than it is? I hope not. I hope the film is well received when the cast and crew see it. I hope that it doesn’t get a drudging by the critics and viewers and I hope that festivals treat it kindly. I hope for all of these things. But even if it gets a kicking from all quarters, I know that I am proud that I have seen it through this far and also will hopefully soon do so to the very end. And that is what I set out to do. I needed to finish this film. I have much more to make. And getting this film done is key to boosting my confidence to tackle more ambitious projects. It’s not perfect, but what films are? I will love it, despite its flaws. I will love it because of its flaws…
So far only a select few have seen the film in its current state. Darwin has suggested edits that have helped (especially one that revealed a continuity error) and others that sought to make the film more linear, until it then highlighted other shots we never got, that would have made that plan work. But it did highlight the fact that two shots I’d considered getting since the original shoot, were still needed to provide a more pleasing ending. As soon as Darwin came back from the US, we got the crew together again to do a fun pickup shoot and snag those shots in true guerrilla style (pics below).
The Composer (Flora) and Sound Mixer (Luca) obviously need that locked cut / edit in order to help them achieve their roles. The VFX Designer (Albin) needs them to work his magic etc. The only question for me is will I have to colour grade again or can I get some much needed professional eyes on this? Oh and the bonus question is always – will we get it done in time? The timeline is ridiculously tight. I am well aware of that. And it’s all my fault. If I had been quicker, the pressure would definitely be on me and not on others. I apologise profusely. But sh*t happens. But let’s hope that something marvellous happens under that pressure and things come together. And let’s hope that no one is broken because of the pressure of this deadline.
And regarding speed. How can you rush your way through an edit, where you essentially don’t know what the final point needs to look like – because the story you shot is more complex than the one you wrote? You can’t. Not really. And not when you have a job that has overly ambitious deadlines you also need to hit. Because. Wages… and then factor in a laptop needing a completely new keyboard and having to go away for two weeks, and software updates breaking the software – which took time to fix – and crashes, not just for me but also while Albin is rendering VFX. oh and having to edit a trailer you never knew you were expected to produce – because who puts trailers together for short films? – apparently it is a thing now. Lesson learned. All of this slows things down.
But there is always value in this process. You learn. All through the doing and failing, you learn and you improve. The lessons learned on this film helped make SVEN GUNNAR a much smoother shoot and edit I am sure. And, the way I feel about this short, is that the effort I have put in is akin to that of what working on a feature must be like. So why not tackle something bigger and more ambitious in the future? it certainly hasn’t put me off – although in the darker periods I’m sure I felt very differently about the struggle I was going through. …
In fact yes, there have been some very dark times. There has been sickness and stress, tears and self-recrimination and illness. There has also been laughter too, sometimes giddy and hysterical or drunken. And the metre has swung from abject loneliness to feeling like I belong to a tight-knit group of co-located professionals and also wondering why no one gives a shit about this epic one-man struggle of creation? Who will see anything other than a flawed, odd, film just shy of the 7-minute mark?
In the scheme of things, does any of this matter? No. Do I matter? No. You are always the only one that cares about your own movie. No one else will ever love it as much as you. And in this time of short attention spans and scrolling timelines, who can get anyone to really care anymore? So why do it? God knows. I only know that despite all the pain, it is a damn sight more interesting than the rest of my life and at the end of it I’ll have something to show to mark the time. And thanks for all the fish…
If you want to learn more about the film editing process, to understand why I’ve taken so damn long, READ MORE.
And as always, if you read all of this, thank you. But why? What makes you tick? What flaws do you obsess about?
And let me know if you want to watch this film when it’s finally done? And tune in after the 31st to find out if we made our premiere and if so, in what form?
Sometimes what we must do for love, can kill us. That’s the realization that Tim must come to if he is to stop Sven-Gunnar. Tim, a father and husband, is forced to commit the unspeakable in order to save his family; he must realise that the man holding his family hostage has done this before, if he is to stop them all becoming victims of SVEN- GUNNAR and prevent others falling victim to the same fate.
Hasse Brontén … Tim Darwin Reina … Beachgoer Johnny Vikeväkorva Johansson … Sven Gunnar Alicia Mörtsell … Julia Emma Karadottir … Anja Isabella Ahlberg … Beachgoer
Produced by Lee Bailes … producer Johnny Vikeväkorva Johansson … producer Darwin Reina … producer Rubi Rios … executive producer Julio Moran Suarez … executive producer
And the total so far is 11 laurels, as it just made last selection and Semi-Finalist at the Los Angeles CineFest Film Festival in California. Not bad at all! In fact a friend might say it’s “pretty, pretty good.” 😉
Congrats to Darwin and the entire team. Not a bad start to the weekend. 🙂