Location recce: SVEN-GUNNAR

I am happy to announce that the rural short horror film SVEN-GUNNAR (IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10515598/?ref_=nm_flmg_wr_2) is in production! Pre-production is mostly done now and the shoot is next week. More details to be announced on the film soon.

And yesterday we did our location recce for the film and so I got to spend the day in beautiful Hälsingland and hang out with Director Darwin Reina and lead actor Jonny Vikeväkorva Johansson (IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm10780320/?ref_=ttfc_fc_wr2) – and to meet the inspiration for the name of the movie in person. Although I don’t fear that the actual production might kill me, the mosquitos might.

The purpose of the trip, was to check the location – to plan which parts of the area to use for which scene and to do a preliminary run through of the blocking, but also while filming (sans lights) to gauge how doable the shoot will be, and to try and pre-empt any production issues that may arise e.g. such as needing antihistamines and the strongest repellent known to man etc 🙂 . But also for running through what you’ve scripted, to try and make it work in a run-through, to see if it has the desired effect.

The countryside was indeed beautiful in the sunny weather, as we passed a large lake and fields full of wild flowers and crops and many forested areas. And the main location is situated on a substantial and attractive period property (from the 1800s) – thanks very much to Jonny’s father-in-law and Mother for the use of their house. It was impressive and more than what we needed. As was the land all around it. We then found a forest location nearby at another relative’s house (where I was rapidly feasted upon by flying vampires) and later viewed some potential vintage cars for the film, and found a picturesque field behind that other property that could be perfect for the film too. It was great and the fact that his parents fed and watered us, let us have the run of the place and also helped us secure other important items was a huge help. Meanwhile Darwin took us through his ideas for the shots and we rehearsed / blocked out a few scenes.

It wasn’t all good. I think I’ve counted around 11 bites – all within a 20 minute stint in the forest. But may have missed a few. Thanks to the shingles, I am now allergic to such bites, whereas I never really was prior to last year. Dammit. But I will come more prepared next time. Top tip: don’t wear shorts and t-shirts just because it’s hot.

I am sure that there will be snags and challenges – especially with casting. But so far, as production has begun, things are looking good for this horror short. And we can’t wait to share more with you asap.

I’m just not looking forward to my next tussle with those mozzies….

Sometimes you need to step away…

Sometimes you just have to step away from the computer. 

Seriously. I will explain:

On Sunday, I’d worked hard creating a layered graphic in GIMP (the free graphics tool), and imported a .PSD file into FCP X – my video editing programme – to edit the end title card of the teaser trailer – the bit that just says ‘coming soon’….. It was a copy of the intro title card, with some slightly different wording. Exactly the same as the Intro Title card in design / no settings changed. 

I imported it into FCP X and it came out blank. All the layers were black. There was no visible workable data. Even changing the file name and reimporting or trawling GIMP and FCP message boards didn’t help. In the end I just gave up.

I sat before the same computer this afternoon, and I was planning to recreate the same title card, to find a workaround, but figure that before I do that I will give it one last go. And… It worked first.f@cking.time! WTF!

I’m kind of Hapgry… or Angpy… not sure what is the best combination of the two emotions in one word. Happy that it now works, but angry that something that should have worked first time did not and all that has changed is that I have not had time to tackle it again since Sunday!

But if you want to know why editing can take so damn long some times, hopefully the above clears a few things up. But maybe life was just telling me to step the hell away for a bit and do something else for a while.

If you google the issue – in the past it seems that this was caused by people doing 16-bit graphics, and changing to 8-bit fixed it. And of course previous FCP X updates addressed this issue with PSD files not displaying correctly. But what do we do when FPC X doesn’t play well with perfectly good files? What do we do when a reboot won’t fix it? What do we do when we’re up against an urgent edit timeline and nothing logical seems to fix it? – Personally I don’t like those stakes. But it’s something that should be considered if you’re ever working with layered graphic files in your edit.

Anyway, now the edit of MR CLEAN can continue…..

Semi-Finalists and a Special mention for DFTB

I just wanted to stop by briefly to share some news about DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE (DFTB), the short film I wrote for director Darwin Reina.

Six festivals – a special mention and semi-finalists!
  1. We’ve received a special mention from the Med-Limes festival in Salerno, Italy – which as I understand it is like a ‘honourable mention’, meaning that you’re not in the normal selection / winners, but the film is worthy “… of exceptional merit but not deserving of top honours” – enough to celebrate it’s contribution. Hopefully this was because of the message behind the film – because we want to show the horror of domestic abuse, so that we can help to prevent it.
  2. We’re also now Semi-Finalists at the Best of Latin America Short Film Festival 2019 in Santa Monica, USA. Woohoo! [EDIT] And apparently, that achievement is not earned lightly as over 1,000 films were submitted to the festival!
An extract from the confirmation email

Congrats to Darwin Reina, the producers, entire cast and crew.

The film has already exceeded our expectations. A win would also be very welcome. But this is already better than we hoped for. Nice.

In other news, I’ve been quiet, because I’ve been working away on MR CLEAN in the rare moments when I get any free time. So far I’m playing with / refining the edit of a trailer and already had some very positive feedback on it. As soon as I’m happy with the final version of the trailer, and then completed post production on it (colour grading, score and sound mix), I will indeed share. I’m keen to get to that point, so that I can move back onto editing the actual film.

I’ve never edited a trailer before. It’s been a valuable learning experience. This is my third short film and I’ve never gotten to this point before.

Anyway, enough wittering. Thanks again for stopping by Cherished Reader.