Spanish premiere #2 of DFTB and more…

In honour of winning the best narrative award from Indiewise, for the short film: DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE Directed by Darwin Reina), there will be a special celebratory screening, a 2nd premiere if you will, in Barcelona on the 20th December. And we’re very honoured to have this event sponsored by AMC TV, DR TV and especially by the local city council of L’Hospitalet.

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).

Invitation for DFTB premiere #2

Here’s the official Facebook event URL: https://www.facebook.com/events/1197314443797609/?event_time_id=1197314543797599

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…

DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE update

DFTB poster
DFTB wins at Indiewise

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:

DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE premiere – May 2019

Also, DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE, with director Darwin Reina in attendance, will also be in the CYIFF 2019 – 14th Cyprus International Film Festival 2019 later this year. So fingers crossed there.

Also, if you’d like, you can check out the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/noteolvidesderespirar/ – which should be worthwhile as there are some interesting things planned later this year…

We’re all flawed – Final cut achieved

We’re all flawed – Final cut achieved

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?

SVEN GUNNAR Teaser Trailer is live

SVEN GUNNAR Teaser Trailer is live

The SVEN GUNNAR teaser is live! 

Watch the SVEN GUNNAR teaser trailer!

The SVEN GUNNAR – teaser trailer is now live people! Check it out.

DRTV Productions
3R Films Entertainment Corporation in collaboration with Eibon Films.

SVEN GUNNAR – by Darwin Reina

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.

SVEN GUNNAR teaser frame
Still frame from the teaser

CAST:

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

Director´s Webside : http://www.darwinreina.com
Official Facebook Fan Page:https://www.facebook.com/SvenGunnarMovie/

DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE – 10th laurel and more…

It’s been a while! Not a particularly great period – but I’ll get to that in a bit – but there has been some good news:

DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE has made it into the Aasha International Film Festival India. Nice. Not only is this just great news because a film festival wants to screen our film, but it’s also the 10th laurel to date for our film!

 Don't forget to breathe film poster with laurels

The keen eyed will notice that the next festival we’ve been selected for is next year, in May. So it will be awhile before we find out how we placed in that festival.

But DFTB has also been selected for potential screening, subject to contracts / agreements, on TV in Latin America. This is also great. Every bit of exposure and every new viewer is most welcome.

So that’s it for the film festival / screening news…. so what else has been going on?

… Well I’ve been editing. At a snail’s pace, it feels. But I’ve been editing. Namely I’ve been working on polishing the teaser trailer for MR CLEAN, working our excellent composer Flora Cheng, our talented sound mixer / designer Luca De Sensi, on getting the sound mix just right, struggling to get Darwin’s After Effects animations working in FCP X and then rebuilding them all the way I wanted them in Motion instead and trying my hand at colour grading – and no I am not a colour grader! But hopefully, soon, I can release the MR CLEAN teaser trailer and resume editing on the film.

I have been editing the short film of MR CLEAN as well, of course, but I’ve been facing some technical challenges, including a failing keyboard on my Macbook Pro, which resulted in the machine being taken into the shop for a replacement – which if you don’t know, is a major piece of work! And it left me with no option for editing for 2 weeks. That and a stress-related illness has meant for a fun summer I can tell you. lol. The self-imposed countdown to a premiere is approaching. We’re hoping to screen MR CLEAN on Halloween. So every minute counts. There are some VFX in progress, thanks to Albin Larsson – so I can’t wait to see them and share them with you.

But the main battle I’ve been facing is pushing on, despite doubting whether the film will even be any good? Will it be worth it? The fact that a film takes longer than you expect to produce seems to add more and more weight and expectation to the fact that it was shot as a bit of fun, to give me something to do – and has instead become a veritable burden. It is a challenge. I must complete it. But in no way is this fun. This is war.

Anyway, enough. Back to it. Mush!