MR CLEAN picks up a 4th award!

MR CLEAN illustrated poster with added festival laurels
Winner – Best Special Makeup – at Indie X Fest

MR CLEAN [the short film] – has been nominated for three awards in June’s edition of IndieX Film Fest! Nice. And during the time of writing this post, I found out that we won the award for Best Special Makeup – for Lee Bailes and Mike Strick! Congrats team!

We were nominated in three categories (2 in genre categories and 1 in technical categories):

Mike is an amazing sculpter and made the tentacle and severed arm effect. And I made the intestines, applied the blood etc . So it’s more Mike’s award than mine. And of course, Rinat and Darwin were totally essential for puppeteering the tentacles and helping us get it right on screen. 🙂 – Visit Mike Strick’s website.

This is great news. This is our 4th award and it now brings the other award nominations to 3. According to their context submission figures, we made it in the top 12 %:

  • Official Selection: 33,3%
  • Nominations: 24,6%
  • Award Winners: 12,2%

If you want to find out more about the short film, visit the IMDB page or visit the official film page.

MR CLEAN photographic poster with added festival laurels
Winner – Best Special Makeup – at Indie X Fest

And you might notice the use of the special wording: ‘the short film’ above….

That’s right, I am finally working on the feature version of MR CLEAN! I’m still in the planning stage, but work is definitely under way on bringing the feature script to life. I usually pretty much just ‘pants’ my feature scripts (as in write them with very little to no planning). Yes I know, it’s a shocking admission. But having reached various points in past feature scripts, where I need to do a rewrite, I have since recognised the value of trying to properly plan out the task ahead, to make it less of a nightmare to fix, once the inevitable first draft is done. In the past, because the film was in my head, I would just blurt it all out. But as time passes and you need to question details, and long periods of crazy workload get in the way, and you have to pick up the piece and start going back over the plot, to fix things, you realise that having more planning data to hand would make the whole process so much easier rather than relying on memory.

I’ve been waiting until this moment to properly tackle the script. I’ve been in a hell of crazy work load and long work days for the last three months and have been officially put on furlough, due to the effects of Covid on my company’s financials, so this is literally the first moment I’ve had to properly sit, find a quiet space and devote actual thinking time to the project – instead of trying to do that and being constantly interrupted by my lovely partner, the job and life. I’ve got some resting to do first, to build up the energy for this rewrite. The scripts I’ve been writing for work and the pace that I’ve been working at, have really taken it out of me. But this is a perfect time to build up my energy, polish my concept, flesh out my characters and work on the beats / conflicts etc. I have two months before I go back, although at reduced pay. And yes, weirdly, rather than worry about the world, my financial situation or fate of my job, or this virus, I can only think for now of putting the work in, to get MR CLEAN out of my head and down on paper for others to read… because it’s itching to get written already.

Fingers crossed that I get to do that. I mean life has a way of getting in between of me and my creative goals. But let’s hope that I can use this time for good. Because I hope that if I can pull off what’s in my head, you’re going to love it. Who cares if we don’t have the budget for it yet… and no one can really make a film with the virus screwing things up….

Stay safe and well people. <3

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…..