Wednesday, January 27, 2010

140 + Final Cut = Done

Yes indeed. January 27th 2010. I've just burned the first disc. I'm excited, little tired, exhilarated and thrilled it's done. Looking back I realise that it's one month shy of a year since I came up with the idea! Beat the year!

I had hoped to have it finished by the end of August last year, which of course wasn't to be. That stretched to September, to October, to November, December was out entirely and I'm just grateful, thanks to the unbelievable patience and support from my wife (who happened to have a baby in the middle of all this) that I managed to get it finished before the end of this month.

I'm happy with how it's turned out. I kept a promise to myself, which was to leave no man/woman/filmmaker behind. That is to say every clip I got was going in. Which made it a little difficult. Normally if something isn't working, for whatever reason, rhythm, timing, theme, quality, it would end up on the cutting room floor (or computer bin), but not here, everything needed to find a home, and I think it did. I hope you agree!

It's running at 82 minutes, which feels right. The music has worked out brilliantly. 4 Original Songs by Eoin McCabe and the Ventilin Pimps, 'Dublin Blue Sky' by Johnny Crean and samples from Terrence Boylan songs 'Miso Soup' and 'Ice and Snow'. And of course where would I be without the fantastic score from Dermot O'Mahony, his music fits perfectly. I think he really captured and understood the spirit of the footage and the film and gave it an overall over.

It will be interesting to see what people think of it. I'm not sure how it will go down. I hope people like it. But it's such an unusual piece. Sometimes I think it would be better suited as an installation piece in a gallery, rather then a film in theatre. It's not your average viewing experience. I hope the audience quickly figure out what it is and are willing to go along for the ride. Personally I find it quite a mediative experience, almost hypnotizing, it's something you can get lost in and enjoy the diversity, never knowing what's coming next. We'll just have wait and see.

I plan to get the film to the filmmakers as soon as I can. At the moment burning and shipping over 100 dvds is not financial viable for me! So I'll make it available to download. My plan for releasing there after is to ask every filmmaker to hold their own screening on the same day worldwide, while also premiering the film on that day online on Vimeo for 24 hours. That's the plan anyway. I'm not sure when that will happen, most likely early March (maybe on my birthday - 11th?!) I just need some time to drum up interest again.

So now I'm on the road. The hunt is over, the prep, the thrill of filming, the anticipation of waiting to get all the videos, the disappointment from those who flaked, the thrill from those who far excelled my expectations and the edit, all over, all done. Now we see if it works.

I hope it does!

As a pat on the back I think I should get an iPad! ;)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Almost Done.

Yarrow Kraner - Bozeman Montana

I'm quite close to being finished 140. I know I've said that before, but this time it's true, and this time I don't have things like Christmas and having a new baby to distract me! There's only so much cutting I can do after all.

I'm happy with how it's turned out and at the moment I'm just trimming the fat, smoothing the edges. I've set up a couple of pages, the 140 facebook page, so you can send a friend request and keep updated on facebook.

There is also the 140 vimeo page, where I will premiere the film at a tba date. Also where I will upload all the videos in there entirety for everyone to see. There's nothing up there at the moment, but I'll post links when there is.

That's all for now. Back to the choppin block. There will be news soon and I will make the film available for all the 140 filmmakers in the coming week/weeks. There after we can set a date to hold our premieres, with enough time to generate some press and attention.

More soon. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


is the sound my body is making as I reposition myself in front of the editing desk to begin the final cuts on 140 after 6 weeks absence. As you may or may not know, I'm sure the 140 filmmakers will, I had hoped to get the film finished by the end of November, and almost did. But alas it wasn't to be. With a baby due on December 6th I had more pressing things to attend to. And rather then rush 140 I thought it best to leave it to one side for a few weeks and give it the time it deserved.

That time is now. As I procrastinate by writing the blog entry the file sits open and waiting. There isn't too much left to do, really just bring it down in time. The cut for hatch fest was 85 minutes long, which ran really well, but then I added late clips, witch brought it up to 95 minutes for the directors guild screening, and that did feel too long. I still have 4 clips to add, the final 4, and I'm sure they'll push it over 100. From that I need to bring it down to 80 minutes, if not shorter.

I'm not going to cut for the sake of cutting, and I'm not hung up on a time for the sake of a time, but I do feel, for this kind of film, the audience may not endure much longer with purely visual clips, no narration and often no coherence between clips. It needs to flow, move quickly and be paced so it feels like a pleasurable journey, rather then a laboured hike - which it was beginning to feel like at the screening directors guild screening. I'm confident I can do it. The material and the quality is there. I just need to trim it a little.

As far as the screening goes, as mentioned before, 140 individual screenings would be great if people were still up for that - again, as large or small as the filmmaker wants. Me personally, I'll probably screen in a local gallery, with an audience of 50 or so.

I also plan to have the world premiere, as such, online, and perhaps have the film up for one day so anyone who wants to can view it. Then take it down to begin a festival run. Perhaps the same day as the 140 premieres? I will keep you all posted.

Thanks for baring with me. I know the steam can quickly dissipate from these things and excitement and energy wane. But hopefully we can get this train rolling again and get this film into the world, where it came from, where it deserves to be once more.

OK, enough procrastination, here we go... wish me luck!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Two Thousand and Ten or Twenty Ten, which are you?

2010, we made it in one piece, took a while to get here, but here we are. I have plans for this year, I thought I might share them with you. Maybe look back a year from now and see if I achieved any of them. I'm happy to say I achieved most of last years plans, plus some surprises. So we'll see how this year goes.


First off is of course 140. I'll get back on that in about a week, and it should only take a week or so to complete. I will then get to all the 140 filmmakers for their previews and premieres, then perhaps set up a youtube page with all the clips in their entirety to view, and then start hitting festivals, see if we can't get any takers. I also have Slán agus Beannacht to promote, although a few copies have all ready been sent out into the world.

As for new projects, I really want to start writing again, just writing, without a view to making films. I miss it. I have been working on two novels sporadically over the last few years and I'm really anxious to finish them. I really like the stories and I love the process, I really do, maybe even more then filmmaking!

I've found as I've struggled to make films I feel a sense of dread and anxiety when I get ready to go into production, and it never really lifts during the production. It eventually goes away on the final day. And although I love editing and am often proud of the accomplishment, it is several months of stress and anxiety nonetheless. Whereas with writing I don't have an ounce of that, it's pure pleasure for the love of the story and the process, me, my thoughts, the computer, endless cups of tea and biscuits and the clatter of the keys late into the night as the story unfolds, surprising and delighting me at every turn. Hopefully someday I'll get on of these stories published and it may give a reader somewhere the same feeling.

That's not to say I want to give up on film, no way, we battle on regardless! I have three short scripts I would like to make, Adam, Zombidge and perhaps Angelina. I would also like to look at my puppet trilogy Puca, The Perfect Word and Jimmy - all short films involving puppet characters. I'd love to set up a shop to make the creatures and put all three films into production, release them as a set. But it's money. Might be one to think about for the future.

Iscariot has had some interest, so Thomas and I are going to tick along with that. The script needs some more work, not much, but some essential pacing. And we're talking about the idea of taking a scene, or a couple of scenes and shaping them into a short film to shoot later in the year and using that to attract investments.


Having just had a baby girl, Evelyn, now two weeks old, my perspective on things has changed. Sounds a bit of a cliché, and I have heard other new parents talk about it and rolled my eyes, never really took it too seriously, but now I know what they mean and I know it is very real. Suddenly there is this tiny human being who is completely dependent on you and who you are entirely responsible for. But it's not as if that responsibility is a burden, it's an incredible aching need to provide for this person you love beyond all explanation or comprehension. Everything and everyone (sept me wife! ;) ) else in your life takes a backseat.

To that end the importance of the projects I'm working on changes. I've started asking myself, do I really want to put this much time, energy and probably money, that could otherwise be spent on my daughter, into something I don't fully believe in. If I'm going to be spending time away from her, it had now better be for a bloody good reason. I can only be something I'm really going to enjoy, something I know I'll be proud of, something that means something and might make a difference - in my life and perhaps the lives of others and something of quality. So at the moment I'm weighing up everything that's in front of me and considering if it's something I really want to take irreplaceable time away from my first born for... so it better be freakin' amazing!

Also in the new year I hope to mount another photographic exhibition at some stage, perhaps release a DVD of my films for sale. Continue writing as I mentioned and perhaps write a couple of spec screenplays I've been thinking about and see if I can't sell one or two and make some money at this for once in my life! That is a real need now, to provide. I've let it slide before and perhaps not given it 100%. But I have no excuses now. If I don't make this work, make it pay - and soon - I think it will be time to hang up the spurs and try another line of work, one that puts food on the table and clothes on the back. No more winging it. I think 2010 will be the year I take full responsibility.


Hope you had a great holiday and hope you can ease back into the grind without too much trouble. Just one question remains however, now that the naughties are over and we begin the teens, how will you say it "Two thousand and ten" or "Twenty Ten" - I think I'm a Twenty Ten man myself!

Happy New Year All.