Saturday, August 8, 2015

From Darkness To Light, And Keeping The Feeling

The last two years, with the last year in particular, has been...interesting... I've been deep down a black hole - I didn't even notice when the darkness fell over me at first - but though I've been terrible at updating this blog, I have actually done a lot of shit anyway when I had moments of...what the hell to call it, I'm pretty sure "moments of clarity" doesn't fit depression, but you ought to get the picture.
One day I figured "Well, this most certainly sucks" and with only a pair of options as far as I saw it, I bought myself a shiny new (working) used PS3 with about 50 games, tried to act like all was well, and locked myself up in isolation, playing through as many games as possible until that was true in the hope of distracting myself enough to be able to surface from the abyss again. Initially expected it to, or probably more correct: hoped it would take about 2 weeks, but it took four months. Starting at the end of October and ending at the very beginning of Mars the next year, during which time I finished about 30 games on the PS3 and a few on the PC.
Huh. Just realized I was kinda busy then after all.
Well, what better way to write/make a film about someone being stuck in some kind of hell than to actually live it :-)

A few thing I'm really happy about right now is several major upgrades to my studio, and one small but significant one for my video editing-station.
My DAW, which stands for "Digital Audio Workstation", is now, for one, fitted with SSD-drives for projects, and a good WD Green for library-sounds. Previously I used mainly Seagate because they where the most silent drives I had found at the time, but regretfully I realized they wasn't very reliable.
Doesn't matter now though, the WD Library-drive is only active when I want something, and takes a nap when not needed. Not very loud anyway I must say. And the SSD-drives are by their very nature not exactly deafening at all. Mildly put!

Needless to say: after the better part of a full year, now two years all in all, with periods when I could barely get out of bed, my economy was a fucking disaster, and upgrading the video-station when I don't even make a living out of video-editing on a regular basis, was not prioritized. I have stuff to work with, and audio equipment cost an arm and a leg and more body parts than a regular body can provide at a single transaction, so for a long time I was using an old GeForce 8800-card - dunnu what exact model - for my video playout and monitors. How I hated that *beeeep* card.
A good friend though donated two nVidia 460GTX-cards to me, and the rendering times of the entire project, from beginning to end, has gone down from 13 hours approx., to somewhere between 2-4 hours! I'm not entirely sure yet exactly how many, doesn't really feel like redoing it all just to find out as I will eventually anyway, but it's one hell of a difference! And still the cards are ancient by today's standard!
One major reason why I didn't upgrade earlier though was actually not because I needed to place my money elsewhere, but in large parts actually because I needed Component outputs for the monitor I was using before, a 45" plasma-screen. Now that is not a problem anymore, as I also invested in a new and better monitor for the video playout. Still running analogue via a BalckMagic-card on the audio-station though, and will continue doing so as it works great there! Not very fond of the BlackMagic-card, but it does work for what I need it for.

Needing CUDA-cores to ease the burden of my computer during rendering was always a big issue to me, but the thing making me the most excited is actually my shiny new license for my audio-program, Nuendo!
Over the years, it has evolved a lot, and especially the audio motor and stability always gets some serious upgrades for every new version leaving the last one seems like "meh", making us all very happy. Version 7 was no different, but here, I hadn't upgraded to version 6 before, and most certainly not 6.5!
Well, until then I should say. Because after clearing out the mess an unwanted time-out that long (not strictly true, I did as much gigs as I could find the strength to, but was extremely selective) resulted in, I got the word that a new version was on its way. I saw my chance, and seeing as I put some pride in having every single one since version 4, I hurried to order Nuendo 6, which was promised to include a download for 6.5, and from there use the "Steinberg Grace-Period" to upgrade directly to N7 as soon as it was released. Awesome! One thing I've always appreciated with Steinberg is their costumer service. damn, that was some upgrade! I installed all three upgrades side-by-side, meaning at one time, before totally flushing the entire system and reinstalling the computer, I had V5, 6, 6.5, and 7 installed a the same time! I never even started up the 6-series versions, and wouldn't touch version 5 anymore unless given a ridiculously good reason, but I did have them! Tee-hee.
There were many reasons why I wanted to upgrade the first place, every new generation is always filled with new toys one absolutely must have, and it will take time to dig into all this after skipping an entire generation, but it's good times ahead indeed!
All this, including a lot of new programs, plagins and other hardware, like this here sweet harddisk cradle I use for backups now, makes for a seriously pleasant advancement in morale :-)

For no particular reson: Batburger!

Well, gears and stuff is always fun. For me. But let's get to the project itself now! Where we at?
I'm working on a promo right now, to begin with. It's wasn't easy to decide on the direction on it as it's very different from most other movies, and traditional promo-thinking just doesn't jive at all with this kind of flick. It must represent the essence of the movie, but be instantly understandable. Easy for an entire flick, not so easy for maybe two minutes, but I've found a way which seems to work well according to my test-pilots. In a not very far future you, dear readers, can judge for yourselves.
Not long ago, I and my dear co-producer Tomas Amlöv, met up to discuss some seriously gnarly locations. We visited a place and got some test-photage, and I must say I have some seriously good vibes for this one!
Also, Andreas Rylander, who plays the role of Companion, has been staying at my new place for half a week, during which time we didn't only drink oceans of beer and watch bad movies, but I also began preparing him for the role more seriously.
My first intention was to record some scenes for the promo and take it from there, but the last minute I realized that, seeing as he is one of the two main characters, with only a few other bigger roles at all, I decided to wait with recording anything and spend the time explaining all of the project, the role, and where it's intended to land in the end instead. So far he is the only person who's seen the film in its entirety as it is right now. I know for a fact that he will deliver gold no matter what, he's one of my favorite actors to work with for a very good reason, but Companion has very little to do with regular living natural characters for him to base it on, and will need a very special approach. Sure, chances are maybe we would find the spot instantly and just go on, but more likely would be that he'd have a view of the project that wouldn't match mine, and we would lose time and energy for no good reason.
In most projects, something like this would be a given. You don't just jump into a role and expect all to be great - you wanna read the script and be duly prepared for the role long before filming it. A Broken Line is different in many ways though, and as mentioned before, I don't have a script. I have loose fragments of material and a few scripted/planned/penned parts important for the story to work at all, with all else very much improvised depending on what locations I can get and what actors are willing to do a part at any given time. My session with my brother, as described about a year and a half ago here on the blog, is a great example of how amazing things can get unexpectedly. For the most part most actors gets a state of mind to work with, an explanation to what kind of creature they are, and a verbal description of what I want from this scene. Mostly with a lot of room for changes/additional alternative takes if something better comes up. But there are a few roles that can't be acted that way. For this story to work, there are several creatures/characters that mustn't stray from their intended path - The protagonist - The Man Of Flesh, is one of them. Reaper, The Skinner, and Bloodhound are others. And Companion is most definitely one. I call this project mainly improvised, and it is, but not following a plan would be idiotic.

Peas people, and more updates are coming pretty soon. /CvanC

No comments:

Post a Comment