Thursday, December 13, 2007

Strange Days...

Yesterday began with an exciting development and ended with a tragic one.

In the morning, Darren and I, along with Captain Deadpan (read: Producer, Jason Weiss), Ernie Holzman (our DP), Ed Marx (Ed, the Editor), and Aiden (Color Timer), convened at the Technicolor facilities in Burbank to watch Humboldt County on the beauty of 35mm film. First a quick technical primer: We shot the film on 35mm, then a digital output of that print is used throughout the editing and the majority of the post-production process. Now, we are finally cutting the print negative and color correcting and timing it. This process involves literally soaking the film in chemical solvents with very specific make-ups that alter the color palette of the film. It's one of the final steps in the movie-making process and is highly technical.

We arrived in the morning, armed with donuts, popcorn, peanut m&ms and diet coke and then sat and watched the film like we've never seen it before. It looked gorgeous. Though, I must say, after watching it in this new format, I saw a bunch of changes I would love to go back and make. Sigh. I guess that's the nature of the filmmaking process. There's always more that you feel that you could have done to improve the work. Now, however, it's too late. The film must stand on its own.

We watched the film all the way through and then turned the sound off and watched it again, commenting on the color palette and finding places where the color and feel might not match from shot to shot. I found my response to be very instinctual. Sometimes, I didn't know exactly what was wrong with a particular shot or scene other than that it just felt wrong. Usually, though, after some discussion we would hone in on the problem. Overall, though, Ernie and Aiden did a fantastic job on their initial run through and next week we'll go in again and see the changes.

When we finished, I headed over to the Grove movie theater in Hollywood for a memorial service for my friend Rhiannon Meier. I met her in college, we did some theatre together and after graduating she moved down to LA and was working as a VP at Red Wagon Productions. Last Friday she was killed (along with her boyfriend) by a drunk driver who ran through a red light. I had seen her 24 hours before she died, so it was quite a shock. She was an amazing woman and she'll be missed. The service was lovely and certainly helped put any concerns I have about "Humboldt County" into perspective.

3 comments:

Mom Sandy said...

Dear Danny and Darren,
I am really enjoyed reading your "blog". I can't wait to see the film and YOU KNOW HOW LONG I HAVE WAITED TO DO SO.....

I'm really proud of you and Darren.

Love,

Mom Sandy

Anonymous said...

Well , i ain't your Mom even though she sounds really neat but could you continue with your next Character and the story behind hiring that person ?
I'd like to know more about the loggers . What role they played and how did you aquire ?

Val said...

daniel. rhiannon? are you shitting me?! she's been on my mind so frequently lately. i had no idea why, and i had no idea this happened. are you in touch with chae at all? i need to plug into these circles again. can't have my peers dying on me like that...