Although "A Single Woman" has been the main focus of my life for 18 months now (!) this is the first time I am writing a blog entry about it. Not really that surprising given that it's the first blog entry I've ever written (and until yesterday was pretty hazy on the whole concept).
Nonetheless, here we are. Today I spent the day in the mixing suite with Peter Carlsted, our extremely talented and meticulous sound editor. We are mixing at a studio in Hollywood called KRA Creative. Darren Paskal, the owner, has been amazingly generous throughout the long post production phase of the movie, allowing us to use his equipment gratis. His father invented the Moviola (which was how most people edited film until quite recently, when everyone went digital). Henry Jaglom still edits on a Moviola.We were able to get through about 70 minutes of the film today, mixing the dialogue and music tracks.
Tomorrow we will finish that and then start mixing in the FX tracks. Yesterday we had a PR meeting at the office of our Marketing and Distribution Consultant, Jon Fitzgerald of Right Angle Studios - he was one of the founders of Slamdance and ran several other film festivals. Sven (Shelgren - Exec. Prod.) and Luisa Roque (our publicist) joined me to discuss our upcoming festival strategy. We came to the conclusion that we needed to make strong attempt to World Premiere at the LA Film Festival in June - the other major festivals that come after LA don't occur until October and we feel that it is very important that "A Single Woman" is available to be seen and become a part of the political dialogue before the election in November. So, right now my priority is having a high quality screener to present to Rachel Rosen at LAFF on Monday. Which essentially means working straight through from now until then. Sven and Danette Christine (our music supervisor) have helped me compose a letter which we will take over to the LAFF office tomorrow making the case for why our film should be included in their festival. Fingers and toes crossed everyone....
As far as the picture itself is concerned, Justin Shumaker, our Post Production Supervisor, has also been working long hard hours finishing the visual FX and compiling the credits. There are still a few things left to tweak but essentially we are done. The thing about VFX is that every minor detail is incredibly time consuming - it has to do with the size of the HD footage (size in terms of the amount of gigs of space it takes up on the computer) which makes rendering (which is basically having the computer figure out what you are telling it to do one frame at a time and saving it that way - who knows if that is really what it is, but that's how I understand it) very very slow. Even moving an image a couple of millimeters becomes a whole production. Might as well take a nap. When Joel (Marshall - my husband) and I first started working on Final Cut Pro, the rendering was so slow that we would move something and then go to sleep. When we woke up it would still be rendering.
Obviously it's a lot better now, and both Justin and I have kick ass machines (Mac Pros) so it's a lot faster. But still... Justin and I have been slaving over the Dream Sequence of late. It occurs towards the end of the film when the young Jeannette Rankin has a nightmare about the massacre of the American Indians that she hears about inadvertently from her father (Jeannette grew up on a ranch in Montana and she was friends with the Indians growing up; it was extremely disturbing to her that they were slaughtered (obviously!) and I think it played a big role in forming her strong views against war and violence). Anyway, I wanted this dream sequence to be scary and disturbing so I had Paul Mellender, the artist who created the drawings of the Indians we use throughout the film, create some really cool weird 3D models that we've incorporated into the sequence. But once they were in there I was concerned that without any other images they wouldn't really tell us the story of what she was dreaming about; I'm a bit worried that they look a little video gamish. So I created a few more images that we will now intersperse with Paul's animation pieces that are more historically specific. Last week Johnny Wilson, our composer, and I worked on finishing the music which is sounding really fantastic. He had to fly off to New York to the Tribeca Film Festival where he has another movie score. That's all for now.