T-minus 30 hours and counting until the "World Premiere" of The Photon Effect at The Waterfront Film Festival (http://www.waterfrontfilm.org). I'm sitting at the helm waiting for a large series of effects shots to render, then I have to continue checking the movie for anything left to fix. Everything should be locked, but I thought that before I found this batch unfinished!
The past few days have been non-stop work and almost no sleep. It's bizarre to me that I've been working on this project for over three years and still we're all scrambling to make this festival deadline. I guess if we had until the end of July to complete it - it would take us to the end of July! Alas, our deadline is now and we're making it. While there will be some tweaks left to make after our screenings this week, we do have a solid, fun motion picture to display.
When the final mixing sessions for the audio tracks began last week, it was so intense I almost had to leave the room. I was so overwhelmed with the level and depth of the sounds of the action scenes that I needed to catch my breath! Luckily, Sound Designer Kevin Hill worked in stages and I was able to pace myself as he kept optimizing the "beast of a soundtrack" that it is. Over the weekend Kevin, Sound Designer Jonathan Krintz and I watched the film separately and made notes about what we thought needed attention. We pored over the film scene by scene, tweaking every little thing we could to create the most incredible, Hollywood-caliber sounding movie experience. It absolutely ROCKS!
After exporting the Dolby 5.1 file it was off to Martin Whittier's, where he insisted on one full, albeit rough, pass of color correction. Even though he still had three effects shots to complete before we could call this finished, he focused on the tones, saturation and brightness for HOURS. Martin finished up around 3:30 a.m., sending me home with my color corrected movie and then moving on to his remaining shots before dragging himself to work by 7:00 a.m. What a soldier, huh?! At least I was able to sleep for three hours before jumping back into it. Martin is planning on authoring the Blu Ray DVDs after work!
My day today has been all about the last wave of fine tuning and making sure everything is updated, and finally ready to export to a DVD usable file format. I am surprised and ecstatic that I can say this honestly - the more I watch this movie - the more I like it. I hope a lot of other folks do, too.