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April 2009

Post Production Begins!

Although we do still have some filming left to do, we started post production this month. The enormous task of capturing, logging and labelling all of the footage begun. This is not an easy task at the best of times but, shamefully, BoH was often a mess when it came to logging shots during filming. The clapper board was often used to help synchronize sound but the board was not always marked up. Even when it was we have found in the edit that scene numbers have not always matched up due to script changes. We never had a script supervisor to help record everything that was being filmed and we often had multiple cameras rolling at the same time. We also used different cameras during the shoot, mixing HDV and HD. Unfortunately I don’t really have a good knowledge of the technology of cameras (I’ve been learning) and without a Director of Photography there was no one to make sure that everyone was filming in the same way. In the edit we have discovered about four different formats were used and cameras were not always colour balanced to look the same, sometimes we were able to use a 35mm adapter and other times it wasn’t available. There is a lot to do in Post to get it all looking the same. Ah well, you live and learn and when you don’t have money you have to do your best with the resources you have.

Elf Fantasy Fair.

So this month was when Chris Dane, Danny George and myself took a road trip to Elf Fantasy Fair. I’ve never really done a road trip before and it was quite exciting jumping in the car and just driving all the way to the Netherlands. We headed off at around 6am on the Friday morning, spent an hour and a half on the ferry, where there was a film crew shooting a commercial, spent 10 mins exploring the ship, bought a £5 sandwich, got back in the car and headed off again. Chris had chosen to do all of the driving as he preferred it and had the biggest car. We’re thinking of doing a road trip to Ring*con but might share the driving that time as it’s a longer trip. The drive was quick easy and pleasant, I had brought along my Tomtom which was a real help. Our most challenging moment was when we all started to get hungry and kept missing the turnings for services. Actually our main problem was finding the castle. We had called Alex who was our main contact while there. Alex had contacted me the year before interested in coming to a shoot and helping out. She had then met us at Ring*Con 2008 and then attended some of the shoots and helped as a boom operator. Alex lives only about 30 mins from EFF so we were going to be staying at her house. So the plan was for Rebecca also known as Eowyn in the Fellowship (a group of 10 LOTRs fans who meet up in full costume at events like this) to meet us in the car park and to guide us to our pitch which we had got positioned right next to theirs. So we thought we were there, parked the car, called Alex and waited. About 10 mins went by and we started to wonder, we looked around more and then called Alex again. We were in the wrong car park! Back in the car and on our way again. Found the castle and the car park but no Rebecca. Called Alex again (pity we didn’t have Rebecca’s number really). She had walked to the car park twice already from the pitch which was the other end of the grounds which cover a square mile. Finally at about 7pm we meet up with Rebecca, nabbed a lift in a little EFF pick up buggy, loaded on our stuff and perched ourselves in the back and headed to the pitch. We only had a small space as there was just the three of us sitting at a table talking to people really. Thankfully the fellowship guys had kindly lent us a little gazebo, table and bench which was great otherwise we would just be three people standing on a patch of grass. Dinner was with the fellowship, all cooked over an open fire. Nice! I personally love open fires and outdoor cooking, even though the UK weather limits the opportunities. We managed to enjoy it on the Saturday too which was lovely. So on Saturday we got to see the place come to life. Apparently there were about 20,000 people there, most of which were dressed up! It’s a really nice event. There are live bands, loads of stalls selling LARP equipment, new age stuff, re-enactment stuff, costumes and of course loads of food. There are areas for the Live Action Roleplayers to have their battles, there are lots of horses and dogs around the place. We met some friends of the Fellowship guys and their very cute puppies! I’m kind of glad we only saw them once otherwise I think I would have been very tempted to have one! I did get to hold one at least. Many people camp there in old style camps, a mix of different time periods plus fantasy. There are performers entertaining people, people giving presentations and talks (like us) plus special VIP guests giving talks and autograph sessions. It’s a hive of activity and I’m very glad we went. Our presentations went well both days with a decent turn out of people. We had spent the last week panicking and making a new trailer as we had had no time to put new footage together to show people. However the photo slideshows and the new trailer went down really well and everyone seemed to love them.

I did actually take a small video camera with me and filmed a kind of video diary of the trip so once that is edited together I will put it on the website for you all.