We’ve been spending long hours in the editing room on the Visual Law Project Year 2 film. (Just been calling it that because the name is still to be determined… but we’re getting closer on choosing one.)¬†Also talked with various animators, colorists and co-collaborators who will bring their talents to the film once we have it finished sometime, oh, I don’t know, soonish.

I say “soonish” because things keep coming up that make strong cases for us to push back the actual completion date. For example,¬†this past weekend, we were given two more names of former inmates who we could possibly interview for the film. We said a few weeks back that we’re done with production and it’s full steam ahead on post to finish by the end of the school year.

After a phone interview and conversation, which we recorded (with his consent of course), we decided we had to at least take a small two-person crew (Valarie and I) to go to Hartford and film him on the fly with plans for a more formal sit down interview with him and the crew next week.

This man has been out of the supermax prison and into the world for only the past 2 weeks! An incredibly sweet and well-mannered guy, he told us the astounding circumstances and stories of his life. A remarkably resilient human, he seemed caught half way between an inspiring life story and a tragic one – depending on where things go from here.

Afterwards, we were getting lunch and I asked him if he’s “optimistic.” He responded, “What’s that?”

But not in a glib, ironic way. He truly didn’t know the meaning of the word. It was said in passing, without gravity, in a casual conversation. But thinking about it now, that one brief exchange told me a lot about him and about this film.

Now back to the editing cave and transferring today’s footage of him.


Entering Finals Mode

Right now, we’re in a sprint to get the Visual Law Project Year 2 Film to be finished. We’re forcing an ambitious rough cut deadline, so everybody is trying to fill up time around the clock to get this sucker cut.

Last week, I was in Chicago and tried to put the project on a laptop so I could edit there. That… that failed. Mostly because for some reason I could not relink one specific type of media, the XDCam stuff. So that made it possible for me to only watch interviews I hadn’t before, as well as develop a sense of restraint, for I was very eager to throw that bloody laptop with Final Cut Pro X out the 13th floor window where I was staying.

Okay, back to the grindstone. Three hour editing shift.


Starting to Come Together

Dispatch from the editing cave: The Visual Law Project film is coming together sequence by sequence in Final Cut Pro X. We’ve sifted through all the footage and have a good grasp on everything. We even got a second system up on a laptop that I’m going to take with me when I hit the road next week so I can edit from Chicago.

Also, we devised a way to record incoming phone calls for possibly doing phone interviews with people who are currently in prison.

Oh, and in other news, my most recent film Worker Drone will screen in Sydney, Australia, in May at INPUT 2012 – an international conference of independent television producers. It’s really great, I went there in 2007 with my first film American Made in Lugano, Switzerland. It’s going to be fun showing WD there, especially because it’ll be my first time in Australia! Knock another continent off the list.

Back to the cave!

Back to the Cave

Nothing terribly new to report, just back to editing today for the Visual Law Project Year 2 Film.

Day before yesterday American Made screened at Yale, in a community outreach event organized by the Department of Justice. Fewer than 100 people I guess came, which is totally fine of course. But the main problem was that the DVD they screened from must have had a scratch. It skipped an entire scene. Which wouldn’t be a big deal, except that in a 25 minute film a 2 minute skip is a pretty significant percentage of the film. So we ended up showing it at the end of the discussion which followed the film. I still can’t believe it’s been nine years since I made it.

Okay, back to the Editing Cave now.