Thursday, November 20, 2008

Here's What I Did Yesterday

06:53 Murray the Cat beats the alarm, waking me 7 minutes before it rings
06:55 Daily grooming activities
07:40 Dilly Dally
08:00 Drop off laundry
08:05 Take L Train
08:15 Purchase pies at Union Square farmers' market
08:20 Take R Train to 28th Street
08:25 Arrive at studio, make coffee, eat some pie
08:30 Deal with morning email and junk
08:35 Go over storyboard Brian worked up after receiving script at 6PM previous night (film is due today)
08:40 Record scratch track
09:10 Call Patrick Smith. Ask him if he wants to be the star of this test spot
09:20 Record additional takes of scratch track
09:45 Christina (artist) phones. Her train is stuck out in Long Island
09:50 Ask Ryan (intern) to make copies of storyboard
10:10 Jessica and Nina (artists) arrive with Lucia (dog). We discuss vaguely what we need to do by end of day
10:15 Set Ryan to assemble the rough storyboard (20 pages, many with a single drawing per page) onto one or two pieces of large Bristol board
10:20 Assign prep work for a few scenes to Jessica and Nina
10:30 Edit scratch track
10:45 Receive a scratch track from ad agency (we didn't know it was coming)
11:00 Talk to Brian on the phone
11:10 Go over board with Christina. Isolate a sequence for her to start on with the graphic elements we have
11:30 Fax board to agency. It's rough and unintelligible
12:15 Patrick Smith arrives. Socialize and dilly dally
12:25 Talk to agency about board
12:40 Set up for photo shoot
12:55 Call Waldy's for lunch
13:05 Start photographing Patrick
13:30 Pizza arrives. We finish shooting.

13:40 Patrick leaves. Check in on artists.
14:00 Import photos/pull selects.
14:05 Get revised script from agency
14:20 Lean out of 12th floor window to photograph overhead of Brian standing across the street
14:25 Assign selects for Ryan to prepare. Show him how to prepare the Photoshop documents using Masks.
14:30 Figure out what's different about the new script
14:40 Jessica goes to voice lesson
14:50 Go to bank
14:55 Call Brian to ask him to switch Nina over to finishing what Jessica started
15:10 Return from bank. Bug Christina about her shots
15:25 Brief call with agency
15:30 Dame Darcy calls. Wants to make sure I'll be at her book release party, I tell her of my "situation" and hopes to make it
15:35 Pull live foot from tape archives. We've done work for this client before, so we had some material that could be used for this
15:45 Cut selects (three shots) against voice track
15:50 Receive logos from agency
15:55 AfterEffects color treatment of live shots
16:10 Cut in first of Christina's sequences
16:15 Have short phone conversation with Steve Kerper. Probably about becoming a fan of Murray the Cat
16:20 Go over revision with Christina, start her on new sequence
16:35 Start on AfterEffects of two shots
16:40 Notice someone has finally cut into the pumpkin pie (ALSO NOTE: this is an observation right after I set myself to do actual animation related work...)
16:55 Go over Ryan's work. It's good
17:05 Go over Nina's work. Also good
17:10 Cut in new shots from Christina and my scenes
17:20 Go over Nina's work. Give her new shot
17:30 AfterEffects scene that Nina prepared
17:45 Cut in that shot
17:50 Go over Nina's work
17:55 Christina starts on shot Nina prepared
18:00 Nina goes home. Brings barky dog with her
18:05 Fine tune piece with exception of one missing shot
18:10 Martha calls. We talk for 15 minutes
18:20 Christina starts to render final shot
18:30 Christina goes home
18:35 Realize that this last scene is (4 seconds) is going to take forever to render because a) some stupid effect that's on it and, more importantly, b) it's the last shot
18:36 Start reading: Murder at the Vicarage
19:05 e-mail agency producer with status update. Another "20 minutes" per computer estimate
19:45 talk to agency producer. They've just finished a meeting will get dinner and stop by
19:55 render finish/cut in shot
20:00 Export/compress/upload quicktime
20:20 Email link to agency
20:45 Mix studio calls. Different guy, same conversation.
20:50 Talk to Alex to bide time. Complain about agency not showing up yet
21:05 Agency calls. Loves what we did, but asks us to re-do about half of it
21:15 Start on revisions. Break into five sections -straight editorial (easy), end (cut in a version we already did, but didn't show plus new logo treatment and end frame -fairly easy), resizing (essentially, although it's more complicated than that -somewhat easy), new approach to 15 second sequence (brain work), new live action pulled from web (pain in the ass).
21:20 Editorial revision complete. Start digging through Christina's work to find the right stuff
21:25 Agency calls back to make sure we're not mad. We're not mad, we always seem cranky -we like to think of it as efficient
21:30 Brian heads out
21:35 Render resizes on Christina's machine
21:40 Find YouTube clip
21:45 Download YouTube clip
21:55 Convert flv to quicktime
22:10 Cut in quicktime. Doesn't work because flv to mov conversion is awful
22:15 Figure out work around. Quality still looks terrible, but it'll have to do for this project
22:20 Cut in resize revision
22:25 Deal with end sequence revision
22:30 Brian calls to check in
22:40 Talk to Alex some more while trying to figure out what to do
22:45 Cut in end sequence revision
22:50 Start to figure new section revision. Pull select images, drop them in time, find better images, make transitions
23:50 Make alternate version of new section identical to what we discussed with agency (I couldn't really see what they wanted until I figured out how I would do it, then what they wanted was clear)
00:30 Cut in both versions
00:35 Make timing revisions on new section
00:45 Fine tune entire edit
01:05 Export/compress/upload two versions
01:30 email
01:45 burn DVDs
02:00 leave studio
02:15 discover L train isn't running. Begin 40 minutes of MTA hijinx
02:55 get out of D train (don't ask) at Broadway-Lafayette. Catch cab. Cabbie sings "Let's Get in On" along with the radio. I don't not accept the offer
03:00 home
03:15 sleep
07:30 pick up laundry
08:05 drop off final at mix studio

Here's Pat Smith. He was the only guy we could think of with chiseled Aryan good looks of a guy who would make high end luxury purchases.

I should say, this isn't typical -but it happens every once in a while. A client, usually someone we've worked with in the past, will ring up and need something right away. In this case "right away" meant, literally, the next day.

There are "24 hour film" competitions all of the time. I think they're a waste of 24 hours. Sure, its a decent enough school exercise but in reality if you've come down to such a short time make something its due to poor planning. Film making, animation in particular, is about planning (or as we like to call it, courtesy of Gerard Goulet, "planification").

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