Archive for December, 2013

Kickstarter total at time of writing: £3574, 79% funded


Now the deadline was starting to creep up on us. As the Kickstarter would run for a month, it needed to close before Christmas to match Ant’s deadlines, and that meant we needed to be up and running before mid-November. The edit had crawled on just long enough to eliminate the weekend of the 9th from being useful, and due to the Lambda site being close to the road, we needed to do something I’d never done before: completely re-record all of the dialogue. We managed to secure an afternoon the following weekend with Toby Warren, the same sound recordist we worked with on Announcement. That Saturday, the 16th, was Ant’s originally proposed deadline, but I reasoned that you couldn’t release a Kickstarter on a Saturday…right?

It was a weird day. The first half basically amounted to Ant standing in front of a mic with headphones on, listening to his own voice and repeating it back. Then Matt did his lines, then Drew, and even Chloe ended up recording some. The weirdest part for me – while sitting on the floor and eating vegan popcorn in the small windows between the recording light flashing on – was that after twelve or so hours editing the footage, I knew exactly what the lines sounded like, and I couldn’t understand why my actors couldn’t replicate them as perfectly. (Well, actually the weirdest part was probably Drew ADRing the sound of another man having his tooth ripped out. That was also pretty weird.)

I also learned on this day that Toby is a phenomenal sound recordist and editor. He captured line after line seamlessly and effortlessly, mixed down a first draft in twenty minutes while we were there, and turned around the final track overnight and had it back to us the next day. I’m so grateful and glad that we had him in our list of people to exploit volunteers.


The Final Stretch

With the ADR finished, all that remained was to hand everything to Drew to make us a soundtrack. We knew that Kickstarter required up to three days to review and approve the video, which made time even tighter. While I messed around with the remaining footage, Drew spent an evening gathering, editing and mixing together various samples and sound effects, from background music to ambient sound (including new traffic sounds to replace what we’d spent the previous day removing). We’d had some trouble with audio levels on Announcement, due in part to similar time restrictions, so Drew was keen to put in the hours to fix this for Hood. Finally, some time after midnight and after my last-minute requests, Drew mixed down all the audio levels and handed the export back to me.

I spent the following evening trying to stick the sound and the video back together; by this time the Mac was out of my reach, so I resorted to a half-version of Premiere running on my ancient desktop computer. The software itself wouldn’t play back the footage, so I had to export it and play it externally to ensure the soundtrack was in sync, not to mention trying to find the right export type for the footage itself. Three exports and half an evening later I finally had the completed video, though admittedly in the wrong framerate and at the wrong size – but no amount of tinkering or crying was going to improve things at this stage. I finally sent the video to Ant, and after some further back and forth and last-minute quality control, he submitted it to Kickstarter.

I thought we were in for a long waiting game, and all of a sudden I found myself surprisingly anxious about the whole thing. What if Kickstarter rejected the premise on account of the video? What if they didn’t think copious amounts of cocaine were that funny? What if we weren’t allowed to show drugs, tobacco, alcohol, knives, guns, torture – what were we thinking?!

And then, less than twelve hours later, I saw this Facebook status from Ant:

“And…We have approval.”

The Hood Kickstarter closes on the 19th December and is £926 away from the target. If you know people who are interested in comics, please share the page around. If you haven’t pledged, please consider it. And if you like short films with drugs, knives, guns, torture, tobacco, alcohol and Swiftheart Rabbit, then just check out the page anyway – you won’t be disappointed!

HOOD - the Kickstarter

Click the image to pledge to Hood!

Read part 2!