SFL48H15 – an open letter to Team Flashcards

Posted: 13/04/2015 in Project Flashcards
Tags: , ,

I wanted to write a note to the team and also blog about yesterday and today, so here’s my combination of the two.

The plan for Saturday was thus:

  1. Ceri ingests and organises footage, then puts together a rough cut; simultaneously, Drew syncs the audio and video from the interrogation
  2. Ceri locks off the edit with the synced audio, then delivers the cut to:
    1. Drew, to write the music
    2. Phil, to record a foley track
    3. Chloe, to colorise the footage
  3. Aforementioned members of the team return their work to Ceri, to assemble and export a final cut and submit the film

There were a number of problems with the plan straight off the bat. I only pitched the idea of Chloe colorising the footage at the last minute, and although she was up for it, she’d have to come to me to use the Mac, which she wasn’t used to using – and she has a Real Job on Monday, so I couldn’t keep her up. I was the one who could stay up all night, but no one else could start work until after I was done. On top of that, Drew and I ran into issues with syncing the audio and video, which were exacerbated by his software failing to work and my failing to understand my software. Long story short, we didn’t lock off a cut until gone midnight, and Drew didn’t finish the soundtrack until around 3am. (Shoutout to Drew who had work in the morning and another project with a tight deadline to be doing.)

  • Phil, sorry I left you in the dark and was terrible and keeping you up to date, but sorry more that I couldn’t get my shit together quick enough for you to do any foley.
  • Chloe, sorry I couldn’t sort myself out in time to do any colorising – it would have been fun to work together on it.
  • Drew, sorry I kept you up late, woke you up early, and was generally difficult to work with. I owe you some croissants.
  • Also, Tull, sorry you couldn’t be involved. For what it’s worth, I think our method from last year – where someone who couldn’t make the shoot began the edit on Saturday night – would have been a huge help this year. Let’s do another Sparkle next time.

All of this would have been fine – we locked off the edit, with music, added vocals and even a tiny bit of colorisation from me, at 11am, two hours before what I think the deadline was. But it turns out even two hours wasn’t enough to save us from the ever-loathsome trap of export times. Getting the right export type caused enough hassle in itself, but coupled with the length of each export trial, then the issues of re-uploading it for submission, turned it into a minor disaster. We finally submitted, by email, at just gone 3pm. I’m still not sure whether we made it in time for judging, but they have been lenient in the past.

As I’ve said before, for my part at least, I’ve only ever entered SFL48H for the experience, practice, and deadline pressures it offers. I am immensely proud of everything we’ve come out with for this contest, but I don’t believe we’re in league (budget-wise, for starters) with the shortlisted entries just yet. That’s not the point. The challenge is not to compete, but to complete the film. We’ve done that, so I call that a win.

Where I feel like I fell down this year was on collaboration. Since we left a lot of the preproduction to the last minute, I ended up dictating roughly what I wanted us to do, rather than crowdsourcing ideas. And thanks to the aforementioned mini-disaster yesterday, post-production fell to two people, rather than the five or six people who could have benefitted from the experience (and enjoyment). Having said that, it is worth noting that we had more space for collaboration last year – the post-production Sparkle party wasn’t something we could have repeated this time round.

HOWEVER – big however – I’ve come away from this on a massive high, now that everything is done and dusted. I want to sit down and learn my software properly and get to grips with exports and teach myself some colorising. We did the bulk of our writing within the 48 hour constraints, which is kind of new for us, so we’ve got that going for us. We had what I felt was the hardest specs we’ve ever had before, and I love what we did with them. Most of all I love the film (sound issues aside). I’m super-psyched for Crossroads next month.

I hope, despite my ramblings above, everyone enjoyed themselves, like the final film, and felt that they gained something from the shoot. Better yet if that ‘something’ is two bags of apples. That’s another thing I gained. Whole ton of apples.


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