Tag Archives: editing

Thoughts from our Editor

Evan Derrick, our brilliant editor, had some thoughts and experiences that he wanted to share from his time in New York, while we locked the edit in December.  Evan, originally from Maryland, moved to Tulsa, and we flew him in to communicate better while we finalized the edit.

An excerpt:

So, a few weeks ago I was in New York finalizing the edit of The Sheol Express with my two directors, Ryan and Mike (more on that later). As you can see from the picture, I was a lean mean editing machine, and heaven help you if you got in my way (at least that’s what I take away from that picture).

After 2 days of non-stop work, I needed to be released from my cage, so I convinced the powers that be that we should go out for the evening. What would a trip to New York City be after all if you didn’t go out for a night on the town? So we meandered our way over to Tribeca to sample the hearty offerings of the Ear Inn which, Ryan assured me, had the best Guinness tap in the city. A live jazz band called the Ear Regulars was playing in the foyer who, despite their schlocky pun of a name, were very good, and we squeezed past them in order to pounce on the one empty table in the back.

Check out his thoughts and experiences from his trip to New York City on his brilliant blog, The Brink of 30.

Another Day, Another Cut

Good morning, loyal fans!

What’s going on with “The Sheol Express”, you ask?  We’ve been doing lots of behind-the-scenes post-production work that’s not quite blog-appropriate, but we wanted to drop a line and update what we can.  We’ve been slowly raising the money that we need to complete the film through post-production, and our editor Evan Derrick is relentlessly refining the cut of the film:

Something very exciting that’s happening this weekend is that we’ve flown Evan to NY to be with us as we try to “picture-lock” the edit, so it can move on to the audio and visual effects stages of post-production.  We took a look at the third cut of the film earlier this week, and we’ve recently placed our collaborative changes into a “fine cut” – v4.0.

Tomorrow, we will be screening this cut of “The Sheol Express” for the first “audience” (that isn’t limited to our selves and our moms).  We’ve got about 15 friends coming over to our house in Harlem, NYC, to view the film.  We’ve invited a few of our trusted film peers, a couple of them editors, some people who have been involved with the production from day one who know the story, members of our post-production team, several people who have no idea what the film is about, and one who has never even heard of us before.

The idea is to be able to get a good read on how the story is being communicated to the audience – if it’s too ambiguous, too simplistic, if all the fart jokes carry or not, etc.  We’ve spent over 15 months on this, and we want to make sure that we’re not “too close” to some of the material to be able to edit it objectively.

So, this means that tonight, we’re working on refining audio cuts, adjusting volume levels, putting in temporary music, and generally making the cut palatable for our audience tomorrow.

So, wish us luck, and if any of our actors are reading this, Evan does accept bribes in the form of financial compensation, strong mixed drinks, or babysitting his kids for a weekend, in return for more screen time.

Second Cut is HERE

So, we received the second cut of the film, and we’re pleased to say that we’re making progress!

Something that is very interesting about our film is that it’s rather long – we initially wrote a 23-page script, which should translate to a 23-minute movie.  23 minutes is already quite long for a short film, but we decided to work with it, as it was a really good script that we thought would hold people’s attention.

When we received the first cut, it became clear that we were looking at a bit longer film – 27 minutes, in fact, without any of the closing credits!  That’s very long!  The good news is that it feels like 10 minutes – which is impressive for one’s own movie that you’ve already seen a million times.  But, we thought that we’d make some cuts, tighten it up a little, and it’ll shrink right down.  We love the movie, but it’s always better to have a shorter movie, we’ve been told, so we dutifully began looking for ways that our editor, Evan, could cut it down.

Not so fast.

Mike and I screened the second cut, with 1:30 cut off, with Perry and Bryce (our vfx wizards of studio free radical) and Vlad (our colorist, of Vladlab), and it became clear that even minimal trims made a HUGE difference in the story.  It appears that the script is so tight, and even loosing a few lines here and there dramatically alters the story.  A compliment to the script’s tightness and succinctness, yes, but difficult as we try to tighten up the cut.

So, we’ll just continue cutting, and continue updating.  Just as we felt during the entire production process, we constantly find ourselves saying “This film is Amazing!  The people we’re working with are so talented!  But there’s SO MUCH work to be done!”  True… so true, and we’re reminded of both our peer’s talents every day, how fortunate we are to have them working with us, but also the sheer amount of work we all need to do.  The same is true of the edit, which we shall keep taking our “baby steps” on.

We’re trying to have all of the scenes that use visual effects locked by Thanksgiving in order to give Bryce a headstart on creating those amazing matte paintings!