Friday, June 03, 2005

As reported in Fangoria, The Resurrection Game is done.

It feels really weird to type that sentence. I still can’t quite wrap my mind around it.



With a new dialogue track freshly scrubbed and polished by Cameron Romero and about 60 minutes of new music by Jason D. Ralph (perfectly complimenting the music previously composed by Paul McCollough and Mike Shiley), the movie is complete.

I spent most of the past weekend beating various parts of it into submission: raising levels here, lowering them there, mixing effects, placing and replacing music…etc. Then I screamed at my PC, with its virtually quaint Pentium III processor, then begged, then cursed, then physically attacked, until I got a good file rendered out.

This took about three tries. Rendering out a final .avi in Premiere is a pain in the ass, particularly with a Pentium III behind it, and it takes six, eight, nineteen hours, depending on what you want it to do (although I’ve yet to determine a rhyme or reason to the rendering time). So the first couple I wound up with were filled with glitches—some my fault, some the computers, some I’m convinced are the result of Satan’s meddling.

For a while, I was sure the movie itself was working against me. Actually, I’ve had this feeling for five years now. It was almost a given over the years that The Resurrection Game is the movie that didn’t want to be seen. For two years, I hand-cut a scratched and abused work-print. To the audience, the picture was bad, first, as we distributed a bootleg on VHS, shot off the flickering screen of a flatbed editor. So I hand-cut the negative and got it transferred to DV… then taught myself Premiere (when I started on this movie, digital editing was a mere concept to me, like evolution—I knew about it, but I had no real physical contact with it) to re-edit it again.

So now we had a beautiful looking movie. But, as was witnessed at the sneak preview screening at the 2004 Pittsburgh Comicon, it was determined that the sound was the new culprit. This was the result of a dialogue track mixed from the original mag stock scratch tracks that I had originally thought was all that remained of the elements. I discovered that the original original elements—the ¼” tape from the Nagra recorder that we used on the set to capture the dialogue—had not only held up, but were in pristine condition.

So I transferred these to DV, with the irreplaceable help of Eric Fleischauer and Pittsburgh Filmmakers. And then I imported every line of dialogue into Premiere and replaced the entire sound track sound-wave by sound-wave. Resulting in a nearly-pristine dialogue track and my going blind for two hours.

Then I had further computer problems, like the aforementioned crappy .avi files.

Then my high-end DVD burner died.

Then my computer crashed, erasing both hard drives. Forcing me to recapture the entire movie from a tape-back-up and start over again with the new tweaking.

Then the floods came.

And some locust (just enough to gum up the works).

Then the Earth opened up and swallowed my house and all the master files.

Then an electromagnetic pulse shot through the universe, rendering useless all the world’s electronic devices.

But through it all, ultimately, I survived, and so did The Resurrection Game. And it’s playing its first film festival on Saturday. The Pittsburgh Filmworkers Association is putting on a fest and it’s running Dr. Horror’s Erotic House of Idiots and then us. Since Amy, Charlie Fleming and I are in Dr. Horror’s (so are Debbie Rochon and Jasi Cotton Lanier, for that matter), there’s going to be a lot of us on that screen tomorrow.

And this fest makes moot all of my excuses. The movie is done. I’m not going to do anything else to it, for good or ill. So I won’t be able to say “we’re almost done” any longer. “It’ll be finished soon,” the pat answer to “why does it sound like that?” is no longer valid.
<>Now we have to stand by our choices, to be hailed or hanged by the work.

Saturday is gonna be interesting…

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