Every time I finish a movie and announce it's completion, I feel like I'm lying. It feels utterly strange to think of a movie as "finished". Even in this case. Really, Splatter Movie: The Director's Cut needs some minor sound work, and likely needs a few tweaks to the credits. And I still need to work out a deal with the special guest end credits musicians (not Lorraine 'a Malena this time sadly, but a band completely different but still awesome to be announced later). But, ostensibly, this movie is complete.
The final piece of the puzzle was provided by Alan Rowe Kelly (writer and director of the brilliant I'll Bury You Tomorrow and the delightfully-demented The Blood Shed). Alan came aboard at the last minute to provide the voice of "Devora Simmons", the off-screen documentrix who is motivating the whole shebang. And his voice gives the movie, strangely, an even deeper edge. Alan's voice has a Barbara Walters tinge to it, so the movie now feels even, dare I say it, 'legitimate'.
A consumate professional, Alan read each line in the three-page voice over script six times, giving me plenty to choose from. Which was awesome. Less awesome was treating each line with filters and room tone to make it match the existing sound while, at the same time, removing my voice as much as possible from the tracks. And, of course, while doing that, I couldn't help but tweak shot-length, fuss over color corrections, remix certain musical stings, futz with some additional effects shots... Still, all in all, the final pass on the film only took a few hours on Friday and Sunday.
And then it was done.
To really add to the surreal "final pass", I was also transferring some old Resurrection Game behind-the-scenes footage from VHS to DVD. So parts of our first movie played while I finished up our latest one. The ten years in between felt like a dynasty. Watching old, ancient footage of us--we were all so young!--struggle with confined spaces and war-era equipment as we strived beyond logic to finish our first ridiculous epic. There were two images in particular that struck me simultaneously.
On our snazzy i-Mac, I edited the end Splatter Movie credits and found a shot of me behind our new (-ish) XL-2 DV camera. Meanwhile, on the television, there came an ancient shot of me jerry-rigging a rented 16mm Arri-BL with duct tape and a trim of black leader to keep the film magazine and focus rings from falling off. And I'm talking about shooting the assembled movie off a flatbed linear editing machine with my own ancient VHS camcorder.
How far we've come. And yet, we still often wonder what the hell we're doing and why. Just as we did ten years ago.
Right now, we're making advanced Splatter Movie DVDs to send out to prospective distributors. At the same time, I'm readying more VHS footage (over 60 hours of the crap!) for Jeff Waltrowski as he labors over the new Resurrection Game documentary for the upcoming 10th Anniversary DVD. For this doc, I'm running down our stars for new interviews. Francis Veltri I caught the day before he and his entire family moved to Indiana. Ray Yeo is in the process of readying his own house for sale before moving his family to a new school district. Kristen Pfeifer, at last message, lives in Oregon with her new husband. Dave Shremp passed away of a brain tumor three weeks after principal photography was completed. A special memorial is also planned for the DVD in his honor.
And I was continually struck with how far we've come as artists (or "artists", whichever) in ten years. We may not be rich or world famous, but we achieved a great deal of what we set out to do. And that's enough to get me to sleep at night.
Or would be, if this damned insomia would go away... but that's another blog.