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I think I'd like to cut the short scene in which my artist touches the canvas at the end. Doesn't feel contemplative enough, feels kinda forced.

Maybe the score can 'fix' that?
Such moments are always a bit elusive: without music setting the tone it looks forced indeed.

Last week I showed the first half to my DP: he missed the prologue indeed and he missed a way to tell where something is happening (aka titles ;) ).
He also said it's strange that the UFO appears like that. He would find it more believable if the 'phone' is filming the elk, a sound appears (from behind) the elk start running.
The phone tilt upward (freezing all the time,just like it does now while it flies over) and follows the ufo while it flies into the scenery. Actually the reverse movement like I suggested back then... (I didn't tell him that. So he thinks the same or he can hack my memories after 14 years of collaborating ;) )

I actually miss a shot of Robin with the full pyramid in the background while their camera is rolling. (I know I was forced to improvise because they suddenly started building something there after I scouted he location, so the scene got a bit longer...)

Anyway: cool to see it coming together!

I was just thinking about this project lately: if I had the resources I would want to add a scene of a cult gathering near the pyramid (but that can't happen now: there is no green leaf anywhere yet, plus I would need at least 2 extra producers) and 2 short scenes in Rome with priests discussing the questions the video raises amongst their flock. (Would be cool to have more languages in it, right?) Sometimes my mind just keeps producing ideas... :P

We're still missing the prologue. I've got the footage for the "viral video", but what shall we do for the rest of prologue?

I have a plan for it :P
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Digging it.

I think we probably need to do a bit more fat trimming with some of the sequences – I'm thinking beach and in the oxygen tent – because, ideally, this'd all come in at about 10 minutes. But it moves along quite nicely, the Threads (or Strands!) connect quite well.

How are we looking soundwise on your scene, Joseph? Have you been able to ADR?
Thanks, Soundtrack, that's a very nice offer! We already have a composer, but you never know -- he might want to incorporate your music with his, or something like that.

Nick, I'll definitely trim as much as I can. Off the top of my head, I can't think of anything I'd want to let go of, but only way to find out is to just start playing with it. My initial thought was to try and trim the Vern scene in the forest. Anyway, I'll give it a go.

I'm not entirely sure I'll be able to shoot ADR. Keep in mind that the audio in this rough cut is raw in-cam audio. The audio from the recorder isn't so bad.

And what shall we plan for the prologue? I guess we need to pick up various footage of cities around the world?
Nick, I'll definitely trim as much as I can. Off the top of my head, I can't think of anything I'd want to let go of, but only way to find out is to just start playing with it. My initial thought was to try and trim the Vern scene in the forest. Anyway, I'll give it a go.

Yeah, there's definitely some stuff that can come off the Vern scene. But is sooo beautiful that I think it looks too good. But I think the logic of trying to keep to 10 mins is quite sound (unless Walter's prologue is going to be huuuuge).

I'm not entirely sure I'll be able to shoot ADR. Keep in mind that the audio in this rough cut is raw in-cam audio. The audio from the recorder isn't so bad.

Ah, ok, that sounds good.

And what shall we plan for the prologue? I guess we need to pick up various footage of cities around the world?

We shall wait and see what Walter is planning. The great mystery of this thread!
The prologue won't be huuuuuge, but I think I need a huge amount of help from IT to get everything together.
I will need voices in different languages. Dutch, French, Russian, Italian, Japanese and probably Brazilian Portugese are within my reach: I have friends from everywhere.
However: I would need some English voices in different accents as well: from New Zealand/Australian to BBC British (or more London style) and East and Westcoast American.

BTW, I don't think we should fixate on the 10 minute mark.
The Vern scene is beautiful: I think the score and sound for that scene should be added before deciding on cutting it shorter.
I know it's not the most effective order to do things, but if our composer is willing to do that and if the sound department has some temp ambient sounds it could give a good enough impression to make these decisions.

Like I mentioned earlier: I still have a second, rather ambitious pyramid scene in my head, but I can't shoot it until the forest is green again. But I don't know whether you would like to add more to the story or not.
(Besides that I have a few more ideas, but we need 'boots on the ground' in other countries for that... so that's a bit difficult to realise now.)
OK, here's my 2c worth. Caveats first though! 1. My comments are aimed at the film itself, not specifically at the sound design and also take no account of retaining each individual filmmaker's full contribution. 2. My comments/suggestions are purely aimed at generating as much interest and pace as practical, to engage the audience. 3. I've got no problem with all my comments/suggestions being completely dismissed if the director (or general consensus) is that this project is more about the collaboration/experience than it is about this commercial and potentially brutal approach of making an engaging final product. 4. Even if the more commercial approach is the consensus, it's entirely possible others may think of better ways of achieving it than me and my comments/suggestions maybe of no more use than to just get the ball rolling. And lastly, 5. If it appears I'm being critical of a particular scene/filmmaker, please don't take it personally. I realise each filmmaker had different resources and different opportunities presented by their section of the script. My comments should be taken purely in terms of creating the best (IMHO) final product from the raw materials, NOT as a judgement of anyone's personal filmmaking abilities!!! So, I apologise in advance if any of the following is too brutal but I don't think that if I were as diplomatic here as I am in my working life that it would anywhere near be as potentially helpful.

Overview: Obviously, this is just a first draft rough cut and we're still missing the opening, the UFO section and some of the establishing shots. What we have at the moment though, largely lacks energy, pace or interest. Much of it is effectively "hand it to them on a plate" style of banal conversation, where nothing much happens. In other words, exactly the same criticism the public has towards almost all low budget productions/dramas. IMHO we therefore need to: 1. Not hand it on a plate to the audience quite so much, give them a little more to figure out and 2. Cut some of the fat ... We could intercut between scenes more and reduce the amount of banal conversation/footage which isn't essential to (or overstates) the story. Thereby giving the audience more to figure out, increasing the energy/pace and interest and hopefully engaging them more. Here are my suggestions:

The opening sequence on the beach: The conversation to start with is generalities about the digital age/internet which is at best only peripheral to the story and which we can assume the public already knows. Coupled with the fact that nothing of any particular visual interest occurs in the footage and that the scene feels overly long, I think a lot of it can go. If we have a wide panoramic shot of the location we could: Cut to black at the end of the UFO footage, fade in the panoramic shot and then transition to what is currently 0:43; "People have nothing better to do..." and run the scene to the end. It might even work to insert a shot of Sophie painting after the line "Was it good?" (1:04) and cutting back at "Are UFO's cutting edge?" (2:12), maintaining the sound/dialogue of the beach scene throughout. Over the wide shot at the end we could J-Cut to ...

Artist's Studio: "Hey, so you remember my friend Robin right?" (2:16) and pic cut at what is currently the edit at 2:19. Sometime after "I'm not try to paint to further that idiot's career" (2:38) it might work to have an insert of Robin, again maintaining the dialogue/sound of the painting scene thoughout. Cut as is at end of scene to ...

Austerlitz: The scene drags on a bit and maybe overstates too many times what an idiot/asshole Robin is, especially considering it's already been stated in the previous scene. So again, maybe shortening and breaking up the scene is a good idea: Maybe cut somewhere around 3:29 to an establishing shot of Wellington, the to Laura waking up (5:03) and in the Kitchen (until 5:38) and then cut back to Austerlitz at "we're ready" (4:00). At current end of scene cut back to ...

Wellington: Laura at her desk (5:39). Run to the end of the scene as is. As an aside, can we get a little dialogue for Vern? At 6:01 "Hi, is that Laura Morris?". At 6:04 "Sorry it's so early". At 6:07 "Good, great to speak to you in person". At the cut to the forest (6:33) "That's exactly where I am now! I had another report ... Hello?" It might take a few tries to fit the dialogue into the spaces available but it shouldn't be too tricky. As Vern doesn't speak anywhere else, anyone can record this dialogue with an appropriate age/accent. I think this would help tie the two scenes together better and explain why Vern is already at the location Laura suggested just a few seconds earlier. Obviously, we need find someone who can do this and of course is subject to Nick's agreement.

I would run the rest of the film as is, although I'm not sure how much longer the film needs to run after Samuel's fall, if at all. If there's some more footage of Samuel running at the start of the Smallholding scene that could help tie it to the end of the Vern scene better and also provide the option of breaking up/splitting the Smallholding scene somewhere around where Samuel opens the barn doors, if required.

I'm not sure I'd have any footage for the prologue, just titles, black screen, radio announcements and then into the UFO footage. Might be an opportunity for a secondary composer to write a few different radio idents to add to the mix before the UFO footage. I can do the British accent if you're stuck Walter, although I don't really have a BBC or newsreader type accent.

Again, I'm not sure if any of these suggested edits would work, it's the basic principle of cutting the fat, mixing and speeding things up which I'm trying to convey, more than the specific details/edits.

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That's at least 3c worth ;)
Thanks for the input.
And the voice offer :)

Intercutting Austerlitz and Wellington could work very well.
I'm in post now, but when I have time I can look into it to help CF with the foreign stuff :)
At least worth a try.

More action/tension would be nice indeed, that would mean shooting more scenes.
Could be cool to build it in 2 phases. Or 3. :P
It has actually been on my mind, but the rest needs to support that idea as well.
(I haven't presented it yet.)
Haven't actually had a chance to watch the scene as I've just moved into a new house and don't have internet yet (posting from my phone). But on the surface I agree with APE. Intercutting will trim it down, and give it more 'energy.' Things will feel more connected and tied together, rather than a bunch of vignettes. I recall one of the first rough cuts (that wasn't finished yet) felt pretty ploddy.
Three things:

1. I didn't realize that Walter was taking charge of the prologue. Good, I'm glad to hear. I have easy access to Southern and Western American accents, with a little effort could get Northern.

2. Damn, APE, those comments are really spot-on! Kudos, and thanks for sharing your thoughts. I don't agree with every specific proposed edit you mentioned, some of them are a little too on-the-nose for me, but I REALLY like the general idea of intercutting the scenes. It will help create a sense of urgency and allow me to trim the fat without hurting continuity. I am TOTALLY on-board with this idea, and y'all should expect the 2nd cut to have a much whip-snappy feel.

3. Walter, I have a feeling most will want to just finish what we've got, but you've produced some really great work, and there's surely no harm in just talking, so present your idea! :D
1) I never meant to take charge of the prologue, but I do feel something must be done and that the idea I have for it can actually work pretty well. If not, than it's at least a nice start for the trailer ;)
Besides that: living near Rotterdam, a city with over 150 nationalities, I know a few people from different countries I can ask to record native audio for the opening.

I need to write it all more in detail, but if I can pull it off (it will be a next level production for me :P ) I would like to shoot a scene at night at the Pyramid.
A cult is gathering there and Robin with is crew is secretly filming from the ditch around the pyramid.
The main challenge will be the extras dressed in white.
For the cult leader I'm prettty sure I could borrow a bizarre cult like dress/robe from a fashion designer I was shot a video for.
Using an A7s should make it possible to shoot the scene without really heavy generators.
A few baskets with fire, a few torches, a lot of candles and some LED/kino flos and some smoke could make an interesting picture.

This could really add to the feeling of something happening. Putting it after Wheat's first cult scene would be cool.

There is also another scene I wrote last year when it seemed we could have another european team on board. It's a more tense scene where a man is packing to hide in the mountains, while his girl shouts that he being rediculous, naieve and paranoid (the basement is still stuffed with canned food for the 2012 apocalypse that never happened). Suddenly bright lights shine through the curtains, freaking them both out making them hide.
The man's brother, caring but loving practical jokes, enters the house. (The lights are from his car: very X-files style)
"I heard you want to go camping. Can I join you?"
To the girl:
"Thanks for the call"
(could be a nice bridge to the second SF scene)

Another wild idea was shooting at the Vatican, but I don't have time or money to do that.
But if we have a team in (southern) Europe (thatwould add Italian/Spanish/Portugese/Greek to the mix) that can shoot in front of a big church near dusk we could have a scene with 2 priests discussing what to do with the questions people have. One would expess the desire to know the truth.
(This scene could be put between Wheat's first cult scene and the Pyramids cult scene.)

In a second scene in the evening he could be stopped in the street by someone with a phone telling him there is someone who wants to talk to him. A car stops next to them and the door opens...
(This scene could be put after the 2nd SF scene, I guess, adding to the feeling that someone knows...)
After this we could have a short 3rd scene with Robin and his crew running throught the forest, chased by cult members. (A7s plus MoVI should make it possible) It's almost dawn. (Making the jump in time to the last scene smaller)

Like I said:
some wild ideas that would require some work and 2 new teams.

So yes, I know: it's not written with the limits we have now.
I'm a dreamer ;)
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Ah, found the 'lights scene':



Leon (names can change depending on location of shooting) 
(30s/20s) is packing stuff in a large backpack.

	Are you crazy?

	Haven't you seen that video?
	Staying here is crazy.

Wendy closes the closet Leon just opened

	Stop this madness.
	That video is a hoax.
	LEON (calm)
	I'm sure it is real...

	You also believed the Mayas predicted 
	the end of the world.
	We still have a ton of dried food,
 	thanks to that lunacy!

Suddenly a very bright light shines through 
the window and a loud strange vibrating sound 
sounds through the walls.	
Wendy freezes.
Leon grabs a big knife.

	Hide behind the (whatever: couch/closet)

The sound is getting louder and the door starts to ramble.
Leon tries to shield his eyes to see what is happening.
The door starts to open.
Wendy screams.
Suddenly the sound stops.

	Hey, little brother, I got a call you want to
	hide in the mountains.
	Do you mind if join you?
	It's about we catch up a little during fishing.

Leon's brother knods friendly and comfortingly at Wendy 
as she rises from her hiding place. He looks amused.

	Sorry, I had to do this prank.
	But I'm glad you called me.

A phone RINGS (on the dashboard of a car?)
Kudos, and thanks for sharing your thoughts. I don't agree with every specific proposed edit you mentioned, some of them are a little too on-the-nose for me, but I REALLY like the general idea of intercutting the scenes.

Thanks, glad it was useful. As I've never pic edited anything and don't even own any pic editing software, I couldn't try out any of my suggested edits to see how well or even if they worked and even if I could, I wouldn't expect everyone to agree with my subjective opinion.

There was some discussion about intercutting nearer the beginning of the thread, before any footage was actually shot and the concern was raised that it may cause grading/colouring difficulties, especially considering that each unit/filmmaker would be using different equipment and probably also a different cinematography style. To be honest, in the context of the story, I don't really see this as an issue. I'm sure matching the grading/colouring across the edits would be a difficult or even impossible task, my argument is that I don't think matching is necessary! The locations are very different geographically (rather than only visually), the time of day is also therefore different and as these two facts are actually an integral part of the story, I don't think precise matching is necessarily desirable. In other words, provided the grading/colouring is consistent for each location, I don't feel it has to be precisely consistent across all the edits (intercuts). Rather than being an issue, I see this as an opportunity for creativity in the grading/colouring process. Although it might prove tricky to find an appropriate point between being imperceivable and crossing the line into garishness or affectation for the sake of it, thereby pulling the audience out of the story rather than aiding the story telling.

I had envisaged that the first cut/insert to a new location would be a panoramic establishing shot, accompanied by a hard subtitle (For example: "Wellington, New Zealand"), then transitioning into the scene itself. Two exceptions to this would be the Smallholding scene, which is, as far as the story is concerned, essentially the same geographic location as the Vern scene and optionally the first cut to Sophie (during the Beach scene). I don't think it's absolutely essential to have an establishing shot for the Artist's Studio scene and the location subtitle wouldn't have to appear until the pic cut to the main scene. Taking this route, I envisaged the subtitle would only appear once for each location and the audience left to figure out/associate for themselves each subsequent cut to that location (with a little subliminal nudge from the sound design, music and/or grading/colouring!).

As before, this is all intended as just a suggested approach rather than absolute details and I mention the edits I detailed previously purely to illustrate this potential approach.

Sorry for the slow response and apologies for not being as detailed as is really necessary.

I really like APE's suggestions about the edit. I think he's absolutely right – and comes with the benefit of fairly fresh eyes – that it lacks tension. Intercutting between the scenes and trimming down will definitely help this (as will the score and sound design, I think, because at the moment the film feels like its in a vacuum, rather than the oppressive landscape I intended).

I also think we need to make sure that the film reaches a real crescendo at the end, because, at the moment, it feels like we set-up a lot of questions and then offer no answers (and I realise that this is true of my script!).

So the sound design of the craft is going to be important, and I think that Tom (Jooble), if he's still keen to do it, could tinker with the areas around those lights and maybe make them feel a bit more alien and intimidating.

Anyhow, I'll try and commit some more thorough thoughts to paper soon!
Hey, yea im game for tweaking the lights a the end to make it a more intimidating. Checking out the edit im kinda keen to improve the wide beach shots with a nice sky replacement to make it look a bit more intresting, not sure if you guys agree? Prehaps its something that can be improved by some grading. As for the edit ideas, yes I think it would 100% improve things.
Hey, yea im game for tweaking the lights a the end to make it a more intimidating. Checking out the edit im kinda keen to improve the wide beach shots with a nice sky replacement to make it look a bit more intresting, not sure if you guys agree? Prehaps its something that can be improved by some grading. As for the edit ideas, yes I think it would 100% improve things.

Hi Tom, sorry for the super slow response! Yes, this would be absolutely great. I think that's the main problem with that opening scene, it just looks like such a miserable day! Maybe colour correction will help – Will Vincent, if you're reading this, are you still down to grade? – but sky replacement, if it doesn't look too 'fake' would be great,

And, CF, any progress on the new edit? I know that I haven't done a great job of chivvying you along, but any progress is good progress!
Sorry Nick, but that's what Bay Area beaches are like. I should never have included a beach on the list of possible places we could have shot. No accounting for weather, but I should have accounted for expectations.

CA is one of the geographically largest states in the US - as in at least twice the land mass of the entire UK (which is approximately equal in land mass to Oregon if you want to visualize the difference). It's not all like Malibu with sandy beaches and perfect sunny days. The Bay is notorious for its fog - especially in the time of year we were shooting. It's my fault for even including a beach as a possibility and I should have done everything in my power to dissuade you from writing our scene at one.

All of that is just to say that I feel at fault for the problems of dreary location and lack of visual interest.


APE is otherwise spot-on in his critique.

Let me know if you guys are missing data from our second segment (packing the cars and the phone call). Despite the sound guy losing his card from that day's shooting, there was an ADR session with my director and if memory serves his edit still retained that portion of the piece. I can track down additional data if needed, but my understanding was that everything was uploaded to the FTP in one pass. Do let me know if that was not the case, or if that was just getting scrapped (did not see it in the last edit).


Okay, sorry. Again. That came out as way more churlish than I intended. It was written in the trough of a very black depressive state, and while that is no excuse I did want to come back in here and try to explain that I wasn't trying to be a dick about it - that's just a thing that happens when I'm in that mental space. I've been feeling really, really terrible about the results of my work lately. Very much in the "everything I do ends up terrible" frame of mind and when I last visited this thread I managed to convince myself that I had single-handedly ruined the entire project. Which is, I know, ridiculous - but that's how much my brain hates me sometimes.

Sorry for that.

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What would or could be (Nick, brace yourself. Yeah go ahead and just start flinching now) increase marketability would be to design a signature audio sound for the spacecraft.

You guys might wanna start kicking that can around over at the [Community Project] Sound Design thread.

'Close Encounters'
'War of the Worlds'
'Star Wars' TIE fighter fly by (More SW sounds:
(Doggone! More fun sound-nerd resources:
Gah! 'Star Trek' sounds:

But, you get the idea.

There are more ringtones
keep calm and enjoy sounds)))