Behind the Scenes of Targeted Advertisers, Part 5: Post Production

in #filmlast year

Hello again Hive crew!

If you’ve been keeping up with my “Behind the Scenes: Targeted Advertisers” series, you’ll know that we’re coming towards the end. The story went from an idea, to a script, to a full-on independent production. The last step for it to become a movie is to go into post-production.

Scene_11_Take_1.MP4 - Merged.06_23_11_01.Still001.jpg
Screen grab from Targeted Advertisers rough cut - before any color grading or effects were added

I learned to edit on Adobe Premiere Pro, which was included in our university fees. Yet another drawback of graduating was that I knew my days of having access to the editing software were numbered. Needless to say, I was not rolling in dough at that point, so I knew I just had to finish the edit before my subscription expired.

Screen Shot 2021-05-27 at 5.28.20 PM.png
Screen grab from rough cut of Targeted Advertisers

The university had a wonderful editing lab with fast computers, double monitors, a sound booth, and a color grading booth. Unfortunately, I didn’t have access to any of that anymore, either. The university library is open to the public, and has a row of computers in the back dedicated to using Adobe apps for projects. So I showed up with my hard drive and set to work. As soon as I logged in, I got a notification that my Adobe subscription would expire less than 2 weeks later!

Screen Shot 2021-05-27 at 5.25.00 PM.png
Screen grab from Targeted Advertisers rough cut

While we were on set, I’d had my friend David there, organizing data. He looks like an extra in the background of most scenes, but really, he was using the computer to unload each memory card, then sync the video and sound for each clip. As soon as we had a card filled, we would pass it to him and he would start syncing. Thanks to his efforts, I could jump right into editing, which saved some of the time I desperately needed.

Screen Shot 2021-05-27 at 5.26.43 PM.png
Screen grab from Targeted Advertisers rough cut - peep David in the middle row with the collared shirt and vest!

Jay stopped by the library almost every day to help with the graphics and give feedback on the edit. Just like how writing is a process of re-writing, editing is a process of re-editing. Once we had a rough cut, the film was running a little longer than we had hoped. I went back through, cutting every clip the tiniest bit shorter, running lines of dialogue ever so slightly closer together, and making the sequences faster. It was still long, and Jay and I got into heated debates about whether we would have to cut some lines of dialogue.

Screen Shot 2021-05-27 at 5.41.53 PM.png
Screen grab from Targeted Advertisers after graphics were added

Of course, I loved every single line I had written, especially the ones that made it to the final draft of the script. But not all of them could make it to the final cut of the film, and I said goodbye to the few that had to go. We also got into making titles and credits, which were more complicated than I expected. It seems so simple, but once I was in the position to make decisions, it engrossed me. I looked at hundreds, if not thousands, of fonts to try to find the right look. Fonts! I had never cared about fonts before in my life. But when it was the credits on my own film, suddenly I felt the need to find the perfect font.

Screen Shot 2021-05-27 at 5.45.02 PM.png
Screen grab from Targeted Advertisers fine cut

Another friend from the theatre I worked at was interested in composing scores for films. She asked me if I had a composer, and I almost had a heart attack because I hadn’t even thought of it yet. So Elise offered to compose something for my film, and once we had it in picture-lock, she started bringing in music. The music took everything to another level, and she did a great job. When the film was finished, I started submitting it to film festivals right away. I was pumped about how it turned out, but the festival judges weren’t so stoked. After getting rejected from a few, I had a big reality check.

Screen Shot 2021-05-27 at 5.23.52 PM.png
Screen grab from Targeted Advertisers rough cut

I showed it to my parents, who had to be supportive, but I watched their reactions through the film. Which parts had the desired effects? Which parts made them confused, or could have been executed better? I showed it to more of my family, and got plenty of critiques (mostly from my brother). I waited a while and re-watched it with fresh eyes, and realized what I needed to do.

Screen Shot 2021-05-27 at 5.39.05 PM.png
Screen grab from Targeted Advertisers rough cut

It was a decent film for having no budget and being edited so quickly, but it wasn’t ready to stand up to competitors that had far more time, money, and experience. I had finished a film, but I wasn’t some kind of filmmaking savant. It humbled me, and I’ve been working on another cut and researching film festivals. Instead of submitting to the big names (sorry Sundance), I’m seeking out festivals that will be a better fit for the film. The story isn’t finished yet, and that’s okay.

xo
Cecilia

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Those screenshots clearly display your skillful eye as a filmmaker! Clean, crisp visuals overall-- and that last one is a powerful perspective with such creative shadow work. Beautiful stuff! I think the conceptual and narrative challenges can make or break a project... writing, acting, editing and continuity... so many moving parts. And today's audiences (and critics) are more discerning and sophisticated than ever, so a successful film is no small feat. I wish you all the best! Let us know when this one is released. ;)

Thank you! When I was in film school, I learned about a man named Ousman Sambene, who was considered the father of African cinema. At the time, native Africans weren't allowed to learn filmmaking or buy film stock, only European colonists in Africa were. He went all the way to Russia to study, then when he came back to Senegal, his friends would send him whatever leftover materials and ends of reels they had so he could film. I found a lot of inspiration in his story. If he could put together entire movies with just bits and pieces of film, without any trained actors or crew, then I had no excuse not to try my hardest.

I feel that I kind of let go of that feeling when the rushed final cut got rejected from a few festivals. I'm working on the re-edit now and trying to be more patient with it. Once it's finished, I'll start submitting it to festivals again, and if it gets accepted, it'll have an official premiere. I'll share more when it comes to that, and let everyone know where to view it online when it's available.

Please do! I !LUV your maturity and persistence... these qualities will serve you well as a filmmaker. :) And what a wonderful story... I'd never heard of Sambene before! What a talent that can make genuine art out of passion itself (and just a pile of seemingly uninspired bits). I've made a note of him and I'll poke around sometime soon.

I'm happy to share some inspiration! Thank you for sharing the LUV too, I'm checking it out now to see what it's all about.

It's nothing too complicated... just a rewards coin that lets you give it to others (I think you can give 3 per day when you hold at least 10 LUV tokens). You can do the same thing with both !PIZZA and BEER (I don't keep enough staked), but I like that I can use LUV contextually in my engagement with people. I'm a simple lad... it doesn't take much to please me! :P

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@ceciliakeirstead! I sent you a slice of $PIZZA on behalf of @thatcryptodave.

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Awesome! I didn't know about LUV, it looks like a great way to spread love in the Hive community!

Here's one more !LUV to get you started. :)

@ceciliakeirstead, you were given LUV from @crrdlx. Info: https://peakd.com/@luvshares or check wallet: https://hive-engine.com

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