Delays, Delays and More Delays

Well, here we go again... without getting into the dirty details things have been delayed on getting the final color correction done on "Killing Down". I will keep silent for now to protect the guilty - but suffice it to say I am not happy. Quite pissed-off actually.

So, we're going to Plan B for our grading now and hope to get the film done by mid to late August. Keep your fingers crossed... AFM is in November and we need distributors to see the film ASAP.

-Blake

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What's In a Name?



Yahoo! News (via the AP) has a cool little story on movie titles... the good, the bad and the ugly.



Check it out:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060725/ap_on_en_mo/film_titles

I personally like titles that say what the movie is about. Of course that can be subjective, unless you're talking about "Snakes On A Plane". ;)

-Blake

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Wanna work for Mark Cuban?

Mark Cuban has a very interesting blog entry concerning how to get people back to seeing movies in the movie theater...

http://www.blogmaverick.com/entry/1234000960073808/

The really interesting thing is that if he likes your idea he might hire you to work for him. I was just reading the post and there are currently 521 comments. We'll see if he likes any of them.

-Blake

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Another Poster...

I slightly revised the latest version of the poster...























I'm about to get 1000 postcards made of this look (and in the near future some posters too). BTW, the orginal poster (on the movie website) is still in play, but we're just keeping all options open and creating different looks for marketing. If you like this new look let me know - and if you don't let me know too. :)

-Blake

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iKlipz

iKlipz is a new "networking" website geared towards film and filmmakers. Think of it sort of as Myspace for filmmakers.

I definitely like the vlog they do with David Poland. Good stuff.

Anyway, I created a page today for "Killing Down":
http://www.iklipz.com/Movies.aspx?MovieID=1bea7e3a-d2ef-453b-91c7-66009cc6920d

Will it help market the movie? Don't know. There are a lot of these sites competing with each other. We'll see...

In the meantime please check it out.

-Blake

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Mark Cuban and Broadband Video

Mark Cuban has an interesting post on his blog this week about how broadband video is overrated. As a lot of people who use the net know - video is very hot right now - especially on sites like YouTube.

As usual, he takes a very no nonsense approach to his argument and I must say he makes some great points that apply to distribution of movies and/or TV, etc.

Unfortunately, his outlook for the future of broadband video is pretty gloomy.

I hope he's wrong. I think (and hope) broadband video can be a huge boon for indie film distribution once bandwidth improves and more folks get used to the idea of downloading content versus renting (or buying) it from a brick and mortar store. As Apple's iTunes has proved (so far) people seem to like it.

What will the future hold? No one knows, not even Mark Cuban. But, I probably wouldn't bet against him...

-Blake

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When the 'Yes' Becomes a 'No'

Check out this article in the LA Times. It's slightly depressing for indie filmmakers trying to work their way up to the big time - but it's also reassuring (to an extent) as to why folks make movies independently...

THE real magic of Hollywood is not the knee-buckling resonance of a perfect screen kiss or the ability to conjure an army of Orcs from the plains of New Zealand. The real magic of Hollywood, as any agent, screenwriter, director, actor, producer or studio executive will tell you, is that movies get made at all. Especially now.

Some years back, a commitment from an A-lister, those actors or directors whose track records proved they could deliver a big opening weekend at the box office, usually guaranteed a big-budget project would get a green light. Then the formula changed — it often took getting a star to commit to the project and then trying to get them to cut their fee. But now, apparently, even that is not enough, as filmmakers on a variety of projects are beginning to learn.

So tell me again why I'd want to work in Hollywood?

-Blake

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New Poster

Been playing around with a few new poster looks...























Working on alternative artwork for our upcoming industry screenings. I'm kinda diggin' this look myself. Do you like it?

-Blake

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Cutting Edge

I keep hearing the term "cutting edge" about what we're doing with the post side of things with "Killing Down". This routinely surprises me too. We are finishing the film in HD, which to me seems like old news. Understand of course I don't mean it's not cool - it is very cool - but as much as I read about HD, etc. I don't feel what we're doing is that "cutting edge". However, I could be wrong...

If you follow this blog (and the progress of "Killing Down") you know we're doing our final color correction as we speak. I was in Austin twice last week working with Omar Godinez and his boutique company Color Cafe (they hadn't done an HD feature until ours).

For our correction we decided to go with a "desktop D.I." using FinalTouch HD. "D.I." stands for Digital Intermediate - which is really used for filmouts today in Hollywood (and some indie projects) - but it's traditionally very cost prohibitive. However, FinalTouch HD has put D.I. in the reach of low budget indies like ourselves. Of course we're not doing a "true" D.I. because we're not going out to film and it's not at 2K resolution (not quite anyway, we're at 1920x1080 HD resolution - just shy of true 2K).

So far things are going fairly smoothly. There have been of course the normal hiccups along the way. Mainly dealing with PC to Mac translation issues. Since we are onlining the film in an Avid DS Nitris suite (running on Windows) and FinalTouch runs on a Mac (really working in conjunction with Final Cut Pro) we've had problems reading/writing back and forth to drives and getting our QuickTime codecs straight. There have also been issues with the EDLs and some timecode problems, but I think we're about to get all this figured out.

In the end, the color correction is what matters most to me. These workflow issues suck, but the final product is what is important. That's one of the main reasons we went with Omar - he has over 20 years experience color correcting.

But as much HD production that goes on out there it seems that most do not finish in HD. They downconvert to SD and then to DVD or whatever. So, all the HD post we're doing - and btw it's all uncompressed HD that runs about 120 MBs a second (that's 35 times larger than DV) - really might be "cutting edge"? Most people I talk to or try to get advice from have never done what we're doing.

I plan to post a real "tech geek" entry soon as to the exact workflow we used covering the entire post process from offline, to audio post, color correction and final online conform. It's been very interesting and a great learning experience, but I'd probably never do it this way again (the workflow that is, I've really liked the various software and gear we used).

So I guess maybe this is all "cutting edge" stuff? Or, maybe a lot of folks out there are just slow to catch on. :)

-Blake

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Piracy

As a filmmaker I must admit that piracy scares me. No, I'm not worried about being held up on the high seas by a pirate looking like Johnny Depp. I'm talking people stealing your copyrighted video/film content and selling it. Movie-piracy.

The music industry has been going through this for years and of course movie studios too have had major concerns. And with all the new HD content on it's way to the marketplace on DVDs, etc. it will inevitably happen even more and the thieves will have a "perfect" copy of the original work to duplicate (and sell). Pretty scary.

Another form of movie-piracy of course is simply videotaping a film in a movie theater. Evidently this is one of the biggest problems of all and last week the FBI broke up a big international ring and arrested 13 people.

Authorities estimate that 90 percent of the pirated, newly released movies that become available through bootleggers and on the Internet come from camcorder copies made in theaters.

Here's a link to the story in Reuters.

Just think if it were your hard work being stolen? Believe me, it's not a pleasant thought.

-Blake

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Who Am I?

I'm a filmmaker who's produced & directed five feature films including the comedy SPILT MILK (available on iTunes), the new horror/thriller PHOBIA (on iTunes) and the action/thiller KILLING DOWN (which you can buy or rent at pretty much all the usual places).

I also created the Streamy and Webby award-winning web series PINK, which to date has been viewed online around 10 MILLION times at places like YouTube, Hulu, Koldcast and TheWB.com. And speaking of TheWB.com, I also produced and directed an online thriller for them called EXPOSED. It was released summer 2010. And most recently I created a new online sci-fi series called CONTINUUM, which is part of the online indie TV network JTS.tv - Just The Story and NOW available via VOD through indie platform Distrify.

Oh, and I don't shoot weddings. Thanks for asking though.

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