Monday, May 14, 2007

Planning for Post

With the end of the narrative within my sights, I've been working on Frankenstein vs the Wolfman at an accelerated pace. I'm genuinely excited by the prospect of working on it again, which is something I haven't felt since I started production. The time it takes to animate and render these things is so painfully slow, it is almost like watching paint dry.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I have basically abandoned the script at this point and am generating action beats as I go. The events do line up with what was outlined on the page, so I'm keeping the recorded dialogue intact.

If I can keep up this rate of production, I could be done with the animation in about two months.

With that in mind, I've begun to start planning for post production. I am having a screening tonight with the post-production team - Andy, Mitch and Other Andy - all of whom will be contributing to the sonic landscape of the film. We'll be spotting the film for sound effect placement and trying to find out how much of the sound fx can be found in sound effects libraries and how much will have to be recorded.

Last week we recorded some ADR with Tom Zack, who plays the Frankenstein Monster, due to the fact that he's leaving us to move to Arizona soon. The recording consisted mostly of pained grunts and groans that we'll be able to lay in during the action sequences.

Once the movie is finished, I'll have my work cut out for me. I need to cut and score a trailer to show off what the film looks like in motion. I'll need to color correct the footage and fine-tune the visual end of the film, then get the multiple versions prepared. And, I'll need to get cracking on DVD menus and special features. That's one area specifically that I haven't given much attention to yet, as there really isn't a whole lot of behind the scenes footage you can provide when you're working on an animated movie on your home computer.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Score Meeting; Plus, Nips and Tucks

I had a chance to meet this past weekend with Ryan Wummel, who composed the scores for both Raven and Raven 2, about the job of scoring Frankenstein vs the Wolfman. Since we've been working together on these movies since my last misbegotten live action movie, Gothik, in 1998. In the intervening years since Raven 2 (for which Ryan won two film festival awards for "Best Score"), Ryan has gone back to school for music theory and music production in hopes of improving his sonic talents. He's also invested in some new equipment which ensures that his Frankenstein vs the Wolfman score will benefit from a fully synthesized orchestral sound.

In screening the 16 minutes or so of completed footage for it's first audience, I was made aware of a couple of small problems that needed to be corrected for the story to connect all the right dots. So, I spent some time re-doing a couple of shots, rendering new shots to clarify a plot point, and was also able to create a new sequence that continues the countdown to the day the movie will be finished.

One of the things that I am dealing with is the possibility that I'll have to throw out the final three pages of the script and improvise an ending; the scripted ending is proving to be too convoluted and technically difficult to pull off. To that end I'm using the existing audio tracks recorded by the performers but making some substitutions to shots, props and scenes. The movie will still end virtually the same way, but I'm just taking a slightly alternate route to get there.
Stay tuned...