Thursday, December 4, 2008

Merry Scary Winter Horrorland

If you're in the Sacramento, CA area this weekend, Frankenstein vs the Wolfman will be playing as part of the Merry Scary Winter Horrorland (an offshoot of the Sacramento Horror Festival) on Saturday, December 6th between 1-3pm.

You can find out more by visiting the official site here:

Friday, November 7, 2008

3-D on Blu Ray

Just a heads up for 3-D enthusiasts: following the release of the Miley Cyrus concert in 3-D on Blu Ray, Warner Bros has stepped up and released their major theatrical films Journey to the Center of the Earth (via New Line) and The Polar Express on Blu Ray disc in 3-D.

I haven't checked out Journey to the Center of the Earth yet (although I'm told it uses a magenta/green anaglyph 3-D encode instead of the traditional red/blue - ostensably to make sure that you can only use the glasses included with the disc to view the movie), but I did pick up The Polar Express and gave it a spin last night.

Polar Express uses the tried and true red/blue method, but because of Blu Ray's VC1 codec the technology is more able to accurately reproduce the correct shades of red & blue than MPEG2 was. I've got a Samsung HDTV and found that by setting the TV's Picture setting to the vivid "Standard" setting, and then by turning off the DNIe (Digital Natural Image Enhancement) I was able to get what is possibly the cleanest 3-D effect I've ever been able to acheive at home, producing very little ghosting and sensational depth effects.

And, to top that off - I've just read that Paramount is set to release the 3-D holy grail: Friday the 13th Part 3: 3D Deluxe Edition on February 3rd, 2009.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

First Screenings for Frankenstein vs the Wolfman!

Regrettably, neither is in 3-D! You can catch Frankenstein vs the Wolfman at the Madison Horror Film Festival pre-party on Friday, October 24th at the Inferno nightclub in Madison, WI (details here: or showing on the big screen at the Historic Beach Theater in St. Petersburg, FL as part of the Halloween Horror Picture Show on Sunday, October 26th. Click this link for details.

We were a bit late to gain entry into this year's round of horror film festivals around the world, but we're already pursuing festivals for 2009. Stay tuned... Frankenstein vs the Wolfman in 3-D could be coming to a theatre near you!

Friday, September 12, 2008


The full movie is available either in 3-D or 2-D versions over at!

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Monday, September 8, 2008

It's Alive! It's Ali-hi-hive!

We're done.

Frankenstein vs the Wolfman is complete.

Andy C and I went into the studio on Saturday and worked only a few hours mastering the 5.1 soundtrack; with that work completed, we're finished. Frankenstein vs the Wolfman now exists as a movie, the culmination of work that began in December of 2004.

Andy Kalbfus' thunderous score blares, crashes and booms impressively out of a 5.1 home theater setup; our surround effects are (to my ear) subtle and not overdone.

I've spent the weekend testing the film on a number of different systems and displays - and the 3-D effects work better than hoped. If your television is calibrated correctly, you should have no problem perceiving the super-depth, putting my earlier fears to rest; on PC monitors (especially big widescreen units) it looks even more impressive.

My own opinion of the finished movie? I like it better (right now - this fluctuates month to month) than the two Raven movies. It has better characterization, a better story, and better overall production values. On the flip side, there are issues I'm painfully aware of - shortcuts I took in animation, a line of dialogue here, a sound effect there, and some niggling concerns with the placement of the 3-D 'window' - but overall, I'm proud of it.

So, what's next? I've got to mix the film down into a number of formats to distribute it - one for online submissions, one for festival submissions, one for an eventual DVD. Speaking of DVDs, the disc itself is already authored (with the exception of menu screen music, which I'll be putting in this week), and we'll be spending some time running off DVD-R copies for promotional hand outs. Andy C wants to actually get some discs professionally pressed, so I'll have to keep you posted on what the timeframe is on that. We're also hoping to have a local premiere in Rockford sometime within the next few months, followed by film festival screenings into the future (stay tuned to MySpace for a schedule).

Stay tuned!

Monday, September 1, 2008

The End of Mixing: Day 4 - Do We Have a Finished Film?

It's the end of the Labor Day weekend and Andy C and I have been locked up together in a small room staring at computer screens for 80% of it. By the end of the day yesterday, we had a 2.0 stereo mix without any kind of directional panning - and last night we had our first test screening.

This morning, it was back to the studio for more tweaks between the sound effects, music & dialogue and then on to the 5.1 mix, which is something that neither Andy nor I have attempted before. And, since the studio isn't equipped with a 5.1 playback system there was a certain amount of guesswork to the process. Basically, we would watch segments of the movie and time out where certain effects would pan from one speaker to the other and go into Cool Edit and graphically move a "sound orb" to where the sound image should appear when listened to by someone in a 5.1 environment.

Only a short while ago we examined the fruits of our labor in the home theater, and to our astonishment the directional effects work! Crickets chirp from all corners of the room, wolves howl from the rear channels, characters run off screen and into the right and left speakers. However, I think we may have misjudged where to put a few certain effects and the music tracks for sure, as we lost a significant amount of volume with this latest mix. I think the problem might be caused by positioning the music in front of the viewer's listening position and into the front soundstage; it may be easy to correct.

So, sadly, we're not quite finished yet. My mission for the time being is to listen and re-listen, take notes and hopefully get together with Andy this weekend to finish it off.

Oh, and the concensus was that the 3-D works. Always a good thing!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

In the Final Mix

The day has finally arrived that Frankenstein vs the Wolfman has moved into the sound mixing phase. Andy C and I have taken some time off of work during the Labor Day holiday to lock ourselves away in the Darkhouse studio to crank out the final mix. As of this writing, we're at the conclusion of Day 2.

We've been rendering out all of Andy K's score MIDI data into separate instrument tracks for all of the 22 cues and then creating a spatial sound mix based on an orchestra seating chart. That's about where we stand right now - the "movie mix" of the score has been completed.

The next step is going to be mixing sound levels between the score and the dialogue & sound effects tracks, and after that we're moving on to the 5.1 mixing stage. This should be interesting as we don't have a 5.1 monitoring system at the studio, so we'll be panning effects using a visual interface and then mixing those down to be put on a DVD. With any luck, we should be at the 5.1 stage by Monday. And, after that - it's in the can!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

FvTWM on Facebook!

Yeah, it's an all out blitz. Visit Frankenstein vs the Wolfman on Facebook by clicking here and say hi!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

FvTWM on MySpace!

It's official - Frankenstein vs the Wolfman has landed on MySpace! Stop by and say hello!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Full Musical Score Heard!

Yesterday marked a momentus occasion in the production history of Frankenstein vs the Wolfman, as I made my way to the Darkhouse recording studio to hear what Andy Kalbfus had deemed "the final version of the score" (meaning this would be the full symphonic render). I sat infront of a computer screen as Andy played back his score against the moving picture and I can honestly say my expectations were exceeded. We have a real, symphonic movie score! Andy worked on two counterpoint themes, one for the Frankenstein monster and the other for the Wolfman, and weaves them in and out of a big, lush, melodic, suspenseful, dramatic... ah, what other adjectives can I hurl at it? It was great. I can't wait for you to hear it. There were a couple of cues I was telling Andy Carlson he should either post on his Darkhouse MySpace page or mixdown for me so I can post them here... so we'll see what we can get out there for ya.

So, now that the music is done what's next? Andy C. has set aside some time for the three of us to meet over the Labor Day weekend and do the mixing for the dialogue, sound fx and music tracks. Then, we'll have to see about what we're going to do to release this sucker. Andy C. has talked about putting on a premiere party here in Rockford, IL and we'll be following that with online, DVD and film festival distribution.

Stay tuned...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Score Preview

On Saturday, Andy C was kind enough to invite me over to the Darkhouse studio to listen to excerpts from Andy K's Frankenstein vs the Wolfman score. The scoring has been held up for a week or so due to a corrupted video file, and now that a new file has been delivered we can kick it back into gear again. The music that I heard was not synced to picture, so I had to use some imagination as I listened, but what I heard was vibrant, melodic and full sounding. I can't be more happy. Andy K went with my notes and delivered the spooky, the scary, the haunting and the melancholy sound that I had asked for. Since I haven't heard the score against the actual movie itself it's possible that some changes may be called for but I'm happy to report that we are well underway and closer to that magical date when the movie will be finished!

You can hear a sample of the score over at the Darkhouse myspace page. The clip is called Mr. Ridley Revisted.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Getting Closer

The latest news from the haunted world of Frankenstein vs the Wolfman is that Andy K tells me that he's completed the musical score up to the film's final battle, which comprises the final 5 minutes of the movie! We're almost there! I've been trying to get into the studio to hear some of the new tracks but my wife and I are remodelling our kitchen and that's pretty much sucking away all of our time.

In other news, be sure to stop by OpenFilm - a new website offering premium video content in high quality and large viewing areas. My earlier flicks, Raven and Raven 2, are currently available for viewing (as well as two flavors of the Frankenstein vs the Wolfman trailer).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Something to report!

I spoke with Andy K this week and he tells me that he feels he's halfway through the score at this point, and he's very excited about hearing his music coming back at him through a full symphony orchestra. Hopefully I'll get a chance to hear it this weekend or sometime very soon.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Not Dead!

I know it's been forever and a day since the last blog post, be rest assured - Frankenstein vs the Wolfman is not dead! We've been waiting while Andy outfitted the Darkhouse Studios with the new EQWL Symphonic Gold program, which will give Andy Kalbfus' score the approximation of being performed by a full symphony orchestra. Andy number one tells me that the program was an 80GB install which took a significant amount of time.

But now, I believe it's all set up (a few instrument patches notwithstanding,) so the transcription of Andy K's score from 4-track recording to MIDI data can begin!

In other news, there was a recent photo that surfaced online (courtesy Entertainment Weekly) of makeup maestro Rick Baker's work on Universal's upcoming The Wolf Man, starring Benicio Del Toro & Anthony Hopkins.

Monday, January 21, 2008


With 3-D in the 21st century finally making inroads into mainstream acceptance, it's nice to see some electronics manufacturers future-proofing their new TVs to display 3-D content.

Samsung and Mitsubishi have recently introduced HD DLP displays that have a port for an IR transmitter (for controlling 3-D shutter glasses) built in. You can read all about the technology here. The drawback is that field-sequential 3-D dvds won't work without a) playing them back from a PC over a DVI to HDMI connection, and b) play them through a special software program that will convert their field-sequential 3-D encoding into a new, checkerboard encoding pattern. You can read more on that by checking out the 3D DLP white-paper here. I was able to locate a program, called Stereoscopic Player, that seems to do the trick. Unfortunately, it's not freeware.

The upside to this is flicker free (60 Hz refresh rate for each eye) HD resolutions of 3D material (including video games when used with special drivers) on your HDTV.

The field sequential 3-D version of Frankenstein vs the Wolfman will be fully compatible with this technology. Now... where's our HD 3-D version of Beowulf?!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

More Music and Effects Work

Last week I was able to hear most of the Frankenstein vs the Wolfman score over at Andy Kalbfus' place. With only the final battle to go, we're reaching a place where we can almost say that the score has been written... next up comes the transcription of the 4-track recordings to EastWest Symphonic's orchestral MIDI.

In addition, I made a trip into the Darkhouse studio to mixdown the existing effects cues into 15 separate audio tracks, and Andy Carlson spent some time cleaning the tracks and punching up the audio quality.

Bear with us... things are still inching forward towards a completed movie!