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!