BUILDING A HORROR MOVIE PIXEL BY PIXEL

It's been a while...

Due to a number of reasons: I got married, moved into a house AND had to custom build a PC specifically equipped to handle the large 4K RED footage MEOW was shot on. After all these life milestones, I'm excited to be at my new workstation doing what I love; revisiting the headspace of 80s horror comedy while reaping the benefits of those crazy awesome shoots we had a few months ago.

I'm a little over halfway to reaching a full Rough Cut of the film. For those unfamiliar with the filmmaking process here's a condensed lesson: A Rough Cut is basically my (the editor's) 1st pass at assembling the story; usually with temporary sound and music thrown in to mimic what the final cut may feel like. Once the rough cut is reached, I will screen it for an audience of my well respected filmmaker friends and crew and will tighten it up and refine it until it's the best story it can be; which is what we call the Final Cut also known as Picture Lock. Once we have Picture Lock, we add any Visual Effects that are needed (which is not much since most of the FX in this film were done in camera) and after that we move onto SOUND.

YES, all of that work was just for the picture. To bring you even deeper into Samantha's world though, we have to imagine what her environment sounds like, which means developing the sound of her creaky apartment, the seedy alleyway, the approaching thunderstorm that leads us to the climax, and of course, our star feline. When it comes to cinema, as important as picture is, it's really only about 40% of the experience. The rest is all sound effects and music, which provides context for the images. Without the sound, the picture loses all believability.

After sound is wrapped, the picture is Color Corrected. The color process basically unifies all of the footage and gives it a uniform "look" that heightens the tone of the story. In this case we will likely cool it down and deepen the shadows for that moody Noir look we had in mind while shooting.

Then we stick the Final Color Corrected Picture against the Final Audio Mix and hit Export. And there you have it, all of our time and hard work compressed and digitized into one little video file made up of 1's and 0's sitting on a hard drive.

(*SIDENOTE* I am only responsible for a small part of the above work, namely the editing and providing guidance in all other areas. It is damn near impossible to make a good movie alone. It requires a team and I am very fortunate to know and work with a talented group of friends who share my passion.)

After the film is done, we SHARE it. We'll create a press kit and send it around to dozens of film festivals and media outlets; hopefully gain some press from said press kit, as well as some fans. Then, finally, we release it on the interwebs. First privately for niche blogs and short film sites, and eventually to everyone.

Here's my current TIMELINE:

END OF JULY: Picture Lock

AUGUST-SEPTEMBER: Sound Design and Music

OCTOBER: Visual Effects and Color Correction

WINTER: Private Screening for Backers, Friends and Family and Rewards sent out

I'll try to stick to this as best as I can. I am beyond excited to share the final product with all of you.

Talk Soon,

-Chris