THE LAST YEAR
I cannot believe it has been a year to the day that our backers contributed to and exceeded our crowdfunding goals by 177% (including outside donations after our campaign ended). We more or less went immediately into production, wrapping in mid-December of 2011. Since then, our editor Jamie has been mining the footage and putting together her cut of the movie. After she had her first version, we sat down and watched the movie beginning to end. Less than two hours later we both had a list of notes to address and new ideas to try. The next morning, Jamie went right back at it.
During the following months, Jamie would dive back into the movie, making changes, showing it to our star John T. Woods and producer Kevin K. Shah, tightening up pacing, experimenting with alternate takes and improving the movie step by step. Today she wrote an article on the most challenging scene she faced, deconstructing her process of working through it. Here’s the link.
Currently we are working with DEKLUN on a revision to the musical score, so Jamie has had an opportunity to take a couple months off. This will allow her to return to the movie with fresh eyes once the new music is laid in.
At the same time, I have taken on the duties of cutting in sound effects like gun shots, punches, foot steps, and much more. There are also about one hundred visual effects shots in this movie. None of these will be obvious effects shots, just slight tweaks to the image. For example, we have a few scenes set in Mexico that were shot in Los Angeles and I have painstakingly changed all the street signs to the Mexican equivalent. There is also a process of removing mics from certain shots that resulted from a technique we used to ensure a good recording of the dialogue. I wrote about that process here where you can see a before and after.
TIMELINE FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR
In the coming weeks, we plan to roll out our virtual test screening for crowdfunding backers that chose that perk. They will have an opportunity to see the movie’s current cut, and give feedback and notes on story, characters, etc. Of course, I realize some won’t want to see the movie in an incomplete state (missing sound effects, temporary music, and the colors won’t be quite right yet), so we’ll certainly take no offense if you’d prefer to wait.
Once we have collected and devoured everyone’s responses, we’ll dive back into the movie for one more revision while finalizing all the sound work, visual effects work and color grading work.
Then it will be time to roll out the movie. I have already been hard at work setting up partnerships to release this movie when it’s finished. Backers will be the first to see it the second it’s done. However, we are not planning to go to festivals with it unless invited. I love film festivals and am eager to share this movie with audiences in theaters, but I feel compelled to put it places where everyone else can access it too, and with as little delay as possible. If all goes according to plan, this will include Cable Video On Demand, DVD & Blu-ray, as well as digital platforms like iTunes and Netflix.
We are currently working on two new posters. One emphasizes the action in this movie, while the other takes a more iconic approach. You can see a tease of the latter above, minus background, texturing, light flaring and other design work that needs to be done. We did the photography for it with the guys at NITSCHKE+REESE. So grateful for their help.
Additionally, the first trailer is in the works and we have some special plans for its release that tie into that “Smuggler’s Mystery Box” perk a few of you chose. There’s much more to that perk than the trailer, so it should prove to be a good bit of fun.
Thank you to all our backers, again, for allowing us to take this extraordinary journey. The tens of thousands of dollars you gave us looks like a million bucks on-screen. In fact, a few industry professionals have guessed the budget was that high… and yeah, I let them keep thinking that. 🙂
I expect you’ll be very proud that you backed this one. Happy anniversary!