Friday, August 13, 2010

Alllll night long

Hour 1, going through the Mark Kaufmann (Days of Wonder) interview.
  • Heated debate at dinner about editorials vs. documentaries has made me very awake (but with sore throat). All to the good.
  • Fruit punch NOS provided by Justin is enabling lots of editing! Does that make Justin an enabler?
  • Even though I can't really pay attention to it, listening to "She Does" by Collective Soul and loving it.

Hour 2, Mark Kaufmann continued

  • Mark talking about word of mouth and distribution channels, and that designer games don't really belong in Wal-Mart in the first place, because in order to hit the right price points, the quality would have to go way down. And kids, we don't want that, right?!
  • Whistling to Collective Soul "Fuzzy." You know, at first I didn't like this album. It's growing on me. Like this fruit punch NOS...
  • Saving the timeline. I've been bitten by not doing so before...
  • Oh, right, right! Stand up break... BRB
  • Time to switch it up... "Nine in the Afternoon"
  • Can I just tell you what a joy it is editing on a widescreen monitor vs. the laptop??

12:30 AM

  • Sleep, I laugh in your general direction!

1:00 AM

  • Now at bat, the Christophe Boelinger interview from Essen. I love this guy! The hottest French game designer/rapper/extreme sports enthusiast in the entire film, guaranteed! He's sort of got the Viggo look going.
  • Just put a jacket on. This is not August weather at ALL. How refreshing.
  • I think I smell a skunk outside.

1:38 AM

  • hmm, is this train slowing down? Inconceivable!
  • Starting up the interview with the Lamont brothers (Shear Panic, Snow Tails, Savannah Tails)

2:30 AM

  • What? What? Whut? WHUUUT????
  • T-Cat wants to know urgently, "Mistress, what are you doing up?" I tell her, "Not now, the Lamonts are talking about Ostrich-racing!"
  • Film timeline is currently at 4 hours, 37 minutes including bonus material
  • Eyestrain

3:00 AM

  • Finished the Lamont interview, got all the segment marker snips back where they belong
  • I think that's it. I hope this counts as all night...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Proper execution of an all-nighter

I'm thinking about doing something I've never done before.

Friday night, the kids are going to be with the grandparents. I'm in the mood to edit, but I can't take any more time off work just now.

I'm thinking of doing an all-night editing session. Yes, true believers; an all-nighter. And I want it to be a flawlessly executed all-nighter in the classic style. I somehow got through college without ever learning this art. The closest I have been to it was a Sunken Temple raiding session in WoW that went till 2 AM. /shudder

So what do I need to do here? How late is Starbucks open, I wonder? Is it dangerous to mix cappuccino with Amp? Should snacks be involved, or no?

The planning has begun!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Editing Marathon Day 3

Uh, where am I? What YEAR is it?

Processed the following:
  • Added the pre-Essen "People's Choice" Awards ceremony, featuring Jay Tummelson, Donald Vaccarino, and Matt Leacock and others
  • Guido Teuber interview. Awesome
  • Alex Yeager (Mayfair Games) interview - great speaker, had a good overview of the industry and where it's gone. Also awesome.
  • Klaus Teuber interview - a triumverate of awesome!

Just enough time to shut down now. I planned on doing so an hour ago, but anything but a full court press just seemed like the wrong way to end a 3-day editing

The latest runtime for the film (and this is a meaningless number of course) is I think 2 hours and 45 minutes or so, not counting bonus features.

Tons and tons more to do, but from here on out, I will be grabbing every spare hour of time I can wherever and whenever I can, to do it. I've been doing so, to a point, up till now, but let's just say... @#$%& just got real!

Essen Vittles

One of the things that struck me while wandering the halls at Essen was that I was hungry. Borderline starving. I'd been full-tilt filming so intensely, running from one interview to the next, eating was pretty far down on the priority list. When I finally did force myself to address this bare necessity, though, Essen was there for me.

First, there were the bulk candy bins. This is another indicator about how kid-friendly the event is, Haribo has at least two massive tables filled with bulk candy. It's like a scene out of Willy Wonka (the original).

I passed that up, though, for the Snack Point, a stand about the size of a Starbucks in a mall or airport, alive with sizzling sausages and all manner of good food. I got a curry bratwurst there, and it was anything but bland. They probably thought I was an idiot, there with my camera filming the sausages, but my job as an indie servant is to bring you the sights and sounds of the moment (even if I have to look like a fool to do it).

On one of the following days, I found mushroom goulash at another stand, and it was truly the best mushroom stew type thing I've ever had. I would be hard-pressed to make something as good at home. It was only made better by the combination of being ravenous and expecting far lesser fare at a game convention. Oh, and I do believe the goulash stand also had beer. Not something you'd see at an American convention, especially one that welcomes children, right? If there was one in the US that was this kid-friendly, of course...

I forgot to get a good shot of the crepe stand, which was a silver volkswagen-style van serving crepes out the side. I didn't get to try one, but just, Hello!?! A crepe stand at a game con! FTW!

OK, back to work! Live from Editing Marathon Day 3, this is... me.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Editing Sprint Day 2

Day 2 is drawing to a close, and I'm feeling it. After a poor night's sleep (humidity makes me a sad bunny), I didn't really dive into it until 10 AM. A wasted HOUR, shame on me. Time is precious.

Here's what I got through today:
  • Started with the display shots from the press room at Essen. This was a big quiet set of rooms that had a bit of an echo, but were relatively quiet as far as space to be found at Essen goes. The Donald Vaccarino and Nick Medinger interviews are shot here.
  • ...which led to the creation of the Agricola header banner at the top of the blog. Hey, call it a warm-up exercise! :)
  • Most of the day was spent pulling good cutaways from the Essen floor footage. This included an interview with a German convention-goer, some focus on the various concessions stands (will do a separate entry about that in a minute) and an interview with Markus Welbourne of JKLM Games (publishers of Huang Di and Tulipmania 1637)
  • Chainmail bikinis.
  • Found the footage of the life-sized foosball table they had set up in the kid hall, as well as a Star Trek-style game where kids tried to knock each other off pedestals with big nerf staves (Riker and his Dad played this if IIRC)

Feeling pretty tired right now, I think pretty close to the way I was feeling around Essen day 2, when I filmed a Blair Witch parody about being lost. I *may* let that footage see the light of day sometime.

Tomorrow, I still need to shuffle the segments, and bring in the Matt Leacock (Pandemic) and Nick Kellet (GiftTrap) interviews. Oh, and the Klaus and Guido Teuber interviews, because now I have a spot in mind for where to put those. :)

Going Cardboard at GenCon

All you lucky Gen Con 2010 attendees, make sure to swing by the booth there! It's booth 929, and in addition to all the other board gaming news and interviews you'll find out about there, you may just catch a glimpse of the Going Cardboard teaser trailer. On the show floor. At Gen Con. /squeeeee! :D

Big thanks to the great folks at Myriad Games in Salem and Manchester, NH for making this possible. You'll be seeing them in the film!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Editing Extravaganza Day 1

Today was the first day in my 3-day "vacation" for the purpose of editing the film. I've done Saturdays here and there, an hour after work here and there, but nothing before like this. It would figure it's the first day of a humid heatwave, and that there's no air conditioning in the diningroom.

I think I got a lot done. I went through the full interviews I did with Corey Konieczka of Fantasy Flight Games, and Nick Medinger of An awful lot of both these interviews is great material, but for the first pass, I'm just throwing in the segments that are good in the sections they roughly belong in, and will edit that down later.

Here are some of the other things I hope to do in the next two days:
  • A quick trip to Walmart to get a shot of their game shelves for cutaway material - maybe
  • Go through the Essen footage and get the shot of the concessions stand, as well as the life-size foosball table with kids, and the conversation I had with the designer of the marijuana-themed game there
  • Reconnect with Christophe Boelinger, and my contact who runs the gamer cruises
  • Change the order of some of the sections in the timeline. I wrote them all down today in their current order, and some shuffling needs to be done
  • Flesh out the Scott Nicholson segment about Libraries, and integrate the ALA convention footage
  • Integrate Gordon and Frasier Lamont footage from Essen interview - I wonder if I can get stock footage of ostrich racing...
  • Set up black backdrop in the basement, and start filming shots of various board games

That's by no means everything that needs to be done, just some things that jump to mind. I ended the day by re-watching the closing and credits, which are among the closest to finished bits. The momentum by the end of the day seems good, and will hopefully grow tomorrow.

My two hard drives, Deadpool and Venom. :)

It's going to take a lot more than three days to finish this puppy. Things I still need to film but will have to wait for another time (in the near future) include:
  • Catan gaming night - You guys know who you are ;)
  • War of the Ring collector's edition unboxing and playing segment
  • Interview with Myriad Games - a local Salem, NH gaming store with a newly opened second branch in Manchester, NH
  • Interview with Eric Martin of boardgamenews

There are some additional segments I'd do if I had more time and funds, but I've hit the point where I have to realize that I have "enough" and that I could go on filming indefinitely if I let myself. And besides, what would that leave as far as material for Going Cardboard: The Revenge?

Monday, August 2, 2010

The latest Catan build for MS Surface

Several improvements over what was shown at Origins. Read more here.

Murphy's Law

So. Last Monday, I requested 3 days off from work next week to edit the film. The following chain of events then took place:

  • Tuesday: My guerilla doc filming hero, Anthony Artis, posted that his "Indie Film Bootcamp" seminar was now available for purchase on DVD. I order it without a second thought. Much love for this guy, his advice is practical and inspirational. One day I will go meet him to say thanks.
  • Friday: A late-afternoon development arose where I suddenly had the chance for my teaser trailer to be played on the show floor at Gen Con. But I would have to convert it to a different format than the wmv it currently existed as, and fast.
  • Friday night: Started on converting the trailer as soon as I got home, but had a lot of trouble for some reason, including low memory notifications and all sorts of other weird issues.
  • Saturday morning: Woke up, turned on the computer, and a partition was corrupt. Supposedly this had a simple fix, but the restore disk was password protected (WTF, Dell?) and shut off after 3 attempts. Nutshell: Computer effectively dead.

Luckily, all my footage is on external hard drives, as is the Vegas Movie project file. Those were fine, though they are also backed up. At the stroke of 10 AM, I hustled the kids into the car, and peeled out of the driveway for the local Best Buy. By 3:30 PM Saturday, I was setting up a new computer, a PC this time, that had so much going on compared to my old laptop, it literally had special system memory allocated JUST to laugh heartily at its own power. Like Captain Hammer. For about half the price.

By 9 PM Saturday night, I was emailing my contact with a link to the finished teaser video. I'll talk about that later if all goes well; I'm not superstitious, but I never go into detail about something this good until it actually happens. Don't want to jinx it.

Sunday dawned bright and beautiful! I cracked into the Indie Film Bootcamp seminar, which had arrived in the mail on Friday, and started getting super-inspired. Look out film, you are about to be edited with a vengeance!

Especially since I have ideas for three more documentaries after this... but one thing at a time. I believe it was Porkins who put it best when he said, "Stay on target. Stay on target."

PS - I am going to try to get the laptop fixed, but this new PC can render footage about 6 times faster than the laptop. It was something I needed anyway, but was trying to gimp along without. How silly of me.