Saturday, January 29, 2011

Unity Games 17

Today I spent the day at the Hilton hotel in Woburn, MA playing board games amongst hundreds of like-minded and friendly individuals. This was where it all began for me, two years ago, as Unity 2009 marked the first big filming event for my documentary. It was neat in a way to be so close to the finish line, and to be able to return to this event and reflect on everything that's happened in those two years.

And to play games! That's something I haven't done a whole lot of since I started filming. I actually had the camcorder in my shoulder bag (just in case!), but it never came out, and I'm fine with that. Within 5 minutes of walking through the door, I was learning a new game, Sneaks & Snitches. When that was done, I got up to stroll around the room and get a look at things, and just barely made it to the back before I found myself learning 7 Wonders. And that's how the day went. Like pub-hopping, but with no hangover.

You know, in this whirlwind of filming, chronicling, and planning, I'd forgotten how much fun board games are to PLAY. Every game I played today was for the first time and I played for 7 hours straight. I didn't want to leave, either. :)

Today reminded me why I started this project in the first place, and now I'm ready to tackle editing again with renewed enthusiasm. HUZZAH!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

BGG Auction for the Vasels

One of our board gaming brethren, and a positive force to the board gaming cause, Tom Vasel (host of The Dice Tower) has suffered the loss of his infant son, Jack Vasel. I met Tom at Essen briefly, and have worked with him since (he is a part of the documentary), and my heart hurts for him right now.

You can get all the details in the article, but the Board Game Geek community is holding a board game auction to help with medical expenses.

Please take a moment to check it out. This is someone who's given a lot to the community, and this is the kind of community that gives back.

The Latest

As in 2 AM. Which is when I turned off the computer last night. I call it a semi all-nighter. My good friends from the KLF don't consider it an all-nighter unless it goes to the 3 AM Eternal.

Since making the first-pass 2 hour rough cut, I've been hunting for more visual assets, as well as taking footage of various games from my own collection to support the narrative. I also filmed a Catan gameplay session the other night.

Last night, the primary goal was to integrate that play session, which I did. I integrated some cutaways, too, and before I knew it, it was 2 AM.

Friday, January 14, 2011

and look... MORE lembas...

It's 2 AM right now, and tonight my can of Amp and I have trimmed the film down to 1 hour and 48 minutes, from 2 hours. This pass consisted of the low-hanging fruit; the easiest trimming decisions.

The next pass will be harder. It's likely that entire segments will have to go (to the bonus section) to get it down to 90 minutes or so. Granted, it doesn't HAVE to be 90 minutes long, but there's no question it can be tightened up more from where it is now.

Tonight's editing session would have been more productive if I hadn't spent the first hour of it in a panic looking for my notebook. No worries, I'll make up the time tomorrow after we get back from swimming lessons! :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Night time is the right time

Here it is, Sunday night, and another all-night editing session is officially happening. I've already been at it for almost 3 hours, cutting, moving, and tightening the timeline, and I've got the film down to under 2 hours. A lot of bits just got moved to the end of the timeline, where bonus footage lives on in all its glory.

Right now, I'm rendering the film out in 3 parts for reviewing purposes. Burning it to DVD a couple days ago turned out to be immensely helpful, so I'm looking forward to this second pared-down iteration. The Flight of the Conchords Robot song is playing on my iPhone.

Oh man, I still need to update the website! And launch Project X this month. It may be the middle of winter, but things are heating up here in Studio B!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

You're gonna need a bigger boat

As I write this, I'm also burning a rough (ROUGH) cut of the film to DVD so I can watch it places other than my computer, and let my editor review it. Naturally, the minute that's done, I will immediately start making changes. That's just the way it goes.

Last night I started thinking for the first time that I might make this a 2-DVD set. I might need to. I have to talk to some of the guys I know that have been through this, and see what they have to say on the matter. I do gather that it'll make using Amazon Createspace possibly out of the question. Mind you, if I can cram all my bonus clips and the movie onto one disc, I will surely do that, BUT... I'm not sure I can. :)

You know, now I'm going to update the website. It needs it, big-time.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

All-nighter Number 3

As penance for not posting in so long, I'm in the middle of an all night editing session. My trusty T-Cat is co-piloting in the chair next to me. I think Vegas is more tired than I am, it has just frozen three times in a row, so while I give the hard drives and the editing software a break I thought I'd update the blog. If they think this thing is over, though, they've got another think coming...

So I haven't been utterly truant; I was working on something during November and December, something in support of the film, but not precisely the film itself. I will be launching "it" this month, so you'll see it quite soon.

The main body of the film is now at 2 hrs. 20 minutes. It's going to get bigger before it gets smaller, but the narrative is semi-solid. Much work to be done now integrating cutaways and supporting elements. And the harder part, deciding which snippets are boring for a viewer when I find them all interesting.

OK, Vegas, Venom, and Deadpool... in the immortal words of Sting, "break's over!"