With Bernard Died picture-locked, there isn’t much more that I, as the director, need to do––aside from taking a look at everything to make sure it’s going okay. At the time of writing this, the premiere is still a week and a half away, so a lot of the final touches are still ongoing.
Music: Early on, since the inception of the project, Tony has had a composer in mind for our film. His name is Tim, and he is now a graduate of Peabody. Tony met him through their Sound on Film class a year ago, and I had worked with Tim through my job at Undergraduate Admissions. We’ve both really admired his work, and he’s really easygoing and talented.
Will and I sent Tim a rough cut, and he came up with some ideas (namely, this song). We loved where he was going with it. We rode down to Peabody in early April to meet with him, and talk about the themes and major emotional shifts in the work. Form there, Tim’s been hard at work composing. Yesterday, we just received his first draft, and it’s almost perfect. It’s entirely composed of piano, and with a little tweaking, it will hit all of the right emotional notes in the film.
I never realized how important music could be to this piece. I almost feel as if I’m looking at the film on a new level. The music helps the pacing a ton and gives a lot of depth to it. I’m excited to finally get it where we want it.
Sound Mix: I can’t speak to this too much, since I haven’t heard it yet, but we sent over an .omf file to our sound mixer, Eddie, who also recorded sound on-location. He’s working on cleaning up the dialogue, adding room tone, adjusting levels and more. A really detailed sound mix can help make the space of the film more believable, and I hope that when we hear Eddie’s final mix, the film will sound more polished and professional.
Coloring: Our DP, Corey, has been tasked with the job of coloring the film––and that is mostly because he is the only person who has the coloring program we need, DaVinci Resolve.
Coloring the film is really crucial. The raw footage rarely comes out of the camera as you’d like it to. With a really complicated program like DaVinci, you can fine-tune every highlight and hue in the frame. It’s essential, and you need a person with a very skilled and trained eye. So naturally, our DP would be perfect for the job. He hasn’t started on the color correction yet, but here is why we need it:
Design: I have definitely overlooked this in the past, but I started thinking about it on my last film, when we had a great graphic designer do the title. Typeface and title design can really tie up the film nicely. You get one shot to showcase your title in the film, and it has to look good. A striking title can stick in your mind visually.
Will and I wrestled with where to put the title, and we ultimately decided to place it over black at the end of the film. My friend Alayna, a graphic design major at MICA, offered to do the design for us. She is currently thinking over some ideas, but will eventually come up with a concept for the title and typeface that we can use for the credits.
Premiere: This is all in preparation for our premiere, which will be held on Saturday, May 9th at 6:30pm in Shriver Hall on campus. I’ve been told it’s a fancy event, semiformal attire, with food and a reception to follow. Studio North has organized it, and we’ve sent out invites to our cast, crew, extras, locations, friends and more.
In a way, I don’t want the premiere to come. It’s admitting that this film that I’ve worked on for over a year is finally over; that my time at Hopkins has finally come to a close. Even writing this blog post means that I’m near the end, as this will be my last one. Goldfishes and funerals and shampoo bottles have been on my mind for so long, have been so integral to my senior year here, that it will be hard to let go.
So as excited as I am for everyone to see this film––see where it has come from and where it will go––I am sad. I want to take the time here to thank everyone who has helped this film come to life. I’ve never made art this difficult in my life, but I am happy I did, because I have been challenged and pushed to the limit. And if nothing else, that’s what this experience has been for: mistakes, learning, and goldfish.