Saturday, January 10, 2009

An Intrepid Update

This is mostly an Intrepid status update.  The Stone Unturned only needs a few pickup shots to be filmed for the shooting to be complete.  In the meantime, I'm now officially doing the editing.  To that end, I've been piecing it together scene by scene and have now got a rough for the first third of it.  It's been going together a lot better than Wheres There's a Sea did, something helped by the fact that there's fewer effects to worry about.  And also probably, possibly, because I'm improving as a director.  (At least that's what I'd like to think!)

To begin with, way back at the start of this moviemaking thing, I'd only be thinking about whatever scene we'd be filming on the day, with all kinds of practical issues to think about such as the noise the fridge was making and how much of the ironing board would be in shot: filming is easier when it's not in a kitchen.

Paradoxically, it also seems to help when there's less coverage to choose from: one bridge scene in Heavy Lies the Crown saw me ending the day with over thirty takes from ten angles.  Now there's fewer (much fewer!) takes but those are chosen better up front.  And by up front I mean five minutes in advance.

I'll have to work on that.

We also rehearse a lot more, which reduces the fluffed lines, though not to the extent that the blooper reel can be consigned to history just yet.

The other Intrepid items marked as 'current' in my brain are the Sisters Audio drama and Bit Patterns, which has been on the go for quite some time.  Sisters hasn't begun production yet, there being a character issue to sort out.  One of them has a lot of backstory and the timeline doesn't quite work out.  In any case I promised at the start that I'd write it and then be hands-off, which so far I'm managing to do with an attendand reduction in stress.

My script for Bit Patterns is weighing in at 56 pages and now I've got to figure out how to wrap up the various threads, in addition to completely replacing one character with another.  Why I'm doing that is the unexpected unavailability of the actor who was playing him.  A character who was right at the heart of the A and the B plot and tying the two halves together.

Well, I guess it's a challenge.

The name Bit Patterns is actually one that I recycled from a novel idea I had back in the nineties, but which never really got further than a couple of pages of notes.  The original title for that was The Moiré Effect, and was to have been a story about an AI researcher who dies in an accident.  The computer system he was working on is then apparently haunted. Genuine AI?  An actual haunting, or is the whole thing some kind of psychological experiment?  This was in the day of PCs maxing out at 100 MHz and were still pretty mysterious to the public at large.  Not sure how I'd approach it today, since any mysterious message coming through the computer is either email spam, Twitter spam, IM spam, miscellaneous spam or a phishing scam.

Bit Patterns for Intrepid is an entirely different story.  All that's made it online so far is that it involves two long range probes which vanished in mysterious circumstances and that - again - it proves that the Merchant Service and Starfleet are best when they work together.  I think I've also managed to get in some proper scientific terminology and methodology, something I feel strongly about given that I list astronomy amongst my nerdish passions.  (There was a TV mini-series a few years ago called Supernova which kicked off with some of the most stupid nonsensical "scientific" dialogue I'd ever heard in something intended to be serious.)

Also there's characters and a story.  Important to include that stuff.

Further updates as events warrant!

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