10 December 2013

Million Year Picnic doc started!

As I start my latest and long suffering in the shadows documentary about the Million Year Picnic comic book store, I am rudely reminded of how difficult it is to do one of these things all by yourself. Every film has challenges, but this time I am starting with all new equipment and new formats I’ve not used in a personal project before. 

For starters I am using a Canon xa10 to film things, using the 30p setting and a Zoom sound recorder which I have to admit is not so easy for me to figure out. Even with that I have got some good sound from it using my shot gun mic, keeping it close to the subject. 

The biggest problems so far is  getting it all together for editing in Premiere Pro CS6. I’ve been using Pluraleyes from Red Giant software to sync the video and Zoom sound, which works pretty good and very quickly. The problem after that is that .mov files are not easily processed by Premiere even though they are prepared especially for it by transcoding the MTS file to .mov using MTS converter. I experimented importing in Final Cut Pro 7 and the same issue. Oddly they play fine in quicktime and in Pluraleyes. I finally discovered I can use the XML import from Pluraleyes to get the interviews into the editing software, but it’s a time consuming and far from elegant process. I had to go back a version for that work properly, however. These thing never come easy! 

The interviews went fairly well despite not really having a space to do them in. I even had to do one in a stairway! Visually they look pretty good and the sound could have much, much worse so I can’t complain too loudly. I really need an assistant or two to work devices while I interview… it really is just too hard to do them all at once. Beggars can’t be choosers so I’m doing the best I can on my own. 

Next stage is to get supplementary materials, like photos, scans of ads, whatever I can get my hands on to enhance and inform the film more. I’ll also have to make several more interviews at least before summer is over. On my post production side, I’ve already made a 3D version of the store’s logo that can be animated, lower 3rds with animations and experimented with some other graphic elements. So… allons-y!