Above: Bones and Kraig at the audio mixer, working
on the narration and other studio-recorded audio clips.
PULL!! comes the call, and an orange disc arcs
across the blue California sky, tracing a doomed trajectory.
As a crash echoes up the canyon, a wad of shotgun pellets explodes
the clay pigeon into a myriad of shards. When each piece hits
the dry ground, worries and tensions disappear into thin air
like their respective clouds of dust.
Making ski movies is not easy work, especially in the heat
of summer, when bills grow larger, the deadlines closer, and
the winters work farther away. Sometimes its too
much to deal with, and you have to let off some of the pressure.
Today is definitely one of those days, and after looking over
sales prospects and the post-production schedule, Bones and I
decide to do some trap shooting to try to do just that.
Not that demolition and firearms hold a place in the weeks
regular schedule; today isnt even a typical workday. Rather,
its a Sunday, one that I would never call lazy in a thousand
years. Its a Sunday that began with contract proposals,
article writing, and studio planning. It now sees shotgun shells,
clay pigeons, and distant targets. Yet before this Sunday ends
and the sun dips below the peaks of the Sierras, it will see
more brainstorming, small engine repair, and a lesson in how
to ride a newly repaired motorcycle. A solid 12-hour Sunday,
this day epitomizes life and work at Unparalleled Productions,
a veritable mixed bag.
Truth be told, there is no regular workweek schedule, no
9-to-5 routine. Home and office together, Im as likely
to answer a business call at 10 p.m. as I am at 10 a.m. That
assumes, of course, that Bones and I are in the office and not
in the editing studio of Tin Pan Alley on the South Shore, with
Kraig, or on the road with any number of other projects. And
if todays planning is any indication, the next 30 days
will be a progression of post- production craziness.
Right photo: The offline editor in the backroom of
the Tin Pan Alley Studios, where Bones and I did most of our
editing work. With me at the machine controls and Bones holding
a huge stack of shot lists, we compiled the rough sketch of the
entire film on the timeline with music.
Amidst the 80-degree temperatures of late morning, a light
breeze blew a notebook page back and forth. Wintry footage has
long since come and gone, but the page blowing in the summer
air contained a shot list of things Bones still needs. Headshots,
product shots, logos, titles, lifestyle, and other smaller segments
must still come to fruition, happening simultaneously with the
early construction of the finished film. Somewhere in that tangled
schedule, we will need to make a big sales push with sponsors,
put forth an advertising campaign for the public, and organize
the fall tour for UP 3: Soul Slide.
And then itll happen. There will be days where we
live life in the studio, and as the deadline draws closer, those
days will become more frequent. So far its just been shorter
trips, but Ive been warned. Well spend two, three,
maybe more days in a row down in the studio, editing for up to
16 hours a day as the deadline approaches. I remember it all
too well from my own video project two years ago; only this time
Ill go through it with Bones and Kraig, not on my own.
Right photo: This is the main editing machine out in
the main room of the studio. Once Bones and I built the rough
sketch of the film, we moved it out to the main machine where
Kraig Catton of Tin Pan Alley joined us to polish and fine tune
the film, adding dissolves, effects, titles, doing audio work,
PULL!! yells Bones, and two clay pigeons float
through the Tahoe air, lofted high on the summer breeze. Bones
fires, and I back him up. One explodes, obliterated by a clean
shot, while the other crashes down untouched. The tension is
gone; were both more relaxed. There will be many insane,
busy days in the month ahead. It doesnt faze me though;
in fact, Im kind of looking forward to it, this mixed
bag, every part of it.