Premiere Redux

Panoramic photo of premiere

Above is a panoramic photograph of the audience at the Corral Theater on the evening of the premiere of Nudged. A review of the film appeared in both the Wimberley View and the San Marcos Record. We have been working on the preparation of the release DVD and the streaming version. Details of the availability of these products will be forth coming as soon as possible.

Premiere Miracles

It’s raining this morning. With thunder. And it has been raining like this for the last two weeks. Last night, however, there was no rain during the premiere of Nudged. Many people were affirming “no rain” and it was made so. Also, the new digital projector at the Corral Theater had been malfunctioning during tests all week, but last night it worked perfectly. Nudged on the big screen looked and sounded wonderful (and I’m an unbiased observer, right?).

A few photos are below. There is a whole album of premiere pics on my Facebook page. My trusty Assistant Director, Andrea Ballentine, tried to get a shot of everyone there. Go to the album. If you are not tagged already, please tag yourself and add more photos if you wish. There were about 120 people at the premiere. It was an evening of movie magic.

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Audience listens to Rodger

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People never sit in the front rows

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Judith Driscoll (one of the extras in the party scene) talks with Carla Daws (who plays Mary)

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Our intrepid photographer, Andrea Ballentine

First Review of Nudged

The movie deals with some classic themes and some new-age; a pleasant combination for a local film. “Nudged” plays a sort of soft ambient music throughout and has its moments of delightful humor and dark themes as well. What rings especially true is the happenings of everyday small-town life and the effects we all have on one another’s lives.”

— from the film review written by Candice Bruselas, Features Editor

Just in time for the premiere, the first review of Nudged was published in the San Marcos Daily Record this morning. Get your digital copy now! The review will also appear in the Wimberley View on Thursday, May 14, 2015. With the permission of the newspaper you can download a PDF of the review: Review in the San Marcos Daily Record. A new still from the film: Mary (Carla Daws) and Paul (John Daws) discuss math-in-art at the Bent Tree Gallery. Carla Daws John Daws 1920x1080

Extra. Extra. Read All About It

Run out and get today’s Wimberley View. Then, turn to page 7 and see the article about the upcoming world premiere of Nudged on May 14, 2015. It features two photos showing Nina (Celeste Coburn) talking with Mary (Carla Daws), and Rusty (Jason Foreman) kidnapping Rose (Tiffany Patch).

Also, mentioned in the article were the businesses that kindly allowed us to film in their facilities: Bent Tree Gallery, Calley’s Jewelry, King Feed and Hardware, Heart of Texas Yoga.

Next week there will be a review of Nudged in the Thursday edition. Our thanks to Dalton Sweat, Editor, and Candice Brusuelas, Features Editor, at the Wimberley View.

Below some of the cast and crew shooting in a cold green screen studio on a Winter’s day. Left to right: John Daws, Sarah Pennington, Jason Marion, Celeste Coburn, Carla Daws, Rob Mahoney, Jane Knaus, Jay Pennington, Andrea Ballentine, Dan Richards and Jason Foreman. Andrea is holding a memory slate for Sarah Jones, a crew member on another film in another place who died.

Slates for Sarah Nudged cast and crew

Nudged World Premiere Scheduled

premiere marquee

The world premiere of Nudged will be on Thursday, May 14, 2015. It will be held at the Corral Theater in Wimberley. It’s an outdoor, walk-in movie house. The showing will begin when it’s dark and arrival time is set at 8 pm. That’s around sunset. Nudged is 96 minutes long so the evening will end around 10 pm. See the picture below to understand what the experience will be like.

Corral Theater

As you can see, the premiere will NOT be black tie and formal gowns. It’s a film about a small Texas town and the Corral is the most small Texas theater possible. Now your best boots and jeans are preferred over the Austin uniform of shorts and flop-flops, but all are welcome. The showing is open to the public and admission is free. The refreshment stand will be open. As with a usual Corral show, guests may bring their own chairs and beverages. The Corral Theater is easy to find. It’s at the corner of RR 3237 and Flite Acres Rd. (100 Flite Acres Rd. exactly).

Sneak Preview

Cast & Crew preview 4-12-15
A sneak preview was held for the cast & crew on Sunday, April 12, 2015. There were about 50 people involved in the making of Nudged and over 30 attended the preview. The Cast & Crew preview 2 4-12-15preview was held at Jason Marion’s business, The Audio Dojo, in Wimberley. This is a rehearsal space featuring state-of-the-art sound reinforcement facilities. It also has a projection screen that is 12 feet wide. Notice how no one was willing to sit in the front row. They were spread out along the back and outside of the photo.

We all thought the film was brilliant and the outtakes reel was a blast.

Next up is the World Premiere.  Stay tuned.

Something Tangible

In the photograph below, the prototype for the Nudged DVD/BD is sitting on Rodger’s script binder. Inside is a disc with the whole motion picture crammed on it. Since it’s been all digital, all the time, this disc’s creation is the first moment this film project has something tangible to touch.

First DVD case

I began writing the screenplay for Nudged in April 2013. Once I had a completed script, in May 2013, I printed it out and put it in a binder. That original script was replaced many times with later revisions. I have used that binder every day since then and it holds all my notes, reference pictures, receipts, business cards, rosters, schedules, etc. from the whole production process.

And sitting on top is the end product… a motion picture one can pick up, put in a machine and see images and sound unwind to tell a story.  It took two years to go from glimmer in my imagination to complete film. And in-between are so many people, who involved themselves in this project to my everlasting gratitude.

The photograph was taken with the Sony digital motion picture camera we used for the film (Zeiss 28mm lens, f4, 60th of a second exposure).


We’re So Sorry Uncle Albert

I recalled that I left out a sequence from the outtakes featurette. It was the one where Uncle Albert (David Kyte) is fired by Joe (Jay Pennington). A revised outtakes is below.

The score lacks one final, one-minute, twenty-second piece. The dialog has been processed and that’s an involved process. Jason explained it and I’m going to try to summarize it here.

The dialog was recorded with one microphone so it’s a mono (one track) recording. All the thousand or so individual snippets of dialog that were assembled into the dialog track were mixed into a single file and then Jason went to work. First, he made the one track become two tracks. How that happens is neither straightforward nor easy to say in a few words. Second, it was equalized. Equalizing removes the bass frequencies and reduces unwanted medium and high frequencies. Third, it was compressed. This reduces places where the volume is too loud. Fourth, it was run through the de-esser. This removes high frequencies that are not part of the voices. Fifth, the two tracks were processed to widen the stereo field and the original mono track was mixed in at a very low volume level. This both enhances the stereo effect and adds back in some high frequencies that the earlier processing took out. It makes the sound fuller and richer.

The dialog track is added to the music tracks and the effects track and it all gets mixed into one stereo soundtrack.

The line in the title is from a Paul McCartney song. After months of working on the score, Jason and I can echo that last phrase in the quote below:

We’re so sorry Uncle Albert
But we haven’t done a bloody thing all day
We’re so sorry Uncle Albert
But the kettle’s on the boil
And we’re so easily called away *

* “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” by Paul McCartney, Ram album.

Scoring the Film

Creating the musical score for a motion picture is a massive task. I thought today you give you some idea of the activity. Below is a screen capture of the movie time line. Click on it for a bigger image so you can read the details.

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The four zig-zaggy blocks at the top of the illustration are the images that move on the screen. To make editing the raw clips into finished sequences easier the project was divided into four parts. So the first sequence, in video track 1 AV, is composed of scenes 1 – 14. The second, in track 2 VA, is scenes 15-25. The third is scenes 26-34. And the last is scenes 35-50. Now each segment has been rendered to combine all the individual clips into a finished sequence. To see what scenes 35-50 look like before being rendered into a sequence of images go to this earlier posting: Rough Cut Completed.

The bottom tracks are the audio. In track 1A is the dialog and ambient sounds (foot steps, birds, whatever was in the scenes when shot). This track also includes the several musical numbers that are part of the movie, Eddie Foster’s band and Amanda Mora & Mollie Rose. These sounds were recorded with a single microphone so they are monaural (One audio channel). At the bottom, in track 4A, are sound effects that were added later. They are generally in stereo (two channels).

The two middle tracks (2A and 3A) are the music. The music is stereo. Each little segment is a piece of music that was composed and performed to fit into the story at that exact place. Some segments are used in several places. All-in-all there are 50 pieces of music that have been crafted into the time line.

We are not done yet. While there are some parts that do not have music behind the dialog, there are still many gaps to be filled in the above illustration. So far Jason has created 40 musical compositions. We have not used all of them as creativity cannot be dictated to by the movie script and so just don’t fit anywhere. An example of the latter is the Mariachi theme, that we did use in the Outtakes video, but that did not fit anywhere in the film.

It is coming together and will be completed soon.


Old Lenses for New

Jason and I add a new segment of music ever other day or so and the time line continues to fill. Jason has enlisted the guitar talents of Opie Hendrix to add some free form overlays to some of the tracks. The music is going to be great.

Topcor Lens mounted

Continuing from the last post, an update on re-using a 50 year old lens. I received the adapter for the old Topcor lens (see picture – the black spacer thing between the lens and the camera). I did some testing with it and made a comparison with the new Zeiss lens. I took two photos of a candelabra in available light at f2.0 (using the stills mode of the camera that produces 4×3 images using the full 16MBs of the chip) . I had to move the Zeiss closer, as it’s a wide angle lens, to frame the same area as the Topcor. The photo below shows the area of the photo in the middle. Each lens recorded almost exactly the same image. The larger images are a cropped detail, in full resolution, for each lens. They are quite similar.

Topcor Lens Test