Saturday, June 23, 2007


Okay, I'm back with an honest to god entry. It's bad when people start razzing me from other continents.

Somethings I've noted about why personal blogs and websites are or aren't updated in general:

  1. Nothing is happening in your real life, so you sit in front of the computer and write meaningless entries about meaningless things.
  2. A lot is happening in your real life, so you don't have the time to write about all the interesting things going on.
  3. You are shamelessly promoting something (usually yourself), so you are trying to keep yourself out there in the world and will write about anything to do so. This frequently devolves into reviews of things or editorializing about other people.
  4. Things are happening in your life and you are so well organized with your time that you are able to find the time to write about them.

By the way, I don't really think #4 exists – unless you are a paid writer. I am a paid (occasionally) writer, but since this blog is strictly for kicks, it gets updated last. And I admit to having been guilty of all the above enumerated reasons.

That all said…

The script for the next project is done. Well, at least it is as done as it's going to be until the next set of changes falls upon it. That's the way it goes.

I'm happy with it, the happiest I have been with any script I've written. Early word back from readers is that - this is it. Which is good because it's going out.

"Going out", for those not familiar with the vernacular of show business types who have the pathologic need to drop dopey phrases to appear 'in', means – The script is going to be sent to people who could help move it to future phases.

"It's going out" is most frequently used by people who "Do Lunch" and "Take Meetings". In case you're rolling your eyes about how infantile everyone in Hollywood is, these are expressions most frequently used by people who aren't actually 'in' but are rather, desperately trying to appear 'in'.

I will leave further snarkiness about Hollywood to those that do it better and focus instead on what I'm beginning to do now – which, actually – is really cool and also the title of this entry.


Given the cost of making movies and given the collaborative nature of the form, from early on, pictures, sketches, still photos, etc. have been used to demonstrate the director's vision. This is most often done for stunt scenes or situations where camera coverage has to be done absolutely perfectly and hopefully as best as possible, artistically. A conversation between two people is not so important. Any decent director should be able to come up with an interesting way to cover those on set. Or perhaps, not so interesting a way, but still a serviceable filming thereof. Okay, some directors should pre-vis a conversation between two people.

Pre-visualizations are also a way to aid in pitching the movie to those who might become instrumental in getting the damn thing to happen in the first place. Frequently these are the same people the movie "goes out" to.

Pre-visualization of stories has, over the years, become quite sophisticated: moving from pencil sketches to beautiful oil painted renderings, to full animations, or clips from other movies; all to demonstrate, "It'll look something like this!"

That's what I'm doing now.

I'm beginning to work on a visual and audible demonstration of what parts of the movie will look, but more importantly, feel like. Basically, it's a fancy sales tool. The idea is that it will help people actually pick up the script and read it – and get it. An unfortunate (and I am one of these people) problem is that reading scripts is a drag. For one thing, there's so many of them. There really has to be a reason. Either you're doing it as a favor, or it's a potential gig. Though a good script can be a great read, I don't think anyone actually reads them for pleasure. Watching something for a few minutes is much easier.

Though I can't draw my way out of a paper bag, I'm a pretty handy animator when it comes to doing 2D animation on a computer. Certainly, I'm no Scott Hale, or any of the wiz kids working up North, but I can get by. 3D though has never been my bag. Too much scrolling around a virtual world, and I always end with 3D characters that look fine from one angle, but from another angle have arms three feet away from their bodies. If you've done any 3D work, you might know what I'm talking about.

In researching methods of doing previs work, I found several pieces of software which I've demo'd. In this brave world we're in, there seems to be a tool for every job. Of all of them, one blew me away. Designed specifically for this exact job, thus far it seems very workable – even for a 3d challenged person. You build a set, inhabit it with characters, direct them, place cameras and move them… and it creates full motion, with all the camera dollies, cranes, lens, etc. built in. Depending on how crazy you want to get, it can do some pretty decent shading and rendering (that roughly translates to – how realistic it looks in the end).

Though it was rather expensive, I just bought it, and am now crash coursing myself on how to use it properly. I feel certain that it will worth the investment.

This is also a tool that could really allow for an idea I proposed around 'town' about nine years ago. More on that in future entries.

So, there you have it. Expect to read much more about the previs of Diamond Road, and hopefully soon, see some examples.