Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Go ahead, LOL

The number of friends I have neglected, only to call them up and ask for a favor, is probably approaching the triple digits these days. I never wanted to be this kind of person, but I have the sense that whenever someone's phone rings, and they see my name, they assume I need something from them.

SXSW has decided that they are only going to show videos on HD at their Festival this year. I understand their reasoning. It's much easier for them to stick with one tape format, which means they only need one kind of deck, and HD is clearly the best quality. But this wasn't great news for me. They have a deal with a post house in Austin, TX, allowing me to get a DVCAM tape transfered to HD for $350, which they say is much less than most places will charge me. Fine. But the entire budget of LOL was something like $3,000, which means this conversion to HD is going to cost me more than 1/10 what the whole film costs. It's kind of insane.

There's a rental/production place here in Chicago (Zacuto) that's been really cool to me, and they have allowed me to use one of their editing suites when nobody is in there. I'm already late for the date that SXSW set to have the tapes to them, because I needed to find someone to mix the sound for free (did I mention I have no money?), so I figured today would be the day that I go make my DVCAM master, but I arrived at the editing suite only to realize that something was wrong with the computers and I couldn't do anything tonight.

I share a car with my girlfriend, filmmaker Kris Williams, and she had dropped me off at the place on her way to see a movie. Not wanting to just sit around for a bunch of hours, I decided to walk the few miles home, praying I wouldn't be hit by a car, since I had my hard drive with me that contained the final cut of LOL. So here I am back home, foiled once again by the Universe.

If I had money, I would have had the sound professionally mixed a month ago, and the film would have been immediately transferred to HD and sent to Austin. But I don't have money, so here I am, with the Festival 3 weeks away, totally reliant on the friendliness and favors of other people, just so I can make a DVCAM copy to send off to someone else who will make an HD copy. I'm sure everyone posting here has similar stories. It seems to come with the territory. Walking 2 miles in 29 degree weather, carrying my hard drive in last year's SXSW Big Bag, praying no cars hit me and take the last 8 months of my life with them, feels like just another day.


Sujewa [Blog Admin] said...

Hang in there Joe. I am sure the free edit hookup computer will be back on line tomorrow or soon. SXSW is THREE weeks away, and I seriously doubt they would not show your movie because the HD version is late.

Maybe you might want to do a "help LOL get to SXSW" benefit event using KOTM,to raise some extra cash that you may need in Austin.


Blake Calhoun said...

Sounds like a really good story for your Q&A after the screening. ;) Good luck.