Hellraiser: Deader - Winter's Lament

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December 23, 2009 Ė Happy holidays, everyone! A few items of note:


1)   HRDWL Ė One of the most frequently asked questions is ďwhen can I get a copy of the DVD?Ē And my answer is almost always ďlate spring, 2010, when the DVD is done.Ē The question that usually follows is why, particularly when Iíve submitted screeners to reviewers, conventions and a few festivals.


To me, the situation is similar to a film thatís released in theaters but later released on DVD as a ďdirectorís cut.Ē Granted, for the studios, these situations are financially motivated, i.e. the films make a small metric ton of money on a theatrical run before home DVD sales, but for me, the reasons are creative. Iím satisfied with the screener version, but not necessarily happy with it, i.e. this isnít necessarily the version that I want being distributed for posterity. I absolutely take into account the remarks of reviewers, and the technical advice of my d.p. so that I can tweak the film before its wider release on YouTube and DVD (as I did with HRP), because thatís the version Iíd like to be out there.


The following are currently being worked on for the spring YouTube release:


i. digital removal of a bloodstain from the Ivanís shirt from several scenes, as not to disrupt continuity between some of our scenes and the events of HR7

ii. redo of the ďeye-blinkingĒ effects at the end of the film

iii. redo of the audio transition between the restaurant flashback and the library

iv. adjustment of the lighting levels in the Merchant family scene


Again, my thanks to d.p. John Hudak, Tim Day and Ms. Monika DeLeeuw-Taylor of MicroFilmmaker Magazine for this inputÖ The distributed version will be muchly improved thanks to their suggestions.


2)   Screenings Ė Due to professional obligations, I had to cancel my trip to MarsCon this January. My apologies to James Allen of MarsCon, and well as my gratitude for his understanding and willingness to screen HRDWL at the convention regardless. Iíve also added screenings for RustyCon in January and SheVaCon in February. (Note: the SheVaCon video schedule has not yet been updated.)

3)   IN HELLíS WAY is almost complete and clocking in at 12 min 11 sec, and is far, far, far more watchable than DEMONS TO OTHERS (a film that I cannot apologize enough for.) Adonis Aletras actually made a souped-up version of the music from the HRDWL trailer, which Iíve incorporated into the opening and closing of this film. (My kudos and deep gratitude for that extra mile!) All thatís left is incorporating the HRDWL score into IHW, which heís given me permission to do.

December 02, 2009 - I've just created our Reviews page, which currently has excerpts from two reviews.

The first is by Ms. Monika DeLeeuw-Taylor of MicroFilmmaker Magazine, who was gracious enough to critique our film. I was particularly grateful for her efforts mainly because she critiqued HELLRAISER: PROPHECY for MFM back in 2007, so I was particularly interested in how she'd felt we'd progressed since then, as well as to see what specific areas I should focus my efforts on improving for the future... The complete critique

The second is by Mr. Timothy Day, whom Hellraiser fans will know as the screenwriter behind HR6 and the gentleman who weaved Neal Marshall Steven's DEADER script into a pivotal Hellraiser entry. I can't thank him enough for his support, interest, and most importantly for his thoughts on the characters and areas for future improvement...

Lastly, Jeremy Hanke, the editor of MFM gave me the great news that HRDWL was awarded Best Short Film for their December 2009 issue! Many thanks!

Next week I'll be working with the narrator for IN HELL'S WAY, and I'm currently working on tweaks to a few scenes for the YouTube/DVD version in the Spring. I'm going to try to tweak a few scenes along Ms. DeLeeuw-Taylor's suggestions, if it's at all within my ability...

Update: Thanks to Pete Mizzo for pointing out the missing Reviews page...

November 25, 2009 -
Happy Thanksgiving to those in the states who celebrate it!

1) Reviews - I'll be adding a reviews page next week; will post an announcement when it's complete. We've got two reviews so far, one of which comes from Mr. Timothy Day, the screenwriter of HELLRAISER: HELLSEEKER and one of the screenwriters behind HELLRAISER: DEADER. Many thanks to him for support and constructive input, which I do hope to put to good use in the future. There's an additional review coming shortly, along with a bit of news, but I've been told that those are going live on December 1st; once they're available, I'll post more information.

2) Screenings - With the conclusion of our TusCon screening in Arizona earlier this month, our 2009 screenings are concluded. Our next confirmed screenings are at MarsCon in Virginia in January, and now Con Nooga in Tennessee in February. There are two additional screenings in the works, one in January and the other in February, but neither are yet confirmed.

3) IN HELL'S WAY: "MAKING HELLRAISER: DEADER - WINTER'S LAMENT" - indeed, coming soon. This will be in the style of a narrated video diary. Pretty much everything in this 12-14 minute short was shot as we filmed, with only a few exterior shots filmed afterwards.

I've actually taken a short break from working on the YouTube version of HRDWL and IHW to give myself some time to regroup. Also, the coworker of mine who has agreed to step up to narrate IHW had to reschedule, so that gave me a welcome respite. Still, I'd like to get IHW done before the new year. And in that vein, here's a brief excerpt from IHW. (Note, this is without narration and music, and is a work in progress.) This was filmed at Liberty Studios in NYC on March 1, 2008:

If you know of a genre convention/film festival/venue to which you would like this film to be submitted for screening, we invite you to submit your venue suggestions to screenings@winterslament.com


November 06, 2009 - We have our first 2010 screening lined up! It looks like our Virginia premiere will be at the 2010 MarsCon. There may be a screening late on Friday (January 15), but on Saturday I'll be there to introduce the film, to take questions, and possibly even screen IN HELL'S WAY (2010). Many thanks to Mr. Allen for inviting me to participate as a special guest. I'm looking forward to the experience!

I'm told that HRDWL is screening at Astronomicon upstate in Rochester this weekend... Not certain of the details...

Many thanks to Ms. Burke at Geek.Kon and  Mr. Gustafson at MileHiCon for accepting HRDWL for screening at this years' events. Also, my thanks to Anthony Rockey for his feedback from Geek.Kon!

The IMDB credits are essentially complete. There's a few issues with IMDB compatibility with some of our credits (e.g. "Scenes adapted from Hellraiser: Deader written by..." etc. doesn't easily fit into the IMDB categories. On the bright side, they're at least in the rolling credits.) Some of the thanks credits have similar issues, but again, these are fairly minor issues, considering that everyone listed in these more descriptive credits are already listed elsewhere in the credits for similar things.

I'm reasonably certain that our TusCon screening in Arizona will be the last for 2009, but I'm hoping to have several more in 2010 before the YouTube release. Will post updates here.

If you know of a genre convention/film festival/venue to which you would like this film to be submitted for screening, we invite you to submit your venue suggestions to screenings@winterslament.com

October 23, 2009 - Happy Halloween, next weekend, everyone...

1) IMDB:

Regarding our IMDB page at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1523299/ : Please note that several credits are still pending. Some of these have been already submitted for IMDB consideration, but their turnaround time is about a week to a week and a half, which is still fairly impressive, given the amount of data they must receive. Most of the missing information is in the thanks and creative consultants sections, with a other miscellaneous errors (e.g. "Dan Weiss (II)" vs. "Danny Weiss (I)".) Good times.

2) Upcoming screenings:

In screening news, our thanks to Marc Gustafson who confirms the screening time at MileHiCon this weekend. Apparently the missing time slot in the online PDF schedule was a glitch, and he assures us that the screening time will be listed in the final paper programs/schedules that are distributed at the con. As to Geek.Kon, it seems that our own Anthony Rockey (creator of the Grimoire of the Gash) will be attending that screening... I look forward to hearing how it goes!

The tentative Arizona screening in November now has an unpublished time attached to it. TusCon is still a month away, so as soon as the official schedule goes up, I'll let you know that it's confirmed.

3) Screening version vs. upcoming YouTube/DVD version:

I've put work on IN HELL'S WAY on hold while I address a few minor issues in HRDWL. Just as there were some subtle differences between the film festival version of HELLRAISER: PROPHECY and the YouTube/DVD version, there will also be a few differences between the version of the initial run of screenings versus Spring, 2010. The differences are subtle - a post-production lighting adjustment in one scene, a rendering artifact in another, and a minor continuity issue involving a bloodstain on one of the Deader's costumes.

4) Future screenings:

Though I'm been scouring the internet for conventions and festivals to submit HRDWL to (the pickings are light between mid-November and mid-March) I'd like to take a cue from one of our longtime supporters, Mr. Charles Hall, who for many months has been kind enough to send me information on film festivals around the world that he recommends submission to. As such, I've added the following to the screening page:

If you know of a genre convention/film festival/venue to which you would like this film to be submitted for screening, we invite you to submit your venue suggestions to screenings@winterslament.com

October 15, 2009 - Alright, a few items of note:

1) Our IMDB page at
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1523299/ : The cast credits are complete as of today, and the remaining crew credits have been submitted, but there will be a week or two of lag between submission and appearance on the page. There are errors to be sorted out (e.g. Michael Joseph is listed as both digital effects and visual effects, Dan Weiss is listed as both Dan Weiss and Danny Weiss) but aside from two producers/thanks, the credits have all been submitted. I'll let you know when they're accurate.

There were some issues with the poster image, and three missing actors credits, but they're all taken care of now.

2) Screenings: Our screenings times at Fargo Fantastic Film Festival (10/17) and Geek.Kon (10/24) are confirmed. We now have a tentative screening in Tucson, AZ in November. As for MileHiCon, I was told that we're screening immediately before THE HELLRAISER CHRONICLES: LIFEBRINGER, and there's a missing entry from 1:30PM to 2:00PM that day, so I'm assuming that that's when we're screening... :P :) We'll see. :)

October 11, 2009 - So, first the good news.

Our IMDB page is up at

Do keep in mind, if you gander over there, that the credits are NOT AT ALL COMPLETE at this time. As of today, there are at least 3 actors credits that still haven't materialized over there yet, but should in the next few days. The crew credits are staggeringly incomplete, mainly because the withoutabox system didn't have a lot of the credit options that IMDB has.

So, yes, there's an IMDB page, and if your name should be on there and isn't yet, don't panic, it may take a few weeks before I work out the kinks with IMDB.

(Also, I've fixed this news page, so there should be no further image issues.)

Now the bad news.

The Fargo Fantastic Film Festival hasn't updated its site to include the lineup of films which will be screening, so I haven't been able to get online confirmation of the screening outside of the selection email I received. I've emailed but I imagine that they probably have more important things to worry about, these scant few days away from the fest. So, I'll try again afterwards. No doubt that it'll eventually be up there, it's just unclear right now when that will be...

Likewise, the "Sci-Fi Viewings" page of the Geek.Kon website hasn't been updated in a few weeks, and may not have HRDWL listed on the screenings page. But I'm hoping that its 9:00PM screening on 10/24 will be confirmed in their programming grid. I've posted on the forums to see if/when the complete programming grid will be posted on their website, so I'm waiting to hear back. We'll see.

(On the bright side, the MileHiCon website does list HRDWL on its list of screenings, as well as Mark Adams' 2008 fan film, THE HELLRAISER CHRONICLES: LIFEBRINGER.)

UPDATE: Correction, the Fargo screening is confirmed in the Program book of the convention and film festival. The film will screen Oct 17 at 11:00PM. See the Screenings page for more information.

October 5, 2009 - There's lots of exciting news, today, but I need to begin with an apology. He's already forgiven me, but I need to apologize publicly to my friend and colleague Mark Adams, for failing to send his screener of THE HELLRAISER CHRONICLES: LIFEBRINGER to Geek.Kon before its deadline. I sent mine in early enough, but by the time I sent his, it was too late. Mark, I am truly, truly sorry... On the bright side, with his permission I've sent it in to a few other conventions and festivals (the ones that don't require his signature, or payment) so I'm hoping that there will be some good news there...

Okay, that was the bad news... And now I'm going to sound very self-serving, but here's the good news.

1) October 24th: HRDWL has been accepted for screening at MileHiCon in Denver, CO and tentatively accepted by Geek.Kon in Madison, WI. I say "tentative" because their schedules aren't online yet, but I've gotten email confirmation from their helpful con committee members. What I do know for now is that HRDWL will be showing from 9:00PM-9:30PM on Saturday, 10/24 at Geek.Kon, and at some point Saturday night at MileHiCon (time TBD). This means that the Screenings page is now open.

2) October 16th weekend: As of noon today, HRDWL is an official selection of the Fargo Fantastic Film Festival in Fargo, ND. Screening times have yet to be publicly announced, but should be by the end of the week. As it is our earliest date, it is, as of today, our official premiere and first film festival.

3) IMDB: Thanks to withoutabox and submissions to two film festivals (which we may or may not make it into) I received confirmation today that an IMDB page is now in the pipeline, pending approval from IMDB staff. I don't see any reason why it WOULDN'T go forward, so we should expect a page about two weeks from now. For those whose names are slated to be in the credits, please do be patient as the individual credit submissions may be incomplete/inaccurate over the next month until I'm done submitting individual corrections and additions.

Still, this is very good news. There may be up to two more screenings before the end of 2009, but that's about it... Then there's a paucity of conventions between now and March, 2010, but we'll see...

September 25, 2009 - Two people have been telling me that there's been this crazy assemblage of images at the top of this page whenever they try to view it. (Mark, Pete, that would be you.) I didn't believe it until I saw it with my own eyes on Pete's iPhone. Suffice it say I've gone through the page and seen the damning evidence firsthand, and to fix it, I've done the simple thing of deleting the offending images. (Or at least I THINK I have. Someone please let me know if the problem is still there.) In a few days I'll go back and reinsert the images CORRECTLY, but I lack the time right now.

Also, my thanks go out to Ruby in North Carolina for her kind words of support and encouragement. Sadly, I've taken down the Producers donation page, because the film is now complete and locked, but the sentiment is muchly appreciated... :)

She's offered to donate a more fitting cat-o-nine tails if our next(?) film will have Angelique's return. That may yet happen, but it's years off... Still, I will keep that in mind. :)

I should have news about our first screening(s) in about a week... I'm awaiting confirmation (as is IMDB). :P :)

September 20, 2009 - Thanks to Latreash McCurdy we have a poster! Particular thanks go to her, because if it hadn't been for her parting advice, the credits text would have illegible... Latreash, you save me from myself. :D

There are a few screening submissions pending, but nothing's confirmed yet. In the meantime, I'm working on uploading the film to WithoutABox to make my life a bit easier... I think we'll have a few 2009 screenings, but I'm reasonably certain that the bulk of screenings will be in 2010... There are a few potential venues in October, a few in November, and almost none in December. It's pretty scant, but I'm working on it...

In the meantime, I'm working on the outtake reel which is about 2 and a half minutes long... On one hand this surprised me, because we easily had twice the footage that we had for HRP, but on the other hand, things on the HRDWL set were always pretty tense... There was a lot more to coordinate this time around, so the atmosphere was more, well, professional, which is appropriate under the circumstances. Still, good times were had, and they'll be on the DVD next year. (As with the HRP gag reel, I may keep the outtakes as a DVD feature to thank those who actually went to the trouble of downloading the whole DVD.)

We've also got alternate/extended scenes, audition footage and a few other goodies for the DVD. On one hand, I'm getting waaaay ahead of myself, as we're still pending screenings, but on the other hand, I'm a Hell of a lot more organized now than I was three years ago, so I've been planning the DVD for quite some time.

Anyhow, I'm also intending to do a making-of again, called IN HELL'S WAY (which has the virtue of being interpreted in a few ways) but I'm still trying to decide on how to approach it differently than DEMONS TO OTHERS. For Pete's sake, even I get bored by DTO; there's only so much of my nasally drone that I can take, and I really apologize for how DTO turned out. So this time I'm thinking of more of a Production Diary style making-of than a "let's interview the Hell out of myself" marathon of conception through execution. I think the behind-the-scenes of the actual production would be far FAR FAR more interesting for people to watch than to have me drone endlessly on how the idea came about. We absolutely have the behind-the-scenes footage for at least 5 of the 7 days... A lot of this depends on whether I can get certain people (*cough*) interested in participating... We'll see...

First things first... Screenings. I am absolutely working on it.

September 9, 2009 - Alright, this is a little behind the news that I posted on our Facebook page, but for those who haven't heard, the movie was completed two nights ago, at around 11PM. "Labor Day Weekend" truly became about labor. The audio's complete, reasonably balanced and normalized to about -12dB, give or take... We have a few sound effects that creep towards -6, but it should much easier and consistent to listen to than the blaring audio of HELLRAISER: PROPHECY. (Thanks to Monica Deleeuw-Taylor of Microfilmmaker Magazine, whose advice from 2007 I finally had the opportunity to try and implement!)

Anyhow, I'd write more, but I need a bit of a break... I'll be submitting HRDWL to a few genre conventions, but most venues for 2009 are either closed, too expensive to enter at this late date, a long shot, or some combination of the above. Well, that won't stop me from trying... If worse comes to worse, there's always 2010. The apocalypse isn't predicted for another 3 years, if you trust the ancient Mayans more than the Y2K fanatics, so that gives us some time to amass some screenings...

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that we snuck in one last crew member before I locked the credits... It's not on the website yet, but I'd like to welcome Latreash McCurdy to our crew as our graphic designer. I'm very grateful that she took on this last minute assignment, pro bono, no less. Latreash will be designing the poster layout for HRDWL... Thank you!

August 31, 2009 - Lots of news to report. Most of it is good, so I'll do the bad first (which has little to do with the film anyway.)

First off, I'm recovering from a appendectomy, so my work on the film was limited this past week to Sunday, Monday and Saturday... I lost a lot of time this week.

And now the good news:

I'm back from vacation, and the following punch list items were completed:
* Resynching some of Winterís dialog in Act 3.
* Chromakeying an effect into Act 6.
* Create the rolling credits
* Finish editing the epilogue

In truth, the epilogue, which I believe is more accurately described as a post-credits scene, is visually complete, but needs a spot of audio work. That goes onto the punch list.

Secondly, the full runtime of the film, barring any minor changes, is 29 minutes and 19 seconds.

Third, the rolling credits. As you may recall, in 2008 Natasha Borzilova was kind enough to let me record her performing a song that I had heard her sing in concert back in... 2003, I think. I had always loved the song and in 2007 it occured to me that it would make a great ending to the film. It's poignant, it's sad, it's lonely and it's beautiful. Matches the subject of the film fairly well. Well, it turns out that she recorded it in-studio a few months ago, and with our deadline approaching she and her team were kind of enough to mix it for us to use in the film. So, instead of the version I recorded a year ago in a small room with my digital camera (you can only imagine the sound quality), she's letting us use a fresh, studio recorded and edited version of the song. This song is called "To Nye Vecher" and will be the first track on her upcoming album. Natasha, you ROCK. (Check her out on iTunes, CDBaby and at http://www.natashaborzilova.com/ )

(Trivia: die-hard fans may recognize that the character of Natasha from HRP and HRDWL was named after this Natasha... And, it therefore follows that Lydia was named after...? :) )

Speaking of rocking, we come now to our diligent composer, Adonis Aletras, scoring busily half a world away. He sent this image, which was heartwarming and reassuring... :) I'm told that the composing is done, he just needs to mix it... Soon, quite soon... Thank you sir, for working your magic. (For those who are curious, that's Ivan, Winter and Despina in a shot from Act 6.)

So, where does the punch list stand?

* Possibly Replacing one of Winterís flash forward inserts in Act 4.
* Finishing the audio editing and balance in Act 5.
* Finishing the audio editing and balance in Act 6.
* Finishing the audio editing and balance in the post-credits scene.
* Incorporating the score

We have less than two weeks left... I was admittedly distracted by sudden appendicitis I developed on Tuesday and the emergency appendectomy I had this past Wednesday, but we're almost there, and I'm not going to give in this close to completion... That's why they invented pain management. I'll still be recovering for the next day or two (in fact, I'm to meet with the surgeon tomorrow) but I'm intending to be back at work on Wednesday.

Ironic, given that I'm working on a Hellraiser fan film. One would think that stabbing abdominal pains would be a muse of sorts...

(Not so, trust me.)

August 09, 2009 - Enough of the visual effects for Act 6 are done that I felt comfortable sending the entirety of HRDWL to the composer for the remainder of the scoring. The runtime of HRDWL minus the rolling credits and minus the epilogue 26:23. The addition of the rolling credits and epilogue should make this about 30 minutes or so, which is admittedly shorter than I initially expected it would be, but thatís just the way the cards fell. :)

I havenít heard back from Adonis that heís received the file and/or the email, but Iíll try him again on Tuesday. In the meantime, Iíll be going through the ďpunch list,Ē which includes:

* Resynching some of Winterís dialog in Act 3.
* Possibly Replacing one of Winterís flash forward inserts in Act 4.
* Finishing the audio editing and balance in Act 5.
* Finishing the audio editing and balance in Act 6.
* Chromakeying an effect into Act 6.
* Create the rolling credits
* Finish editing the epilogue


The first two shouldnít take long. The audio editing is going to be a bit of work, but itíll get thereÖ And Iím pretty excited to try out chromakeying; Iíve never actually done it before, but what Iím looking to do is pretty simply, so Iím going to try. The rolling credits shouldnít take long. There are one or two credits that Iím missing, but Iím going to ask John H. for those names. The rolling credit music is going to be an acoustic Russian song by one of my favorite singers, Natasha Borzilova, that she was kind enough to let me record on the spur of the moment inÖ Philadelphia (I think) Öfor use in this film. (Sheís currently recording a full version for her new album, I believe...)


As for the epilogue, itís pretty much in the same state that Act 5 was in before I completed it. Itís about 85% complete, but I hit Editorís block in the last 15 seconds, so I put it down in favor of completing the rest of the film. In fact, if memory serves, the last time I worked on it was on an evening flight on an airplane; Hell, I donít even remember when it was or where I was flying toÖ Anyhow, it needs to be shortened down a bit and its conclusion needs to be tackled. Well, Iím flying to sunny New Orleans for vacation on August 15th, so something tells me that thatís what Iíll be doing on that flight.


So, if Adonis finishes scoring the film before the end of the month, the film should be complete. Submitting for screenings is next, and it would be nice to have a premiere for the cast/crew, but first things firstÖ letís tie up these loose ends.

July 22, 2009 - The rough cut for Act 6 is done. All that's left are the rolling credits, and possibly the epilogue ending. The epilogue ending is not essential, and I may not finish it until the DVD version, for the purposes of deadline, but that remains to be seen.

So, the unofficial tally is ~26 minutes from the opening frame to the beginning of the rolling credits. With credits and epilogue, my guess is that the total runtime will be close to 30 minutes. (Then again, I apparently have a tendency to overestimate runtimes, so maybe it'll be closer to 28 minutes, for what it's worth. :)

So, what's left? Well, the following will happen in order:
1) Fine-tuning of the video for Act 6
2) Sending Acts 1-6 to Adonis to finish the score with revisions
3) While that's going on, I'll be working on the audio balance/inserts for Act 6 and Act 5.
5) Then I'll incorporate the music.
6) I'll finish the rolling credits
7) Start submitting for screenings.

Here's the problem. I'm pushing for end of August completion, which is an idealistic goal. Nothing wrong with that, but seldom go exactly as planned. That being said, having a finished in LATE August makes it extremely difficult to submit for end-of-the-year screenings; the genre convention pickings are scant, and the looming deadlines of film festivals mean that submissions for 2009 are becoming more and more expensive with each passing day. At the end of August, most submissions to film festivals will run me $80 a pop, and with that there's of course no guarantee of a screening...

So, while I'm aiming for a 2009 premiere, rather than a 2010 one, the practicalities of scheduling may preclude this goal. But I'll keep trying... Still, we're almost there.

In other news, my congratulations to Mark Adams, a dear, dear friend from the UK (and proprietor of The Hellbound Web) who just had his first child. My best wishes to the happy parents and family!

Also, congratulations to another old friend and role model, Ralph Suarez, who has completed the DVD for his first feature, PURGATORY COMICS (2009). Many kudos to you for successfully completing this ambitious project!

July 15, 2009 - Alright, I'm CLOSE to schedule, but a little delayed... The good news is that video for Act 5 is done, and it's clocking in at about 3 minutes, 10 seconds.

The bad news is that the remaining audio work (balancing, foley, etc.) has to wait until I can work on it on a weeknight at home. Can't do it on the train because my Asus EEE has really low sound output, particularly through the headphones. Add that to the sound of a New York subway car in transit, and I can't hear much of anything in detail. Great times.

I still haven't had a chance to sit with Adonis' score and take detailed notes on the score yet... I'm hoping to do that tomorrow, but more likely it'll be next week sometime.

In the meantime, I'm copying the Act 6 files over to the EEE as we speak... I'm thrilled that I'm on the FINAL ACT!! We're almost there... Still aiming for the end of August... I think we've got a strong shot at making it...

July 7, 2009 - First off, I just finished listening to Adonis Aletras' score for the first four Acts.

I'm just about ecstatic. It's mysterious, foreboding... I love it... Almost 20 minutes of footage, now with music. It's incredible what mood a score can evoke...

Act 5 is in progress; I lost about 4 days of editing time because I left my computer at work over the long Independance Day (American holiday) weekend... It's absolutely getting there, though. Still aiming to finish it in the next two weeks or so... It's interesting going back to Act 5 after having edited so much of the rest of the film. You may recall that Act 5 ("The Hotel scene") was our first day of shooting, and it was also the first thing that I tried to edit. I can palpably feel the differences in what we produced later on... That first day of shooting was my very first time working with an actual D.P. and watching footage through a monitor around the corner rather than at the camera itself... John Hudak, Danny Weiss and I were getting to know each other and it was definitely a learning process, for me at least. Still, looking back on it, I definitely feel that we went a long way from the first day to the last day of shooting...

Alright, enough nostalgic musing... Sleep, then more editing on the train...

June 24, 2009 - Act 4 is in the can. Audio and video are done.

Moving on to Act 5... Or should I say, moving back to Act 5. This time I'll keep working on 5 until it's done, withOUT jumping to and from other sections of the film...

June 12, 2009 Ė This is a pic from the dailies of an insert for Act 4. The body in the coffin is that of Colonel Hawthorne of THE PROPHECY, played here by Spencer Teplin, while Iím speaking to d.p. John Hudak and Dan Moody (Archangel Simon) off-cameraÖ Just to keep things colorful around hereÖ

Alright, Iíve got a whole bunch to talk aboutÖ Iíll start with Act 4.

1) Act 4, the video is done. Effects, inserts and transitions are all in; Iíve got a ďto-doĒ list of 9 tweaks that need to be done. Although a few of the tweaks are video, most of them are audio tweaks. That should be done by the end of next week. I have to scour the Internet for a few sounds. Itís not difficult, but it does take time, so Iím determined to put some time aside this week to do thatÖ

Some of the sound effects, however, are needed as flashbacks to HELLRAISER: PROPHECY. So, I pulled the old Q:\ out of mothballs and plugged her in.

Let me tell ya', I have no idea how the Hell I edited that whole film using Windows Movie Maker.

It wasnít until I was looking through the directories for specific files that it dawned on me that back when I was editing HRP I had not yet figured out how to use video/audio TRACKS, rather than editing everything onto a single track. Damn, I made things difficult for myself back then. (And it makes finding specific audio files difficult NOW.) In my own defense, I had nothing else to compare it toÖ It wasnít until about a week before I-CON that I actually assembled the individually edited segments, using Adobe Premiere Pro for the very first time. Still, itís interesting seeing how differently I approach editing now than when I was first working on HRP. No doubt Iíll go through this again during my next project. If I do another Making-of, Iím determined to either learn how to use Avid Express or a more recent version of Adobe Premiere... (Not a big Sony Vegas fan. I only use it for pull-downs.)

2) The entire assembly from opening through the transition from Act 4 to Act 5 is 19 minutes, 16 seconds. Act 5 is looking to be 5-7 minutes, which already pushes us past the length of HRPÖIíve sent this incomplete assembly to Adonis Aletras to begin work on the scoreÖ The current gameplan is: finish Act 4 by the end of the month, Act 5 by mid- July, and Act 6 by the end of August. Hopefully, the music will be on par with the schedule, in which case Iíll start sending it out for screenings around September/October. It would be nice to have a few 2009 screenings to keep my promise on having it as a 2009 releaseÖ

May 21, 2009 - I was going to put up a screencap from the first half of Act 4, but then decided that I was jumping the gun, mainly because the final edit isn't done yet...

Anyhow, getting the EEE PC was a great idea, because it's really helped to give me back some of the momentum I had before I was doing silly things like finding a place to live and getting married and the like...

To be brief:
1) Slowly dropping in sound effects for the last half of Act 4. Thank you to the gentleman who first recommended sounddogs.com to me all those months ago...
2) First half of Act 4 is rough cut, adding another two and a half minutes or so. Will spend the rest of the week polishing that up and adding it to the last half.
3) Rough cut one of the two problem spots in Act 5. One to go.


May 12, 2009 - I spent some time going through the Act 4 footage and figured that there are about 35 sound effect insertion points that need to be filled. Not to worry, many of those need the same effects, i.e. ~10 of those need a transition "whoosh," 2 needs screams, and a few need some of the sounds from HELLRAISER: PROPHECY. "Sounds of Angelic War, " "Natasha screaming" and the like...

Restoring the files from Act 5 to this laptop was relatively easy. I didn't have any problems with file paths or anything like that, so I'm picking up right where I left off, except that I now know how I want to cut together at least one of the two problem spots. I haven't focused on the second (final) problem spot in that Act yet... One step at a time. More importantly, this kind of reinforces to me that sometimes all I need to do is step away from a problem for while to get a fresh perspective upon returning.

May 5, 2009 - The second half of Act 4 is cut together, visual effects and all. This montage adds 2:28 to the runtime, and is looking good. Now comes a bit of sound editing, transition sounds and the like.

I'll be picking up one of those handy little Asus EEE 1000HA's (or 1000HEB's) in the next week or so. (Thank goodness for gift cards...) The small size of the laptop with its reasonably large hard drive will allow me to actually do some video editing on the subway to and from work. It won't be as good as the 3-hr round-trips I used to have every day when I took the railroad, but at least it'll give me back some of the 90-minute roundtrip during the day before my loving wife starts her daily tirade (upon my arrival home) about cleaning the house.

The goal is to finish the sound editing to this second half, as well as finally finishing that last minute of Act 5 (which you may recall was about 80% cut before I began suffering from Editor's Block) on this cumbersome laptop at home, and editing the first half of Act 4 entirely on the more portable Asus.

To summarize:

Act 1 - All but music is done (2:00)
Act 2 - All but music is done (6:11)
Act 3 - All but music is done (5:54)
Act 4 - First half unassembled; second half is cut, awaiting sound and music (2:28 so far)
Act 5 - Rough cut is ~80% done
Act 6 - Started, but needs work. :)

The editing pace/consistency of the past week is the pace I need to maintain.
The wedding's done.
Job training's done.
I'm moved in.
No more excuses.
Break's over.

March 31, 2009 - Alright, it's been three more months, and what's going on? Well, you see the previous news item listed below, the sentence after "life circumstances." All of those items will be checked off about three weeks from now. As you can imagine, that's been taking up most of my waking, and indeed, some of my dreaming hours as well. That being said, I have indeed continued working on the film, and despite now being officially behind schedule, we're continuing forward, self-imposed deadlines be damned.

First off, I was surprised to realize that for the past three months, the Christmas news item below was talking about my work on Act 2, when in reality what I've been working on has been Act 4. Act 2 is done and has been for months now. I've corrected the information in the previous post.

Secondly, I promised screenshots, and I'll put a few below, but because the scene is a flashback montage, the images won't seem to connect at all. That will, of course, be abrogated by the voiceover narration, which provides the bulk of the exposition of the film, all in this Act.

So, the rough cut for the flashback sequence is clocking in at around 3 minutes (it's not done yet).  But, here's a taste of what I have so far.

Winter with the Grimoire of the Gash

The Grimoire of the Gash, as designed by Anthony Rockey

The Archangel Simon's search for the soul of Colonel Hawthorne

Spike in the Pandora Estate (the grain is deliberate)

Amy Klein on the streets

Amy with something that Marla left behind

Also, I want to draw your attention to another film by a friend and colleague, which I've mentioned in passing more than once. Mark Adams' THE HELLRAISER CHRONICLES: LIFEBRINGER, which is the third entry in THE HELLRAISER CHRONICLES anthology of Hellraiser fan films deserves a look. I've been entrusted with trying to submit the film for scree ning here in the U.S. and have been woefully lax in doing so, because of my other personal commitments, and that's a situation that I continue to try to rectify...

Until I get married, things are going to stay hectic, progress on this film is going to remain slow, if steady, but it's right around the corner, and I'm going to try to be a bit less thinly spread... Thanks for all of your continued support and patience...

Alright, back to editing...


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