Completed Shooting First 16mm Film
The 508 semester at USC Film school

#8 in a series of 16

Lights, camera, action! .. at USC Film school

Fade up & zoom in.

Wendy completed shooting her first (ever) 16mm film. It feels like a major milestone 
for her. She came home after the final shoot, Sunday night, and joined the celebration 
for the closing ceremonies of the Olympics. (That's all of the Olympics she has seen.)


Wendy & Lisa are the only team not shooting this weekend, a pick-up weekend. 
Everyone else is shooting. Many are shooting major scenes, and some are even 
shooting multiple major scenes. A few students mentioned being tired of shooting.

Wendy saved 50 feet of film for pick-up weekend, but didn't need it. She gave her 
extra film given to Doug & Stacey (who loaded a roll backwards). They seemed to 
need it most. Wendy doesn't know of anyone else who's giving film away.


Lisa has been an editing demon. She didn't even come to class all week. After Lisa 
showed her edited footage this week, Helaine said, "Good job, Lisa". Wendy said, 
"Helaine never gives compliments."

As a result, Lisa & Wendy are ahead of everybody else. Since students learned that 
Helaine doesn't want to see *any* uncut footage on days when they view cuts, 
nobody had very much footage to show .. except Lisa. 

Wendy is doing the audio for her film. That's the director's job. 

Since the girls are ahead of schedule, Wendy's going to shoot a test roll for Lisa's film 
tomorrow. Wendy has never shot 16mm before. Lisa has a 100-foot roll of her own. 
Not to be used in her film, just a test. The idea is to make mistakes before they count.

Lisa whittled down the film to 6 1/2 mins. It was over 9 last Thursday. It can be 
no more than 5 mins + 33 secs (including credits) .. not a second more. USC says, 
"The industry is full of limits. Best you get used to it now." 

After the rough cut table screenings, Wendy came home glowing. Said, "I could tell 
from their faces, they really liked it." Some individual parts that people had problems 
with before became clear when viewed together, as a whole. The soundtrack helped.


Wendy is using Mag tape to do the soundtrack. Mag tape sucks. We have nice digital 
audio workstation (DAW) for recording & editing audio. She didn't realize how spoiled 
she'd become .. until she began trying to work with Mag tape. Short but steep learning 
curve. She tried to tell me what's involved with Mag tape. It made my head hurt.

Some of her classmates are trying to do as much of their soundtracks as they can 
with digital audio .. then transfer the final result to Mag.

The school warned students against editing their entire audio tracks digitally (much 
easier). Wendy recorded some of the audio track at home. For example, both Zarena 
& Louie came over yesterday, to record voiceovers. Have many takes, but we posted 
a few samples
here. It'll give you an idea of the voice-overs going into the film.

The audio files are encoded to MP3 format at 128kbps, 16-bit, 44.1kHz, stereo. 
They're very short audio clips. One clip is only a few seconds long. Shouldn't take 
long to download, even for a dial-up connection. 

The file labeled Spanish is the biggest, but one of the best. Wendy wants to use 
Zarena's Spanish version as background (low) effect. Either
Winamp (free) or Windows 
Media Player will play these files.


The best footage came Friday, at Betty Davis Park, a part of Griffith Park, near the 
horse stables. Wendy rented contraption called a doorway dolly, which is a track that 
forms a complete circle, the size of small room. A dolly goes on the track. Lisa (with 
the camera) goes on the dolly. Zarena was in the center of the track, dancing. Lisa 
and the dolly went round & round Zarena, dancing in ecstasy, in a wooded area.

Dave Reeder saved the day. He helped Wendy the whole day. He has a truck, which 
was needed to pick up the doorway dolly from store in Hollywood. He took everything 
back to the store after the shoot was over. The doorway dolly comes with enough 
track to start your own small railroad.


Last semester, a few students skipped class & sat in on the 508 screening of the 
class ahead of them. Students came back saying, "All films had their points, 1, 2 & 3, 
all had nice arc-of-character, but none *moved* me. They played it too safe."

For Wendy, making a movie that doesn't move is the worst possible fate. From that 
moment on, she wanted her 508 to be moving .. and was willing to take a risk to do it 
(as much as you can with only a 5-minute film). That's when she began developing her 
story idea for
Liliana. It may have changed many times since, but that's where Liliana 
began, and that was her motivation.  

She feels she may've bitten off more than she could chew (into 5 mins + 33 secs), 
but Lisa is tightening it, little by little. She tried to do a lot with this film .. probably 
too much. Time will tell how it gels.


She's been meeting with the Composer, Ed. Has another meeting with him Monday. 
I hear he's whipping up something special to make Liliana rock.

Fade to black.

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Picture Lock
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Mas Production Woes

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