Picture Lock
The 508 semester at USC Film school

#9 in a series of 16

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

Fade up & zoom in.

Picture lock yesterday (Friday, 13th), 3 days ahead of Monday's deadline. Before 
picture-lock, the film is spliced on one side only. After picture-lock, it's spliced on 
sides. The work print (containing scratches) will
screen Saturday, the 28th. 

The high-quality answer print won't be available until sometime next year. 
Students must get their own answer prints made. The school doesn't do this, 
nor pay for it. Although they technically own the film. 


Wendy shot the title & credits today. They came as a single, big sheet of film 
that was then cut into four 8x10's. She choose a cool font for the title,

The last days before picture lock involve severe sleep deprivation. Students become 
testy. Time on edit bays (
flatbeds) is divided into 4-hr slots. When 4 hrs is up, next 
person waiting wants on. But person already there is never done, and wants to stay 
& edit longer. Fights erupt -> "Get the heck off my flatbed!" Every minute counts 
when deadlines loom large.

During final review w/ prof (
Helaine) & TA (Ed), Lisa had a cut of Zarena spinning 
one direction, to the opposite direction - breaking a rule of filmmaking. Helaine 
stopped the film & backed it up. She did this several times. The
girls snuck peaks 
at each other that said, "Looks like we have more work to do, fixing that cut." 

When breaking rules, it either works wonderfully or fails horribly. Lisa started to say, 
"I could change ..." Helaine interrupted, "Don't touch that cut! That's a miracle cut." 


10-pg paper due same day as picture lock (Monday). Some students feel that 
borders on sadistic. Wendy said, "They want to see what you're made of." 

Prof said the 508 semester is unifying or all who endure it. When underclassmen ask 
about 508, they glancing at each other with knowing looks, that say, "Oh, 508, you 
poor thing. You don't know what your in for." It's like boot camp for Film students.

The topic of Wendy's 10-page report is any new film movement, except the French 
new wave, which is most popular. Wendy watched Easy Rider & Vagabond (Agnes 
Varda) several times each, comparing & contrasting the two. She always falls asleep 
before the movies are done. She hasn't watched either movie in its entirety yet. 

Agnes Varda is considered her own movement. Vagabond is supposed to be a feminist 
film, but the main character (Mona) does not fare well, especially at the end. So it's 
hard to see how it's considered a feminist film.

The first 'Foley' (sound) effects were recorded yesterday. 

Wendy took her camcorder to school yesterday & recorded the (picture-locked) film. 
Lisa then transferred the DV cassette to regular VHS & Wendy gave it to the composer,

. His job takes center stage now.


Final sound mix in 2 weeks. Test shoot for Lisa's film will be the same day (Friday, 27th). 
Wendy's film screen's 28th. So they'll start shooting Lisa's film before finishing Wendy's. 
No time to celebrate. No rest for the weary. Wendy feels it'll be less work to
edit Lisa's film than it was to write, produce, direct, & edit soundtrack for hers.

After a late night of editing audio last week, Wendy found her car was locked in parking 
lot at
Shrine auditorium (closes at midnight). I couldn't go get her, cuz I'd had a couple 
of beers. She sounded dazed & confused, and was planning to walk a few blocks to 
Valerie's house. Valerie, a upperclassman, lives in not-so-great part of town. 

I didn't want her walking thru Watts at 1AM. She finally got a ride to Valerie's from 
another girl, classmate. Valerie has a purple velvet sofa, which is where Wendy slept. 
She walked to school in the morning, no prob. 

Mom was not thrilled about Wendy walking the streets of Watts during wee morning 
hours. Ever since
Van died, she's been protective of Wendy. She's cautioned Wendy 
numerous times since.

Valerie is in a video at Atom films
here (might have to register first, free), a 15-min 
piece about USC Film

The piece begins with George Lucas (Star Wars). One of Wendy's favorite profs, 
Dr. Casper, is also in the video. She recognized prof Boyd's deep voice before seeing 
his face. During the first class for Dr. Boyd's class, they played a funky Curtis Mayfield 
song, while he strutted his stuff down the aisle (taught in
Norris theater/auditorium), 
wearing a cool, gangster hat. He lectured with the hat on.


Dean Daley was seen walking around campus with Mel Gibson & his son last week. 
Heard the Dean was smiling large. =)

Wendy has a meeting Monday, to chart & plan next semester's courses, & the rest of 
her time at USC. There are 3 main areas of focus:

Wendy likes Film best. Directing & working with actors/actresses is most exciting to her. 
The big money seems to be in TV. New media is wide open for those wanting to blaze 
their own trails. We'll know more Monday.

She's been talking to the guys in
Animation dept. They have to newest, more powerful 
stuff for PCs. (Film students get vintage WWII cameras & editing
machines). When 
Wendy graduated in '99, USC graduated their first Animation class (graduate).


We walked thru
Heisler Park last night & stopped at Dietrich's (coffee shop), for some 
late-night inspiration. While standing in line, she started crying spontaneously .. cuz 
it feels so good to have picture-lock, and cuz it came out so good. People were looking 
at me like I was a big meany. 

Fade to black.

Next ->
Home stretch for first 16mm film
Previous -> Completed shooting first 16mm film

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