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

Film 4 is a Wrap

People who don't like this film will likely title it Confronting Death, & dislike it because of its title. I don't think someone who's never met Van will have a problem with it, but it could raise issues with those who've recently lost someone close. Either way, it's not the most pleasant of topics. No matter how nice she dresses it up, mortality still sux. It could just be that I've been looking at Van & people people talking about Van for a week now. I'm glad it's done.  

She crammed about 16 mins of footage in this 8-minute film - with multiple video & audio tracks playing at same time, layered together. About seven hours of raw footage distilled into an 8-minute piece. It's packed. She finished about 1AM last night. She'll no doubt be tired puppy today.

She did a voice-over yesterday (her own voice, narrating, thots in head), which gets emotional. Personally, I didn't like the emotion-filled narration. Some parts were hard to hear because of the emotion in her voice. She made me go away while recording the voice over, so I had no chance for input until the final product was (already) done. 

I felt like she tries to get viewer to feel her pain, & empathize - rather than simply communicating her pain. We'll see how well it holds up in the 'shredding machine' (profs/class). She knows to emotionally detach when they turn the projector on ("we are not our art").

Her profs thought it might be a good idea for her to try some comedy (probably cuz her films are serious). This piece is not funny - not even close. There's a surprise ending, which may or may not be funny to some. Humor is largely subjective anyway. By the time you get to the end, anything that even resembles humor will pass for comic relief. =)

Strength of this film = its multitude of images, footages & audio. There's no time to get bored. Technically, there's so much there. Clever the way the viewer feels like he/she sees & hears the images & sounds of her thoughts as she walks the shoreline on a foggy day. Most of the time the viewer see more than one clip at a time. It's a smorgasbord of images & people speaking about Van.

This film was the best so far before she began editing the audio. It was late last night when she finished, and I was too tired to get much from it, but my overall impression was that it rocks.

I'll encode to MPEG-1 & RealVideo tomorrow or the day after for those who'd like to download & check it out. Quality suffers with encoding (compression) for the Net, but you'll get the general flavor of the film.

Her new video-editing card is a champ. I wasn't sure everything would be okay until the final project was actually dome (on tape). Initial releases of revolutionary products are known to be fraught with compatibility issues. We have only one, minor issue yet to be resolved.

Wendy shook hands with Dustin Hoffman Monday (she loves Dustin). She was ecstatic. Said, "He made a lot of great films. He touched me. Now I'm gonna make a lot of great films." I told her, 'I don't think it works that way, honey." =)

Her acting prof is working on a project with Dustin at a theater off La Cienega. Dustin had about 25 people there, which left room for some students to tag along if they wanted (after class). Wendy said there were other famous actors & actresses there, who she recognized, but couldn't remember their names. 

One was Reese Witherspoon, who just did Election (we have not seen) She talked to Reese for a while, who just had a baby so is taking time off from acting for now. Small talk, but she enjoyed.

The Oscars are setting up at the Shrine auditorium. Wendy usually parks at the Shrine, but now they have the whole parking structure taken up for the Oscars. She says people have been camping out for a few days now - to get good seats. The Shrine is right across street from USC campus.  

Writing seems to be her weakest area. She spends the least amount of time working on writing scripts. For a while there, she was writing for a couple hours, first thing every morning. But no more. Editing & audio/sound are her strongest parts.  

Only one more film remaining this semester. No plans yet for film 5. 

Next -> Film 4 Report Card

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