One Month to Go!

In case you hadn’t noticed the giant banner proclaiming it on the front page of this site, Duke & The King will premiere one month from today: April 22, 2012 at 9pm, as part of the Nashville Film Festival.

Kris and I have been working tirelessly to wrap up the film. Well, I say tirelessly. I’m actually pretty tired right now. 16-hour days and 7-day weeks will do that to a person. But it’ll all be worth it once we see the finished product on the big screen.

This week has been all about tearing the film apart just to put it back together again. You see, when we started this thing, the Panasonic DVX-100 DV camera was all the rage for indie filmmakers, because of its ability to deliver 24 frames per second video shooting (just like everyone was accustomed to from film) and a very film-like look for only a few thousand bucks. It was quite revolutionary at the time, and that’s what we shot on for the first few years.

But it wasn’t HD. Affordable HD cameras hadn’t really hit the market in 2005-6. (They would come a year later.)

Since the bulk of the footage shot in the early stages of the film that would become D&TK was SD, so were our edits. A lot has changed in six years. And the production approach of the film evolved as much as the story over that period of time. A few years ago, we did several shoots that still utilized the DVXs, but also integrated some Sony HD cameras in the mix. And with the most recent shoots we’ve done, everything has been shot in HD on Canon DSLRs.

This week has been about addressing that evolution in the edit. Over several months, we have been conforming all of our old edits left over from Bayou Country (how Bayou Country spawned D&TK and then became absorbed into it is another story altogether) to 24fps, from the 30fps TV standard. Once all the sequences were at 24, we had to make sure all the footage was, too. Between the various cameras we used and all the archival material in the film, that was quite a task,

Now, we’re in the process of up-res’ing all of the SD footage to HD for the final film. Without going into an excruciating level of detail only editors would appreciate, it’s a lot of work.

Later tonight, I’ll be piecing the first half of the film back together, integrating the native HD footage with the newly up-res’d SD footage. Then I’ll start the same process on the second half of the film.

Welome Outpost Pictures to the D&TK team!

We’re excited to announce that my old friend and uber-talented colorist, Chris Tomberlin of Outpost Pictures, will take delivery of the project tomorrow to start the process of color grading the film. Color grading is the new-fangled digital term for what used to be called color timing in the film days. Again, the speed at which the evolution of technology has allowed such sophisticated looks to be created on relatively affordable systems is dizzying.

Chris has his work ahead of him, matching the various cameras and lenses on some of our shoots in to a cohesive look. Beyond just matching and correcting shots, Chris will work with Kris and me to enhance the visual language of the film. Color grading will not just make the film look pretty, it will help lend meaning beyond what you hear the characters say or see them do. Gotta love the power of cinema!

Well, I hear the “surface dwellers” in my home calling me up from the basement for dinner. more updates to come…

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