Sunday, May 2, 2010

Successful Screenings

First of all, thanks to everyone who has been following the progress behind the scenes of "Coming Off the DL!" I hope you were able to come to our screenings at Villanova University this past Friday.

The screenings were incredibly successful! The first screening was at 7:00 for Villanova dignitaries, cast and families of the cast and crew. We got a standing ovation, which was so rewarding after all of our hard work. My favorite part was seeing the reactions of Frank and Nick and their families. It was so moving. It was an amazing experience to be able to share their lives with an audience. Our second screening at 9:00 was open to the public and was full of friends and Villanova students. The cinema seats just over 200 people, but it was completely filled with standing room only in the aisles, the back and even out into the lobby since we left the doors open. I was so happy to have so much support!

So, this is my thank you...to those who worked on the film, to those who shared their lives in the film, to those who supported us throughout production of the film, and to those who came out to see the film!! It was an incredible journey. I hope other people in the crew will share their thoughts and experiences on the blog.

If you have any questions, feel free to email vudoc2010@gmail.com and we would love to get back to you!

Margaux

P.S. Congratulations to the rest of the crew!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rendering...

The editors just informed me that the process of editing the still photos in the beginning of the film took over an hour and a half. This was for a sequence about a minute and a half in length... This process is called rendering, and this process is why the editors haven't slept in the past few days. Jay slept on his couch in the editing room. And he isn't actually homeless; he was just working that much.

I ran into Frank yesterday and he was very excited for tomorrow. Well, Frank kind of ran into me. His chair has got some power behind it; that thing was hauling. The dude is like Jeff Gordon.

Oh, and the film screening is TOMORROW!!! Yes, that's right!!! Come to the Villanova Cinema tomorrow at 9 p.m. I promise you will like it. If you tell me you don't like it I will have Frank run you down with his chair.

Hope to see you all there!!

Justin

P.S. Desiree is a wonderful editor, she just has horrible taste in hats. It must be an editor thing (sorry Matt, I'm sure if you ever wore a hat it would be very nice).

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Production Company Name

We have created a production company for this film. Yesterday we had a series of names for said company including, but not limited to: B-Roller Productions, 15 in 15 Production, 70s Couch Productions, Homeless Hat Man Productions, Segment X Productions, and a few others that all have inside meaning that no one else will consider significant. We settled on "Steal This Productions," despite opposition from Margaux, who thinks that we will have our equipment or material stolen because karma. Just don't steal our stuff please.

Topher is working on sound for the film and I think it is going well. You can never really tell with him because he is usually pretty laid back regardless. Trish is usually a better indication, but I think she has had too much caffeine pumped through her system at this point. I expect her energy level to be normal sometime around mid to late June.

3 more days!!

Goodnight,
Justin

Monday, April 26, 2010

"Mastah B-Rollah"

Matt will from here on out be known as "Mastah B-Rollah" or "Master B-Roller" for those of you who are not Spike Lee fans. He is going through interviews and matching them with footage to make the film flow nicely. Go eat a bowl of rice with chopsticks and you might get an idea of how laborious this process can be. Luckily we have Mads and Lindsey who have catalogued the footage really well. Don't get me wrong, Matt might still need to be committed after this, but it could be worse.

It has recently come to my attention that Margaux has been putting titles to my various blogs... We all know how I feel about people messing with my blog masterpiece. Ask Michelangelo how frustrated he'd have been if people decided to draw on his ceiling. And yes, I am implying that I am the Michelangelo of blogging.

Jay keeps telling me that he is in fact not homeless. I am skeptical. Megan says she can't figure out how to comment on the blog even though I said something nice about her in it, and Erica's head is in a frame where we were shooting Frank. Having just re-read that last paragraph, I realize that sleep deprivation is getting to me so I'm just going to quit now.

Goodnight everyone!!

Justin

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Single digit countdown!

Five more days!! Thats how much more time we have until the screening. It is safe to say that the couch in the editing room is getting more use than any couch should ever get. And no I am not saying that Jay is homeless; he and the others are just working that hard.

The editors have come up with a rough compilation for the conclusion of the film. If you have ever seen "Mighty Ducks 2," this sequence is as exciting as the thrid period of the final hockey game in that movie. For the rest of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, I can't help you. Go watch the movie. It's kind of like the in "The Notebook" where Rachel McAdams goes back to that town and starts making out with that guy who needs a haircut while she is in a tight dress and it's raining. Just even more awesome. Yeah, our film is going to be that awesome... And yes, I do like "The Notebook."

Remember, the screening is at 9:00pm, April 30th. Be there.

Justin

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Editing, editing, editing...

Editing, editing, editing... and oh yes, a little more editing. Right now I cannot emphasize enough just how happy I am that I am not on the editing team. This is my first experience in a film production setting and I must say that these individuals are the slaves of the production crew. I am trying to think of some slave metaphor to describe just how tedious the process is, but I'm drawing a blank. Sorry guys, I guess I'm just not on point today.

In other news, if you have yet to read the latest issue of Villanovan, our film is featured is a very nice article. My picture is in it and they make me look professional. I know! I didn't believe it was possible either! Greg, Frank's aid, is mentioned as Frank's nurse. L.I.N. (Live in Nurse) is apparently our new nickname for him, because we don't give him enough crap as is. For a complete list of topics we give Greg a hard time about please email me at givegregcrapjustbecausewecan@gmail.com (just kidding).

The screening for "Coming off the DL" is only eight days away! We are screening it in the Connelly Cinema, April 30th, at 9:00pm. All are welcome. Seriously though, if I know you and I see that you don't have the date marked in your calendar I will say something mean about you in this blog the next day! Don't test me. Ask Erica if you don't believe me.

Speaking of Erica, she just sneezed violently and felt that me making fun of her for it was not nice. She then proceeded to hit me. If you see her on campus please do me a favor and glare at her.

Here is the link to the Villanovan article: http://www.villanovan.com/coming-off-the-disabled-list-1.1374765.

Happy Earth Day!

Justin

This message was brought to you because of the inspiration of Madeline Reynolds. In other words: she is sitting next to me and is complaining that I never talk about her...

Monday, April 19, 2010

It's coming together!

Today we worked on narration for a bit. I think I would be a wonderful narrator, you know, because my voice is all James Earl Jones like. Apparently other people don't agree with me. Oh well.

After the narration, JT and I met up with Trish and Jay. Trish felt that a decent apology for stealing my spot as blog writer (She wrote the last post. Trechterous right?!) was to let me hold her phone... Jay took still shots of Frank, Nick, Jon, and Greg. And yes, he still insists on wearing his old person hat. JT on the other hand was not wearing his hat. I suspect the critters living in that thing finally decided to walk away with it. Trish, our fearless leader, was leading the shoot... fearlessly... I really don't know what she was doing; I was too busy answering her phone.

Topher has been pulling all nighters and making insane music for the film. I have had the intro theme song stuck in my head for a solid five hours now. I've also been playing imaginary drums for that alloted timeframe. He's a really good musician. One of my friends from back home once told me that skinny white kids (at the time he was referring to me) don't have any sense of rhythm. Well Topher just wrecked that theory.

It is now time to edit so I've gotta run.

Justin (NOT Trish)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Progress Report

Greetings from the "Fearless Leader" as Justin likes to call me.
I just felt like I needed to chime in on this blog, to give an update and let everyone know that I have officially recovered from my encounter with Jay Wright and Scottie Reynolds. Speaking of which, JT and I were getting food during an editing break and Scottie came up the stairs to 2nd Storey and he totally recognized us and said hi. Admit it, you're a little jealous. =)

At this point we have the first 7 minutes or so of the film pretty much set. We need to add some finishing touches, but the story and the audio are pretty much locked.

Next we have to get the crux of the whole film, Act 2, pulled together. That is going to be a lot more complicated and time consuming, mostly because we have so much great footage and we need to edit it down to 12 minutes.

Just to give you an idea of the time commitment for 2 minutes of footage there's at least 7 hours of work, between editing, sound mixing, adding B-roll, color correcting, etc.; and that doesn't even count the time put into actually filming it.

So at this point we have 13 days until the screening and a whole lot of work ahead of us, but everyone is giving their all to help get it all done.

Shout out to my editors, try and get some sleep while you still can.
Much love to the Documentary Task Force (too much? Eh, I thought I'd give it a try).

Trish

Friday, April 16, 2010

All-Nighters

Tonight was the first "official" all-nighter for the editing crew according to our fabulous director. I am currently sitting in the editing room watching the process continue... it is 3:56pm. Our TA, Jason, just said we could have this weekend off to do "personal things." What he didn't say was that this film will be our life for the next two weeks. This is the process where, if you happen to run into members of the crew on campus, you should not be alarmed if we are talking to ourselves under our breath.

Topher is focusing on the music with a tenacity and vigor that one wouldn't normally expect to see from someone with the rasta mindset. I know this because we have been yelling at him for the past minute and fifteen seconds and he has yet to answer. His headphones must be really nice.

At this point we have over 200 still photos of Frank and Nick, along with over 80 hours of footage, not to mention home videos. Don't you just love seeing images of people from long ago when their hair and clothes styles were just ridiculous? The icing on the cake is when we get to see said images in their presence. "What were you thinking?!" has become a very common phrase in the editing room. Seeing a picture of our Dean of Admissions in neon jogging "attire" was one of my favorites.

JT would like to get shirts labeling us as the documentary task force. Not sure how I feel about this. Jason has also been wearing an old person hat for the past week or so. You know, the type of hat that you only see in fifties movies. I'm not sure how I feel about this either.

Lindsey is sitting next to me eating my Fritos. I borrowed her computer and I think this is her way of getting back at me.

If my next post is not in English it means I pulled an all-nighter with the editors and am just one step closer to losing my mind...

Light a candle for me!

Justin

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hi from Nick's house!

Hi from Nick's house!

Nick has a message for the audience: I am honored and privileged to be sharing this with you. I hope I can motivate and inspire you to do things that people with no limitations can do. Don't fear the obstacle. Take it head on. You can do it. Thank you, and looking forward to seeing you on the 30th!

We had a great day interviewing Nick and his parents. There was beautiful weather so we filmed outside. We were served too much delicious food from Debbie Gaynor that was greatly appreciated.

Margaux & Nick

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Interviewing Jay Wright and the basketball team

Today we interviewed the Villanova men's basketball team so they could all brag about how funny Frank is. It went very well. Coach Jay Wright was running late so he gave the crew $200 and said we needed to take ourselves out to dinner. He also gave Trish, our director, or as I like to call her "our fearless leader," his cell phone number in case he was running late... I believe Trish is still in the health center after suffering from a fainting spell.

Tomorrow is the day when we get to film at Nick's house. This should be fun. We need to get better grasp of what Nick's home life is like.

In other news: Greg is still bald. Trish is hopefully recovering hastily (remember Trish, dehydration is the enemy!), and Topher has not cut his dreds off yet, much to Dan's shagrin.

I will let you all know how the shoot goes tomorrow.

Justin

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Working, working

The crew is currently meeting in our finally usable production room. The room has had issues with security, or lack there of, so we have had to edit elsewhere. Now we have a centralized area that is allowing us to work more efficiently. I just asked the group of recent developments in the production that I may be unaware of.

Matt is the head of our editing department and he just informed me of his recent progress. Up to this weekend we have gotten a disproportionate amount of footage of Frank, leaving Nick with a few clips here and there. After the shoot at Nick's high school, Matt has been able to balance out the storyline with more content including Nick.

Topher, the head of the sound department, is also planning on starting the score (the soundtrack for the film) this weekend. The score must be constructed after the raw footage has been put together somewhat. Topher is a master when it comes to sound...trust me, he has dreadlocks.

Tomorrow we will be shooting interviews with the Villanova Mens' Basketball Team. These should be very interesting. Frank is a manager of that team and we are all very excited to hear what they have to say about him.

And lastly, I am using Erica's computer so I would feel badly if I didn't announce that she is working very hard on the project, which must be difficult with me snagging her computer all the time :-)

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Justin

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Friday filming

Yesterday, a film crew ventured to Nick's high school to figure out just what he goes through on a day to day basis. Also, many of the teachers just wanted to brag about him from the sounds of it. I personally was not there, but I understand the shoot went well. Trish and Margaux, director and line producer respectively, told me they got some good footage which will balance out the material we have of Frank.

I actually had the opportunity to hang out with Frank for an hour or so today. We grabbed some food and watched Sports Center. He knows more about sports than I ever will, which means I can no longer make any kind of claim about any sport because he'll probably know its not true...

Goodnight everyone. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Justin

Thursday, April 8, 2010

B-roll

Yesterday was B-roll day. B-roll is the name for footage that is not what we call visual evidence; it is basically background. In this case we were taking footage of the Villanova campus. Frank lives on campus and next year Nick probably will as well so it is important to establish a setting for our story. Luckily it was a beautiful day outside and the campus was in its full splendor. (I was also on the shoot so I like to think that the footage we got was spectacular... You'll all have to be the judge when you see the final product).

Our director Trish, Mike, Erica, and I were the first group to shoot yesterday. We got some great shots of the buildings around campus and some students enjoying the sun. We had some trouble because when people see a camera on them they tend to change their behavior. It also may have had something to do with the fact that many of the students were sunbathing and may have been uncomfortable with the cameras.

Trish and Erica were soon replaced by JT. Mike, JT, and I got some shots of the church and of Bartley Hall emptying after classes ended. I think these shots really reflect the ambiance of the campus in the spring. There is somewhat of a chaotic yet peaceful atmosphere that is comforting to me. Having seen Frank cruising around outside after shooting with a huge smile on his face, I think he feels the same way.

I am currently sitting across from Megan, our head of the writing department, who is struggling with writing a synopsis for the storyline. She has proposed wonderful ideas so far and has molded all of our ideas into a very nice storyline. Erica just came in with pizza so I need to go!

Justin

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Title: "Coming Off the DL"

Hello again everyone. I hope all of you had a wonderful Easter and your travels went smoothly. The documentary class had our first session after the recess today. We discussed titles, and logistics regarding our premier. The premier is only 24 days away which always seems to sneak up on you faster than you expect. We seem to be hitting the ground running though; the editing team is currently molding our raw footage into what we all hope will be a powerful and informative documentary.

We just received word that we have permission to shoot and Nick's high school. We are sending a film crew to interview faculty and friends of Nick on Friday. We also want to get some good footage of Nick in his natural environment. We shot at Frank's high school a few weeks ago and we hope to have the same success this time around. Nick seems to be somewhat of a celebrity with the Villanova girls basketball team (not that I'm jealous) so I imagine he's as much of one in high school.

Last Thursday we interviewed Frank, who has a new board. It allows him to speak via a computer program. He had most of the film crew on the floor laughing. Personally I think I had a minor heart attack but no one seems to believe me. At one point we had to have him repeat a response because several people couldn't contain our laughter.

In a recent development (drum roll please), we have settled on a title: "Coming Off the DL" The DL is short for the Disabled List for those of you who do not know. It is a listing of injured players on the roster.

Enjoy the absurdly beautiful weather everyone!

Justin

Ps. Erica: I'm sorry I let Meg steal your chair today :/

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Interviewing Frank

For those of you who have never met Frank, which I assume most of you have not, he might be one of the funniest people alive. In his interview yesterday he had the crew cracking up for a good hour or so. He was asked questions about his experiences at Villanova relative to High School, about his family and friends, and about girls. I find it remarkable how open he can be divulging these personal feelings. He really doesn't hold much back, and it is very refreshing to be around someone that comfortable in their own skin.

Frank cannot speak so he uses a board to spell out his words. Nothing sophisticated, it's just a piece of plastic with letters and some common words on it that he point to. Some time ago he got an upgrade; a computerized keyboard that speaks for him from an automated voice. Yesterday was the first time any of us had seen him use it. At first it is somewhat odd because the voice sounds like a navigation system you might have in your car. I was half expecting him to tell me to take the next left or something, but once I got over the voice it was really convenient because it allows him to communicate much faster.

The crew will be shooting at Nick's high school after we return from Easter Break. This should give us a better perspective of what Nick's high school experience has been like. Hopefully we will get some good footage and hear some good stories from his friends.

Have safe travels for those of you going somewhere for Easter,

Justin

Friday, March 26, 2010

Here we go!

Hello Everyone,

As many of you may know, the main subjects of the project are Frank and Nick, two individuals with CP. Frank is currently attanding Villanova as a freshman and seems to be adapting fairly well. Coming into this academic environment over an hour away from his home in New Jersey has not been an easy transition, but he seems to be making the most of every day thus far.

The title we all hope to agree on is still eluding us... "The Sixth Man" is currently the working title, which we all agree should be changed. What to change it to has been a pressing issue for some time now. Hopefully we will have a title soon...

Today, the editing team will be getting together to go through more of the 50+ hours of footage we have so far. Last Thursday a 1 hour or so segment of clips were prepared for the class to view; I think the general consensus was quite positive. Most of the footage so far is interviews, and from here on we are hoping to document more footage of our subjects' day to day lives.

Justin

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Up and Running!

Hi everyone!

We are just getting started with our blog, but that isn't the case for our project which has been in the making for months. As you may have realized, the documentary is currently untitled - we're close to making a decision but you'll have to wait a bit longer to find out!

In the meantime, check out the slideshow that is now up and running on the side of the page! It will give you a little insight into our project as you see the production stills from the past few months, and hopefully will give you a taste of what's to come.

So here's the deal:
  • keep checking back right here for more information on our documentary.
  • follow us on twitter! @comingofftheDL
  • get updates on our facebook page
  • spread the word about our project!
Thanks guys, more updates coming up soon!

Molly