Finishing Seafarer: color correction, titles, fiddly bits of clever polishing

Seafarer StillLabor Day is usually about picnics and things. I had a two hour meeting with Mike Feldman and Victoria Nece about Seafarer. Victoria does a whole host of things, from web design, motion graphics and print design, to color correction, animation and a spot of wordpress development, though she’d of course be more modest. For The Seafarer she’s going to do two major things, clean up the color correction and color effects, and make a lot of cars disappear. Once that’s done she’s going to design titles, apply a light vignette and some film grain to the film, and generally polish it to a mirror shine. I’ve met a lot of other people lucky enough to work with Victoria, and everyone agrees that once she’s worked on their stuff, it’s better than they thought it could ever be. She just knows how to improve the level of execution so that things, as she says, look done.

Mike, the director, was on video chat, and so from time to time we’d pause, watch a segment of film with google chat on mute, and then wave at each other to turn the sound back on and go over notes. I’m not by training a filmmaker. Both Victoria and Mike went to NYU and are very good at what they do; I learned most of what I know from them. Despite my relative ignorance I wound up clarifying and focusing the conversation a bit – I guess that’s part of being a writer/producer – but it was an odd feeling. Really I’m just fantastically lucky to get to work with people this talented. We finished up with an (un)surprisingly lengthy discussion of file formats and how to send over the right clips without losing the details of the edit and the existing color work, and testing exports and renders and round-trip capable export file formats. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that this is the fast, modern way, but then I remember horror stories about cutting tape and film by hand with a razor.

We’re all getting together again to do the first actual treatment work next week. It’s going to be exciting seeing what happens, and getting closer to actually releasing this film so that you can all see what I’ve been scribbling about for so long. But for now, I have an evening to myself, and once I get through the irritating bits of office work I always seem to accumulate, I may be able to write some dialogue for Summer’s Twilight…

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