07 July 2014

Ocean Advance Screening a Success

Last Wednesday, before the holiday weekend, a couple dozen cast-and-crew type folks gathered in the courtyard of the Ocean loft to watch an advance screening of the documentary. Very meta...I know! The loft, you may recall, is the one residency among the complex of micro-restaurants and food suppliers.

SPOILER ALERT: There's some question through the first two acts of the documentary, as to who's going to live in the loft once it's completed. Kevin suggests that he'd like to live in the loft, "...but it depends on my wife and kids."

In the third act, we learn that Kevin and his family have indeed moved into the loft. The day we visited the Cavenaugh family there, they had only been in the loft for a month. This was the day after Pie Spot's opening: Groundhog Day! We were hopeful of completing principal photography, all the talking heads and primary location b-roll, on this day. It certainly felt like we'd been returning to the location more times than anyone expected. Not unlike the Bill Murray movie that commemorates the day!

I made a snap decision that day to have Jack (Kevin's son) give us the tour of the loft. Kevin's mug graced the camera for most of the first two-thirds of the film, and I thought a new character might provide a bit of relief. Likewise, Kevin's wife Beth provides a large portion of the interview bites in the final act of the film, and adds a different perspective to the telling of the family move.

Now, I don't want to give away everything, but I will say that at that time of that the family anticipated being in the loft for only three months. They stayed quite a bit longer and...well, to tell you any more of this story...I'm sorry, it just gives too much away. I do want you to attend the TBD theatre screening later this summer and watch the broadcast premiere on OPB's Oregon Lens later the last week of August.

More details on those developments to follow in a future post.

Okay...I realize what just happened there was not cool. I said "Spoiler Alert" and then didn't give full disclosure about the screening event for the wrap up of the movie. So here's a little behind-the-scenes bonus look at some pre-visualization of an animation we decided to scrap before the final film. I think you'll see why. Be sure to take your Dramamine first!

22 July 2013

Fueling up

Took a break the other day while working on the first edit for The Ocean documentary, I highly recommend giving SLOWBURGER a try... These onion rings set me back a whole 3.00 (and then they just sent me into food heaven!) Highly recommended, I had the seasonal jalapeno infused burger and it was delectable, I'll definitely be back to try the other items.

11 June 2013

Assembly Cut Complete?

Remember our ten minute video? Turns out it's a half hour. Now hold on, don't go telling me that's too long. The Ocean's construction went a year longer than we expected. Kevin and his family just moved into their place this year. And the first tenant just shuttered their doors. We've got to let this play out long enough for a decent epilogue.

16 March 2013

Pics from the Edit Bay

Working on the edit again today. Time really lends some perspective. To have eaten at the Ocean already and to now be going back and pouring over footage from back when this was all a speculative venture really validates the effort of documentation. You cannot recapture the past in this same way without the ingredients of foresight and time.

I'm working on this section of the doc now. When Kevin visits the Kerns Neighborhood Association to inform them of his plans for 24th and Glisan. There's Karl behind the camera with his old hairstyle.

This shot was taken on Groundhog's Day when we wrapped principal photography with a shoot at the Cavenaugh's new residence on the complex. We also did some pickups of vendors' kitchens. Of the micro-restaurants so far Uno Mas seems to have the most buzz, ranking #9 on EaterPDX's hot sheet a few weeks back. I'm a wing man myself, so I have to say I'm really liking Basa Basa the best. Still haven't tried Tails 'n' Trotters sandwich counter though.

06 March 2013

Assembly Edit Underway

This is the craziest way to make a documentary. No money and no time. But I jumped into Final Cut for the first time in months tonight and have been at re-cutting the first half of the assembly cut Karl and I put together over the last couple of weekends for several hours now. I had an epiphany that there was just too much continuous Kevin at the beginning and that I needed to intercut Kevin and Art as they tell their stories. It really helps the pacing. Also, it means a lot less cover will be required. It's telling how similar their stories are. Art is a great reflective character for Kevin. The difference being Kevin had a lot of his career ahead of him when the recession hit.

I threw in English Beat's "March of the Swivelheads" (you may remember this from the backyard chase seen in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.) I know that it's frowned upon to get married to temp track, but I find that it's really helping me drive the energy level that's been lacking.

Here's an article from the Detroit Free Press that features protestors at the closing of Timberline Dodge in 2009. The story as I recall was that a bunch of hot rodders showed up in full force. I also found this Oregonian letter to the editor. One of the commenters suspects a liberal conspiracy in how the shut down dealerships were chosen.

Give me a holler if you're out there.  -SPH

19 February 2013

We Have Something, Have We Not?

With the opening of the Pie Spot just a few weeks ago at the Ocean complex, I've completed principle photography on the documentary short I've been working on. Now I need to cut the thing together. Oy. I'm totally guessing but I think we're up there in the shooting ratio of 80:1. The idea for the short is to use it as a promotional piece to garner funding for a feature length cut, but we want to have enough in the can to make a fuller version should that rainbow lead to a pot of gold. I'm definitely calling in favors on this one! The short has to be high polish to show the level of production quality we can achieve.
Enter ADi. Kate, the kindly owner of this establishment, has agreed to help out with some cool 3D transitions, maybe even an intro animation. I haven't even had the gall to mention the lower third keys yet. :) [She proofs these posts before they go live, by-the-by.] Anywho, I've got these delightful CAD files from the architect and now the question is, how do I make the best use of them? I have a few ideas...
We've shot a bit of timelapse photography in and around the building, not true timelapse, mind you, but just setting the camera up on sticks and letting it roll a good long while so we can speed up 10, 20 minutes into a nice seven second shot or so. One idea I had was to treat the CAD of the building in a similar fashion. Show the building (or a portion of it) being built "brick-by-brick," as it were, to replicate a timelapse-type shot in the virtual world.
Another idea that I had was to use the design files as a transition mechanism for match angle shots. Start with any shot you have by matching perspective, cross dissolving to the 3D, then flying the camera around to the position of the first shot of your next sequence and dissolving back to live action. A variation of that would be to use the 3D as a transition for before-and after shots if you haven't gone to the painstaking effort of matching perspectives in the live action set ups. The key there is to actually make your perspectives different enough that it motivates the transition to 3D--and the virtual camera move.
Lastly, I can really see the usefulness of using 3D to give a lay of the land of the complex. A map would work too, but 3D is way cooler. Why use a static overhead still (or even 2D animation) when you have a dynamic crane shot from the storefront to birdseye view virtually at your fingertips?

02 February 2013

The ocean : principal photography complete

Today Karl and I finished shooting the ocean documentary. Kevin and Beth were gracious hosts. And Jack. Pretty excited to get this cut together and share the story with the world. Anybody love to log?