YouTube link added 02.10.09
9:14 PM, Friday, July 11th, 2003:
Yeah, yeah - I promised last Sunday, but guess what was reeeeeeeeeeeeeally long. Man what a post-production this is. First of all, DOWNLOAD THE TRAILER. I worked my ever-lovin' ass off on it and I think it RULES. Then I'll tell you all the cool shit that's happened in the past week. Well, before that, check out what I started to write the week after Spencer was done:
I cannot believe I'm even contemplating this.
I'm seriously considering reshooting major parts of Dewey, Spencer and Cameron to change the order of the songs, to correct "the flow" problem I spoke about in the Spencer entry. Wig and all, I think it's that necessary. I've started re-writing a new version and figuring out a way to pull this off over the 4th of July Weekend.
No shit. LOL. I must be out of my fuggin' mind. I'm officially too close to the project to make the choice here, but I'm not sure how I can bounce it off someone else without showing them a mainly finished project. Because on paper - everything works perfectly... it's only after you see the performances the "flow" comes into play.
We actually had this problem with the first show. "Washin' up the Genitals" just wasn't funny after Spencer. It always got laughs before in the normal 4tvs show - but the tone was set differently then. Spencer throws EVERYTHING out of whack. So in the first one, I found a way around it and had Adam pull the plug, had the guys talk off camera and it worked perfectly. Saved the end of the show in my opinion.
It may all depend on the yet unseen reaction to Dewey's serious song. If it works, and people ARE suprised, and enjoy the song - they won't miss not laughing. It's the whole theater piece vs. stand-up routine. My goal was not to have the audience pissing their pants the whole time. There is an actual (gasp) singer in me. There is the musical aspect of it that I know I can pull off - and if done correctly I know people will respect that.
I struggled looooooong with this. Asked a bunch of people - ran things buy 'em - and nothing really changed my mind. I was absolutley ready to do the reshoot. It would've solved the sun problem, as I would be redoing the 3 tvs that had no sun and once July hits we have nothing but that out here...and of course I would be able to change the pacing. But one of my "calmer" split-personalities prevailed and I decided against it. What really made me change my mind, is that the show is funny on different levels. The whole situation is funny, and just because the most overt "line" from Spencer's song will probably get the most laughs, doesn't mean the more situational comedy will drag because of it. Spencer's line is song is in no way a climax, and I don't believe any audience will feel that it peeked 15 minutes in. As well, Dewey's song WILL work. And, hell even the "secret location" grand finale even has funny dialogue within. I keep forgetting that. So I dropped the reshoot plans and this past weekend was editing.
Wow. Much, much, much longer than I thought it would be. And I still haven't touched the audio. Actually I don't even have picture-lock yet as there's still a few effects to work with. But for the most part it is complete. Of course I labor over every single moment. If someone's reaction is a HAAAAAAAIR off, I take out frames, or pause them for 3 frames just to make it all work. Not a whole lot of that this time, but certainly some moments that are saved by a few frames here and there.
The transitions are the big parts though. And actually a really interesting part of the show. It's a good lesson in: "There's hidden laughs everywhere if you look hard enough." For example I had Spence's song come right up on all the TVs instead of individually like I had in the last show, and even in G's song this show because I wanted to try something different...but in the end you just end up throwing away laughs. I went back to opening each TV individually so the audience can soak in the look of each person. Yeah, it's the same as it always is - but you just don't take away a laugh. And in this case 2 or 3. It's stuff like that that makes the editing process take so long.
And again as I did for the first, I saved every TV individually as well as put into 1/4 screens so if I ever re-do these puppies in High-Definition I'll have the orignal source already edited and ready to go. So that really sucked the hours out of the day. Because you're constantly changing the TVs even after you "think" you're done. So you have to remake the files individually AND with the 4tvs version over and over again.
The audio however is still miles away from correct. By far the most impossible part of this show is sound. There's the obvious stuff like Dewey's mic had a bit of a buzz to it and I may have to re-do every single one of his lines (ugh). I'm a friggin' badass at looping though, so I"m not too worried. But more than anything, the overall "mix" in a 30 minute show is just painstaking. It's hard enough when it's just a film, but because it's also live it just kinda makes you labor over every detail even a bit more. From the balancing of sound effects to completely producing the songs - to simply making sure every word is completely audible over what could be laughter...I'm never really happy with it.
So when I was done with the first rough cut, I sat down and watched it with a notepad and wrote down 53 things I needed to fix. Heh. That's actually not too bad. Quite a few are audio. The worst is that my ears are so bad, I can barely tell if things are panned correctly. I pan the TVs at 50% to get "some" seperation, and sometimes my ears can barely differentiate it. I'm certain half of my hearing is gone in my right ear. Such a bummer. That and the pain, and the popping - just sick of it all. My boss (chiropractor) thinks she may be able to clear my eustacian tubes that I believe have been full for 10 years. I'll let you know.
Anyway - let's get to the good news. I am absolutely overjoyed with the show. I think it's faster, funnier, more inventive, ten times more creative - everything a sequel should be. Not that the first one wasn't those things, but sequels simply have more demanded of them. Especially considering I'll be playing these back-to-back in many cases. Watching it I still laughed in many places. And more than anything: it's PACKED. There is sooooooo much in this one. So many things to watch. Spotlights on all the members equally - it's just a cooooool show. And when you combine it with the first for a full hour, it should come off as an amazing 60 minutes.
And dear GOD it's unique. I don't give a shit anymore if that's bad. It's me. It's just a wonderful medium as an artist to get to work with. I bet there's a bunch of people that would give anything to be able to have 4tvs. To be able to mix film/on-stage in this way. To be able to act/sing/characters all in one's a blessing that you can fulfill so much of that with 4tvs. That's cool as shit. I'm certain there's many people that have the talent to do it all, but no way to roll it into one. I feel incredibly lucky to have the means to do it.
Now, of course - when am I gonna perform this thing? Honestly, as of right now I just don't know where I could draw...anyone. Columbus of course, but heh - that's in September. I figure Magnolia Apartments is as good a place as any. They have a nice little room - and it's where I premiered the first one 2 years ago. Somewhat of a built-in audience. I'd rather do it at a theater of course, but I just know I can't get even 10 people to come out. I'll figure out something soon.

So enjoy the trailer, there's a few suprises in there. And look for my next entry which will include my new girl, Roxy. Just don't let Jess know.