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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

3 Lousy Sentences

It happened again. Last night I was at a networking event, and the dreaded question was asked: "So what's your documentary about?" I could go on for hours. But, that's not what people want to hear, and that's not how to sell a documentary. I need a snappy three sentence this-is-what-the-thing-is-about. Funny thing is that I've struggled with this since I started making the film. It makes me think that maybe even I don't know what the film is about.

Imagine: Tokyo...Early 21st Century
The city is flooded with gaijin...
foreign men seeking their fortunes
in the wild, wild east.

Most will crash out or cash out within three or four years
Tokyo Cowboys is about those who stayed.

That's the best I've come up with so far.

Emailed the music rights company to get advice.
Continued to build the TC network (this is my secret marketing weapon to be revealed later)
Worked the day job.
Rice and beans...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Finally managed to compress the film onto one disc using Compressor...yeah. I've started to distribute the disc around again. I'm just ready to move on to the next step, which is locking the picture and sorting out the sound. But, as Orson Welles said, "We will sell no wine before its time."

Friday, June 22, 2007

Half Empty...Half Full...

This is the glass half empty:

I'm just getting so frustrated. We finished the 4th cut on Wednesday and were going to burn the DVDs on Thursday. After spending hours exporting the Quicktime file and importing into DVD Studio Pro, we find out that the film won't fit on one disc. Not, we have to figure out how to compress (read picture quality suffers) or burn it onto two DVDs (really inconvenient for the viewers) or burn it onto a dual layer disc, which is about 5 times the price of a regular DVD. I won't even go into the nightmare it has been to try to source these discs. Give me an effing break!

The glass is half full:

Hurrah! We've finished the 4th cut. It will take us a few days to iron out the technical issues of burning it onto DVDs (we are becoming tech wizards!), and then we can send it off to our viewers. We are so so close to a picture lock.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

4th Circle of Hell: Can anyone else smell that?

We've got the 4th cut, or pretty much near the 4th cut. Patrick is in Sweden for a few days, so I watched the whole thing over again and made notes. My notes are getting shorter and shorter, which, I guess, is a good thing.

The rights could be an absolute nightmare. Coppe and Terminal11 have been so cool. They have given me permission to use "Bird's Midair Heatstroke" at the beginning of the film, so that's one down and 67 more to go. Been doing a lot of research on Fair Use and have found some good stuff at Center for Social Media. Also went to Borders today and read a bit of the The Documentary Film Makers Handbook: A Guerilla Guide, which clarified a few points...mostly that I should have raised more money and hired a music supervisor. Live and learn.

But, still...there are some things that I have no idea about. For example:

Home video Mark took years ago at EWC (permission was verbally granted at the time)
Video of a live Sumo event that we shot
Video of a Baptist revival that we shot

Well, onwards anyway...haven't gotten a paid gig in ages so back on the rice and beans:

"rice and beans, rice and beans, we love rice and beans!"

which means some wicked farts are coming out of my butt.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Recent Stuff

OK, so we're almost at cut 4, and I think that might be a picture lock (although we will remain relatively fluid until the Online). Patrick has been fast forwarding through all of the tapes (500+ of them, as you might remember). He's looking for possible shots that he might have missed. At first I thought this was a big waste of time, but it's really paying off. The last time he looked at all of the footage was 2 years ago. At that time, we didn't really have a film. Now we do...we have a context. The bits and pieces he's extracting from his breakneck revisitation are adding richness to the film.

I've been tweaking the voice over, researching rights, and trying not to get overly excited. I have a festival wheel on my fridge. Sometimes I just look at it and dream of that future...that very near future.

We've been showing a few people cut 3.2. And, we are getting extremely good feedback. We showed it to MK the other day. He's Japanese, so I was very keen to get his take on the film. He really liked it, and he thinks that it will have a market in Japan amongst the Japanese. That is fab. I just hope the cowboys are ready for that eventuality.

After this cut, we are going to show it to some really hard critics...just to see if the film and the two of us can stand up to it.

Friday, June 01, 2007


Just got the wedding video from Mark. It's actually better than I expected as I wasn't expecting a TV Infomercial featuring their wedding. It's fab! Patrick quickly cut it together, and I wrote the voice over. New he's laying it over the scene and popping it in. That will bring us to cut 4.

Spoke to DJ a few days ago. He watched cut 3.1, and he really liked it. He biggest criticism was that the film seemed to end too abruptly. He wanted to see a "where are you now" bit for each cowoby. Actually S & M mentioned that when they watched it as well. So, I've written all of the cowboys to see where they are now, and I've got the scoop. So, we'll cut that in to 4.0 as well.

Rights are giving me a headache. Where do I start? There's all of Ken's TV stuff, the Patrick Harlan TV & Radio stuff, "I'm just a Girl" (I've heard that Gwen Stefani never gives rights). And, I would need them given as I don't have any money.

Tired now.