Building Bones

Developing a shot list from a screenplay is a little like plotting your newborn baby's path to the presidency. One minute ago, there was infinite choice -- two minutes ago, this thing was just an idea -- and now all possibility must be stripped away until there's only one plan, the plan that will become the movie.

As the writer, the process is humbling. I typed out the scenes imagining how a great master with an unlimited budget might shoot it. Now, reality has checked in. Perhaps I won't be able to shoot the Army of the Deep emerging from their aquatic caves to slaughter their gill-deprived cousins. At least not for $1,000.

(For the record, there is no Army of the Deep in the $1KF... or is there?)

As the director, however, I've had an enormous amount of fun. I feel very fortunate, as I've been able to watch this movie again and again in my head. I've probably seen the $1KF 40 times and we haven't even shot a frame of footage yet. To structure out a scene, I lock my brain into Tivo mode -- stopping, rewinding, skipping ahead. Every time I see a new shot, I log it and move on. I can do Tivo one better, though. If I decide I don't like the framing of the shot, I get to re-shoot it on the spot. If only editing was this easy.

Which, of course, leads me to the point of the entire process. It's my job to be sure that we capture all of the pieces our editor is going to need to build the movie I want to make. One method is to shoot every scene from a set of standard angles: Put the actors in place. Shoot a wide. Shoot a medium. Shoot a close-up of actor A. Shoot a close-up of actor B. Move on to the next scene. Repeat.

That approach will make you a movie, but it probably won't make you a good one. It's the directors job -- shit, duty -- to put his or her stamp on every scene so that the edit can't help but reflect that director's plan.

Chattacon 2K8

It's recovery time here at Digitribe World HQ, as we regain our senses from the big party at Chattacon '08. Many thanks to the organizers and guests of the convention for making us feel welcome as we screened Geekin', after, and debuted our brand new short film The Statement of Randolph Carter. As usual, we had a great time up in Chattanooga, staying in the world famous Choo-Choo hotel, and partaking of the gallons of free beer. The highlight, however, is always interacting with our great fans, fellow filmmakers, and all-around wild characters that make these conventions so fun.

Now if only we hadn't been too drunk to record entertaining video for you.

Up next: What-the-Hell Con in Greensboro, NC.

Stay tuned to the site for updates on when you can check out The Statement of Randolph Carter, plus new info on the super-sekrit $1000 Film Project.

Late Night Edit Session


It's been a painful, delirious ride ... but I think the trip is almost complete. After a weekend post-production sprint to finish "The Statement of Randolph Carter" - I looked up from my keyboard today to find that there wasn't really anything left to do save make a render and show it to a test audience. (Hopefully, the test audience will have a tad less "brain fatigue" than I) If you can't quite picture the manifestation of said "brain fatigue" - just watch this video.

Content and your comments

So, if you haven't already, you should totally go check out the two episodes of the Uncanny Valley podcast that are posted in the podcast section of the site. And, once you have checked them out... you should post comments there demanding that Andrew do more episodes. He's totally not listening to me, and only the voice of the people will convince him that it must be done.

On a similar note, we'd like to hear from you regarding what you do and don't like about the site. Head over to this thread in the forums and give us your feedback on the new site!

The New Year

Well, it looks like another New Year is upon us. This past year has been a good one for us here at DigiTribe, and we're looking forward to an even better one this year.

The launch of this new site is the first of what's to come this year, and we're all pretty excited about it. The new site is big step towards something that we've been working towards for a while now, that being a truly integrated and diverse community site. We've created (and by we, I mean the people that can do more with a computer than post blog entries and check email) a great place where you'll be able to see updates on our projects, talk with us on the forums, and view the things that we're creating them, whether they be podcasts, original music, comics, or videos. Members will also be able to set up blogs, and read the rantings, thoughts, and musings of the DigiTribe team.

In other news, we're hard at work editing our newest short film, "The Statement of Randolph Carter." It's something that I'm really proud of, and I can't wait to share it with all you out there.

We've got a number of other projects in the works right now as well, including the $1,000 feature, a new podcast, and a super secret project that's currently in the planning phase.

As always, the DigiTribe crew will be out and about, perhaps even terrorizing a convention near you. We'll be posting the whereabouts of our upcoming appearances here, and if you see us out there, stop by, say hello, and share a drink.

Yep, it looks like this is going to be a good year. Thanks for being part of it.

oooohh ... ahhhhh

Ok, so today we launched this brand new website. Most of you who have been with us for a while now know that it was LOOONG overdue. We've done our best to consolidate a lot of content here under one virtual roof - while making the site a cool, fun place to continue building our community. So, now you have it. A community that we have been slowly building for over 10 years finally has a online home that helps us BE a community.

We are still, of course, rolling out new features. Over the next weeks and months expect a lot of new cool functionality. (Like new content types, ability to upload your own media, featured blogs, chat, profile comments, etc)

In the meantime, take a moment to fill out your profile - and dig into discussions. We're looking forward to your comments and contributions. This site is as much about YOU as anyone.

Doesn't the director get to say "that's a wrap?"

As my illustrious colleague noted, this Saturday we wrapped filming for "The Statement of Randolph Carter," a short film adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's story. We started planning for this project at the start of this year, had a false start on it back at the beginning of the summer, and after having put it on hold for several months, knocked it out in two days of filming. We made a lot of technical leaps in this film, putting new techniques we'd learned into practice, testing out new equipment, as well as departing stylistically from our past projects.

It was a nerve wracking process for me, and I lost a lot of sleep over this project in the past two weeks, but I do think it was worth it. Though we're not finished with the project yet, I'm proud of what we've done, and the level of work that everyone put into it. As we enter into post production work, cutting the film and scoring it, I am still very excited, and still energized by the thought of continuing to work on this. I know that when we are done that I will be able to stand back and look on this with a sense of pride and accomplishment, and that's a great feeling.

That's a wrap.

Tonight we wrapped production on "The Statement of Randolph Carter", a short film we began development on in February of this year. It's sad that it has taken us this long to get it in the can, but I am very glad we did. This production was littered with stumbling blocks, but we did our best to weather each one of them with grace and professionalism - even if it did mean putting the production on hold for several months while we worked out location woes - and altogether shooting the film nearly 6 months later than planned.

Better late than never.

I'm going to be busting ass trying to get post-production on the film wrapped up in the next 4-6 weeks. So, hopefully you guys will be able to see the finished film soon.

Award winning short film


I was recently notified that "after", our 7-minute zombie short film from earlier this year - finished in the top three at the recent Dismember the Alamo film festival at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX.

Woo! It was very cool to get a chance to SCREEN something at the legendary Drafthouse. To actually take home a prize is flattering, indeed.

I have to say, the guys who run that place are super cool. I'm looking forward to my next trip to Austin just so I can hang out and have a beer with them.

Red Envelope goodness

So, we've recently made an arrangement with one of our North American distributors to start providing Geekin' to Netflix. So, starting today - you can rent a copy of Geekin' online.

This, of course, does not relieve your obligation to buy your own copy... but nonetheless, it's kinda cool.

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