Super 8mm Film Footage – Sundance Film Festival

thismaybethelasttime-photoI recently attended the ‘friends, family, and movie-people’ premiere of This May Be The Last Time, a documentary produced by Matt Leach, Sterlin Harjo, and Christina D. King and directed by Harjo. This was the first feature-length film backed by This Land Films a section of This Land Press based in Tulsa, OK. The premiere took place at Circle Cinema in Tulsa on the heels of a successful debut at Sundance Film Festival in January 2014. Here is the posting about the film on the Sundance site.

I was hired to work on the film last year. I worked with the director and producer and other members of the cast and crew to capture re-created historical events that took place decades. Though, there was some original home movie footage of other stuff they could not unearth any archived footage from this particular significant event. So the goal was to re-create several scenes in a manner that might pass for film footage captured in the early 1960s. Super 8 film shot in a hand-held ‘man-on-the-scene’ type way was used to create a stylized, authentic appearance.

Coming into the picture I had seen a rough cut of the film and I understood the scenes and what they wanted to capture.

The shoot was a memorable one for me as many of the shots took place with me standing in the North Canadian River with a camera in my hand. All told we shot 7 rolls of film that day at 24 fps which amounted to about 17 minutes of film. The film stock was Agfachrome 200D Color Reversal film and shot on a Canon 814 XLS.

The intention was to use about 5 minutes of the footage. I was happy to see that every roll of film turned out wonderfully; good light, good focus, and framing. Plenty of the footage made it into the final film and the trailer.

I was happy to have been given the opportunity to share in this experience. The documentary is beautiful, heartbreaking, and uplifting, all at the same time…it’s a story worth watching.

 Posted below is the official trailer for the film:

 

The Good Soldier – Notes 22 – GOAL ACHIEVED – Submitted to Sundance

Let’s go back to November, 2008 when I posted this. At that time this was nothing more than an idea. That’s it. An idea. I came up with this wild idea to write and produce a film with the ultimate goal of submitting it to Sundance by the deadline for the 2010 exhibition. Yesterday, that goal became a reality when the film was received by Sundance on the final day for short film submissions.

The amount of money I spent pursuing this dream was nothing compared to what I gained from the experience. This was my film school.

People ask me, “Where did you come up with the idea to make a movie?” I don’t know how to answer this. It’s always been there. It’s just something that I have always wanted to do. Those of you who are climbers understand this drive in terms of climbing: what makes you want to climb? It’s just desire. What more can explain it?

I learned more about the process of filmmaking, creating, directing, and cinematography than I have in all of the books and articles I’ve read and classes/seminars I’ve attended. There is no education like experience.

I have to thank everyone that has so generously dedicated their time, their resources, their advice, their insight, their knowledge and their energy into this project. I am indebted to you all and look forward to helping you with your creative endeavors. I sincerely thank you – you deserve an enormous amount of credit for everything you’ve done and I hope that, in some way, this film, this experience, is a means to propel you in the direction of your own goals.

For those of you out there considering making your own movie – either in film or video (I’ve made clear that there is a difference, right?) – I hope that this online journal has provided some idea of what the process is like. I know when I started searching online for information about the day-to-day activities that occur in the making of a film i found it difficult to find much online. Most sites and books cover the bigger picture of shooting a movie – and those are great, as well as necessary – but sometimes you want more on-the-ground nitty-gritty information about what it’s really like and what you can expect. Undoubtedly, every project is going to be slightly different in terms of the experience – this was just my experience – but maybe knowing my experience will make it less like driving in fog when you head out on the road to make your own film (sorry for the corny metaphor).

All of that said….let’s move on.
This is only the beginning. I want people to see this thing!

I’m working on more film festival submissions. And I’m working on securing music rights for a couple of songs in the film. After that is settled I will begin showing the film locally and (hopefully) some indie-distribution. My goal was never to make money on the film – but I’m not saying it wouldn’t be nice to pay myself back for my efforts! Plus, it could mean the chance to make another film. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves….

The Good Soldier – Notes 21 – Music Score, More Editing, and Sundance

At this point I’m really too tired to write anything. But you can tell by the title of this post that a lot is going on. I’ve been working on the film nearly all day every day this week. We recorded the score on Thursday night. It adds an entirely new dimension to the film. It’s amazing.

I am holding a private test screening for a few people. This should help me get an idea of the type of reactions the film generates. After that I may make more changes before the next festival submission.

The deadline for Sundance is Monday and it looks now that I WILL have it there on time.

More later…