I've come to the realization that making a movie is a lot like building a fancy custom automobile. There's
a lot of parts that go into a movie, but eventually it all has to come together in a form that a distributor
can sell. If you've ever sat through the credits at the end of a film, you have a rough idea of just how
many people it takes to make a movie (a lot) and some moments make it more obvious than others that
the different tasks have been assigned to a vast horde of talented, creatve individuals who turn
their skill and inspiration into a collection of remarkable components...without, necessarily, anywhere
near enough coordination between the people working on different parts of the project or, for that
matter, anyone who has a clear idea of how all those parts are supposed to fit together.
And so you end up with a large collection of parts: expertly detailed and finished pistons that look
like flamingos; an elegant neo-classical style engine block that, unfortunately, does not have flamingo-shaped
cylinders; an aerodynamically-designed hood that, for reasons unknown, covers the passenger compartment;
three crystal-clear plexiglas tires; axles that are only six inches long; and an eighteen-inch scale model of
Stonehenge hand-crafted in stunning faux-rock finished foam.
...which all needs to be turned into a vehicle capable of driving in the same direction. At the same
I've given variations on the "things you should should keep in mind when planning your movie
shoot" speech so many times I'm sure I could do it in my sleep. Given the way I talk, that
would pose a potential safety hazard to anyone within about five feet, so it's just as well that
filmmakers never try sneaking up on me while I'm snoozing.
But, speech or no speech, I've never managed to escape without at least a few "what were they
thinking?" moments when trying to help filmmakers put the parts they have together into a form
that a distributor can sell and, therefore, be willing to pay for.
Sometimes technology makes it easier to put all the parts together--it would be a lot harder to be
doing the audio and video edits with razor blades and splicing tape--but it adds new challenges,
too. In this week's adventure, the task is to get all the different video and audio elements collected
together and over to a service house where all the necessary masters can be created when everything
was shot and edited in high-definition.
High-definition takes up a bit more room than standard-definition video. In this case, the video elements
necessary to create the master tapes require more than a terabyte of storage space,
so right now I'm waiting for FedEx to show up at my door with a
LaCie 1.2TB Bigger Disk Extreme Triple Hard Drive
which is then going to make the rounds between the various post houses.
Sounds like something that ought to come with fries and a large drink.
Even without the fried spuds and artificially-colored water, it's still impressive that you can get more than
a terabyte tucked away in a portable device that's the size of a fat paperback book. Inside are three
hard drives running RAID 0, which is great for speed, if not ideal for reliability, and it supports USB 2.0,
ordinary 400-megabit firewire, and the new, improved IEEE-1394b 800-megabit firewire interface. Woo-hoo!
Just as well that I finally picked up a firewire-800 adapter since not many motherboards, apart from the
latest offerings from Gigabyte and Apple come with firewire 800 built in.
Now if only FedEx would actually show up and hand me the thing. Then I can get started on trying to
figure out how to get this flamingo digitized and stored in a format that the all the other computers along
its projected orbit can read....