Refuge The Movie
Refuge The Movie
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Refuge The Movie
 

Sidebar, September 25.  

Posted by:

Mark Medoff

,  September 28, 2009.

We got two DVDs into FedEx at 4:30 yesterday afternoon.   Ginger should have them early this morning and will deliver the DVDs with the entry package, on which she worked as hard as we worked on the cut and the mix, to the Sundance folks this afternoon.  Deadline is today.  I don't know whether begging for inclusion in the festival is appropriate, but given the chance, Ginger can charm anybody.

Speaking to a younger student several days ago.  Conversation I've had for forty years, one I had with my mentors prior to that.  To aspire to work professionally in the arts is to make some peace with the fact that your ass is out there to be patted or paddled.  Each new project, I am consumed by the work, the act of making, and I forget for a while that ultimately the work will be defined publicly by others, dissected microscopically or named with a single adjective.  So, here we go with REFUGE, the creation of a  bunch of fiercely dedicated and fearless friends.  And we are friends, if you define that word in its plural as people with whom you have a bond and a feeling of affection, if not outright love.

As always, as we watched the cut to make sure everything was as tidy as we could make it in a hurry, there were some weird occurrences.  Eric was able to fix a couple on the fly,  The Dave had been up all night preparing a mix with a bunch of changes from the day before.  Though there were still a few oddities, I let him sleep.  We'll have to fix them as we slow down now to do a proper mix.

JD Hinton and Ross Vanilli start on the music today.  I am fascinated to hear what comes from our spoken conversations:  words to notes is an altogether mysterious journey.

My play, THE SAME LIFE OVER, opens tonight, as it happens.  Las Cruces is a well-spring of creative activity, as are a number of cities in the barely 2M population of NM.  I credit the theater people I met when I first arrived here in 1966 with not only schooling me but starting my life in the theater with a simple invitation:  "Why don't you write a play and we'll put it on."  There is very little as pleasant to me as someone inviting me into his/her theater to work.

The Black Box Theater was built -- and is maintained -- by two former Biology professors at NMSU, Ceil and Peter Herman.  Amazing people.  They actually bought a piece of property downtown Las Cruces and built a theater from the ground up, despite the claim from the ether that "The theater is dead." 

My cast of five were all involved in some way with REFUGE.  Two were extras, two were featured extra.  David Edwards, a fine actor, had a speaking role in a sizable scene with Linda that, sadly, we decided to cut early on because of various reasons, mine being that the writer (me) had written the scene too early in the movie, its essence concerning an act of defiance that the director (me) felt came too early in her transformation from an abused woman to someone who had been victimized for the last time.  Dave is the actor in my lifetime I have worked with the most.

The photo above is of the entire cast and shot by one of New Mexico's most noted photographers, Mike Groves.  The photo projected on the wall is also by Mike, who shot several dozen photos to back drop the play and place the audience in the proper environment for the scenes, which tend to be short and across a wide geography, very much like -- Hmph! -- a movie.

Ginger received the REFUGE DVDs and hand delivered them to the appropriate Sundance people.

Monday, back to work on it.

Sidebar, September 25.


Refuge The Movie


September 23, 2009  

Posted by:

Mark Medoff

,  September 23, 2009.

No matter what we do, it seems, as we race against the clock to make the Sundance deadline day after tomorrow, we always have 4 pages of notes. I've found as a theater director, the better the show gets the more notes I have.

Eric fixed several issues overnight -- a couple of odd splices that resulted mysteriously via the coloration software and a couple of befuddling freezes. He called at 7AM to say he was in the editing bay and The Dave and I could come look and listen (he put The Dave's latest mix on late last night; don't when -- or if -- the kid sleeps).  Still issues of one sort or another: a strange little skip here, odd sound issues there.

We've been rushing The Dave; we're really at the beginning of sound mixing, but he's done a great job of evening out dialogue, enhancing the difficult to understand, dealing with some of the background noise, putting in a bit of foley.

JD waits for a DVD of this early AM's version to take to LA with him. In the end, if that version has to be the one that goes to the Sundance adjudicators, so be it.  We plan to have another go at some revisions today and tomorrow morning, then send a newer version via FedEx to Ginger for Friday morning delivery. She'll hand carry the object of our united efforts to wherever it is in the Greater Los Angeles Area the Sundance people do their work.

Eric went to class (I hope not to be responsible for him flunking out of school). The Dave and I finished a look and listen and The Dave headed back for his cave over on McClure St. in north Las Cruces.

I ran home for a gluten free lunch of water and cardboard. Sitting in my office now, catching up on e-mails, writing this, and waiting to go meet my graduate school writers for three hours of freedom from my own work.

Refuge The Movie


Refuge The Movie


September 21, 2009  

Posted by:

Mark Medoff

,  September 22, 2009.

I have been delinquent in my blogging.  Teaching a class at NMSU, another at the University of Houston, plus directing a play of mine called THE SAME LIFE OVER downtown.  Eric Cameron has taken over for the Frischberg editing men.  Eric is one of our students at the Creative Media Institute for Film & Digital Arts.  I am amazed how much the kids of his generation know about media and digital anything.

We did some reshoots and pick-ups two weeks afgo -- mostly material that clarified and directed the eyes to a particular something that enhances or reinforces the viewer's understanding..  Eric slid all of that material in. Reuben did some color correcting, with astounding software; his choices of color nuance boggles the already boggled mind.

We are to look at a cut this morning, color corrected and with a first sound mix.  Eric just called to say there are some issues.  For all the wonder of computer technology in film post-production, the machinery scares the hell out of me.  When I sense in the voice of my young expert his own fear, terror strikes me.  Murphy's Law -- all that.

Later the same day:  Yes, we had computer and software issues. Crash. Couple of close ups that  were frozen in the cut we watched. Something had happened between The Dave's studio, the editing bay, and the television in my house.  Several conversations conducted with rapid heart rate and Eric and Dave figured the problems out.

Reuben and I went to Dave's.  I went home at 5 to meet JD Hinton, our composer, who had just arrived, to have dinner and head for rehearsal.  Driving to the theater, talked to Reuben and Dave; they were still together, going through our sound notes.  Eric texted me in the middle of tech rehearsal:  computer crashed.  Wouldn't reboot properly.

End of rehearsal, checked my messages.  Eric.  Everything working fine again.

JD and I talked about the music for an hour.  Slept.  Rose early to meet The Dave for breakfast at Break An Egg with JD.  Woke Eric up. The kid is giving his heart to this project.  As is The Dave.  I wonder what kindness I did for someone sometime in the past that brought people like these guys into my life.

Reuben is heading for LA this morning.  His brother Josh and wife had a baby boy yesterday.  Named Morris.  Morris' grandparents, Bob and Phyllis Steinberg are a whole lot thrilled.  Bob calls me Maish, I call him Murray.  Maish, Murry and Morris -- three Jewish guys who own a deli in Burbank.  Can hardly wait for Morrie to start slinging pastrami.

Refuge The Movie


Refuge The Movie


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