Monday, September 22, 2008
  Cutting a trailer – 5:13

I’ve spent the last couple of days cutting the trailer for 5:13 with director, Arivind Abraham.

The one thing that actually really annoys me about trailers, in general, is how much they tend to give away.  It’s at the point now where I actually AVOID trailers as much as possible.  Especially when it comes down to scary films – I want to go and see a film and jump at the scary parts.  I want to be surprised.  I don’t want to sit there and know what’s coming up.  I want to experience the film with the characters.

Examples of decent marketing campaigns would be Taken and Cloverfield.  Taken’s trailers tended not to feature anything that happened outside the first 20 minutes of the film (for the most part, they featured just the phone conversation between Liam Neeson and the kidnappers).  Cloverfield was pretty much a teaser campaign – going into the cinema, I didn’t know what the ‘event’ was.

I think it’s been several years since anybody’s gone to see a film solely for the special effects.  That might have washed a few years ago with Jurassic Park, but I think the audiences are (more than) aware that great visuals don’t guarantee a knock out film.  That’s sort of why I don’t understand it when film makers fill trailers with all of the killer moments from the film.  I mean, sometimes trailers are treated like a “3 minute version” of a film.  And that’s bad.

So, going into the 5:13 trailer edit, the idea was to make the audience want to go see the movie.  We didn’t want to give away the story, we didn’t want to blow the “jumpy bits” in a trailer.  The goal was to present a minute-or-so teaser that leaves the audience wanting more.

Trailer to follow soon.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008
  Movie Editing Updates (5:13 and The Joshua Tapes)

It’s been crazy busy on the Chaos Created front over the past few weeks, and there’s lots of exciting projects in the pipe line.

We’re cutting the trailer for 5:13 over the weekend.  I was hoping to have some video blogs for you on this one, but there’s been all sorts of issues with codecs, editing software and formats, that it’s been a little bit crazy.  I’ll blog on this at some point in the near future, but I guess the down side of using the latest technology is that you’re often in uncharted waters – that’s certainly been the case here, with all sorts of issues early on in the edit, typically regarding brand new camera, the format they output to, incompatibility between PCs and Macs, codecs, how editing software handles file formats…  You name it, we’ve come across it.  And of course, using the latest technology means that there’s very little documentation out there (even on the interweb).

The end result is that we’re using a Sony Vegas suite now, and the edit is running smoothly at long last.  In fact, we’re about two scenes away from having the first rough cut of the film (minus sound treatment), which is pretty exciting.

Sony Vegas itself is rather new (relatively speaking), and certainly not nearly as well known as, say, Final Cut, Adobe Premiere and Avid.  But, rather oddly, it’s the only suite that’s been capable of handling what we’re throwing at it.  It’s audio facilities, incidentally, outclass any editing suite I’ve come across, which – seeing as we’re working on a horror film, warrants its usage alone.  It’s also creeping its way up the Hollywood ladder at the moment.  For me, the way it has allowed me to cut in HD without the need for rendering, and to run with such a smooth frame rate on an external monitor, has been a treat.

The edit on the Joshua Tapes will be starting the week after next, so hopefully, now that we’ve ironed out the teething problems with 5:13, there should be a bit more time on The Joshua Tapes to write about the processes involved.

Anyway, expect the trailers on both films within the next few weeks.  The marketing is being discussed at the moment – I think the plan is to launch the viral sites very early next year.

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Monday, September 15, 2008
  Some new web sites from Chaos Created…

…We went live with some web sites over the weekend.

image First up is iCandy, which was formerly Accent on Hair and Beauty.  iCandy is a beauty salon and spa in Bristol, UK.  iCandy is one of our longest-standing clients and wanted a revamp to reflect the new direction and rebranding of the salon, and also introduce an online store (which will be added to the site in October).

The biggest challenge was to present a whole bucket load of information (see the text only version for the sheer amount of text involved with such a site) without being overwhelming.  We achieved this by building the site in Flash and using pop-ups to present the information, with images.  Using Flash also allows us to build a site which looks “alive” and highlight some beautiful images.

image The second site is the new web site for The Pineapple, a bar and entertainment venue in Bristol, England.  The site was interesting as we needed to build in the ability for the management to update the events diary, the news stream and also a photo gallery.  And, we needed to do this on a small budget.

We turned to a few open source options, and embedded them through RSS.  The photo galleries are built using Silverlight 2.0, and pulling in photos from an RSS feed. 

The end result is a constantly changing web site, highlighting the weekly events and, through the photo wall, highlight the fun atmosphere of The Pineapple.  And everything can be updated by the management.

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Chaos Created based in Portishead, Bristol, offers web site design servces, search engine optimisation, mobile app development, film production and editing services and more.

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