MadBadBobby: Or How I Learned To Stop Trolling And Love Jesus

The V 48 hour Film Competition is over for another year. I was in The Jump Cuts, a team who have been running for a few years now. I’d worked with a few of the team on other projects, but none of them for the 48.  

For the first time, I was one of the team at the opening, ready to get our genre, the elements, and the V. Elliot and I from The Jump Cuts got there, and I got to catch up with Andy and Chris from ICW Productions and Dan from DMC Productions. The random elements were

  1. Character: Bobby Young or Bobbie Young, an ex-bully;
  2. Prop: a bent piece of wire;
  3. Dialogue: “What have you got?”
  4. Technical: the film must end on a freeze frame.

The genres were announced, and I think I blasted the ears of those around us when we got Musical/Dance. Huzzah! My role in the team increased dramatically.

Writing was underway immediately. Once we had the basic structure, I got to writing songs. I would write on guitar, then teach the song to the actors/team. We’d record it in the bathroom. Turns out, and this is something I didn’t know, I can write songs. Who knew?

We shot one scene on Friday night. Saturday we shot from 7am to 7pm. I was doing the sound recording straight into Camera A, a mix of the camera mic and my Rode mic on boom. I also used my TASCAM Digital Recorder as a back-up.

Saturday night I was working on the music to go underneath the actors as Steve was editing. I was working with Logic Express, until I realised that Garageband, whilst not ideal, has a keyboard input that Logic doesn’t. As I didn’t have my MIDI keyboard, I was using Garageband, intending to export to Logic when I got the film. For some reason, Logic was telling me that the files I had recorded on my TASCAM were 44.1k, even though they were 48k. I tried the settings/preferences, and am still not sure why it said that. Oh well.

Actually Garageband worked quite well, except it didn’t have all the instruments I wanted. If only it had orchestral instruments, so I could get a solo clarinet or oboe if I wanted one. Imagine if there was a Garageband Orchestral programme – that would be cool.

I was working on the music all Saturday night and all day Sunday. I had fun with a particularly problematic song, a duet that had been rewritten by not me, where the actress was singing in F major and the actor in A minor. Secondary superdominants work, right? With a modulation to C Major, and a lovely cadence to end the film.

I had said that I wouldn’t have the time to do the music and the sound design. We only had the two computers (one for editing and one for music), so the sound design wasn’t done.

Time was rapidly counting down. I was trying to get the music done by 4pm, but 4pm passed. I was at the point of ‘this sounds mucky but I don’t have the time to be pedantic’. I was working to the rough cut, and excerpts of the lock-off. At 6pm I bought the computer upstairs and we started linking the music. It synced – I’m not sure how, because I think I exported the file in 44.1. It was about 6.40 then. At 6.50 we were bouncing down the file*. I was sent outside to wait in the car.

Long story short, 7pm came and went. The film finished rendering/bouncing down at about 7.05. We drove to the drop off, and handed in about 10-15 mins late. Which means the film was disqualified: it will show at our heat next Monday, but is ineligible for the competition. It’s gutting, because I think we could have been a contender (at least for our heat), but, oh well, shit happens.

Some friends also handed in late. Apparently, out of the 185 teams in Wellington, 126 were on time. I got to catch up with people at the drop off: team Pants Labyrinth, who I was with last year; Giles; Mike; Logan; Joel; James D.

Once our heat has happened, we can put the flick straight online seeing as it’s out of competition. I’ll put a link on this blog. The title of the film is also the title of this post, and it kinda tells the story. It’ll be interesting to see on the big screen, because none of the team has seen it. I’m just hoping all the score got in and I don’t get embarrassed by all the things I didn’t do. Maybe we can arrange to do some more audio editing and clean up the music for a better version. 

I’m not going to be around for the next one, unfortunately, so this is my last for a while. Thanks to the team, good job, and hope you liked the music. What was your favourite song? I think mine is The Backstreet Abortionist.

*aka rendering. I had this discussion a few times over the weekend, when I found some filmmaker/musician friends had not heard the term of bouncing [a file/song/movie] down. I’m not crazy, it is a term, right? I saw it in Logic, so it must be.

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