I have mixed feelings about releasing this, but to be honest, I feel like I owe to at least a few people here (I owe them more than that, and I still struggle with that debt, but that’s a conversation for another time).
In college, I had an extreme ambition to do something no one else had done, and although I finished it, it took a great deal out of me. This film could have gone a hundred different ways, and I chose the most difficult path…I wouldn’t do it the same way again, and I wouldn’t advise anyone to do it the way I did it, either. I was a student doing something I shouldn’t have been allowed to do – very much the story of my life.
I’ve wanted for a long time to be able to show this as a finished product to everyone that contributed, but I wanted to do it the way that I promised, and I can’t say that will ever materialize in the way that I originally envisioned it (much like the film). That said, the spirit of the story, and Frank Herbert, is unmistakable in the film and it’s message, and releasing the work of so many people is something that is long overdue.
I put this on vimeo as a screener for festivals that aren’t into the whole “withoutabox” system (some of the biggest in the nation still don’t use that system). It’ll say “festival screener” across the bottom every so often, and until I send out copies to those who are supposed to have them, it’ll remain that way.
Thanks to everyone who gave me support, and stuck it out with me to the end. What has tipped me to present this in this way was something I’d read about Shane Carruth on his film “Primer”. It took him two years to finish it, and he almost abandoned it on multiple occasions. He barely returned to film after Primer was released, with the release of the film “Upstream Color”, nine years later.
Stellar performances from all of the actors: Kevin Deming, Miriam Swinehart, Jason Lawton, Tom Doyle, Shawn Rickell, and Jon Diack. Many thanks to Aaron Saye, Jessica Paddock, and Dylan Blair, and the Herbert Estate – I couldn’t have done this without you. And for everyone else I did not mention, you have in no way been forgotten, I’m just not gifted with concision, and this post is already too damn long.
So, here you go: Frank Herbert’s Cease Fire, in full for anyone who wants to view it:
It’s been a long time coming, but we’re finally going to have our premiere party in Denver!
I’ve been working on this film – from the very beginning when it was just me highlighting passages in my favorite book of short stories, to the end where the credits finally roll on the film in a few days – almost three years. It’s been my life, and I’ve been through a lot since it started…I’ve been building on this film, pixel by pixel, in every second of my spare time during college, and it’s been a long process, but here we are, and it’s finished.
The showing is going to be at the Oriental Theater in Denver, Colorado, on Sunday, May 20th. Doors will open at 5 pm, and the show will start at 5:30. There will be gifts for the cast, crew, and contributors, and the showing will last about 45 minutes (there will be two other pieces showing that I’ve directed recently, totaling up to about 11 extra minutes). Here’s the link to the facebook event:
This really couldn’t be done without the support of a great many people – the finished film can be credited to no one person, but many people, and I’ve been blessed to have them work on this project with me.
Hope to see you all there!
The past few months have been spent performing color grading (among other things) on Cease Fire, and the process has been made easier with Colorista II. If you haven’t heard about it, you should check it out on the Red Giant website: Magic Bullet Colorista II.
As a software plugin, it has really taken off, and earned some well-deserved notoriety lately, through work done by Stargate Studios, on shows like AMC’s The Walking Dead, and ABC’s PanAm (read the Red Giant article about it here: http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/news/stories/20/).
The software itself has an ease of use that really makes it worth learning, it puts major studio production tools into the hands of the consumer, and it’s multi-platform, working in the timeline in two of the major Non-Linear Editing programs, Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere / After-Effects. What’s so awesome about that is that when I work on the grading on my macbook pro, I don’t have to worry about my editor picking up right where I left off without issue on his PC laptop – the workflow carries over, and makes it easier to use both Windows and OSX without compatibility issues.
One thing that I actually have begun to love about Colorista is the slew of tools that it comes with, and how you see the results right away:
“Skin overlay” shows you if your skin tones are within the acceptable broadcast range of quality – use it, and keep your people looking real, and right.
“Pop” feature – this one is key…in this film, the characters need to look, well, worn out, and a little aged. Pop, in the negative, would actually make some people appear more youthful by softening their appearance, but in this case, when used in the positive, it adds years to a person’s features; “Hulser”, played by Kevin Deming, needs to look a little bit older, and “Pop” does the trick.
Working in the timeline is huge – FCP’s Color is a standalone program, and while you get access to some of its tools, there is a functionality to Colorista II that really is just more helpful in general, primarily by giving you access to almost everything it does within the timeline, thus making workflow more continuous and efficient.
And the secondary key is absolutely one of the best versions of this tool that I’ve ever seen…
These are just a few of the features that I’m really digging into, but there’s a ton more – absolutely worth giving a shot, and it’s on sale right now, if you’ve got a few bucks to put toward a worthwhile tool of the trade.
Stu Maschwitz also has a gret tutorial on Colorista II on the Red Giant Vimeo channel, which can be found here: http://vimeo.com/13271908.
Once the film is finished, I’ll be posting before/afters – could be a little while, but worth it.
And for those of you who don’t speak italian:
Thanks to Luca for the article! 😀
All artwork copyright © Jacob Collins 2011
We’ve been working all summer at the special fx, and have had some interesting things happen along the way:
The Digital Animation department has joined up to do some work for us in RealFlow for the first scene, which is great!
Rotobrushing has been a long, tedious process, as it always is (for anyone who doesn’t know, if you don’t have a greenscreen behind your subject and you want to put them in a different environment, you’ll end up using Adobe After-Effects Rotobrush to get the job done). A small chunk has to be processed this way, doing hands-on work for 24 frames of footage per second, for almost 4 minutes of footage. That’s approximately 5,760 frames…it’s a lot of work, but completely worth it.
There was a scene that required the interior of an aircraft, which had eluded us since the beginning, almost a year ago. I had spent the last 8 months looking hard for this shot, and it finally came through…persistence is everything.
And, I had found a deal for a great price on prizes for our Kickstarter contributors, but the deal went away before I could get it, and it set the whole process back a bit. The process is now going forward, posters are completely done, and USB drives are almost done, pending artwork color approval on my end.
This is it for now – things are moving along, as they should. Granted, the process is slow, but this sort of thing takes time to do right, and there is just no point in doing it any other way.
And please, tell your friends to come by and keep up via the Facebook page as well! http://www.facebook.com/frankherbertsceasefire