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Undivided: The Preston and Steve Experience

 

Production Blog Page 1 (January 2011)
Go to Blog Page 2>

 

7/15/11 - 7:30pm

IT'S DONE. OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT COMING SHORTLY.

6/1/11 - 9:41pm

The station has passed along their notes and we're finishing revisions now. We'll just have to send it back for one more pass and we'll be wrapping this up!

5/12/11 - 5:18pm

The documentary is finished!! Woohoo!! Currently, WMMR has a copy of it they're reviewing for approval. More to come soon!

4/22/11 - 6:07pm

On the home stretch. Audio is pretty much done, just some minor tweeks. Motion graphics are being worked on now as is color correction and final assembly. My buddy Brett just got some very great news with his family, so he'll be sitting this one out as he needs to work on a nursery in his house.

There's going to be a title change again by the way. I won't be announcing it until it's finalized.

Getting close now...

4/3/11 - 12:49am

Been doing a lot of work in the background, just haven't been blogging about it since it's mostly audio work. Laying in and tweeking the music and narration now.

Paul is here working with me late to get the music and pacing down. It's really coming together.

Not much to talk about, it's just a lot of timing adjustments and subtle changes that need to be made right now. It's going to be fun to watch, some of it has a music video feel to it. The editing is really tight now and hitting on the right beats.

Will be putting in some late hours to finish this up, on the home stretch now, it looks like it's going to be finished toward the end of this month...

3/15/11 - 6:43pm

Currently cutting voice over tracks. More later...

3/14/11 - 7:11pm

We have a new title for the project! The new (still working) title is "Preston and Steve: Off The Air". 

Good stuff!

Ok, so now we're down to the meat of this project. What's left (with some minor tweeks) will be the footage all of you will see in the doc. Some of what didn't make it in will end up as bonus footage as there's just too much good stuff we shot that should be enjoyed. But, in the end we have to keep the timing tight, the pace moving along and the content as strong as can be. 

At this point we're working on adding graphics and cutting the narration tracks. Some of this has already been started but now the press is on to finish this project! Woohoo! After a long production cycle and much going on life-wise, I can't wait to put the finishing touches on here and let everyone see what we've been doing! 

Got a good chunk of stuff done today. More coming soon!

3/2/11 - 7:52pm

Been working in the background trying to get financing in place for Cinema Alliance. It's a bitch when you have a day job (that you don't love) and have to put in 50-60 hours a week to pay your bills and then come home and go back to work on what you truly are passionate about. I have a investment agent in place, a distribution agent in place; it's been a long, hard road and I hope the struggle ends soon. I'm tired, very tired. But I won't give up, ever. I can't. 

Sorry, needed to vent. I wonder what Thomas Edison's or Ben Franklin's blogs would've been like?

Ok. Head calm. Project open. Getting a good, positive vibe going after the purge. Working on the intro segment now. Trying some different directions with it. I interviewed Chuck Damico and will be including part of his interview throughout the intro.

Got some footage extracted, just working on how to assemble it and get the flow right. Will be adding music to help aid the process and get a groove going. 

More soon...

2/20/11 - 5:41pm

Got to work with Paul via speaker phone, official Apple kiss assing here: the IPhone is the ultimate tool. I use this thing for EVERYTHING. I love where the technology is going. 

The music is coming together really well. Paul's the man, he's got some great ideas, we'll be doing some really creative, interesting stuff with the music in here. The guy is an amazing guitarist, I'm his biggest fan. He was actually my guitar teacher when I was 17, we've been good friends ever since. Listening to the track Paul did (with his band Dredded) makes me miss playing with those guys (I used to play bass and create visuals for the band). 

Got a lot done today, good stuff. The music ROOOCCCKKKSSS. The basic music pieces are in place, still have a bit to add but it's getting there. Will be delayed this week a bit as I have a number of business things to attend to and 2 industry meetings, it's going to be busy.

Will post when I'm back in action, should be in the next week...

2/19/11 - 5:15pm

Paul was supposed to be coming over today to help out with placing the music. Unfortunately my good friend is feeling a bit under the weather and won't be able to join me, so we're doing to work by phone a bit and fine tune later. In case people wonder, it can be very difficult to make an indy film when you have a day job, a family, a home and other responsibilities. This project has been especially difficult due to all the red tape I had to go through with the release forms as well. Whew. That's why projects can take years to make, all the unforseen X-factors and the time it takes to re-adjust.

It's all part of the experience and the challenge of being a moviemaker. I love it.

Jotting down some things I need to ask Paul. The lyrics of some of the music make this a bit tricky when you want to be cool and not hokey.

Trying to work in the Bacon Brothers tracks into the CampOut segment. Getting a nice groove going, the music's flowing, the pieces are coming together. Kevin and his brother Michael are talented dudes, the music has a great vibe.

More tomorrow!

2/14/11 - 6:23pm

We're taking a little side-step this week to finish out another project. We'll be hitting the P&S doc hard this weekend adding music and finishing up the editing. More news later in the week. Happy Valentines day everyone!

2/10/11 - 6:45pm

Granny Grand Prix editing round 2 is done. Going to have A LOT of fun working on the music and graphics with Paul and Brett. Good stuff.

Working on an intro segment at the moment that will include the titles. Cutting back and forth between interviews, titles and music. Will be much fun.

I feel like a barber sometimes while I type this. I'm trying to edit but feel compelled to say something in case someone actually reads this. It just reminds me of how people (like barbers / hair stylists) will talk while they work on you. Same with cab drivers. I should be editing when I'm typing and I feel pulled back by my computer. It's a tug of war whenever I type an entry blog-wise.

Got a start to this, will return to it later, need to let some of the footage that I saw rattle around in my head awhile. I think I know how I'm going to put this together, just have to see what kind of puzzle shapes I cut out. Getting excited about this, but having trouble focusing, just need to think about it for a little while.

I think fans and people who don't know about the show are both going to enjoy this...

2/9/11 - 6:22pm

Listening to a variety of music leading into my workflow here, the standout was ELO's "Hold On Tight To Your Dreams", very fitting for my current experiences...

The P&S mixers get pretty nuts. Especially with some of the on-stage contests they set up. The sexiest couple contests are especially fun and get pretty over the top as the goal is to turn on the audience as much as possible in one minute. The couples get pretty wild as they try to one up each other. This is the segment that will put us in the R rated category with the MPAA. 

The cast from the show like to imbibe with the crowd at the events (with the exception of Steve) so they get pretty loose in front of the camera for Brett while he does a post-mixer wrap up.

Mixer is wrapped up for the moment. Two more segments to trim: Blood Drive and Granny Grand Prix. 

Blood Drive is up first...

Not too much to trim on the Blood Drive segment. Will be adding some stats in here as the amount of blood that P&S get people to donate is really impressive. Again, it goes to show what kind of impact this show has and the positive influence they are. 

Onto Granny Grand Prix. 

The documentary has a serious/fun kind of ride to it. It will make you think and then make you laugh. Their show is like that. It's only a downer if they report bad news but they never dwell there for too long before picking you back up again.

Riley Cote from the Philadelphia Flyers makes an appearance in the Granny Grand Prix segment. Riley is a big dude. Super nice guy. He has a good sense of humor and is a big fan of the show. Nicer than the grandmas racing in here, damn! They are ruthless, not afraid to cut each other off and run one another into the wall. The oldest grandma (92) is easily the most vicious. Not kidding.

That's it for the day, got a lot done.

2/7/11 - 7:01pm

Hitting the Camp Out segment once again, working on the interview with P&S about the event. Been doing some homework on this and the amount of people who go without food is a bit staggering. More than you think probably. Stats will be up during the segment, makes you appreciate having a full kitchen and feel grateful you're not choosing between food and mortgage. 

Some funny stuff in here too, I'm leaving most of that for the intro or outro. I just saw The Social Network (which is a great film by the way), and in addition to that after seeing all this garbage reality show crap that glorifies assholes, it's nice to celebrate people who are actually talented and have a good impact on the world. We seem to be over-saturated with tv shows and movies that focus on negative, stuck up douche bags who only seem to take out their anger and selfishness on others and don't give a damn about anyone other than themselves. Why this shit is so popular is beyond me...

So in retaliation, I get to work on a project that highlights cool, honest, real people who are charitable as well as genuinely entertaining in a way that's NOT negative. I hope a billion people see this project. 

Done with the Camp Out segment for the time being. Will be adding some music to it when Paul comes over and helps orchestrate where everything will go. We've got some tunes from The Bacon Brothers for the soundtrack to this section of the doc. Good stuff. The Bacon Brothers is Kevin Bacon and his brother Michael. Their family is from the Philly area, it's great to have music from these guys. 

Back to the mixer segment. Crazyness. 

2/3/11 - 7:04pm

Just connected with an old buddy of mine from college. He's in LA raising a 13 year old and is a professional editor. He's worked on a lot of MTV and reality show projects. Ugh. If I had to edit anything with the word Kardashian in it, I think I'd want to carve my eyes out with a spork. He's a good guy and is getting to work on a music video with Exene from the legendary X. Nice.

Anywhoooo...

Back to Camp Out. This is a really great segment to work on as it reminds me of how charitable people can really be. In a time where there's so much greed and corruption in our daily lives coming from different sources, it's nice to know that people will go out of their way to help each other instead of finding more ways to fuck each other over. One of the great things about his particular charity (Philabundance - http://www.philabundance.org/) is that the food donated goes directly to the people that need it. There's no skimming. It's an excellent cause with immediate results and it's important as they feed a lot of people.

Getting some good stuff going on in this segment. It's difficult to edit down, which is a good sign that there's some great content to go through.

2/2/11 - 9:00pm

Got a bit side tracked. Wanted to help out another filmmaker who's trying to raise a budget for a 48 Hour Film competition. That is the biggest pain in the ass about this business - finding the money to be able to work full time on movie projects. Especially now, the economy is slowly recovering but not there yet. And financing a movie project is enormously difficult. I'm more artist than businessman but I have to be both to run the company, so I study both sides of it very intensely. 

Rant over. On with the editing...

When I was hanging around the team during the shooting of the segment I'm working on, I was there first at about 4:15 in the morning. Steve Morrison showed up first at about 4:38am and I followed him in with the camera rolling. I caught interviews with most of them when they first arrived. Some were chatty, some were just kind of barely awake and sort of slowly getting into a work groove by checking e-mail and doing mindless tasks that many of us do to settle in at our jobs for the day. They were pretty much the same, only sleepier. 

Steve Morrison was the most talkative. Steve's energy is constant, maybe a little slower that early in the morning, but the engines are running all the same. Casey is a blur when he gets in, moving from room to room, checking this and that. Nick is a bit more subdued, he starts off on his computer and slowly gets going. He kind of needs to get that first cup of coffee in order to get fired up. 

Opening segment is done. At least I think this is the opening segment. For now. 

Working on the Camp Out for segment next...

I like using ellipses...

2/1/11 - 8:12pm

Just finalized a distribution deal for our first feature called Disturbing Images. Good stuff! More info about DI and where you can view it soon...

Had to email Troy Duffy's company as I'm trying to get some images from the Boondock Saints films for the doc since Troy and Norman Reedus are featured in here. They're really cool people, nice to work with.

Got a bit done, wrestling with the themes of this segment a bit more, need to step back for a bit and gain perspective. More later.

1/31/11 - 8:39pm

2 days later - it wasn't the furnace, it was a frozen gas meter. Keep an eye out for that one folks. If your water heater pilot light and your furnace are acting hinky, call PECO first.

Anyway - onto the show. Working on the group interview which is sort of a montage of interviews with the whole team about different topics like satellite radio, future of radio and the show, etc..

Editing is an intense artform sometimes. It's all about choices and what your options are, which all depend on what you shot and your imagination. You want to tell an interesting story and how you tell that story is based on the pieces of the puzzle that you leave in. 

You work with the puzzle pieces you have until you create a whole new, more interesting puzzle. One that goes from being just a bunch of shapes jammed together into a slick picture that unfolds into something really cool to look at and enjoy. Lots of ideas unfolding as I work on this. There's even been an epiphany here and there as I wrestle with philosophical debates in my head while I work on this. Luckily working on editing this project is very cathartic (as much artistic expression is) and it frees my mind to clearer thinking about topics I sometimes struggle with. The cool ideas and philosophical realizations just kind of happen... 

1/29/11 - 6:00pm

Ugh. After having to deal with a broken down furnace, getting groceries, running to the bank, paying my bills, and, and, and...And I'm ready to sit down and enjoy being creative for awhile.

The part of the Tattoosday interview segment I'm working on now is at the end with the last guest. His story is the most compelling. The other stories are fun and interesting too. But this last one is a bit more emotional. It will be interesting to watch an audience react to this part of the doc.

Couldn't trim much to that story, will probably have to trim something but haven't figured it out yet, too much good stuff there.

Too bloody cold up here today. Had to cancel with Paul so the music will be placed a little later which is fine, it gives me an extra week or 2 to get the editing tighter. Still have 18 minutes to eliminate which sucks because I still have to add some things as well.

I can't feel my fingers and I can see my breath. I'm done for the day...Stupid furnace.

1/26/11 - 7:08pm

Can't wait for everyone to see the tattoo of the monkey swinging between the nipples of one of the listeners. Great way to start today's blog entry isn't it? Monkey tattoo between the nipples. It doesn't get better than that.

Tattoo enthusiasts and tattoo-less newbies have all gone under the gun for the sake of getting P&S ink. I would challenge ANY other radio/satellite station to be able to boast that they have the same amount of people who adorn a tattoo of the station or a personality as The Preston and Steve Show has. There's got to be a record of some sort here...

Just fired off a question to Chuck Damico, WMMR's assistant programming director and member of the P&S show. I do a loooooott of research with Chuck, he's very cool and responsive. Sometimes it can be like pulling teeth to get people to get back to you in this business, but luckily Chuck is very down to Earth and enthusiastic about what he does. Which makes the process a lot easier. I've had other experiences with different people where it took over 6 months, a multitude of phone calls/emails to get a simple yes/no on one thing. It turned out no.

Into the third interview now. One of the common themes here is that each listener wanted to have a deeper connection to the show. There aren't any stories about the tattoos that are frivolous. Should have this segment finished by Friday...Won't be online tomorrow night, have to attend the January MPEG meeting (Metropolitan Philadelphia Entertainment Group). Great people, nice events.

1/25/11 - 9:56pm

Just had a meeting last night with Brett, he's the dude doing the motion graphics for the doc. He's got some great ideas to enhance the project visually, this is going to be sooooo cool.

Cardboard Classic segment is done for now. Gotta get Paul's opinion on music, pacing, etc.

Working on Tattoosday segment now. We did 4 interviews of Tattoosday recipients. If you've never heard of this - listeners come into the studio to get free Preston and Steve tattoos. You can get whatever you want, but it has to somehow include P&S. What started as something that seemed more temporary turned into something that has a waiting list of months and months to get in. At one point there was about a 2 year wait.

And, like most, if not all tattoos, they have a story.

Just starting to get into this now, will have to knock this down a bit too. Some great tattoos and tattoo stories coming up.

1/19/11 - 9:46pm

11 seems weird to me for the year, I don't know why. It just looks strange, I can't put my finger on it. Did I just say the same thing twice? Or am I repeating myself?

Working on the Cardboard Classic interviews. Thousands of people come out and build huge sleds of different shapes, sizes and themes. It can be a very extensive process judging by how elaborate some of them are. All of this amounts to a run down the mountain for one glorious moment before the trash smasher that awaits below crushes them into a collective cardboard brick. Nice.

Many of the sleds never make it to the finish line as you'll see.

Got some gooooood Karma To Burn music going on in the background.

This segment is a bit more labor intensive, still working on it to get it just right with the music. Will be much fun when finished.

I have a meeting coming up with the Pennsylvania Film Industry Association, should be interesting. It'll be good to represent my company there and meet everyone who's part of the group that helps to fight for tax breaks for filmmakers and is involved in some of the politics. More later!

1/18/11 - 7:00pm

I know there was this whole thing between Edison and Tesla and that Edison came out on top in maybe not the best way, but you have to give it up to both of them for being brilliant inventors. Edison kept a great attitude and accomplished some amazing things, his philosophy is also one of the most interesting things about him.

Sorry, existential moment there for a second, I'm feeling philosophical currently as well.

Back to the editing. I'm a little loopy because I've been up since 4:30am and visited upstate NJ during an ice storm for the day gig. My boss is crazy but I really respect him, he works extremely hard, is humble and confident, a good leader overall. I got home early today so I get some extra time to work today, yeehhaaawww!

Back to the Cardboard Classic. It reminded me of Burning Man in the snow. Lots of crazy sculptures and art you destroy, yep, sounds like Burning Man alright, just replace fire with ice with roughly the same amount of drinking and partying. And skiing!! I love that part. I don't really drink much anymore, but I have seen the results of mixing booze and snow and it ain't pretty. But it is funny. Some of the sleds you're going to see in this segment are really cool. Most of them in fact.

The interviews in here are a lot of fun, the listeners I get to interview are very laid back and just having fun. Nice.

Got a lot done, it was a good day.

1/17/11 - 7:01pm

Had some time away there for some family fun, good times...

Finding the time to do something you truly love and are passionate about shouldn't be an effort. The goal here is to make the dream the thing you spend your time on, to escape the bonds of servitude (mine are self imposed I admit) and get to the point of command in your life and not have it governed primarily by having to work somewhere you don't want to be. Life is too short to do work you can't stand, follow your dreams and don't give up!

Sorry, had to get that out of me.

Back to the show! Working on the Stephen Lynch interview now. Talented dude who broke through on the internet. How does that happen dammit?!

Stephen Lynch has some fun stories. One of them involves his nipples and some electrical cables and Preston and Steve somehow. Hmmmmm... On a side note, he happens to be a good songwriter from a musician standpoint. His melodies are catchy and his lyrics keep you tuned in and entertained. Ok, that's wrapped up for now.

Since it's so bloody cold in here, I might as well work on the Cardboard Classic next. This is another live event held at Jack Frost Mountain during the ski season. Gotta run, can't feel my fingers at the moment.

More later.

1/12/11 - 6:45pm

Ok, Chris Hardwick and Porn or No? are done! Onto the next segment...

Sorry if I'm boring anyone who's reading this. I'm a big geek when it comes to being an artist and filmmaking is by far my favorite art and the one I'm most passionate about. So if I'm gushing, it's because besides hanging out with my wife, or family and friends, getting to do this is what makes me happy. It's my career - moviemaker/CEO.

Next is the interview with Troy Duffy and Norman Reedus from The Boondock Saints films. Norman is also one of the main characters in AMC's The Walking Dead, really good actor.

Another cool thing about this doc is not only the behind-the-scenes radio stuff that goes on, but the interviews in here too. If you're a fan of the Boondock Saints films, you'll really enjoy this segment as you get a nice glimpse into the filmmakers experience. Troy Duffy is known for his brutal honesty. There was a documentary made about him specifically in regard to the controversy behind both movies. I got to talk to him a bit and he's a really nice, down-to-Earth dude. He's got some great things to say both about Boondocks and the film industry, really entertaining.

Have to go hang out with friends and have a nice dinner. Ugh. Don't...want...to...go...must...continue...editing...obsession... ;)

1/11/11 - 7:23pm

Still working on Porn or No? Matching up the video with the board feed, much fun! This segment will incorporate what listeners here on the radio other than just our standard video recording. Just about done with this segment.

Have to stop and catch up on email. I was able to make some calls today between other things and have to send out some business plans for investors to check out. Working on finances is every bit as involved as the actual production itself. Without getting things like distribution and promotions in place, there's not much point in working on a project unless you're trying to get it out there for other people to enjoy. Finances are what pave the way for things like better gear, bigger promotions, festival expenses and of course trying to get your next project off the ground.

1/10/11 - 8:19pm

Going through a board feed (which is a recording of the actual show) as I'm working on the "game" segment of the doc. What game you ask? Well, the title is Porn or No? Played with 3 adult movie stars - Teagan Pressley, Eva Angelina, and Sunny Leone. I won't spoil it for you but will tell you that this segment will be one of the more talked about segments in this project...

This one is turning out to be a lot of fun to edit. More to come...

1/6/11 - 8:12pm

Working on Steve's segment now, I'm going to also be working on getting some vintage pictures from the station. The more you learn about them the more their personalities stand out, which is an obvious point. But the thing that makes it interesting for me is that they seem so much like a unit. They're a great team and it shows on and off air, the vibe in the room is good, infectious. It translates well on the air and through podcasts (which is how I listen mostly).

To give much credit where credit is due, Paul Zerman and Brett Triantafillou are both working on this project. Paul is assembling the soundtrack and figuring out where the pieces of our great soundtrack fit. And Brett will be developing some amazing motion graphics. You should check out their profiles in the about us section of the website. Both Paul and Brett are also contributing as editing consultants.

Had to take a break for a moment to look through some pictures for approval. I love the filmmaking process.

Steve's segment is done, working on Chris Hardwick's interview next. He's a really nice guy and self-proclaimed nerdist.

That's it for tonight...

1/5/11 - 7:00pm

Woohoo! Back in the hot seat!

Working on Marisa's segment now, she's got some great war stories, including one about meeting Scott Weiland from STP.

Done! It will be great to see how everyone reacts to the different segments, there's a lot of fun stuff in here.

Moving over to Nick's segment. Nick almost drowned in ice cream on the show once during drunk day double dare.

Got a lot done! Everyone but Steve's segment is trimmed down lean and mean. They all have a lot of cool things to say, much fun and going to have some great bonus footage. Sorry I didn't write a whole lot, to be honest it's hard to blog when you're caught up in an artistic groove. I just kind of zone out and get lost in what I'm doing, I love that. Administrative work now, ugh.

1/4/11 - 9:45pm

Working on Kathy's interview segment. Paul is planning on using some music from The Niki Barr band for this segment. Take a look at their website: www.nikibarr.com, they're a great rock band from Baltimore. The soundtrack for this project is turning out to be very cool, I can't wait to share it with everyone. Octane is another band we have music from (Philly), check them out too: www.octanerocks.com

Had to pause for a moment, just set up a meeting with representatives from the Smithsonian Institution for Cornbread's contributions to their exhibit. Good stuff, look for the Cultural Expressions exhibit in '15.

Got a bit done, distractions abound with outside forces.

1/3/11 - 9:00pm

Wow, it's been too long. Now you can see one of the reasons why projects like a documentary or independent film takes some time, you have a lot of life in there to experience while you're in the creative process. I work a full time day job as do the other CA collaborators I'm fortunate enough to work with. I'm also working on the financial side of the company which is where a lot of my attention has been lately. There's always more to learn.

I'm back to working on the P&S doc directly. I've been doing some testing with people over the last few months and there's some great material in this project. I'm currently trimming it down length-wise, it's about 2 hours now, too long. Trouble is I decided to add footage. So that means I've got to take things out that will probably get pretty difficult to take out, there will be a lot of extra footage. Some of the footage from the P&S mixer is really pretty crazy as you will see. The nudity and some of the activities at the bar should have an interesting effect if this goes to the MPAA.

Looks like all the blood drive is going to make this cut, going to have some great music here. Actually the whole soundtrack is pretty damn cool. Pardon my bragging but we have some great bands that I'm really psyched to be working with.

Got side tracked just working on editing things down. Back in a groove, more tomorrow!