performances at the
19 S. Fountain Avenue
Oct 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, & 10
Tickets $10 at the door
Crystal Justice, myself, John Weeks & Sarah
Smith look on as Ryan Hester's Tobias Ragg
hocks his wares.
-- photo by Larry Coressel
Our slightly abbreviated Tech/Dress week went well despite technical
difficulties like the crap chair. Monday we got a new one that actually works but
the decision was that it was too late to have actors start trying to perfect the
drop down the grate hole.
I would do it but I don't think all the other actors are game. Though I know some
Now we have a more esoteric interpretation of the murders, not as graphic nor as
striking as the violent deaths with the chair collapsing and sending dead bodies
into a hole, but it's working better than I had anticipated -- though I would lie if
I said I was happy we are doing that instead of using the chair and the drops. Still,
now our job is to sell the gag we are offering.
Regardless of that particular piccadilly the three rehearsals Monday through last
night went well. I think we had a very good Final Dress last night, though my
personal opinion is we had some sluggish moments.
Decided to take part of the morning off tomorrow. I overslept this morning due to
the late nights this week and just figure I should just plan on coning in late on
purpose tomorrow rather than do it anyway as a "tardy" issue.
Also, as you can see above, the promo video is shot and done. I shot it Monday
night and finished the edit yesterday and posted it.
So we open tonight. In the words of our director about our production: "It's
exactly like the musical, but completely different."
A view from the balcony shortly after the house was open on
Opening Night of Sweeney Todd. Though not
distinguishable in this picture, there are a few early
audience arrivers down in the very front, before the stage.
Our Opening Night performance had a good feel to it. We had a small audience,
maybe twenty people, so they were subdued in their responses, as small audiences
tend to be. But we still did a good performances.
I think had we had more energy wafting at us we would have been charged a bit by
that. I personally think we could have been revved a notch or two on the energy
scale anyway. Still that's not to say we had anything like a bad night for our
performance grade. We did good.
Of course, there were flubs -- nothing the audience would recognize, though. I am
aware of one missed tech cue and was told of another. My own flub -- very
minor as to almost not be a flub -- was to say the word "blabbing"
rather than "babbling." I can live with that.
One show down, five more to go.
On another note, it was suggested that the music is too high in the mix for the
promo video and I tend to accept that as probably true. But, since there is no
dialogue to obscure, I am not going to "fix" it.
Michael McDonald (The Bobby) & myself watch
Randy Benge (Judge Turpin) sentence Michael
Eresman (The Thief)
-- photo by Larry Coressel
SWEENEY TODD SECOND SHOW
The sophomore outing went well again despite being plagued with far more line
flubs and various goof-ups.
At a critical dramatic moment a metal prop was dropped back stage and cascaded
down a small flight of concrete steps with the accompanying racket.
For me, the line blunder was to jump ahead one line while in the court room
scene with Judge Turpin (Randy Benge). Turpin asks Beadle where Sweeney Todd's
shop is and Beadle is supposed to say, "Hardly a minute
from here. I'll walk with you." Turpin declines the invitation then, in
a distracted manner says, again, "Where....?"
to which Beadle responds, "Fleet Street, his shop is. His
name's Sweeney Todd."
Instead, when first asked where Todd's place is, I said, "Fleet Street"
-- then I realized I said the wrong line and added, "Hardly a minute
from here." I was gong to tag on "I'll walk with you," but Randy
moved on and again asked where, that second time, so I just went on and said the
second line as it should be, repeating the Fleet Street reference. I'd have
preferred this hadn't happened but it was not a glaring screw-up, so, no big deal.
My other goof of the night was low-rent amateur. I tried something new and untested
with a prop in front of an audience. Stupid and foolish and it failed in a most
transparent manner. I pulled the hammer back on Beadle's pistol during a scene
where I am threatening to shoot Todd. The hammer did not lock but rather came down
with a clear click whilst I am discussing whether I'll shoot or not. At the moment
of the failure I was yelling at myself in my head:
You amateur moron!
Another lesson learned that I am chagrined to say I even had to learn. Oh well,
"DOH!-Boy" strikes again.
The third show went well, too. The energy seemed up from Friday night. Must say
the audience took a while to warm up; they were much more responsive during Act
II. We in the cast give credit to the wine at
Again I was happy with my own work but not overwhelmed. I had two
DOH! moments. The first was getting trapped on
stage in the wrong spot during the market scene for the second night in a row.
Friday I got stuck there because another actor jumped ahead a line and I lost my
window to move stage left. Last night something else happened and I am not sure
what, but I was caught in the same spot in the same moment of the scene. I had to
squeeze behind Ryan Hester (Tobias). Many in the audience may not have noticed the
clusterbust; theatre people would -- and did, since I spoke with two whom I know
after the show.
The other was a synapsis short circuit during my scene with Jessica Broughton
(Mrs. Lovett). I'm actually not sure anyone knew about this one but me. As I
opened my mouth to say a line I momentarily drew a blank on it. I hesitated for an
instant and it may or may not have been noticeable.
I noticed it.
Still, yeah, though, we did a good show.
MEANWHILE, EARLIER YESTERDAY AT THE GUILD -- AND TODAY:
I had started the day off yesterday with a special meeting at the Guild then stayed
around to help a bit with the finishing touches of the Sunshine Boys set.
I painted a brown, upright rectangle in the set's apartment building hallway so that
set designer greg Smith could later draw a three-dimensional-like door to the
apartment next door. I also painted the walls of Willie's bathroom.
But, since I'd had to attend that £µç!<¦¦\¦@
9:30 a.m. meeting and I did not to get to sleep in the morning after my Friday night
show, I did duck out from the Guild early to get home for a nap before the 6:30
Ralph Dennler (Willie) & Don Campbell (Al) during
today's tech rehearsal for The Sunshine Boys
I did go back today but rather than working on the set I did a bit of painting in
the theatre general. Touched up a few places and helped to finish some painting in
the lady's restroom.
The Sunshine Boys was having their cue-to-cue and tech whilst I and others,
including Natasha Randall and Craig Roberts, who have small roles in the show,
painted. I peeked in a little bit. Looks good.
I'll be back Wednesday to show Natasha and Craig hosting stuff since they are going
to take on most of that for the run of The Sunshine Boys. They are only in a
small bit of Act II so they have volunteered to host a
Hey, I am far more than okay with that arrangement.
I have some shopping to do, too. I may do that tomorrow after work.
On another subject, I have not found the time to edit that second short movie, the
companion piece to
Going Dark. Perhaps
I can grab some edit time during lunches at work on my laptop.
the loveliness of my
Plus I have time tomorrow night. Though I do need to start looking at some scripts
to potentially audition for. And I have months-worth of mileage and expenses to
log. Fortunately, as far as the mileage, between my iCal and this very blog, I'll
be able to pinpoint every trip.
We had a brush-up rehearsal last night that one might be able to loosely categorize
as an on-your-feet run. A few principal actors were missing due to work or illness,
so some scenes or parts of scenes were skipped when the characters of those absent
were the primary focus.
And it was cut-up night, joking around and having fun with it all. The lines were
ran, but the blocking and characterizations were thrown out the window. Well, mostly.
I actually did my blocking, but I, and I was not the funny man/woman of the night,
did not attend to whatever it is I have settled on for Beadle's persona. I did one
scene as a very proper, upper-crusted, Queen's-English, gentleman, another as
Yosemite Sam and one as a bad attempt at Peter Seller's Inspector Clouseau. But
since my comedic abilities are bland at best -- (OK,
they suck) -- I was not even close to the highlight of the evening.
There were many hilarious moments, but from what I saw before I bugged out --
I left soon after my work was wrapped -- the peak of the hijinks was
Laura Buchanan and Bengt Gregory-Brown switching roles for the asylum scene. Now,
Bengt still did Fogg's lines, but he was bound as Joanna should be and Laura was
doing Fogg's blocking and mouthing approximate words as Bengt spoke them from his
place of submissive posture. It was really very funny and, I must say, rather well
I'm sure there was more after I left. But I wanted to get home to FinalCut *(see
NEW GUILD SHORT MOVIE COMING:
I am in the midst of editing that second short about the move. This one's a bit
more involved than
Going Dark is so
the editing is not as straight-forward. I have some significant amount finished,
but will need to spend some time polishing it off with the garnish of stills. The
pics will be mostly of, but not exclusive to, all the work that's been done in
the Wayne building over the last fourteen months.
You know, I am not sure when I started the editing project for this. I think
it may have started at lunch time at the rent-payer on Monday. Now that I think
about it, that's probably it. I do know that I procured the royalty free music
Monday evening, whilst watching reruns of
Last night I finally put the freeware I downloaded a year ago,
to use. So there's a cool little morph from the old DTG logo into the new one at
the start of the movie.
Along with finding and adding still photos to the movie, I also will have more than
a little text on screen, much of which I haven't fully conceived beyond concept. I
also have a closing sequence that I have planned but have not produced as of yet,
though I did gather the elements together.
My hope was to have the movie cut and out there before The Sunshine Boys
opens this Friday. It's not impossible that will happen, but I am thinking it's
Well, there WOULD be a pretty cool picture here except
that I left the camera at the theatre.
Decent performance last night. Kind of a tough crowd.
A few actors complained that they were off their games. I noticed nothing amiss.
See you there tonight.......right?
I'd say I mostly have the new short movie edited but there is some detail work to
finish. I knew I would not be posting it today, or earlier, as I had hoped.
Meanwhile, of course, Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys is opening tonight. My
well-placed assumption is that we have a good show going up, but I have seen far too
little of the rehearsal process to know the score and temperature.
Auditions for The Hallelujah Girls are this coming Monday and Tuesday at
7:00 pm. I have no other details.
Brent Eresman, Michael Eresman, Carrie McKeever, Sarah Smith,
This is the pic I had planned to post yesterday but could
not because I'd left the camera at the theatre Thursday.
This is from backstage left. Note the haze from the fog
machine. It lingered a little longer and thicker than usual.
But it makes for a cool shot. That's Laura Buchanan &
J. Gary Thompson on stage.
Several nights I have been pulling the camera out &
taking shots of the audiences just after the curtain call.
This one is from last night. In the front row, in the
red & the black tops, sitting next to each other, are
fellow actors & THE CASHIER cast members,
Heather Gorby & Heather Atkinson, respectively.
SWEENEY TODD JUST ABOUT TO GO DARK
I know I have a few friends in the audience tonight which makes me look forward to
tonight's show for one more reason. But tonight's audience will have to be pretty
remarkable to beat last night's. Our October 9 audience has, so far, hands down,
been the best we've had. They reacted more, laughed more, applauded more and sent
far more collaborative energy our way than any of the previous four did.
To be honest, a couple of those other audiences were, um, to be as kind and
diplomatic as I can:
Several of us think last night was our best performance, thus far. I have no sense
of yes or no about that, overall. I did play a bit with my own deliveries and think
I had an exceptionally good night. Leastwise it "felt" exceptional.
I can say that I believe my scenes with Josh Katawick and Jessica Broughton were
each at their best. I basically took that top edge off my performance and brought
Beadle down from the, more-or-less, cartoonish flavoring (if only a pinch of such).
I essentially filled him to a fully three dimensional persona and now wish I'd done
so from the very start. It'd been my inclination but I resisted because I was not
directed toward that. I think I ended up with a performance last night that both
satisfied my instincts and did not betray the vision our director had.
Hindsight is 20-20.
Beadle, on the other hand, was a little uncomfortably close to a clonish mixture of
Johnny Pateen and Clov, two of my past performances. Beadle was neither of them, I
want to point out, but I did not divorce from either as cleanly as I would wish.
That self-criticism aside, it was work that I ultimately feel good about and I had
the pleasure to work a few people I had not worked with before and was able to be
on stage with several very fine performers giving very fine performances.
So, now, as far as being an actor, I go kick ass tonight then start prepping for the
next planned audition, which is not that far away.
DTG SECOND SHORT MOVIE:
And, as soon as I finish this post, I become Movie Editing Boy for the rest of the
afternoon before call for Sweeney Todd tonight.
The Second Short Movie --
Editing continues. If I can't make the first section -- perhaps I can even call
it the first act -- more interesting, I'll need to trim it; it's threatening to
be a bit boring. I have some potential solutions before I get out the blade. Along
with copious amounts of DV footage, I also have copious amounts of pictures I have
taken over the course of the last fourteen months. Where I'm at in the process right
now is finding and dropping appropriate stills into the movie at the appropriate
times. I think that will charge up the sequence I'm concerned about and make it
interesting and compelling to watch.
I have plans for text in that section, too. The text will probably be more labels
than narrative, but at least the text will help the audience understand the context
of the images they are viewing and the story being told by those images. There
will be narrative for a later sequence (act) as well as for the ending of
The music is 99.X% set. The first track used is a viola solo. After a sequence with
dialogue, then comes a bass cello solo -- both are Bach. For the last two sequences
I use a new age recording titled "Celestial Embrace," composer unknown.
With the string solos, I simply fade when their time is done. For the new age one I
actually did a bit of remixing. I have extended the prelude and then use a processed
version of that extension -- extended even further -- for the ending. In between I
edited the music to double its length. One can do that when one purchases royalty
I may try to sweeten the audio in the dialogued sequence. I'll render an interim cut
first to see what it sounds like in the .mov file version, then decide accordingly.
The Sunshine Boys --
This is, as far as I remember, the first time since I've been house manager that I
have been completely absent during the opening weekend of a show. If it's happened
in the past, it has been a while ago. My understanding is that the weekend went well
both in terms of turnout and in terms of the performances. I do know that I need
to get some back-up cookies for Weekend 2.
"Dumpster Diving" at WSU --
Wright State Theatre closed their production of Proof yesterday and DTG got
permission to be at strike to grab up any carpentry work that was destined for the
dumpster. I took a break from editing the DTG movie to drop by and help load pickup
trucks. We got several flats and many elements of the porch that the play calls for.
Auditions for The Hallelujah Girls --
There are auditions tonight and tomorrow night for the holiday add-in. I am not
aware of a character breakdown anywhere. But the auditions are at the theatre at
7:00 pm, both nights.
The run is closed and it went pretty well. Our closing show was a good performance
and it was a good audience -- but the Friday night audience this past weekend still
was the best we had for the run.
This production has had its challenges. The biggest of those challenges was dealing
with the malfunctioning chair that eventually resulted in the characters (and actors)
not actually dropping down into the hole. Instead we had the Angel of Death come
out and take the victims away as Sweeney (J. Gary Thompson) went through the
motions of dropping the victim -- collapsing the chair and all -- but without the
character (actor) in the chair to slide down into the hole.
It worked but it was not as effective. And for most of the cast it was a let down.
The run was still a good one, especially "on stage." The production was
peppered with some pesky conflicts on a few occasions but no blood was shed and no
sworn enemies -- to the best of my knowledge -- were borne. Well, sometimes when
strong egos with strong opinions come together to work on an artistic project,
there are - - - - - disagreements.
The "professionals" move beyond such moments.
A couple times I was part of some of these trivial conflicts, two of the moments
being Saturday. I must admit I allowed them to tarnish my experience of that
performance day. But neither were really of significant consequence.
Wouldn't this blog be a far more interesting read if I
weren't so apt to censor myself and to be so ridiculously vague when I do write of
At least there wasn't a war zone or anything on set and there ultimately was good
work happening on stage -- I would hope I fall into that category. To go to
that last point, as I said in the last post, I am quite satisfied with my work as
The Beadle (or "A Beadle," as the script lists him). The last two
performances are the two I feel the best about because of that toning him down and
filling his persona's dimensions to fully three. I believe Saturday was my
best performance -- but that's what I feel and who knows what that is besides my
own emotional response?
So now, I move on to the next project(s).
WHAT'S NEXT FOR ME:
Speaking Of Editing A Movie --
It's time to put off putting off. Post production for the improv movie must
commence this week!
There's a bit of Foley and ambient sound to create and/or find. Actually, I have a
plan in my mind right now to create some Foley, and it'll be a simple process. But
the first significant thing I'll do is edit the self-contained version of The
Audition, staring Natasha Randall and Craig Roberts. It probably won't be
exactly the edit that makes it to the final cut of the FLF. For one thing, the music
in the background is surely to be different. I have not grabbed up any of the music
by others that I need. That sequence needs the sound of a monitor at the radio
station where the scene takes place. So I need some variety of pop music as well as
on-air talent and probably a few commercials. The self-contained version may not
even have the radio montiored in the background. We'll see.
Thusly, it is time to start contacting folk about music. I have, of course, a
certain amount of my own to use but not near enough. And some sections need something
other than what I have or can whip up with my equipment, time, and present level of
I also have several establishment shots to pick up. A couple need to wait until
there's snow on the ground. As a part of a few those establishments shots, I need to
mock up some signage, as well.
And on a related note, yesterday, as I was copying new raw footage over to my 300
gig external hard drive I ran out of room before I ran out of files. It happened to
be the DTG project, but still, "NOT ENOUGH
SPACE" just won't do. So, I'd been yammering on for moths about buying
an external terrabyte hard drive. Yesterday, on the way back from helping with the
WSU/DTG dumpster dive, I dropped into Best Buy and did just that.
And I look into the near future and one definite audition and one possible one.
I am considering but am not yet committed to auditioning next month for
Shining City at The Guild. There several factors that keep me on the
fence, including post-production for the improv movie. The play's rehearsals
would begin on or about December 7, and I may want to be entrenched in
editing at that point and during that period.
A fellow actor does want to get together and rehearse for the Shining City
auditions, and I am on board for that, to be helpful and for my own skill
honing, if not for my own audition prep.
I also have still to read it -- it's on my short agenda list -- so I may not be
drawn to it, anyway.
U.D. Law Gig --
I have a couple sessions improvving as a client for U.D. law students coming up in a
couple weeks. I've not gotten the character and case details yet.
The editing process for this short movie is still underway. Once I have added all
the stills and the text, I'll evaluate whether or not I ned to trim it down some.
Right now it's going to come in at about nine minutes. Right now some sections seem
a little long, but after I've added the text that may change.
Too bad I couldn't have had a final cut before The Sunshine Boys opened.
A rashly edited cut would not have been good though.
OFFICIALLY NOT CAST:
Got the official email this past Tuesday that I was not cast in Rounding Third
at The Race, which I had already
come to terms with as the reality.
On my laptop, using
to make digital sound files from the analogue tape of Irish dialect.
AND I'VE ALREADY GONE ON TO THE "NEXT" AUDITION:
And the one after that.
Went in Thursday to the PC-Goenner Talent Agency
office to do the screen test with other actors for a local commercial for Wayside
Collision Center. I auditioned as Bad Mechanic no.1. It was mos (without dialogue).
While I was there Peter gave me another audition for Friday in Columbus, a Safe Auto
commercial. So I took Friday afternoon off and did the standard drive for an
hour; sign in; wait a few minutes; do a 45 second screen test; drive for an hour
I still haven't decided whether I will audition for Shining City as of
yet. Still haven't read the play. Meanwhile, I transfered an Irish dialect tape to
CD for a friend who is going to audition. And I still plan to do readings
from the play with her prior to the auditions, regardless of whether I do or don't
Tomorrow and Thursday I am at The University of Dayton playing the role of a
bereaved husband, for the sake of law students, in an interesting legal situation
stemming from my wife's "untimely" death and the orginal action in that
case, which went south.
ACTOR IN THE AUDIENCE:
This past weekend was one of fine theatre for me. I saw three well-done productions.
Friday night I saw
tHe zOOt TheATre ComPAnY's
awesome production The Tragedy of Hansel and Gretel, Brian McKnight's
adaptation of The Brothers Grimm tale. The company, founded by Human Race
carpenter, local puppet maker and theatre effects creator, Tristan Cupp, is
touted as "Dayton, Ohio's new puppet and mask ensemble." To the best
my knowledge, zOOt is Dayton's ONLY puppet and mask theatre.
This particular production did not use puppets, but masks only, along with a
minimalist stage that relied on various uses of a grouping of about a half-dozen
polls. At one point between the three demons (Amy Brooks, Nathan Rogers, and
Emily Smith), they and the family, Mother (Andrea Young), Father (Patrick Hayes),
Hansel (Greg hall), and Gretel (Melissa Anderson) grabbed and passed off the
polls to each other (with the demons grabbing polls and bring them back around
as they hovered around in surveillance, all to most effectively simulate
the family pushing through a thick of trees in the forest.
Later the polls served at Hansel stockade and jail as the Witch (Ayn Kaethchen)
fatten him up for her feast. Only Hansel and Gretel were not in costume mask,
though director Sharon Leahy pointed out during the talkback after the friday
performance that the children did have their own masks.
Everybody's performances were impressive. Very notable to me was the movement
work by the three aforementioned demons as well as by the Crow (Heather Gorbe).
And I should also mention the last cast member, the Soldier (Rick Good). Good
also composed the music for the production, each instrumental crafted for the
specific moment in the play where it appears. I thoroughly enjoyed the show,
having finally gotten to a zOOt production. I will be attending more.
Late Saturday afternoon I was at home
(The Guild) to see our production
of Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys. It was an entertaining afternoon with
a funny show and a cast that was able to bring the humor out. Along with Guild
standbys, Ralph Dennler as Willie Clark, Natasha Randall as the Sketch Nurse,
and Craig Roberts as the Sketch Patient, there were many new or rarely seen
faces on the Guild stage: Don Campbell as Al Lewis, Mike Stockstill as Ben
Silverman, Jamie McQuinn as the TV Director, Chase Niemitalo as PA Eddie, Kathy
Campbell as the (real) Nurse, and Chris Berry as the announcer (Chris' second
DTG appearance). The play was directed by Matthew Smith (Billy Claven in that
production of The Cripple of Inishmaan that is so close to my heart).
Went straight from The Guild to the
Dayton Playhouse for William
Gibson's The Miracle Worker. The evening was capped off with a
well-done performance that was topped with Ms. Charity Farrell's wonderful
work as Annie Sullivan. Granted, I have a tremendous fondness for this young
lady and her talent (she is the daughter, Elizabeth, in my short movie
The Chorus for Candice), but I am
putting my bias aside to say that her Annie was a masterful mixture of moxie,
confidence and the contradictory tinge of self-doubt that the script needs. The
production's Helen Keller, Claire Warnecke, did a most effective job. She
effectively portrayed Helen's deafness and blindness but was able to let the
spirited and bright child show through. And it was strong work from everyone
else as well: Wendi Michael (Kate Keller), Geoff Burkman (Captain Keller), Korey
Harlow (James Keller), Jacqueline Patterson (Martha) Destiny Patterson (Penny),
Cynthia Karns (Aunt Ev), Kurt Cypher (Anagnos), ShaDonna Crosby (Viney), Jim
Lockwood (Doctor), Emily Cypher (a Perkins students), Shannon Eastman (a Perkins
students), Brenna Kesson (a Perkins students), and Jordan Norgaard (a Perkins
students). Jennifer Lockwood directed this successful production.
By the way, all three set designs looked great: The Tragedy of Hansel
and Gretel -- D. Tristan Cupp & Jim Beam; The Sunshine Boys --
Greg Smith; The Miracle Worker -- Chris Harmon.
And I refuse to admit that any of these were
anything more than my personal responses to the shows I saw. I adamantly deny
that any of these were any such animal as "A Review!"
This particular intrasession was more interesting than usual, and they always hold
my interest, not only for the improv acting experience but for the whole essence of
the animal. Without getting too detailed -- because this exercise will surely be
used again and law students certainly know how to use Google and Yahoo -- the
exercise is set up to be more-or-less a misdirect to see if, during the initial
attorney/client interview, the students pick-up on the real legal issue at hand.
We all found on Tuesday that most of our students were focused on the legal problem
which seems at face value to be the legal issue at question as the interview begins.
Most were dedicated to that pathway because that was what they walked into the room
assuming was the problem. Many were not listening to what their "client"
All of us dropped light to heavy info, as each individual session worked out, about
the real legal issue at hand. We all had the matching experiences that a
minority of our students recognized this real issue and pursued it. A few practically
missed the significance of the vital information we each dropped out there for their
detection. Others saw a legal issue but did not see it as the real one and that
the presumptive issue was actually not viably actionable in a court; and this
group usually saw the real item as something else to look at but not high on the
priority list. We all also had some students that recognized the real issue but
refused to address it because it was "a separate matter" and not what we
had come together to discuss and deal with. There were, of course, variations and
cross-overs of all these reactions and courses of action by the students, but these
represent the basic categories we all dealt with.
We actors all did what we could to keep feeding them the vital info to pick up on,
but many of them just would not refocus or would not refocus enough.
Thursday most of them were on target. I think a memo from the program director
helped more than a little. Even better on Thursday was how impressive most of the
students who counseled me were. One of my charges was to be sure to make them
clarify the options they were offering and any reasons why any particular option my
character had hoped for was not viable. Most of them came in with such strong
programs for the session that I hardly had to task them.
So, both another one of these gigs and a little bit more experience in
improvisation are under my belt
This damnable little movie is taking much more time and effort to edit than I'd
anticipated. Finding just the right B-roll pics or footage for particular moments
is tasking and it's caused some slow down toward a final cut. I actually have to go
to the Oregon District and take a couple photographs that I need illustratively for
B role. There are currently place-card images in the spots where the two photos will
go. And I still haven't fully composed all of the text for the movie. I'm supposed
to be into the editing process of post-production for the improv movie, but this
little DTG short is not letting go of my time.
There is an interim rough cut that I've embedded on a temporary private web page
that I have requested a few people review and offer constructive feedback. It's a
low-grade mpeg movie file and those two photo's are, of course, still missing, but
it's good enough to get some feedback on basic concept and content.
Saw two more very entertaining productions this weekend. Friday it was a laudable
production of Little Shop of Horrors at
Sinclair Community College
where I must say special kudos should be go toward the three principals: James
Roselli as Seymour, Tracie Puckett as Audrey (1), and Saul Caplan as Muchnick. And
it was a fun night at the theatre.
Last night I went to
X*ACT and saw a nice production of
A Raisin in the Sun directed by Linda Donald (Heidi the cop in Fuddy
Meers at The Guild). The strongest performances, both that I'd call excellent
came from Catherine Collins as Lena Younger (Mama) and Gregory Parker as Walter Lee
"Brother" Younger. Another night of good theatre.
One noteworthy experience at the X*ACT production was the fellow audience members
sitting next to me in the front row. It was a fellow of probably thirty or so and
his six-year-old daughter. He was lovingly sharing and teacher the young lady all
about live theatre. He read Linda's director's notes to her; he explained the cast
to her and how all the actors had to learn the lines that somebody had written and
how they had to "transform" themselves into the characters. He explained
many many things including the stage manager and her job. She was completely
enraptured by all of it. It was a wonderful thing to witness and I was quite
touched by it. I shook his hand afterward and told him how I wished more dads were
exposing their children to the wonders and beauty of live theatre.
Well, yesterday morning I HAD a final cut of the Curtains Up short DV
movie, I thought, but it was plagued with several silly typo errors. There was
one that I was not going to fix in the YouTube
version; there were two others pointed out to me that I just couldn't have in any
The two that wouldn't do at all were the misspelling of "inaugural" and
"Premiere." There was also one that I had already caught that I was
going to let slide in the on-line movie file. There is a listing of all those who
donated money over the years to the building fund to build the structure on the
Fourth St. lot, then more generally for the new theatre structure, wherever it
may be. It's been recently christened "The Platinum Playbill." I placed
a scroll of it in the new movie and to help narrow text width on screen I did a
find-and-replace of "and" with "&." I forgot to qualify it
with a whole word command so every instance of "and" was changed
regardless of whether it was "and" or part of a longer word. So the
name "Candy," for example, became "C&y." I reversed it then
redid the search-and-change for whole words only. Now this time "DP&L"
is now "DPandL" -- an error I was going to fix in the master project and
in the version that will be burned to DVD. But since I changed the other two errors
for the YouTube version, I fixed that, too.
I'd actually uploaded the error-ridden version to YouTube yesterday morning as well
publicizing it at the
Dayton Theatre Guild Yahoo! Group
The Guild's FaceBook account.
Then I deleted it from YouTube. I now have uploaded the "fixed" version,
though I wish the YouTube-processed version at their site didn't have some of the
visual quality glitches it has. But I am letting that dog lie.
So here's the movie. You may want to let the progress bar get a bit ahead of you
before you watch, or you may get run stalls.
Otherwise, the House Manager hat needs to be on my head a bit more, now. I got this
last production off, but now it's time to get back into the cockpit. I need to, in
short order, solicit hosts for the next show as well as start working on an
instructional manual -- with the goal at some point for a video.
And there's work at the building. More fixin'-it-up stuff as well as perhaps
some set construction work for Hallelujah Girls.
IMPROV MOVIE POST-PRODUCTION:
Now that the DTG short is out of the way, I will be focusing on post-production for
the FLF, starting tonight. Okay, well, I do have some DTG business to attend
to late afternoon/early evening, but I should still get to some post work on the
movie. My plan tonight, actually, is to record the sounds of myself washing my
dishes. I need the sounds for the balboni's bar scene. Some, more minimalist and
isolated sounds for my bar tender Quincy (Loren S. Goins), just off screen. More
involved sounds to be dropped in faintly, as the far off kitchen.
Meanwhilst, there are folk waiting impatiently for me to edit together the
stand-alone excerpt, The Audition, which will be the first official work
put out from the project. That is the next editing job I do in Final Cut.
ON THE OTHER HAND:
There are some artsy-like things to take up some time in the close future....
Shining City - I do need to read it still. I started a few pages
over the weekend and like what I've read thus far. No final decision on
auditioning but I will do a few sessions reading with a friend who is. And,
if I do and happen to be cast, there goes evenings again.
Over the course of the next week or two there are something like four
theatre productions to go see.
The Dayton theatre community and the rest of the Ohio theatre world feels the
loss of theatre impresario John Kenley, who died last week. John was the founder
and producer of the nationally-famous Kenley Players. The Kenley Players was a
summer stock touring company that, for more than a quarter century, put up shows in
several Ohio cities, those being Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo, and Warren,
as well as in Flint, Michigan.
Being a Buckeye who grew up in Dayton in the 60's and 70's I was always aware of
Kenley and the Kenley Players. I'm sorry to have to admit that I never once
attended a Kenley Player's production, though my parents did several times. As a
teenager who showed some amount of promise theatrically I had an opportunity to work
with the Kenley Players Dayton productions at Memorial Hall, but I passed, for
reasons that I cannot explain because I don't know, save for the ever-present fear
of the unknown I battled often in my youth. I knew one very talented young
actor, the lovely Cindy Tucker (from my alma mater, Wilbur Wright High School), who
did work with the company, including some performances in some sort of dinner
theater. She had a few really interesting stories about interactions with
celebrities she'd met through that association.
One great Dayton Kenley legacy was the tradition of cast parties at our local
Marion's Piazza, which now has several
locations, all with walls plastered with eight-by-tens of the famous cast members
cavorting with patrons, most being those who had been audience members earlier in
the evening. It's a wonderful part of our local theatre lore.
When I returned to acting this decade I met many Dayton actors who worked with the
KP company and knew John, himself, to lesser or greater extents. Some have shared
fond memories and funny stories about John. A few years back I did a lobby display
Wright State Paul Laurence Dunbar Library
about theatre in the Dayton area. Naturally the Kenley Players was a part of that
display and during the research I found some words about John written by Lucy Arnaz,
for which I cannot relocate now. Ms. Arnaz is very fond of Kenley and her words
were an example of the tremendous respect and adoration many from theatre, in Ohio,
and in the "big-time show biz" world have for John.
I can remember celebrities on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson talking
about doing Kenley Players tours and how much they liked it. From the late 1950's
through the mid 1980's, with a brief reprise in the 90's, an army of well-known
SAG and AFTRA
professionals graced the stages on the Kenley Players venues. The list of well-known
performers of the day that have appeared in Kenley productions is long. Here is a
As well, as already stated, many of the fine professional, semi-professional and
community actors still living and performing in the Dayton area got their starts
with The Kenley Players, either on stage or otherwise involved as volunteers or
Here are just a few relevant links in light of John Kenley's passing:
So Saturday night was "Hauntfest on 5th," the big Halloween party in
The Oregon District. We cashed in and
charged for parking at both the new Oregon District location -- right there -- as
well as at the lot we still own at Fourth and Patterson (where the plans had been
to build the new theatre) -- close enough to the action to be desirable to the
partiers. It's the same thing we do every year, except in the past it's been just
the lot on Fourth we'd worked.
I showed up to help at the theatre but they didn't need me, so I left. I would have
went to catch J. Gary Thompson's band at
J. Allens then the very same J. Gary
along with Chris Shea and Heather Gorbe doing some street theatre (selected
Shakespeare scenes) on Fifth Street during "Hauntfest," but I've been
hemorrhaging money lately, mostly on car problems, so I just didn't have the cash to
even deal with the cover charge to get into "Hauntfest" or J. Allens,
much less buy any drinks (for me: sodas). I went home.
Yesterday I was back, though, for a little while, to give
at least a little help with the set construction for our next production,
The Hallelujah Girls.
It was mostly work with cardboard; I helped Greg bend and form a large sheet into
a faux church choir pew. I think Greg may have finished it a bit more after I left
to go eat at The Dublin Pub with some other
board members. I took some shots of the whole set after lunch and just before I
went home, but I didn't really look at that pew up close.
Set work will continue next weekend -- actually, I bet Greg spends some time during
the week on it. If you'd ("Dear Reader") like to help out I am sure
if you show up by 11:00 next Saturday morning, and probably Sunday, too, there'll be
a task or two you can help out with.
Meanwhile I am also looking for hosts for the performances, so if you want to be
involved with that get with me at
KL_Storer@yahoo.com. There are some perks
we'll discuss when you contact me.
And beyond all that we are not done sprucing the building up in general. We still
don't have it to the so-called "final polished" appearance we want it to
have as its normal look. There;s still all sorts of painting left to do and we have
a pretty healthy task of getting the new permanent theatre seats cleaned up, fixed
up and installed. We have a form for getting onto a mailing list for individual and
general announcements of work days and work tasks.
Speaking of Greg Smith, yesterday I saw The Dixie Swim Club at the
Beavercreek Community Theatre, which Greg
directed. It featured the lovely work of Cassandra Engbar, Debra Kent, Stefanie
Pratt, Jill Proudfoot, and Rachel Wilson. It was a funny and enjoyable afternoon.
Just looking at what needs to be done for the short stand-alone, The Audition,
clues me in to the mammoth task ahead of me for the whole feature length version.
I am not sure what the length of this short narrative will be but I will need at
least three pop songs, which I probably have, but then I also need a radio announcer
and I think at least pone cluster of commercials, those which will need to be mocked
up, at least at this point. Maybe a station identification jingle, too. Fortunately
I will not need to do a hefty amount of color correction for this one -- but I may
need to do at least some.
As for the time length, I do want to keep it to ten minutes or less so I can post it
to my YouTube account without
upgrading to a director account. My understanding is that a director account has a
The bare beginnings of work on the short has started; very bare beginnings.
First of all, how self-involved is the guy who
uses "Miscellaneous Me" as a header?
Another Audition Through the Talent Agency --
Peter Condopoulos at PC-Goenner called yesterday and we set up an audition for
a PSA for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Got the sides yesterday and am
going into the office tomorrow morning. It's character acting in the purest
definition of the term; it calls upon some comedic performance ability --
and we all know how impressed I am with my own comedic skills.
Only one way to get better.
Improv Movie Post-production Progress --
It keeps seeming to me like I'm not moving forward on this project but I
actually am, when I step back and assess it. I am in the editing process but I
have not yet began to edit. I've been reviewing, studying the different takes
and camera angles for each take of the "The Audition" sequence. There
are two takes with three camera angles on each take. Since this is
improvisational work there are different riffs and different material in the
takes. So I have a good palette of material to work from to create a scene the
Natasha Randall's and
Craig Roberts' work from
both takes. When I do sit down to edit the sequence, I want to have a strong
idea what part of what clips I am using and where.
Shining City --
Still on the fence about auditioning.
In the Audience this Weekend --
The Line Shack, a film by John Adrian Riley: I believe I will
try to catch the screening of this tonight at the
Dayton Playhouse. *see
Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business at
The Town Hall Theatre: I
wouldn't mind getting to this one, too. I am slightly acquainted with one
of the adult actors, Ms. Grace Davis, who was in Les Liaisons
Circumference of a Squirrel at
the Seed Theatre Project:
this company is a new one that Adam Leigh is involved in founding, if he
indeed is not the founder. They have a two night premier performance tonight
and tomorrow night that features Alex Carmichal.
I have no idea how I'm going to logistically make all this. I really
doubt that I am. I'm pretty sure I will miss something.
As an FYI, here are a couple upcoming Springfield auditions I know about --
Snowed in with Scrooge: A Holiday Variety Spectacular
This Monday and Tuesday (Nov 9th & 10th) evenings from 7-9, at The State
Theatre, 19. S Fountain Ave., Springfield, Ohio.
"Come join the biggest holiday event of the season. Open auditions for
actors and comedians for our variety show. In collaboration with
"The basic theme of the show surrounds a small group of 'spirits' who
will go to any lengths in order to instill a bit of seasonal cheer into the
heart of that classic holiday miser, Scrooge. With this simple template we are
constructing a show consisting of everything from short-form comedy sketches,
to musical numbers, maybe even a video short or two. The sky's the limit with
this open-ended format and so far we have come up with something that feels
both traditional and completely original all at once."
Needed: 5-14 people for various roles in short skits as well as a central cast
-Scrooge- Male 20's to 60's Age not required if capable of playing
-3 visitors- A trio of performers that can work well together, almost an
Animaniacs dynamic with scrooge
-Various other roles within skits as well as musical segments
This event will be held with the help of the V-Day campaign:
Auditions are at 6:00 pm on November 9th and 10th at the State Theater in
Springfield. (19 S. Fountain Ave.)
Performances are February 11, 12 & 13, 2010.
Cast does not have a specific size or age range. Any female of size, age or
race, with any level of experience is welcome to audition.
The play is a series of 10 monologues, with dialogue to the audience interspersed.
Rehearsal schedule will be largely determined by the size of the cast, but
commitment level shouldn't be high until close to the performances.
A one-minute monologue is optional.
A DREAMER AT THE LOFT IN A
STAGE SHOW THAT'S MORE THAN A MUSICAL:
All in all I am not a major fan the musical. Generally I attend a musical because
I am supporting friends or acquaintances, I'm adjudicating for
The Daytony's, there are
performers in it I really want to see work (whether I know them or not), or it's one
of those few musicals I have a real interest in. Little Shop of Horrors,
which just had a successful run at
Sinclair Community College
falls into the last category; the SCC production, as well, also had friends and
others whom I wanted to support and see work.
Dale Wasserman's Man of La Mancha is another of the musicals that draw me in.
It's "more than a musical," to quote someone I spoke of it with recently.
It's considered one of the greatest American musicals of all time and I think I'm
going to have to concur with that, despite that I am not an American musicals
aficionado, nor a real connoisseur of musicals of any region or era.
It's such a noble story to begin with, and the songs by Mitch Leigh and Joe Darion
are just so damned good. They incorporate brilliantly into Wasserman's strong
adaptation of the seventeenth century masterpiece Don Quixote, by
Miguel de Cervantes,
who is himself the main character in the story outside the frame piece of Don
Quixote. When the musical is done well it's simply magic.
I saw the current Human Race Theatre Company production this past Tuesday evening,
and in my humble, not-a-critic-or-reviewer, nobody-to-pay-attention-to, opinion
HRTC does Man of La Mancha most well and lifts it to that magic.
Nobility and romanticism are such a core of the story's soul that a production
or particular performances in a production are in grave danger of being too
sentimental, too saccharin imbued, even, on some occasions, too silly. For me,
Tuesday performance did not stoop to that too-sweet level.
Some may disagree with this, but I believe it's one of those musicals that demands
real vocalists in almost every instance. Certainly Quixote himself has to be a
better than average singer; and if the Padre is not an excellent tenor, that alone
will cost the production dearly; (I've seen the show twice now, and the actor
playing the Padre was a fabulous tenor both times -- the first time it was a fellow
named Robert C. Banks, who lived in the Dayton area at the time); "The
Impossible Dream (The Quest)" may be the famous song from the musical, but
the Padre's "To Each His Dulcinea (To Every Man His Dream)" is arguably
the most beautiful and if the song is butchered, which it can easily be, that can
be the wave that turns the tide in the wrong direction for a production. In the
Race version the Padre is Kristoffer Lowe, and he is also an excellent tenor. I
don't think when I was at my most practiced I was within the same hemisphere either
of these men occupy as tenor vocalists.
Then there is the lead role, which is a challenging one. The actor has to assume
several personas. First he must be the thoughtful, artistic intellectual, Miguel
de Cervantes. Then, framed in Cervantes's performance during the play within the
play he must be the aging, fragile, idealistic, romanticist Alonso Quijana, who
then in turn, with his deep soul, his spirited, hopeful heart, transforms himself
into the charming, charismatic, noble, righteous, stalwart Don Quixote de La Mancha.
And Quixote has to be so admirable that the audience, though perhaps amused, and
maybe even bemused, by his many moments of naiveté, will not see him as
horribly ridiculous in those moments. It commands dexterous acting skill to give
Man of La Mancha the lead character the story demands. And let's face it,
Quixote has to be able to sing. If he doesn't pull off "The Impossible
Dream," as well as the musical's title song, and his others, we have more bad
waves disturbing the tide of any potential magic.
I once auditioned for a production of this, and was realistically going after Sancho
Panza, Quixote's squire -- well, that's whom I assumed I had the most probability of
being cast as. Mostly, I just don't think I have the voice range, and any more, the
vocal strength, to sing Quixote. Were I ever cast as Don Quixote de La Mancha I
would wish that I could give to the role what I saw our own Dayton's
give to it. As an audience member in commune with the actor on the stage, I was with
him the whole time and I was moved -- by that correct proportion of
sentimentality -- as he is first broken by the Knight of the Mirrors, then as
he dies, just having been given his dream back by Aldonza (Dulcinea). And as the
show ends with Cervantes walking into the brutal fiery arms of the Inquisition,
while the cast sings the choral reprise of "The Impossible Dream," I was
choked up just as I think I was supposed to be.
And, by-the-way, there is not a weak vocal performance in the cast.
and the cast as a whole told the story so as to play my emotions just at the
measure that seems appropriate to my ideals of this play/(musical). This
cast, though, as is the norm, is peppered with Equity actors from out of town, has
several locals whom I have worked with in one manner or another in productions (i.e.:
some theatre friends) as well as others I am acquainted with. I commend the
ensemble for its highly laudable work: Kevin Moore (Miguel de
Cervantes/Alonso Quijana/Don Quixote); Melissa D'Amico (Aldonza); David C. Maxwell
(Sancho Panza); David Tillistrand (the Governor/the Innkeeper); Kristoffer Lowe
(the Padre); Jamie Cordes (the Duke/Dr. Carrasco); Katherine DeBoer (Antonia);
Reneé Franck-Reed (Maria/the Housekeeper); Eric Ulloa (Pedro, a Muleteer);
Joseph Spieldenner (Anselmo, a Muleteer); Jerome Doerger (José, a Muleteer);
J.J. Tiemeyer (Juan, a Muleteer/Horse); Aaron Vega (Paco, a Muleteer/Mule); Jason
Roberts (Tenorio, a Muleteer); Matthew Natale Rush (Mateo, a Muleteer); Jake
Lockwood (the Barber); Mike Kennedy (Captain of the Guard); Liz Wheeler
(Fermina/the Moorish Dancer). Scot Woolley is the musical director and the
impressive set was designed by David A. Centers.
All these people conspired to give me the magic experience that Man of La
Mancha is supposed to be.
Yeah, I know, I know, this whole prose congregation that is assembled above smells
suspiciously with the pseudo-intellectual odor of a bone fide
What can I say, this musical is one that actually attracts my attention and seeing it
done right makes me have things to say.
But, of course, this WASN'T a
this was a "RESPONSE."
And in the spirit of promoting things, check out the little promo video for the
show that HRTC has produced, with Scott Stoney talking about the play and the story
(though at some point the video may be pulled from YouTube when it's no longer
Off this morning to audition for the PSA for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
NEW THEATRE IN DAYTON:
There are two new theatres in the Dayton area, one which is debuting this very
weekend and another that has its premiere production next month.
The first of these new theatre family members is
the SEED Theatre Project,
Michelle Leigh. Last
night and tonight the company has its first production up, Circumference of a
Squirrel by John Walch and featuring resident artist
Obviously, if you click on the hot-linked names of the two theatres you'll get more
info at their respective web sites.
T O N I G H T AND L A S T N I G H T !
THE LINE SHACK
a film by John Adrian Riley
period short narrative movie is close to final cut. The current edit was screened
last night at the Dayton Playhouse
and it has another screening tonight at 8:00 pm, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave.
Spent a few hours both Saturday and Sunday helping with the set for The
Most of my work was on the church pew benches -- the regular pews, not the choir
bench that I helped Greg Smith fold from a large sheet of corrugated paper last
My big role was to paint them, but I, and Brian Buttrey, did, for a few of the
benches, help Greg fasten the corrugated paper sheets he'd folded, molded and cut
to fit over the kitchen chairs he used as the base for each of the benches -- two
chairs for each bench.
THE LINE SHACK:
Saw the screening of
movie Saturday night at the
Dayton Playhouse. Really nice work. A
good script, with good acting, good direction and good cinematography.
I had stated earlier that the movie was in final cut but I was mistaken about that.
It's actually in later-stage rough cut with some color correction and sound track
sweetening to do. In fact, John plans to re-record the narrative at the movie's
front end as well as do a tad bit of ADR* for a few scenes. I would suppose that
further content editing is not out of the question, though the assembled cut I
saw at the screening looked fine to me.
The Line Shack is well done and should be better in final cut. Here's
hoping John walks onto a few podiums to accept some festival awards.
*ADR: (Automated Dialogue Replacement -- AKA: Looping) --
The re-recording of dialogue by actors in a sound studio during
post-production, usually performed to playback of edited picture in
order to match lip movements on screen. ADR is frequently used to
replace production track of poor quality (e.g., due to high levels
of background noise or low levels on the production recording of the
video) or to change the delivery or inflection of a line. ADR can
also be used to insert new lines of dialogue which are conceived
during editing, although such lines can only be placed against
picture in which the face of the actor speaking is not visible.
Sunday I attended the closing performance of this production of Sarah Ruhl's
reconsideration of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. It featured the lovely Ms.
Liz Dillard in the title role and Nick Moberg as Orpheus. Both gave impressive
performances. I've worked with Liz in Work Song for
in the fall of '08 and since saw her excellent rendition of Ophelia in that same
company's Hamlet. Nick, I've worked with indirectly, as he was Kenny in
The Guild's Salem Avenue swan song,
Fuddy Meers; he was also in the DTG Wayne Avenue premiere show, Les
A screenshot of Final Cut as I worked on sound sweetening
Natasha Randall as Marian, the director in the
scene, with the director of the scene in the
background, ruining this shot for the sake of
Craig Roberts as the actor, Robert, auditioning for Hamlet
IMPROV MOVIE POST-PRODUCTION:
Yesterday, I spent a good chunk of my holiday off in the
editing suite working on The Audition. I'd love to say that I began to
assemble the actual cut into the sequencing timeline, but what I did was spend
almost eight hours on color correction, audio sweetening, and related work.
Some of that time involved reading the manual's section on color correction --
which I would not hail as being written as clearly as it could be. Fortunately
the source footage I have for this particular segment did not have a terribly
dramatic difference in color temperatures and white balance between the three
cameras. There are some other sequences that indeed do have major temperature
conflicts. I may need to anticipate some tedious task burdening when I start to
work on those segments. Then again, I was dealing with the front end of a
learning curve as I worked to match color in all the clips yesterday. I will
pick some speed at this process as I move along.
The sound "sweetening" was simply choosing which sound track from which
camera I would use for all the cameras' footage, then setting a volume level and
balancing the stereo fade to middle. I picked the audio track from camera 2. After
processing it I created Final Cut editing sequences for the footage for cameras 1
& 3 and for each of the takes and cut-away shots. Then I copied the cam2
audio tracks into the corresponding 1 & 3 FC sequences, synced them up and
then turned off the original audio.
Final Cut sequences won't copy over into the editing viewer, only into the canvas.
This inhibits the ability to select only portions of the material in that FC
sequence to drop down into a new FC sequence; you have to put all of a FC sequence
into a new one. So I took all those cam1 & 2 processed sequences and rendered
them as new movie clips. Those I have complete trimming power over in the viewer
and can drop as small a portion as I want into the new FC sequence. When I start my
assemble edit I will be working from these movie files:
Robert entrance and exit (aud-sweet) *rendered from processed sequence
Robert entrance and exit2 *original with audio sweetened
Robert entrance and exit3 (aud-sweet) *rendered from processed sequence
shuttle establishment *original with audio sweetened
The Audition Take01 cam1 (aud-sweet) *rendered from processed sequence
The Audition Take01 cam2 *original with audio sweetened
The Audition Take01 cam3 (aud-sweet) *rendered from processed sequence
The Audition Take02 cam1 (aud-sweet) *rendered from processed sequence
The Audition Take02 cam2 *original with audio sweetened
The Audition Take02 cam3 (aud-sweet) *rendered from processed sequence
Possibly I need to go back to the original DV min cassette because I may have not
transfered a piece of footage over, a cut-away close up of Marian (Natasha Randall)
writing on an actor's r´sum´. I'll double check at the front and back
ends of the clips I have, but I don't remember seeing it. I think also that the
room tone* in the project we shot next in the same space on the same day, "The
Ring," again with Natasha but now with Duante Beddingfield in scene. To be
honest there are probably several places with no dialogue on the movie clips I
have that can serve the room-tone purpose if I need such.
*Room Tone: The audio characteristics or ambient sound of a set,
especially on location. The room tone track is a recording of the
natural ambient "silence" in a set/location for the sound
editing. It is used as a reference point, or for when it is required
for use behind ADR *(see the Nov 10 blog entry), or other
situations where the ambience (room tone) would be conspicuous by
There's at least one pickup* shot I need for this segment. Actually there's more
than one for the edit that will go into the full movie, but for the stand-alone I'm
about to cut I only need one. I need to mock up a notice for the casting call to
replace Hamlet in the community theatre group, Thespian Collective's, production of
Hamlet. Ultimately I want a shot of it at an outside commons bulletin board
in Yellow Springs; Yellow Springs is one of the village/small town locations I am
using for exterior shots to represents the movie's fictional location of Bellcreek,
OH (pop. approx. 13,000). That one needs to happen when there's snow. Right now,
for the short movie, any wall will work. I'm thinking about sticking the flyer up
on an announcement board on campus to get the shot.
*Pickup (AKA: Additional Photography, Reshoots, Reshooting):
Footage shot after principal photography is officially wrapped.
Pickups may involved reshooting a scene or part of a scene or it
may be the shooting of new material for which the need is recognized
during post-production. Often pickups are cutaways or some element
of coverage footage that was missed or that needs a continuity error
fixed. They may also be particular shots that could not be done
during production due to the weather being incorrect or a particular
location not being available. Actors may be recalled or they may
not, depending on the needs of the shot.
There are a few pickups I want of small town exteriors both with and without snow.
I also need to mock up a corporate limits sign for Bellcreek. There are a few signs
I may be able to superimpose on footage because the shots will be static -- the
camera will not shuttle or track, but the Bellcreek sign needs to be physical because
I want that shot to shuttle the camera (it'll be a tracking shot probably from a
car) and I don't have the animation capacity to insert a virtual image onto footage
in a moving shot.
It seems obvious to me I can drop graphics into shots where the camera is not
moving. I can shoot an exterior of an appropriate-appearing building and superimpose
the "Balboni's Casa de Piazza" sign onto it. And I may be able to put a
radio stations signage onto a plate glass window. Both of which I plan to do.
And there's still all sorts of ambient background and Foley sound to get and create,
as I have said before. I recorded myself washing dishes and using the sink in my
kitchen, about a week ago or so, but I am not happy with that and I am going to
record such again. And, as I have said, I am still in need of lots of music. The
big need is some for The Audition, which is supposed to be happening in an
old production suite at WACI radio -- Bellcreek's radio station. Marian works there.
I actually had made her a traffic coordinator but in scene with Duante, Natasha made
reference to Marian's radio show. There's no reason to change from her assertion.
At any rate -- and I am sure I've written this
before -- there needs to be WACI on air programing down low in the
background as if on monitors in a hallway close by. And, like I indicated before
that will take a few pop/rock songs, some radio jungle work and a couple commercials,
as well as on-air personality.
Hmm. Metaphorically, I'm about a foot or two into this five-mile sojourn that is
the post-production process.
It wasn't through my agent, and I did not earn a paycheck, but I went to Springfield
Saturday to appear in the role of a husband for a TV spot for the
Marriage Resource Center,
which is a marriage program aimed at teaching healthy relationship tools to men.
It's more-or-less a turnabout from the improv movie, as I was acting for a client of
Crystal and Wayne Justice's company, Resource, which aids non-profits in various
manners including projects like this as well as events, grant writing, and more.
Crystal and Wayne are two principals in the improv movie, Celeste and Grady, the
proprietors of Balboni's Casa de Piazza.
The shoot was done in the courtyard by the government buildings in Springfield. It
took all of ten minutes. I just riffed some improv as a satisfied married man and
waxed philosophical about the benefits of marriage such as companionship, sex and
I am an actor, you know.
Having not gotten this through PC-Goenner
it's important to reiterate it was not a paying gig. It's not cool that I freelance
a paying gig for camera, or any signatory paying live acting gigs. I should let the
agency know about those and get the producers in contact with the agency.
Meanwhile, I'm heading into the Dayton office this afternoon to do an audition
for Nationwide. And there is paying commercial gig that I was made aware of on
facebook that I gave Peter Condopoulos, at
the agency, the heads up about and he replied that he too had been given the
same info over the weekend. So I'm doing that audition Thursday evening,
again, at the Dayton office.
Beyond all that, there is a short horror movie being produced shortly that I may
do some bit part work in. Wayne Justice is a principal -- and maybe Crystal is, too,
but I'm not sure about that.
IMPROV MOVIE POST-PRODUCTION:
Shooting the CU (Close Up) of the emergency casting call flyer in
Casting call mock-up flyer
So after I got home from shooting the TV spot I was going to re-record myself
washing some dishes in my little kitchenette space in my humble little apartment
but there was too much grounds keeping going on outside. Neighbors took advantage
of the unseasonable 60°+ weather to mow lawns and trim foliage and other
activities that used machines that would be rather conspicuous in the ambient sound
of a bar. It would have all been pretty far back there in sound level, but I didn't
want to deal with filtering all that out.
There should be just the kitchen sounds -- in step with that I'll turn the
refrigerator off so that motor will be out of the equation. I need just water and
clinking dishes for both deep back Balboni's kitchen sounds and closer bar sink
Foley; though the up-close bar sink noises will still pretty much all off-screen as
will be the dialogue I got with Loren S. Goins (Quincy) a few weeks back.
Meanwhile, toward the end of the last week I mocked up and printed that emergency
casting call flyer that Marian
(Natasha Randall) has posted
around our little small town of Bellcreek. Sunday, while at The Guild to help with
set construction I got part of an interior establishment shot, a zoom in on a
bulletin board in the DTG office, with the mock flyer tacked to it. I also shot a
close up (CU) of the flyer on the board but that shot did not turn out. So, I
re-shot the CU Sunday evening at home (see the left column here).
The Cu had one challenge. It was easy enough to stand a cork bulletin board up
with the flyer on t as well as place a good light source close by -- bad lighting
of the CU at the DTG office was one of the problems prompting the reshoot.
In the reshoot I did what is called a pedestal shot, which is simply that I moved
the whole camera from the top of the flyer to the bottom by cranking the height
adjustment on the tripod. The challenge cam in that I have somehow and somewhere
lost the lock screw for the horizontal pivot on my tripod, so I had to gingerly
keep the camera steady in terms of horizontal jerks it moved downward vertically. I
was not perfectly successful, either. But I think the shot, after several attempts
Yesterday I did some pickups: establishment shots for The Audition.
At the start of lunch at work I shot an exterior of one of the automated door
entrances to the library where I work. I also shot two different tall sections of
the library building with the one that is the sure pick for usage being the one
with transmitter antennae visible. The shot is establishment for the radio station.
I may use both the view up at the building with the antennae and the shot of the
automated glass doors. I will almost surely superimpose the station call letters
on the glass doors. I'm also contemplating creating suspended lettering on the
side of the building.
For both I am pretty sure I can use green-screen technology, creating the graphic
image with green as the background then using the green screen video filter when
adding the image in the shot in Final Cut. If that doesn't work, I may just trap
the appropriate portion of the background in the shot as the background in the
graphic and simply lay the whole finished still image over the footage so the
backgrounds match up.
I actually planned to at least start
creating these graphics last night, but it was one of those closed my eyes for an
hour's nap that turned into sleeping all evening situations.
WORKIN' ON WAYNE AVENUE:
Didn't drop by on Saturday to help with the set but I did put a few hours in on
Was pretty much a couple hours of painting things dark brown:
§ The steps up onto the proscenium stage.
§ The legs that show on the church pews; those pews which I painted a base,
light brown the previous weekend.
§ The choir pew.
§ Some of the door frames.
IN THE AUDIENCE:
Saturday night I saw fellow DTG
board member and cast member in the
Movie project, Wendi Michael, featured in Marrying Terry at
Brookville Community Theatre.
The production marked Dave Nickel's directorial debut. Dave was a fellow cast member
with me in the DTG production of The Best Man two seasons back. The leads
were Leo Geiger, whom I have not worked with yet but whose work I like, and Susan
Robert, whom I also have not worked with.
As one who plans to put the playwright's hat on, sooner or later, I'd say the
play was cute but there are no surprises or twists. I pretty much predicted the
plot and the outcome from pretty early into the performance. But, at least the play
Complements to Dave for a respectable debut as director with some really nice
moments happening on stage. There was some good work from the cast, too, especially
Leo's Terry Adams, which was a refreshing lower key, more even-keel persona than
the characters I've seen Leo play in the past. Wendi was a convincing snooty,
erudite Penny, fiancé to Leo's character.
Also in the show was Robert Martin, my scene mate from the Acting
III class at
The Human Race, (with
at the helm). Robert was the uptight, aggressive fiancé of the other
Terry Adams -- Susan Robert. Yes: two Terry Adams in a hotel in Chicago on New
Years Eve with the snow storm of the decade raging outside; a series of
misunderstandings and miscommunications; a case of mistaken identity; and both
Terries are engaged to jerks. Wonder if the two will be together by the end of the
The cast I did not know at all were Rani Deighe Crowe, G. Michael Robinson, Alain
Alejandro, and a woman whose name did not make the program, so I don't know it
To round out those I know, two other DTG board members (both with whom I've worked
in productions, on and off stage) Deirdre Root (stage manager) and Steve Strawser
(run crew) worked the show.
I wrote last entry about how I shot some pickup establishment shots for The
Audition on Monday during lunch at
work. Rather than using both as
establishment for the radio station where Marian (Natasha Randall) works, I'm going
to use the view up at the building with the antennae for the radio station but the
automated glass doors have now become the bellcreek Community Center, which is the
location of the bulletin board with the emergency casting flyer, the footage I shot
With the help of
I was able to transform the Wright State University Library, in Beavercreek, Ohio,
into the office building in downtown Bellcreek, Ohio, that houses WACI Radio (lite
97.5 FM). The back doors of the same library are now the front doors of the
Bellcreek Community Center.
It was not a bing-bang-boom-we're-done proposition. Several hours of three
evenings and most of two lunch hours last week were dedicated to getting both these
brief images correct.
Since neither the shot of the building nor of the door are straight-on images with
perfect level right angles and even depth perspectives, I had to be sure I got both
the rotation and tilt precise for the images I superimposed so they would look to be
truly adhered to the surfaces to which my altered footage suggests they belong.
To start the process I created a still of the first frame from both short pieces of
footage; then, in the afore-mentioned Corel Painter I process both frame down to
640 pixels wide from the stretched 720 that Final Cut saves master images to. Yes,
in Final Cut, the default for a full screen image (what is known as a 4:3 aspect
ratio) is 720 X 480, a 12.5% horizontal stretch. In the end the vertical can be
output as the true 4:3 width of 640 and that compression (which is -11.1%) actually
helps the picture look better as a 640 X 480 image. With getting too bogged down in
all this, I'll just explain that I needed to compress the still back down to 640
wide before I set about using the layer image graphics functions in Corel Painter
to create the letters suspended on the building and the lettering on the glass
door. I wanted the true two dimensional renderings to use as my bases for both
graphic effects. Foremost in that is that we shot the movie, obviously, in
4:3 rather than the wide screen (16:9), and when i render the movie or any parts
of it I will be rendering them at 640 wide not 720. So, I will be creating any
graphic effects on a 640 wide template.
The video bars in the sequence timeline in the Final Cut project for
the The Audition sequence -- *(slightly different use of
the term "sequence").
Now, in the Final Cut, as in most video editing software, you create your
"finished" movie in what is called a sequence timeline. There are two
separate sets of horizontal bar areas, the top is for video and below those is a
section for audio. You can have many bars for video and for audio, and very frequently
will have six or even more for audio. A soundtrack (bar) with the voices of the
actors speaking their dialogue. Another soundtrack with the room or out door ambient
sound; another bar peppered with Foley sound of things like a drawer opening, a car
pulling up, perhaps a purposefully placed bird chirp. There may be another bar
with movie score. You can lay layers of video or audio tracks on top of each other
and balance and mix for the final effect you want. On the right is the video part
of the time line for the sequence timeline for the radio station establishment shot.
The bottom track, the blue one, is the footage of the library building. Sitting on
top is the still graphic image of the radio station call numbers. The protocol is
that whatever is at higher level will cover or partially cover all the video below
it, unless its opacity is reduced to make it transparent; but, then, until it's
opacity zeroed out it will be visible over the video below it that occupies the same
part of the screen. The opacity is not reduced in this case. In this case, the
jpeg is a crop of the building down to just bordering the text. It sits on top of
the blank-walled building, and I am able to move it around on the screen to position
it in the place it was on the un-cropped photograph. Thus, the result you can see
below in the frameshot. The still image is that small square of a crop from
the 640 X 480 jpeg I created in Corel Painter. When I dropped it into the timeline
Final Cut automatically stretched it the 12.5% horizontally so it matches up with
the same area in the video footage below it. I just needed to position it correctly
over the appropriate spot. And the editing windows show the footage and the images
at the true 4:3 aspect ration rather than the 112.5% wide rendition -- though the
DV footage is captured at that stretch.
How can superimposing these effected images take three evenings and two lunch
hours? you may ask. Admittedly, after a little trial and error at first, getting the
orientation as far as rotation and slant became pretty easy. Though I did have to
go back in with both images and adjust them a bit. There were other minutia of
more taxing problems, though.
First, and I may later learn how to better overcome this one, there was green-screen
problems that I could not resolve so I abandoned that approach to getting the
virtual in=mages onto the footage. I actually only attempted it with the station
call letters on the building and didn't bother with it when I moved on to the glass
door. When I went the green screen, or "green chromakey," route I had
remnants of the green bordering my still image that I was able to successfully
filter out without changing the color of the image too much for it to have a
seamless fit onto the original footage. That's when I opted for the straight
What I encountered on that path was that when you drop the jpeg into the timeline
bar, the image is automatically enlarge to fit the whole frame, in the case of these
still images it's several-hundred-percent enlargements. I had to reduce the images
back down, but, interestingly enough, 100% is too small, and each needed to be at
a slightly different range, both hovering around 112% -- but this is both width
Next problem, which I was aware would probably be true, as I was shooting the
footage last week. The idea of shooting the footage was spontaneous. The thought
occurred to me as I was about to take lunch and return the DV camera to the
Center for Teaching and Learning, from
which I had borrowed it. I knew I needed steady shots, absolutely stead shots, since
the images I would superimpose would be static on the screen, unless I was willing
to spend many many many hours repositioning the images frame by frame. And I just
don't have that kind of time available. It's possible, but not tenable so long as I
have so many other obligations (like my paycheck employment). I did not have a tripod
so I attempted to securely hold the camera against stationary objects to try and
achieve perfect stillness in the footage. The resulting shots that I use are pretty
close, but still there is a bit of migration of the building and of the doors by the
end of the respective shots. Were it not for the stationary images superimposed onto
the footage that slight migration would not be easy or perhaps even possible to
see. But, by the end of the four-plus seconds, both added effect images are off-set,
if just slightly. It's more prominently noticeable on the building just by nature of
the geometrics that surround the jpeg -- part of the line of the top edge of the
building and the line of the seam below the call numbers are part of the effect
image and they are slightly off by the clips ending.
I worked and worked to try and fix this problem but was not able to improve anything.
The good thing is that I'm not going to be using the whole of the 4.5, or so,
seconds of either clip. Each will be on the screen just long enough to read the
text then it'll be cut to the next shot. And for the glass door shot I
aligned the effects graphic to its perfect spot at a point toward the end of the
clip just before the reflection of a biker riding by is seen in the window next to
it because that is the spot I'm using in the movie.
If you remember from a previous blog entry, Final Cut sequences won't open into
the editing viewer so I rendered both these short sequences as new Quicktime movies.
Those I can open in the viewer and then grab the smaller sections I want from each
for the "final" sequence that will be rendered into The Audition --
if it keeps that title.
Some other footage I got last week, when I shot the exterior library footage was
about 45 seconds of interior in the library's group study room so I can have some
room tone crowd ambience for the shot of the bulletin board. It will be the shot
after the exterior of the Bellcreek Community Center doors -- where we'll see the
biker's reflection in the window. Of course, I'm only using the audio from the
group study room; in fact, the video is only of the camera case. I've sweetened it,
mostly by compressing it a bit and then rendered that as an aiff audio file.
The shot of the glass doors will have some light city street ambient audio, which I
procured the other day, along with a short bit of royalty free jingle music. I
don't have the time right now to write and record the music, so I just went to
Sound Rangers and grabbed some
appropriate music to put under the announcer's "You're
listening to W A C I, light ninety-seven point five F M." It'll
probably be me, but I may process the voice to pitch it up to, with any hope, the
voice a woman.
And, as I believe I've stated earlier, there's still some commercial spots to create
and some pop music to find. The station ID will be mixed up over the shot of the
WACI building. The radio programing, (the songs, commercials, and perhaps
weather report by the radio announcer), will be low in the background under the
scene. None of this audio is necessary to assemble the edit of the whole short
movie. Still, I feel the urge to create the station ID jingle soon.
Other arts stuff and other life stuff have been on my plate the last few days, but I
believe tonight the actual Final Cut sequence timeline for The Audition will
*Point of note: These images I post with blog entries are almost
always 4:3, even if from a DV movie frame. Though, actually, in
shrinking the images down a slight amount of vertical height is
gained that makes the "3" closer to a 3.008. These images
I use here on the blog pages have, for a while now, typically been
250 X 188; a perfect 4:3 would be 250 X 187.5.
Here's a frame from the CU pedestal shot footage, I shot in
my apartment on Nov 8, of the emergency casting call
Movie frame of a back entrance into the Paul Laurence Dunbar
Library at Wright State University
Movie magic and now we have the front entrance to the
Bellcreek Community Center -- this is the same frame as the
library entrance to the left
The five-story section of the same Dunbar Library
The WACI Building in downtown Bellcreek, Ohio. Again, this
is the same movie frame as that to the left, but with the
post-production graphic effects applied.
A movie maker?
COMMERCIALS LAST WEEK -- I played a tacky car salesman for the Nationwide
commercial audition. The DP&L commercial audition was really an interview.
The was no performance involved; for each auditioner, a photographer took a
picture then we each sat with the director and told him a bit about ourselves.
I've heard nothing so far and at this point I think that means it's on to the
SHINING CITY -- Sunday afternoon I got together at the Guild with a
fellow actor and did a script-read rehearsal for next week's auditions of
Shining City. Though I'm leaning toward auditioning, I've not totally
decided that I will. But I'm conducting myself as if I am.
HALLELUJAH SET CONSTRUCTION:
Was at The Guild again for a little while both Saturday and Sunday to help finish
the set for this coming weekend's opening of The Hallelujah Girls.
I finished masking the walls with large sheets of cardboard in the back hallways on
the stage and then painted them as well as drawing and painting floor trim and
runners onto those walls.
Finished off painting the floors in those hallways, too.
I also brought in that Yamaha PSR-180 keyboard that I've under utilized and it has
become the piano that Crystal (Natasha Randall) uses in the show. Greg Smith
built a shell that it fits into and now there is a practical faux upright piano
on stage, up stage right in terms of the whole stage area, but can also be
considered down right on the back proscenium area. One of my assignments was to secure
the piano into the floor with L brackets, which is about as sophisticated as one can
wisely trust my tool-related capabilities.
And so that Ms. Randall (or Crystal) can play it, the Yamaha is plugged in under
its encasement with an extension cord running back into the U.R. back hallway of the
proscenium. To hide the cord's bright orange countenance, I first covered its whole
length on the stage floor with black electrical tape, then covered that with white
masking tape, then painted the whole length with the brown that the floor is painted
with. It's now at least un-noticeable and from many vantage points invisible.
Did some touch-up painting wherever necessary, as well.
Saturday night, a friend and I went to see Terrance McNally's Corpus Christi
at the Dayton Playhouse. There were
some superb performances and I thought the show had some good staging. From a
personal note there were, as now is pretty much always the case, actors I've worked
with: Mark Diffenderfer, Charles Larkowski and Matthew W. Smith. I've been directed
once by this show's director, Michael J. Boyd (The Diviners) and almost worked
with him twice on stage in Sordid Lives -- but I was a dead body in both runs
of that and can't really say I "worked" with anybody on stage in that one.
As was true of the whole run of Corpus Christi, there were folk of the
Christian faith protesting the production the night we went -- for those who
don't know, Christ and the disciples are gay in this play. They were not of the
militantly intimidating sort of protester, though. They peacefully sat, with their
signs asserting that neither Jesus Christ nor any of the apostles were homosexual.
They were quiet and even were polite. A friend told me that at the Friday night show
one of them told him to enjoy the show. So: more "Ghandi" than "Moral
Have to admit, I was not as impressed with the script itself as many others are. It
is "okay" by my judgement but that's about it. To me, with the
exception of the gay twist, which didn't justify itself to me as much more than a
gimmick, it was pretty much a retelling of The Passion with a little more back
story than usual. There was some nice humor in it and I certainly didn't dislike it,
though I thought there were some moments in it placed there strictly for shock value,
which never impresses me as more than self-conscious provocation. So, I guess what
I'm saying is, I found the production more interesting than the script.
Once again I'm flirting with the prose above being
accused of being, at least partially, artistic criticism, but,
Screenshot of the Final Cut project with the start of the editing
sequence for The Audition -- the first twelve seconds.
The actual assemble editing of The Audition has begun. Started at lunch today
where I put together the first twelve seconds, consisting of the opening credits and
the first shot, that being the establishment shot of the Bellcreek Community Center.
And I'm about to work more on it, just after I post this.
Last night I recorded the station ID voiceover; marrying that with the jingle music
will be part of the editing tonight.
I should be able to get a significant amount of the rough cut done over this holiday
weekend, if not the whole rough cut done, despite that I have other things --
including a particular traditional family dinner tomorrow -- going on.
It's not likely I'll have the rest of the radio programming ready to drop in by the
end of the weekend but I may at least get it started.
"Le Studio Brillant d'Audion de l'Artiste dans
--I used a free translator program to create this
nomenclature, and if it created something that is ridiculous in
French, hey, all the better.
IMPROV MOVIE POST-PRODUCTION:
I'm four and a half minutes into the first assembled rough cut of the first work
out of the improv movie project, the self-contained short, The Audition,
starring Natasha Randall and
Craig Roberts. The scene will
also be a segment in the completed full-length movie but it can be pulled out and
shown outside the context of the movie without any backstory necessary -- so I am
It's more-or-less like a "single" from an album, especially back in the
"dark ages" when albums were twelve-inch vinyl disks that revolved at
33 1/3 RPM and singles were seven-inch disks rated at 45 RPM.
You kids may have heard tell of those.
My hope was that I could keep this single to a maximum length of ten minutes;
that way it would be legal to post on my free
YouTube account. I know, however, that I am
thus far much less than halfway through what I will assemble for The Audition
and I have no desire to sacrifice many moments that I have yet to drop into the
movie edit. I will have a longer movie than that ten-minute allowable maximum.
I suppose I can look again at upgrading to a director's account, if I can ever get
any good information from YouTube as to what that entails. Well, I am going
to investigate, even if I have to employ the team of Sherlock Holmes'
great-grand-nephew, Earl (Karma Boy) Holmes, and Stephen Hawking to assist me.
Using the camera 2 audio for all three camera's takes was absolutely a smart move.
As I have been switching shots in the edit, sometimes in the middle of a spoken
word, the dialogue audio has not been a problem, whatsoever.
I do still have some color problems between the thee different camera's footage. I
had originally done color correction as you may have read and the three different
footage sources are close but there is still some tweaking that needs done. I worked
a bit on it yesterday but I am not done.
That concept I proposed a few days back that I might have a finished rough cut by
the end of this holiday weekend was premature. I do not believe that is going to
happen. I have house management for
The Hallelujah Girls that
claims more time this weekend and I need to get some study in on Shining City
for my potential audition this coming Monday and
I did mix that station ID jingle together but I have some pop music to get together.
I'm going to mix one of the songs from my album project from my twenties as one of
the songs. The song is called "Freedom From Bondage." I've also initiated
getting permission to use a song one my friends recorded a while ago. I may need at
least a third song -- depending on how long the sequence goes. And there're still
some commercials to produce. I may also have the radio announcer give the weather
or perhaps even go off to the traffic reporter or the news.
Besides the possible audition for Shining
City, I have an audition Tuesday afternoon through
PC-Goenner Talent Agency, at the Dayton office.
By-the-way, I know for a fact that I am not cast in the DP&L commercial because I
know the actor who is. Don't know for sure about Nationwide, but, at this point, I
doubt I got it.
It is very easy to start questioning your adequacy as a
HALLELUJAH GIRLS OPENING NIGHT:
As is my practice, I attended as little as possible to the show since I am yet to
sit in the audience. I, in fact, know almost nothing about the story and have
watched virtually none of the rehearsal sessions.
I'm just one the grunts that helped build the set.
The opening night audience certainly laughed a lot, however, and were exuding
positive feedback at intermission and after the show.
SHINING CITY -- So I did audition for John, the lead role. As
far as I can tell I did okay. It felt like good work. I have no sense that I am
in the running, whatsoever. I guess we will see. Of course, all I've been doing
is second guessing myself since the audition. I'm also, on average, pretty
skeptical about being cast in a lead role at the Guild. It just does not seem
to me I am looked upon as belonging in such there. I am, however, quite willing
to be mistaken about that.
OHIO LOTTERY -- Did a short and sweet non-dialogue screentest at
PC-Goenner Talent Agency yesterday
afternoon. Auditioned for the role of a security guard.
THE FUTURE'S SO BRIGHT, I GOTTA WEAR
This, under the category: So, why are you even mentioning it?
The bare-bones beginnings of a possibility of a theatrical endeavor by myself and
another who has a great interest, in a venture of which I don't want to give any
specifics at this time, has been instigated and is edging toward a germination that
could possibly come to fruition, perhaps as soon as next season.
Back on the job today at lunch after a few days away from it. Working on tweaking
the color correction before I move on to more assembling of the rough cut.
LOCAL FILM FESTIVAL:
A local film festival is coming up in February with a January submission cut-off
date. The Audition may end up being too long to be eligible. I did check and
The Chorus for Candice is not too old to
submit, and it certainly meets the criteria of being a local movie as well as well
under the fifteen-minute maximum time limit.
I have ultimately until January 22 to submit, so, if The Audition ends up
short enough I'll submit it. But I won't trim the edit especially for this
NO SHINING CITY:
I was not cast.
MY TURN TO REJECT:
There was a big casting call for extras for the self-same DP&L commercial I had
auditioned for last week -- and didn't get cast in either. The shoot was late
yesterday afternoon. I contemplated going but didn't feel well and opted out. The
slots were full pretty early in the day, anyway. I think pretty much most of the
actors in the Dayton area heard about it.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Pearl Harbor Speech, December 8, 1941
Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United
States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air
forces of the Empire of Japan.
The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of
Japan, was still in conversation with the government and its emperor looking
toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.
Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu,
the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleagues delivered to
the Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While
this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic
negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.
It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious
that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During
the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to
deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for
The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to
American naval and military forces. Very many American lives have been lost.
In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas
between San Francisco and Honolulu.
Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.
Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.
Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.
Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.
Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.
This morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.
Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout
the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves. The people
of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand
the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.
As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all
measures be taken for our defense.
Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us.
No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion,
the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute
I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I
assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will
make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.
Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our
territory and our interests are in grave danger.
With confidence in our armed forces -- with the unbounding determination of
our people -- we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God.
I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly
attack by Japan on Sunday, Dec. 7, a state of war has existed between the
United States and the Japanese empire.
IN THE AUDIENCE:
THE HALLALUJAH GIRLS AT MY HOME THEATRE,
DAYTON THEATRE GUILD --
Saw the 5:00 show this last Saturday. It's a cute show and a fun time. The
more important point is that this season extra has had good-sized audiences and
has brought in a lot of extra funds, which look like they are going to cover
all, or a significant amount, of the expense to complete the theatre lighting
system, bolstering it to the system it is designed to be.
It's a fun show -- there's one weekend left:
Friday at 8:00
Saturday at 5:00
Sunday at 3:00
EROSION PRODUCED BY THE
GLASS APPLE THEATRE
-- Right after Hallelujah Girls I zipped on over to
Sinclair Community College's Blair Hall
to see the premiere production of Brian McKnight's new theatre company, Glass
Apple theatre, LLC. As well, it was the premier of Erosion, McKnight's
own work, which he directed and performed a supporting role. I applaud Brain
for a good script executed well by his cast. And he used Beatle songs which
automatically biased me far toward liking it.
Of course, now I am wondering how I can set time aside to write a play,
as well as finish the screenplay I
started a couple years back,
and start another screenplay I have in
and then there's that idea for another
screenplay that could also be a stageplay,
The next charge is to read a couple plays, both of which it has been suggested to
me that I consider auditioning for. I'd love to audition for Taming of the
but I know I cannot commit to the rehearsal schedule.
No word yet, by-the-way, about the Ohio Lottery Commercial I did the screentest for
last week. Which probably means: no.
As of last night, I'm eleven minutes, plus, into the assemble edit of the movie and
I am mostly pleased with what I have. The demerits go toward the color on the footage
from camera3, which, though I've tweaked it closer, still is not quite a match for
the rest of the footage. There's more color correction for this movie in the
Like I stated in the facebook post, I am more than pleased with the footage Natasha
and Craig gave me to work with. I am far more than pleased.
We did two takes of the scene, and it being improvisational, the two takes only
slightly resemble each other. They both had the same basic framework based on the
scenario I had set up, the nature of the scenario (an audition), and some framing
that evolved from the actors' improv in the first take. But there was a lot of
differentiation, as well. I have a lot of material to blend into one scene.
One continuity issue did prohibit one editing choice, but ultimately has
thus far forced a better edit, in the end. Both scenes start with an interview
session. My first choice was to blend elements of each together as one interview in
the movie. Unfortunately, Natasha (or, Marian) handed Craig (Robert) the audition
sides before he sat down for the interview the second time but not the first, so
it was not possible to mix the two takes together: in some shots Robert would have
the paper in his hands, in others he wouldn't. But I was able to find a spot later
for Marian to go back to more interviewing and was able to use some material from
the second take that I want in the movie.
I've dropped in the return to the interview as a diversion before Robert performs
from the second side. The big challenge was a logical move back into that second
performance. The solution was to take bits of a previous dialogue sound byte by
Marian and edit together a new transitional phrase from her will the camera is on
Robert. I still have to smooth and sweeten the edit, but: it works.
In my kitchen, washing my dishes and making another more successful
attempt at restaurant kitchen ambient sound for the Balboni's bar
No new footage has yet been added to The Audition, but I did sweeten the
sound for the "re-cycled" Marian dialogue, last night. There were also a
couple production noises I was able to pull out of the soundtrack at lunch today,
and rather seamlessly if I do say so myself. There are a couple more I may drop
out, as well.
Still haven't tweaked that color from camera3 yet. That is likely to be done
tonight -- with my hope that I finally solve the incongruity. I also hope I
finish the assemble edit tonight, too.
On a more general note, I re-recorded myself doing the dishes for ambient kitchen
sound for the Balboni's bar scene (featuring Brett Taylor, Duante Beddingfield, and
others). The first session didn't satisfy me, but I think this second one will work.
THE FUTURE'S STILL BRIGHT:
So, I'm still pursuing that "possibility of a theatrical endeavor by myself
and another who has a great interest." It looks like the project is not
outside the realm of possibility.
Still have not added new footage to the assemble edit but the good news is I have
virtually arrived at color agreement between the three different cameras used to
shoot the The Audition sequence. There is at least one shot of Craig Roberts
that bugs me because I can't seem to get the flesh tone warm enough without throwing
the rest of the color scheme out-of-whack. I may just have to let it go.
So there's new hope that I get back to adding to the narrative tonight.
It's a little after the fact, but here are a couple articles about the Guild and
The Hallelujah Girls by Peter Wine in the local on-line news site,
Over the weekend I added about another fifty percent to the assemble edit; the
movie/sequence is now at 16:04. I think I'm probably within sixty seconds of its
conclusion. If it's more than that, it's not much more.
Since the short is coming close to twice the maximum length allowed at
YouTube, I guess I'm looking for another
venue for the on-line posting. The bigger goal is to have a final cut before
January 8 for the
Yellow Springs Short Film Festival;
though I will have until January 22, but the Eighth is the early entry deadline.
The Twenty-second seems the more likely date, but I would love for this to be in
final cut by Jan 8, which is two-an-a-half weeks from now.
Even if I can't make that second deadline, I have already found, as I previously
reported, that The Chorus for Candice is
SATURDAY WITH SCROOGE:
That damned Ebenezer Scrooge seemed to be everywhere Saturday. I saw him twice.
First at the Wegerzyn Metro Parks Gardens -- A Christmas Carol, as adapted by
Lynn Stevens at Dayton Playhouse --
then at the State Theatre in Springfield -- Snowed in with Scrooge (including an
pared down rendition of A Christmas Carol) for
I hear he was also in downtown Dayton hanging out on Main St., too --
Human Race Theatre Company -- and
will continue to through next Saturday.
NO GUARANTEE, BUT STILL:
So, in recent times I've had four theatre directors ask me if I was auditioning
for their shows, with clear indications that they hoped I would. This is always a
good sign, but, yet, however....
I also had a director talk about a show that has not been yet picked, by the
theatre in question, that he wants me in.
But, yet, then, however....
Only once has one of this type conversation ended with me on stage in the role. It's
a nice confidence booster to have the director express a desire for my talent, but,
the bottom line, at least with my auditioning, is that when the pool of talent is in
front of the director during auditions, the landscape may change and he or she may
no longer see me as the best fit. Sometimes that's obvious as I sit and look at
the other auditioners; other times....
So, I take these moments as a complement and not allow myself to be complacent --
even though it still disappoints the crap out of me when my name is not on the cast
At lunchtime yesterday I finished the assemble edit of the narrative portion of the
movie, sitting at a study carol in the basement hallway ("The Tunnels")
at Wright State University. From the opening
credit fade-in to the fade-to-white before the closing credits (not created yet),
this rough cut currently runs 16:40. So, probably, the final cut will run about
18:00 minutes with the closing credits.
Last night, after getting home from a rehearsal of sorts, I tweaked color correction
a little more and discovered a feature in the color correction application that is
most helpful. I'll be aggressively attacking that process further -- perhaps even
re-doing some color correction -- while moving into the production of the radio
programming that plays underneath the narrative footage.
I may foley in some office noise, too: other radio station employees, etc. I also
am thinking about bringing in someone to do the news report during that programming.
I'm thinking I want a woman. I may use a few others to do voice work for some ad
spots. I need about fifteen minutes of programming, only the first forty or so
seconds to be up front, the rest will be underneath the dialogue, pretty far
underneath -- coming from a monitor down the hall at the radio station where the
audition is taking place.
And actually, in the full-length movie there's another sequence that The
Audition blends into that takes place just after in real time, right there in
that radio production studio. That means ultimately I need somewhere around thirty
minutes of continuous radio programing: another fifteen minutes, or so, for that
following sequence that features Natasha Randall and Duante Beddingfield.
As for the music, I will be using a pop song I wrote and recorded -- um,
last century -- for the unknown, un-famous -- (un-released) -- Heart Walks
album project. It's titled "Freedom From Bondage." This'll be a
quick-and-simple mono mix, since I'm rendering the whole movie in mono. I also am
meeting shortly with a friend about the use of a song from him and his band that
will fit the program format of "Lite 97.5 -- WACI Radio." And, as
we know, I may need to find a few more pop-sounding songs to use for the
continuation into the folowing sequence; I can deal with those later.
*I will at some point do a complete digital stereo mix of the HEART
WALKS project and get that thing, finally, out. Another of those
back-burner items, awaiting my eventual time and attention.
Although it might not be a bad idea to digitize the multi-track masters
sooner rather than later. That magnetic tape is getting old and has been
getting so for a while.
A fellow performer and I got together last night to do an initial rehearsal for a
project we hope to get off the ground in the future.
TUESDAY EVENING -- Yeah. One of those days I took a nap that lasted way too
many hours, so that evening was shot. No movie stuff, no Christmas stuff.
WEDNESDAY EVENING -- Most of the evening dedicated to Christmas prep. I did
watch the rough cut a few times and adjusted some color on a few clips.
TODAY -- Spent several hours attempting to tweak the color. The whole process
started to become a huge quagmire. Different clips have different RGB adjustments
and other color balance and saturation adjustments, from multiple filters. It's
getting difficult to get agreement or know which particular filter to tweak. It's
clear I've discovered later in the process, better ways to filter the color, but
some earlier attempts are now obstacles to the better techniques that I now know to
I've realized that since I have refined my understanding of how the color correction
applications work as I have moved along on this project, I need to go back and
start the color correction process all over with my better understanding of how to
approach it. It's going to be much easier for me to get all the clips to be in color
agreement if I start from ground zero.
I deleted out all the color correction filters from all the clips and will start
fresh tomorrow, or maybe tonight after the family gathering. *Though I did save the old color correction filtered project file
as a back-up, just in case I find I need the filter settings, or some of them.