This week I was a guest on fellow movie podcast Battleship Pretention. You can find the episode at http://battleshippretension.com/episode-392-with-special-guest-eric-thirteen/ We talked Director’s Cut, the changing digital landscape, ethics in podcast advertising. I told a few stories and managed to behave myself. It was a lot of fun.
I was the last guest on Brad Wyman’s show about Crowdfunding. We talked about Director’s Cut (which was crowdfunded!) and what the fuck a producer actually does. It was a live sort of talk show, but you can see the archive of the episode online. I’m about 2/3 of the way through episode 22.
Filming has been incredible. Everyone working on the film is spectacular, I never want to leave the set. You might recognize Dustin Knouse in the video! All our makeup fx and production design / art dept people are killing it, the movie’s got a great weird look.
I mostly just came to see how it’s going, but I ended up being in a bunch of scenes. I’m getting shot in the head in the movie-within-the-movie, and I’m also playing an EP in some stuff on the set of that fake movie (which is called “Knocked Off”).
Shooting is about to begin on Director’s Cut! I shot a video last week of Lexi Love. In the somewhat meta screen test, we reference her other meta-venture, the crowdfunding campaign she did to fund her role in the crowdfunded movie.
Lexi’s awesome. She’s also the Executive Producer of Double Feature. Doing this video was a blast. If I wasn’t off to LA for a month, I’d be hang out in SF shooting some more.
Deadsy’s self-titled 1996 album cover. High resolution.
When I was younger I was a huge fan of Deady’s self titled album. I found it through a random discovery of the final track, Sleepy Hollow. I’ve been listening to it a lot again recently, but was bummed the album artwork is so small and grimy.
The album was actually discontinued, and many of the songs made their way onto Deadsy’s follow-up album so it isn’t an easy find. High resolution artwork never seemed to show up online, so I decided to recreate the cover.
The largest I could find was 700 x 700. Using the excellent app Pixelmator, I redrew the artwork at 2500 x 2500. It provided a nice eight hour break from Double Feature.
The blasphemous, tabbo, science minded film podcast you all know and love as “Double Feature” may be on it’s last episode of all time.
We created a Kickstarter to save it.
As you might imagine, fans of a free internet podcast aren’t the ideal candidates for pledge drive. That’s ok though; they’ve actually pitched in a ton of money! The thing is, those resources alone are not enough. If this Kickstarter makes it, it’s going to be because of my friends. So if you’re reading this…help me out!
If we can’t fund this Kickstarter, it’s over for us. Yikes. I explain a bit on the page:
When this show began, there was only one goal – to put out a show every single week, even if we didn’t quite know what we were doing. We figured we’d learn. It was content creation through brute force. We started planning for the show almost half a year before even publishing an episode. It seemed like an easy goal at the time. We were self employed, barely twenty years old, and lived maybe a mile apart. We saw each other every day and we never stopped scheming.
Over the years, an afternoon of slasher films went from a recurring activity to something that required strategic planning. Time went from our most abundant resource to our most scarce. We eventually started mapping out the show like a war game. Every year, our real world responsibilities made planning more difficult. In recent years it’s been a near impossible task. The show’s been hard, but we’re thankful for it. We stopped having time to hang out. Working on the show together became the excuse to stay in one another’s lives.
Jobs and responsibilities are what usually end podcasts, and we were determined not to let that bury ours. We found a place to record at the Edgewater Beach Hotel, and it started to look like things were going to be alright. Not a month later, work unexpectedly pulled us to opposite sides of the country. We started scrambling for shows anywhere we could fit them. We were deciding next week’s movies just minutes before we hit record, it became impossible to plan. When we began, time was our most abundant resource…now it’s the one thing we’re without.
With less than a week left, I really don’t know what’s going to happen to the show. It’s such an important part of my life, but it’s become really hard to do. We’re so fucking close now. I really hope we can make it through.
Double Feature takes up a lot of time. Michael and I always plan these other projects, but we just don’t have time to complete them before Double Feature starts kicking our ass again. We move the work around (year planning, mixing, research, etc) in a such a way that we have little vacations for ourselves a few times a year, and it allows us to work on a few extra things…but revising the website always seemed to get pushed back. With my mini vacation once again coming to an end, it seemed like now or never.
This new site is crazy awesome. The design is a much cleaner, Helvetica driven sort of look (despite the single mass use of Arial – ease up, font nerds!) It uses our year end artwork for both the background and main header, which is neat and modern looking. There’s a bunch of new features, and the backend now allows us to expand in a way that’s stupid easy. Easier expansion means a lot less of “wouldn’t this be cool? If only it wasn’t such a pain in the ass to actually roll out.” A few of those things have gone up already.
We noticed the most accessed page on the site (besides the main page) was the A-Z list of films. People who are seeing the site for the first time want to know what we’ve covered. I used to have to update the list manually, which not only took a lot of time but always seemed to get pushed back and ensured it was never really up to date. Now the list gets updated automatically whenever a new show goes up.
With the revision comes a database of artwork for each individual movie (a bit more on that in a second) so it seemed like an obvious choice to build a gallery of every movie we’ve ever covered. This way people can browse our shows like you’d browse DVDs at a store. Similar to the A-Z film page, you can look at that gallery and click any cover to immediately go to that episode’s page.
This database also gives us the ability to post a count down to the next show in the upper right hand corner of every page. This way it’s easy to figure out what we’re doing next week so you can watch the movies in advance. It also clears up a little confusion about what “Wednesdays at midnight” means, since that’s technically Thursday morning.
New Entry Example: Lost Highway + Psycho
The show entries template has been updated too. Each entry now features the chapter times so you can skip between the different movies covered in the episode. It also has details for the movies themselves!
There’s more obvious links to IMDB and Wikipedia, and buttons to purchase the movies on Amazon or iTunes. My favorite thing about the new site, however, is that there’s now high resolution cover art for every single movie we’ve done. I removed all the text from each cover and conformed them all to 1500x1000px. It helps make the Double Feature site a more legitimate resource to find useful things (which is part of the overall goal looking forward).
There’s also release date, director, writer, actors, a synopsis…all of this goes into a database as well, so now you can click a director’s name and see every movie of theirs we’ve done on the show. If we’ve only covered a single movie of theirs, the site doesn’t bother showing the link – that way you don’t go through a bunch of clicks just to find out you’re already looking at their only episode. We’ve given each of these director’s their own page with a brief description of what the director is all about. It’s a great place to go if you’re not familiar with their work.
I’m still writing up a lot of these descriptions and working on some new features. We have a new contact page on the site if you’d like to leave any feedback about the changes.
I just finished a live music video for the Glittermouse song Porn Stars and Promises (We’re in Love). You can see it here:
You can also download the video directly on the video page.
I shot the song with Rob Cornell on February 3rd. It was a spur of the moment kind of thing. I borrowed a Canon T1i and he brought his T2i and we filmed without having any real preparation. Neither of us had been to Lincoln Hall before, so we weren’t really sure what to expect. I’ve been really interested in using a DSLR to shoot video and I thought this would be a great test for low lighting.
I know Glittermouse though their singer, who also happens to be my Double Feature co-host Michael Koester. To be perfectly honest I’ve only seen them live a handful of times and I wasn’t really sure what song to shoot. While we actually shot for the first two songs, I ended up putting together this video for the fourth song in their set. It wasn’t optimal for the coverage we had, but I loved this song so it had to be the one.
I edited it together in Final Cut. I actually cheated a bit and used a ton of b-roll and footage from the other songs. While I’m sure knowing that will ruin the magic for some people, I’m actually really impressed I was able to pull off such a believable video. A lot of that was the magic of Final Cut. This was my first time really using FCP – when I did the Birthday Massacre Bootleg DVD I had made everything using Quicktime and iMovie. Final Cut turned out to be really great. I even did the color in it. I can’t wait to jump back in.
Gorillaz released their new album “The Fall” yesterday, and it’s free. If that isn’t enough to make me go crazy, they also recorded the entire thing on an iPad. Inside the album artwork pdf they include credits to all the iPad apps they used to make the album.
$1.99 Speak It!
$9.99 Solo Synth*
$4.99 Crystal Synth XT
$2.99 FunkBox Drum Machine
$19.99 AmpliTube for iPad
$4.99 XENON Groove Synthesizer
$19.99 KORG iELECTRIBE
$11.99 Mellotronics M3000
$2.99 iOrgel HD
$5.99 StudioMini XL
$3.99 Dub Siren Pro
That’s roughly $121 in iPad apps, assuming the full versions were used and not free trials.
* I can’t actually find “Solo Synth” anywhere on the iPad, although search engines seem to return Moog’s NLogSynth Pro when you go looking for it. Since Filtatron is credited as Moog Filtatron in the album notes, it’s possible Moog’s other iPad synthesizer was used as well. It’s only a best guess at this point.
An AmpliTube iRig was likely used for guitar input on tracks like “Bobby in Phoenix.” It’ll let you jack a quarter inch input directly into the headphone jack. It’s also possible vocals were recorded this was as well.
Various sounds of US travel appear on the album; “California and the Slipping of the Sun” has some samples. There are some samples of what appear to be radio stations on “The Snake In Dallas” as well. The track “The Speak It Mountains” includes the classic iPod click sound, and “Aspen Forest” also has the cell phone interference sound you commonly get when your iPhone is on Edge and near a set of speakers.
We use an iPad on Double Feature all the time. Production meetings, emails and notes, show research while we’re watching the movies…I often wonder how we even did a show before it. “The Fall” makes me wonder if we couldn’t record and even mix the show on one as well.