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This article featured in FilmFax issue 128, 2011. Recently unearthed by writer David J Moore.
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One of the tricky aspects of THE INTERROGATION OF CHERYL COOPER has been its a "found footage" film so it has different rules in a sense than a conventional film. Tony and I learned a lot making INFECTION back in 2005 and that was a found footage film. We learned you can't have too much music unless it was source within the film. That meant no music scoring or music overlays because that would mean it wasn't really "found footage". It couldn't have any edits either because that would mean the "found Footage" was found by a filmmaker and edited. So we tried to adhere to some strict rules to create a stronger reality about the film. Of course, its a movie and not really "found" but we wanted to make the film as close to real as possible. I'm actually hoping to rent a theater that has the Dolby Atmos sound system. That was Tony's 7.1 mix while not having a full 128 channels of sound would still take advantage of the system's 64 speakers to pull the audience into the film's reality. - Albert.
Looks like Tommie Vegas and Shane Ryan will be doing their ADR next week at Tony Riparetti's studio in Santa Barbara. It has taken 2 weeks will to program the ADR and to select precise microphone placement and precise background sounds to go under the ADR to insure a seamless match. While most ADR matching wouldn't be notice because of noisy ambience or music, in THE INTERROGATION OF CHERYL COOPER you would notice because we made the decision to go with minimal music and ambience. And we still designed everything to be super immersive so you feel like YOU ARE THERE. So every sound is more important and noticeable. Looks like we will make out mid-day screening in Los Angeles! I am discussing screening it in an theater that has the Dolby Atmos system to be extremely immersive. I'll announce the theater soon here and we will have some free tickets to this first screening!! - Albert.
Wow, its like we're a filmmaking factory in my home. Editing on BULLETFACE, preparing for DCPs for ROAD TO HELL, preparing for 3D conversion. ADR, dialogue editing, foley, M & E mixes and final 7.1 mix on THE INTERROGATION OF CHERYL COOPER, Sending trailers for all three to Cannes. Tweaking each first of course. Press Kits, Promotional emails, posters, translights, flyers, ads, etc. Then we have the pre-launch of the KICKBOXER 2 REMAKE! Whoa...glad I am semi retired - lolol. But all four are done with a style and creative thinking. Well maybe Kickboxer 2 Remake is more formulaic but I'll stylize it somehow!! - Albert.
Completed the Bulletface pick shots. Thank you to Nathan Ferrier for being so menacing, Cats Cakmis for being properly terrified of being thrown into a mexican prison and into the bloody hands of Mr. Ferrier. Great camerawork by Michael Su and thanks to the Indie Film Factory for providing a great stage and set to shoot this material on. Great scary make up by Amanda Martinez. We got about 8 minutes of new material to add to the film, three action gore scenes (all three truly terrifying). 325 GB of material! This should get us down to a PG-13 from NC-17. Now to edit today, sound edit and mix tonight and finish mastering by 4 AM and then to create an NTSC version and a PAL version. Then ship 10 screeners off to Cannes France tomorrow. Phew! - Albert.
Screengrabs from the Bulletface shoot we did at Indie Film Factory today with Cat Cakmis and Nathan Ferrier. Both were excellent and added a lot to the movie. - Albert.
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Tony's 7.1 Sound Design and music score for THE INTERROGATION OF CHERYL COOPER was sublime. Its very delicate and creepy. We talked about having the sound design and music complement each other so they worked as one. We used Gravity as our inspiration and really focused on ambiences and frequencies. Tony has a lot of experience with atmospheric terror and suspense after spending a year creating the superb Infection soundtrack. He uses that knowledge to full effect on THE INTERROGATION OF CHERYL COOPER. Riveting, suspenseful, horrific. He captures the viewer's mind and scares the hell out of it subconsciously. Not relying on the typical scare tactics at all. He worked with Cynthia's work as a Psychotherapist to create ambiences and music in the brain's fear range. They created a truly a new and original terrifying experience. Michael Su's unnerving camera work and brilliant under your skin performances by Tommie Vegas, Shane Ryan and Brittany Bochart add to the unsettling feeling. All this wrapped into a one shot, no cut movie. Wow. - Albert
We've really entered the DIY days of filmmaking. While I did a lot of jobs as I rose through the ranks (Film loader, processor, negative Cutter, sound recordist), i never envisioned the days when virtually all indy and non indy filmmakers did everything on a film. This was made possible by digital filmmaking and software. But I think those filmmakers who toil in isolation, really miss out on collaboration at times. The very process of a communal exchange of creative ideas. Yes, i could shot and light my own films, but I must have the creative contribution of a DP to feel the best ideas are put on film. That's why I value Michael Su so highly. And Yes, I can edit my own films, do all the effects myself, but I love collaborating with the dozen of artist I collaborate with. Finally, I love working with Tony Riparetti. Yes I could buy music or sound effects and Mix my own films, but I'd miss my very vital collaboration with Tony. For intstance, I just saw the epic credits for Man of Steel. Must be hundreds of artists. I saw artists I started in the business. Like David Goyer who wrote the film, David Brenner who edited the film, Frank Montano who mixed the film. I know the film was made better by having those three involved. A lot of indy credits show a filmmaker's ego by crediting themselves with writing, editing, effects, producing, etc. I have never understood why a director needed to take another credit when its a given they were involved in all aspects of a film. Some need the credit to because of deals but the truth in my mind is ego. While I know most filmmakers do every job on a film now, they miss out on that most valuable aspect...collaboration...a vision made better by a group of artists and not just a singular artist working in isolation. My thoughts as I await Tony Riparetti's idea on The Interrogation of Cheryl Cooper should sound, and watch how Michael Su's visual mastery works with Tony's mix.
Beyond The Interrogation of Cheryl Cooper, Cyborg Nemesis, the tv version of Bulletface, the final editing of Road To Hell, completion of Sorcerers and the developing of the Kickboxer remake, is more medical treatments. I'm trying to find a balance that will take care of my health. Its not easy because feature filmmaking is all consuming. But with the upcoming shoots and screenings, I'll have a mostly free schedule to focus on Kickboxer: The Road Back. What I love about all 6 films is each is different and not derivative of any other film or genre out there. Each is uniquely its own thing. - Albert
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