DEEP IN THE EDIT
We’re deep in post production on our latest indie film SODO EXPRESS and working on this has been one of the real positives during lockdown.
The decision to work remotely on this film was taken long before lockdown. The film was shot in Seattle, USA in 2019. The main actor, Ezra Dickinson is a native Seattleite as is Zachary Rochstad and I was based there for about 15 months till I had to leave for Jakarta. (You can read about the move here!)
Ryo Sanada, one of the producers and creatives works in Brussels, Belgium. Ingmar Jarve, the lead animator and creative lives in Estonia. Matt ‘IXA’ Rudge lives in Hong Kong, editor Tim ‘Cinema Iloobia’ Grabham has his post suite in Brighton, UK. So as a production crew we are literally all over the place. We’ve worked in a remote way for a number of years, often getting together for specific shoots around the world. So we all feel quite lucky to not only have set up this production as a remote process before lockdown kicked in, but to be quite used to it as theres been no need to rethink the way we do things,
I initially prepared a very heavy and flabby assembly edit i.e rushes, ideas, thoughts. It’s what I consider a sketch and guide for the real post work to begin.
Cinema Iloobia’s Brighton facilities offers edit systems, finishing systems and in the past we’ve worked with Tim Grabham himself to finish a number of films, in particular Soka Afrika which ended up winning the Palermo International Sport Film Festival, 2011 and the Golden Whistle at New York’s Kicking and Screening Film Festival.
Talking extensively with Tim about the narrative of SODO EXPRESS, the meanings and how visual the film is was important as getting on the same page for a film that has almost no dialogue is a challenge. But between the assembly edit, a lot of Whatsapp calls and patience for Tim to do what he does was the best way forward and here we are in June 2020, close to finishing a cut.
The vibe and general atmosphere of the film was a huge consideration when putting SODO EXPRESS together. From thinking about how to create a cohesive look through all the varied locations, the tone of black and white and understanding how to integrate Ingmar Jarve’s animation and Ryo Sanada’s graphics, but still maintain a natural yet dynamic look that works across all the locations and the strong performance Ezra gives.
At the point of writing this we still haven’t decided yet on the tonality of black and white yet, but being cohesive, getting the flow and vibe rich, dynamic and captivating so we can immerse our audience into the story is the way we and all filmmakers think.
With a cut almost ready to share, we’ll be co-ordinating with our team of creatives to figure out what next.. We have a title sequence to work out, potentially 3 – 4 graphic elements and about 4 -5 animated scenes which might take most of summer to get right – but so be it! With indie films without huge budgets you have to concede somewhere and often if you are not willing to concede quality, you will concede time which is understandable and something as a filmmaker we all have to take into account.
The biggest challenges in terms of working remotely on independent projects is being able to keep momentum up, making sure we all on the same page and communicating well.
SODO EXPRESS will be available to watch later this year and If you’re interested in collaborating, need input on a production you are putting together; from graphics, to shooting to titles to animation, get in touch with us right here.