Hey there, everyone!
It's been a while since I've posted an update. We've been super-busy here at Casa del GOLD (I don't speak spanish, sadly) working on fundraising (always, always fundraising ;-( ), scripts and planning for GOLD Season 2, scripts for our GOLD spin-off, "Night of the Zombie King," and pre-production for our upcoming (in 4 days!) shoot for the pilot of our new series, "Alice & the Monster." Whew!
But don't think we didn't notice that you crazy-awesome folks have put us over the top. Yes, you read me right: the GOLD Season 1 DVD Club is 100% funded! Over 100%, actually. Which means that A) there will definitely be a GOLD Season 1 DVD in early 2010 and B) you guys are awesome. Which you already knew. There're still 20+ days in this Kickstarter, so we're hoping to build up a little cushion to help us with some extra-extras we've been discussing. If you've got friends who'd enjoy a GOLD DVD, encourage them to stop by and join the DVD club, pre-order a DVD, and generally go nuts.
Since we are now fully funded (once the Kickstarter ends on January 1), we've already begun work. The first things that need to be done are the most important: re-mastering the GOLD episodes for DVD. I thought I'd tell you a little bit about that here, and in the next week or so we'll talk more about DVD extras. Cool? Cool.
A word of warning: if you're not interested in the process of producing a DVD from content originally aimed at the web, you will fall asleep within 2 paragraphs. I guarantee it ;-)
Thanks to your generous donations, I've hired a cracker-jack professional editor to assist in the creation of the GOLD DVD. Re-Mastering GOLD essentially means returning to the raw episode edits and cleaning-up much of my ham-fisted post-production work. As of last week, this process has begun. It's a time consuming, laborious process, but I'm super-excited to see the end results.
When we originally made GOLD, we shot in glorious 1080i HD on my trusty little Sony HVR-A1u. While it's only a single-CMOS camera, the footage looks pretty darn stunning, I think. The thing is, we were aiming for the web, our budgets were tiny, and I was, let us say, inexperienced at color correction (I had never done it before ever). My inexperience bled over into the final product. What that meant was:
- I colored it for the web. The range of colors available for display on computer monitors is much wider than the gamut of the NTSC standard used by television and DVDs in the U.S. I colored corrected the episodes to computer monitor standards (such as they are), not NTSC. Therefore, when you convert the current GOLD videos to DVD, you get some bizarre coloring where the current colors sit outside the NTSC standard.
- Since I was such a novice, I had a hard time color correcting across different lighting conditions, etc. I took a shortcut which washed all the episodes with a yellowish, old-film look. By applying this wash, I was able to mask many of the cut-to-cut inconsistencies that I was unable to properly correct. It worked out, but sacrificed a lot of the richness of the original color for consistency.
Probably the most significant amount of work that will go into the making of the GOLD DVD is to undo all of my novice color correction (a fairly easy, if time-consuming task) and re-color correct using professional standards. Episode 6 will be the easiest - we were fortunate to have the help of a pro color correcting EP6. Unfortunately, she was forced to match the yellow-washed look of the rest of the series, but working with her stuff will be least laborious.
In the end, I think the GOLD that you can watch online looks pretty damn good, especially relative to the overall world of web video. But I know there's an even higher level of quality that can be achieved with our source video - it just needs a professional editor tasked with unlocking that quality. Thanks to you folks, we've now got one.
Good sound is the hardest thing to achieve in any indie video production. Proper equipment is expensive, and the environment constantly interferes. On the GOLD shoot we used a pretty high-quality boom mic and a great boom operator. But we had no lavs to work with (tiny mics which live on each actor for clear, crisp sound), the surroundings often interfered and, as with color, I was the most novice of novices when it came to post production sound. My processing and mixing skills were, um, raw.
The good news was, web video, especially at the time we were first releasing GOLD a year ago, was a lot more forgiving about sound than your living room entertainment system. Most people watching television on the web are listening using earphones or tiny computer speakers. A lot of the imperfections in sound can be easily masked when aiming at such devices. Not so with DVD. DVDs get played in your kick-butt, amplified, huge-speakered entertainment systems. The sound quality bar is much higher.
Fortunately, like the video, the raw sound we have is pretty darn good. Our pro post guy, Frederick, is confident he'll be able to make it very clean and pleasant. He's doing that right now.
It's so exciting to think about bringing GOLD to that next level. The DVD is going to look and sound amazing, and it is all thanks to you folks who backed the GOLD DVD Club. I hope you're as excited about seeing the end result as we are.
PS: Since the Kickstarter does not end until midnight, December 31, the funds from your pledges have not yet been activated. According to Kickstarter, pledge funds will be secured starting immediately after the Kickstarter campaign ends, and should be in our hands within a week or two. This means that, if you need to plan to make certain you've got the funds in place, you should aim for December 31. Thanks.
Next time: Exploring and Planning DVD extras
pledged of $2,500 goal
seconds to go
Oct 13, 2009 - Dec 31, 2009
Pledge $5 or more
Even if you've only got $5, every little bit helps. If you give at the $5 level and the project is funded, you'll receive the warm, fuzzy feeling you get from helping out an independent video creator, and your name in the "DVD Club Donor" section of the GOLD website.
Pledge $10 or more
$10 is a big deal for an indie content creator. If 250 people give $10, we can make our DVD! If you give at the $10 level and the project is funded, you'll receive all of the above, plus a special "Thank You" in the DVD credits and liner notes so that everyone who watches the DVD will know who made it possible.
Pledge $25 or more
We hope $25 will be the sweet spot for our donors. That's why the $25 level has such a great reward. If 100 people give $25, we can make our DVD! If you give at the $25 level and the project is funded, you'll receive all of the above, plus a copy of the GOLD Season 1 DVD, signed by the creator and many of the cast & crew.
Pledge $50 or more
$50? Seriously? You are awesome for even considering this. If 50 people give $50, we can make our DVD. So, if you give at the $50 level and the project is funded, you'll receive all of the above, plus a SECOND GOLD Season 1 DVD (to share with a friend), plus a GOLD Season 1 DVD poster, signed by many of the cast & crew.
Pledge $100 or more
$100? Okay, above and beyond, people. If 25 people give $100, we can make our DVD. So, if you give at the $100 level and the project is funded, you'll receive all of the above, plus your name will be included in a special video thank-you shout-out from the cast & crew on the DVD and the GOLD website.