It's been a long time, we know, but we wouldn't be writing if we didn't have good news: The Brick House is complete.
The short answer for "why the long wait?" is simply that sometimes things just end up taking a lot longer than anticipated, and that has definitely been the case with our film. To recap, we finished shooting on time, making excellent use of precious time and funds in twelve days, working around the clock on weekends back between February 4th through March 25th of last year. Shooting went very well, but post-production is another story. When it was finally time to put it all together, it mostly came down to just the two of us, and there was a lot to do. Between sound, music, editing, color, visual effects and life, we were suddenly looking at more than double the time we had anticipated to finish. So after 12 days of shooting, 18 months of post-production, a baby and a cross-country move, we did it. It wasn't easy, but we feel that it was worth the time and care that it took.
So Backers, now it's time to give this back to you. We will be slowly notifying each backer and shipping rewards beginning this month. What gets sent when will be based on the original order of pledges and the availability of rewards; certain things, such as the graphic novel and items related to it, are not available because they are still being made. DVDs, posters, props and most other things can be expected to ship. However, please bare with us, as we have many to go through and we want to make sure that everyone gets covered.
For everyone else, the first phase of our public release will be through film festivals. Film festivals can lead to distribution, so naturally we want to make sure we submit to as many as possible and respect their premiere status requirements before we attempt any other kind of distribution on our own. We have already begun shipping our submissions, and we have one confirmed acceptance at the Australian Cinematheque in the Gallery of Modern Art of Queensland, Australia that we're very excited about. If that's near you, you can catch that screening on March 19th 2014 as part of a curated film exhibit on modernized fairy tales. More details can be found at their website, http://www.qagoma.qld.gov.au/. We will keep everyone posted on festival news in the couple of months to come, as well as our public release once festival season has ended.
In the mean time, if you are a backer in the Tulsa area and want to catch a private screening with the cast and crew of The Brick House, you're in luck. Our special screening will take place at the Orpheum theatre in downtown Oklmulgee (one of the film's shooting locations) at 1:00pm on Friday, November 29th. This event is by invite only, and if you're a backer you just need to RSVP through our kickstarter page by November 20th. We look forward to seeing you there.
Gus and Doug [Pocket Full of All Stars]
This track comes at a pivotal point in the film. The tension builds as two of the wolves encounter Bill, the youngest pig. The scene features lots of critical dialogue, so it was important for the music to take a backseat to the visuals. This track was designed to accent more of the subtext in the scene. To achieve this, we steered away from a strong melody or a complex arrangement that would pull your ear to the music and away from the dialogue. What fit best was an ambient-style arrangement. The entire piece slowly paces back and forth between the same two chords. Staying confined within these two chords helps to build a feeling of claustrophobia. Naturally, your ear expects the song to move somewhere new melodically, but instead, it is just the instrumentation that varies.
For the film in general, the goal was to combine elements reminiscent of old westerns with synths to fit the midwest setting, but in a modern way. The marriage between electronic and organic instrumentation helped to create a new world and tone for the film, while also fitting a more traditional filmmaking style.
The piece starts off with the low, bass synths that lay down an ominous and foreboding foundation. This eases us into an uncomfortable state. Immediately there is a sense of something being "off." As the tension builds, low strings are added to give more bite to the synths. They resonate a deep growl that evokes a sense of danger in a similar vein to something like the score to Jaws.
The piano in this piece slowly plucks at single notes, playing "Bill's Theme." Bill is a quiet and mild mannered character, so the goal of his theme was to create something that could easily be overpowered by the other instruments. Another one of the "rules" for the score as a whole was the use of tremolo to indicate trouble or the inevitability of trouble or conflict. As the strings start to buzz in, the tension between characters builds. We begin to wonder how far the wolves are going to take this encounter. The melodica and bass come back in and begin to overtake the piano, symbolizing the wolves triumph over young Bill. The piano moves an octave higher and speeds up, representing Bill's anxiety and nervousness as he becomes overwhelmed and conflicted.
One of the reasons we decided to release this track above some of the others is that is is a good representation of the tone of the The Brick House. The film rides a balance between darkness and grit that allows it be action packed and entertaining, but also have you white-knuckled at the more intense scenes.
There's a great rule of thumb called the production triangle; most filmmakers, designers or project managers will be familiar with it. The triangle basically boils down the priorities of any project into three categories–good, fast and cheap–that you're forced to choose only two of; in other words, anything that's good and fast won't be cheap, or anything that's cheap and fast won't be good. We've yet to find a situation were you can have all three, including our last few months working on The Brick House.
Plans and timelines have changed since we last had major updates on our progress, but that wouldn't be the case if we didn't think it was absolutely worth the wait.
The past few months have consisted of heavy post-production with one goal in mind: submit the film to major film festivals for a Spring premiere. We've been deep into visual effects, sound design and collaboration with other artists to strengthen our film. However, as deadlines approached we encountered this triangle conundrum once again: do we put a product together quickly and cheaply while giving up on quality to meet a festival deadline, or do we continue to polish a great-quality product at a cost that we can manage with the sacrifice of a sooner premiere? Seeing as this film has been a year long project with so much dedication poured into it and anticipation built up for it, and that our film would still be eligible for next year's festival submissions, the choice was obvious to us.
Our new projected completion date is for early next year. We not only have the festival submission deadlines of next summer to be more than prepared for, but we have connected with several industry professionals who are eager to see the final product as well. There's a lot of Kickstarter backers out there who will be wondering when to expect their rewards for helping to fund the film, and we don't ever intend on leaving them hanging. We will update soon on the status of those rewards, which will likely be going out in waves as they are available for delivery.
So even though our timeline for release has changed a bit, the film is getting the treatment that we feel it deserves. We can do justice to the hard work that was done during filming, its look and sound will be as great as we want it to be by the time the public can enjoy it, and we can rest easy knowing that we delivered on the promise that we would make the very best movie that we could.
To our surprise and delight, yesterday's release of the trailer for The Brick House has enjoyed an immensely positive response!
Just overnight, the trailer has gathered over 100,000 views on YouTube (pending the update of their delayed view counter). It made it to the number 9 spot on Reddit's front page and held it for hours, gathering tons of upvotes. It more than doubled our followers on Facebook and Twitter. It's been featured on hypervocal, Daily of the Day, Nosebleeds and theVIRALtrend just to name a few of the many blogs and news sites that are talking about it. The best part about all this? People are loving it!
Apart from that, it's reached a series of industry professionals who have reached out to us with interest in taking it even further.
This...is a good sign. This is just the trailer, and the reaction has been huge. We can only imagine what will happen once audiences get to see the entire film. Needless to say, this is super exciting for us and we can't wait to see just how far we can go with it. You can bet that we'll be keeping you updated every step of the way.
For now, help us keep it moving. Share the trailer with everyone you can. Send it to places and people that we may not be connected with and who may not know about us. Let's make this HUGE.
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