Proof of Life, and two warring quotes

I hope this update finds you all well… If this is TLDR, and you need the key points to skip the rest: 

**Movie is basically at picture-lock. Runtime is 79 minutes. Score is done. Currently normalizing audio levels for dialog, score and voiceover narration. Will submit to cast and to NECPS for screening consideration in July for their fall 2021 annual show. Then festival submissions.**

The full story: 

Greetings, all. The last I provided an update was just as the pandemic was beginning, and I’d been holding off on doing any more Kickstarter updates until the movie was totally complete, mainly because I didn’t want to post another “Yes it’s still coming!” message, but today I received some encouragement to do so, just to provide “Proof of Life” of this project. In that vein, I’m going to try to give a general timeline of what’s been happening since the last kickstarter update about a year ago, so that you’ll all be aware that work HAS BEEN CONTINUING and is near completion.

March 24, 2020 – A rough cut assembly, including all credits and titles is completed.

March 30, 2020 – Rough cut is sent to composer Adonis Aletras for scoring.

April 14, 2020 – Score is completed.

June 13, 2020 – Completed the “Greater Good” coda segment, highlighting the “take home” message of the film, featuring interviews and footage from the non-principal subjects (i.e. Brooklyn Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Public Library, NY Hall of Science, Queens Botanical Garden) and rough credits sequences.

September 7, 2020 – Second pass at edits on rough cut, for clarity and continuity. Identified problem areas where camera was out of on interview subject. Began manual unsharp masking of all identified areas. (This would continue for several months into January 2021.)

September 14, 2020 – Final images for end credits requested from Corey Bennett. These are a treat. I won’t spoil them here.

November 14, 2020 – Voiceover narration recording sessions with artist Kristyl Cuenca-Sisko begin.

January 3, 2021 – Based on recommendations from Adonis Aletras, contracted someone to clean up some of the interview audio recorded in a greenhouse (with FANS!) in Ithaca. In hindsight, I had overestimated how well I’d be able to clean up the audio on my own in post-.

January 14, 2021 – Voiceover narration recording sessions complete!

February 15, 2021 – Video lock on film. Work on normalizing/balancing audio levels on dialog, voiceover narration and score begin.

So, yes, we’re almost there. Working on the audio levels has been nearly as time consuming as working on the focus issues in post-, but the end is at least in sight now. As of three nights ago, I had just made it to the “Summer” section of the film, so we’re getting there…

The goal is to get everything wrapped by July 1st, to send the final product to cast for them to see, and to the NECPS in hopes that they’ll find it appropriate to screen at their fall show. I don’t anticipate posting any more updates until July, at which point I’m fully anticipating the update to be “it’s finally done” because this project has been five years of my life, and I’m as eager to get it out there as you are to finally see it.

There were two warring quotes that have struggled for dominance in my mind over these past five, long years. 

“A work of art is never finished. It is merely abandoned.” (Da Vinci? And I don’t plan to abandon anything.)

The other quote was from Matt Kaelin, from the Spring section of the documentary…

“You can’t keep changing things forever. There has to be a point where you say ‘This is it.'” 

And (as I told him two weeks ago when I came across his line again) that point is fast approaching. But we’re not there just yet.

If anybody has questions, please feel free to post them here in Kickstarter as well, I’d be glad to answer if I can…

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