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Production Blog #3

Since it's the end of 2022, I don't want to lull anyone into thinking this is a year-end summary. It's the season for that shit, and it's always over-emotive and tedious. It's like when random social media videos that flare up on your feed start with the word "So". It presumes you've been following all along, and kind of implies that if you're not engaged from the off - it's your fault. Anyway.


I'm now confident that pretty much everyone that I want in the documentary has either expressed an interest, or has properly signed up. There's a few glaring omissions as well as a handful of the late-70s, early-80s voices I want for completion - but I'm only one person, and this is a 34 year story, with hundreds of individuals scattered around the blast radius. So I'm not beating myself up about this.


Which brings me on to something that's worth putting in bold. I do not work for Roadrunner, nor am I engaged by Roadrunner Records or any of it's affiliates. I need to shout this loud and clear, because it's often one of the first things that comes up in an interview. And I'm starting to get the feeling that some artists are holding back on some juicy stories and information, because they think I've been sent from a giant grey building in Manhattan. The project is independent, and Monte Conner isn't going to come round your house with a cricket bat if you tell your "Roadrunner sucks" story. If you've got non-litigious, fun stories, even if the company doesn't come out smelling of roses - I want them on camera.


Funding round starts next month, and will run for a quarter or so. If the documentary isn't fully funded by the end of that process, then you might want to start doing your pushups and eating your greens, because you won't be seeing this thing for like 5 years - and I may have to make certain production compromises to cut costs (ie Zoom interviews instead of glorious 4k talking heads with super awesome lav audio). I'm drawing the line there because I've been at this for 2 years now, and I simply don't have the bandwidth to beg for money for more than 3 months. I'm pretty sure I've stressed this before, but I'm happy to keep bellowing it out to the echo chamber.


Part of this constraint is due to me taking on two more documentary projects. They're UK based, smaller, more niche, and therefore more deliverable. They will not take 5 years to do, and won't be sold to broadcasters/distributors, so they'll be available pretty much as soon as the file is rendered. And that's the last you'll hear about them both until the trailers drop.


The podcast has been all but dead the past year or so. This is again down to being a one-man production company, delivering a global production. There's a few Roadrunner podcast episodes that are out for approval from interviewees, and a couple which I'm holding up because I need the time to edit them. All in all, I want to do more with the podcast, reverting back to "silly metal-themed oddity" projects. Zero production value, just talk to cool folks and pump the videos/interviews out. There's a couple of these in the pipeline, so hopefully I can get my head around that in the new year.


One actual production tidbit for this production blog.


Da Vinci Resolve was a brilliant shout. Having no filmmaking background, the first challenge was to assemble a production estate that an amateur could navigate. In particular, I needed an editing tool that would forgive shit footage - what with me having never shot anything before. As I've gotten better at this whole process, I can say the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema range of cameras, and the Da Vinci Resolve software deliver this in spades.


Not only can I amend ISO and fix esposure more accurately as part of the colour correction process - but the newest update to Da Vinci Resolve includes a voice isolation plugin. So now I can feasibly record interviews at the back of a venue, during soundcheck - and not have to worry about too much audio bleed. Interestingly, the knock on effect of this feature for me is it opens up logistics, as I'd normally completely sack off an interview if the artist is only available at the back of a venue during Crowbar's line check. Da Vinci Resolve indirectly made this production more flexible. Boom, good job boys and girls.




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