I continue my walk of shame. After waiting in vain for my wife to shoulder the responsibility of authoring the disks for Treasure Hunt, I finally, reluctantly, put it back on my plate. Where, like a dreaded portion of a meal, I pushed it to the side and avoided looking at it.
When reading about movie making in another book, I was told that a number of editing software packages have ways of authoring disks, at least DVDs. Encouraged, I fired up my (Linux-based) editor and lo and behold, there is a DVD authoring capability. Encouraged, I started to follow the steps in the ‘wizard.’ Only to have it repeatedly crash whenever I got to the automated chapter step (where you can jump forward/backward within the movie). After updating my software, only to find the latest version also crashing, I opted to skip that step and, eventually, was able to produce a DVD disk image I successfully burned to a DVD. I popped it into our DVD player (actually, a Blu ray player) and it loaded up, exactly as expected.
However, the options for authoring the disk were extremely limited, as mentioned, the chapter mechanism crashed, and there’s no facility to make Blu rays. So, essentially, I’m back to square one and need to make time to use the hated Windows to find something that will actually work for my needs. I’m getting a headache just typing all this.
Also, second rejection (out of four initially) regarding festivals. The next two are supposed to make their decisions by October, so I should know in a few weeks.
It’s not looking like anyone else will take an interest in re-editing Treasure Hunt. I did some (albeit brief) experimenting with making a more authentic day-for-night, and may continue with that at some point. I’ve also been reading more about editing and may try my hand at color correcting and see if I can make something happen. Supposedly, it’s not that challenging, but, like so much else with the editing software, there’s that vast ignorant gulf I have to get across to do even the most simple things. I’m also toying with reworking the audio levels myself as that same editing book has some pointers on how to make that happen. It’s ‘interesting’ though: There’s no universal way to optimize the sound (or video, for that matter). It depends on how the product is to be delivered. Theater has one way to optimize, that can totally fail when it comes to watching on your phone, yet trying to compromise for one results in a noticeably poor performance in another. Oh, then there’s the element related to distribution where the video and audio levels have to be optimized for various broadcast media (e.g., US TV vs other countries, cable vs over-the-air, etc.). I’ve read several times that post production (what happens after all the film and dialog has been captured) can cost as much, or even more (usually for VFX-heavy flicks) than production itself. Now I get that.
Earlier, when I contacted a sales agent (buried here), he (or maybe she) complained that the production values of the movie weren’t good enough. I was very skeptical (and, to be honest, hurt) when I heard that, but now I’m starting to understand how a quick look at a trailer can tell someone exactly that sort of information. While I still believe the original imagery and sound were captured at a high enough fidelity that it could be made into something that demonstrates the necessary levels of production value, I now grok that it’s not currently at that point and it requires, at a minimum, 100’s of hours to get it to that point. The question now is: do I invest that level of energy (which, even if I worked on it consistently, is probably 3-6 months at the bare minimum), continue to try and find someone who will take that on for an affordable price, or do I simply chalk it up to a learning experience and move on. A conundrum…