Blog 10: Post-Production
Well…. after one epic break from the blog,we finally have a new installment! And it’s a good’n. Since we last posted, for those of you who haven’t been following us on twitter we have secured UK distribution and International sales representation. The Harsh Light of Day will be released in selected cinemas in the UK from 8th June 2012 and on DVD from late July. We also had our World Premiere at Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, California in March. You can see our video diary entries from the festival on our YouTube page.
But enough about that, let’s rewind a little. Way back to post-production to be specific….
Once we had the film shot we started the epic journey that was post. It took us 3 months to get a strong edit, thanks to our fantastic editor David Spragg. Working with no budget and no facilities other than a couple of MacBooks (other computers are available, but not necessarily as good) the process was very slow. We had our editor in Derby, our composer in Dublin, our sound designer in Manchester, our VFX guys in London and Bristol and our director in Bournemouth. That made for a very busy and very large dropbox; forever sharing files to one another to proof, amend etc. Not the best way of doing things, but everyone had a full-time job so the work on ‘Harsh Light’ had to play second fiddle.
After a year of post we finally had an almost finished film. We had a screening with the cast and crew, which went down really well, but we knew the film could be better. We decided the opening of the film was a little too slow, so Ollie and I went out with a handycam and filmed a few shots to intercut at the start (you’ll know the ones we mean when you see it. These shots were done with just myself, Ollie and Matt Thom – who plays Steve in the film – over a year after we finished principal photography!)
A few month later, we have the FINAL cut of the film. There was much rejoice. But it still wasn’t quite working. What it needed was a bit of oomph, particularly in the soundtrack. So… in walk Dreambase Studios; a lifeline. Dreambase, run by Alex Hudd and Mark Kenna are an awesome post-production facilty house based in Wootton Bassett near Swindon. Alex and Mark have over 25 years of experience in the film industry between them, and with their fully equipped sound studios, they were able to give The Harsh Light of Day exactly what it was missing. Adding to, and enhancing, the great work already done by our sound designer Andrew South, Alex Hudd produced a terrific final design for the film’s soundtrack and put a 5.1 mix on it (which sounds damn cool).
After working tirelessly on the film for several weeks, Alex then invited both Ollie and I up to the studios for final tweaks. We had an epic session with him as he wanted to ensure the end product was perfect and we were 100% happy before taking the final audio away to have the film mastered out. Dreambase Studios definitely put the professional stamp on The Harsh Light of Day, and I like to think a big reason for them taking the project on was their belief in it’s potential. I’ve since taken my second feature film to them to do the sound design and mix, and I’ll continue to go to them in the future, after all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
And so, 8 months later, having premiered in California, we now have an international sales agent and an imminent UK theatrical release for The Harsh Light of Day. It’s been a very long road, but if ever there was a good example of dogged determination paying off, this is it.
And finally, we thought we’d share with you an exclusive video of our writer/director, Oliver Milburn, talking all about his experience of post-production of his debut feature. Our DVD will be jam-packed with special features, behind the scenes footage and exclusive interviews just like this one, but we thought we’d treat you with one now! 🙂
More about Alex Hudd…