Monday, October 29, 2012

Frightening Features Demo (minus some)

I'm a bit late in posting this, but ... This is a demo, which later became the first quarter of a project in the Film & Animation Club, at New England Institute of Technology.  It was produced in my second quarter at NEIT.  I participated on several levels in the creation of this feature: I composed the theme music at the beginning of the show; I made all but one of the headstone props; I was the Floor Director during the shoot; and I did a bit part, both in voice over (it was me, offscreen, saying "No, scream!"); and as a stand in (it was me holding the cue card that said "GR-E-EAT!" at the end of the clip).

[Please view this video larger by clicking Play, then pointing to the upper, left corner of the video, where the title appears; Click on that title, and it'll take you to the YouTube site on which it was uploaded. There you can also enlarge it even more]

But what you'll notice is that the footage of the feature film is missing.  I attempted to post the clip as it was originally, a 15 minute piece, with a beginning, middle and ending skit, along with intermittent pop-ups, and the first 10 minutes or so of the film "The Night of the Living Dead."  The idea (from producer Frank Durant) was to create something like the old Creature Feature and Elvira, late-night, horror, schlock shows, and to (hopefully) show them on one of the RI Public Access channels.  Going on air was nixed by the NEIT staff, as they were not convinced that it was okay to use the footage without running into copyright problems.  We assured them, and showed from official documentation, that the film was in the Public Domain.  But the answer was No.

Well, I suppose it's a good thing we didn't as this odd little experience taught me: After I uploaded the video, I got a message from YouTube telling me that there is a copyright issue with some of my video, and it mentions two companies that have some sort of hold on the film being used.

So, even though "The Night of the Living Dead" is in the Public Domain, somehow The Weinstein Company and another media company have either purchased the licensing rights to this film, or some other strange thing is going on with what is supposed to be public material. What's next, companies buying the rights to Mozart and Beethoven?

I wrote to the Weinstein Company, asking them to permit me to show the clip of NOTLD since I'm using it in a parody fashion, and not for profit, etc. Until then, I guess this chopped up, and contextless little bit of footage at least shows off some of my talents in music creation and props.

Bill Gionis did all of the special FX, sound FX, graphics, keying (which was very time consuming, as we didn't quite have the green screen properly lit), and the editing of the footage.

I apologize for the low quality of this video.  I somehow only got an MP4 of it, but had to do some re-editing, as the theme music was way too low, and the sound was not properly synched to the talent.  And it's a sad reality that, every time you re-render media, the quality degrades.

There is also another episode of this show, the likes of which I've never seen a single inch of footage.  In this one I wrote the script for all the skits.  Hopefully I'll get that and will upload it as soon as possible.


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