Monday, August 29, 2011

Delivering Monsters in the Woods Day 1: Music Cues

Delivering a feature to a distributor should be no big deal. The hard work is already done. The movie is shot, edited and ready to go. Delivery should be simple. However, for many micro-budget productions this is where things get rough. Many of us go into delivery ignorant of the requirements - technical, legal and financial. Monsters in the Woods is the 3rd movie of my own that I’ve delivered to a distributor. I’ve had a hand in delivering a few others for various production companies. It rarely goes smoothly. I’m hoping that the 3rd time will in fact be the charm with Monsters in the Woods, and that I can learn from and use my past mistakes to avoid missteps here. Guess we’ll see.

For my next few posts I’ll be concentrating on the physical and technical deliverables. I usually start working on these at the beginning of post-production and finish them up upon the sale of the movie. On Trap I did them all right after finishing post and ended up not needing a lot of them. Different distributors have different requirements. So now I wait till the movie sells and I see the distributors contact and delivery requirements before prepping most things to make sure my tech spec fit the distributor’s needs. That way I don’t have to redo anything.

For example, today I’m putting each individual music cue in a labeled folder, which is a bit of a pain because my composer didn’t deliver cues. He laid his entire score out in reels. So I have 3 30-minute files with no cue marks. This will also make filling out a music cue sheet kind of a pain, but that’s another story. Anyway, today I have to pull each reel of music into Final Cut Pro then find, export and label each individual music cue.  The distributor wants the cues in order to more easily create additional material for the movie; trailers, behind the scenes featurettes and DVD’s.

It took me 2 hours to export all the cues. This is the 1st time I’ve actually had to do this.
No other distributor has ever asked me for the music cues separately from the movie
before. On the brightside I figured out a pretty efficient way to prepare my music cue
sheet, which I’ll tackle right after I put all three of my reels together for final export.
I’ll talk a little more about that and the current state of the movie tomorrow. (shit, guess I should’ve done that 1st. Oh well.)

 Oh yeah, don't forget to get your copy of Trap.


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