Friday 1 July 2011

03 In the Belly of the Beast

SpaceWhale, the studio Eki shares with his GP´s (see previous blog) is located in the bowels of an industrial building a couple of miles from the center of Helsinki.  It´s quite a big space. One end is used for shooting commercials, videos, etc;  the other end is chockablock with guitars, drums, a piano and a shiny red amp. On one side are two couches covered in black, a coffee table full of stuff, a frig stuffed with drinks, with a coffee machine on top and shelves full of paper cups, paper plates, extra coffee and more stuff. Across the room are the work stations. It´s a guy´s kinda place. I love working here.

Eki says I´m the only director/producer that he lets sit in on the edit.  But we´ve been working together so long it just feels natural.  We usually get started around 10:30 - I know from experience that it´s best not to talk to Eki before 10:00 am.  Our current project "marihuanaland" is almost finished.  We let it rest for a month and last Monday looked at it with fresh eyes.  Even after 17 years, I´m always amazed at how much time is spent on the technical side, such as color corrections, voice harmonization (we call it "maggylizing" because I do the narration),  How switching a scene, or scenes, around can make the story so much stronger. And how adding a short pause in the right place can make the narration clearer. We both agreed to cut one whole scene because it looked fake and contrived.  And then there are the credits.  A minefield. You can´t forget anybody and you have to spell their names correctly. There are always lots of people on our "wish to thank list."

In a way it´s grueling work, spending hours in front of a computer looking at the same scenes over and over checking for things to correct and change. And sometimes boring.  For example, when the footage is rendering. But the hours speed by and suddenly it´s 7:00,  8:00, or sometimes much later. But the really terrible thing is when the final version is finished and ready to deliver. When that´s it.  No more chances to make it APAP (as perfect as possible). Or if you´re behind schedule APBP (ain´t perfect but passable).


  1. I love those pink mini-drums of mine, but for Marihuanaland's music, i used the bigger kit seen in the lower left corner. I now have a few tunes ready to drop in the timeline, to see how they work in the film.