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January 25, 2021:

LOCKING THE PICTURE

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, we’ve locked the picture for project one aka Tonight’s the Night. Yes, you heard it here, dear readers, we’ve locked the picture for project one aka Tonight’s the Night. I was even happier with it the second time through and thought the tiny fixes we did worked really well. So, I only had one picture note involving a couple of dissolves, which I thought should be longer, so we did that. My other notes were sound notes and those only took a few minutes to address. Now, the couple of effects sequences go to Hartley Powers and she’ll finish those and integrate them into the locked picture.  The audio files will then go to our sound engineer, who’ll make sure all the volume levels are consistent, smooth out any anomalies, and make sure it all sounds as good as it can. If he feels that any of the song mixes need adjustments, we’ll just send him the band and vocal tracks as separate elements and he can go from there, although I’m hoping that won’t be necessary. I’ll have a little better clew about that when I hear it on my speakers – I’ll have my own copy to run before he starts working on the sound and I can give him whatever notes I have of stuff he should be on the lookout for. The lucky thing about this project is even if there are a few sound things we can’t get perfect, it doesn’t really matter, and you’ll understand why when you see it. Anyway, I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out and can’t wait to have people see the fruits of our labors – or should that be the labors of our fruits? Other than that, just before beginning to write these here notes, I listened to Benjamin Britten’s opera of Death in Venice and I must say that I really kind of disliked it a lot. I thought the musical style of it did not go with the story and it was too weird for me to engage with it. Maybe I’ll feel differently after I hear it again, but it’s no Turn of the Screw or War Requiem, both of which I loved, and of course I love Britten’s orchestral music. If that makes me a musical philistine, so be it. Or am I musical Phyllis Stein? From the few reviews I’ve read of Death in Venice, it does seem to be the least liked of Britten’s operas. And now I’m listening to some wonderful orchestral music by Erwin Schulhoff – I’m a big fan.

Yesterday was quite an okay day. I got nine hours of sleep, answered e-mails, did a few things on the computer device, got a couple of remixes, which I forwarded to Marshall Harvey so he could put them in the video, then I showered and got ready to go have my second viewing of project one aka Tonight’s the Night. First, I stopped at the mail place and picked up a package. That took ten minutes thanks to the Amazon returns people. There used to never be a soul in that place on a Sunday, ever. But now? After that, I drove directly to Marshall’s home environment and we watched and finessed. Then I came directly home directly.

Once home, I ordered pasta papa from Hugo’s, which arrived twenty-five minutes later. It wasn’t quite as good as usual, but I still enjoyed it. Then we had a little problem with one of the mixes so we had to sort that out and we did. Then I finally sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I finally got around to watching The Prom, adapted from the Broadway musical of the same name, which, of course, I didn’t see. I’d been putting it off mostly because I don’t like the work of the person who directed it and while I knew what to expect from him, I wasn’t quite expecting to get it even more relentlessly. In the positive mode, it was painless to watch with a couple of exceptions, it moved right along and certainly had a good energy to it. But I’m afraid I just can’t with that kind of maniacal, overactive, hyperactive direction, editing, and camerawork. I screamed at the TV at one point, “STOP MOVING THE DAMN CAMERA AND LET US WATCH THE DAMN SCENE.” There’s no reason for the camera to be constantly on the move – it makes no artistic sense to the material and just calls attention to itself, and of course they hyperdrive editing doesn’t help the musical numbers, it hinders them and, in certain cases, kills them completely. The constantly swooping crane shots are nausea-inducing and it’s just relentless. The story certainly contains an important message about inclusion, but it’s told in a strange way, almost as if we were watching two shows. A campfest about unemployed actors looking for a cause to get publicity – that’s all very meta and I’m very over meta – it’s fun, in its Bob Martin way, but then you get the earnest story and the two styles just don’t quite fit together, at least not for me. I liked the cast very much, save for Nicole Kidman, who I thought was really, I don’t know, kind of unwatchable. The lead girl was quite good, I thought. I know people on both sides of the fence for this one – I know people who absolutely hated every minute of it, and I know people, including some of you dear readers, who loved every minute of it and that, dear readers, is what makes horse racing. Always happy when people enjoy stuff. Oh, the score. Look, I gave those boys their first recording on the Broadway Bound album way back when, so I knew they were very talented. But this score just sounds like every other score – a little of this, a little of that, and then all these soupy power ballads. One would have been fine. After the third or fourth I just thought, haven’t we just had this song? But I certainly am not in the hate camp at all.

After that, I had a little ice cream and then the rest you know because you are alert dear readers.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll do whatever needs doing, I’ll work on the Kritzerland show, I’ll finally reveal the title and art and show dates on Facebook, I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, a couple of which are wayyyyyy overdue, I’ll hope for the beginning of a major miracle, I’ll eat something light but fun, I’ll print out a copy of the book so I can proof and fix anything that seems like it needs fixing, hopefully the sound files will go to our sound engineer, and then I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

The rest of the week is more of the same. I’ll keep tabs on the sound mix and the special effects and I’m hoping by the end of the week we can have the sound laid back to the video and we’ll be all ready for our first showing on February 10.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up when I’m up, do whatever needs doing, work on the Kritzerland show, post about project one on Facebook, hopefully pick up some packages, hope for a major miracle, eat, print out a copy of the book, and then watch, listen, and relax. Today’s topic of discussion: Of the musicals made for TV and film in the last forty years, which are your favorites and which are your least favorites? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have locked the picture.

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