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Friday, April 07, 2006

Posters and Trailers and Prints...Oh, My!

Forgive the perhaps inelegant Wizard of Oz reference, but these days I do feel a bit like Dorothy tripping down the Yellow Brick Road. The Emerald City (and the Silver Screen) looms in the distance, shrouded in mist but intimidatingly real. Of course, I wouldn't be caught dead in ruby slippers, unless they were strappy Jimmy Choos, but you get the point. Before we meet the proverbial Wizard, however, there are seemingly innumerable tasks to complete...

For almost a week I sat in a dark, silent room, staring at colored lights on a wall and slowly going mad. Never mind that I do that anyway. I learned phrases like "digital artifact" and "dial down the magenta", both of which would make fabulous names for emo bands. Though decisions about our transfer process along the way -- Super 16mm to HDCam to 35mm -- have been driven by money (or lack thereof), the result is quite astonishing. Our baby (sorry, film) now exists on a pristine and gorgeous 35mm print -- truly a sight to behold, and believe me, I've beheld some sights.

Meanwhile, we've also been working with a great poster designer named Will Ragland to capture the essence of the film in a single image. Harder than it sounds. Our old poster, featuring a black-robed Ed Wong (Tzi Ma) in the foreground, seemed to confuse people -- they thought Tzi was either a) a serial killer; b) a martial artist; c) a Jesuit priest; or d) all of the above. Our new design (soon to be unveiled on this very site) is brighter in hue and conveys more of the comedic elements of the film, which our distributor feels is important from a marketing perspective. Apparently, people like to laugh -- just not at serial killing, Jesuit ninja-priests.

The trailer, which will also be posted here soon, touches on a few plot points -- but mostly, it just puts a smile on your face and a bounce in your step. Having screened the film for diverse festival audiences over the past year, we felt fairly knowledgeable about how viewers respond to particular scenes and which moments would play well in a "best-of" highlights reel. Even so, the process of slicing and dicing the film into sound bites and visual punchlines felt a bit odd, like turning a five-course meal into a casserole. Mmm, casserole...damn, I'm hungry.

Anyway, we hope that all of this will add up to a successful release for RED DOORS. Georgia, Jane and I are very new to this part of the process, so it's comforting that our executive producer (and de facto Wizard), Ira Deutchman, is on board to help us with marketing and distribution. Cross your fingers and link arms...cuz, baby -- we ain't in Kansas anymore.

Song du jour: "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley. I double-dog-dare you not to dance.


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