Guest Blog: Peter Lord's Pirates! Diary Part 5 - Now With Banners!
Posted on Friday March 2, 2012, 15:36 by Peter Lord in Empire States
Ahoy Scurvy Swabs,
Well mateys, the voyage is just about over. Weigh anchor, clap on all sail, put the helm over and set a course for the Movie Theatre! Don’t worry, I wont carry on with that stuff, it’s too tiring for all of us. But the fact is, we’ve finished the movie.
We shot the last shot (and then, to be honest, we sneaked back into the studio and shot a few more, just because we could). We all rushed to the pub and drank prodigious amounts of GROG in celebration. Then after a few weeks we had the Wrap Party, where we all dressed up as Pirates, wolfed HAM and swilled MORE GROG. Then we all hugged and kissed each other (well some of us) and with many, many tears the crew broke up and went back to the Real World.
It’s a weird thing about film-making. There’s always this one great goal ahead – to finish the film (because frankly, that’s the only reason we’re there). So you do finish, you achieve your goal - - - and then you’re overcome with sadness precisely because you achieved what you set out to do and because you won’t be making the film anymore (not that film).
I can’t say it often or loudly enough: What a magnificent crew! What a team! I have never worked in an environment with people so free, so energetic, so talented, so committed, so cheerful…. and all that other good stuff. Personally, as director, I felt as if I was surfing on a never-ending wave of goodwill and enthusiasm, which I will never forget.
So yes, alas, the crew is split up, they go their ways and I go mine – to London for all the post production work – mainly music and sound mix and grading the picture. That was all fun. Especially, I must say, the music record! The score was composed by Teddy Shapiro and it is just wonderful. He composed it in LA – with regular interventions from me in Bristol – and then came over with his team and we recorded at Abbey Road – where else? – with an orchestra of 95 musicians (plus a choir of 40 and speciality acts on piano and accordion). OMG (as they say). What an experience! The orchestra was magnificent, the studio is the best, the music sounded (and sounds) completely amazing. In places it’s thrilling, it’s comic, it’s mournful, its triumphant and it has a wonderful contemporary sound. Teddy is a genius. Also, there was very little for me to contribute at this stage. What do I know about music? These guys were the experts, all I had to do was sit back and enjoy the experience, which I promise you I did. Also it was very cool just going to work at Abbey Road!
Then came the sound mix with Andy Nelson. Andy is the most prodigiously experienced and talented mixer (check him out on IMDB). To say I was in safe hands is putting it mildly. When you start on a sound mix you have like a tangled mess of sound – music, foley, dialogue, effects – you have way too much information and it’s actually bewildering to listen to. The mixer gently places everything in perspective and composes the soundscape so you know what to listen to exactly, and when. It’s an amazing process. Out of the tangle and the chaos, he produces shape and clarity and composition (and lands jokes too!).
Finally we grade the picture – mostly Frank Passingham, our DoP does – and again, just like the sound mix pulls the audio into shape, the picture grade draws all the scenes together. It lifts out details, it directs our emotions and it just makes the film look gorgeous in 3D or 2D.
And now to show it to real people! Can’t wait...