Sometimes you see a big-budget Hollywood film and you notice something in the background that shouldn’t be there, or someone’s hand is in a different spot after a lightning-fast cut, or all of a sudden Steven Baldwin is wearing a different shirt. Y’know, the gargantuan flubs that don’t take anything away from the story but become brief distractions. I’m proud to say that after several eight, ten and thirteen-hour days of nearly nonstop editing, Wings Over Arda: The First Age does not have… many of those.
The rough cut of the film is finished. Clocking in at 63 minutes (not counting the closing credits), it’s a massive file which will be exported in HD (1080 P) for Blu-Ray discs, as well as standard definition for DVDs. Basement-bound for a week, my brother and I sifted through the various hours of footage, culling the most powerful takes from the ocean of decent, mediocre, and just plain bad. I applied my final script revision during the last two hours of edits, and we had to employ some serious editing magic to get certain scenes to look the way we desired. I ended up cutting one full scene I didn’t need, but other than that, every bit of work we put into the shooting period shows up in some way, shape or form in the film. Next, the film will go into fine-tuned edits, further audio work, and special effects, while others compose/prepare/donate the musical score.
Here’s a little taste of what other members of the cast and crew were up to, besides waiting patiently, whilst Philip and I sat in the basement with our muscles atrophying.
Ginger Anne London, who plays Glorfindel in the film, is proficient in Graphic Design and put together the little gem seen above, featuring the characters of Dior (Philip Hartshorn), Caranthir (Samuel Aguirre) and Voronwë (Jennifer Wicks). I like to call it “People With Hoods.”
Jen, our costume expert and one of the film’s leads, used the remainder of our costume materials to create the “Arda Buddies” (or “Arda Pals,” I’m not sure which I like better), plush dolls modeled after Jen and myself. Yes, there is a plush doll of me, and Wings Over Arda officially has, to use the parlance of our times, “swag.” I was rather surprised to wake up and see the below photo after naively thinking Jen was joking about making these.
Music is being done by several talented folks. We’ve received musical contributions from the likes of Andrew Busone (my cousin, guitarist/singer/pianist/drummer extraordinaire); VCFA’s own Red Heart the Ticker; and even a few from musicians who saw our project’s fan page and expressed interest. The main theme/leitmotif of the film is currently being composed by the amazing Anna Pauline Kenzie, an operatic singer and stage actress who also appears in the film as Elwing. Additional tunes are being put together by my brother Philip, who plays the piano and excels at the Finale music program.
Everyone has been pretty well occupied over the past week, and in the spirit of the time of year, given a certain writer/director plenty to be thankful for.