Update May 19, 2017
Color correction should be finished today. The educational materials are completed and are now in the hands of the designer to make them look pretty. May 29 is pretty solid.
So what's going to happen on May 29? Well, first we'll make the various versions of the digital files. These will be one for the USB drives, one for direct digital downloads, and then a full-res one up to YouTube, although we won't make that public until after the premiere in Los Angeles (June 14). We will also create a DCP (Digital Cinema Package) which is a piece of hardware that you take to theaters that present digital movies (which is all of them these days). The new website will probably launch the day after the premiere, with the educational materials and all.
And of course, we will have a giant party where we pack and ship about 500 USB drives to the donors. That's always fun.
Look for a link soon to get tickets for the premieres. Sign up for the email updates above if you haven't already.
Update May 13, 2017
The strings were recorded yesterday in Hungary, and it went great. The music is now being finished and the film is on its way to the color grader. Still looking at a May 29 completion.
Update May 1, 2017
Home stretch! The film is on track to be finished May 29. Over the weekend we stopped by Lee Sanders' studio to listen to the music cues that are going to be recorded in Hungary. Crazy! It all sounds great. I'm totally excited to hear the finished score, it's going to add so much to the film. I took a minute of iPhone video of us listening to the runthrough on the score, pay no mind to the "less-than-cinematic" quality (Lee likes to keep his vast ocean of BMI awards on the shelf right behind his head, so it shows up in videos like this):
In other news, the team is cranking on the educational materials and they have exceeded my expectations. Once they're done in the next couple weeks, they'll go to the designer to be made into nice PDF docs that educators worldwide can download for free.
Everything happens at once in these final months of post production. Our producer Diana is organizing the premieres (make sure you're on the mailing list above to hear about them), the FX guy is neck-deep in digital animation, the color guy is about to start conforming everything to look amazing, and the sound guy is drumming his fingers waiting on the score so he can do the final mix.
Update Apr 20, 2017
Picture lock. Still to do: FX, scoring, audio re-recording, color timing, and tweaking a few shots without altering the timeline. (Still short on budget for these items.)
A premiere in Boston is pretty well nailed down for June 27th. Still working on LA, NY, SF, and Huntsville premieres for earlier in June. Make sure you're on the mailing list to receive more info about these.
Update Apr 17, 2017
The workprint is now in the hands of... well, a lot of people. The composer, the team writing the educational materials, and guys like me who just want to geek out over it.
Update Apr 11, 2017
Composer Lee Sanders, who will be scoring the film, has selected Budapest Scoring to record some of the music. How, you might ask? It's done remotely. They have some network thingamajob going. Although a conductor is there in person in Budapest, Lee is in live videoconference with the session and there is a full-quality connection for the audio. A few of us will be on hand for the recording session, and I'll look into live streaming some of it for those who are interested.
We are planning the premieres. At this point, we're hoping to schedule screenings in Los Angeles, Huntsville, New York, Boston, and San Francisco. The trick is venues with high-quality cinema facilities that we can afford. If you have a hookup or a suggestion for any of those cities, let me know.
Update Apr 5, 2017
Ryan took a break from editing today, so the two of us could shoot out to Hammertown USA (Johnson Valley, CA) for the last of the aerial photography. There is only one more shot left, which we'll do next week in the studio. But post production continues unabated.
(And yes, as at least one wag has noted, the Skeptoid Monster Jeep did jump ship from BFGoodrich MT KM2s to AT KO2s mid-production. Who's in charge of continuity??)
Update Mar 29, 2017
We have an initial rough cut back from the assistant editor today, which means post-production is now rolling in earnest. We also have tentative dates for the film's premiere: likely the 3rd week of May. Searching now for specific dates.
Update Mar 20, 2017
l've posted a blog entry here giving lots of information about where we are and what's next. Getting all the post-production ducks into a row: editing, animations, color, sound, and scoring. It's gonna be a great show!
Here are some pics from our final two "friends" scenes — these are the scenes in which major donors appeared plus a few other folks. In these, we chat about some of the common places we hear misinformation: the Internet, TV, and friends. Look closely and you might recognize a few VIPs in these shots.
Update Mar 7, 2017
Having returned from our final road shoot — at some agricultural locations in the very southern tip of California — we're now in that vague "principal photography complete" stage. That means there are no more major shoots, but inevitably, a bunch of little odds & ends shoots. Also some graphics and animation and stuff like that.
It's clear that we won't be finished in the first quarter, which was our initial plan. The main culprit was the weather in Death Valley which kept delaying our ability to shoot there, and when you're hiring a film crew, ambiguity really sucks, because you can't schedule them and then cancel without leaving them enough time to book other work. But we finally got it done and are super happy with all the footage we have. It's going to be a great film.
Expect the finished product in Q2, and we'll update you on this page when we have it nailed down. We're looking at one premiere in Los Angeles, and hopefully up to two others TBA. Here are just a few snapshots from our agricultural shoot:
Update Feb 17, 2017
We just got back from shooting at the second of our three major locations, the US Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville AL. Here are a bunch of photos. Enjoy:
Update Feb 2, 2017
Thanks to our donors! Here is a short thank-you video from director Ryan Johnson updating you on our production:
We are getting close to our goal to fund the production! As this is a nonprofit, noncommercial film that will be released free, there is no money to be made from it. Its financing comes entirely from private grants and donations from viewers like you who want high-quality critical thinking materials available to schools and to the general public.
Here is where we are:
To donate less than $200, please use the GoFundMe box. To avoid substantial fees for larger donations, please email us to make a direct donation.
$10 - You'll receive a link to download the film in full 1080 HD.
$50 - Receive a Skeptoid Media USB 3.0 flash drive preloaded with the film, and also everything else we've ever produced.
$100 - All of the above, plus free admission to any premiere screening in the Los Angeles area or anywhere else we can put one together.
$500 - All of the above, plus "Special Thanks" in the film's credits.
$1,000 - All of the above, plus access to the shooting locations. Come hang out with us on the set, or as much as the production as you'd like. (Shooting has been completed.)
$2,500 - All of the above, plus you get to appear in the film as yourself with a good pro-science speaking part. Includes an IMDb acting credit. (All scenes have already been shot.)
$5,000 - All the above, plus Associate Producer credit in the film and in IMDb.
$10,000 - All the above, plus Executive Producer credit in the film and in IMDb.
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