April Fools’ Day

(the movie is at the bottom; feel free to skip down there and go ahead and watch it)

So Dead Men Hiking is finally finished.  It’s not perfect by a long stretch–there are scratchy audio clips in places, bad visual effects in places, and numerous inconsistencies!  The monster isn’t perfect either–he doesn’t track perfectly with the moving camera sometimes.

I set out with an idealistic vision of what the movie would be, and I also had an idealistic vision of how long it would take also–little did I realize that it would take 8 months working off-and-on to finish!  Originally, the monster was going to be much more complicated–his fur was going to be animated and his mouth would be full of drool and he would blink and squint and snarl.  Well, I didn’t have time for that as it turned out.  I’ve learned that it is very easy to be over-ambitious.

So to wrap things up very quickly, here is a list of things I learned by completing this project:

  • There’s a reason professional movie directors hire effects artists–the amount of work required to do a quality effects job on a movie is too great to be done well by one person–as you’ll probably notice once you watch the movie.
  • Encouragement is important–this movie would never have been finished if my family and friends had not shown an interest in how the editing was coming, prodding me on to finish the movie (This feels sort of like the intro to the acknowledgments in a book: I would like to thank so-and-so for their support and encouragement…)
  • A stitch in time saves nine–when we were shooting the movie, I figured I could fix every problem in post-production, so I didn’t worry.  Months later, I really wished I had planned each shot more carefully–it would have reduced the number of headaches later on.
  • Probably most importantly: choose topics, stories, characters, messages, and dialogue that you will be satisfied with years from now.  I wrote some of the dialogue thinking, “Oh it doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect–I’ll be finished in a couple months and will have moved on to a better project.”  8 months later, I wish I had bothered to revise the script a few more times.

So, without further adieu, here is Dead Men Hiking:

We hope you enjoyed the show!  Feel free to leave your critiques in the comments.

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