First step in the post production process was to capture all the footage that had been shot during our two trips to the states. This came to a approximate total of forty five tapes, 15 hours of DV footage and 22 hours of HDV footage. After we had logged and captured the best bit of this huge archive we would begin the painful task of re-syncing all the audio we had recorded with the video from the music sessions.
Tim Cowie took on the task of re-syncing the video with the audio that we had recorded in Logic, as he made his way through the tapes he began to familiarised himself with the recording with an eye and an ear to re-working the arrangements in Logic once we had the project matched up in Final Cut Pro.
I began editing work on the narrative material, capturing the various documentary footage we'd shot and listening through hours of recorded audio interviews and chopping them slowly into statements and themes. This was a good three weeks work before we got into the arrangement stage.
We started to create the music compositions by opening the arrangements that my brother Ben had created during the recording sessions and selecting the best takes. Slowly we started to get a picture of the different tracks and Tim began to refine the arrangements and write new elements to these tracks. I continued to edit the narrative while listen to the tracks coming together. Working with the narrative and the music at the same time we were able to allow each to influence the other. As i got sections for story edited we would try playing them with different tracks. We soon had a rough sketch of all the tracks and their themes, we then began to focus on the musical arrangements in Logic and translate them into video sequences in Final Cut Pro.
As we got these sequences together it back clear that we had lots of work cut out for ourselves over the summer. It had always been my intention to get different artists to remix the audio compositions and I got in touch with a handful of producers that i wanted to get involved in the project. Me and Tim decided which tracks would work best with which producer.
After failing to pin down several music producers including Patrick of DJ Food fame, we opted to stick a bit closer to home. We began work with Malcolm "Blip Vert" Litson (who had been helping us with Logic) and
Scanone, AKA Mr Jude Greenaway. Jude has been a integral part of The Light Surgeons AV performance work from day one. I really wanted his skills on the audio and his involvement in the performances, but due to his limited availability and my slim budget he only ended up writing one of the tracks in the final show.
We had to start thinking about how we were going to present the final piece as this had various ramifications on how we went forward with the editing and audio production. At times the complex layers of chicken and egg situations got the better of us but we continued to march on at a fair pace.
The narrative edits were sketched out and coming together, we had to do a fair bit of bouncing tracks between the two programs, re-arranging the audio to work with the narrative and visa-versa.
I knew there was one or two pieces that I wanted to use a more animation approach with, so we enlisted the help of some friends, Martin Banks came on board for a week and worked on a 2D typographical sequence in Aftereffects that illustrated word for word a battle between two poets about 911.
Towards the end of our post we commissioned two animators, Tom Wall and Luis De Jorge Ladrero from BlinkinLab, to create a more complex 3D animated sequence to the final track that Jude had created with the MC's we'd recorded. This sequence was created using Maya, I providing the vector artwork in a sequence that corresponded to the MC's lyrics and they set about creating these graphic files into a landscape of logos which rush past with track.
During the post production phase we had several deadlines where we had to up load work in progress to an FTP site for EMPAC to see how things were coming on and they could give us some feed back. They were more than happy with what we were making and didn't meddle with anything, which was great, the only issue for them was the title: New Adventures in Folklore, which they felt wasn't exciting enough (!?) so i began a painful process of finding an alternative.
Its hard to have any sort of objective view on something like this when your right in the middle of it all and I hate having to come up with titles under pressure at the best of times. Titles can be a really tricky thing and i don't think you can find them when you most need them, they tend to find you in my experience. After going round in several big circles, digging through piles of notes and going generally blind to the whole thing, Helen came up with some good surgestions and we decided to go with one of hers: True Fictions.