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Maurice Ali
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 5459
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Updates – Updates…..


All day working on the movie bit by bit making sure everything is taken care of and corrected all the way through. I have like maybe twenty minutes left to finish the thing. I am bleary eyed and lacking sleep but the movie is very close to broadcast grade especially in audio. In the movie theaters the audio is really played up. That rumble I got rid of yesterday would seem like artillery fire at a theater but probably barely noticeable on TV speakers. So there is a difference between getting something ready for the theater and the TV screen.


Oddly enough I feel that the bigger picture in the theater is not so much an issue most worry about, as the audience is further back from the screen. But the audio is better in the theater unless you have a home theater set up at your place. So I nitpick everything now. You do this now even before acceptance as you surly will run out of time to do this if you get the green light. I am not a fan of crisis management so I sweat the details now…..


In other news I am handing out DVDs to my performers and such. All about the movie business right now. In the end this is all advocacy, all philosophy and idea dissemination in an entertaining fashion. Just keep the eye on the big picture.



Goodnight…..





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiXcioOXpzA&feature=share
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Maurice Ali
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 5459
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Done…..



Or at least done for the time being. I am rendering a 720p submission file and then I take a break. I am scouring for pics of the major players of the Fortress experiment though. Then I will concoct a personal statement about the project and submit all that online for the application processes going forward. Regardless of how all this comes out I did have fun enjoying the movie making process during the summer and all. Very relaxing in its own way, to throw yourself into a project and just worry about that and release yourself from all our other obligations is a very nice feeling or experience. Of course those other obligations come back to haunt you sooner or later. But I do get why some directors love to dive into a project and just live in that realm. I don’t know otherwise how to explain it. Maybe it is sort of a smaller version of my hobbies I had as a youth - like bicycle racing. You had no other cares or worries, just racing you bicycle. You were free from aging, death, family responsibilities and all the rest. No money worries – just the bicycle and you….. Sort of like that.



Escapism at its best if you wish.



All that is coming to an end along with our verdict from the folks at Sudbury. And you all know how I do with the subjective judgment. But we did the best we could with the Sudbury film festival application. Ruining up against the extended deadline and all. It would be nice if they got the show that is rendering now but those are the breaks. We did the best we could at the time and conditions and that is all you can do. Anyway I’ll leave it at that. I might have a decent meal to celebrate and spend the rest of the week working it off. But so far the movie business is a nice place to be. Heck I may as well have the greasy chicken meal and watch someone else’s “B” movie while I eat it. Our movie is what happened to all of us. It is a work of art. It has its own being and it is what it is. That is a real documentary and not some made up fantasy. It is what it is and I’m proud of what we accomplished and the final output of all that video. What others see in it is out of my control but I can easily live with the movie as it stands!



Tomorrow reality come crashing in with me having to renew my driver’s license, health card, and plates. I tried online but I keep getting error problems. So it is standing in like line a 1950’s Czechoslovakian food line and be done with all that once and for all…..



Goodnight…..
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Maurice Ali
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 5459
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Well back to the real world…..





What you see above is the lineup for drivers licenses, health cards and license plate stickers and that is just to get in the door. Anyway that took an hour and then off to another service center to correct a minor problem they would not correct, so I will just have to do this manually in another five years! Then off to the dentist to pay a fee they forgot about half a year ago; then mailing DVDs to folk and back home to sort through all the paper work and stick the sticker on the car ‘s license plate.


I did watch a “B” movie called “Dust of War” and it was alright, but I read the reviews! Well I know how it goes. It is just saddening that you put your all into some project, years of your life, tons of your money and in our case we scored and kept scoring. But watch what happens to me if we even make it to a film festival. But I will admit that to get to one close by and have the gang fill the small theater and watch the end result would put some closure on the adventure. So we just keep waiting…..


I think we will just hold out on the Sundance application to three days before the ultimate deadline and just keep at it. No regrets – no regrets…..




Later…..
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Maurice Ali
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 5459
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

It is wet outside so I may as well punch out another update…..



So I updated the credits and am making another DNxHD file and then another 720p render for screening. I have decided to go ahead and make the August 10 deadline for Sundance. The fact is less than 1% of applications are accepted at Sundance. Now this is everything especially shorts so for us with a feature length documentary we probably have better odds but they are not great by any means. You can’t count on Sundance. Even Academy Award winning films were rejected by Sundance before they got notoriety - just saying. But we try anyway.



Sudbury is much more of a possibility and logistically viable for the cast and crew. But that application and deadline has long since gone. All I can really do is get the Sundance app in and work on the promotional material.



That TV series and now movie is 14+ years of all our lives. We did things, creative things; we set up companies devoted to creativity and free expression accessing all forms of the mass media. Advocacy at the highest levels and even international policy making. And yet the story comes down to a snap decision on someone reviewing that horrible reference file we had to use. But it is what it is. You can’t go back in time…..



I spent a quarter of my life on this experiment. We all got much out of it but that is a quarter of my life! All you can do is to carry on. The one question is whether it would have been better to have not done all this and saved the money and hassle. Well I would probably have purchased two new cars in that interim and that takes away half of the money used in the experiment. What about the time? Trust me if I wasn’t doing this I would be asking myself where all the years went! Trust me on that! Sure it was good – all good. Maybe I am in the hole for another 70 grand but in the grand scheme of things that is nothing. Absolutely nothing compared to what I and the others got out of it. And thrust me I probably would have blown that money on something else too. The harder question is whether it was this or getting married again and starting a family – now that is a proper opportunity cost evaluation. A different lifestyle and different payoff. If you can find a mate it is safer than what I did. It worked out for me but probably not for the vast majority of people that got “dynamic” and took their chance. But in the end I was married before and that didn’t work out so maybe I was never cut out for that lifestyle from the get-go…..



Moot point now at my age….. I just carry on and that means wrapping this update up and filling out the application for Sundance.



Later…..
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Maurice Ali
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 5459
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Well, we just submitted to Sundance.....


I'm going out right now to get some fresh air. Finally I can take a break from all this!



Later.....
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Maurice Ali
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 5459
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I took it easy, got some sleep, and went back to work on the movie…..


Not specifically on the movie but the subsidiary stuff. I have cobbled together a rudimentary press kit now available to the film festivals. I had an old twitter account for the TV series but made up a new one for the movie and it is:

@thefortressexpe


I have one tweet and zero followers – so if you are a fan of this place feel free to up the count’ and support your local indie scene!

I’m currently looking for our Facebook page for the experiment and when I find it will be here:

https://www.facebook.com/366246120142632/posts/1479772972123269/

Things have to be changed around. Even our poster model picture has to be changed for the movie. I will take this a leisurely pace over the weekend and watch some movies. Stuff like that…..









Goodnight…..
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Maurice Ali
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 5459
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Taking the weekend easy…..


Just chill‘in taking things easy and thinking. Back to the Positive Major Mandate for Humanity at the United Nations. The movie is just part of the dissemination, part of the advocacy, the real gee-gee is that this type of mandate if adopted at the UN will enable all sorts of funds and programs that can be disseminated through the UN’s special agencies like UNESCO to reform human thought to better able its survivability in a world of AI.



As an old fart, it is not so much the creative ideas, but the daunting task of the dissemination and implementation that would be our downfall. I have the ideas and the mechanism for dissemination. Now all I need is the mandate and that is where the Pope and the nation of Bhutan came in and that is why we contacted them. All this from day one was a long shot – and yet here we are…..



So I continue to push the dissemination of the ideas and advocacy at the highest levels. I and others like me can solve the problems with AI and all we need is one generation. That short a period of time. But other things need to be in place to move that rapidly. That is what I am doing now. But why am I doing this? I have no kids, and I could just merrily end out my days with hobbies and good food and such. But you have that moral imperative. That nagging thing in your mind that compels you to act if you can’t find anyone better to do it instead of you. It’s that moral obligation to help your fellow man if you are so gifted, because….. Like I said before I have no emotional compunction to help those that made my life hard and miserable – but they are not the sum total of humanity. In the end it is the kids you do it for. Those empty vessels that can be programmed the right way – as in through the positive mandate. They don’t hate me nor did anything to me so why should I punish them through inaction?


I would like nothing more to know the world was in better hands than mine but I have seen it for myself, the world is in charge by ordinary people afraid the rest of the world will find out. So people like me have to act out of a moral imperative. My difficult life leads me to try to understand what makes humans tick and think. I started with a “zero base review” of human thought as rationality and such are just different tools in the mental tool chest we use to do things. In short a character like me that lead a difficult life is best suited to tackle future problems like AI. I don’t want this; it is not a question of want. I would love someone else to do this and not me. I don’t get chicks or money or even status or notoriety, but it is an imperative. Seeing others try to solve problems that are beyond them is disappointing and disheartening. At least they are trying though – I give them that! But if you think you have something, like an extra gear they don’t have, you are compelled to act and the world has set up a system for such people to quickly get to those venues that matter and offer up ideas. I tried and hid under the furthest, most obscure rock I could find, and yet they found me! So the system works and I can come and go at the UN as I please and inject ideas at any time. Anyway, I just hope you can understand the emotions and rationalizations of why I am doing all this. It is very hard to find dramatizations of this process that compels you to act, and I am the worst salesman for this type of activity. But the people who run the world may not be the people who “wanted” to run the world. Someone has to do it, and if the best don’t act, then lesser individuals must fill those positions to the detriment of humanity as a whole. You are compelled to act if you can’t find someone better than you. I didn’t and here I am – unfortunately…..



Goodnight…..





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpWGJwtwQ-c&feature=share
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Maurice Ali
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 5459
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Ok so two days of good sleep and relaxation and I’m raring to go!


First of is the DCP (Digital Cinema Packages) NTSC workflow for the movie. DPC is the industry standard for movie projection. While I carp about how great DNxHD10 was for the submissions I will Need DNxHR444for the theater file. This is absolutely overkill with the sources I used but more compliant to the output codec. These files will offer a bitrate of 176mb per second. I believe DCP supports up to 8 audio tracts though we are using only 3. So I will test drive the work flow and make sure the picture is as good as possible and then tweak the movie to display best on the theater screen.


While I prattle on about this we don’t have any screening yet, but I don’t do crisis management so sooner or later I will get in some film festival and DCP seems to be the de rigger standard these days.


And that is my life right now. Please hit the “Like” button on Facebook if you have any compassion for us. Just search:


The Fortress Experiment


And if you have a twitter account please follow:


@thefortressexpe


We have to have some presence on social media and I don’t want it to be too embarrassing for our troop of performers!



Later.....
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Maurice Ali
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 5459
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I burned the midnight oil and got the lead and tail ends of the movie done.


The credits now roll fluidly and the intro is more cinematic. This followed a couple of tweaks I noticed from the previous version. I may give the latest version another “look see” for anything else and that will be it for Monday then make sure we can output that DNxHR444 file just in case. While I do all this we will be getting a reply anytime now about our movie and the Sudbury Film Festival. Don’t expect anything! The odds are always against you! The thing that bugs me most about getting rejection is the affect on the younger members of our gang. I am so used to it I have skin like a crocodile, but the newbie’s don’t’ and especially if they lead a hard life. To them a rejection enforces everything bad that happened in their life, so rejection means I have to handle them gently and build up that thick skin and show them that in the end the numbers will work out and we will get in there somewhere.


So that is the plan. Wait and react. It’s as simple as that.



Goodnight…..
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Maurice Ali
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 5459
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Ok another backup and another update…..




What you see above is the case for the 3.5 inch external hard drive that is Digital Cinema Package compliant. These are getting hard to get as the big film festivals ramp up. You can’t get these in stores like high end photo or video shops as it is too esoteric. They don’t really even know what I’m talking about. That is where I am at today. But these are needed when you courier off the hard drive to the film festival – assuming they accept your film (there is always that). I bought this now as I don’t want to be caught short, sort of my no crises management approaches to things. If one film festival does not want us another will pop up but almost all will want DCP compliant hard drives now. I also have the software for the actual DCP files and will just buy one of the higher end Western Digital drives or even a blue WD version if I have to. Then you format it to Linux standard formatting and you are good to go! The consortium that set the standards picked Linux because it is open source and not proprietary so it will be a pain to format but in the end cheaper for all using this specification going forward.


Meanwhile – back at the ranch…..


As I said before I lengthened the start and credits a bit to be more cinematic. My editing style still belies my history in TV editing. The usual FOF Presents with the whoosh is now a fade from black to the logo and a fade to black at the end with just black for a few seconds as you hear drums than introduce a fade from black to scenes of New York City setting up the introduction. Far more elegant that the time crunch conscious and choppy editing from TV world. Similar at the credits. On TV material the things just blast by in a blur with previews of the next show up and such. Mine crawl now without the blurriness and juddering of previous versions, which again belies my TV heritage. Folk will travel great distances to see their spots and names at the theater and we slow it down so they can actually see their names as the credits roll. When we got on TV they needed a distributor in the contract and More Vision (our advertising company) was the logical choice. Since we are looking for real distribution I have deleted this and so another big change from TV land..... Speaking of credits I spent much of Monday making sure names were spelled right and everyone included. You know you are at the end of production when you sweat the credits…..


Then final checks for color correction and audio and then we test the best formats to encode to DCP standard.


And that is the update…..



Goodnight…..
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Maurice Ali
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 5459
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Doing this on my phone.....


Stuck with reviewing audio. But I did do a few tweaks, the major one drawing out the intro to make it even more cinematic. A couple of saturation changes and then the audio. We are close to wrapping up the editing and then I create The final DNxHR444 master and create everything from that file that has the most resolution. First would be a Jpg2000 or tiff sequence and use that as the base for the DCP. For sound I’m thinking 3.1 simulation for those in the know. And we just work on the final output for a theatre and even test drive it in a theatre.


So that’s where we are at now.




Later.
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Maurice Ali
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 5459
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

So the big news was that I completely redid the credits!


The rolling titles still had a little judder and nobody seems to be able to fix in indie land. When I look at the rolling titles in a big budget movie like “Interstellar” with Anne Hathaway and Mathew McConaughey and Ellen Burstyn, Matt Damon and Michael Caine, the titles roll perfectly and there even is a credit for the company that did the rolling credits. Contrast this with “Dust of War” and the credits judder. I thought this was an AVID thing but that movie was edited on Adobe so it is an indie thing and I chucked the whole rolling credit thing in the bin marked “G”! The reality is that I wanted it looking professional and so I went to slates and started from scratch. The effort was worth it as the credits rock! They rock and roll to Dan Strudwick’s song “Before I Die” and I could not be happier. I even put the pretentious “A Maurice Ali Film” before the end as they did in the other two films. Then a very slow fade out of “The Fortress Experiment” to that AAVRY KNAPP song and that is the movie….


I will check for errors at a later time. In fact I want a DNxHD version of the master by Monday as that is when I do the DCP stuff. Light at the end of the tunnel.


Why push so hard now you ask? Why not take it easier? Because at my age and stage of the adventure if I pull back on the reigns now I will never get back the momentum. If I truly did something stupid like quip that the whole organization was ending due to some reason (like a lump on my lip – for example), you could not come back a week later and say – sorry – everything is back to normal. It would stay dead and I am too old to start over again. So we keep the momentum up and push harder and harder until the wheels come off. They will come off eventually but I want absolutely no regrets. The time no longer matters as it is spent, the money doesn’t matter as there are no second chances. Just push, push and push…..



Goodnight…..





https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8770798/?ref_=nv_sr_1
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Maurice Ali
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 5459
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

One final backup and then another master file will be made…..


The credits took all morning, cross checking and making sure everyone is noted. That is done and so now I create another master and we start the weekend reviewing this hopefully “final master”. We keep looking at it for anything that needs to be changed and on Monday it goes off to be made into a DCP. I’m letting the pros handle this as this proect is a nightmare of fomats and such. Plus I have not done this before so I might make a small but crucial error and we don’t need that now. I will scale it up to 1998X1080p (2K, 1.85 Flat) from 1920x1080P which is industry standard in cinemas. We have enough bars around this thing and we don’t need any more so composition is the sacrificial lamb as we crop from top and bottom. I will also see if we can get Dolby 5.1 to further make sure the thing will play on any projector worthy of the word. Then we will take the finished product to a small theater and review function and display.


Note that this is all being done regardless of what Sudbury says. We are doing it now just in case we get accepted but if we are not we are ready to do this now anyway. Like the original FOFSTOCK, there may be a another such as FOFSTOCK 2, but in life there are no guarantees, so you go all out for what you have before you. This movie means much to me; not only as an artistic work but as a part of my life. You give this the best you can because this is what they will remember of you when you are gone. So the pros take over after Monday.



Goodnight…..
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Maurice Ali
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 5459
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

An unscheduled backup and another update…..



Now that the movie was nailed down on the visual side I am serious going at the audio. So far the movie is basically mono as much of it is dialogue. Even Dan’s closing music was mono – an oversight there. So I made it stereo and that makes the tail end rock, but what about making the front end more majestic? So I moved the intro drums to stereo and upped the volume. So after the FOF Presents “whoosh”, you get the fade into these stereoscopic drums that keep getting louder and then I start talking at the UN and the stereo drums dissolve and go to the mono drums in track three which fade out as I speak – now that rocks! I wanted this as if you have previews they are coming at you with 22.2 surround sound and then my humble mono thing comes on – nope….. So this shows the audience I can move the sound waves like the rest and ease them into my documentary mono style with a few moments where the audio rocks up again. For me that race home from my General Assembly speech to be with my dying mother gets the loud stereoscopic drums with the dialogue and subsidiary sounds like the aircraft and car on its own track – track 4 – and do it that way.



Then maybe some stereo street noise when we pan to the UN or UNESCO and such, but mostly it is dialogue and will be mono. Stereo dialogue is mostly horrible unless you are in a cave and want the full reverb effect! So that is the plan for Saturday. Get a quality stereo mix where needed and offer up the A3 and A4 files along with the master for DCP creation and possibly usable Dolby 5.1 for the final mix.



Now watch it all go wrong…..



Goodnight…..
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Maurice Ali
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 5459
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The movie will actually be ready for delivery for DCP processing in a few hours. I am still pushing and think we can get real 5.1 audio if we try. So I try. But the movie as first intended is done now.



Later.....
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