Thursday, November 18, 2010

Catching up

It's been quiet here on the blog, in contrast to the nose/grindstone situation around me, with deadlines to meet and epics to cut.   I've always wanted to say that I've been editing Ben Hur, well now it's true.   It's not the Charlton Heston version, nor even the BBC 'Imagine' doc that's coming in December (they say), but the front-of-house and backstage DVD of the recent performance at the Theatre Royal Bath.   A screenable not-too-rough cut, running a mere 1hr 50min, was indeed screened at the egg in Bath on Sunday, to a generously appreciative audience.  Or in fact two generously appreciative audiences, in two showings.

Ben Hur has been a huge project for the Theatre Royal, and continues to be for my little corner of it, with sound dub, grading and authoring still in progress.   I've learned a great deal as always, and as always a lot of what I learned I sort of knew already:   it's difficult to edit when the audio tracks are mixed already (ie music plus dialogue), and it's doubly difficult when every angle has a shot of a drummer (actually a 'Hortator' in the roman galley sense) who has to keep the beat.   In sync.   Left following right.   Every shot.

More on this, maybe even some choice scenes, at a later meeting.

In the meantime, a follow-up to share with you all.   You might (just possibly) remember that my otherwise faultless chroma-key presentation was enlivened by the vuvuzela-like screech of the cooling fan on my MacBookPro.   We didn't quite end the evening in flames, but it felt like it.    Good news though, I have been successful in sourcing a spare part for this venerable machine, and in effecting the replacement in a quasi-surgical procedure.   I'm sure the good people at Apple servicing could have done this for me, but not at a sensible price (given the age of this machine).   It's now running again, cool and QUIETLY.   Still crashes on Google Earth 3 times out of 4, and still freezes once in a while when Mail can't cope with graphics input - but runs FCP through the day when needed.

And it seems I'm not alone.   From the pc world, where it's even worse:

hit this link

Maybe there's a place for a sax backing here.   Normal service to resume in time.