Duke City Shootout - what a weekend

It started with a call from ARTSlab Program Coordinator Eric Renz-Whitmore asking me if I was interested in helping a production crew with some sound editing. Hearing the exhaustion in his voice he put added the flavorful ending of "it's crazy and nuts around here if you want in on it"... how could I refuse!

I was introduced to a polite and informed individual who also had the hint of exhaustion in his voice. It was around 3pm when we spoke and the film was locked and being rendured. He said it would be late before he could get me the video to spot audio but I assured him that wasn't a problem. We planned on meeting at The Agency that night (where I coincidentally had a project set up already working on video projections for a CD release party at the launchpad) to preview the video and discuss the details.

The film we worked on was called "Mantrap" and to my surprise it had only one word of dialog throughout the entire 12 minute program... that word was "HEEEEEEEELP"! I saw that I had my work cut out for me and set up my ProTools rig over at the high tech data center known as Big Byte. Big Byte was the epicenter of all things post for the Duke City Shootout with all productions working non-stop around the clock finishing their films. This would be the place I would spend the next 18 hours working on sound editing and sound design for Mantrap.

All I can say is WOW - talk about some talented people working their asses off over there. I had wanted to work in some way with the Shootout, and that was pretty much the extent of my knowledge about it. Well, I of course got a crash course in the inner workings of the Shootout, but also had the pleasure and honor to work with some outstanding people.

I began spotting FX around 3pm and we were able to deliver the finished film at 07:59:30am, 30 seconds before time was up. What a rush and thrill it was to deliver the finished film It was an awesome experience and I hadn't pulled an all nighter like that in a while... I forgot what it was like to be drugged by sleep deprivation, offset by Tourine and Caffeine fueled energy drinks. In the end, I spotted over 70 FX clips along with 3 ambient beds and 4 music cues for the 12 minute piece. This was all mixed under the supervision of the Writer / Director and after a touch of limiting, it was laid on the timeline without incident. phew... we pulled it off!

After a couple hours of sleep, my wife and I went to the showing that night at The Kiva. AWESOME! it was great to see the other films and the awesome turnout. What an experience. This little blog-blurg really can't explain all the time, effort, and love that everyone put into these productions. It was amazing to witness it and amazing to be involved. I encourage all of you to check out the films if you haven't and get involved! (and again, thanks for the invite Eric - it was a pleasure and an honor - call me anytime for something crazy and nuts!)

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Tags: artslab, bigbyte, city, duke, film, mantrap, shootout

Comment by Eric Renz-Whitmore on August 6, 2008 at 8:03am
Jason,
First, thanks so much for your offer to do a 'little' down n' dirty sound work for Mantrap. The way you pitched in was pretty amazing and, I think, a good example of what a few mostly unsung heroes did (Special Shout-out to Paul Gallegos, Volunteer of the Year Award-Winner who crewed for three productions, then acted as swingman and mentor for the last 48 or so hours of post).
I'm not familiar with all of what went into each production, but as you can see (from that other post), sound is pretty important. Watching Mantrap, you'd probably never know there were trains rolling through every seven minutes or so or other sound issues on set. Having someone with Jason's skills and dedication come in at the last minute to focus on sound was priceless. It made the film work.
Comment by Chris K. on August 6, 2008 at 11:43am
Jason,

Great that you had fun, it is a crazy experience isn't it? I also replied to your comments on the Duke City Shootout Winners and 2009 Shootout Dates thread. Please take a look at it.

Chris
Comment by Eric Renz-Whitmore on August 6, 2008 at 2:16pm
Hey guys :)

btw... I should mention, I'm Program Coordinator here at the ARTS Lab, not its Director.
Comment by jasonwolf on August 6, 2008 at 4:05pm
correction made... thanks Eric!
Comment by jasonwolf on August 13, 2008 at 9:47am
the links to the films have been posted! yeeeeeeah!

http://www.dukecityshootout.org/

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