Making a Movie

Owl WomanI really enjoyed doing the video although it was the first time I’d seriously used Movie-Maker. The programme is fairly basic but still has lots of opportunities if you work with it and I’m just about to use it again for the next one. Many years ago, back in the 80s, I learned how to do what we called “son et lumiere” using a slide projector and tape recorder. All the slides had to be switched and timed by hand! It required a lot of work … but so does this, and it’s the same sort of work. To do a movie you need to know what you want to say, it all hangs around this. I had to experiment quite a bit to find out about this and to firm up on what needed to be said … not always the same thing as what I wanted to say *g*.

The basic blurb for the novel is …

Vicki wakes out of a dream just as the phone rings. She answers it and her father’s housekeeper tells her that Jacob, her archaeologist father, has been killed just as she saw in her dream.

She goes home to find out what has happened and old things begin to surface. And the village is in turmoil because Sylvie, her father’s mistress, has capped the spring and the village is dying for lack of water. Vicki meets Merle again, her ex-lover from whom she ran away, and learns Jacob had found the village’s famous 4000-year-old gold cup that he’d been searching obsessively for all his life.

This re-awakened Sylvie’s own grail-obsession. She and Jacob fought and now the cup has disappeared again. Vicki and Merle begin the hunt to retrieve it. Events are exacerbated by Vicki’s resumed but still rocky relationship with Merle, and by the shadowy Owl Woman, the spirit-of-place, who has her own agenda. Vicki finds herself becoming this spirit … and the Owl Woman is wanting to settle old scores.

This is far too long! The blurb on the back of the book is all that needs to be said as a taster.

Vicki dreams her father is killed, wakes to find it’s true. Old forgotten things begin to surface – her father’s obsession with his ancestors; his mistress’ mania for the grail; Vicki’s own lover from the past. And the Owl Woman herself, spirit of the land, wanting to settle old scores.

After lots of messing about I felt I’d finally got there. Next job … to choose the music and sort carefully through the many pictures I have to see which ones said this best.

After lots of listening and thinking I settled to John Renbourn’s lovely flute and guitar version of “The Trees They Do Grow High”. I’d had this in mind all along but I tried some other pieces too before returning to this, it’s about 3’20” long and I wasn’t sure the words I’d got would be long enough. Ha! They certainly are but, I had to learn about using the various video transitions as well as how to bring the words up on the screen in a way that went along with what I wanted the movie to say.

Getting the pictures right required a lot of work in Photoshop, putting images together to express the characters and the words. I love this, been using Photoshop for  years and can sit all day making pictures – except it kills my neck and shoulders! Then getting the transitions right was a real exercise in thinking + visualisation. There are so many transitions to choose from it would be easy to splat them about all over the place and make a real unusable mess. I think I’ve avoided that *g*.

Then, as I thought I’d done it, finished, I  found I had the same problems I do with a story … letting go! I get this same problem of needing to force myself to stop when I’m painting too! It’s so important to stop fussing at something and let it go out into the world and do its stuff. Apart from seeing a spelling mistake in the credits I think I can do this now – I’ve certainly put the first version out there.

Transforming the “project” (that’s what they call it) into a “movie” takes time. Like 20 minutes! This is a good incentive to get it right before you go there and not fuss too much once you have unless there’s something unlivable-with in it. I will get to that spelling mistake … but not quite yet *g*.

Hope you enjoy the movie. You can get the book on Amazon (another thing I may change along with the typo) as well as at my Lulu store.