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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Preparing THE TIGER FACTORY for Cannes

The past few days went by in an even quicker blur. Day became night, night became day, sometimes I didn't sleep, sometimes a nap is treated as a sleep, I have lost all sense of time.

I went back to Malaysia for 3 nights to:

1) Edit the final version of THE TIGER FACTORY for the screening in Cannes.
2) Fix the subtitles
3) Wrote a press release
4) Went through a quick interview while I was editing
5) Designed the opening credits
6) Compile the list for end credits and also design it

The rendering process took hours, it was unable to finish it, yet I had a deadline to beat in Tokyo. So I brought the hard disk containing the film back to Tokyo on Sunday and headed straight to the editing lab, continuing with the gruelingly tedious process.

One of the worst things that could happen is that you sat through 7-8 hours waiting for a film to render, or exporting it into a video file, only to then realize that things didn't work out, colours looking all messed up, weird lines appearing on the images, etc. And then you had to pinpoint the source of the problem, and then go through the process again.

That happened to me.


So it was another couple of sleepless nights in the editing lab, (in which I was also helping to coordinate the trip to Cannes) I realized in horror that the whole 7-8 hours rendering process that I went through a few times were all... unnecessary. The initial program used for the colour correction was what caused the rendering to be that slow, I removed things and REDID the colour correcton from scratch.

I was relieved to solve the problem, relieved enough to not feel sickened by the unnecessary amount of time I wasted.

It was tiring to have to do so many things at once.

After the film was done, and we delivered it to Qtech for the HDcam transfer, we had to move on to the second stage. Another sleepless night spent in the editing lab for the poster design.

Two nights ago Kubouchi and Stephen were working on one of the two posters we were going to print in Japan. Golden Week was coming soon, so we had only a day to send the design to the printing company.

Kubouchi and Stephen working on THE TIGER FACTORY poster

Kubouchi working on THE TIGER FACTORY poster.


The next day, it was done. Ming Jin arrived in Tokyo with his wife, Tomoko. Just in time to see the finished designs.

The other version is a painting done by Wen Shing and the Korean painter Hwang Ouchul.

Kubouchi with THE TIGER FACTORY posters

Two versions of THE TIGER FACTORY posters

Filmmaking is often a collaborative effort, even after the film is long complete. The promotional aspects, and all these preparations for next months' screening in Cannes Film Festival involve numerous people who weren't initially involved in the actual shoot. All these different people of different backgrounds, ideals, temperaments, pooling what they can do for the film, it's not really about the money, it's really about liking to do what you can do, some sort of passion, some sort of craziness. That is why we are all part of these. For a producer it can be a delicate balancing act, to ensure everyone is helping out voluntarily and not out of obligation, and even if it had been the latter, there would always be some sort of emotional stake in it. In the end, we might really have to believe that what we are doing is really bigger than what we are.

And for me, this is what it is. Many times I have said that this whole... film thing, is the only thing i have, everything else in life is a disappointment. This is a constant act of chasing something that most would dismiss as non-existent, deriving from this perverse pleasure of proving doubters wrong. But who are these doubters? Most of the time they are imagined. Imaginary foes to fuel my motivation. What a life I lead.

I am leaving for Cannes in two weeks.