Monday, September 17, 2012

First Review of Where We Started

I haven't been posting as regularly as I'd like to, I admit, but I'm happy to have something to post today.

After all the hard work on Where We Started, it's nice to see people appreciate it. The first online review of the film has been posted. You can read it here:

BadLit reviews Where We Started

Here's hoping there will be many more positive reviews to come.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Where We Started: The Poster

We finally have a poster design for Where We Started. To give credit where it is due - Andrew May came up with the initial design concept, and Tyler Ellis did the final design work. Here it is:

I'm really pleased with the design. It is simple and striking. My thanks to the guys who designed it.

I'm also pleased to report that the lead actors finally saw the finished film and loved it. I know - you're thinking, hey, they could be totally shining me on. But believe me, I know these actors. I can tell a veiled criticism when I hear it. They are proud of the work we did, as am I. I am more and more eager for people to see it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Where We Started: DVD screener

The final phases of postproduction on Where We Started have been frustrating. A lot of work goes into finishing the film well. The cutting. The sound. The color correction. All of those involve creative choices and technical ability. But we finished that.

Getting the film exported off the computer so that we can make a DVD was a much harder thing than it should have been.

Just for informational purposes, here's a short version of the process as it's supposed to work:

First, you export the movie from Final Cut Pro as a .mov file (with little or no compression).

Second, you compress that file for DVD using Apple's Compressor.

Third, you import the resulting files from Compressor into DVD Studio Pro, create a menu and chapter breaks, and then burn the disc.

Sounds easy, right?

There are so many things that went wrong - things I didn't even think were possible.

It started with sync issues. For some reason, the sound and picture were not in sync when we exported the movie. No matter what we did, we couldn't get the two in sync.

The other major issue is that Compressor was dropping the brightness of the movie significantly. Since the movie has a number of scenes that take place in dim lighting, this was unacceptable.

Those two problems caused significant delays. I won't bore you with all the attempts we made to solve these issues. The final resolution for the brightness issue came via former student B.B. Enriquez, who has had the same problem with Compressor and showed us how to tweak the gain settings in the software program. My colleagues tested several different settings on the movie, and we were all in agreement on the final look.

The sync issue was still lingering, though. Finally, my colleague Corey Carbonara suggested we try working with the film on a different computer. We had been using our high-end system (the one we use for finishing all larger/high-end projects). So we took the drive with the film on it and worked on a different system, and, well... that was the problem. Apparently the high-end system has a sound-related glitch that is preventing it from maintaining sync. Once we moved to another computer, the problem was solved.

And here's the result:

The first DVD screeners have been burned and mailed. And all of a sudden, I've entered an altogether more difficult phase of the filmmaking process: the waiting. Now I have to wait for people to respond to the film. And pray they like it as much as I do.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Calling Doctor Who fans


...because I'm making a documentary about people like you.

Fans come in all shapes and sizes - some dress up/cosplay and attend events like Gallifrey One or ComicCon. Others write fan fiction. Some analyze the show in critical research. And some do all of the above and more. There are hundreds of ways you might express your fandom.

So how do you express yours?

I'm a filmmaker (and professor of film & digital media) starting work on a documentary about American fans of the BBC sci-fi show Doctor Who.

So - do you have an interesting story about being a fan of the show, or know of people who are obsessed with the show or have a story about it? Are you a fan of the new series since its return in 2005, or the classic series, or both? Do you go to Doctor Who conventions (or other sci-fi conventions where Doctor Who is part of the landscape)?

If you're an academic who studies Doctor Who, why?

These are just some of the possible expressions of fandom - what's YOUR story?

If you're interested in being interviewed for the documentary, please email me. I'm assembling a list of potential interviewees and locations.

A little about me, by way of introduction: I'm an award-winning writer-director. My previous films include The Proper Care & Feeding of an American Messiah (available on Hulu, Fandor, and Amazon), the short documentary comedy Clean Freak (available on Fandor), and the dramatic feature Endings (winner of Best Dramatic Feature and Best Screenplay awards). My most recent film, Where We Started, is coming soon.

You should also know that I am also a Doctor Who fan. I discovered it as a child on Georgia Public TV in the early 1980s. My favorite Doctor then was the fourth. I still love him, but I'm also a David Tennant fan.

So - please email me or leave a comment here.

Chris Hansen
christopher_hansen (at)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

An overdue update

Well, it's been too long since my last post, and for that I apologize. My only excuse is that it has been a busy semester, and a busy year, and frankly there just hasn't been much to say when it comes to updates on the film.

We got to a point where the most I could productively say would have been, "Hey, we're still working on it." And you know what? "Hey, we're still working on it."

But we're inching closer to the finish line.

The final two steps in this process are color correction and the sound mix. Both are in process. I have to check the color correction, because that may now be complete. And the sound mix is nearly done, but the mixer had to go work on another project (for two weeks in Poland). So as soon as he returns, we should be able to finalize everything.

So that's it for now - the film is coming soon!

And here's a photo of Grant Hall working on the color correction.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Editing Where We Started: The Trailer

BK Garceau, a trailer editor in LA and a former student of mine, is working on the trailer for Where We Started. He has been trying to cull it down to a two minute preview that tells the story without revealing too much. Though it's not yet complete, I thought I'd share what the trailer for the movie looks like in post-it note form on BK's door:

The trailer edit itself should be done pretty soon, but then we still have to finish sound work and color correction on the film so that the look of the footage in the trailer will match what the final look of the film turns out to be. So I'm not sure precisely when it will be released for public consumption - but I will tell you that watching the trailer made me excited about this film all over again.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Editing Where We Started: Music

It's been a long time since I've blogged - had a busy semester as we've been trying to complete the picture cut of the movie. But as we move toward completion of that (and it's nearly done), I've been working with composer Mike Hogan on the score. Today, I spent the afternoon listening to his compositions and working with him on changes. It's terrific working with him - he's both flexible and precise. Nitpicky when he needs to be. We get along creatively because we're both similar - open to the ideas of others but also sure of what we want and what we like.

Anyway, here's a shot of Mike from today in his home office/studio.