The Rough Draft

If you can't go through it. Go around it.

Yeah, that didn’t happen— Shocker.

At least now I get to see what I got for Christmas.

It is funny though as I’d started reading Stephen King’s – The Stand again as I consider it one of the best apocalypse novels ever written.  Of course in his book we’re finished off by a govt. created virus gone wrong and unlike the film, “Contagion,” drearily directed by Stephen Soderberg, you actually care about the character contained within it.  But the interesting thing about King’s story is the time of it’s setting, the early nineties.  If you don’t think the world has changed and moved on since then, think again.  This is prior to the Internet being everywhere.  No Wifi, No Bluetooth, no smart phones and what I think is really most important, no GPS.  In fact the first chunk of the book deals with the govt. suppression of information.  Something that would be impossible to keep a lid on in today’s information saturated world.  A good example is the cel phone footage of the terrorist bombings in London. Live footage was on the web and TV stations within 20 minutes of the first attacks.  News networks employ people to troll the web for story content.  We’ve even seen revolutions carried and sustained by social media.  Which makes it very hard for any government to carry out a secret agenda without something being leaked.

Which is a good thing.

Of course this makes the book sort of a study back in time of an alternate universe, which is also fun.

So it’s been an interesting few weeks to say the least as I’ve spent it breaking down a factory to ship down to Vermont.  What’s interesting for me is the fact that I worked on equipment for this project when it was in development out at the govt. development lab in Rougemont, Quebec.  I then helped build the plant in Cambridge, Ontario and now I’ve taken it all apart, stuck it on trucks and sent it down to Vermont.  In the middle of January, I’ll head down there to supervise it’s resurrection and to train the new crew on its operation and maintenance.  Still a bit odd mentally for me.

I’ve spent the week getting to know my new car and I’ve got to say I’m impressed.  The Mini has power and grip and can hit corners better than any car I’ve ever owned.  I’ve addressed the stereo issue with a new unit being delivered in the next week or so and right now I’m just looking for winter tires and rims.  Which has been an experience in, “You want how much?”  Thank God for Craigslist.

I had a meeting with my producer the other day and we went over the new film and how I want to prosecute the story and characters.  He’s on board with the A,B and C plots as presented and we’ll get the contract out of the way so I can push ahead.  Delivery of the rough draft is set for the end of February.  I’ve got a bit of work ahead of me but nothing too difficult and at least there’s no Sasquatches or Virgin rapes in this film (long story but covered in detail in this blog about two years ago).

And finally to a bit about photography.

There are a lot of specialized portrait programs out there that smooth and enhance the final product.  They’re very good at what they do.  However where they fall down is in the masking or reducing of physical trauma to the face.  My son Colin was badly burned in a fire and because of the Autism, we were never able to keep him in Jobst Bandages  So he has some thicker scars on his face.  We’re used to it but we’ve had some episodes in public where people were shocked by his appearance.  Of course as he’s gotten older things have spread out a bit but we still get the odd look now and then.

Photographing Colin can be tricky, he has a tendency to say, “Cheese,” anytime you point a camera at him.  Contrary to popular belief, the word cheese does not make you smile naturally.  So you need to know you’re going to be taking a number of exposures.  Of course being Autistic, Colin is also very mobile at all times so you either set the auto-focus to servo or you know that you’re going to be blowing a number of shots as he moves in and out of focus.  While I enjoy portature in color, I really like it in black and white, especially when it comes to my son.  So my standard procedure is to use a constant light source.  In this case I’m using a Rotolight mounted into my hot shoe with a full on Red gel.  This of course sends your white balance all to hell but that’s okay.  In post I apply a color bypass filter to the monochromatic image.  In this case Yellow as I found the Red bypass put too much light into the image and I’ll kick up the contrast to make the blacks richer and to suppress the higher noise generated by the ISO setting (6400).

Here’s some of the final results:

I think the last one is the best of the series.  I do like how the Rotolight puts that nice ring of light in the eyes.

2 thoughts on “Post Non Apocalypse

  1. shayla says:

    Wow he is so grown up, it makes me feel old. Hope the family is all well and that you have a wonderful Holiday season


    1. Steve Abbott says:

      Same to you Shayla. Yep he’s all growed up.


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