A Steampunk Western

COMING SOON TO A SCREEN NEAR YOU! (Probably, the one in front of you right now…)

More than a few people have pointed out that a status report is long overdue, so I’m posting this EVERYWHERE. The status of Cowboys & Engines is it’s freakin’ AWESOME! I know it isn’t fair to gloat when I’ve seen the film and you haven’t, but I’m excited!

Before a film goes off for its final sound design, scoring and audio mix, it’s necessary to “Lock the picture.” As a director, this means stepping back and committing to no more tweaking of the cut, no more editorial changes. From the standpoint of flow and shot-by-shot juxtaposition, the movie is done.

I spent the last few days making little tucks and adjustments, and putting in temporary versions of some of our big establishing shots for timing purposes. So, even though I’ve seen the film (500 times? More?), I got to spend a lot of time seeing it as a whole, rather than focusing on its individual parts. And I’m so incredibly proud of what we accomplished, I want to shout. The impulse to share C&E, even though it isn’t done, is SO STRONG, that I feel more certain than ever that we have a winner.

You have to recognize that every director has largely gone cold on a film by the time you see it. It’s new for you, but for the creator, you’re sick to the teeth of it by the time you release it into the wild. You know every crease, line, wrinkle & wart on the old girl. The most you can reasonably hope for is comfortable affection.

But… once in a great while, you get a film so special that you rediscover it again on the other side. The blemishes fade, and what’s left is a magical piece of art that gives you chills and you think, “I helped create this.” This weekend, I learned that Cowboys & Engines is one of those projects.

So, there will be no apologies that we’re so late in delivering, or that we’ve taken so long to finish. The decision not to rush was the right one. What we’ve made has simply taken time. Because it’s special.

Enough ephemera. I know you’re hoping for some nuts and bolts information. On our current schedule, the film should be completed around the first week in October. Once it’s completely done, we’ll release a new trailer online, and schedule the premiere screening (which some of you may well be attending).

Post-premiere, password-protected download links will be emailed out to everyone. That will, hopefully, keep ya’all sated while we prep the physical packages. Discs have to be authored, artwork printed, t-shirts made, there’s the matter of a small book I have to write… etc.

Realistically, expect all the physical goodies to go out very early in the new year. I’d promise sooner, but, y’know, I’d be lying.

Yeah, this has all taken a lot longer than any of us imagined. And you know, I’m so very glad that it has.

  • Bryn Pryor

Post-Production Update

Greetings, everyone!

I realize it’s been a couple of months since our last update, but we haven’t been idle. A lot is happening behind the scenes to make C&E shine… Color is being tweaked, our sound designer is going to work, and everything is FX, FX, FX.

Every day, some piece of work-in-progress FX video rolls in, like this awesome full-color test of the Temporal Engine powering up:

I know this seems like a slow process, but to be clear, there are several hundred VFX shots in Cowboys & Engines, and we’re still a low-budget film. We don’t have a 60-person CG crew working in shifts.

HOWEVER, we do have a new deadline, and one we think is going to stick: We plan (fingers crossed) on having the film finished by mid-July. In fact, we’ve asked ComicCon to give us a Cowboys & Engines panel, and if that happens, we’ll be screening the opening scene there for the first time anywhere.

That’s all the news. Keep an eye on this space for more updates about the film, the premiere, festivals, rewards fulfillment, etc.

We’re on our way to Mars!

Post-Production Update

Howdy, all.

Just a quick update on where things stand with C&E. The film is edited (barring any tiny tweaking), and the Visual FX are fully underway. We knew this was going to be a huge undertaking, and we’ll get it done, but without a big-budget Hollywood team of hundreds, the process is slow.

Once final color and FX are finished, sound design and music get added, then we begin arranging screenings and pressing discs.

As our own Richard Hatch likes to say, Keep the Faith! We certainly haven’t forgotten about you. The Steampunk Western you wanted is coming soon!

  • photo from Tumblr

    This shows why color-grading is so vital to post production. We shot Cowboys & Engines on the Red Epic, which produces a very washed-out image, and has issues reproducing blacks.

    Given the work of a proper colorist, though, the final result has Richard Hatch & Libby Letlow looking amazing.


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