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
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!
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!
This is a big update, so if you don’t have the patience, interest or time to dig through the details, I’m going to skip the softsell and put the major point right up top; Kickstarter is doing GREAT but WE STILL NEED YOU!
Please, if you haven’t looked at our Kickstarter page, click this link and pony up some spare change.
It’s no lie to say that every dollar really does help, and we’re thrilled to get it. Match what you spend on Starbucks every day, and we’re funded!
But while we want your money, we really NEED your involvement. We have to reach as many people as possible, so please, copy that link, or any of the links listed below and froward them to your email list with a note of support. Talk up the project to your friends and family, and ask them to do the same. Email the websites you look at or the blogs you read and ask them to cover the project.
That might sound futile, but I swear, there’s nothing more important in the world. It means so much more coming from you than it does from us, and it works. We’ve already gotten some PR from people on this list doing that exact thing.
Most importantly, KEEP AT IT! Even when we hit that $100k, we want to go over. We want to hit what they call our “Stretch Goal,” and that stretch goal is, as much as we can get! Every dollar goes on screen to make the movie bigger, better, and more impressive. No matter what our total, this campaign doesn’t end until March 9th, and we’ll be asking you to help until that very last minute!
Now, for those who want it, here’s the latest:
Thursday was a big day for Cowboys & Engines; we’ve secured a new Executive Producer in Michael Hemmerich, a friend of a friend with a great heart and an artistic sentiment who’s come on board to help us steer this boat to shore (or zeppelin to the pad, in this case.)
We’ve also been getting a lot of great press since launching the campaign. Producer James Deen did dozens of interviews in Las Vegas, most of which have mentioned and linked to our Kickstarter page. (We’re talking Entertainment Weekly, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, Slate, and a whole lot more)
Additionally, our own press push is gaining traction, and Cowboys & Engines articles are popping up on websites small and large all over the world (literally; we’ve had articles on websites from Rio, London & Prague.)
Also, we have various events lined up over the next month to ensure we have something fresh to talk about. There’s new content on this site every day, so be sure to keep checking it.
We shot our Kickstarter interview with Star Trek star Walter Koenig, who plays Professor Timéon in our film, on Wednesday. That — as well as the interview with our FX Supervisor Ryan Carter — will be going up this evening so we can promote it throughout the weekend.
We’re very close to announcing our final casting for Dr. Clay, and we’re very excited about that. He’s an amazingly talented actor, and that will give us an added PR push, and even more legitmacy in the minds of geeks worldwide.
On February 12th, we’re having a table read of the full script at Clockwork Couture, a steampunk clothing store here in the L.A. area. Since the majority of our cast will be attending, including Jeff Cannata, Walter Koenig and (we hope) the mysterious Dr. Clay, we’re attempting to get press to cover the reading. We might also make a few audience spots available on Kickstarter, though the room itself is quite small so space is limited.
That same night, members of our team will be accepting an invitation from organizer Kevin Flint to come speak at “The Collaboration Project,” a monthly creative networking event with a focus on independent film and Kickstarter projects. That’s being held at the Brewery in downtown LA, and and we’ll be publicizing the info so anyone local who’s interested can attend that.
Their Facebook page is here:
Including attendance at that table reading, we’re going to be offering some new rewards shortly including a package aimed squarely at James Deen fans (who can’t afford $2k for the date), and another offering a model of the Magellan rocket.
Lastly, James’ publicist will be sending out a series of press releases over the coming days talking about all of the above, and getting that out to the broader press, who will hopefully pick it up.That’s all for now, but this isn’t the last time you’ll be hearing from me.
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