Spirit Blade Productions

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013 Marathon Song Work

Unlike previous entries in the Spirit Blade Trilogy, I find myself focusing right now on completing work on all of the songs at once. In the past, the songs have come peppered throughout the overall post-production phase, often only becoming a main focus of my attention when I naturally reach them in the process of chronologically mixing scenes. But this time I'm surprising myself by finding both the motivation and creative inspiration to work on them one after the other, here at the very beginning of the post-production phase.

At first, the decision was a functional one. Unlike previous projects, I have spread out recording of cast members over not just months, but years. Mike Tully was the first to record, back in May of 2012. Over the following 12 months I scheduled sessions with the rest of the main ensemble cast. And though most of the cast recording is done, I still need to do one more session with Randy Hesson (Vincent Craft) as well as all sessions for my wife and myself and one or two brief sessions with supporting performers.

Since I don't have every line recorded for every scene, but DO have all song performances recorded (at least by those not living in my home), it's made sense to focus on the songs until I have all of the dialogue in.

So far I've discovered that it takes me about a week and half to two weeks to get a song to about 80% complete. At that point, the pattern seems to be that I lose inspiration to work on it further, and so set it aside to begin work on another song. This part of the pattern is actually pretty similar to my work on previous projects in this trilogy. Finish a song up to 80%, then set it aside and come back to it a few months later. By that time, I can hear the song with fresh ears and have a better idea of what is still "missing" from the final product.

Right now I've got two song at 80% and another at about 20%-30%. I'm very happy with how my creative inspiration seems to be holding up. Songs tend to require a lot more creative energy to produce than scenes, which is why historically I haven't done them all at once. But I'm just so freakin' excited about every single one of these songs that it's been an enjoyable process so far, even with some inevitable grinding here and there.

If all goes well, I should have all songs at about 80% by the end of September, at which point I'll either go back and start finishing some of them or jump into mixing scenes for awhile. And with an average mixing pace of three months per hour of story (as I discovered working on "Similitude Of A Dream"), that would put me roughly on track for a finish date of fall 2014.

Of course guessing at production time-tables is always a bit of a game for me, as my estimates have always proven lousy. But I still like to give myself something to shoot for!

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