Friday Afternoon Update — WeEarth, Way of the Dolphin

The three days since I got back from the Bahamas have gone by in a blur, and I apologize for not blogging on Wednesday and Thursday. I’ve just been going nonstop from 5:30 AM each day……but it’s Friday now and one thing I will try to really always do is put out a Friday end-of-week wrapup, especially if I’ve been at all light in my blogging during the week.

WeEarth
The level of intensity of the WeEarth enterprise right now is almost as high as being in the middle of a film production. And in this I’m not even referring to the WeEarth site that’s visible now — this is about the “real deal” final full-on WeEarth that is being developed offline in the background, and which, when it launches on Earth Day (April 22nd), will combine all the functions of webzine/portal, social network, ecommerce, and video hosting. There are essentially three legs to the WeEarth development group — our team here in-house, the Stir Communications Team, and the Onesite team. To facilitate communication we have everyone on an “extranet” and there are over 100 messages, comments, file uploads, etc happening every day and at least 2-3 conference calls a day. I am very proud of our team in pulling this together, and am very excited about the prospects. Here is a screen grab which gives you a sense of how the “real deal” site is shaping up (click on the image to see it full sized)
Weearthcomp02

Way of the Dolphin
The big push this week has been finalization of the screenplay — which means meetings, notes for Wendell Morris, etc — and grinding down on the line by line budget, taking into consideration all of the new info that we obtained during our trip to the Bahamas. I will tell you that we have a tremendous challenge, but one that we can meet – -and that is to make the film have more production value than the first one, and do it for less cost. How? Well, there are basically two ways that we can do it. One, is that we are leveraging the next technology that has evolved since EOD was in production. We are shooting on the Red Camera, which is the “hottest ticket” in cinematography and which has an all digital workflow. (The cameras are in such demand that there is a one year waiting list to buy them, and they are being used now for a number of major studio pictures.) Because it’s all digital and there are no film and processing costs, obviously there is a savings there — but also we can amplify the savings by shooting two cameras at once rather than just one. This saves time and allows us to shoot more quickly without increasing the cost the way it would if we were shooting with two film cameras. Beyond that, there are terrific advantages in post production which will also help us save money. So — one way we save is by maximizing the technology.

The second way is by learning from the first production experience. This time we go back knowing exactly what we are working with and this allows us to be substantially more efficient than is possible on a “first film” in a remote environment like the Bahamas.

So the budget work that has been going on this week has involved a very vigorous three way dialogue among Susan Johnson, Cornelius McKinney in the Bahamas, and myself.

Hong Kong Film Market
Our sales team has been at the Hong Kong Film Market working Asian buyers for EOD and all of our films. We’ve been having daily phone meetings and the emails have been flying back and forth as the week has progressed.

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