We've finished the post-production effects for SUMMIT! It's been a long road with this film. Post-Production for a no-budget feature is expected to take long, but we're almost at the 2 year mark! When everyone's working for almost or literally nothing, while also working at their real pays-the-bills jobs, things take a long time. I'd be lying if I said the wait hasn't been frustrating, but I'm just so grateful for the team of people sticking with this film and bringing it to completion, and of course for the audience that has been patiently awaiting it.
My biggest thank you goes out to my Assistant Director, Editor & Visual Effects tech Matt Gershowitz, who is the only person who has been living & breathing this film as much as I have since the start of production in January 2013. He had a big task on his hands with the effects, in particular, because there were a lot of little things that revealed our shooting location was not nearly as deserted as the setting within the film. For instance, our gas station was a wonderful gift, completely free to us thanks to my to-be mother-in-law's acquaintance who owned it; but it did come with its drawbacks. The biggest one being that it was on a main road. So Matt had to put his post skills to work. Check out the before and after below.
Notice the billboard?
On top of that, for daylight scenes in the back of our picture house, because of the shooting style of part of the film, we were often forced to see the space from every possible angle, which meant revealing houses in the distance. These quick shots, though easy to miss, could pull the audience completely out of the world of the film. So Matt had the somewhat tedious job of hiding them when they popped up in the final cut. As seen below.
As anyone who does effects knows, it's not an easy or quick task with a moving image.
Now that it's all out of the way though, we're able to put the final touches on the film. The generous & talented Steven Smith is animating our title sequence for us, which is finishing final tweaks this week.
Lastly is the score and sound mix, which has been a long road in itself. Colin Harrington, our on-location sound recorder, did a great job on set, but had a lot of wind and crunchy snow to contend with. He has spent a long time cleaning up the audio to the best of his ability and my non-existent budget combined, acting as every sound department (foley, edit, mix) all himself. I'm proud of and grateful for the end product, but it still has some flaws that we're hoping to work out further before a festival premiere. He's also the score composer, and I'm just overwhelmed with excitement over what he's done with it. He really brought out and enhanced the feel of the film.
As of right now, we're 2-3 weeks away from submitting to our first few festivals, and about two months away from our final polished cut. We have a cast & crew premiere planned for the 2 year anniversary in January, and I'm incredibly excited and anxious for that. We're hoping to release our official full-length trailer around that time as well. I'll be sure to keep you updated as we progress further.
In the meantime, feel free to go back and read some past updates through the Post-Production process:
Thanks for your patience & support!