Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Imagine Some Audio Here

I know you can't hear the audio mix from a screen capture, but trust me--it's fabulous.

Our heroes

Zombie finishing school

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Trevor Fanning in Assasination Attempt!

Funny, most of us assumed it would be Nick.

In all seriousness, Trevor Fanning, who played Pete for us, writes to announce his new show:


Sondheim's Most Controversial Musical, ASSASSINS, Shoots Its Way Into The Hedback Theater for a Limited Run by Lowbrow Productions

Indianapolis, IN, December 14 – 30, 2007 — Stephen Sondheim's musical, Assassins---the dark-humored, poignant musical about nine of the fourteen Presidential assassins throughout American history---will be presented for a limited run this December in Indy at the Hedback Theater, 1847 North Alabama Street. Sondheim is an American stage musical composer and lyricist, one of the few people to win an Academy Award, multiple Tony Awards (seven, more than any other composer), multiple Grammy Awards, and a Pulitzer Prize. He has been called the greatest writer of American Musical Theater and Assassins is no exception. Some of his greatest successes have been "Company", "Follies", "Into the Woods" and "Sweeney Todd", now a major motion picture. Mr. Weidman co-wrote the book for the Broadway revival of Anything Goes. A former editor of National Lampoon magazine and a writer for television's Sesame Street, Mr. Weidman's first theatrical venture was another collaboration with Sondheim, "Pacific Overtures."

Assassins is based on an idea by Charles Gilbert, Jr., with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by John Weidman. The musical evokes a fraternity of Presidential and would-be assassins across a hundred years of our history (including John Wilkes Booth, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, and John Hinckley, Jr). and climaxes in a surreal sequence where the assassins convince Lee Harvey Oswald that his act is the only way he will connect with them, history and the world. The cast includes many Indianapolis based actors including Eric Karwisch, Bobbi Bates, Scot Greenwell, Amy Reynolds, Triston Ross, Michael Davis, Trevor Fanning and Dean Reynolds. The production is produced by Doug Johnson, Nick Carpenter and Brian Noffke. Direction is by Brian Noffke. vocal direction by Brenna Campbell, and musical direction by Larry Bonebright.

Assassins will run December 14-30, 2007. Show times for Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be at 8pm; Sunday will be at 3pm, (except Sunday, December 16 is at 4pm). The production will be held at The Hedback Theater, home of Footlite Musicals. 1847 N. Alabama St. Indpls, IN 46202. For reservations please call 317-523-7462 or visit www.lowbrowproductions.org

Ticket prices are: $15.00 for reservations, $18.00 for walk-ins, $15.00 for students and senior citizens.

Lowbrow Productions is an Indianapolis based company. We strive to facilitate theatre, music, film and video arts productions of the highest quality to entertain, challenge and enlighten in order to bring positive change to the community. Assassins is the perfect inaugural piece because it dares the audience to understand the right way in order to achieve the "American Dream" and examines success, failure and the questionable drive for power and celebrity in American society.

"Nothing quite prepares you for the disturbing brilliance of Assassins" - New York Times

"Dark, Demented humor, as horrifying as it is hilarious" - Associated Press

"Intelligent and thrilling musical Theater. Dazzling in its originality" - Theatreweek


If you're in the Indianapolis area, check it out. After all, Trevor would go to your show.

Remember, send us your announcements. northanger (at) cox.net. That's us.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Audio Update!

Let’s see, when I wrote last, I think I said something like, and I’m paraphrasing a bit here, “I promise to give more regular updates on our progress.” Given that was written about three months ago, I clearly have a lot to learn about the wondrous world of blogging. I am managing to beat my previous record of seventeen months between updates, so that should count for something, don’t you think?

I just wanted to let you know that last night I finished the audio work on Scene 45 (where, after having lost Zorg again, Andy and Jen decide to find Dr. Harpax). Overall, I’m about three quarters of the way through the entire movie. So, the end is in sight! Although psychically damaged from the experience, I’m pretty happy with how the final mix is turning out, and am resisting the tremendous urge to turn the remaining scenes into a silent film in order to be done with it.

Actually, I’m expecting to be done with audio editing by mid-December. Famous last words, I know. Anyway, it’s a nice thought.

Back to editing!

Talk to you soon!

Friday, October 19, 2007


Our director and cinematographer are geniuses.

Pig and Man, facing the future.

Just beautiful. The movie is full of shots like this. They're geniuses.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Everybody Loves the Pig!

The Pig makes a public appearance!

Just like it's not really David Prowse (or James Earl Jones, for that matter) in the costume when Darth Vader helps open up a new multiplex, this was a Pig interpreter wearing the iconic helmet.

You can tell because he's not eight feet tall.

If we'd been thinking, we would have stencilled "www.zorgandandy.com" on the back of the Pig's blazer. Live and learn.

One more thing: Our Pig interpreter would like to comment on how well Nick Kraynak, the True Pig, did in the costume. That thing's impossible to see out of.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Meet Katie Rose - Again!

Katie Rose, who played the short-tempered, ill-fated graduate student Jen, has a new bio. (Inexplicably, she rejected the intern-provided bio, which suggested, among other things, that she was a former fire fighter and kung fu instructor.)

This is Katie, in her own words:

Katie Rose lives in scenic Grand Haven, Michigan with her daughters Willow & Ginger. When not on nighttime walks or at the library, they love hanging out at home with their two goldfish, Tolstoy and Nemo Fishie.

Although acting is her true vocation, someone has to pay for the pricey upkeep and appetites of those damn fish..so, Katie occupies herself with various creative consulting/writing work and dubious business ventures.

Check out Katie Rose as 'Cindy' in The Dread alongside Ellen Sandweiss (of Evil Dead fame) and rising star Sally Pressman ('Roxie' on Lifetime's hit Army Wives). Most recently, Katie performed a lead role in Stick in the Mud, an independent short produced by One Story Pictures, slated for festivals in 2008.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Old News Page Admits Defeat

All right, folks. We're acknowledging our limitations. We're moving our news page over to a real blog site. What does this mean to you? First of all, we'll be putting our updates on the new blog instead of this page. That link is:


You'll want to subscribe to the new RSS feed on that page, too. Otherwise, you'll miss out on things like Ben's new bio (a real one, not written by a sarcastic production intern), more upcoming tech essays from Guy, and V.Z. Montengo explaining how he came up with the script.

The new blog is also easier to update (unless there are piranhas involved, it could hardly be more difficult). So if you're a member of the "Zorg and Andy" family and have a new project, let us know. "northanger (at) cox.net" That's us.

I'll repeat myself: please promote yourselves here. We love you. We want the world to love you, too.

Guy's been showing me big chunks of the movie with the audio mixed and the temp music tracks, and it makes we weep tears of joy. It reminded me again of what a great job you all did. Tears of joy, people.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Northanger Edit Room -- With Pictures!

Guy writes:

Warning #1: Major geekdom to follow. The following may put non-geeks into a persistent vegetative state. Many apologies in advance.

I thought some of you might like to know what sort of equipment we're using to edit "Zorg."

Because, you know, I'm a geek.

We've recently upgraded to a 2.66 GHz Mac Pro with 5 GBs of RAM, an ATI Radeon X1900 graphics card with 512 MB RAM and two internal 500 GB SATA hard drives. I edit on Final Cut Pro 5.1.4.

I told you it was going to be geeky.

Note the little-used and forlorn iMac in the corner of this picture? This was my previous editing computer. Sometimes it's awkward in the editing room, having both machines with me, clearly favoring one over the other. Relationships are so complicated, aren't they?

The iMac really is a nice machine if you're on a budget and it did a remarkable job of handling the processing demands of HDV, until audio editing managed to break its will to live. This one is the 17", 1.83 GHz model, with 2 GBs of RAM and a 250 GB hard drive. I used external firewire drives for media (and now use those for backups).

Warning #2: If as a geek, your further sub-classification is "Apple Geek," you may just want to skip to the next section.

Connected to the beautiful Mac Pro are two--well, let's just say that they're monitors, okay? They're monitors made by a company other than Apple. There. We'll leave it at that.

Okay, they're Dells. I said it. And they were a lot cheaper than the Apples. But, let me tell you, when those babies are on and you're sitting there at night, umbrella drink in hand and wearing something pretty, bathed in their beautiful, overwhelmingly huge, dual 24" glows, they're a wonder to behold.

See that little box sitting under the monitors? That's the Matrox MXO, an amazing little gizmo that among other things can turn an LCD monitor into an actual, pixel for pixel, high-definition monitor (assuming of course, said monitor has a resolution of at least 1920 x 1200, which, you know, mine do). This will be critical when we start color correcting. It's also a lot cheaper than a real high-definition monitor. To learn a little more about it, check out this review by Shane Ross, an editor in LA from his very informative blog.

For sound, I use a combination of ancient Sony headphones and a set of bottom-of-the-line, M-Audio Studio Pro 3 near-field speakers (picked up at a CompUSA store-closing sale). When I take the headphones off, there are all these little bits of disintegrating, no doubt cancer-causing foam that flake all over my head and desk and clothes.

No expense is too great for the fine folks at Northanger!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

"What the Hell Has Guy Been Doing All This Time?" Or, "Shouldn't We Have Had a Premiere By Now?" An Update From Guy

Guy writes:

In order to dispel some particularly nasty rumors from a certain disgruntled screenwriter named V. Z. Montengo (more on this in a later post), I want to take a moment to state unequivocally that a) I'm not dead, b) I have not been committed to the Pennsylvania State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, nor have I, c) run off with Northanger funds to some banana republic where I am currently engaged in the "Import/Export" business. Instead, I'm here to report that since the end of filming "Zorg"-and for those counting at home, that would be the last seventeen months-I've been alive, free, in-country and in post-production on our movie.

Not that there haven't been those moments when I haven't occasionally wished for the blessed release that only death could provide. And there certainly have been times-especially recently during the bliss that is audio editing-when I've felt what little grasp I had to begin with on my meager sanity slowly loosen its hold. But overall, I'm happy to report that editing on the film is proceeding nicely. "Proceeding nicely," as in, "Boy, that glacier sure is proceeding nicely, isn't it?" Still, progress is progress!

I've frankly done an awful job of keeping all of you informed about what I've been up to and here and now beg for much forgiveness. Never forget the motto of Northanger Productions: "We're Sorry." From now on, I vow to do much better at updating you, so expect to see more regular posts from me about where we are in the process overall and what I'm currently working on. I also further promise that those posts will be much shorter than this one.

By posting, I'm also hoping to alleviate some of the tremendous guilt I've been feeling about contributing absolutely nothing to this site. It's time I did something around here to help Quentin out! By the way, Quentin has done an amazing job creating the "Zorg" site, not to mention producing almost all of its content as well. Thanks, Quentin! You're the best!

And so, on to a brief update about what we've been doing since March of 2006 and where we are now. To date, we've gone through three computers used to edit the film, as well as two major software upgrades. We shot the film on HDV, which was a relatively new technology as we entered post. I think at the time, there had only been one or two other features produced in the format, so editing-especially on the Mac side as it turned out-was a bit problematic as we resolved a host of workflow-related issues. But resolve them we did, and logging and capturing of footage took place during June and July.

We also had some additional shooting to do. In September of 2006, Quentin, Ben and Doug flew out to Mesa, AZ (not coincidently, my home) to film the opening scenes at a local archaeological dig site (with much remote assistance from Paula, Marco and Sally). You can read more about Mesa Grande and the wonderful members of the Southwest Archaeological Team who maintain it here. I think the results are fantastic and we couldn't have done any of it without the tremendous assistance of Dr. Jerry Howard, who is the Curator of Anthropology at the Mesa Southwest Museum and who overseas the Team. Thanks for everything, Jerry!

In October, I flew back to Indiana, where we (Quentin, Paula, Ben, Doug, Sally, Bill and David) got some pickup shots at both Earlham and Wabash. The group agreed that we vastly preferred the term "pickup shot" to "reshoot." Scott also joined us for an afternoon of close-ups and a little ADR work.

The rough cut of the film was finished in December of 2006 and clocked in at 63 minutes (that's without beginning and ending credits). Given that Montengo's script was right around 90 pages--and that the general rule of thumb is that each page represents a minute of screen time-you may be beginning to gain some insight into both why Montengo hates me and why writers in general drink to excess. But, as I said earlier, we'll get into all that a bit later. For now, let's just say that the film has a certain energy to it and moves along at a brisk pace.

Quentin's notes on the rough cut arrived in January, 2007 and I began going through the changes. Since March, 2007, I've been working on audio-cleaning up dialogue, adding sound effects and music. This has been by far the most challenging aspect of the production for me, mainly because each one of these disciplines-dialogue editing, sound effects work, music editing, mixing and all the rest-is an art unto itself and requires years of experience and talent to do well. But one of the joys of indie filmmaking is that you do a little bit of everything. In the process, I've learned a lot of humility and developed an incredible amount of respect for the people who do post-production work professionally. From picture editing to final color grading and sound mixing, their contributions are immense and we hope to be able to hire some of them on future productions!

On the music front, Quentin scoured the web and old, dusty record shops for music that we could use in the film. He found a wide array of genres that could have potentially worked, but the one that seemed to click for both of us is called Exotica. Quentin posted a link to some of the music we're using in an earlier post, but for another sample, click here. Right now, we're using the music as a temp track for timing and feel, but we're very hopeful that we'll be able to license the actual tunes for the finished film (one of the many things on our to-do list).

At the moment, we're about a third of the way through audio editing, and I'd hate to try to guess how long the rest will take. I keep thinking my momentum will pick up a bit, but that hasn't happened yet.

Assuming for a moment that one day the audio process will be complete, next up will be working on the film's visual effects-we have about sixty shots in all-and finally, color correction, which will give the film a unified look. And then on to trying to sell the thing! And, of course, that premiere party we're all looking forward to.

I want to thank you all again for all of your hard work on the film, and for your patience in seeing it finished. And I promise to keep you posted on our progress.

Hope you're all well and happy!


Sunday, July 1, 2007

Meet Julie Deitrich

Please welcome Julie Dietrich to the "Zorg and Andy" family. Julie has generously provided the voice-over work for Charlene Ross's answering machine message, which sets the whole darn movie in motion.

At this point, some of you may be asking yourselves, "Has Julie really suffered enough to be a member of the "Zorg and Andy" family?"

Has she stood half-naked in the snow while Guy and Ben discuss lighting? Has she been glared at by Wes for mishandling the boom? Has a light fallen on her? Did she share a house with the crew? Has she Touched the Bugs?

Well, consider this: in high school, Julie went to the prom with one of the producers, an event at which said producer thought it would be amusing to wear a beret.

Oh, yes. She's suffered. Welcome aboard, Julie.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

We Welcome our New BOCATEK Overlords!

Hosting for this site is now generously being provided by BOCATEK. We are very grateful.

This means that we're now able to provide an RSS feed to keep you informed as we race toward completion of our magnificent postproduction process. Sign up for our feed and never miss an exciting update again! Isn't that great?

How do you sign up? There should be a little orange or blue icon up in your browser's address bar. Click it, and something should happen. (Look, we're not rocket scientists here. If that doesn't work, we suggest checking Google or harassing a knowledgeable friend.)

Once again, the "Zorg and Andy" family would like to express our sincere thanks to the people of BOCATEK. They're not just technologists, folks, they're patrons of the arts!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

We killed another one!

As we speak, the post-production team is installing a new computer to complete the sound mixing. Guy's rich, multi-layered audio sculptures have proven too stressful for the iMac, which has refused to cooperate any further. So now we'll be using a shiny, powerful Mac Pro, which will definitely never give us any problems ever.

For those counting, this will be the third computer we've gone through on this production. I'd like to think this is some kind of record, but Peter Jackson probably killed more than that every time he made an orc sneeze.

The temp-tracking is really turning out well. For an idea of the direction we're going with music, check out this excellent recording.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Looks different, says the same

A new look for the site. iWeb, though lovely, harshed our buzz quite a bit when it came to making additions and upgrades. We're now managing this thing in glorious plain HTML, they way they used to do it in von Stroheim's day.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Details, and the devils therein

We continue to stride boldly through the morass of post-production, applying our finely-tuned critical faculties to the painstaking process of audio mixing. We love our jobs!