Huge milestone this week. The footage for Ep 1 of The Oracle has been shot and I’m working on the edit today. As a result I’m pleased to reveal the logo for the show, pictured above.
I shot in what I figured were “worst case scenario” conditions — no assistance, minimal rehearsal, quick setup, no stamina training and limited storage space on the camera — and I’m still pleased with the result. Many lessons learned, among them:
a) The physical demands of puppetry are huge, going from a cold start with a 50-year-old body & no upper body strength. That will get better over time as I build muscle mass. For now — frequent breaks are required. After a 20 min shoot my right arm was shaking and I could barely lift it.
b) More rehearsal time *without* the puppets saves time and improves performance since there are fewer retakes needed for flubbed lines and I can focus on retakes to get a better/funnier performance out of the character.
c) Shooting in 4k means *big* files. No surprises here, but for Ep 1 I shot about 35 mins of footage that gets edited down to about 6 mins, with a total of about 40 gigs of raw storage needed for the whole. Hefty. Again, fewer retakes will cut down on that.
d) It leans on the editing more than expected. It’s quite remarkable how even a tiny change on the edit to retime a joke can effect the flow. That’s something you just have to feel; an art more than a science.
e) It takes about 3 days/sessions to make an episode start-to-end. Considering the goal is a new one every 2 weeks that’s a totally sustainable schedule without undue hardship or burnout.
All in all, I’m happy with how it’s proceeding. I really need to work on my performance more in a monitor — that’s probably my weakest point right now — but I still got it to a point where I’d be happy to release it. Never forget that The Perfect is the enemy of The Good. When I watch the rough cut of Ep 1 it feels good. That’ll work.
So to conclude, we’ll definitely be launching by February. And that’s pretty cool.