So the good news is, Sita is in the Berlinale. The bad news is, she’s programmed in a theater that doesn’t do Digital Cinema. That means unless I have a 35mm print by February, her one and only World Premiere will be on, well…video. I can’t let that happen.
The 35mm master will still cost about $30,000 – more if we do surround sound, which is much better audio. I still need to raise $20,000. I’m looking into bouncing credit card debt – you know, putting it all on a few credit cards, then continually applying for new credit cards and shifting the balances from one to another. It would be much better if some rich person just lent me the money. Or if some supernatural being just gave me the money – but honestly, a loan would be plenty. Big ol’ credit in the film, you can attend the Berlinale with me as part of the film team, my undying gratitude…
Here are Sita‘s Berlinale screening dates, just in:
11.02.08 17:00 Kino Babylon
13.02.08 11:30 Kino Babylon
14.02.08 19:30 Kino Babylon
Let’s give all those broken-hearted Germans who are seeing the Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told on Valentine’s Day the real 35mm experience!
Tax-deductible donations (not loans) can still be made here.
So I haven’t raised enough money to make a 35mm film print (yet). But I did raise enough to make a Digital Cinema Package, because the Stuttgart International Animation Festival offered a deal. And I borrowed enough to buy a new computer to re-render the entire 82-minute feature at a suitable higher resolution.
See, when I started Sita Sings the Blues, I couldn’t afford the processor power or disk space to work at the ideal resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels. Instead I compromised at 1280 x 720 pixels, which in spite of being half the ideal resolution looks almost as good. The 35mm film test I did of Battle of Lanka looks great, anyway. But film has a natural grain, plus film floats around the screen a little, a result of analog frame registration (aka sprockets), both of which mask and “warm up” digital flaws. D-Cinema, however, has rock-solid registration and no grain, making it potentially less forgiving than film. Meanwhile computers and hard drives have gotten predictably cheaper since I began the project, and December is a “lost month” in New York anyway, it’s not like I’d have any freelance gigs or make any headway on promotions, and everyone gets lazy at work or leaves town, so… here I am, watching little blue progress bars for hours and days on end. Boring? You bet! But it will make the movie look infinitesimally better, so it’s all worth it. Also, D-Cinema supports 6-channel audio, so my sound designer is planning a super-duper surround-sound experience, which will make the picture look a lot better.
Update: SOLD! 12-9-07
Sure, there are lots of used dual 1.8GB G5 Towers with 2GB RAM and internal 80GB hard drives for sale at $800 (negotiable). But how many were used to make Sita Sings the Blues? Only this one. Also, it works good. I’m only upgrading because I have to re-render the entire film at higher resolution (1920 x 1080; it was 1280 x 720) and patience isn’t one of my virtues. I can also throw in a complete Final Cut Pro HD Production Suite, which is great except it won’t open fcp files made on newer Final Cut systems. No problem if you’re working alone. And I’m still hawking my excellent printer.
An ongoing feature in which I recommend the work and websites of people who buy me dinner. Today’s entry: Amandeep Jawa!
Amandeep Jawa says he’s “gregarious,” which I learned, in the few hours I got to know him, is an understatement. As we walked through Deepistan – a neighborhood comprising both Dosa, where he bought me dinner, and Bi-Rite Creamery, where I could only sample tastes lest I explode – random passersby paid their respects to their unofficial mayor. Or is that Supreme Dictator? Rumor has it part of the region may split off and re-name itself Amandesh. You can keep abreast of Deep’s political activities here, and his gregariating (new word! no google results! I win!) at his blog DeepTrouble.com. Deep is also the official Bay Area Director of Fundraising for Sita Sings the Blues, so if you want to give me a pile of money but need to preview the movie first, contact him.
Would YOU like to be featured in Eats for Endorsement? Then buy me dinner. My email address is at the bottom of the middle column, the one with the pictures linking to my movies and cartoons and stuff.
to Resist Christmas! “No Shopping, No Presents, NO GUILT.” Also visit the Christmas Resistance Blog.
Donations supporting Sita Sings the Blues are now tax-deductible when made through the project’s fiscal sponsor, Fractured Atlas.