Will Reading is coming to streaming

The Will Reading to do list is getting shorter!  Here’s what I have left:

  1. record voice over on March 8
  2. edit in voice over recording
  3. verify sound on about 60 minutes of the movie

I’m that close!  I don’t want to give a date, but Will Reading is coming to streaming!  And it’s going to be soon –really soon. I am so excited to share this final version of the movie with everyone.  It’s been a long road, and there were a few times where the problems looked insurmountable, but finally, we’re going to get to share the movie with the world.

Get excited!

2 more shots

After I watched Will Reading with an audience, I was struck by two significant flaws:

1. The beginning of the movie is unbearably slow

2. There weren’t enough memorable images

The first problem was the biggest of the bears. I came up with what I thought was a solution, but after executing it, I found that it just didn’t work. In fact, adding three minutes to the front of the film turned the movie into a confusing mess.

This sent me back to square one: how do I open the movie in a way that is both intriguing and well paced? I decided to simplify my approach and focus on tightening up shot length, swapping out the music and adding a few new shots that would open up the first few moments of the movie. This made a big difference and with a solution finished, I was able to move on to the final bit: making the movie look a bit more cinematic.

Ultimately, for the opening of the film, this meant adding three more shots and changing the composition of a few existing shots as well as other trims and minor changes. I doubt anyone but me would notice the majority of the work, but I do think the film moves along at a much better pace now.

So is this it? Is it finally done? I don’t know. I still have to cut in these last two shots and I’m not entirely sure they’re going to work, meaning I’m going to have to shoot them again. I was outside, it was windy, cold and I was working alone. These are not great conditions to shoot in, but it was the best I could do at the time. I might have to call in reinforcements and start from scratch. Fortunately, it’s just two relatively straight forward shots and if I can’t cut them in successfully, reshooting them is not the end of the world.

UPDATE: audio mix, audio editing, scene lock

The movie is getting closer to being finished, although I haven’t had much time in the last few months.  Now that I’ve finished the 5.1 audio mix and other editing, I’m doing a final check on shots and levels before I lock the scenes for good – meaning I’m hoping to never touch the movie again.  For example, today I found a shot where a glass was put on a table, but you don’t hear the sound of the glass actually making contact with the surface.  I added in the sound effect from another shot.  Good times.

I’ve also swapped out some of the music – I’m working on bringing up the “feel” of the pace, particularly early in the movie.  Swapping out a slower song and replacing it with something faster and more upbeat seems to change the perception of how long the scene “feels” rather than how long it actually takes.  You can see a visual example of this anytime you watch baseball on television; if you count along with how often they switch to a different camera angle, it’s often as short as three seconds!  I’m also a big fan of this visual editing technique, especially when the entire cast is sitting at the kitchen table and barely moving.

So here’s the deal: I’m using this post as a “To Do” list, so if you’re following along, here’s what I’ve got left.

Scenes that need work

Scene 0: need to pick up three shots

scene 18: pick up “fire” shots

The following scenes are LOCKED

1 thru 10

The following scenes are LOCKED

11 thru end

Scene 11 is made up of a bunch or so small scenes (numbered 11, 11.1, 11.2 and so on) and it’s one of the big bears of the movie.  Any time I get thru scene 11 on one of these checks, it’s a big deal, and hopefully, this will be the last time I look at anything.  I’ve still got more than half the movie left, but I’m trying to force myself to find time for this work every week, if not every day.

UPDATE: 5.1 audio mix, new cut and other changes

It’s been a long road, but the 5.1 audio mix is almost complete.  Agonizing over mixing each and every voice, sound and musical cue from a general mix standpoint and then into the 5.1 format is a big job and I’m so excited it’s nearly completed.  Some bits of the movie are harder to mix than others and seeing the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel is a huge relief.

That’s the thing about independent film: you have no release date, so you could work on it forever, so the possibilities are infinite, but there are only so many hours a day for me to work on the movie (sometimes none) – so time is a finite resource….  I guess it would be a finite resource even if I had nothing to do each and every day but work on the movie, which is not the case.

So anyway, the audio mix is almost done. As I mentioned a few posts ago, I’m working on a new cut of the movie.  That specifically means I added a new scene and I recut the original first scene of the movie, which took about thirty seconds out of that opening, a segment we were referring to as Katie Weigl, Hand Model.  And that part is still in the movie, but the pace is much faster and, in some cases, in a slightly different order.  I also made other changes as I came across them – for example, there were these two shots in the movie I hated and I finally realized I could change them.  It was a simple fix, but it took me a while to realize this – once I did, the actual work was easy.  I’ve found that to be the case in almost all instances – thinking up the change is hard, making the actual edit is an almost instant fix.  This is particularly the case in scenes with a lot of moving parts – a fight, for example, is a lot harder to cut than people sitting and talking at a kitchen table.

I don’t want to say exactly when I’ll be done, but I’m finally on the home stretch.  Here’s what I have left:

  1. I’d say I have about ten to fifteen more minutes of the movie to mix into a 5.1 audio format.
  2. Then, I’ll review each scene individually and give it a final “locked” seal of approval.
  3. Finally, I’ll watch the entire movie, hopefully with some people that have never seen it and get some feedback.  There’s something about having folks in the room that gives me fresh eyes and helps me find mistakes.

After all of that is done, we’re going to enter a few more film festivals and investigate the streaming market.  Subscribe to the movie on Facebook or join the email updates to stay informed!

UPDATE: 5.1 Audio Mix for Will Reading (and more!)


It’s easy to get distracted or frustrated, but now, I’m so close to finishing the 5.1 audio mix of Will Reading that I’m chomping at the bit to get it done.  There’s still a few mountains left to climb, but I’m certainly well beyond the halfway point.

Meanwhile, I’ve also added a few shots here and there and recut a critical opening scene, not to mention the new scene we filmed and added to open the movie!  Sometimes, it’s hard to tell what you’re missing, and identifying the problem is only the first step because then you have to find the solution!  I think we’ve done that with this new first scene, or “Scene 0” as I the sequence is labelled in the edit.  Meanwhile, I cut about 30 seconds from the movie that no one will ever miss.  I never realized how unbearably slow the pace was until I watched it on a big screen with an audience, so never underestimate a true test screening!

I should also welcome our new cast member, Jeanine Conrad!  She stepped in and did a phenomenal job and we’re lucky to have her in the flick.  Another note:  I’m very excited to add some music from Dylan Curry, who you might better know as Old Cousin Bigfoot – check out his show on YouTube!  His tune really upped the energy at the opening of the movie and it makes a HUGE difference.

Well, that’s all for now.  Stay tuned for updates!

Thanks for visiting the official home of Will Reading!  Please contact us to see the movie or for any interview/press requests!  (Or to just say hello.)  You can follow us on Facebook here and keep up on the latest Will Reading news here.

Will Reading – a new cut

After the Premiere screening of Will Reading in June of 2017, I had some second thoughts about the movie – especially the opening 20 or so minutes.  I’d watched the movie several times at home with friends and family, but it wasn’t until I saw the movie on the big screen with a crowd that certain elements hit me in a way I’d never felt before.  I knew I had to make a change.

It took me a while to come with a fix, but I finally did and this past October, we started production back up and filmed a new scene.  I’m getting close to finishing the rough cut and I’m simultaneously working on a 5.1 audio mix, so hopefully, I’ll have this done soon.

I’ll keep you posted!  HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

WILL READING has been Preselected for the New York State Film Festival in 2018!


I am excited to announce that WILL READING has been Preselected for the New York State Film Festival in 2018!  How awesome is that?  (The answer is, “That’s pretty awesome.”)

The 6th Annual New York State Film Festival is taking place from April 13, 2018 to April 15, 2018.  The festival will be at the Cinepolis Chelsea Cinema at 260 West 23rd Street, NY, NY.

Now, I should tell you that “preselected” generally doesn’t guarantee that your movie will get shown at a festival.  It might, it might not… but regardless, we have a laurel on our poster!

will-reading-poster laurel.png

a discarded production idea for Will Reading


Any time you make a movie, you’re going to have ideas that just don’t make it into the flick.  Such were the custom license plates I came up with for the characters Wayne (Bad Guy) and Wendy (Vegan 1 – just barely a reference to Ghostbusters).  I had a few different ideas on how to accomplish this, but digital replacement seemed like the way to go… but I ultimately decided it wasn’t worth the time and effort.

And so, the idea ended up on the proverbial cutting room floor.

Adobe Premiere Sequence Video Glitch Solved

While editing my movie Will Reading (also checkout the Official Site), I’ve come across the weirdest glitch.  Distortion in the form of lines would appear and last for a frame or two.  They usually occurred near edits, but not always.  Observe:


Sometimes they would appear as lines of color (as seen above) and sometimes they would appear as bits of video from other shots – sometimes from clips that aren’t even in the same sequence!  It’s very strange and I could find no help online.   (Of course, it’s hard to find help online when you don’t know what to search for and now I realize I should have posted screen grabs on forums and asked for help rather than searching.)

So, after some thought, I came up with three different possible solutions:

  1. new sequence – create a new sequence (FILE > NEW > SEQUENCE…) and just copy and…

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