Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Major Schedule Change and Special Edition Commentary Complete!

Spirit Blade Productions : Christian Sci-fi and Fantasy  
Spirit Blade Productions Newsletter, August 2013
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Hitting The "Song Wall"

Recently, my focus has been a song called "Mercy", featuring Saolos and the Sanctafi (in the form of a men's choir).

Songs tend to have much longer stretches of monotony during production compared to working on scenes. Most of my work on Mercy this week involved editing together multiple passes of my own voice to create an ensemble of men.

This is trickier than it sounds, since I have to make sure consonants and note cut-offs match up as much as possible, but not so much that it loses the sense of being an ensemble. (I also use a different "voice" each time I record a pass to give the final product a variety of voice types as you would hear in a real ensemble.) Then there is auto-tuning to do and volume adjustments to make in order to decide which voices will stand out and "lead" more than the others.

All of that is just to complete one voice part of one ensemble in one section of the song. Afterward I rinse and repeat about a dozen times. If that was boring to read, just imagine doing nothing but that for hours at a time. Bleh. The result can be a "wall" that I hit (which I did on Monday) that sucks the creative life out of me and makes it very hard to keep going.

However I eventually managed to get through the worst of it, which means the next time I sit down to work on Mercy will be much more creative and interesting.


The End Of Subbing?

My wife Holly and I had lunch recently and put our entire work situation on the table to re-examine it all again, fresh from the ground up, for the first time in about 5 years.

As you might know, since the launch of Spirit Blade Productions in the fall of 2006, I've also been a substitute teacher for about 60 days of each school year to help round out our family finances. Spirit Blade Productions is able to pay for some of its own expenses at this point(Thank you Insiders, Financial Contributors and Customers!!), but not all of them. And it certainly isn't a source of income for us.

As I tend to be an out of the box thinker, I put a somewhat wild idea on the table, thinking Holly would hate it. The idea being that I would fully embrace the role of "Mr. Mom" five days a week(instead of just two), allowing her to work during the day every week day, while I do my work for Spirit Blade Productions beginning at 4pm or so every week day.

I hate working nights. I seem to require a minimum of 1-2 hours at the end of each night to "detox", or else find myself very moody in general. So you might think that CHOOSING to work nights every day is a disaster waiting to happen for me. 
But I have recently found I can leverage my time well enough during the day (even as Mr. Mom) to still get some work done. This is important because by doing this I feel I can justify ending my work day around 7:30 or 8pm each night.
The "Mr. Mom Scenario" gives me about two or more "multi-tasking" hours each day to write and answer emails or create/adjust web content while I manage our boys and other household responsibilities. Then I also have around 3-4 hours of completely focused and undistracted work time, which I typically use for a little study and then largely creative endeavors. (This much "focused time" is typically what I've managed on my best days in the past, but it's never been even close to the norm.)

In this scenario, Holly will work two extra hours each week, all year long. I will also take on more responsibilities for running the household... and completely stop substitute teaching.

 Resigning as a sub is something I've wanted to do for years but I had always hoped it would happen because of SBP's income. The timing isn't right for that to be the case, but to my surprise Holly was still open to this idea.

We're still working out details and it will require some significant stretching and growth on my part. But in the end we both think the pros outweigh the cons. Still, we want to experiment with a trial run for one semester before committing long term. From now through December we will be giving this lifestyle a go, making adjustments along the way. We'll either crash and burn at some point along the way or re-evaluate in December, at which point I'll either resign as a sub for good, or go back to subbing part-time for the rest of the year and onward.

All this yapping to say that we could use some prayer as we explore this new approach to our lives. It looks like it could be very good for both of us, our family and Spirit Blade Productions. (If it works out, it will shave months away from post-production on "A World Of Shadows" and all future endeavors!) But we want to be on Yahweh's agenda, even if it doesn't look as appealing and beneficial as this does.

So if you think of it, please pray that God will give us wisdom, clarity, patience and grace for each other in the weeks and months ahead.

Spirit Blade Special Edition Commentary Complete!

The final part of the Spirit Blade Special Edition Commentary is now complete! As I conclude my thoughts on the remixing process, I talk about how I selected, edited and manipulated music to create the climactic scenes of Spirit Blade, while gladly tossing out the horrible music I had originally created myself.
What did Spirit Blade do before Star Wars did it? What superhero movie did I steal dialogue from? What don't I like about the song "Fly"? Those answers and more in the final portion of the Spirit Blade Special Edition Commentary! Download all seven parts of the commentary for free right now on our Media Page! There are things to sat about what's coming.

As always, there's a TON more to explore at!

-Paeter Frandsen

Spirit Blade Productions : Christian Sci-fi and Fantasy  
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