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GRIND is the third film CBP ever produced, and the FIRST film we ever finished.
At this point in our filmmaking company, we had been working on our first film The Dance for over two years. We hit a wall as far as sound on the film and since we had a major sound recording SNAFU, we were forced to use the camera microphone for all of the dialogue. In trying to clean up the sound of The Dance we realized there was only so much we could do with the tools we had. We also had to come to terms with the fact that the legal implications of using copyrighted music in our finished film (which we had planned to take to festivals) was convoluted at best. In my frustration GRIND was created.
GRIND was borne out of a wish to have more control over production with regard to location, composition, sound and music. All things lacking in our first production. Even if no one ever saw it, I wanted to teach myself how to set up a shot and create clean sound with original music. GRIND has had many iterations since it's inception. Originally called Albatross, it featured dream sequences of flight in rich beautiful color. Due to our tools at the time, this was the first thing to get cut. This of course vastly effected the film. My Sister Kimberly and my Fiance Denise agreed to appear in the film and I tried to shoot the sequences as quickly as possible, because I wanted to get into the editing room.
After shooting, I took the footage to Monty and we edited the rough cut in about half an hour (That's Preparation!) I then asked him if he would compose the soundtrack and we both could do foley (The incidental noises). He agreed and created a wonderful digital piece that, I think, adds to the short as a whole. One of the best parts, however, was our experience doing foley. Creating the slamming of doors, and footsteps and matching them to the footage gave a us a sense of control and cleanliness to our work we had never before experienced.
GRIND debuted to it's first audience in 2006 at Salvador Deli for CBP's Look At Our Shorts film screening. It received mixed reactions. Most people had nothing to say about the film (I think out of politeness) Some people gladly told me the film was too long and included too many lengthy static shots, Kimberly herself made the comparisons between this film and the work of Jim Jarmusch (Which is cool, I liked Ghost Dog) But I could see what they were getting at. Others, Ryan Grassmeyer in particular, stated that they really liked the film, and could tell we put a great deal of work into it and saw the cleanliness of the work itself. At the end of the day, this is still a beginner's film. It has many cliches and pretentiousness that follow the beginning filmmaker. All of this aside, I am still very proud of it. I learned a great deal and it lead to one of our most popular films I Am Legend.
It also serves as a reminder of a time in my life when making movies was still very fresh and new, not that I'm a seasoned vet, but there was something more magical to figuring out the process in the beginning. I hope I can bring some of that to my current work. This version of the film is a recent re-edit. I have been tinkering with the film for old time's sake and tried to tighten it up a bit. I will likely continue to tinker with this piece and maybe with our current tech savvy we can put back the lost dream sequences. So this version you are seeing is shorter, tighter and, hopefully with the artist's hindsight, better. If I come up with a substantially different version than this one, you will see it again.
P.S. Some have seen this film in it's original posting on the site, however those early posting were difficult to download in a reasonable amount of time and since this version is now hosted on YouTube, is should provide for a less frustrating experience.
Thanks for watching,