I’m gonna split this post into a short version and a long version so that it’s easier to digest for the people that don’t want to read the full gory details of this adventure
Production is essentially finished. Next comes a month break, then post-production for music, editing and lip syncing, then working with a distributor, then release.
So, the final scene is being animated right now and I’m having a bit of a retrospective.
This last year has been one of the most challenging of my life. Admittedly, not quite as challenging as digging in a diamond mine or trying to catch sharks using only a whittled twig, but challenging nonetheless.
After the initial reaction of ‘Great! I can finally make this movie!’ wore off, the realisation of the sheer scope of making an animated movie dawned on me. There was barely enough money for me, let alone enough to pay other people. But I’ve made it work. It’s been a damn hard slog trying to make a movie above it’s budget level, but I’ve done it. The Hit Squad movie has been made*
What can you expect from the movie?
Well, for those who don’t know, The Hit Squad is a movie about a washed up 80s band who need to get their studio back from the hands of their rivals. Expect stupidity, singing, clichés, twists, bad accents, insanity and hopefully some choice dialogue you’ll avoid repeating in front of your mother. Story-wise, I’ve focused on the characters and dialogue rather than having epic battles, expensive chase scenes or giant kaijus fighting mechanical robots , but there is fun stuff throughout and you won’t be disappointed with any of the happenings in the movie.
So, what happens now? Well, oddly enough, casting. I knew I had to start making the movie without finalising casting, but as I got further into it, I realised that I should go ahead and make the entire thing first, and then I’d be in a stronger position when speaking to potential cast members (usually the first question an actors agent will ask is ‘is it funded?’ AKA ‘will it actually be made?’). So, now I have a movie, so I can just show them that it’s done, I just need an extra voice or two and we’re good to go. So, I have a couple of people in mind, people you will probably at least be familiar with, I just need to finalise who.
So, once I get the actors and stuff, then it’s done? No, that would be too easy. I have to edit it, add the music and then lip-sync it. For those unfamiliar, lip syncing is where you animate a mouth frame-by frame in sync to the character speaking. Due to the fact that The Hit Squad is a dialogue heavy movie, this process is only marginally less tedious than reading a newspaper aloud letter by letter.
What about the music? Well, that’s done. I have one more vocal line to record and then the fantastic OGRE (AKA Robin Ogden) will be mixing and mastering as well as some additional production to it. I’m so happy with the way it sounds and to be honest, it stands alone from the movie, so even if your eyes can’t handle pixel graphics, the soundtrack is worth buying.
Do you have a front cover/poster yet? Yes! The fantastic Adrian Lopez has drawn an amazing poster for the movie. It’s simply brilliant and perfect for the movie.I don’t want to give away too much just yet, the poster will be revealed at a later date.
Next, I have the extremely bloated process of distribution. I wish I had a large enough fan base to just be able to release it online myself, but the simple fact is: I don’t. So finding a reputable distribution company to work with, is important. Getting it to the right places, at the right times, is something that I want to give to someone else who has the experience and contacts. I have some companies that I’m looking to approach, but I want to do that once the film is ready to show.
So there you have it, a long road that’s coming to an end, in the meantime I start a proper job again (no more ramen! Yay!) and I’ll be taking a little time to myself (I had a day off today and sketched out ideas for a super-low-budget-quick-to-make horror/thriller film. Double yay.), but the gears are turning to get the worlds greatest pixelated movie in front of your hungry eyes.
Thank you for sticking with me. I promise that the next movie will take far far less time to make.
If you havent already pre-ordered or backed the Kickstarter, head on over to ilovethehitsquad.com and pre-order (or at least sign up to the mailing list at the bottom!)
Thanks for being awesome, kids!
Chris Blundell – director of The Hit Squad
*(The final scene is being animated right now. So, production is essentially over)