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Life's a Game

Indie Sports Comedy is College Prep for Future Life By Miles Weston

If you've ever experienced that awkward phase of your life, you'll understand the total meaning of the indie sports comedy, "Intramural," that has earned a key spot at this year's Tribeca/ESPN Film Festival in New York City.
You know, the gnawing problem that has faced any male or female who has become comfortable with the balance of play and work in those five plus short years of college and that eerie unknown world beyond graduation, marriage, career and debt.
That just about sums up the plot of the 98-minute crowd-funded film written by Bradley Jackson; directed by Andrew Disney; and produced by Russell W. Groves, Bradley Jackson, Andrew S. Lee and Red Sanders.
Caleb Fuller struggled with the age-old problem of continuing to rebel and was faced with the awesome responsibility of conformity.  
The demarcation point for Fuller was obvious - an intramural football game to top every game in his years at college.


 

Ralph Smyth Entertainment's Jackson wrote the screenplay back in 2006 while a film student at the University of Texas.
The script was a rollicking and over the top love letter to the sports comedies of his youth such as "Remember the Titans," "Rocky" and "Mighty Ducks."
Coming Alive
Even though he was finally finished with a script he thought was a solid hit, it sat on the shelf until he had a chance meeting with Andrew Disney in 2011.
"I'd seen Andrew's first feature film 'Searching for Sonny'and thought it was not only hilarious, but also showed an amazing sense of style.  I knew he'd be a great fit for the script," Bradley commented.
Andrew said he was hooked on the project on his first read of the script.  "The script made me laugh out loud and it felt like a movie I'd actually want to see and quote with my friends.  Directing it seemed like a no-brainer."
Fully committed to delivering an audience-winning film on their first effort, Bradley and Andrew didn't have much difficulty in signing up his production team including Jeffrey Waldron, cinematographer and Kody Gibson as editor.  
Pitching the idea of developing the world's best intramural sports film ever (it's also the only one to their knowledge), Bradley and Andrew assembled their Austin-based film with a superstar cast including "Saturday Night Live's" Kate McKinnon, Jay Pharoah and Beck Bennett, "The Office's" Jake Lacy, and "Twilight's" Nikki Reed.


Indie Content - Jeff Waldron (center kneeling) sets up a shot for the indie film "Intramural" while director Andrew Disney listens to the effect Waldron is trying  to achieve.  
To capture the action and excitement in 5K, Waldron insisted that the first priority was that the film had to be shot on the RED.  
Content Capture
Bradley and Andrew were fully on-board with the RED Epic decision because they knew that it would also give them the option of doing the final project in full 5K in addition to scaling the film down to HD for editing, theater showing flexibility and even online distribution if the streaming service wasn't able to smoothly deliver 5K content.
"Shooting in 5K gave us so much flexibility in post.  In indie filmmaking, you always find yourself wishing you had the time to get another close-up.  With 5K, we had the ability to punch in during the edit," Andrew commented.


Team Effort - While Kody Gibson, "Intramural's" editor, handled the majority of the post production work on the film himself; he also had a lot of advice (and criticism) from everyone on the project. With the RAW content safely stored on the OWC drives on the DIT cart, the team was always present to check the dailies and work in progress.
Production and post production hardware/software wasn't a major expense for the filmmakers as they simply pooled their Apple MacPros, notebooks and Final Cut Pro 7.
Bradley noted that the vibrant color and gamma that 5K UHD content delivers is really exciting.  
The Storage Queen
What he didn't realize was how much RAW (uncompressed) storage was required:
    1 sec - 27,776MB
    1 min - 2,867GB
    1 hr - 1,72TB
The production - RAW, post work and final cut - consumed more than 20TB of OWC hard disk storage.


Driven - While the content of Intramural that Kody Gibson finally produced was king, he also thinks the queen has to be storage because without fast, reliable storage; the content would disappear.
At the end of each day, the digital content was immediately delivered to Gibson and his staff who worked on it through the evening.  As a result, when shooting was wrapped, Andrew said the movie was almost fully assembled, except for polishing ... a whole  lot of polishing!
"All the money, time, sweat, blood, and tears are stored on those hard drives." Andrew commented. "We created triplicates of all the drives.  We kept two copies of each drive in Austin and sent the others to LA.  That way, if an asteroid destroyed California, we'd still have our movie in Texas.  You have to think about every scenario where the drives could be lost or destroyed because all the equity now lives on them."
Gibson noted that he used a wide range of high-speed TB plus drives, mainly those with the new high-performance Thunderbolt interface which was designed specifically to handle high- volume throughput from the MacPro--especially when working with 5K content.
The production crew choose OWC as their hard drive of choice. "OWC drives are amazingly reliable.  We used twenty-seven drives on the shoot for "Intramural" and not one failed," Andrew noted.
Bradley and Andrew were excited that "Intramural" had been chosen by ESPN during their special Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival sports day on April 26. For more information on Tribeca screenings of Intramural, check out http://tribecafilm.com/filmguide/53208aa3c07f5df7d2000646-intramural
The two said they are also working on other screening dates around the country at the numerous indie film festivals.
They are also looking into domestic and foreign distribution and discussing a theatrical release and a 10-15 city college tour to promote the film.


And the team is already thinking about their next project.

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Undercover author Miles Weston has spent more than 30 years in the storage, software and video industry, indulging in, among other things, marketing activities in promoting PC, CE, communications, content technology and their applications . Contact Miles through his editor by clicking here.

Related Keywords:Independent filmmakers, 4K production

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