A few updates... 
Tuesday, June 5, 2007, 11:45 PM
"Editing... It's a Payne in the ass, but someone's gotta do it."

Quote-Book time!



Matteo (the Editor) and I spent God knows how long editing the "Script" version of the film, all to discover that it simply didn't work as well on screen as it did on paper...

"So what did you go and do?", I hear you ask. Well, we basically re-edited the entirety of Chapter III and came up with something we felt to be a lot better than its previous arrangment, and what I felt to be more faithful to the "in medias res" style of story-telling seen in both Max Payne 1 & 2. Such is the joy of editing!... And what's more is, we hope to be finished with the offline THIS WEEK! Alright, perhaps I shouldn't get my hopes up, nor yours, but I seriously want to finish the FUCKER! And soon!

Now, there's been a lot of talk about the trailer recently... Some are asking when it's going to come out, others are saying it's never going to come out, but I'm currently looking at the timeline of some incredibly cool, almost finished, fast-paced footage with the title "PAYNE & REDEMPTION" in there, so it must be "coming soon", right?


Happy camping,

Fergle "Larry David" Gibson,
Writer & Director.

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RE: Article on Payne & Redemption in PC Zone... 
Monday, May 14, 2007, 03:48 PM
Two consecutive posts?... A day after each other?... I'm on a role!

I know some of you guys aren't really interested in this stuff, but for those who are, here is a web-based version of the article on Payne & Redemption in the UK gaming magazine, PC Zone.


Fergle "Larry David" Gibson,
Writer & Director.

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RE: Something long awaited and very cool... 
Monday, May 14, 2007, 02:15 AM
Good morning, afternoon, evening, my compadres.

Just wanted to make a formal apology in regards to the delay of the "something long awaited and very cool" thing. Yes, yes, yes, I know what you're thinking - "Empty promises" and all that shiznit. But we really are working as hard and as fast as we can to give YOU, the fans, something very special indeed before the film comes out. If you think all we're doing is sitting on our behinds, scratching our nether regions, drinking beer, and watching endless taped copies of Strictly Come Dancing or Dalziel and Pascoe, you're sorely mistaken. Complications arise, time goes by, but in the end, it WILL be worth it.

Fergle "Larry David" Gibson,
Writer & Director.

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Bang, bang, you're dead... 
Monday, May 14, 2007, 02:07 AM
I've harped on a lot about accuracy. Partly that's because props were my responsibility during shooting, so I see it as important. And partly because discussing it is a good vehicle for trivia that doesn't destroy the plot for you, and it means I can slip in plot-related trivia without getting it censored. I hope, anyway. ;)

One of the things that we spent a lot of time on was guns. I mentioned these earlier: the Director selected each person's weapon carefully, considering their needs, personality and role in the story. He's a bit of a gun-head. Eh, we all are, at least as much as you can be in the UK and stay on the right side of the law.

Max kept the 9mm Beretta M9, which is the military version of the Beretta 92FS - it's the gun everyone thinks of as "Max' gun". I think it suits him. It's the gun the US military use, and it used to be the LAPD's official sidearm, and neither group that selection for no reason. Max is the kind of guy who would stick with tradition like that, so long as it's not forced on him. It's big, heavy, businesslike and masculine, without being pretentiously muscleman-huge. Very Max.

The M9 also happens to be about the Director's favourite gun, though if he had his druthers he'd go for the identical-apart-from-the-caliber .40 M96FS ("It's just one hell of a sexy piece of Italian workmanship", says Fergle). But Max uses the factory-standard M9 in the game, and that really does suit him, so it's one of the aspects of the game we were all really happy to keep in the film.

Personally I prefer the feel of the smaller-framed Beretta 85: the M9 is a bit too much gun for me :). The CZ-75 has become very popular lately, due to an admittedly fairly well-deserved reputation for accuracy (blame Gunsmith Cats for the reputation though), but I imagine the closed slide makes the CZ-75 a bugger to clean out if you get crud in it. And personally I think the Italians have more of a handle than the Czechs on how to make an intensely practical weapon still look viscerally sexy too.

The heroine gets the Springfield V10 .45 ACP. It's a bit of a movie schtick that girls carry small guns: it emphasises their femininity, and those who know guns will know that, in Fergle's very own words, "although it may be small-framed (like Kylie), it packs one hell of a punch" and is "deceptively powerful".

MaxTrivia: This isn't a particularly gun-filled film. The Matrix is the quintessentially gunny film; it has guns. Lots of guns. It was filmed in the US, by people who love guns, and they had gun consultants and experts coming out their ears, and they still cocked it up: rubber guns bounce, plastic guns clatter lightly to the floor, guns and ammo change type from shot to shot, and guns and ammo don't necessarily match up. So far as I know, we've made no cockups with the guns... yet. Obviously, this is mostly because we only have TWO guns. But another part of it is culture: in our film, each actor has a specific weapon that epitomises their character; each actor is fiercely protective of "their" gun, and would definitely notice if it were changed to another. And another part is that we really give a fuck about accuracy. Yes, the actors beat the crap out of the weapons, slide them across concrete or gravel, and I really wish they wouldn't because its a bitch for continuity if they get scratched, not to mention the problems if they dropped one... But we wouldn't use rubber guns, or even plastic - the heft, the movement of the actors, they way they fall: it's all wrong with that level of fakery.

We had lots and lots of shells in this - not close to the Matrix, but a good few hundred, 500 or so empties, a dozen filled ones, plus blanks. And they all needed accounting for. After which, I feel really really great sympathy for the props guys on the Matrix. There isn't one bug that IMDB lists for the Matrix that we might not have made in their place, for all our care.

But we CARE about props. And you know the sad thing? Though we made sure to have exactly the right guns with exactly realistic action and blanks that looked identical to real bullets when loaded and real shells when ejected... odds are that no shots of the guns actually being fired will ever make the final cut, because other than in a pitched gunbattle, weapons being fired offscreen are just more visceral.

But we got it right anyway, because we wanted to have the option to be right, if we wanted.

Thinking about it, we made an effort on the badges too, but I bet the closeups of them never make it either!

Dewi Morgan,
Associate Producer.
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Union rules... 
Saturday, May 5, 2007, 02:35 AM
The crew, I found, were universally tolerant of the fact that this was the first time I'd been involved in anything related to the trade, and they made do, with a typically stoic Britishness, whenever they asked "do we have a blatantly-obviously-needed-thing?" and I said that the thought of a blatantly-obviously-needed-thing had never even occurred to me. Then I'd apologise, and go off to find one. Admittedly, I never thought to ask them if they knew offhand where I might find a structural surveyor at 1am on a Sunday morning in the middle of a field, to inspect the beam we'd be hanging someone off.

They could have been shits about it: I'm sure they could've whipped out some union rule that said there must be teaspoons. They didn't.

And I think I understand what unions are for, now. Union rules are there to let the little man (the rigger or the gaffer or whomever) stand up to asshole bosses and say "no" when they need to, and still expect to get paid. If they are being expected to do stuff that is above and beyond what they are being paid for, or they aren't being given what was agreed, then they shouldn't be forced into it. That includes not being treated with common decency.

So there are certain things which simply should not have been doable, which were done anyway. Fergle asked if a certain lighting arrangement could be done, which would allow them to do certain shot in a particularly nice way. "Sorry mate: union rules". But some time later I walked past one of the crew, on his break, coffee beside him, tinkering with a screwdriver inside the equipment in question. He saw me watching him and grinned: "Don't tell the Union".

He explained that Fergle had respected his opinion on the matter, and had taken the loss of the shot without argument, as one professional accepting another's decision. So, he'd decided to do it anyway, as a gift: union members are not servants of the rules, the rules are a tool for the members to use, if they want.

To save them getting in trouble with the union, I'll keep my word, and not tell on the specific crew member. And even once the episode's out, I'm not going to tell you which specific shot it made possible. But it is a kinda nice shot. Then again, all the lighting's great, so you'll hopefully never spot it.

Though, it may not even make the final cut: there may be continuity issues, with shots filmed before the equipment worked, and afterwards. So the gift may end up on the cutting room floor. Or in this digital age, I should say it may end up in the bit-bucket.

MaxTrivia: The film was the one of the first films shot in the UK with the new Arriflex D-20 digital camera and as we understand, the first indie film anywhere to use it. Manipulating things in post may have been somewhat easier to do if we'd been able to record straight to a hard drive, but at the time there weren't any drives available for the D-20 that were big enough to capture the footage. So our hand was forced; we had to shoot on HDCAM SR tapes instead.

Though it's not my field, editing is done on a reduced-quality digitisation of the masters, called the "offline". The offline has the exact same timings as the master, so once the editing is done, the changes can be applied to the full-quality masters, to get the finished product.

So, to give an inkling of the size we'd have needed for filming, the offline is currently about a hundred gigs, after about two week's editing it, and they haven't finished yet.

MaxTrivia: The best moments are always off camera. While warming themselves against the space-heater as the set was being readied for another shot, Max and Volpé started throwing their lines at eachother in alternative accents: menacing "Goodfellas" accents, mincing camp accents, and so forth. It was hilarious, perfectly done, and is lost to all but our memories.

MaxJuicyTidbit: And also the most likely part of this post to get censored: I was speaking in earlier poses about some of the future episodes being made. When talking about one of those, the director just used the phrase "many huge explosions". Ooh yeah. I really like where his mind is at.

Dewi Morgan,
Associate Producer.
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