27 March 2011


Jessica London-Shields

Wendy Jo Carlton's JAMIE AND JESSIE ARE NOT TOGETHER is one of those films that I really wish was filming during A Year Without Rent, mostly because I think it would be fascinating to work on a musical. Or, as Wendy Jo calls it, "a film with musical numbers". Either way, I think the process of the musical would be interesting from a production standpoint. [Similarly, it would have been a lot of fun to work on Gary King's musical].

So, when Wendy Jo suggested I come by while they were recording some music, I figured that was more or less the next best thing. Which is how I'm walking around Chicago, trying to find a recording studio. Could I drive? Sure, but I'm getting to the point where I'm not exactly looking forward to being in my car any more than I have to.

And, as usual, I have no idea where I am.

audio mixing

JAMIE AND JESSICA is most easily described as a "lesbian musical" (or, "lesbian film with musical numbers") and essentially what we're doing here today is overlaying some vocals over musical numbers. Think of ADR, but with singing.

Wendy Jo Carlton

Beyond that, I don't really know what's going on. I haven't read the script. I haven't even seen any footage other than what's available online. Really, my role here is "photographer". Easy enough. I can do that.

hug it out

After a while, a gay couple that functions as the film's Greek Chorus comes in to add their parts. Neither are actors (or singers), but they both have pretty fantastic beards, which I suspect is how they ended up in the movie. Sure enough, they're friends of Wendy Jo. But, hey, if you need a Greek Chorus for your film, of course you're going to ask your friends with fantastic beards. That's how these things work.

And so they attempt to record their audio.

You know that scene in AMERICAN MOVIE where Mark is trying to get Bill to record ADR? It's kind of like that, only with 10 takes instead of 50. The real shame of it all is that the isolation booth for dialogue/singing is way too small to get a camera in there. Believe me, I tried.

Check out the trailer, over on YouTube.

Filmmaker Lucas McNelly is spending a year on the road, volunteering on indie film projects around the country, documenting the process and the exploring the idea of a mobile creative professional. You can see more from A Year Without Rent at the webpage. Follow him on Twitter: @lmcnelly.

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