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Cashing Out: Where Does It Stand?

I’ve written a blog post before, but I want to count this as my first official post. Since I am trying to become a filmmaker I felt that it’s appropriate to begin with whom I am and what I am trying to accomplish. Obviously my name is Alex Srednoselac. I am a Chicagoland-based filmmaker. I have completed a ton of short films, two features, and various other video projects from over the last five years.

The project I’m currently working on and will spend the majority of my time writing about is my first feature length film “Cashing Out.” This isn’t to be confused with the features I mentioned before as I was not the writer, director, or producer on either of those films. This is my first feature length film where I am calling myself the writer-director. I won’t get into too many details of how it started or what it’s about, as I will write about that more in detailed posts in the future. For the time being here is a brief synopsis and link to the first teaser trailer:

Aspiring poker player Allen sits center of a high stakes poker game as armed thieves takes all of their cash. Once alone, Allen reveals his involvement as an inside man to the robbery. He was led to believe this would be his only involvement, but the success of this heist leaves his partner Jaqs hungry for larger action. Allen struggles to balance caring for his ailing father, managing his feelings for Jaqs, and following his passion for poker. His life spirals out of control as a web of lies and mistakes from his past begin to have severe consequences.

For this post I wanted to give you guys a brief overview of where I currently stand with this project. I’ve been in post-production on this film since June of 2017 and hope to finish in the next couple of months. Filmmaking is not my full time job, so unfortunately life sets me back from time to time. Either way I hope to debut this film some time in the early summer while also submitting to film festivals shortly afterwards.

There are many stages to post-production on a film. I’m going to give you a brief overview of what my process has been since I began editing. Stage one is organizing the footage. I would do this while shooting as best I could, but the majority came after shooting. Once all my clips were organized based on my needs I moved on to stage two, which is syncing the sound to the picture. Most films record picture separately from the sound in order to achieve the best quality possible. This makes sense on a feature film as most cinema cameras only allow for picture to be recorded. It also makes sense because a boom mic operator would be limited to the length of the audio cable, whereas recording on a separate device allows this person to record anywhere freely. This process would normally take a month between working on the film and my day job, but this took a little longer as I was wrapping editing on a web series (link at the end).

Stage three is editing the rough cut. This is basically putting all the clips together as they appear in the script. What I will do during this process is use a clip from each angle I shot to make sure I have enough coverage of a scene. As a side note: I try to do this while shooting as well, but a hectic shooting schedule didn’t always allow me to accomplish that. I edited the rough cut between August through the end of September, and the end result was a movie with a whopping two hour and thirty-five minute run time. Obviously I am not putting out a movie that long, so this leads into stage four: “cutting the fat.”

Stage four is where the bulk of my work is done. It’s basically the last rewrite of the movie where I have to find the film’s soul. I’m still in that process right now, but I am very close to “locking picture.” This is basically me saying, “Okay, that’s it. No more picture editing.” Stage five is probably the most difficult because it requires the most work. Stage five is editing and fixing the sound, adding music, visual effects work, and finally coloring the movie to give it a “look.” I tend to mix stage four and parts of stage five because I am usually the person doing that work. Some times I need a break from editing, so I will stop for a day or two and work on a VFX shot or try to find a song. This isn’t how most professionals in Hollywood do it, but it’s my film and I can do it how I want.

There’s still much to be done in the next coming months, but I will be eager to share my progress as well as anecdotes from filming this project. Thank you so much for reading this. I will be working on an email subscription soon as well as many other updates to my site. For the time being you can subscribe to my YouTube page where I have all of my short films. Also follow me on Instagram and Twitter for updates. Check out the link below for my most recent project “Unconditionally” where I was the cinematographer and editor. Currently available on Amazon Prime!

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