The Shapiro Files

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Countdown to Baby Shapiro: Photos Online at Last!

I've finally created an online album of photos taken over the past few months in anticipation of Baby Shapiro's arrival. Included are photos of the completed baby room, pictures from the three baby showers, and other fun snapshots. Check it out!

Baby Class

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Countdown to Baby Shapiro

It's time for another Baby Shapiro update! Here's the latest news:

As of last week, Baby Shapiro is at an estimated six pounds and is considered "at term." What this means is that she can theoretically arrive at any time now and not be considered "early" even though her due date is still a few weeks away.

The final few weeks are considered the most uncomfortable. This is when the baby drops down into position and the mother feels a constant heaviness. But as always, Marcie is handling it extremely well and remains amazingly upbeat despite her discomfort. She also stopped working after last Friday, so at least she can try to rest as much as possible in these final weeks. Ironically, she has so far been working as hard as ever, as she's given herself a whole bunch of projects to do during this brief time before the baby's arrival.

Baby Room
It's finally done and quite cute (if we may say so ourselves). Stay tuned for photos in the very near future.

Having a baby isn't just about adding a new person to the family; it's about adding a whole lot of stuff to the household. After three showers and an extremely productive final shopping spree over the weekend, we have oodles of diapers, accessories, care products, clothes, toys, and much more. The house is still relatively neat right now, but we both know that that's going to be fairly short-lived. I suppose the next time our home looks so pristine will be when our kids go to college!

More updates are forthcoming. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Fun with ADR

MicrophoneI was asked by the director of Nightmares on Film Street (previously Cinema Nightmares) to come in for some post-production ADR work. For those unfamiliar with filmmaking terminology, ADR stands for "additional dialogue recording" and is also known as "overdubbing." ADR is a very common practice in movies where an actor has to re-record lines because the sound at the original shoot was somehow compromised. Common reasons include a noisy set or uncontrollable environmental noise. In our case, because we shot the movie on an indoor set of mostly hard surfaces, there was a lot of room echo that doesn't match our virtual Titanic and Casablanca locations.

One of the cool things about ADR is that you can actually improve your performance. When I arrived for the session, I got to see a rough cut of the movie and I felt there were a number of lines that I could have done better. So ADR gave me that opportunity. At the same time, the experience of doing an ADR session is somewhat surreal. The way it works is that they take a line or two and loop it over and over again on the video playback screen and you get into a rhythm so you can say your line perfectly in sync with your mouth on the screen. Then you just keep recording that line over and over. After a while, you start feeling very silly. After saying "Hungry? [pause] Hmmm?" about 10 times in a row, I got uncontrollable giggles.

Overall the session lasted an hour and provided director Jerry with countless versions of each line to choose from. I don't envy his audio-editing sessions to come. There are literally thousands of options for mixing and matching elements from these ADR sessions.

By the way, it was great seeing the rough cut and I was very impressed with the computer effects, which included a black and white Psycho parody sequence where only the blood was in color. Incidentally, while watching the movie, I also learned that I hate watching myself act. I've heard that a lot of actors don't like to watch themselves on the screen and now I know why. All you do is rip yourself apart ("Why am I doing that with my mouth? Why did I turn that direction? Why didn't I wait before making that gesture" etc.). On the other hand, I enjoyed watching the other actors, Brian and Fernanda, very much. Both of them happen to be in the process of moving to L.A. to make it in Hollywood. They're both extremely talented and I expect to see them in the movies or on TV soon!