I wasn't going to comment on this any further, but there is so much false information out there, regarding this project, promulgated by various FB groups and a Dark Side Magazine article, that I would like to quash some of it, if I may. I also respect Mirek's sense of fairness, so I'd rather do it here, away from the hysteria of Facebook.
Post Production Delays:
Contributors have been angry for quite a while, and rightly so, at all the delays we incurred on this project. As producer, it's ultimately my responsibility, of course, and I certainly admit that I should have run a much tighter ship, but there were a lot of accusations thrown at me which are based on people simply not knowing the facts. The facts are that the original editor/camera person that Marcus hired turned out to be less than competent. Not only did she work very slowly, delaying post-production by over a year, but the work was lackluster, to put it kindly. She got paid her full salary, plus expenses, yet still complained the whole time. At one point, she even insisted that her production company be listed in the film's credits. I refused. Eventually, Marcus and I sacked this editor, but not before contributors started getting impatient. In hindsight, we should have done it much sooner. A second editor then took over, and tried to fix the film as best he could, but when it was shown to me, I wasn't satisfied at all, and neither was Constantine, my consulting producer.
Now, I could have released the film as it was, and I'm sure the hardcore Hammer fans would have been reasonably happy, but I refused to do it. I have very high standards for anything I put out, and I did not want viewers to feel cheated. So, I re-edited the whole thing, which took me about 3 months. The original editor had the film for over a year; (I only got it in August, 2017). So if you do the math, you will see exactly where the longest delay occurred, by far.
Apart from the lackluster editing, the frame rates of the various clips were all over the place inside the project, and no one had even done a reasonable sound mix.
The project itself was in 25fps, but the current blu-ray worldwide standard is 24fps, so everything had to be converted to that. That wasn't a simple job. A quick and dirty way to do that would be to export the film at 25fps, then place it on a new 24fps timeline and slow it down by 4%. That's what some people end up doing, but it means the pitch on people's voices would change noticeably, and some of the action would feel a little slowed down. That wasn't an option for me, so I did it the hard way. That involved pasting every element in the timeline into a new 24fps timeline, and then re-aligning every clip individually, acquiring new film clips in the correct frame rate and pasting them all in again, etc. All in all, it took 2 weeks of full time work.
The audio mix wasn't easy to fix either, to the point where I had to consult a professional audio engineer. Some of the interviews were filmed in a church, which made it especially difficult, because the acoustic exaggerated the lower frequencies so much that it was hard to understand what people were saying. There were many other issues too. I had to normalize all the volume across all clips, which, again, was all over the place. It was a ton of work, but that's the shape in which the film was given to me. I'm not complaining; I was quite happy to do the work. I learned a lot about sound engineering and about editing, so it was all good. But imagine doing all that while being bombarded by constant anger and endless speculation about why the film is so late from dozens upon dozens of people on an almost daily basis. I have to add here that in this whole editing process, I was helped enormously by my consulting producer, Constantine, who is a very patient and wonderful teacher.
I also had to do some negotiating with Warner Bros, which went rather well, and I finally got the film out for replication by mid December. As for the latest shipping delays, I have to admit I should have done that myself, instead of delegating the job to my former partner. He works full time and isn't quick with anything, despite his assurances. I do apologize for that one.
Re-editing Marcus's Vision:
One particularly nasty bit of false information going around is that I re-edited Marcus's film, thus changing his original vision. That was specifically started in The Hammer Lovers group. In fact, I did not change Marcus's vision in the slightest. As writer/director, Marcus's main task was to assemble the narrative structure, which is basically the A-Roll. Simply, it's all the interviews and narration strung together to form a narrative. A good, creative editor would then take that and give it rhythm, emotional ebb and flow, visual and musical drama, stills, film clips, etc. That's the part I did. I never altered the A-Roll.
In the end, Marcus was happy and signed off on it. But while I was working on it, a handful of people started bombarding Facebook with false stories. Here's one small example a friend sent me:
Those who have seen the film might be asking, where is this "commissioned poster art featuring films that Warner had nothing to do with producing" that Matt is referring to? The answer is, nowhere. He made it up. But people took his word for it and jumped on the bandwagon. There are many examples like this.
Lack of Transparency:
The other thing that people have repeatedly complained about is my lack of transparency when giving updates. That's a more subjective thing, although I'll be the first to admit I'm terrible at PR. That said, I feel that, at first, I was very transparent. I even posted the budget breakdown. But, as the delays continued to pile upon delays, and people's frustration grew, I did become more guarded, because any post from me was quickly attacked, and every small detail I gave would be used as ammunition for further attacks.
Part of the reason for my being guarded was that I could not publicly disclose some of the delicate politics that were going on behind the scenes. There were relationships and reputations to protect, not to mention me trying not to step on anyone's toes. As producer, it would have been totally unprofessional of me to throw anyone on my team under the bus. I think the turning point was when I made an update announcing that I was editing the film myself, which prompted knee-jerk outrage from several people accusing me of bastardizing Marcus's vision. I think, after that is when my updates became more circumspect. But honestly, PR isn't one of my talents to begin with. I'm much better at creative work. So I'm sorry if I gave people the impression that there was lack of transparency. It was unintentional.
For this one I take full responsibility. I was literally begged by a person very close to me to do the shipping myself, but I didn't listen. Instead I trusted my former business partner to do it, and he really let me down. He dropped the ball in a big way, which made contributors even more angry. As soon as I found out I jumped on the situation to correct the issue with him, and, as I type this update, the shipping is happening at a good pace. I really have to ask everyone's forgiveness for this screw-up.
Hammer Horror: The Warner Bros Years was truly a labor of love for almost everyone on my team. And it was a real team effort. Our only intention throughout was to put out a great piece of work. So far, people who have seen the film have expressed nothing but prais, which really makes this all worthwhile. All the arguments and sleepless nights, the missing limbs and the stress will soon be forgotten, but the film will remain for all time. And that is as it should be.
Thank you to all the Kickstarter contributors!