I’ve had this blog for several years now, but I’m unsure if I’ve ever written about Reborn.
Way back in the fall of 2011, I showed up to a “Movie Makers Club” meeting at my community college, and a group of people was attempting to make a music video. I didn’t know much about it, so I asked how I could help. I got a pretty simple job at first. They wanted me to press play on the song that the video was for so they could keep time.
During this simple job, I gave some insight that helped solve one of the problems they were running into. This led to the directors bringing me on to do some camera work for the last parts of the video. You can view said video below.
Apparently I made a good impression during this time because I was soon brought into the bigger project that the music video was a precursor to. The project was called Reborn, and it centered around a woman named Luna who discovers the hidden truth about her own dark past. In the beginning, it was meant to be a pilot episode for a television series.
Since most of the people who were working on Reborn were just starting out (most of us were all pursuing the same degree at the community college), we didn’t have a lot of the experience required to know what decisions were good or which decisions weren’t so good. The writers got excited and turned the pilot episode into a 6 episode story arc. The rest of the crew was just as excited at the prospect of doing such a cool thing!
In due time though, reality set in. It’s hard to take on such a big project at any time, but it was even more difficult when everyone was a full time student, some with additional jobs on top of that, and our participation in Reborn was on a volunteer basis. When you mix those type of schedules with the time constraints of filming and locations, it doesn’t take long to realize that you might have to pull back a bit.
We filmed pretty much the entirety of episode one before we realized we were going to have to make some cuts. The writers condensed the 6 episode arc back down into an extended pilot, so they could get to the actual point of the story they were trying to tell. Unfortunately, this ended up cutting some characters, making some filmed scenes unnecessary, and creating some plot holes.
I started off as a lead camera operator for the project, but as the changes continued to happen, I ended up getting more responsibility. Reborn was the first project that I started storyboarding for, and this process has continued on to every one of my projects since. At some shoots, I had to step up as an assistant director or a director of photography. Many of the shoots were very ambitious, especially for the beginners that we were.
I can honestly say that I learned from both Reborn‘s successes and it’s failures. Being a part of this project has shaped my own career in countless ways.
We finished principle photography on Reborn in 2013. This brought us into post production, and that was the next hurdle to cross. By this point, I was heavily involved with E Leal Productions, and both Erik Leal and I took on the editing of the project.
We were still working and going to school, and there were a lot of issues that needed to be dealt with in editing, so it wasn’t a fast or easy task. I believe we finished piecing the story together sometime in early 2014. At this time, I made and released a teaser trailer. I definitely acted on that far too early. There was still a significant amount of work to be done. You can see that teaser trailer below.
We sent the final edit out for original music in 2014. During this time, there were a lot of issues. Nothing ended up getting done with the project for almost two years. There was some discussion by producers about canning the project, and that was shot down. Too much time, money, and effort had been put into the project over the years for it to just be dropped like that.
In 2016, the task of creating the original score was given to Ryan Cwiklik, who composed the music for my short films Lights and ms and me. He was able to fit time in his schedule to supply music for Reborn, and on the first day of 2017, he finished it. This gave E Leal Productions a good push in the right direction to finish the sound mixing, foley work, and color correction. In just over a week, everything was finished.
At this point, we’re just still reeling that after so many years, Reborn is finally done. A concept that was first thought of in 2011, will, at last, be shown in 2017. We contacted the producers of the project to share the good news and got promotions underway, all while planning a special cast and crew screening for all those involved.
With this blog post, it will become official that Reborn is finally complete. Check out the trailer below!