Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ongoing Discussion Thread [July, 2009]

The 100 Days post a few days back really got me. This is all so close to being a reality now. But I felt kind of silly at the same time. If I want evidence of this project's progress, I really don't need to look at anything other than the next couple of weeks! Point in case, look at what all needs to be accomplished in July:

Copyedit Review

Scheduled for today, in fact. Meeting with publishers, including the project coordinator and the layout artist. I fully expect to be yelled at a few times, but I'll roll with it. (I request a lot of edits.) Once the review is done, work will commence and pages will be delivered in bunches. I fully expect we'll see one more week of late night scrambling, complete with hastily scrawled blog updates. Those of you who enjoyed that energy a few weeks back, prepare yourself for one more go at it. Those of you who found it unreadable... well, consider yourselves forewarned!

Corporate Entanglements

Still trying to get the various companies involved to see eye-to-eye. It's not that we haven't etched out temporary agreements to cooperate at this stage, it's the terms of those agreements that need to be settled. Happily, I think we're about to throw one more corporation into the mix, this one a familiar and most-welcome face! You'll see.

Rarities Mastering

As mentioned in a recent Twitter post, The Rarities are scheduled for mastering approximately two weeks from now. This has been an interesting decision-making process. Like so much else on this project, there's no real precedent for The Rarities Archives. Sure, I know we've seen CDs that feature glimpses into the making of Project X or Project Y, but not quite like this one. (That doesn't mean that we're trying anything wildly conceptual here -- I don't think -- just that everything has its own specific energy.) A lot of discussion went into the audio quality of TRA. When we knowingly duck behind the scenes, what audio quality seems natural? How clean should it be? Is there a certain aesthetic charm to a degree of imperfection?

Once again, it was the music itself that led us. Even as a collection of conceptual and unused audio, the music is of such fine quality it needs to be presented in the highest fidelity available. Nothing else feels genuine. So TRA will be mastered by the same exacting standards that were applied to all the music of The Lord of the Rings. And I couldn't be happier! It's now something that's essentially educational in nature, but that functions, in every way possible, as another album of Shore's amazing LOTR music. The last of its kind, in fact -- the final LOTR album! How's that for an excitement-generator?

Final Track Selections

But TRA won't end with the mastering. As soon as the tech end of things is done, some final decisions need to be made regarding track selections. What will play best on this educational collection/album? In all honesty, the selections are 99% made at this point. But there are a couple A/B choices left to be determined. These are incredibly important for the book however, because the text needs to reflect the track selections properly. So that leads to...

Text Lock

There will be a few tense hours following the mastering process. In short order, the track selections must be made, the CD credits must be assembled and locked, this information needs to be ported over to the book, laid-out, and delivered to the printers. All within a few hours. Yes, really! Now there's no reason that this should be a smooth flow of information, but believe me, we'll all be watching our phone and internet connections intently that day, slightly paranoid that technology will betray us at the last second!


Of course, it won't all end there. There will still be packaging and artwork decisions to make regarding The Rarities. Some of these we've already begun considering, but we won't have to make final calls until further down the line. And of course, I continue to hear tell of some hand numbering and autographing that will require attention in the coming weeks. Should that pan out, more time will be dedicated.

With signings being booked, Radio City planning continuing, press releases and pre-orders planned, I fully expect to be engaged by this project until you're picking up your copy in a few months! Or at least until our freshly double-digit deadline enters the single-digit realm. So believe me, when you see a post announcing there are only nine days left, you'll know I'm somewhere really sweating! But if you'll stick with me, I can practically guarantee a ride like none other!

Welcome, July. And here we go...

Two more magnets to go before all nine are available at once. Radio City badges coming soon! Click here to order.
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