Saturday, May 12, 2007

Wet Proofs and Other Stories

Not much time for blogging these days. Everything is kicking into high gear and my deadline clock is rapidly ticking away the minutes.

First...thank you to all of you who have visited the and especially those of you who have purchased books and prints. My portion of the proceeds is going directly into the production costs of Everybody I Shot Is Dead so your support is much appreciated. I do have one question...has anybody received their purchases? We haven't heard back from anyone and I'm wondering if you're happy with what you bought. Timo? Anyone?

A few weeks ago, I decided to get my printers to run two spreads so I could see how the printing would look on the actual paper with actual ink. And more importantly, I wanted to see if the scans from two separate vendors would be consistent. Especially on the black & white photos since they are actually printed in four colors. The profiles varied greatly between my vendors and I wanted to see which profile worked best. I picked the first two pages of Frank Zappa. The first page had his name, a black & white photo and some text. The second page was a full page black & white photo. The other two pages were to judge the color. I picked two pages of Carl Wilson. A full page photo and a page with multiple photos.

Earlier this week I received the wet proofs for the book. I don't know why they're called wet proofs because they were nice and dry when I got them. I was very excited to see the proofs. But shocked when I opened the package. The printing looked great. What's so shocking about that? Well, the two black & white photos looked exactly the same, even though they had different profiles. It was impossible. I called my production people. They checked with the color house and the printer. The color house insisted they didn't make any adjustments. And the printer said they didn't make any adjustments on the press. WTF?

Then there was the paper. It didn't seem to match the paper that was in the book I picked it from. I thought I might want to change it. Fortunately, I had already told Marc in production not to order the paper until I saw the proofs. Because once you order the paper, you're locked. Unfortunately, when I told Marc I was thinking of changing the paper he was informed the the order was already placed. Oops, somebody screwed up. Either way, Marc was on the hot seat. Luckily they caught the order before it was cut.

Yesterday, I met with Roger (my local printer rep) to go over everything and sign our contract. Yup, yesterday was the day I signed my life away. We figured out the paper problem. The proofs were printed on were the right paper, it was just an older batch. After looking at more books Roger had, I decided to stick with my first choice. It really is beautiful paper. I was just going back and forth on it because I want to make sure the book turns out really, really great. And I'm happy to report, people who have seen the proofs are knocked out. Definitely impressed. Yay!!

When I got back from my Roger meeting, I received an email from Marc to sign off on the dummy so they could order the paper. For real this time. Set in stone. I took care of that and then got another email from him telling me I would receive a new set of proofs next week. Huh? Turns out the color house did manipulate my images so they would all match, even though they were told to run as is. Duh. They sabotaged my experiment out of the gate. At least I know I'm not crazy. Well, at least in this minor instance.

One more major bump in my week. My computer that I use for everything decided it didn't want to print anymore. I tried everything. I ran Disk First Aid, I reinstalled my printer software which I knew wouldn't work because I have two printers I use with OS 10 and neither of them were working. I could print on my old Epson 900 as long as it was from a program that used system 9 in Classic. I reinstalled the operating system and it quit half way through. And here I was faced with needing to print the mock-up for the book. No matter what, I knew this was going to be a giant pain in the ass. I made an appointment at the Mac Genius Bar. When I got there I heard the tail end of a conversation where the genius was telling a guy how to reformat his hard drive. I thought, that better not be me. It was.

I spent a day backing up everything on my computer - while I tried to write on another one - and then I erased my hard drive - no turning back. I'm nowhere near a tech genius. I didn't know what I was doing. The first time I moved some stuff back I ran into problems. I had to erase it again and start over. Little by little I figured it out. I had to install all my software from scratch. I had to find the files that restored my bookmarks and preferences and copy those over. I had to buy a new Quicken program because mine ran on 9 and for some reason I don't have classic anymore and don't have a clue how to bring it back in. My music still isn't back in my iTunes because it was on the computer when iTunes asked me if I wanted it to find my files. Don't know how to get it to do it now, other than manually. P-p-p-pain in my ass all the way around. However, I can print now and I'm getting back on track. I have to continue on a pace of three bios a day to meet my deadline. Hopefully, it's smooth sailing from this point forward.

Have a great weekend. I'll be here. Sitting at my desk. Or in my bed. Writing. And changing my mind. And rewriting. It's all good.


Timo said...


Haven´t got the poster yet, I think it´s goint to take while, after all it´s about 5,500 miles from California to Finland. I´ll tell you right away when I receive mine. Sorry to hear about your computer problems, they can be a real pain in the ass sometimes, good thing that it´s working again. Well, take care and remember to take a break every now and then.

Timo said...

So I got my poster yesterdayit looks good. Will get back to you after it´s framed.

Chesher Cat said...

It looks good? That's it? Not great? Not even very good? Just good?

Timo said...

I meant awesome! Can´t believe I actually got it, I´m still in a bit of a shock, in a good way. Thank you so much.