The New York Times none other asks whether
The New York Times none other asks whether
Hello fellow travellers.
Been working the midnight oil, burning the candle at both ends --- and killing cliques...
Anyway - somebody rip this things away from me!!!!!
Reday to launch a full Semtex asuslt on your senses - I will be cooking up 30 sec trailers over the next 2-3 weeks.
Any wanna be editors that think they can out do me in the psychotic stakes le me know - I'll sneak out some rare footage (quickmovie files) ready to be edited to your hearts darkests desires...
Back to the cave...the muse wants more blood...
Some things have no daylight
Edited the ‘memento mori’ monologue last night – one of my favorite pieces.
45 seconds monologue – 45 seconds that took several hours to shoot - it was a dolly on a track shot - we did 11 takes; yes 11 takes (which is a lot since we had at least 5 cameras rolling and typically we did 3-4 takes); 11 takes because of technical problems with sounds - take – dolly move – take - camera move retake – dogs barking, airplanes flying, pigeons cooing retake after retake after retake.
Danielle was going blue in the face. Literally, she looks like she is running out of oxygen, out of blood, out of sanity. She’s half angry, half defeated by the whole thing; at the end of each take, her eyes scan the room for support, she forces a smile as she knows she has to go again – the clapper board clap now an unbearable intrusion – as if this is a bad dream she’s stuck in – strapped to a chair having to repeat the same lines over and over again hoping that a dog or a bird won’t destroy the poignancy she’s trying to imbue into the words. [note to self - I can see why there is a movie to be made from the happenings on a film set - the tension is unbearable for us]
On that day I thought – what a trouper – what great effort.
So last night I edit the scene – I’m excited – I know how to get around all the technical hurdles and discover the wonderfulness of the performance.
And it just wasn't there – there’s nothing – no thrill in the camera move (no fault of CHW – camera moves have to fit with the mood of the scenes otherwise…) but worse of all, the performance was - it was...soft.
It seemed to be tacked on – like it didn’t belong to the scene or the story…how could this be…? The writing? The performance? The direction? All the above? No matter…I thought, I’ve had to fix worse than this…
Worked on it all night: jump cuts, cross-fades, dissolves, compositing - five hours to edit a 45 seconds segment.
Ten past midnight - screened it: It just lay there - soft - squishy - lost all its bite – I gave up and went to bed. Restless night – then a flash of insight.
This morning at 6 am – went to the edit suite and cut it all out. The whole monologue gone before breakfast.
11 takes, all on the cutting room floor.
The scene now works.
90 minutes of screen-time.
Above all else - this is a statement for Mr. John Hipwell…who (rightly) had doubted the time of the film following the first read-through (clocked at 45 minutes).
I - on the other hand – ‘knew’ that the 75-page script – in my hands would gain length in light of my directorial pace:
I love pauses between looks and I know how I’d like to pace actors’ performances; slow-burns, explosive outbursts that careen unhinged and unbridled.
90 minutes of screen-time. And this is for a super-tight cut.
Still I’m glad for John’s insistence - it was good to have the extra footage in hand – it gives considerable more material to the editor in post.
Anyway – I’m on schedule to submit to festivals in 2-3 weeks.
I’ll make an announcement closer to the date.
Also launching our web-presence then – including footage on you tube, trailers, web commerce, merchandise, soundtrack (composed by Luca X) etc.
Real title revealed in 8 weeks.
Web page launch at the same time - yet to devise the details.
Editing the last 3 scenes – I’m excited, thrilled and little scared.
Next is actually putting the scenes together.
Putting the 30 odd scenes into a cohesive whole.
Will it still hold?
I tried to treat each scene as a jewel in a necklace –
Polish each jewel and trust the screenplay did its role of telling the story.
Yet – only pressure turns you into the diamond version of yourself.
Started editing day 5
The last day of the shoot: Jesus we did a lot of takes. Maybe a few were NG for sound but still…
By the end of the week we were firing in all cylinders.
The CHW-JH team working like a well-oiled machine with the many cameras; and it was only the 6th day of shooting (we started counting on Saturday at day 0) – only 6 days to get used to working in a new team and in a new way, all the technology - the hurdles of production, etc – 6 days is a very short time.
Anyway - there’s little lag between “rolling…mark it…and frame”
In earlier days – I find myself scrolling through the scene to discover that
The clapper board is somewhere in the middle of the file.
But on day 5, it is snap – right there at the beginning of the file and this is take after take after take – it’s relentless!
What can we learn from this ladies and gents?
The simple and humbling fact that a lot can be accomplished by a team of dedicated individuals passionate about doing their best.
My thank you to you again.
Anyway – I have 3 scenes to cut – the last 10 %.
Next the full assembly when I have another go at tweaking the dream.
Speaking of dreams and thank yous - as a show of courage roman gladiators used to shout "Ave Caesar! Morituri te salutant" (Hail Caesar! They Who Are About to Die Salute You).
I do not intend to die - neither did the Gladiators - it was more a show of dispassionate cheek towards life and death as they chased their ultimate dream.
Here is my dream - reckon 4 more weeks. There are a couple of March deadlines I must make. I have entered the arena – I see the mission before me...Hail Caesar!