Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Short Film Diary - Week 18...

The rough cut is finished! We have reached our first post-production milestone and I now have twenty-five minutes of edited footage that plays like a film. It's an ungraded film with terrible sound, no music, long stretches of silence and a couple of scenes that really don't work, but it is a film. I've watched it through a few times now and it does work - there is a story with a beginning, middle and end with stuff happening and characters that develop and all those things like what you see in proper films.

Yes, I am very excited about it.

When we checked it through scene by scene it didn't even seem like there was too much that needed fixing. A few shots run on a little long and need tightening and there are a couple of moments where I'm hoping we have better takes we can use, but for the most part I'd say it's 90% awesome.

The musical sequence is the only real problem. I am determined to make it work somehow. The first minute of it is almost perfect except for one split-second shot. The next 30 seconds are a bit ropey and then it all falls apart at the end. But the optimist in me says that's only one minute of footage we need to re-edit. And that's not too bad.

There are a couple of possible solutions. One involves re-editing it using what we have. The other involves re-shooting one or two elements of it to make it work. I'm reluctant to admit it, but the re-shoot is looking like the easiest option in the long-run. The problems are time and weather. The time issue isn't so bad - we need like an hour with one actor so we can do it in an evening. Weather is looking like the real problem. It was the problem with the sequence to begin with so there's no point re-shooting with a cloudy sky again. We need lots of blue, and it's getting to be the wrong time of year for blue skies. Maybe that tricky re-edit will be the best option after all.

Also, I should point out that no one has seen the rough cut apart from the three people working on it. We are about to show it to a few experienced filmmaker friends for feedback and I am a bit worried that some of it doesn't work and I'm too close to the process to see it. That's the problem with writing, directing and then being involved in the editing as well. I know exactly what's supposed to be going on in the film so it's hard to see whether that will actually come across to someone seeing it for the first time.

But for now I'm really happy to have reached this stage and I'm looking forward to moving on to the next bit.

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