Monday, 13 September 2010

Short Film Diary - Week 19...

I went blog crazy! There are two blog posts about the film this week - I also wrote a guest post on the secret origin of Jenny Ringo over at Lucy Hay's Write Here, Write Now blog which you can read here.

Anyway, here's what happened last week:

19 weeks seems like a really long time! I'm hoping the whole thing can be finished by Week 26. 6 months seems like it's a reasonable amount of time to spend on a 25-minute short and I don't really want it to run on any longer than that. We had a post-production meeting on Sunday and have started to schedule in locking the picture edit and dates to record the ADR so it is starting to seem like the finish line is in sight. I'm having a meeting with the composer this week too so hopefully should have an even more accurate idea then of when we'll be finished.

This past week has mostly been about showing the rough cut to a few people to get feedback on it and make sure it's working before we lock the picture edit. It's difficult to get feedback on a film in this state because the sound is all over the place which makes it quite hard to follow. There are huge chunks of silence where there's supposed to be voice over which doesn't help and even where there is audio it's unedited and is a bit distracting. This is the excuse I'm using for anything that may not be working!

There are basically a couple of plot points that need to be reinforced somehow. I'm not sure how yet but I'm hoping we can get away with fixing them in the audio and maybe adding or changing some of the lines in ADR. The ending is confusing people too, which is fine to a point. It's a deliberately confusing ending. But I'd like at least 50% of the audience to get it.

On a positive note, everyone seems very impressed with how it looks and the technical aspects. The parts that I'm not happy with don't seem to be an issue. The musical number, which I now have to skip past when I'm watching it on my own because I can't bear to watch it, has been everyones' favourite part so far. I think even though most people know we did it, it's a change of pace and still comes as a surprise (hopefully not a relief). Also it's so quick I don't think people notice the bad edits on first viewing. So that's good news - it was always supposed to be the highlight of the film and for a moment I was worried it would be the worst bit, but thankfully not.

Most people have been impressed by how we've made our flat look like a film set and not like our flat. Which I can't see because I know it's my flat so it always just looks like we made a film in my flat. But it's great that no one else is thinking that!

Everyone has been pretty happy with the pacing so far, and despite the length no one has said it drags or feels too long. A couple of people have also said it feels a lot shorter than 25 minutes which is good.

I find this stage really difficult. Part of me wants to get it finished as soon as possible, but then part of me realises that having put this much work into it it would be a shame to not spend a bit more time and effort fixing those last few issues. Part of me feels like it's practically finished already and I have to stop myself showing it to everyone I know, part of me thinks too many people have seen it already and I want to wait until it's properly finished before showing anyone else.

I think something changes once people start to see something you've been working on. Random example - I was really excited about the Nightmare on Elm Street remake. It looked like it had real potential and I loved the trailer. It felt like, 'Here's this awesome film that already exists somewhere and all the trailers are screaming 'awesome' at me and I just need to see it as soon as possible.' I was planning to go see it as soon as it came out. Except I didn't for whatever reason. Then I read reviews and it didn't seem like it was going to be that great. Then I spoke to friends who'd seen it and they were disappointed. So I didn't bother. The point is not that I think people will be disappointed with my film (How could they be disappointed? It's awesome), but that right now, when no one's seen it, I can tell you it's awesome (like I just did) and no one can really say otherwise because no one's seen it. Which probably makes me sound completely ridiculous - the whole point of making a film, the whole point of art even, is for people to experience it. I'm just saying that I enjoy the part when no one knows anything about it other than the people who worked on it. It's ours at the moment, and we can say it's awesome all we want with no one to tell us otherwise.

And there's something else. Part of me wants to get feedback from my peers and to find out which bits aren't working, but part of me just wants to be congratulated for getting this far with it. That's the hard part. If a film works, it should never be obvious how difficult it was to make. The process should be completely hidden. But at the same time when someone's watching it it's hard not to shout out 'That bit was really hard to do! You have no idea how difficult it was!! I nearly went crazy and started seeing monkey's everywhere!!!'

But you can't.

So the above rambling is how I react when I get well thought out, constructive and very useful criticism from my friends that I have specifically requested. I think I'm going to struggle when the film is actually finished and we start showing it to strangers.


MarkM said...

Hey Chris,
Just discovered your blog through Write Here, Write Now. Really enjoyed the blog and fair play to you for the taking the plunge. I'm also working on my first short. I begin shooting next week. I too have a day job to work around. Really looking forward to the finished flick. Well done dude!

Chris Regan said...

Thanks Mark! Glad you enjoyed the blog. Good luck with your short!