Progress! Kind of. We finally finished editing the musical sequence this weekend. Well, nearly - I still need to source 2 seconds of time-lapse storm cloud footage from somewhere but otherwise it's done. It's perhaps not the perfect sequence I imagined when I decided to do it, but it's certainly looking a lot better than it did. Plus I've managed to use 50% of the footage from both shooting days which has no importance in the grand scheme of things but makes me feel better about making everyone work so hard on that second day.
In hindsight it was a ridiculously ambitious thing to attempt and I think I'm lucky to have any kind of sequence there at all. It's probably not the best move for an inexperienced director to start with something this complicated, but when I think about it a lot of the problems weren't specifically to do with my lack of experience (although I'm sure that didn't help). Ultimately it was the weather, the location and the fact that we only had one camera battery that made the sequence so tough to shoot. And even if I'd known how difficult it was going to be I still would have done it. I'm working on the assumption that I may never do anything like this again, or certainly not the same way (i.e. with no money and making people work stupidly long hours for free). So it was never going to be 'I'll shoot this one with all dialogue scenes in a kitchen and build up to a musical number in the next one'. It had to be in there, and whether it works or not I'm glad I did it.
It's a huge relief not to have the musical sequence hanging over me anymore. The next stage is to tighten up the picture edit so we can finally lock picture. I am already practicing my locked picture dance for when that happens. It seems like it's been a very long time since we finished the rough cut at which point I optimistically suggested it would only be a couple of weeks until we locked picture. I suppose it's only been a month or so since then but it feels like forever, perhaps in part because I keep writing diary posts like this one.
My main concern is being able to pass the film on to the composer to whom I am forever sending optimistic e-mails along the lines of 'nearly done, should be with you next week'. But I also feel bad about not having the cast and crew screening that I promised everyone we'd do when the rough cut was finished. Due to the mixed reactions we were getting from people we did show the rough cut to I decided that it would make more sense to show the people who worked on it a more polished version. I still think that makes sense, but at the same time I made a promise to keep everyone involved with the post-production process and I haven't really managed to keep that promise. Hopefully it won't be long now.
I spent most of Friday evening figuring out which scenes need music and sound effects, then I put some temporary music on, mostly using the soundtrack from Mirrormask which kind of matches the tone I want (and was also filmed in Brighton). I also used a cd of random circus music - I believe everyone should have a cd of random circus music although this is the first time I've ever put it to good use (well, second time - I once unintentionally used it to freak out the guy who came to check the gas meter). This is again to help get the film as close to finished as possible before locking the picture. It was kind of fun too, although I rushed it a bit on purpose so as not to spend too much time on it. I like music and I have lots of it, so could easily have spent a week creating the perfect temporary soundtrack which we would never use. That said, it was cool to see scenes like the montage and the chase set to music finally as they don't really work in silence.
Saturday was mostly spent adapting the script for the film into the pilot episode of a TV series, which I've been meaning to do for ages. A lot of people working on the film mentioned that it felt like TV pilot except for the beginning and ending, so I added a new beginning and ending, messed around with some of the dialogue and now it's a script for a TV pilot. This was a lot easier than adapting it into a feature which I'm also still trying to do but is a lot more time-consuming. I've got a few people helping me come up with ideas for other episodes and I hope that by the time the film is finished I'll have something approaching a decent pitch. Then I have to actually do something with it, but I'll worry about that later.
That's it for now, but if you happen to be anywhere near Eastbourne this Thursday or Friday you should check out What I've Done Right, a one person show written and performed by Lukas Habberton who played Gavin in my film (and is awesome). Further details here or here or you can buy tickets here.
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