26 January 2009

"Houston, we may have a movie."

Hi there boys and girls. I am still alive, I’ve just been a bum about updating the blog in like forever. I’ve been busy with all kinds of stuff and there’s lots of fun behind the scenes stuff going on as we enter what I hope is the home stretch of getting END finished so we can start submitting it to festivals and actually begin showing people what we’ve been up to all this time.

In the not too distant future I’ll check back in here with a post about the whole process we’ve been going through to find a composer, but since we’ve still yet to make our final decision I think that’s a little premature. Instead I real quick wanted to jump in and in a way respond to Megan’s last post. Megan ended her last post with, and I quote: “I truly hope that it is going to be worth it.” Believe me people it most assuredly is.

Something that I’ve revealed to very few people is the fact that I’ve been terrified whether or not this whole thing was going to work. As the writer and a producer on this movie I know we have a good script and I know we had GREAT work by our cast and crew but at the end of the day that sometimes means absolutely nothing.

It’s never really anyone’s fault, save for maybe mine. I wrote something that READS well but admittedly it’s pretty complex with the time shifts and the unusual structure so from day one I’ve always been a little wary about how that would transfer to the big screen. Also, no matter how great things look in person while we’re filming them doesn’t mean they’ll come across quite as well when they’re being played back. I mean no one sets out to make a bad movie and I don’t think anyone ever thinks they’re making a bad movie while they’re filming it yet we have the likes of BATMAN AND ROBIN and INDEPENDENCE DAY anyway.

As the writer it’s not very constructive for me to sit in on most of the editing. Not only do I not have the saint like patience that Bill and Megan do, to go through each frame of footage, but I’ve also been living with this movie in my head longer than anyone else who has been involved. This means that if they do something that doesn’t match exactly what I’ve pictured in my head for close to a year now I’ll go out of my already fragile mind, even though what they are doing is probably 100 times better than what I’ve been thinking about all this time.

As a result for the most part I’ve been willingly, completely in the dark as Bill and Megan have been editing END and because of this my doubts and fears have only had a chance to grow and fester. I’m a writer, I’ve got an overactive imagination and these are the times that said imagination puts holes in my stomach. That is until Megan and Bill showed me what they’ve been up to.

One of the greatest things that I’ve learned from working on END is how much of a collaborative art movie making is. Writers like to think that we are God when it comes to out stories. We should have the final word and say, right or wrong because gosh darn it, it’s our idea, our baby and we know what’s best more than anyone else because it’s our blood, our sweat in every finely honed word of the gospel according to… me. Then you have actors come in and blow you through the back wall. You have a cinematographer paint jaw dropping pictures out of your words with a camera. You have an editor give every single thing you wrote more oomph with each finely tuned cut and a director that shows you what artistic vision really is by taking your words and bringing them to startling, beautiful life.

I’ve seen about 20 minutes worth of END and I don’t “hope” that it’s worth it; I already KNOW it’s been worth it. What I’ve seen so far has done nothing short of drop my jaw to the floor. As the writer / producer this footage has played in my head a hundred different ways a hundred different times so you would think it almost impossible for me to watch anything from this movie as a normal, casual observer. I thought the same until I watched the first 10 minutes of the movie and found myself jumping out of my seat in surprise because of the editing decisions that have been made. I KNEW what was going to happen yet within 2 minutes my mind became so engrossed in what I was watching that I of all people forgot I had written it and when the defecation hit the ventilation (figuratively speaking in the movie) I found myself taken aback by something I should have known was coming! If the rough, edited footage, sans color-timing, music or final sound could do that to ME, imagine what effect it will have on audiences when everything is completed and done?

In less than 5 minutes every fear and doubt I’ve had was washed away only to be replaced by uncontainable giddiness and joy. We made a movie, an actual honest to God movie that looks to have a hell of a lot more working for it than not. We’ve still got a ways to go but I can already say I’ve never been prouder of anything else I’ve ever put my name to. I’m not trying to count our chickens before they’ve hatched but we may very well have something here, something that we’re going to want to show the world. Here’s hoping they’re ready for it.


Megan said...

In my defense I was not saying that i am worried about End, I am jsut hopign that people respond to it in a way that helps us all!