28 January 2009

Everything is going to be ok

So yes, I am quoting the movie. I am doing so because yesterday I got laid off from my job. This doesn't sadden me because I have put more love, passion and ambition into End than I have in any job I've ever had. I have to be thankful for my job at Money Mailer because not only did it help me finance End but the schedule just helped me put enough time into pre-production to get End filmed. But just like Christopher wrote in the script "Everything is going to be OK."

Now back to post-production.

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.

25 January 2009

Over the River and to Editing I Go

I live in Orange County. Where I am editing with Bill is in Burbank - over 50 miles from where I live. This doesn't bother me much because of two things: 1) I like to drive and 2) the price of gas has gone way down. I love living in Orange County, but it does sometimes make my movie making a bit of an ordeal; I have always conquered it but occasionally the commute gets on my nerves. This was one of those weekends.

It doesn't rain very often in California, but when it does everyone freaks out. I am a native Californian and it makes me mad that people can't seem to drive in the rain. The most annoying part is that I hit the worst traffic when it wasn't raining! I ended up 20 minutes late to editing on Saturday because of the traffic.

When I left editing on Saturday the rain had stopped and created an incredibly beautiful sunset. It was a much needed visual because I spent most of the day watching the two hours of footage we shot on the last day of shooting; it's not that I was upset with the footage, I just spent far too long looking at the same images over and over again. I even went home and kept working but going over my script with a director's eye to try and solve the two hours of footage that Bill and I still had to whittle into a scene on Sunday.

On Sunday it didn't rain on my way to editing, but I still ended up with traffic problems! For reasons not apparent to me a CHP car did a round robin and stopped traffic in all lanes when only the right lane needed blocked - you see I could tell this because I was only the second car back from the traffic stop. Seriously, was that nessecary? But I somehow still ended up getting to editing on time. This was a good thing, because Bill and I finished Angela's flashback today! The film is now over 70 minutes (and we're not done yet) so we are safely in feature terroritory! Woot! There was no traffic on the way home.

As much as my brain always feels overloaded when I leave editing, I always start to miss the movie once I'm home. I really want to see the finished product on End because I truly hope that it is going to be worth it.