Finally, Some Measurable Progress!

Not to say there haven’t been wrinkles, of course, but I spent the better part of yesterday doing editing (more below) on the flick and got to around page 13 (about 11 minutes on-screen; if this ratio holds, then the finished product will be a bit more than 70 minutes), which, when combined with the library scene I already cut together (to find out if I could edit at all) means I have probably 16 pages done with the rough cut (a fairly slavish following of the script), or perhaps close to 20%.  This gives me some confidence that I can have a rough cut done by Thanksgiving.

So what changed?  Well, I thought, Friday night or Saturday morning, I’m also able to do cuts with the mouse as well as the keyboard, and it was the keyboard that was giving me fits. I decided to see what I could do with the mouse.  It turns out that the mouse works fine, at least on the computer at our Virginia house.  I was a little worried that might not work back in Maryland, so brought that computer home with me (it’s also newer and faster (and, I believe, with more RAM and CPUs), so I’ll probably swap computers anyway).  Stupidly, I also brought the portable drive and the original media home with me, which means everything is in one house, just waiting to burn down.  I’ll feel better next weekend when I actually have backups again.

But it was not all peaches and cream (what does that even mean?).  I was making steady progress until I got to my ‘inciting incident,’ which includes singing.  Ahh, the singing.  The advice I got was to record the singing ahead of time, then have the actors lip sync to themselves as they acted it out, listing to the recording of themselves (we picked one person to be the ‘master’ the others sang to).  Recording that turned out to be… problematic. On several levels.  Though, I felt at the time, we finally got what was needed.  Yesterday I tried to overlap the four actors singing.  While there are certainly portions that sound OK (and keep in mind, this is OK to someone who’s half deaf and has tinnitus), much of it was terrible.  It might be possible, with someone who has a lot more patience than I do, to align the singing, alter pitch, etc. and make it sound good (the number of options is almost scary), but I gave up after a couple of hours and basically stubbed in something I can come back to later.

That sucked a lot of energy out of me, though, and I wasn’t able to develop any more momentum for the day (I’d spent at least 8 hours, probably closer to 10, by this point), so I wrapped it up.  I did, though, do a test render of what I had up to that point and, if I do say so myself, it was rather watchable.  Still with the camera audio and it’s annoying hum (I started to align the separate audio, but quickly got exhausted trying to get things to match, so (re)decided to cut the whole thing together visually then go back and do the audio), but not too bad, I felt.  One friend also remarked that she felt it was ‘watchable,’ which is the bar I’ve set for myself.

What’s next?  Lots more editing of course.  If I’m running an hour a page, then that means I have 84 total.  With around 20% of that done, I have 67 hours yet to go.  Since Thanksgiving is next week, I’ll have to push it, but I do think I’m getting a bit better/faster as I go, so I still think it’s not unrealistic to get the rough cut done.  That being said, I do have two scenes which, combined, have over 60 takes, which will, no doubt, slow me down.  So maybe not by Thanksgiving Day, but, I feel, by the time the holiday weekend is over.

I managed to find the pictures my DP took behind the scenes when we were digging holes in the back yard.  I’m going to try and get them (and my wife’s videos) posted in the next day or two, but want to keep the momentum going on the editing, so don’t want to distract myself yet.

Author: mitusents

Biochemist, MBA, then programmer. Now novelist, screenplay writer and hopefully director. What a strange trip it's been.