Saturday, January 23, 2010

Production Diaries: The Rough Cut is the Deepest

Rough cuts are the demise of all creativity. This is my belief as I sit here, trying to assemble the very first cut of my latest film, Lost & Found. Horrid lighting issues abound, all over the place pacing, and just a genuine lack of involvement or emotion. To get an even better sense of my woes, the script was only 5 pages long, i.e. the film should only be 5 minutes long as well, and I'm only halfway through the film and this cut is already clocking in at 8 minutes.

At the moment, nothing is panning out the way I wanted it to. I go back and I look back over the footage and realize places where I had forgotten to do a particular shot that I was intending to get, and ultimately I am now paying for it, trying to assemble something I can be proud of and want to call my own. In some regards I am being too tough on myself. The lighting issues aren't bad enough to where they can't be fixed with color correction, and the pacing and involvement of emotion will start to develop in later cuts, I just feel as if this film isn't showcasing what I believe I'm capable of as both a writer and a director. Perhaps, I might feel differently in subsequent cuts of the film, but currently it is very frustrating.

I must look at this as a learning experience. My dissatisfaction has arisen because I didn't use my storyboards at all on set and tried to use my on set intuition. As much as I'd like to do a film without storyboards, the way the film was storyboarded was way more intriguing visually than how it was shot. After all, this is only my fourth film I've ever directed and I am still developing my own style. I've realized, to shoot a film without a shooting schedule, or looking at the storyboards that I spent forever drawing out, will ultimately come back and bite you in the butt, so it's best just to take the time and do 'em. I know that now.

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