Showtime

Sept. 25.  After some days of stalling and dicking around as I wasn’t really in the mood to edit, I finally kicked myself into gear and more or less  – little details left to figure out and slip in, likely some shifting on lengths of shots, some sounds to add, and a final mix to work on.    Actually, as usual for me owing to the manner in which I both “think” in cinematic terms, and thus the way I shoot already pretty much includes “editing,” there really isn’t much editing to do.  A shot/sequence works, and it with the others, adds up to a film, or it doesn’t, and there’s little or no fall-back position.  So, the editing, as it was, was kind of quick and merciful.    It’s  90 minutes long.  I haven’t actually seen it all – just piece-meal: this scene, that passage.   So tonight, after a lasagna dinner with a few people, we’ll look at  the film.   This will be the first time I actually watch the whole thing, projected, with decent sound.  My hunch is that it will work strongly, but very quietly.  The ending is rather open, a kind of blank canvas for the spectator to fill up with their own take on the highly personal things the film deals with: screwed up families and death.    Hey, party time!  I look forward to the outside views of those who will watch it with me.  They’re not film people, and I know this piece is not at all like normal films, or even anything more avanty that I’ve seen.

Sept. 27.  As it happened, just before my friends arrived I discovered that the render I’d spent the day making was still in post-render whatever Premiere CS5 does to it after it is rendered, was still going on and I’d turned off Media Encoder, and lost it all.  So we watched an earlier render, and I had to stop start a few times to drop in some sound, and in effect, for me killed the whole thing – I wanted to sit back and watch the entire film go by as it is essentially a tonal work, having nothing to do with lot, and tone gets pretty smashed with interruptions – like taking music on and off.  However I did get a better sense of how it works, and whether it holds together.  My guests, not accustomed to strange films in general, seemed to get hung up on plot matters, and technical things which are normal for this stage of a film.  But, the feedback I needed, looking through the prism of their eyes, is that, nope, it was not boring, even to minds unaccustomed to such things.  Wonder what they’d think of James’ films?   Or Bela Tarr, or Pedro Costa.  Shudder to think….

Anyway I am back at the time-line, doing final adjustments, mixing, and hope to render a virtual final version over night.  Need to add a bit of Benning’s voice-over which I haven’t sent him text of – today will do so.

Here’s the whole film, shot by shot (dropping a few town-scape shots – where there’s one here there’s 3 or 4 in the film):

After the screening usual stuff came up – there’s no sympathetic character to “like” and care about; this or that wasn’t narratively clear, and things like that.  Of course I never think about making a “sympathetic” character to drop a hook in the spectator, nor am I much concerned with narrative.  Here I was consciously trying to make something that stripped away as much narrative trappings as possible with the aim of going directly to the emotional/psychological core of things, without explaining, giving background, or pretty much anything else.  I don’t expect thereby to win any audience-pleaser prizes.   Some films are made, knowingly, with the essential function of making money.   That doesn’t appear to be why I do it.

[This stupid Wordpress layout format won’t let me put a big image up top without adding it to the” gallery” and tacking the image in here at the end.  At least I can’t figure out how to do it with the instructions given.]

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