Saturday, December 25, 2010

So, here I sit on Christmas eve, blogging. Has it really come to this?

I find myself hitting lulls when it comes to the editing process; don't get me wrong, editing is something I really enjoy - but after months of looking at the same footage, parts of it start to lose it's meaning. I see the same performances, the same shots, over and over - and I can splice in a slight difference each time but to me, it all looks the same. It's hard to know what looks fantastic, and what looks simply average. Things that I thought fit really well, when I screen-tested it to others, didn't seem so great. As much footage as I have, as an editor I look back and curse myself for not getting more as a director.

I guess that's all part of the learning curve, though. I like my footage, but I see things in editing that I wish I caught as a director.

At the very least, the project is coming along. We've got clear timelines and goals to hit, February 14th being an important one (project render) and March 1st being the biggest (project complete), but the more I pour into this project the closer those deadlines seem to be. At some point, compromise has to be accepted. No film project can ever be considered "perfect" (although for what it's worth, I consider There Will Be Blood to be one of the most aesthetically 'perfect' films).

Anyway, as the present rolls on, and I pass the footage onto the next stage, I can once again sit back and reflect on all the processes that got me to this stage.


And what a ride it's been. I remember the idea that spawned this whole project came to be while driving from a mall to my house one day - a simple idea at first, and very unfocussed - almost irrelevant to what the project actually became - but it stuck; the idea of an average person that loved his best friend, and had to face her boyfriend, a brutal person in his eyes. I view stories visually, and the scene of an altercation in an entrance way - I initially saw it as an apartment entrance, but as the script and story developed it changed to a porch at a house. And in every circumstance, my main character has his ass kicked.

That was the initial "birth" of the story of Dana. It grew like an infection. This idea came to me in December 2008 or January 2009 - and if it mattered, I could tell you exactly where I was when the idea sprung to life; but eventually it formed into a rudimentary storyline. But it wasn't until I took this idea - 3 characters, a violent scene, and an ending - to my sister that the story really started to form.

Over the course of three months, my sister started fleshing out ideas - characters - and circumstances that brought "Dana" to life as a story and script. My sister, who has always been a stronger author then I have, really formed the love interest, Dana, into the character she became. Scott, the main character, was a conglomeration of ideas from the two of us; and Dave, essentially, was my character from the beginning. When I brought that initial idea to my sister, the project really branched out from being MY project to being OUR project.

It became the standard that whenever someone asked "who wrote the script?", the response was "the story was my idea; the characters and dialogue were my sister's."

That gave birth to the project as a formative piece. By April 2009 we'd completed a script, and had got it to a point where we were happy and thought that it has some grounds to go to filming.

Of course, we had absolutely no idea what "going to filming" would really entail. In fact, we had no idea on how to go about it at all. But since I had no formal training in any aspect of the industry, I didn't really know any other way to approach it then to "do it myself." It was that attitude that I could figure it out and make this happen professionally that started the most ass-backwards way to approach professional filmmaking that I've thus far heard happen.

But as they say, you don't make it if you don't try. And what happened to get this script off the ground and onto camera was a massive task, and a shift in my life that I had to tackle. I'd decided that I was going to make this happen legitimately, professionally, and deal with people that I wanted to make this project a reality with.

I knew it from the beginning, even if I couldn't admit it to myself. I was about to sell my soul to the real filmmaking industry.


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