Oy vey. Where the hell

Oy vey.

Where the hell have I been? Thursday night was a hectic rush to deadline, but we got the (interim) press kit pulled together, sans publicity stills, along with a 22-minute version of the movie dropped as-is onto VHS, out to the LA Film Festival in time. Note: the office in the Kinko’s location is a godsend. Now if they’d just get rid of the Pepsi…

Dialogue retakes went alright, quickly dumping sound from the Mini-Disc to the computer did not, however. We couldn’t get ANY computer (mac or pc) to recognize the MD player when we were done. Late night beating our heads, then we gave up, logging all the tracks by hand (into Excel), and scrambling to find an audio/video transfer house who could turn 5 hours of MD audio into 5 hours of CD audio.

Jonah’s proposal for The Public Art Fund is getting announced Monday (congratulations!); since he’s crazy with finishing his images, I took back the editing suite? kit? set? for the weekend, and have re-cut and re-ordered a lot. It now stands at about 21 minutes, with the final scenes still little more than piles of “raw material” shots, but the town scenes and the third, very info-heavy conversation got a complete makeover.

It’s a fascinating view of things, to be involved at so many stages of the story’s development. What works in the script–what’s necessary in the script, in fact–may be superfluous or a drag on the screen. The goal of editing is to craft the movie experience itself, while a script is arguably for driving the acting/production experience. If all this sounds elementary, it certainly feels like a revelation to me, if only because my interest/involvement doesn’t end with delivering just the script, the crew, the production, the money, etc.

On another note, Friday night was the opening of New Directors, New Films at MoMA. The opening feature was heartfelt and very well-produced, grace a HBO Films, and it had won a big award at Sundance. A. O. Scott wrote about the Project Greenlight movie, Stolen Summer, in today’s Times. His (painful to hear) quote of Bazin: “It is as difficult to make a bad movie as it is to make a good one.” Both Elvis Mitchell’s review and Scott’s discussion of “the System” and the “fight” against it to realize director Pete Jones’ vision seem a little beside the point, though. Whatever flaws may be attributed to the production and the System don’t really come into play when the story, the director’s vision is treacle to begin with. Those guys made exactly the movie they set out to make.

With no System to blame if my movie utterly (or lamely) sucks, I know the importance of the vision all too well.