Editing, Last Day: Synched the sound, mostly. Almost halfway through cleaning up stray dialogue and sound (voices in the backseat of the car, feeding lines to the person onscreen, etc.), and always trimming down where it’s obviously needed. The movie stands at 17.5 minutes, and we still hope that half of the cuts to come from general tightening, but aesthetic- and story-affecting cuts are getting tougher (and more necessary) to make.
One phenomenon that came up yesterday: what people notice/latch onto in a movie. Jonah and I were tweaking the crater scene (2nd to last, an emotional money shot), and he wanted to cut away to a wide landscape shot for a bit during the caretaker’s explanation of the crater. Doing so would’ve cut these gestures the caretaker was making that I really liked. After I pointed them out, Jonah said he’d never seen them, even after watching the footage a hundred times. (Needless to say, we kept the gestures, laying in the landscape at a different spot of the conversation.)
Later in the day, we were laying music down on the airport scenes where the New Yorker calls home. He’s riding a conveyor belt, and I made the comment that the people on the opposite conveyor are so perfectly spaced and cast they look like extras. Jonah said, “yeah, but almost every one of them looked at the camera.” And it was true. I’d seen that shot “a hundred times,” and I’d never noticed. Yet in the gas station scene, when the attendant glances at the camera for a split second, I caught it right away. How is it that people notice, remember, and give significance to things so differently? What tiny things do people remember from movies, and when (if ever) did the director decide to put it in?