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Editor’s Journal – August 27, 2008

cobb-menuSlowly but surely the cut is moving a long nicely. We now have about 58 minutes of a really solid film. I’m not saying 58 locked minutes, but the cut is in really good shape. Back in the beginning of July, I went back to scene one and started re exploring every scene I had cut so far, making sure to keep each scene real and human, and not to force anything. The results have been great (IMHO). And I am caught back up to Scene 70 where I left off to re explore the previous material.

During my re exploration there were 2 big scenes of note that I’d like to share:

Scene 31 (making its second journal entry)
Its the scene where Amber shares her big secret with Monika in the kitchen. Zak wanted to purely use take 4 this time around and I think the scene is better for it.

I have discovered the scenes that I least enjoy cutting are 2 camera conversations, but luckily this time around my opinion changed. I really got pulled into this scene, and when you should be looking at which character, and when the scene needed a pause, or when the scene needed more speed and intensity, and how important it is to get all of that right.

There was also a hard decision to be made for the end of the scene. Marion and Mary Elise had such amazing synergy in this scene, and at the end of the take they reconciled their disagreement and it was really amazing to watch. Luckily Zak was brave enough for the story’s sake to say we should end the scene before they reconcile. It’s hard leaving great moments on the cutting room floor, but now Amber’s motivations are more clear, and the story is the better for it.

And Scene 53 (also making another appearance in the journal)
This is the scene where Gabe plays cards with Andrew, but more importantly gives the audience all of the important information that they have been waiting to hear.

There are a few challenges with this scene. First, it is the scene with the infamous forty minute take. Secondly, there were 2 very different looking lenses on the 2 roaming cameras shooting the scene, so we have chosen to approach the scene as if it were covered with only one camera. Thirdly, Zak was very attached all of the material, but a forty minute scene in the middle of the film, is not in the movies best interests.

My earlier mistakes with this scene were to try and keep it tight, which not only made the scene stilted, but also made cutting the picture from one camera even more challenging. And also cutting away to Amber decorating Gabe’s apartment in the middle of the conversation several times, hurt their conversation more than helped.

So this time around I came better prepared to tackle the scene using Zak’s advice to keep it conversational. Also, Zak was able to narrow down his selects from forty minutes to fifteen minutes. And I think it also helped to have a great boost from how well the previously discussed kitchen scene had turned out. (They are 2 very different scenes, but mirroring scenes in the sense that our 2 leads are confiding important information to their closest friends).

I was able to cut down the 15 minutes of selects to under 10 minutes for now and the scene is only split once by Amber’s redecorating, which I feel really helps. And by surrendering to the scene instead of fighting it, the one roaming camera works now and makes you feel like you are sitting there having the conversation with them.

All in all its been a great few weeks. Its nice when you know you are finally getting somewhere.

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