Wednesday, May 5, 2010


almost done. editing went in a fever pitch, in part due to outside circumstances (ie access to avid coming quickly to close) so i'm only able to comment in generalized ways, as opposed to breaking down each edit.
we shot a few parts in long masters (or 'one-rs" as i learned is industry-speak) so some parts of edit was merely a matter of laying shots together. that got done pretty quickly and then came the more difficult parts: the show open, the driving shots, in the exam room.

Since the first few minutes feature a couple running late for an appointment i wanted it to feel slightly chaotic, out of sorts, arhythmic. Judicious use of the jump cut came in handy.

The driving scenes provided a few challenges, primary among them a cell phone call wherein wife calls clinic to say 'we're running late'. We shot it stationary, the car parked. (this b/c I didn't want to make Lanie, playing the wife, feel uncomfortable driving and talking b/c a) she's not insured on my car b) days prior to the shoot a law took effect in oregon stipulating no driving and talking on cell phone. So when we shot it i assumed we'd just fix it in post. ha. The stagnant shot of them sitting as she talks on the phone completely killed the movement of sequence. Evonne laid the audio over some of the interior moving shots of the car and it worked perfectly, even down to performance, making it appear that Lanie is using a bluetooth and talking to receptionist as she's driving thru neighborhood.

inside the exam room had some challenges as well (despite a couple one'rs). initially i asked evonne to keep most of the start of the scene on husband/wife, implying a sort of connection between them but these only made the scene feel odd and lopsided. intellectual ideas do not always translate so well to the screen. When i watched dailies i thought i had a mess on my hands (completly a directorial problem), 3 performances that would have trouble when it came time to cut together. however, things fell into place wonderfully once we started cutting. the scene is strange and appropriately awkward. in the best possible way.

and then the end. i designed it to happen in three nice and easy shots: couple exits elevator w/ baby while other couple enters, reverse from inside elevator as couple watches baby couple, close on baby pushing in to couple in elevator as door closes. okay. fine. got the last two shots easily enough. but on set I failed to properly get shot one. the takes cut before the couple actually steps onto the elevator so when we went to the 2nd shot, the reverse, there was a huge disorienting jump that undermined the whole sequence. it was quite devastating for a few hours for me. i actually considered some manner of reshoot but there too many complications to make this more than a pipe dream. i know how it happened: on set, i was juggling two couples, a facility contact, the timing of an elevator door, and a baby. the performances and camera both looked great, but i called 'cut' about ten seconds too soon. each take. all three of them. I didn't cover it b/c i had designed it so well. ha!  we ended up solving it by letting shot 1 go as long as possible.