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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Once Upon a Time... Note to a Producer

I've been going back through some of my email correspondence with producers over the years. There's some fun stuff in there. I think I'm going to start posting some of these...judiciously edited to protect the innocent of course.
Funny how many are applicable to more than one production.

I know you're anxious to see the cut. It's on its way. I'm really proud of what we accomplished with so little time and money. I really hope that you're happy with it. I know that I've done my best with what I had and am happy with the results, but I still wish it were better. I guess regardless of budget filmmakers always feel like that. 

Anyway,
So while the editing is close to complete on the edit I sent, there are some pieces of good and bad news.

The Good News.
1. It is not fully color corrected. There will be shots too dark. Too muted. A few shots within scenes that don't completely match. This will all be remedied. But please let me know what you do and don't like in order to help guide us through the final color correction.
2. Sound design is not done. I did "lay in" some sound fx but not all are final and some are just plain missing. This is what I'm working on this weekend.
3. There is pretty much 0 score. I laid in a few pieces of random music. None of it is intended for final. I'm just trying out stuff.
4. Another sound note. Dialog is not mixed. Levels may go up or down. Room tone has not been laid out. So sound will cut off from time to time.

The Bad News. (well, maybe these things aren't necessarily bad, but they are fact)
1. Everything we shot is there, pretty much. Anything left out (for the most part) is stuff we just don't have. While I can mess with the timing and order of shots, I've pretty much exhausted all existing coverage. IF there's a shot that seems to linger a bit long on someone and you think that there should be a close up of whoever, chances are we don't have a usable shot on that person at the particular moment. Shooting in * days, we HAD to be economical and weren't able to cover every scene to my 100% satisfaction. Spielberg himself couldn't have done it in this time frame.  There are scene where it came down to getting them with not enough coverage or not getting them at all.  I did plan for more coverage. The plan was good. But production issues beyond our control left us with hard decisions to make. On the last day there weren't even choices. It was just shoot it or don't...

2. Speaking of.. There is only one complete scene actually missing from the script. It is the one where * goes to *'s. This came up on set. Truth is we didn't have the physical resources (location and time) to shoot it. Whether you agree or not, I did present a workable alternative.  I know that it  would have worked. An argument can be made that it worked better as written, that's subjective. But the fact is we COULD NOT shoot it as written. It wasn't a physical option. And, in the heat of the moment I couldn't make myself heard. So, I was left with no alternative but to cut around it, which I have done. Hopefully the scene won't even be missed and we won't have to bring it up again. 

3.  That's all I can think of.

One more piece of positive.

I know it seems like a lot of unfinished stuff, but I can take it from where it is on the cut you will see, to professionally deliverable in a matter of days. Just yesterday (while exporting the rough cut) I fixed a lot of the sound fx and dialog. By Monday the dialog and sfx will be awesome. The only thing not 100% in my control is music. I've told * he only had * days to get me the music, but has you well know,  at this budget,  it's hard to hold people to a schedule. 
I'll keep on him. I'll also get that composer release asap.


Jason



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