Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The Sweet Smell of Excess

So, hard on the heels of wrapping the shooting, I now have a rough cut of the film. Woop, as the youngsters say. (No, I am pleased, really. And excited.)

Gypsy is also excited

So how long is it, do I hear you ask?

Weather’s turned nice all of a sudden, hasn’t it..?

Traditionally, it’s supposed to time out at a minute per page of script. I had 82 pages of script, but I knew it would turn out longer than 82 minutes, with some lengthy speeches by Isabella and party sequences which were a short paragraph on the page but need comparatively longer on screen to make their point.

Hazel and Jill. To love is not to look at one another, but to look together in the same directi- oh dear

However, I was hoping for a slightly shorter running time than 105 minutes. Better to be over than under, of course...

...providing you can cut. I’ve already excised bits of scenes during the assembly of the edit, cut lines, trimmed shots, and so on. I don’t know how much more can go.


It may not be a problem, of course. I have yet to watch the film through as a complete narrative, and it may be that it will feel exactly the right length. But 105 minutes feels a little too much for a film with no money on screen. There are cars (well, one) but no chases, and explosions (two or three), but only emotional ones, and chatter the likes of which has not been seen on the silver screen since the 30s. Will a modern audience be able to stand it?

Gypsy and Hazel have stopped being excited

I shall, as we oldsters say, keep you posted.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Short Trek to the Light

Whisper it.

It’s a wrap.

No! Sound this barbaric yawp across the rooftops of the world:


Well, ok...I may re-record one of the interviewees (who had four words), and I may take a couple of shots to cover the other end of a short phone call, but these are luxuries. Everything I need for the film is now shot, thanks to the lovely Sarah Gillett, actress, singer and choreographer at Fight or Flight Productions, who stepped into the breach and made an admirable job of her first ever bit of film acting. She was also a good audience for the small segments of the film I showed her as context for her role – her reactions were very encouraging at this stage of the lonely editing process.

Hazel has no idea that Gypsy has plans to divert her

Other than that, I have been working non-stop to cobble together a rough cut to take and play on my brother’s swanky TV set-up in about ten days’ time. Work on the score is progressing, though I haven’t had time to check out too much of what Luke and Joe have been producing. I have encountered horrendous continuity problems, sound problems, coverage problems...there has been much gentle bumping of forehead on desk.

Sabrina has problems...and she's not the only one

But everything has just about hung together, and along the way I have renewed acquaintance with some lovely, all-but-forgotten moments of great acting and comic timing. It is also, um...pleasing... to discover that two actresses playing a romantic scene do seem to have more than a soup├žon of chemistry, something I was far too preoccupied to appreciate when we shot the scene.

Gypsy has something to confess...

Putting together a soundtrack for the party scene it’s also pleasing to report that so far all the musicians I’ve contacted are more than happy to allow their music to be used for the film. (It probably doesn’t hurt that half of them are IN the film...)

The cover star of this mag may also be spotted during the film

So - onward. And today I even have a new photo that isn’t just grabbed from the footage, for a change…

Sarah looking a lot more approachable than her character...