Monday, 26 September 2011


Finally, today the ball-ache is over.

I say over, but really it has just changed from a stamping pain to a dull throb. Today Jake and I finished auditing and cataloguing all our movie and sound files, in anticipation of handing the whole lot over in a tidy state to an editor. Two weeks of comparing our meticulous Script Supervisor’s notes with the contents of three hard drives, trying to make sense of it all.

Today we re-named our last file. And it was at this point that the dull ache set in to the Charmed testes.

Because it was at this point that we got the final tally of what’s been lost in the move: fourteen shots and 201 sound files.

Nowhere to be seen. Vanished. Gone forever.

After months writing the script, half a year of pre-production and an insane four weeks waving a camera at some acting, it all comes down to what footage you have. At this point the script might as well go in the bin; these are the only puzzle pieces you have to play with, and you have to make the best picture you can from these and these alone.

So finding so many pieces missing from the box can best be described as “disappointing”.

Sure, we have 1,653 other shots to play with, and 1,235 perfectly OK sound files. But that’s not really the point. As an example, three of our missing shots are empty frames of sets; clear all the actors out of the way and just film the stuff they’re stood on for ten seconds or so. While this is not particularly useful as part of an edit (which is presumably why they got deleted, and then carefully deleted from both of the back-up disks too), they would have been massively helpful for our digital FX guy when he has to remove one character’s missing leg (which got filmed in a green sock). I don’t think it’s an insurmountable obstacle, but it does mean that what might have been a two hour job now takes him a week to do (disclaimer: actual timings for DFX work may differ wildly from these completely pulled-out-of-my-arse guesses).

So Monday night in Winchester finds me not in the finest of moods. 

We tell ourselves that it is what it is, and we’ve just got to make the best of what we have; there are no show-stoppers in the missing footage, and we’re not phoning around to get everybody back for pick-ups just yet. But this was the easy hurdle in the editing process, and higher fences await. It doesn’t feel good to be tripped up so early.

But then again, if every blog entry was just me being cheerful you’d smell a rat. This making a movie lark is difficult, you know. Pungent.

1 comment:

  1. Can you not use a file recovery program to get back the files?