Sunday, 6 November 2011

91 minutes and counting

I am happy to report that on Friday evening, Jake and I finished fiddling with the last scene of the movie.

It all happened roughly twenty minutes before we were in the pub. This may not have been a coincidence.

Yup – the first round of the edit is now officially complete, and the skeleton of a zombie movie stands before us in all its ragged undead glory. Actually, we went round twice in the end; coarse sanding and then a finer polish. And not before time – I have woken up on these last two nights in the middle of extraordinarily dull dreams about splicing footage together.

Sure, the on-screen lighting levels are all un-graded, there’s no sensible audio track beyond us digging out the best speech samples we have and then adding some very temporary foley when it’s needed to tell the story, there’s no music or digital gore, and one of our cast members is mostly seen wearing a large green sock which we will need to lose before too long. But otherwise, it’s our film. All in one place.

And I don’t hate it.

There were times when I was genuinely concerned about what kind of reaction I would have to the assembled footage in this state. When you have to film an average of four minutes of the movie every day, you know that you are making decisions on the shoot that will come back and bite you on the arse when you come to bolt it all together. Not getting enough coverage; not rehearsing each scene for as long as you’d like; not getting multiple takes of some shots if the first one worked; not throwing enough gore around. If you don’t make your pages, you don’t have a film at the end. Everything else is second priority.

So to get to the other side of the edit and find that we have actually gathered enough of the good stuff on set to be able to tell our story; well, it’s a good feeling. The collective Charmed sphincters de-pucker.

And so the next question looms at us – where do we go from here?

My earlier concerns about people that write, direct and edit their own material are still valid. We have so little objectivity about the film at this stage that our opinions are almost worthless. Is it still funny when it tries to be (or worse, is it funny where it shouldn’t be)? Are there sections where the viewer is confused at what’s happening? Do we explain some things too little? Or others too much?

Basically, is it any good?

Don’t ask us – we haven’t a clue. So step one is to send it out to a couple of Charmed pals to watch. Movie-making mentors that we’ve met over the course of the project, and know all about low-budget movie making. They understand what state a film should be in at this point and can see past the dodgy sound and green legs. Step forward Gentleman Jim and Master Bruce; thanks guys for agreeing to be our guinea pigs.

And while that’s happening, we start to chase down the post-production cash. Which means pulling a trailer together. Let’s see if we can’t get some Resurrection action up on-line for you all before too long. Teasing.

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