Getting It Done Already

Getting It Done Already

Have a great day, sweetie!

There’s a saying in film- “projects aren’t finished, they’re abandoned”. Boy is it true. Almost two years ago, we decided to shoot a short film. Within just a few weeks Chad had written a script we loved, and we set to work, shooting it for hardly any money in December of 2009 and then launching into post. After the editor we lined up had to drop out, Chad and I were faced with a tough decision- spend the time looking for another editor who will work for free and take the risk on the final product, or do it ourselves. I promise you Chad and I by no means undervalue our crew, including a talented editor. Quite the opposite- we believe that by surrounding ourselves with professionals who are really great at their jobs and then giving them the space to excel, 10 times out of 10 we wind up with a better result than we thought possible.

But this situation was a little different. We knew the script backwards and forwards, Chad had done a ridiculous amount of work on prep (even going through footage and updating the storyboards with exact shots) and I had done some editing in film school. It was nowhere near an ideal scenario, but we wanted to get this thing done. Of course, the road was every bit as bumpy as we expected and eventually were so close to the project we couldn’t even tell if the story was comprehensible anymore. I think this is where the big issues come in (I’m talking to you, Shyamalan). Being so close to a project every step of the way it gets more and more difficult, if not downright impossible to tell if it’s any good. When you have spent months of your life reading, analyzing, discussing a story, how can you tell if other people are going to follow it? It’s the weirdest thing.

Of course it helps to have friends/mentors you can run things by, people you can trust creatively who will be completely honest with you (I’m talking to you, Shyamalan’s friends). People who will not give you the kind of advice that changes your story into theirs, but figure out what you’re trying to say and genuinely want to help get you there. We are lucky enough to be surrounded by really talented, generous friends as well as people like Diana Lesmez who was my instructor in film school and whose words continue to motivate me every day, and Thomas Ethan Harris, our festival consultant. It stays hard though, and can get incredibly frustrating. Every filmmaker in every project will tell you there are things they would have done differently, little spots in the edit they would have tweaked, little adjustments in the mix they’d like to see happen, etc. At some point you have to push your baby bird out of the nest though. This weekend we saw Carefully Descending screened for the first time in front of an outside audience. Overall I am very happy with the reception… but still fighting with all my might to not micro-analyze the response. I feel like a parent picking a kid up after their first day of Kindergarten. It says it had a good day and I need to just be cool with that and get it ready for a new day tomorrow.

We do still have a little tweaking before next month’s Big Island Film Festival though… just a a few spots in the edit we need to tweak, adjustments in the mix, etc….

Aloha,

Kendall

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    Keep going…

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