Those small problems that could have been large problems ended up being moderate problems. The issues were solved and the film is “finished.” It currently sits at a cool 27 minutes. It’s a fast 27 minutes, flies by, but still a lengthy amount of time.
Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man was a huge influence on the development of this particular film. Within that picture we see a man lost in the wilderness slowly changing his outlook on life and encountering bizarre and unsettling characters along his way.
Jarmusch has always been an interest of mine. He blends genre with the surreal in an inappropriately grand way. A while back he released a short list of rules (5) that every filmmaker should understand and follow. I used to have number 5 posted on my wall because it made me feel far better about my thievery, but it was lost.
The rules follow (paraphrased and broken down):
1. There are no rules. There are as many ways to make films as there are filmmakers. Therefore, consider these rules more as “codes,” or as a reflection of my own personal philosophy.
*2. Don’t let the fuckers get yah. They can either help you, or not help you, but they can’t stop you. They have no interest in letting you do their business, so don’t let them dictate how your film should be made. Carry a gun if necessary.
3. The production is there to serve the film, not the other way around.
4. Filmmaking is a collaborative process. Treat each of your collaborators equally and with respect, because there ideas may be more powerful than your own.
5. “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: ‘It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.’
I’ve made a huge mistake. It would seem that in my excitement to finish the film and begin colorization, I brushed over a key component to picture lock. This mistake can most certainly be linked to enthusiasm, and it could be linked to exhaustion, but whichever way I spin it, it’s most certainly linked to negligence. I seem to have missed a point in the film where the audio doesn’t quite sync up. Which means there’s a good 10 seconds that looks more like a poorly dubbed kung-fu movie, than it does a western.
The solution to this issue may be simple, but seeing as I’ve gone through a color corrected the entirety of the film, and finished everything that I could, the issue may not be so easily resolved. In any case, this is my quick update on the picture. It’s due on May 5th, which means I’ve got a week and a half to fix, export, weep, and forget about everything I could’ve done differently. This is the point in the film where filmmakers see the potential of what could have been. This is the point in the film where filmmakers begin to hate what they created. This is the point in the film where filmmakers do their best work. Kill your babies they tell me, and kill I shall.
The Last Waltz - Caravan - Van Morrison and The Band.
These last few tracks soundtracked my editing process.
Donovan - Season of the Witch.
Image lock! Colorization well under way. We’re trying to give the film a specific look, something beyond the basic capture of the camera. What we’ve done so far looks really great and there’s only a few more things left to change. Also on the agenda would be fixing a few titles, editing the credits, and exporting the damn thing out of final cut. The movie is pretty big and has slowed my computer down significantly. In the same sense that a horse who is run to far will eventually die, this computer may be on the last legs of its journey.
I’m really happy with the way the film turned out. Exactly the feel I wanted to achieve. There’s something strange about it, not quite a western, almost noirish. It’s a film lost in time with characters who wear the clothes of a western.
It is the biggest project I’ve ever done, and it hasn’t been easy. I’ve thrown myself into this for the last chunk of my life, and I feel it’s paid off in grand degrees. I’m glad I dove in and went for it rather than coping out and making something “safer.” Sometimes you gotta eat the whale.
Got a call today from a producer in New York about a feature film I wrote. He’s big time and it was the single most terrifying phone call I’ve ever received. Updating director’s reel for delivery by 8 a.m tomorrow.