Edit Assembly ups and downs
Andrew did our first assembly cut and sent it over and MAN did I have the blues, granted it was temp score, temp sound effects and completely meat and potatoes shots but I also at the time didn’t feel as bad as I knew I should have as I expected this was going to happen. The hardest point when making a new film is assembly when it looks like you’ve made a colossal turd. Tough. You just have to roll with it.
I watched it over and over through FRAMEIO and made my notes which went to about 65 changes. A week passed whilst Andrew handled another job and invited me round to go through the first main edit. Andrew had already implemented the majority of changes the previous night so we were just going through it scene by scene. By the time we were done the assembly dropped from 13.30 mins to 12.10. It was so much better but by the time I got back I was glum about things again. Andrew sent me the FRAMEIO link and I watch it over and over and although I couldn’t point out anything specific it just didn’t feel like it was good.
I got a call from Mike Staniforth who although pointed out a few issues to be resolved thought it was fantastic, his pep pepped me up, I knew I hadn’t made a lemon but I couldn’t get rid of the thought that noone would care about this project despite what Mike said.
I spent the evening creating a title card for the intro scene and marking up more points to be adjusted on the edit.
Mike had suggested getting rid of the entire first minute and a half of the film which involved Mason arriving at the front door and going down the cellar stairs. It was a great idea as it lopped down our runtime and also got rid of certain shots we weren’t happy with which was the first door opening shot and Mason descending the stairs with the body. We decided to try it out. Mike and I also decided to reshoot a few cutaways in the film as well as the cellar door hero shot, the blood hitting the sink water, the iron on the ironing board and a few drips coming out of taps. What we had was fine but we knew we could do better.
Still filled with the blues I decided to pack the film away for ten days whilst we waited for our second unit shoot day and I took care of some other work.
As I got new edits through I started to get into the feel of everything and became very proud of what we had made.
On one of the edits both Mike and I decided it would be best to not open on Mason in the front door then the cellar but straight to him in the bedroom it created more of a sense of mystery and threw us straight into the strong shots of the film. There was nothing innately wrong with the front door and cellar stuff but the shots we had we knew weren’t our most powerful.
We also had an edit issue where our push in to mason studying himself in the bathroom mirror there was a long moment of Mason looking at his reflection that the camera couldn’t see until the end of the shot, so we intercut it with shots of Mason in the bathroom cleaning himself to skip to the juicy stuff and not Mason looking at an empty mirror.
On my off time I worked on the end credits which were black against a blue fog background. I made sure everyone was credited but also that the credits didn’t hang around. We had dropped our runtime from 13.5 minutes to 10.21 and I was about to add 30 secs of credits. Boards worked better than a slow roll up.