First the main news – we are on the home stretch – another 2-3 weeks on post-production, and then we are DONE, and the film will be 100% ready for festivals and theaters.
Originally, we were going to be done the last day of July, but two things happened 1) color-correction took longer than anticipated, and 2) I decided to make some changes to the edit of film. I’m actually glad the first happened, because it gave me the time to make the call on the second.
If you’re just wondering “when can I see the film” – that hasn’t changed. We left well over a month between final export and first potential festival screening. But if you’re wondering what we’ve been up to the past month, it’s story time…
Changing the Edit
I went out to dinner with a producer friend to talk about distribution ideas for the film. Producer-friend has made multiple documentaries, some of which have been in theaters. He likes our film, gets the issue, and had a lot of good ideas for how we could get this film to the world.
At the end of chatting, he asked what the runtime was. I told him – 1 hour 46 min. He gave me a look and said, “that’s a little long…” I felt it when he said it. On the drive home, I began editing the film in my head (that’s how well I know it at this point). There were two small moments that always bothered me, but I knew if I took them out, I’d have to take out even more.
I messaged my post-production crew and said I was thinking of making some changes. Making changes after picture lock would mean creating a lot more work for sound and music. Every change has to have the exact timecode logged, so you can make the same change to sound. Thankfully, they said they could make it work, and that if I was going to make changes, now was the time to do it.
Forty-eight hours later, I’d taken five minutes out of the film, taking the runtime from 1 hour and 46 minutes to 1 hr and 41 minutes with credits. That may not seem like a lot, but perception-wise it’s the difference between “almost two hours” and “a little over an hour and a half.” For a person or couple on the fence about whether or not they’ll watch the film, that could make the difference between seeing it and not seeing it.
I think it also strengthened the film. When I showed the new edit to my producer-friend he said it was much better. Looking at it again, I felt the same. It flows much better, and the weakest moments – things a hater might latch on to and make the center of their criticism – are gone.
Our goal is to make a film that people are still taking about and recommend ten years later, so if adding another week to the post schedule means this film will be that much better, so be it.
Color was a bit tricky, because our colorist was in Los Angeles and we had to work remotely. Part of the reason it took longer was because we had some technical difficulties with the way changes were being sent back and forth. Because of his schedule, it meant we had to do some late nights, where we could both be on a shared screen and see the changes.
That said, the film looks WAY better now, and the images are really going to pop with a visual aesthetic that is far superior to anything you’ve seen in our trailers thus far.
So right now, we are on the home stretch. Sound is 90% mixed. End credits are done. Color correction is done. Music is done. Right now, someone is making the title cards, and sound is making those last few tweaks to the mix. Sometime later this week or early next we’ll have our final sound mix and get this out the door.
Then the real fun begins. Promoting the film.
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