Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Anyone got a spare firewire drive?

A few days later and still the question remains. Where will I put the rest of the footage?

I simply do not have the money to purchase a new firewire drive right now. So the project is stalled, in a sense, because of finances. I have finally paid Darius for his time. I have still to pay the remaining amount to Tim and Morgan (Fox not Stewart, sorry girl!) and then I will be clear to focus on the smaller accounts payables still outstanding. I have completed 1 of 4 documents necessary to get my deposit back from SAG. That is a full detailed budget. Hopefully the other three will be smooth, and out of that money I can pay off Morgan and Tim.

As for the firewire drive, I am hoping for a small payment for a job I hope to finish in the next two days. That way I could purchase the drive this week, and be underway again.

At the Media Co-op today, Andrew, Morgan and Suzie saw the scenes I cut in Dallas. I was nervous, because I only expected to be showing them to Andrew, but Morgan and Suzie's presence was appreciated in the end. Especially because they know what is helpful to say and what is not it seems. In other words no commenting on the sound quality or the length of the scenes.

This weekend is a Spike Lee festival at the Ridgeway Four. I strongly recommend EVERYONE going to see Do The Right Thing as it has a strong conceptual relationship to Dollars & Signs and is the the film which originally flipped the "I might wanna be a filmmaker" switch in my head. Shit, if I had any discretionary income I would take all of you there. Oh, and my 30th birthday is Thursday. Love me.


Thursday, February 17, 2005

Scene 49. The Second Meeting.

I am having much difficulty with this scene, (49) Second Meeting. We have so many takes of it, I feel handicapped when trying to choose the "best" one. There is no "best" one. There is only the one that works. Writing that out helps me to remember it.

I have it down to just under 9 minutes. It started out at around 12 minutes. The scene itself we shot in its entirety each time, in 6 different takes. So what I have done is try to combine two of the takes to give a stronger sense of the tables being flipped between Mike and Carlton. This is one of those scenes which was really driven by the actors. Morgan and Darius both had some sense of the direction, but in the most recent draft of the script I had deleted all of my dialogue, and put the scene in a text box implying that it was to be improvised. This was partially because in the workshop this scene was one of the strongest we played out. I think that also put some pressure on the actors because the workshop was so good that there may have been a fear that we couldn't acheive the emotional connection we did in the workshop. If I had been more organized then I would have probably had them review the workshop scene. Since they didn't, a part of me fears that their discoveries in the workshop were wasted. That I lay on my own shoulders.

This Saturday I get the Panasonic camera back for three days in order to capture all of the remaining footage. The only question I have right now is, "Where will I put it?"

Monday, February 14, 2005


I just saw a wonderful movie called Charlotte Sometimes. I bought it on an impulse for $8 because I knew it had Cody Chesnutt's music in it. I finished the movie, and felt that it has some really powerful moments. Worth watching again. Now I'm watching Roger Ebert interview the Director, the Producer and two of the main actors on a big stage in front of a big audience. It was shot on DV in 14 days and won an Independent Spirt Award/John Cassavettes Award.

This is sort of my ideal for Dollars & Signs. I mean, heck, I'll even take Roger Ebert.

I woke up too late this morning to go edit. It kind of depressed me, so I went out to the pool at the apartment complex Ben and Carissa live in and jumped in. I've been wanting to do that since I got here, but today was the first day it was somewhat warm. Somewhat... I could only stay in there for 5 minutes. It was icey.

I get on the train tomorrow. I will arrive in Little Rock at 12:30 am. Anyone wanna pick me up?

Friday, February 11, 2005

Scene 44. The Laundromat

Looking at the laundromat scene a few things occur to me. Basically how I approach a scene is that I set a somewhat random running time for it in my head. Like for this scene I said 3 minutes. Not because I think it will run 3 minutes in the final film, but because I have a sense that I want it to be slow pacing. So I take the first length that comes into my head and I push it a little further. So I thought 2 minutes, realized I don't want to limit myself to 2 minutes at this point, so I gave myself 3. Heck, now that I'm writing about it I may even give myself 4. We'll see how the scenes come together.

I want the music here to be sparse and light and melancholy. Good thing we have adjectives to describe things write. Otherwise how could I ask for anything specific since I don't know how to play it. Something like "The sky came down to the rooftops" by Dianogah is too orchestral.

I want this scene (44) to be an opportunity for the audience to sort of take in where there at.

Editors Note: The rough cut of the scene clocked in at 3:13

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The Way It (Could) Be

Here I am in Starbucks cutting the Indian Restaurant scene. It is impossible to focus in Ben's house because of Penn. He is just a presence in your mind at all times unless asleep. When he is awake you cannot escape him or thoughts of him. So here I am, and I am building off the two minute version Andrew has already cut, and now I am trying to get a few more bits of info in there and still not make it longer. Ultimately I want it to be around 2 minutes. I was orginally shooting for 90 seconds but I think after seeing everything we've got, I'll be ok with a 2 minute version for the rough cut.

Yesterday morning I came here also and cut a 3 minute version of the scene where Danita meets the boys. It is either directly preceding the scene I am cutting now, or just a few scenes in front of it.

Hopefully I will be doing this every morning until I return to Memphis on the 15th.

I am really happy with how the scene yesterday came together. I wish I could carry this momentum back into Memphis with me, but truly, I find it almost impossible to concentrate on editing D & S while I am there. The only thing I can attribute it to is that there are all these things in my mind demanding priority over it. I don't know. Maybe I just need to find a regular escape.