Saturday, March 13, 2010

Cutting Wounds

Most of the elements of the production of TREASURE BLIND I immensely enjoyed. Then there were things I intensely hated, like cutting scenes. Some of my favorite people aren't in this movie. Many scenes that took so long to arrange the location, coordinate cast and crew, set up the shot, shoot it multiple times from different angles, scenes that cost money, that cost time, scenes for which my friends sacrificed their time and talent and comfort and dignity... were simply cut. Discarded. Sometimes not even finished. It was painful at the time, and painful now as I relive the frustration of concluding that all that time and energy was in fact unnecessary. At the end of the editing process, seconds are critical. Like a hot air balloon sinking into the ocean, we were casting off any extra weight not absolutely needed for survival of the story.

It's not like I intentionally or in ignorance wrote a bunch of extraneous stuff either. It took me a year to write the script, most of which I spend re-writing and simplifying and cutting everything I could. Brevity is the soul of wit, I'm told, and I read and reread scenes searching for anything extraneous. Events and conversations that I felt absolutely crutial while writing, I later couldn't justify. I found myself deleting lines, paragraphs, even whole scenes. The difference was, when I deleted a scene in the script, it may have eliminated a name, but not a person. After the script was finalized and cast, eliminating characters meant eliminating a person - usually not only a fellow actor, but also one of my friends.

So to all my friends who sacrificed so much to help me as I groped blindly through my first movie, I offer my profound thanks. But more than that, I offer apologies for not being able to show your friends your scene because it was CUT. It's not you... it's me.

1 comment:

R said...

I feel your pain, Brian. Cutting people out is rough. I also had a hard time asking people to wait for hours only to have their 2 seconds on screen in an unflattering type of role (no lines, acting scared).