Sunday, August 29, 2010

Care and Feeding of a Filmmaker

Picture Lock.

That phrase conjures up action, doesn't it? Makes you think there's something dynamic about this momentous step in the filmmaking process. You'd imagine there'd be some fan fare around it. Some distinctive noise of some kind. If not vuvuzuelas (or however you spell them), then maybe the impressive noise of a big strong lead-lined door closing and combinations dialling, or even the satisfying sound of tumblers and keys clicking tightly, firmly, into place.

Either way, there must be some significant sound and sense of closure involved in something called a Picture Lock. Right?

Wrong. I've found it's quite the opposite. Quite a quiet, passive experience in fact. Because instead of DOING something, you essentially just STOP DOING it. The pressure's on, time runs out and you just stop editing. And walk away.

And then you live with the fact that you have to live with every frame of the film that way, the way you left it, for time immemorial.

Oh, there's the noise.

Sounds like, .... finality. (with apologies to Duvall and Coppola)

Finality. That's a hard noise to get out of your head. Especially when your head's a bit of a hamster cage like mine can be. So, to drown out the noise, I've just carried on editing for the past week - in my dreams.

The same thing happened when we wrapped shooting actually. My subconscious started hounding me with the imperative to shoot whatever it was I was dreaming. For literally weeks after wrap, I'd be in the middle of some nonsensical nocturnal narrative and be suddenly struck by the urgency to shoot it for the film. But, how could I when my film takes place in the 70's and my dream was all contemporary? Anxiety usually ensued and I'd start rushing around trying to find a way to change the decor in my dream to match the period of my film.

Same kind of deal with the end of editing.

Now that we've begun the sound effects and music composition process, though, things should change. Like the wood shavings on the bottom of the cage. And maybe the water. I'm going to need fresh water for sure.