Fine Arts Rough!

Jonathan Ashley Hall as Sam in Fine Arts

I interrupt this incessant stream of posts related to life in 2005 to bring you a current event.

The Company sat down last night to screen the first rough of our short film Fine Arts. With the exception of Brandon, who has sat in front of the computer editing the footage for three months, we had not seen hide nor hair of our little production since filming wrapped up in October last year. 

I want to be self-effacing, maybe even modest, but I feel it would be disingenuous to not state the obvious: this short film is far better than it should be. For a film with a tiny budget (so tiny as to be safely dubbed a "no budget" film in the parlance of the film industry), a skeleton crew of novices, and a shooting schedule so frighteningly quick that it often seemed we were packing up only minutes after we'd pulled everything out of the van, it seems improbable that both the narrative and aesthetics could coalesce into 28 minutes of intriguing cinema.*

A good portion of the kudos should be given to the cast, who were unfailingly professional and accommodating. They were thrown plenty of curve balls as Brandon and I readjusted shots to take advantage of various lighting conditions and locations. All of them were also exceedingly careful with Amy's script, which went a long way to maintaining the emotional cohesion of the story. Apparently, the script is often the first victim to the group-think engendered by movie making, as everyone (except the screenwriter) puts in their two cents about what the screenwriter really intended for this or that scene. I won't say that none of that happened, but in the cut we saw last night, I feel like many of the core ideas within the script were preserved and honored.

Brandon's skill as director and editor also deserve considerable praise. Despite having a number of takes for each scene, we were often exceedingly limited in how many different ways we could get a take. Most shots were subject to the limitations of available light and space. All of the shots were hand held; robbing every scene of the sameness that cranes, dollies, and tripods can offer. In the end, Brandon had a motley assortment of takes that were similar but hardly the same. As if editing wasn't hard enough already. . .

By no means should you believe that we are finished: Fine Arts still has a bit of post production work ahead. But in all likelihood, we should see the end in the next month or so, and then a new challenge will present itself— finding a venue larger than a couch to hold an audience larger than The Company. 

In the meantime I'm being told that blogging isn't nearly as important as writing my two proposed screenplays. I suppose that means I'll have to start shortening my posts. . .

What? What are you. . .? Wait . . . stop cheering! That's not nice!

*Intriguing cinema means that there's probably an appreciative audience somewhere, but I have no intention of misleading you— this is not a blockbuster. The only thing it has in common with a blockbuster is that it should be projected, and it is created through the efforts of more than one person. That's were the similarities end.

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