Spare a thought for us as we take the weekend to do the final tweaking in the edit suite for the rough cut. In fact, we prefer to call it the first creative assembly – in terms of the edit points, there’s nothing rough about it at all. Our editor Paul Maxwell has been continually honing the film to cut to the essentials of the storyline, bringing all his skill and experience to bear. Of course there’s some creative wrestling as to exactly what constitutes the storyline, but we’re all on the same wavelength. Having watched the entire assembly a couple of times in the last week, I can only say we’re getting increasingly excited by what we’ve got. From time to time all of us slip out of critical mode, and get moved by the performances on screen.
From here we need to get the cut finalised, and confirm the music we’re using for the temp track. Thereafter it’s off to sound engineer Craig Perry to do an initial dialogue mix. When that’s all sorted, and we’re happy with where we’re at for this stage of the process, we’ll get Craig to do a ‘bash mix’, to adjust levels of dialogue, music etc. Then we have a test screening coming up including various industry people (in fact two – one in NZ and one in the UK), and will begin circulating our screener to various potential distributors/investors. Only after the money is secured will we begin the process of post-production proper. There are layers and layers of work before the film ever gets its first public outing.
In the meantime, we struggle with the details – the microseconds involved in the right place to make a cut; the tightening of scenes and dialogue; the best use of music in particular places. In two days time, we hope to have most of that sorted.