Paul Hills’ weekly post production blog
Weekly Blog 20 (March 22nd)
The week started with my father calling me to say “I’m pissing blood”. I couldn’t offer much more advice than “call a doctor” and “call me back if you hear anything”. Now, though, I suspect it is something to do with his kidneys. He has tests next week.
I went to see him yesterday. It was his birthday. 73 years old. He didn’t want to eat anywhere fancy for lunch so we ate at Nandos – about the only fast food place I have a soft spot for. It was in a bleak retail park overlooking the multiplex cinema where Boston Kickout showed. “I’ve not been in there since” he told me. He’d never been to Nando’s before either and unusually for him, didn’t complain about the place at all!
The last time I saw my father was at Christmas. He is having even more trouble walking now through breathlessness. He reiterated to me when he dies that he wants to be cremated, not aware that he has told me that many times before. It even features in the conversation in the graveyard in Boston Kickout! I asked him what I should do with his ashes. He replied “Scatter them round here so I can haunt the bastards!”
I was strangely saddened when we went to his first floor flat and I discovered he had given away recently the only two remaining oil paintings from the time when he painted – he picked it up while in prison. My mother hated their subject matter as many were of prostitutes and alcoholics. She burned about fifteen of them during one of their many arguments. The last two remaining, though, were landscapes. One was of London with St. Pauls in the background and the other of a country scene. What saddened me is I kind of wanted those paintings to remember him by after he died as now I cannot see him without thinking of that terrible inevitable.
Wednesday was the moment of truth for the film. An elephant didn’t squash the hard drive and I saw the first assembly. 3 hours long. Every shot and every scene at their maximum length. The strange thing is it took two and a half hours to reach the lake and that seemed short. The reason being when we filmed it took about 4 weeks of shooting to arrive at the lake. Now, by comparison, it’s almost instantaneous!
My overall impression was that some scenes, the wine scene for instance, are perfect already but that the film seems to start too slowly. I remember in Boston Kickout there were a number of scenes that didn’t change from the first assembly, the nightclub scene for instance. In The Poet also the scene of them driving in the rain was like that. The wine scene seems to be similar. Caroline’s first intuitive cut works perfectly already.
Part of the reason the start felt slow might be because the first scene has not been worked on yet. This scene is one of three in the film which will take a lot of work because of the enormous number of options. The other two are the driving through France sequence and the Mushrooms tripping sequence.
The ending also didn’t feel satisfactory to me, making me think of some possible scene reordering or cross-cutting. Lots of work to do but at least we have started it.
I will now see Caroline at the end of next week. After that, we will sit together like Tweddle Dum and Tweddle Dee perfecting the film. In a way that is when I really start work on it.
Straight after seeing the cut my mobile phone was stolen on the bus into town. It felt like a repeat of losing my wallet after returning from France. I’ll get a replacement on Wednesday. It’s quite an inconvenience, not least of all I won’t be able to text my Alonso supporting friend Oscar tomorrow morning while watching the race! Not that I expect Lewis to win tomorrow. I don’t. The Ferrari’s are too dominant.