Paul Hills’ weekly post production blog

Weekly Blog 21 (March 27th)

On bank holiday Monday I bumped into Grace on the tube. We were both surprised. Myself because I see her as a South Londoner and she was firmly north of the river! We stopped and talked for a while about Film festivals and the financial situation etc. Then she asked me “Are you sad?”

I said “No.”

“Are you stoned?”


“Are you unhappy about something?”

Again “No.”

“Something’s wrong.”

The funny thing, of course, is that she was right but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe it’s that now I have seen the footage, I know that I have not been a hundred percent successful in everything I tried to achieve. In some things I have failed. Of course that is inevitable but when I start a film I become possessed with a kind of immortality, a belief that everything is achievable, that I am infallible. This possibly comes from achieving the impossible before. Many times I have been told such and such is impossible only to do achieve it perfectly. On The Poet despite the fundamental problem I still thought that it was possible to make a master piece.

It wasn’t!

The stage that the film is going through now is like a second creation process and thus necessarily a film will arise from the debris of the shoot, the raw footage. At times I have seen it fly already but other times it has failed to soar for me. These things need to be addressed. Maybe that’s what Grace picked up on? Anyway, that’s the process and is no different from my three previous films.

Today I saw Caroline’s first cut which is the result of the last 10 days work. She has eliminated more than 30 minutes and the amazing thing, of course, is the fact that I didn’t miss many things that were excluded. Others I did. The first scene as well as the travel and tripping scenes, which were in disarray, now have a form and actually a pretty good one. The first part of the tripping scene stands out especially like the wine scene. The end of the first day in the forest took a step backwards but that’s part of the process.

I am back in the cutting room on Monday morning. The plan is to get a director’s cut of the film by the 10th when I have set a date to show it to Jonnie and get his feedback. As my partner on this project, it is only fair that he sees it first. On another positive note, Caroline also came up with a little idea to improve the ending which is still not there a hundred percent yet. She’s doing a great job so far.

Apart from waiting for the new sim card to arrive so I can be back on line with the world, I have been busily working on other things this week. I was back on line Thursday. Not that I feel I’ve achieved much except pissing off an idiot accountant by complaining that he is late filing the accounts! Not Richard Juneman though, I must add, who has done a sterling job on all my companies. Yesterday, also, I met with Jonnie to go over things. We haven’t talked production for a couple of weeks as he has been away. We finally got back Max’s contract, the last one outstanding. HM customs and excise sent me a letter asking for more information. It’s information they already have so I sent it to them again. Streuth!

After reading acres (forested) of 17th and 18th century European history since getting back from Cape Verde, I am glad to be back reading some literature now. Being encyclopaedic by nature, my present target of conquest is French literature. I started at the beginning last year but got sidetracked for one reason or another. Now, though, I am ready to start on Diderot. When I edited The Poet, I lead a monastic existence, just going to the cutting room, to eat, to my hotel room and during that solitary time I read all of  Proust. It worked perfectly. So reading Diderot while editing DEP does have a certain symmetry.

My Father’s tests are inconclusive thus far.

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